Drayton Manor provided one of the most unique experiences of any of the event spaces we’ve visited on our travels - like seriously… There's nothing like this place. Not just in its super unique location and feel or being home to a theme park, but also just how unique you can make an event. The venue also offers an amazing corporate hotel takeover, in which you can hire the entire resort hotel for your event. That’s right - Drayton Manor will literally close the door to the outside world and make the hotel your own, some of these packages impressed us at just how bespoke the team at Drayton Manor can make things. Everything about this resort was a real joy to experience - so we figured we’d have to let you know all about it, right here.
Arriving at Drayton Manor was such an impressive experience, the central tower makes for a really impressive entrance, there’s such a unique feel to the lobby as you enter, with quirky theme park memorabilia such as a tiny model ferris wheel and props from Thomas the Tank Engine displayed for guests. It’s just enough to really inspire personality into this place, while not pushing it into the territory of ‘too much’. We felt like Drayton Manor have done a cracking job here and throughout the hotel in balancing their spaces for all audiences, families visiting the park and corporate guests alike, instead of everyone feeling like they just have a slice of the pie, instead, this resort feels like it goes above and beyond for each demographic.
Checking in after a busy week at Delegate Wranglers HQ, a walk was on the cards to relax, refocus and enjoy the natural beauty of the site. At the reception the staff were beyond helpful, and gave me some top notch advice on some great spots to walk, including the resort’s grounds and the local canal - these were really beautiful places to explore and could provide great spots for some downtime after a busy day of meetings, or a good path to take a newly trendy “walking zoom call” to get some fresh air + steps in.
The lobby leads off onto the bar, restaurant and meeting spaces, with the bedrooms on the above floors. There’s only 3 floors to this whole building, so with a simple layout along with the extremely kind staff, Drayton Manor Resort Hotel feels easy to navigate, and perfectly compact. We couldn’t help feeling this really plays into the venue’s hands with their option of the corporate hotel takeover, it means filling their facilities isn’t an uphill battle of bloating guest lists and losing money on unused space, everything in this well designed hotel feels useful and quirky… we’re looking at you Thomas.
Drayton Manor is packed with functionality alongside all of its character. With 8 meeting rooms including Park View Suite, Hamilton suite and Tower suite all on the ground floor with accessible access throughout the hotel.
While we will get to the facilities across the hotel and resort in just a second, one thing we wanted to highlight first was the fantastic team-building opportunities they have available at Drayton Manor. Just to name some of the options they have available - you can spend a day with your delegates in the theme park, or use inflatable obstacle courses/outdoor adventure activities on their huge outdoor space available to hire. Still not satisfied? Drayton Manor also offers the Animal Encounters experience, opening the 15 acre zoo to your event. We were really impressed, and instantly felt like there just aren't many places that can rival the uniqueness of what Drayton Manor can offer from a corporate away day/team building point of view.
Drayton of course also emphasises how customizable every one of these options is, they can tailor each and every one of their facilities to your bespoke needs with ease, and no exception is the new for 2022 Vikings section of the resort.
Now, while you might not want your delegates acting like vikings, the vikings section of the park sees all conferences able to incorporate this brand new area into their event. You can private hire the whole themed area, set with four rides and bars and restaurants. Something we loved was that the area also offers BBQ Cooking for your event, perfect for a more social event that focuses on networking and meet+greet.
From one new, amazing space to another The Brasserie at Drayton Manor has been very recently refurbished and in a word is stunning. Vast circular banquette seating and a mix of high and low tables gives this room a real liveliness to it, an elegant hub for the resort to show off its most impressive catering facility. There’s lots of light in this beautiful room which could also be used for an exhibition for your event.
Touching once more on this hotel’s impressive design, this room is right next to the Park View room (one of our meeting space highlights) which means there’s loads of possibilities to use both in combination with one another- such as for drinks receptions etc. Each event space also has a foyer area, perfect for registration, introductions, on-the-door greeting and more.
