There is a three letter word that, as an Event Manager, sparks more interest than most for me and that is FAM. I love a FAM trip. I love being able to experience a location and a hotel first hand. See how they treat their guests, how comfy are their beds, how do they check people in… the list is endless and by attending a FAM trip you develop this amazing knowledge of that venue that stays with you forever, ready to recommend should it suit a particular brief.
Eventprofslive had its very first FAM trip just two weeks ago at the stunning Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club. Our group of Event Managers were just eight in total and we had a fabulous time.
Ashdown Park is situated just 30 minutes from London and then just a 10 minute taxi ride from its closest station, East Grinstead. The hotel is part of the Elite Group of hotels (everyone knows Luton Hoo) and has 106 bedrooms in total and when Kate and I checked in to ours, we immediately called each other to come and check each other’s out. The first thing I do is check out the bathroom (I love a bathroom) and filled with Molton Brown treats, a very impressive shower with too many jets to count meant I was in heaven.
We had invited a select few of event and hotel bookers to our FAM Trip. The majority of our group arrived around 6.00 pm where after checking-in, we met in the foyer with Chillisauce whom had organised a treasure hunt around the hotel’s vast grounds for us. This was an amazing way to see all the grounds of the hotel (including its lake, on-site golf course and meeting spaces) and after 45 minutes and some very odd selfies (all part of the treasure hunt) we headed back to the main house to award the winners and cringe at the photos!
After our team building it was on to the most important part of the trip… For our group, it’s all about the meeting rooms and there is definitely something unique about the spaces at Ashdown Park. Meeting rooms with amazing arched ceilings and natural daylight via stained glass windows would make for impressive syndicate rooms and the hotels “Richard Towneley Suite” can seat up to 250 (split over two floors) and also offers six syndicate rooms, all self-contained. There is even an original organ in there! You can view the capacity charts here.
After a quick nip back to the hotel to change, we were back in the foyer to meet the hotel’s General Manager and Group Business Development Manager for some cocktail making, very tasty canapes (what diet) and a lovely dinner in the private dining room. Chef Andrew Wilson is in charge of the menu and his Michelin Starred experience is very much evident in his food and presentation. The food was amazing and paired well with some great conversation on everything from events to weekend plans being discussed.
After dinner a few of us stayed up chatting away in one of the hotels fab private rooms and having a few wines before turning into the oh-so-comfy beds.
Next morning it was a run(stroll) thorugh one of the hotels 3 jogging tracks, a scare by some of the deer on premises and then a trip to the gym, a swin and a massage! Absolute bliss. The gym is fully equipt and the swimming pool and Jacuzzi were very popular with the group.
I adore Ashdown Park it would work so well for any number of events, retreats and conferences. For more information on the hotel or events assistance you can contact Carina here.