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LIVEWIRE14 . www.conference-news.co.uk . June 2012June The newly restored and redesigned St Ermin's Hotel in St James's Park, London, has been included in Conde Nast Traveller's 2012 Hot List of 100 Best New Hotel Openings Worldwide. April saw completion of the hotel's third and fi nal wing, bringing the full complement of 331 rooms and suites on stream."The whole team at St Ermin's is delighted to have received this prestigious recognition," commented General Manager, Douglas McHugh."Our aim throughout was to revive the style and fortunes of this original Westminster grande dame and put her back on the map for both local and international guests. We stayed true to the St Ermin's original Grade II architecture and quirky character, but brought her right up to date in terms of style, comfort and friendly, fi ve star service."After 12 months, the £30m transformation has paid dividends according to McHugh. He said the hotel's client base is stronger and average room rates have doubled.St Ermin's Hotel hot listedAs the hosepipe ban continued into May, CN stepped through the puddles to the Euston future HQ of the Royal College of General Practitioners for a hard hat tour and 'topping out'. Not content with buying a £34m HQ, the RCGP is busy investing further millions to refurbish the Grade II listed building for events. When the new-look is unveiled in September, the association will have an auditorium able to seat 300 for conferences and 60 meeting rooms.The weather had cleared later in the month for a drive up the A1 to see what £3m gets you at the purpose-built conference centre at Wyboston Lakes. Mark Jones, former GM at Whittlebury Hall and Ops Director at both the Eden Project and Center Parcs, is overseeing the rebuilding and rebranding. A new spa will incorporate 11 therapy rooms and be part of the new-look Wyboston Lakes Hotel.The month ended witha visit to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London to sample its meetings and events offering and a trip to the seaside town of Bournemouth and the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) to be part of its new Conference Coast initiative, designed to attract more business tourists to the town.Steppin OutPark Plaza Sherlock Holmes has reported a rise in Sherlock fans visiting the boutique hotel.Following series two of BBC drama Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in January 2012 and Robert Downey Junior's latest stint as the super sleuth in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in December 2011, Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes has witnessed a 20 per cent increase in the detective's followers checking-in to the four-star hotel.The converted 18th century townhouse is just a stone's throw from the mythical detective's former residence at 221b Baker Street."The hotel has always been popular with fans of the classic stories," says Michelle Wells, General Manager of Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes. "But we've noticed an increase in bookings from people who've enjoyed the BBC series and recent fi lms and want to come and experience the world of Sherlock for themselves."Sherlock Holmes hotel 20% up... elementary

LIVEWIRE2012June 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 15 Some of London's high-end hotels have ventured into renting out their luxurious bedrooms by the hour. Allegedly, the reasoning behind the decision was to ease stressed business travellers who needed to rest between meetings with a little downtime. The St John Hotel in Soho and the Beaufort Hotel in Knightsbridge are among those offering this service. The St John Hotel is also offering Post-Supper Rooms for business travellers that enjoyed a breakout session or post-meeting drink a little too much and need to sleep it off. "Not so much a room 'with a view' as a room with a window. These smaller guest rooms remove the need for a taxi home after supper," says the hotel. Rooms by the hour, for meetings of courseBBC Worldwide's fi rst ever Doctor Who convention, run in partnership with SME London, attracted 3,000 fans to the Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff, on 24 and 25 March. Panel sessions offered fans unrivalled access to the Eleventh Doctor star Matt Smith, lead cast members Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, Lead Writer Steven Moffat, Executive Producer Caroline Skinner and many more key members from the award-winning cast, crew and production team. It also gave them a peek behind the scenes of the world's longest running sci-fi TV show.BBC Worldwide's Head of Exhibitions and Events, Paula Al-Lach, said: "The convention was devised, organised and executed with one thing in mind - giving the brilliantly loyal fans an amazing day out. From the feedback we've had, we believe we delivered this. SME were crucial to making this happen and we are always interested and keen to work with such professionals."average daily delegate spend in BournemouthLiverpool Convention Bureau (LCB) has named the Front Offi ce Manager at Jury's Inn Hotel, the most welcoming person in the northern city.The Liverpool Delegate Welcome Award, part of the Liverpool Ambassador Awards, was won by Neil Fitzmaurice.Voted as offering the friendliest welcome to delegates visiting the hotel for meetings and conferences, Fitzmaurice was also recognised for being an excellent communicator, providing an informative service and being enthusiastic about everything the hotel and Liverpool has to offer.Fitzmaurice works closely with LCB to ensure he is aware of which conferences and events are taking place in the city, as well as managing the display of welcome materials and signage. "It is a great honour to have been selected as an Ambassador for Liverpool welcoming delegates into our city," he said.Carol O'Reilly, LCB Manager said: "The awards recognise those making an impact on Liverpool's reputation for hospitality, meetings and events and allow us to reward unsung heroes and heroines."Most welcoming person in Liverpool awardedFirst ever Doctor Who Convention attracts 3,000 Image: dwconvention.comiPads sold in two yearsIT businesses based in London investment into the Crossrail project growth in automotive events at Epsom Downs Racecourseyear milestone recently celebrated by MPI's UK and Ireland chapterdelegates at the Summer Eventia conferencevisitors attended the recent BSAVA congress in Birminghamof hotel conferences have green requirements