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Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 300
Lime Avenue, Off Portsmouth Road, Camberley, Surrey, Surrey, GU15 2BG
Private landscaped gardens and Surrey woodlands are the setting for this Victorian manor house. Despite the rural location, the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa is a short trip from Heathrow, just off the M3. For the meetings crowd, there are four spaces to look at, all with free Wi-Fi. The largest is the Frimley Suite, which can be subdivided. The White Room has stained-glass windows, an open fire place and views of the gardens, while the book-lined Library is good for smaller gatherings. If the weather’s good, there are outdoor activities such as laser clay-pigeon shooting and archery, if not, the Vital Health & Wellbeing Spa is open to groups.
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The Marylebone Hotel
Max Meeting 84
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 88
47 Welbeck Street , London, W1G 8DN
You’ll find this contemporary Doyle Collection property in the middle of quaint ‘Marylebone village’. Recent additions are the Number Six spaces (two meeting rooms and a private bar), while 2017 saw the completion of The Marylebone Rooms – a set of event spaces designed to have the look and feel of a members club. Expect modern art and colourful furnishings alongside hi-spec AV and a fetching outdoor space. The Marylebone Suite – with its 40sq m terrace – works well for summer entertaining.
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Laura Ashley Hotels
Max Meeting 250
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 120
Various locations, WD6 3RE
Floral print purveyor Laura Ashley owns and operates two boutique hotels, which mix state-of-the-art facilities with the textile designer’s trademark statement wallpaper and furnishings. Up in the Lake District, Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield makes the most of its scenic surroundings with a property on the edge of Lake Windermere. The 62-bedroom hotel has six conference suites that range from small boardrooms through to a large conference space for 120 delegates, plus a fine-dining restaurant. Just outside London, Laura Ashley The Manor Elstree is set in a Tudor-style building within 10 acres of landscaped gardens. As well as a clutch of modern meeting spaces in the New Wing, we like the private dining room, which looks out over the grounds. Both hotels hold wedding licenses.
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Max Meeting 20
Max Standing 60
Max Banquet 20
3 Rothesay Terrace, Edinburgh, EH3 7RY
The B+B Collection has made its name turning listed buildings into comfortable, contemporary hotels. Alongside 27 modern bedrooms, its Edinburgh outpost houses the Findlay Room. Named after the Victorian property’s first owner, it features stained-glass windows, an ornate ceiling and open fireplaces. Abundant natural light suits it to focused meetings, as well as entertaining. The Residents Bar and galleried Library are appealing breakout and post-work options.
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Great Northern Hotel
Max Meeting 91
Max Standing 180
Max Banquet 91
King's Cross St Pancras International Station, Pancras Road, London, N1C 4TB
Built in 1854, the splendid Grade II-listed Great Northern Hotel in King’s Cross underwent a renovation in 2013. Now, it offers a bundle of options for events. At the Plum + Spilt Milk restaurant, celebrated head chef Mark Sargeant oversees modern British cuisine, and the space is available for private hire from 7am to 1am. The atmospheric GNH bar suits lively receptions, and the nearby Mezzanine and cosy Snug bars are set up for intimate occasions.
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Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150
Alexander Hotels , East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH10 4QD
The Alexander Hotel group is a collection of boutique country house hotels near London. The quartet of four- and five-star hotels comprise Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa in Sussex; Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa in Kent; and two Surrey properties Langshott Manor Hotel and Barnett Hill Country House Hotel. Alexander House Hotel has 58 bedrooms and a variety of event space, including the 120-capacity Shelley Suite and Wakehurst, which can host smaller meetings for 40 delegates. A beautiful Elizabethan manor house protected by a medieval moat, the 22-bedroom Langshott is a serene venue for business meetings, and lends itself well to exclusive use. Rowhill Grange offers The Pavilion, a state-of-the-art conference centre which can hold up to 60 theatre style. The newest in the collection, Barnett Hill, has recently been renovated and includes 58 bedrooms and nine function rooms.
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Rowhill Grange Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 160
Max Standing 160
Max Banquet 150
Wilmington, Kent, DA2 7QH
Part of the Alexander Hotels portfolio, this 19th-century manor house turned boutique hotel also has a conference centre: the Pavilion. The Clockhouse Suite, with its private bar and courtyard, is a good space for banquets and theatre-style conferences. Board meetings work well in The Wicket or Cottage Suite. The Utopia Spa has pools, saunas and steam rooms, and RG’s restaurant serves local produce. Fifteen acres of grounds can be used for team activities.
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Rydges London Kensington
Max Meeting 34
Max Standing 95
Max Banquet 48
61 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4PE
Blending contemporary interiors and an elegant Georgian exterior, Rydges Kensington has eight event spaces, all with high ceilings and plenty of natural light. Taking their names from the greenery surrounding the hotel, a trio of rooms – Elm, Oak and Park – combine flourishes from the old school (think wood panels) with the latest multimedia technology. Four six-capacity syndicate rooms are available for smaller meetings. With a registry office close at hand and a church across the road, Rydges is well placed to host wedding receptions for 120 guests. In-house restaurant The Jam Cupboard (see separate review) can hold dinners for 52.
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The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel
Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 280
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ
For over a century, The Balmoral has been found at the Scottish capital’s most prestigious address, No 1 Princes Street. Once a railway hotel, the grand building houses some impressive event spaces primed for conferences, awards ceremonies and banquets. Our favourite is the Sir Walter Scott Suite, resplendent in chandeliers and marble columns, and with views towards Edinburgh Castle. Ceilidhs, ghost walks and Highland games can all be arranged.
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Town House at The Kensington
Max Meeting 20
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 34
109 -113 Queens Gate, London, SW7 5LR
Among The Kensington’s collection of event spaces is its traditionally handsome restaurant, Town House. With its own entrance on Manson Place, this restaurant can host breakfasts, lunches, dinners and receptions in its three interconnecting Regency-style spaces. Cocktail masterclasses for up to 20 guests can be booked in the hotel’s adjoining bar. The menu features well-executed classic dishes such as fish-and-chips and shepherd’s pie.
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