LONDON—Meetings, conferences and related events are a necessary aspect of business, with planners dreaming up ways to get attendees excited and engaged. Hoteliers are in on the act, too. From master culinary classes to duck herding, the Dorchester Collection—a group of five-star luxury properties around the world—puts a creative spin on tailored services for meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE).
“MICE business is a fundamental aspect to the success of our hotels. Our dedicated, flexible and creative teams offer a tailored service for groups from start to finish. No matter the size of the group, every guest is treated as an individual,” said Sarah Wainwright, director of sales, groups, The Dorchester Collection.
Among the trends that Wainwright has seen cropping up recently is a focus on wellness and curated experiences.
“It’s become apparent that delegates are increasingly looking for healthy options during breaks in meetings and incentive days. At The Dorchester, we have introduced new wellness menus, designed by our in-house nutritionist, to provide both delicious and nourishing refreshments for delegates if requested. We’ve also noticed that buyouts or exclusive hires are becoming popular for larger groups and incentive travel parties. We can enable this at Coworth Park, which then allows us to create the ultimate bespoke program and showcase the Berkshire country estate in its best light.”
The Dorchester Collection’s properties include the 45 Park Lane Hotel and The Dorchester Hotel in London; Hotel Coworth Park in Ascot in the U.K.; Hotel Eden in Rome; and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, to name just a few.
Each property approaches the MICE groups’ needs in their own distinct way based on a number of factors such as local offerings, expertise and individualities of the group itself.
“We treat each inquiry uniquely and carefully consider what the planner aims to achieve from the event, the level of the participants and their budget. Ideally, we like to offer something that is exclusive to each of our iconic hotels,” said Wainwright. “For instance, at The Dorchester we encourage al fresco dining in the beautiful Penthouse & Pavilion on the eighth floor, which overlooks the London skyline and is designed by the 1930s set designer Oliver Messel. For interactive activities, we can arrange cooking master classes with our celebrated Executive Chef Henry Brosi or add playful touches to itineraries by arranging off-site tours around London’s iconic sites in retro Mini Coopers.”
Wainwright noted that with the 240 acres of private parkland, Coworth Park is ripe for “country-style outdoor team building activities such as ‘Sport of Kings’ polo, clay pigeon shooting, duck herding or the quintessential English game of croquet.”
At 45 Park Lane, options include wine tastings of a selection of American wine complete with a sommelier; a private dinner in the Media Room with bespoke menus created by Executive Chef David McIntyre from Wolfgang Puck’s first European restaurant, CUT; or a site visit to one of the 45 Park Lane Artist Group artist’s studios for an exclusive encounter with one of Britain’s leading artists.
How do these properties stand out from the competition? Wainwright explained that the hotel team goes above and beyond to meet the needs of every group.
“The offering includes one complimentary room night credited back to the master account per 25 room nights accumulated; a welcome amenity for every room; and two complimentary upgrades guaranteed for VIP within the group with upgraded welcome amenities,” she said. “Dorchester Collection Groups’ commitment is generous and above industry standard.”