The largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is as famous for its sandy beaches and warm climate as its offshore banking, making it a rather discerning choice for those combining business with pleasure.
A little slice of England off the coast of Normandy, Jersey is a leading finance centre with a thorough understanding of the needs of the business world. It is a mere 60-minute flight from London and its combination of French and British cultural influences means a happy marriage of Michelin-star restaurants serving gourmet seafood and country pubs dishing up hearty fare. And when the meeting is over there is a huge variety of activities for colleagues to bond over, from sailing or kayaking, to abseiling, golf, horse-riding, or even tasting the best of the local vineyards.
Name: Hotel de France
Address: St. Saviour’s Road, St. Helier, Jersey, JE1 7XP
Tel: 01534 614 200 (Adele Oswald)
Like a veritable Palace of Versailles, Hotel De France is perfect for those wanting to inject a little grandeur into their conference. The Great Hall is the jewel in the crown of the Hotel De France and accommodates up to 800 people in a theatre-style auditorium. There’s also a selection of smaller rooms: the Starlight room accommodates 288 for dinner and the Corbiere Room up to 300 for a meeting, plus a selection of rooms for more intimate meetings of ten. There is a dedicated conference team and Business Centre, which can be reserved as an office and the entire property is wifi enabled – access is free of charge.
Name: La Mare Wine Estate
Address: La Mare Wine Estate, La Route de Hogue Mauger, St Mary, Jersey, JE3 3BA
Tel: 01534 481 178
On the north coast of Jersey, some five miles from
St. Helier, La Mare Wine Estate offers a refreshing take on the corporate events front. The state-of-the-art winery, distillery and visitor centre was expanded in 2007 after a £1.3million investment and has since gained a reputation as an appealing alternative to run-of-the-mill hotel meeting and event facilities. The new oak and glass building overlooks the vineyards and houses The Vineyard Restaurant & Terrace – seating up to 60 for dinners – and The Winery, a conference room for up to 160 guests. A marquee for up to 300 people can be erected on the main lawn, while the Drawing Room in the Elms Farmhouse is suitable for meetings of up to ten people, and the oak-beamed Garden room is good for up to 20 guests. Wine-themed, on-site corporate activities include competitive wine tasting, a barrel building competition, chocolate making workshops and private guided tours and tastings.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Name: The Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel
Address: The Waterfront, La Rue de L’Etau, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 3WF
Tel: 01534 671 100
The new Radisson Blu Hotel opened in 2008 and is located in the midst of St. Helier’s attractive marina. The penthouse suite of meeting rooms is Le Hocq, Accommodating 60 guests for receptions and 24 in a seated boardroom setting, it sits on the topmost floor of the hotel and has panoramic views of St. Aubin’s Bay. There are five further modern meeting rooms, a main conferencing area which divides into three separate rooms, a pre-function area and on-site business centre. The Waterfront Brasserie and Terrace has an adjoining Elizabeth Room which can accommodate 80 people for private dining. The hotel has a partnership with Pure Adventure which organises team-building exercises such as sea kayaking and blo-karting.
ON A SHOESTRING
Name: Pomme d’Or
Address: Liberation Square, St. Helier, Jersey, JE1 3UF
Tel: 01534 880 110
One of the island’s best-known hotels, The Pomme d’Or is located right in the centre of St. Helier, and
has been overlooking Liberation Square for more than 175 years. There are 12 adaptable function suites designed to accommodate business delegates’ needs, plus a dedicated business and events team to help planners coordinate things smoothly. The Golden Apple Suite is newly refurbished and can host up to 300 delegates for dining, seminars, exhibitions or boardroom antics. Pomme d’Or has a range of packages including daily rates, 24-hour rates, travel-inclusive packages and even activity packages through Sport Jersey, offering wine tasting, power boating and fishing among others.
Name: Grand Jersey
Address: The Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 8WD
Tel: See: www.grandjersey.com
This well established hotel on St Helier’s historic esplanade has recently undergone a £15.2million transformation, resulting in Park Suites, a bespoke business centre with meeting rooms, flexible event space and even a private cinema. All rooms are equipped with the latest in high specification technology. The new facility features two state-of-the-art conference and banqueting rooms hosting up to 30 people apiece, or 60 combined. The hotel’s impressive Grand Suite hosts 200 delegates theatre-style or 120 for seated dinners; the Champagne Lounge takes 125 for stand-up receptions and the Boardroom accommodates ten.
SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED
Name: The Club Hotel & Spa
Address: Green Street, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4UH
Tel: 01534 876 500
A boutique hotel which means business, St. Helier’s The Club Hotel and Spa prides itself on its adjacent Michelin-starred and four AA Rosette Bohemia Restaurant. The hotel’s meeting facilities are comprised of the Burgundy and Bordeaux suites – designed for boardroom or theatre settings for up to 80 guests – and The Club Room, which seats 50 theatre-style and 32 in boardroom set up. The hotel also features both indoor and outdoor pools, bar, cafe, terrace and spa complex with a range of treatments.
Getting there: From London there are at least 12 flights to the island a day, with journey times of around an hour. Regular scheduled flights also depart from over 25 UK regional airports. Fast ferry services depart from Poole or Weymouth with Condor Ferries, arriving in Jersey in less than four hours. There is also a Portsmouth ferry service.