For groups, the Garden View restaurant is a perfect spot to have a large lunch or dinner service for your event. It’s geared up for an awesome buffet, but can be used in many different ways if you choose the Corporate Hotel Takeover option… anything food, we’re in…. and here, it’s good food.
Another spot we loved in Drayton Manor was their Carousel Bar, it’s cosy with its own little patio area and is located underneath the Park View Room, again, the resort showing off how it's accents and spaces synergise with each other so well.
Now. Obviously we have to talk about the fact that Drayton Manor has an amazing theme park on site. While it definitely isn’t too impeding or overwhelming when you’re at the hotel, being in such close proximity to such a fun place may make you want to spend the day after your event there.
We may or may not have some Coaster Aficionados at The Delegate Wranglers. It's a good word for Drayton Manor’s next ride, a family thrill roller coaster manufactured by one of the world’s top coaster companies - Intamin. This huge project is set to launch (literally) in 2024 and has already broken ground. The thing we loved about this was Drayton Manor Resorts' clear intention to upgrade and grow their already impressive facilities. We love it when you catch the vibe that a venue is looking into the future, and constantly trying to come up with fresh new ideas, and we got that here.
Time to check out our picks for the top 3 meeting spaces at Drayton Manor Resort! Here’s some quick stats first…
● Number of meeting rooms: 8
● Park View Suite – Ground Floor Hotel
● Executive Boardroom 1, 2 & 3 – First, Second and Third Floor
● Peel Room – First Floor
● Hamilton Suite – Ground Floor Across from Hotel
● Tower Suite – Ground Floor Across from Hotel
Meeting Space Highlight: Park View Suite
On the ground floor in the Hotel, the Park View has… Well, exactly that, a stunning view of the theme park. The space is bathed in natural light and can be used in its grand entirety or split into two different spaces - each with their own dance floor to tear up, and bar to wreak havoc upon! This is an impressive space that adapts itself to both work and play, like so much of Drayton Manor, but most of all, screams functionality.
Best use for room (conference, dinner, reception. Etc): Conference, dinners, awards, weddings
Natural light: YES
Size: Sq.M 263
Location: Ground floor – through Brasserie
AV Equipment included: Screen, Projector, Flipchart
Meeting Space Highlight: Peel Room
The Peel Room is more than your average boardroom in both size and its impressive setup, suiting up to 30 people in this space that is swarmed in natural light, this is a fantastic spot for an awayday meeting for your small company, or set it up theatre style for some training. Like we said in the intro, this place is unique just to your event, and it felt like Drayton Manor would always go out of their way to make that happen.
Best use for room: Board meeting, small meetings, breakout sessions
Natural light: YES
Size: Sq.M 55
Location: First Floor Hotel
AV Equipment included: Plasma Screen & Flipchart
Meeting Space Highlight: Hamilton Suite/ Tower Suite
Finally the Hamilton/Tower Suite. Between both the Hotel and the Theme Park on Drayton Manor’s spacious resort, was this fantastic ground floor space, featuring two rooms that would lend themselves perfectly to an association meeting. Imagine one being used for the conference and the other for an exhibition, or even some tasty catering. We also liked that these rooms still felt independent from one another and could easily be used individually, as a base for your in-theme-park event. Not to be forgotten just outside these spaces is an ornate bandstand that just brings so much character to this area, we could see, hear and smell an amazing drinks reception here in those warmer months (miss you summer!).
Best use for room (conference, dinner, reception. Etc): Association conferences, dinners, awards.
Natural light: YES
Size: Sq.M 650
Theatre: 180/ 450
Cabaret: 100/ 250
Location: Across from the Hotel
AV Equipment included: Screen, Projector & Flipchart
And that about does it, leaving Drayton Manor there was no surprise that this place is so heavily lauded in the industry, and has won numerous awards, it’s not just website PR speak - the proof is in the pudding. From the park to the hotel to the incredible indoor and outdoor spaces that just feel countless, and all able to hire - there’s so many we couldn’t even mention like the LeyField which can be rented out for your outdoor team building desires - or if you’re feeling more practical - a car park. This place is great - amazing staff who make fun even better. We absolutely loved Drayton Manor Resort - over and out!