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October 23, 2008
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Twickenham Experience launches new venue




Last week, Twickenham Experience, based at Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby, in west London unveiled its state-of-the-art South Stand development Rugby House.

“Rugby House is a new purpose-built venue for conferences and events in an excellent location,” said Twickenham Experience managing director Chris Morris. “The world-class facilities befit the Home of England Rugby and underline the iconic status of the stadium.”




Experience counts: Twickenham's new conference venue and hotel


Just six miles from Heathrow International Airport and 20 minutes from central London, Rugby House boasts an additional 5,000 square metres of conference and exhibition space, including The Live Room, which has a purpose built stage and tiered seating for up to 400, and The Rose Suite, which can hold dinners for up to 800.

The new venue also has a 156 room, four-star Marriot hotel, featuring six VIP suites with views over the pitch and a Virgin Active Health Club.

“Twickenham Experience is an established brand that has already achieved a great deal of business success in match-day corporate hospitality,” said Morris. “We are now keen to offer our clients an unrivalled non-match-day experience. Our aim is to ensure that Twickenham remains the leading player on the international business stage combining effortless class with an unrivalled reputation for culinary and service excellence.”

Morris' ambitions are clearly big, but whether they can be fulfilled at Twickenham is another thing. The conference rooms were decidedly underwhelming, and no more than standard fare. Decor also was nothing inspirational either, more in keeping with an off-the-peg five-star, rather than showing any individual flare, but this was in keeping with the Marriot. Once again, this new hotel was functional rather than stunning.

What was impressive, however, was the Live Room, which delivers the style and functionality that seems lacking elsewhere.

On this showing, Twickenham will find it difficult to compete with the striking high ceilings of the Emirates' conference spaces, and Wembley's sumptuous match-day boxes. What the venue does have on its side, however, is proximity to Heathrow – and the quaint Richmond – plus a realistic ratecard. Who, however, would envy Morris' task of launching during a downturn?

The soon-to-open Virgin gym could also prove to be a boon. I do, however, fear that one too many tricks have sadly been missed, although it is tough to properly gauge a venue that has yet to be completely finished.

For more information, visit www.twickenhamexperience.com


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