Address: The Willows Training Centre, Wyboston Lakes Resort, Great North Road, Wyboston, Bedfordshire, MK44 3AL
Conference Sales Contact: Rosie Ackerman
Tel: 0333 7007 667
Email: [email protected]
Distance & time from nearest airport:
40 minutes to Luton Airport.
45 minutes to Stansted airport.
1 hour to Heathrow airport
Distance & time from nearest railway station:
10 mins to St Neots train station with direct trains to London Kings Cross
We were really excited about this Sneak Preview because we’d seen some of the amazing photography in advance – a sneak preview of the sneak preview!!
Even on the drive down to the Willows Training Centre, the wide-open spaces give you a great sense of what this great place is all about. Even further on than that, the second indication of this venue’s dedication and attention to detail comes in the shape of their Covid-Secure (one space apart) parking procedures which is assisted by the super-friendly staff there to greet you.
Before we get started though, you might be asking, where is The Willows training centre and what’s it all about? We’ve got you covered. It's a part of the Wyboston Lakes Resort which was created by Peter Hutchinson in 1983 and has been under the supervision of the Hutchinson family for three generations. It’s the largest independently owned business and leisure destination in all of Europe and is located no more than an hour from three of the UK’s most popular airports, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted which means for event professionals, it's a dream.
Back to the experience of their newly refurbished training centre. Entering through the lobby one of the first things to notice is their “no apology” approach to sustainability, the destination is outstanding in its moves towards a lower carbon footprint and has even won the triple gold award for sustainability. The lobby which you first enter is an inviting space with a modern and welcoming vibe. Towards the back of the room is where registration occurs and the lobby acts as a central hub from which the 13 conference rooms span out from in an easy to follow layout. The last and probably most apparent first impression of the Willows Training Centre is its organisation and impressive steps to be as Covid-secure as possible. Between the non-touch sanitiser, one way systems and thermal temperature checks, we can tell you first hand that we felt massively at ease here when it came to Covid, but the pragmatic and helpful staff also helped these measures to not feel overbearing on this great space.
One of the coolest spots of the Willow Training centre was the effortlessly trendy Cricket Kitchen & Bar which acts as the training centre’s main cafeteria area. There is an outdoor alfresco garden and a menu that constantly changes, from Indian to Mexican and many more, adding to the attention to detail that echoes throughout every aspect of this venue. The design of the space with its smart but urban style seen on some of the custom graffiti walls, is contrasted by the massive open space it occupies and the humongous amount of natural light that it lets in, making this area the perfect spot for some downtime after a day of focus and learning (for which there is no shortage of spaces!).
Speaking of spaces for focus, let's talk about the 13 outstanding meeting rooms that the Willows Training Centre has to offer. Each which blew us away with the thought put into each area and into keeping delegates engaged and comfortable in these spaces.
Where do we even begin? All rooms are different both in sizes and in colour, with a colourful feature wall being the standout aspect of each room using the corporate colours of Teal, Orange and Lime. Each room also comes with a Squiggle Glass boards which is the 21st century’s response to the whiteboard or flipcharts, letting you draw notes onto it effortlessly without scrappy paper. It’s also worth noting that wi-fi here throughout the building is wonderful with class-leading download speeds of up to 2Gb
Don't even get us started on the coolest room of the bunch, The Willows Park Subway room which features awesome tube station theming and graphics as well as a stand behind the line marker! As is obvious, each room has a focus on creativity and productivity, which is reinforced by some inspiring and unique quotes on the corridor walls.
Another highlight of our trip was “The Park” this space used to be the old coffee lounge, but has now been transformed into a room with its own break-out area, a fantastic boardroom style table and heaps of natural light. Just to the right of the lobby this space is one of the newest and the best that The Willows training Centre has to offer. The rooms sealed the feeling making it great for a comfortable and private interview or meeting space.
And with regards to accommodation the Willows can offer this too, with 183 bedrooms that are effortlessly cool, calm and also newly refurbished. It offers the convenience and comfort that your delegates deserve. Add to this all the facilities that the rest of Wyboston Lakes Resort offers: golf, fully equipped health & leisure club, award-winning Y Spa and even the marvelous Ride Leisure, their on-site team building and water sports partner.
Aside from the more learning and focus driven spaces that the venue has to offer, The Loft can act as a fantastic chillout zone for delegates to rest or have some more relaxed creative time. This room is situated above the Cricket Kitchen & Bar and features some very cool touches such as a pool table and a foosball table. Although we definitely wouldn't be able to resist a highly competitive game of table football, this space could also be an excellent space for an informal meeting or brainstorming session and resembles the modern and relaxed approach to meeting spaces taken by some of the most forward thinking and successful companies today such as Apple and Facebook.
Overall, The Willows Training Centre is a serious training venue, designed from the perspective of a delegate for a massively comfortable and learning driven experience that offers a unique creativity and attention to detail in its design. Easy to navigate and a place which confidently carried out it’s covid-19 procedures, The Willows Training Centre was a fantastic visit and a place with meeting spaces we can't help but gush over, due to their consistent impressiveness and great vibe!
To explain a bit more about this fantastic transformation, we caught up with Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort, Louis Watson - you can see the full interview HERE
To sum up, all we can say is that we love our job carrying our Sneak Previews for you guys especially at special places such as this. You REALLY need to book a site inspection now, you will truly love the vibe here. It well and truly deserves a place right at the top of your go-to venues in this region.