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Hotel Cateys 2019: Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year

27 November 2019
Hotel Cateys 2019: Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year

Winner 2019: The Montague on the Gardens

Sponsored by Syft

The Montague on the Gardens event spaces include a terrace, conservatories overlooking Bedford Gardens and a dedicated meetings and private dining floor. The conference and banqueting (C&B) department welcomes an average of 16,500 covers through the door a year.

The hotel is well known for its versatile pop-ups, such as an alpine-themed ski lodge, a Hawaiian beach bar and Mix It cocktail bar experience in between seasons. The ‘selfie area' (complete with a jet-ski or ski-lift) was so well received that a photobooth was purchased to allow clients to personalise their prints. The investment that was made to buy the booth was covered in just six weeks.

The pop-up experiences have also become sought-after wedding destinations. In the past two years the C&B team has organised six beach bar and three ski lodge weddings, with a combined total spend of £80,000. The Mix It cocktail bar experiences, designed to suit smaller numbers, ensure guests receive one-to-one interaction with their own bartender.

In only two months 293 covers were served, securing revenue of £11,254. Meanwhile, with high demand for events for 200- plus covers, the team approached the Bedford Estates to combine its event expertise with Bedford Gardens. After several successful events, the team is now in collaboration to exclusively book and manage luxury events.

The creative team has also produced customised F&B offerings: honey-based cocktails from the hotel's beehive; a medical conference with open-air breakouts and invigorating breakfasts in the beach bar; and afternoon teas in the ski lodge.

It has been a record year for the Montague's C&B team, with year-on-year F&B profit increased by 52%. Additional business has been secured from the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), a training organisation specialising in the pharmaceutical industry. In the year to date, CPPE has had 45 events with a combined value of £52,000, and contracted for 24 dates in 2020, with a further total projected revenue of £30,000.

Over and above everything else, several times a year the team ‘hit the streets' to promote the pop-ups, whether by pushing the ‘beach bar on wheels' into offices such as Google and Amazon and serving staff cocktails, or walking down Oxford Street with a surfboard handing out ice-cream or serving chestnuts in a portable trolley. This is a team who well and truly go the extra mile.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID

"A great initiative to look at the use of space available for challenges including syndicates in the garden. Also links up with neighbouring estates to further business."

Craig Robertson, director of meeting and events planning, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge

"Outstanding teamwork and performance, and great events delivery."

Razvan Patache, events operations manager, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

"Some good initiatives that are really creative. The Montague on the Gardens seems like a great place to work and extremely fun."

Mark Spanton, director of operations, Principal York

THE SHORTLIST

  • Coworth Park Ascot, Berkshire
  • Hilton London Bankside
  • London Marriott Hotel County Hall
  • Macdonald Burlington hotel Birmingham
  • The Montague on the Gardens London

PAST WINNERS

  • 2018 St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London
  • 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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