At Gleneagles Cisco colleagues (left to right) Nesrene O’Connell, Gerd De Bruycker, and Carolyn Pund with the Ryder Cup. Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Paula Nolan practices her falconry skills.
up to the dock at the Boat House at the Cameron House Loch Lomond for a tasty barbecue, then strolled over to the baronial Cameron House estate (convn. org/cam-house), which has 103 rooms and 26 suites, seven meeting rooms, and breathtaking views of the pristine loch and highlands. Following the summit kick-off ses-
sion that evening, we headed out for a lovely dinner at The Corinthian Club (thecorinthianclub.co.uk), in the heart of Glasgow City Centre, housing a vari- ety of private bars, dining, and event rooms on five levels. After a full day of programming at
the SECC on Monday, we were officially welcomed to Glasgow by Lord Provost Sadie Docherty and fellow Council members, who dined with us that evening at City Chambers (convn.org/ glasgow-chambers). This magnificent example of Victorian civil architecture and Beaux-Arts style, with its grand Carrara marble staircase and opulent decorations, was designed to demon- strate the prosperity of Glasgow, known as the Second City of the British Empire in the late-19th century. We met for a morning session at
the SECC on Tuesday, then boarded a bus that took us through the lush Scottish highland and lowland, to the 234-bedroom, 26-suite Gleneagles resort (gleneagles.com). A grand estate on 850 acres of rolling green Perthshire
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countryside, Gleneagles is renowned for its three championship golf courses. The property is the site of the 2014 Ryder Cup, and summit participants got to hold the trophy in their hands. With 14 meeting rooms — and its role as host of the G8 Summit in 2005 — Gleneagles also has established a stellar reputation as a meeting destination. Our some- what less auspicious group finished up sessions on Wednesday morning in a meeting room with sweeping views of Gleneagles’ gorgeous property, and then we were off to Edinburgh for the last leg of our Scotland experience. Our first stop in Scotland’s second-
largest city was a delicious lunch at the 260-room Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa (sheratonedinburgh.co.uk), which has recently undergone a multimillion- dollar renovation of its 14-room meeting space. We then checked into the elegant 254-room Caledonian (caledonianhotel. info), which is undergoing a renovation of its lobby and carving out a brand-new, light-filled, ground-floor space, and shortly will be rebranded as a Waldorf Astoria hotel. The turn-of-the-century property was originally part of the Princes Street railway station, and offers eight conference rooms — as well as a view of the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Perched on top of Castle Rock’s
volcanic mound, the castle seems to stand vigil over this bustling capital city, whose Old Town and New Town
districts were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. We explored the city by bus, and when our tour guide pointed out the café where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Pot- ter book, it made perfect sense: Edin- burgh casts a magical spell. For our final evening, we toured the
Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC, eicc.co.uk), which is in the midst of a new multilevel expan- sion. When completed next spring, the addition will feature a stunning glass atrium and state-of-the-art moving- floor technology for easy reconfigura- tion of groups of up to 2,000. If we hadn’t felt like we had been
given the royal treatment thus far, our gala dinner aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia (royalyachtbritannia.co.uk), berthed in Edinburgh and floating home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for more than 40 years, sealed the deal. Our excellent meal was served with military preci- sion in the same room that has hosted kings and queens, prime ministers and presidents. As we gathered on the deck before departing, a bagpipe band came into sight and sound and marched into formation beneath us, for a most fitting Scottish send-off.
. Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene. PCMA.ORG