Among the more eye-catching developments around the UK coast are the brand new inflatable M3 Air Domes (below), which have popped up across its three coastal sites in a bid to continue to develop and diversify Butlin’s Conference & Events’ offering.
Situated at Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness, the domes are suitable for all conditions, including extreme weather, and can host conferences, breakouts, exhibitions and even drink receptions and innovative incentive programs. The structures can be tailored to suit individual needs, including bespoke lighting and branding. The first of Butlin’s clients to use the domes on resort were 500 delegates from confectionery brand Wrigley’s earlier this year.
An incentive trip with a difference could also take place in more rural surroundings with the summer 2016 opening of The Pig at Combe. This boutique Elizabethan property is located close to Lyme Regis and Sidmouth, and offers personalised, foodie-lead stays. It’s a country retreat with 27 bedrooms, three well-stocked gardens and all the cosiness of a luxury country inn. Guests can be put to work in the garden for a Downton Abbey-style ‘below stairs’ experience.
Among the most scenic of the coastal openings this year is the luxury Twr y Felin Hotel. Located just a ten-minute walk from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and Caerfai Bay, Twr y Felin also has the 6th-century St Davids Cathedral and Oriel y Parc National Park on its doorstep. Twr y Felin is set in its own private grounds, has 19 rooms and offers a host of corporate retreat activities, from fine dining in its restaurant to surfing, fishing and golf.
Pullman’s first-ever UK new build opened in Liverpool in April 2016 and has been immediately hailed as one of the city’s most stylish hotels. The 216-room property is located at Kings Dock and features an all-day dining restaurant called Dukes and a bar and lounge with views of the River Mersey. The hotel’s design includes a striking glass-fronted facade and the use of brushed copper, timber and stone to reflect the iconic docks that define the city’s traditions. The hotel has two meeting rooms for up to 65 people, and is connected to the Exhibition Centre Liverpool.
A new conference centre is the pipeline for Hull. The landmark facility will be capable of hosting conferences of up to 3,500 people, similar in scope to the Spa Bridlington, the O2 Academy in Leeds and the Harrogate International Centre. The project is currently scheduled for completion in early 2018.
• For more in-depth features, as well as case studies and breaking news, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here