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HOTELS Volkswagen: camper van pop-up


Iconic camper van maker Volkswagen has set the wheels in motion for an intriguing venture into pop-up hotels aſter teaming up with booking website LateRooms.com for an unlikely summer offering. Te Hotel VW California made a


recent fleeting appearance at Temple Island in Henley-on-Tames – the picturesque island made famous by the Henley Royal Regatta and its orna- mental folly – when six Volkswagen California SE camper vans were made available for booking as ‘rooms’. Te £35 a night ‘rooms’ proved a hit and there are now plans to take the pop- up hotel to some of the UK’s most beautiful and bold locations. “Hotel VW California is the perfect dem-


We must continue to invest in industry’s next generation


UFI IBRAHIM is chief executive officer of the British Hospitality Association


Volkswagen’s recent pop-up at Temple Island, Henley-on-Tames


onstration of the getaway you can enjoy with a bit of imagination and creativity. We look forward to welcoming guests and hope that they enjoy the perfect break with brakes,” said Volkswagen representative Nicola Burnside. Bookable only via LateRooms.com each


Volkswagen California ‘hotel room’ provides sleeping for up to four adults, featuring a pop- up roof, kitchen with fridge, twin-burner cooker and sink (with running water), plus


wood-trimmed cupboards and drawers. Rooms also include free wifi, iPod docking, three-zone automatic air-conditioning, heated seats and fully programmable central heating. Martin Solly, a spokesperson for LateRooms.


com, added: “Be it cosy B&Bs or luxury spas, Tai beach huts or English country houses, we’re very proud to offer a supremely diverse range of hotels and it doesn’t get much more unique than Hotel VW California.” Details: http://lei.sr?a=T8c4H


Laura Ashley styles second luxury hotel


Design and retail offering Laura Ashley has opened its second specialist hotel, follow- ing the refurbishment of the Victorian-built Belsfield Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere. Operated by Corus Hotels,


the offering has been subject to an extensive £3.5m refur- bishment project, which has seen Laura Ashley’s pro- fessional interior designers decorate the property with its famous Home collections. Catering for up to 150


guests, the hotel features 62 rooms and suites, a swimming pool and sauna, cocktail bar, a restaurant serving local produce, drawing room, library, brasserie and a garden terrace. Te hotel is also seeking to cater for meetings, events, team building projects and conferences. One particularly intriguing concept sees


guests able to purchase all of the décor pro- duced by Laura Ashley from its online store; meaning they will be able to potentially recre- ate the look of the hotel in their own homes.


© CYBERTREK 2014 Guests can purchase the Laura Ashley products decorating the hotel Tis concept follows the pattern at Laura


Ashley’s first hotel, the 49-bedroom Manor Elstree. Te creation of the Laura Ashley hotel concepts along with the recent launch of an IKEA museum, continues a trend whereby lei- sure facilities double as a potential shopfront. IKEA’s offering sees its original store – cre- ated 70 years ago – turned into an attraction exploring the history of the Swedish brand. Details: http://lei.sr?a=r4t7d


Twitter: @leisureopps


grips of recession despite the feel-good influence of the post Olympic legacy. Te economic outlook was very different. Now, as the UK economy begins to experience the green shoots of recovery, it is time for our industry to make good on the prepa- rations for growth laid in the tough times. As an industry, hospitality and tour-


L


ism has always had one eye on the future and one on the past, fostering change and innovation to survive. We have always championed growth and we know and understand that the future of our indus- try depends on attracting, investing in and developing the future generation through job creation. Our recent experience with the Olympic Games has taught us to divide and conquer and find solutions to the issues and challenges which stand in the way of economic growth and job creation. Underpinning all our work is the need


and desire to inspire the next generation and attract talent towards hospitality and tourism careers. It is no longer enough to expect that young people will naturally gravitate towards our industry. We have to find ways to demonstrate career paths which develop these stars of the future. Te BHA’s Big Hospitality Conversation


with partners Springboard, DWP, the National Apprenticeship Service and a cohort of industry leaders is pivotal. It is continuing to establish hospital-


ity and tourism on UK plc’s agenda for growth, and the creation of 37,000 work placements, apprenticeships and jobs across 19 events is a good start. If every one of the UK’s 180,000 hospitality businesses cre- ated just one job for a 16-24 year old, youth unemployment would be cut by a quarter. We know that successful relationships


are imperative and as politicians gear up for the 2015 general election, now is the time for our leaders across the hospital- ity and tourism sphere to work collectively towards a shared vision, utilising joined up thinking to future proof our industry.


Read Leisure Opportunities online: www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/digital 11


ooking back to this time last year, it’s evident that a lot can happen in the space of twelve months. Then, the UK was still in the


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