Celtic WOW at Celtic Manor
At the beginning of 2018, I was fortunate enough to experience Celtic Manor’s ‘Weekend of Wonder’!
After a 2-hour drive to Newport from Portsmouth, it was a pleasure to be met at the entrance at 11.30am by the concierge who kindly valet parked my car, followed by the welcoming committee of the events team in the foyer with a welcome drink and popcorn before our upcoming short transfer – what better way to be greeted?!
Our first venture was over to Coldra Court, Celtic Manor’s sister hotel for a unique lunch experience at The Rib Smokehouse and Grill. With various cocktails on arrival, a sumptuous buffet lunch and unrestricted seating, it was a terrific opportunity to meet other agents in a relaxed and comfortable environment, make friends and talk about trends in the industry.
At 1.30pm the activities commenced! We had the choice of four activities: dog handling, falconry, gin tasting and Welsh cake baking. I opted for the outdoor options (when in Wales!) and couldn’t wait to get started. What really made the activities extraordinary were the enthusiastic, passionate instructors. The first activity was falconry and we had the opportunity to handle an array of birds, with the instructors creating games for us; the most entertaining being a race for one of the group to run alongside a bird in flight!
Next up was The Twenty Ten Clubhouse to warm up and quench our thirst with the largest array of hot chocolate I’ve ever seen...Bailey’s, Tia Maria, marshmallows, coconut – heavenly!
Dog handling was spectacular. We were split into groups in a race to lead a gundog around an agility course followed by fun-filled ferret racing! The instructor owned all of the dogs and his relationships with them wasn’t like anything I’ve seen before. It was remarkable how attentive they were and how they obeyed his every move, however slight. His stories from ferret racing dated back to owning and racing ferrets at 8 years old with his school friends! It was heart-warming to hear him reminisce, the gentleman clearly had a wealth of experience and it was inspiring to be in his company.
Following these activities, we were able to check into our rooms and enjoy a few hours of leisure time, thus spa time commenced at The Forum Spa! Voted Readers' Choice Best UK Hotel Spa and Best UK Spa Manager among six category wins in the Spa Traveller Awards, time at The Forum Spa was very much welcomed to feel rejuvenated for the evening ahead.
At 7 pm we met the Celtic Manor hosts in the lobby for a transfer to the drinks reception at The Twenty Ten Clubhouse. With a spectacular panorama of the course, the balcony is in a prominent position overlooking the 18th green - a signature hole of The Twenty Ten course - and was the perfect spot for the drinks reception. Dressed in cocktail attire we were led to the Samuel Ryder Suite for dinner, each table hosted by one of the Celtic Manor team, our table hosted by In2Events Account Manager, Lucy Williams, Head of Corporate Relations. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, followed by live entertainment and dancing and it was a pleasure to meet so many agents.
After a leisurely breakfast in Steak on Six, we joined the Celtic Manor Team for an extensive tour of the hotel and grounds. With 17 meeting rooms (increasing to 21 when divided) and capacity for 2 to 1200 delegates, you can gauge the flexibility and endless possibilities of this venue. All rooms feature tungsten and fluorescent lighting and flip chart rail systems. Following the tour was a fascinating meeting overlooking and regarding the under-construction ICC Wales, opening Summer 2019 next door to Celtic Manor! The large slate and glass building will cater for over 5,000 delegates, offers 2,000 on-site car parking spaces, and has bridges straight into fresh air and woodland.
Thank you to Lucy and the team at Celtic Manor. It was such a smoothly run weekend, I won’t hesitate in continuing to propose Celtic Manor, more confidently than ever. I have full trust in the events team and would feel more than comfortable confirming a large group at the resort as knowing the smallest details are deemed just as important. The upcoming opening of The ICC will hopefully bring lots more business to the city and the birth of a strong partnership with Celtic Manor – two forces to be reckoned with. If you have an enquiry for Celtic Manor, please don’t hesitate in getting in touch with In2Events and myself and the Celtic Manor team will ensure the best possible proposal.
Becky Garnett, Senior Project Executive