This month we have put the spotlight on four tried and tested venues in Bristol, the port city sitting 120 miles west of London and currently basking in its status as an “EU Green Capital” for 2015. The venues we have picked range from an award winning science and discovery centre to a former hangout for British spies!
An exciting interactive science centre with 100s of hands-on exhibits – you wouldn’t be bored!
- Convenience – handy for those in and out of LondonHundreds of fascinating exhibits
- Outdoor dining with stunning views
- New 3D planetarium (the only one in the country)
Drinks receptions, networking events and ice breakers
Out of this world
The building dates from 1903 and was originally a Great Western Railway goods shed. In 2000 it was cleverly converted into one of the most sustainable buildings in the country.
The main meeting room is the Rosalind Franklin room (on the top floor) which can accommodate up to 480 people ‘theatre style’ and 200 cabaret style. It encompasses a private outdoor area (great for alfresco dining) and offers great views over Millennium Square.
There are many other ‘spaces’ available to hire, too. You can book out the exhibition spaces, for example, and allow your party free rein with the 300+ hands-on exhibits. Alternatively you could invite people to a private viewing in the immersive 3D planetarium where they can sit back and enjoy an astronaut’s view of Earth then fly off through the rings of Saturn.
If you’re launching a new product or service and want your presentation to go with a bang, you can also book the Large Screen Theatre which is part of the Bristol Aquarium but managed (for private hires) by At-Bristol. The theatre has the largest screen in the West and is supported by an in-house technical team.
As the name suggests, very grand – though the welcome is reassuringly warm and friendly.
- Marlows, the underground cellar bar
- The Sunday carvery in the Tyrrell Restaurant (yum!)
- Otium Health and Leisure Club
Whatever you have in mind – this is definitely a great ‘all rounder’ venue
Stopover for spies!
The Grand is an impressive Victorian hotel in the heart of the city and around a mile from Bristol Meads station, which has fast connections to London, Cardiff and Bath. The hotel has 180 rooms and a range of meeting spaces to suit all needs. There’s also an onsite health and leisure club offering spa and beauty treatments and an indoor swimming pool for when your guests need to wind down.
There are 11 meeting rooms in total, with the largest accommodating 600 guests ‘theatre style’ and 400 cabaret style. The entire hotel has undergone a major refurbishment recently so all of the rooms, including the Wessex Suite and Grand Ballroom, are able to meet the IT demands of any meeting while losing none of their original Victorian charm.
Rumour has it that spies used to stop over at the Grand Hotel before flying off on secret missions to Lisbon (but you didn’t hear that from us!).
Hilton Garden Inn
Won’t break the bank, good standby for smaller meetings in a convenient location
- City Café – won a ‘Best Food Award’ from the Bristol Evening Post
- 24 hour ‘convenience mart’ for snacks and bits you may have forgotten to pack
- Apple iMac TV/PC in all rooms as standard
Shorter meetings and business travellers who just want a bed and the basics.
Small but convenient
The Hilton Garden Inn is located in the modern business district, just five minutes from Temple Meads Station. It is also 20 minutes from Bristol International Airport and guests arriving by plane can travel in to the hotel on a local shuttle bus.
There are 167 modern bedrooms and two smallish meeting rooms available with the largest accommodating 30 people ‘theatre style’ or 16 in a cabaret format – so ideal for seminars and small private events. The hotel also offers all guests complimentary use of the onsite fitness suite.
Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa
A real find – lovely friendly atmosphere, really superb facilities
- The Urban Bar & Kitchen restaurant – delicious food made from the finest local produce
- Big beds – nothing smaller than Queen size!
- Good range of spa treatments and a fabulous pool
Larger business meetings and corporate events or a fun-filled weekend getaway.
You’re in for a surprise!
Don’t be fooled by the old, grey exterior. Step inside and you’ll find yourself in a modern and vibrant hotel with 275 well appointed bedrooms (with really big beds), a large indoor heated swimming pool and spa facilities.
There are 12 private function rooms available, with the largest (the Forest room) able to accommodate 220 guests. Eleven of the rooms are located on the dedicated ‘events floor’ (floor 5) which offers great views across the city along with a ‘conference café’, private bars and large breakout areas. The Phoenix Suite is on the ground floor and opens out on to the courtyard to create the perfect space for business meetings, lunches, dinners and receptions.