BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Virtual Event - 1 October 2020
ExCeL London - 22-23 June 2021
Regular visitors to London Docklands ExCel exhibition centre will find a change in the skyline. The Sunborn Yacht Hotel, very popular for offsite functions at ExCel during major exhibitions, is no longer.
Unique as far as the UK is concerned, the Sunborn was actually a barge with a 104-bedroom boutique hotel bolted on top. Looking like a small luxury liner from the outside it also provided a tiered conference room, function facilities, restaurant and lounges. Built in Finland it was towed into position in June 2002. Its new home is to be waterside at Lagos, Nigeria, where it will provide accommodation for the state government.
The Sunborn was sold for a reported ”20m.
Sunborn International hotel chain say they will bring in a replacement yacht with more than 200 rooms ” double the previous capacity, in 2009.
When the purpose-built ExCel Exhibition Centre opened in London”s undeveloped Royal Docks in November 2000 it quickly became evident that quality accommodation in the area was in short supply. The Sunborn Yacht addressed this problem and also provided a quiet break facility for senior exhibitor management to organise meetings away from the hubbub of the huge 75,000 sq m complex. For London 2012 Olympic Games ExCel will host a number of activities including boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Established as London”s major exhibition centre ExCel is now supported by a number of hotels, all within walking distance of the site. Amongst the international groups represented Accor offers both an Ibis and Novotel, there is a Ramada Suites, and also a Crown Plaza, plus a Travel Lodge Premier Inn.