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Hotel Cateys 2011 – Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year

08 December 2011 by
Hotel Cateys 2011 – Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year

Hotel Cateys 2011 - Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year
Sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions

WINNER: Sofitel London Heathrow

Since the Sofitel London Heathrow opened in July 2008, a few short months ahead of the global financial crisis that still reverberates today, its conference and banqueting team has hosted thousands of events for between two and 1,100 people.

Between July 2010 and June 2011, the 605-bedroom hotel played host to more than 3,600 bookings and served 364,000 covers.

Despite tough economic conditions, the conference and banqueting team's policy throughout has been to focus on service and provide value for money while at the same time driving rates. All enquiries are responded to within one hour, thus establishing an excellent reputation for service and high conversion rates. As a result it now achieves rates more than 40% higher than its rivals.

While the meetings and events team are by no means given an easy ride, with challenging targets for the last year, they successfully surpassed them by 30%, thanks to strong relationships with clients and their ability to use the space at the hotel creatively.

In fact, the team appears to relish tackling the seemingly insurmountable. When an event enquiry was placed that appeared to be too large for the space, an internal marquee was installed in the adjoining underground car park to be used for catering for 1,100 delegates.

On another occasion, a false wall was constructed to divide the tea salon to ensure continuing operation but also a place to safely store 1,300 pieces of luggage.

Such is the dedication of the Sofitel employees that despite the specific contracted hours, the team regularly works above and beyond the call of duty, probably because of a recruitment policy based on seeking out passion and commercial awareness.

It is perhaps unsurprising that in the three years since the hotel's launch, it has already been the recipient of several accolades celebrating its conference and banqueting prowess.

What the judges said…

"Even though the Sofitel London Heathrow is a large hotel, the team demonstrated creativity and imagination outside the usual boundaries to fulfil their clients' requirements."
Tim Fryer, food and beverage manager, Royal Garden Hotel

THE JUDGES
Gareth Bush
, hotel operations manager, Barcelo Angel Hotel
Tim Fryer, food and beverage manager, Royal Garden Hotel
Brett Hercock, food and beverage service director, Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
David Monson, director of F&B, Four Seasons Hampshire


THE SHORTLIST
Sofitel London Heathrow
Aviator
, Farnborough, Hampshire
De Vere Village Hotel, Wirral
Park Plaza Riverbank, London


FORMER WINNERS
2010
The Berkeley, London
2009 Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
2008 Rudding Park, Harrogate
2007 Royal Garden Hotel, London

TagsHotels and Cateys
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