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Hotel Cateys 2018: Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year – St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London

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Hotel Cateys 2018: Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year – St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London

Sponsored by Reynolds

The four-AA-star, 312-bedroom St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is an iconic establishment, owned and redeveloped by the Manhattan Loft Corporation since 2007 and reopened in 2011.

Operated under Marriott International’s Renaissance brand, the hotel features three main food and beverage outlets and 10 event spaces in total, the largest being Hansom Hall, which has capacity for 280 guests for a sit-down meal, or 575 for a standing reception. In total, St Pancras Renaissance holds a collective events space of 12,000 sq ft, which can cater for more than 1,200 guests at any one time.

The team caters for a diverse range of events, for example, a Bar Mitzvah which requested five different cocktail stations for 250 guests, plus live food stations across seven different types of cuisine; and an oil company which held a three-day event featuring a French wine bar with charcuterie and cheese, a German beer garden, a beach party and a gin and tonic bar.

From an event sales perspective, the quality of FAM (familiarisation) trips is inspirational. To celebrate 20 years since Spice World: The Movie, the Gallery was transformed into a ‘cinema’, featuring pop-up beds, popcorn and snacks (the band’s ‘Wannabe’ music video was filmed at the hotel). The fully subscribed event was attended by media and corporate bookers which led to four subsequent event bookings.

The hotel has also introduced a dedicated resource to look after events under 30 guests and has subsequently seen an increase in repeat business in this area of 31%; while a focus on converting smaller meeting space – with the appointment of a dedicated events executive for this area – has led to an increase in business by just under 20%.

The group is also incredibly team-focused; over the past 12 months, a lot of work has been done to improve career progression in the department. The events operations team has successfully promoted three new supervisors in the department through training and guidance. The department has also achieved a score of 100% in the 2017/2018 Associate Engagement Survey. Stability has led to better client relationships and this loyalty means the team is willing to go above and beyond their roles. Members of the conference and banqueting team have participated in the annual charity lunch organised by St Pancras, where staff prepare a hot lunch for a local day centre for the homeless, and the events sales team not only spent two evenings after work purchasing and transporting plants for the launch of Roof Garden St Pancras but also gave up a Saturday to plant them.

The success of the team is naturally reflected in financial performance – to year end 2017, the conference and banqueting department generated revenue of £4.33m and the team is already anticipating covers for this year of nearly 88,000.

What the judges said

“In a field of some of the most famous hotels in the country, St Pancras stood out by being innovative, forward-thinking and service-led. The involvement of all staff in the initiatives was also commendable.”

Paul Southern, managing director, Central Hall Westminster, London

“A very comprehensive entry from a beautiful hotel which demonstrated great teamwork, passion, care and innovative ideas.”

Nuno César de Sá, hotel manager, Rudding Park, Harrogate, Yorkshire


Shortlist

De Vere Beaumont Estate Old Windsor, Berkshire

Royal Lancaster London

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London

Whittlebury Hall  Towcester, Northamptonshire

Past winners

2017  Principal York

2016  Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

2015  Whittlebury Hall Towcester, Northamptonshire

2014 Lancaster London

2013 Hotel du Vin & Bistro Bristol

2012 The Connaught London

2011 Sofitel London Heathrow

2010 The Berkeley London

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