One of the first things to strike you as you arrive at the East Midlands Conference Centre and adjacent Orchard Hotel is the stunning location the purpose-built conference venue and hotel are set-in: just two miles from Nottingham city centre, yet surrounded by hundreds of trees in 330 acres of beautiful, landscaped parkland. It soon becomes apparent from where the hotel – which opened in 2012 – got its name but if the connection is not immediate, a huge bronze sculpture of an apple outside the hotel is a timely reminder.
The Conference Centre and hotel are located on the site of The University of Nottingham, which is in the UK’s Top Ten Universities. On a tour of the facilities of the Conference Centre and the hotel, one thing was perfectly clear – Devere venues, who run them both, certainly know a thing or two about the conference and event industry. The needs and request of every event organiser has been taken care of and we were amazed by the range of the conference facilities on offer. Whether you are looking a meeting space for a group of 10 or organising an event for over 800 delegates there is a room suitable for you.
On our tour, the Banqueting and Exhibition Suite, which is the largest of the facilities on offer, was being dressed for a resplendent gala dinner, but it could equally lend itself to providing an excellent exhibition or conference venue. What did surprise us, after making our way along the many corridors, and passing smaller meeting rooms, was the Conference Theatre, which is complete with theatre-style seating that can be removed depending on the function: perfect for company presentations, TV shows or simply to add a touch of drama to your meeting.
With large windows to the outside space in all of the areas (with the exception of the Theatre), a light and contemporary feel exuded the East Midlands Conference Centre. This was extended to the newly-built and contemporary Orchard Hotel, which opened last year to provide accommodation and hotel facilities just a stone’s throw from the Conference Centre. I was particularly impressed with how such a modern and bang up-to-date building could blend easily into the rolling hillside and ‘green’ scenery which surround it.
Once inside the stylish hotel, the facilities are just as impressive. Light and airy, fresh and on trend, each area has been carefully created to make the most of the colossal amount of daylight filtering into the hotel. The ‘green’ theme has been utilised throughout to bring the outside in, adding to the hotel’s eco-friendly feel.
A tour of the bedrooms revealed – surprise, surprise – light and airy rooms that, once again, let the outside in and facilities that are contemporary and functional with a minimalistic feel but with everything you would need for a good night’s stay – including a full-size hairdryer, which I was particularly impressed with. The executive rooms, which provide a larger area in which to enjoy your stay, also include a docking station.
Our tour today ended with a visit to Bramley’s Brasserie, the hotel’s restaurant where we enjoyed a delightful two-course lunch. The standard of the food was excellent, our tour of the facilities in the Conference Centre and Hotel was impressive, so, all-in-all, an enjoyable site visit to a purpose-built venue fit to hold the smallest or largest of events.