Thistle puts MICE in the spotlight

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

Eight of the meeting and event rooms at The Charing Cross Hotel have been completely redesigned
Eight of the meeting and event rooms at The Charing Cross Hotel have been completely redesigned
Thistle Hotels is on a mission to become the UK’s leading meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) brand with the announcement of a multi-million-pound investment into two of its largest properties and a new conference-focused F&B offering being rolled out across its 31-strong estate. 

The GLH Hotels Management-owned business is completely revamping the 11 meeting and event spaces at its flagship property in Marble Arch; while £500k is being invested by Guoman into sister property, The Charing Cross Hotel.

Meanwhile the new F&B offering will be available to all meeting and event delegates and will include working, in-room meals and conference lunches, designed to enhance the overall delegate experience and support team meetings and networking sessions.

“Improving the experience for our meeting and events delegates is at the core of our drive to position ourselves as a leader within the sector, both in terms of our menu and our outstanding customer service,” said Jackie Brown, Thistle’s meetings and events sales director.

Subtle enhancements

The 700-bedroom Thistle Marble Arch hotel, situated on Oxford Street, has used its 1950s heritage as the basis for its redesign, which includes a new bar, restaurant and café along with a new look for its two 400-capacity ballrooms.

All of the meetings and events spaces at Thistle Marble Arch have been redesigned

The Glenn Miller Bar, modern European Marmor Grill Restaurant and Delicatessen Café are all part of the new offering, while ‘superfast’ free Wi-Fi has been installed throughout the property to ready it for the likes of video conferencing, data streaming and FaceTime for business travellers.

Riddian Davies, the hotel’s general manager, said: “Our prime aim is to always be at the forefront of improving our customers’ experiences and we have made subtle enhancements to the hotel with the needs of our corporate clients in mind.

“The new upgrades to our meeting and event spaces, coupled with our new Wi-Fi, means that we can provide the ultimate working space for delegates attending meetings and conferences at the hotel, as well as people who are looking for a comfortable and welcoming place to work or catch up on emails.”

Customer satisfaction

An on-going refurbishment of The Charing Cross Hotel will see eight of the properties meeting and event rooms completely redesigned, with new technology including HD presentation equipment, SMART TVs and convenient USB charging ports in every room. The faster Wi-Fi will also be on offer throughout.

“We have worked very closely with the designers to create a different style for each of the eight meeting spaces to reflect the history and heritage of the property,” said general manager Glenn Hallam.

“We are also redesigning our food and beverage offering at the moment and we look forward to introducing this to our clients very soon.”

Meanwhile, the roll-out of the new F&B offering follows a soft launch, after which a number of Thistle hotels’ London properties saw guest satisfaction rates rise by nearly ten per cent.

Conference confidence

More than half of Thistle’s hotels have received commended accreditations from VenueVerdict,​which recognise customer service provided to event hosts by hotels and conference venues across the UK. 

Last month, it was revealed that the luxury Guoman Hotels brand, which owns Thistle, will eventually be retired following news that Guoman Hotel Management has been rebranded as glh.

The past year has seen a number of big hotel brands placing an extra focus on the MICE market – in March, the ‘ConferenceGroup’ website saw a dramatic increase in the number of hotels signing up to its service, which its managing director believed was a sign of this increased confidence in the meetings market.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Openings, Hotel

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