Destination Update


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I have known for well over twenty years that I have the best job in the world, MM and Company represents amazingly efficient and lovely DMCs and I sell to amazing and lovely agency clients, how good is that?  Even better, I get to go to some amazing destinations in the world, one of those amazing places is Mauritius and I was lucky yet again to go to Mauritius.  I worked out that it’s probably my fifteenth time to the wonderful Indian ocean island that is Mauritius.


We fly for eleven hours and then this wonderful island appears, we landed in paradise mid February, the temperature was 31 degrees, the sun was shining, a gentle breeze, warm Indian ocean water, soft  sandy beaches, palm trees, fabulous hotels, amazing food and cocktails, does it get any better than that? I don’t think so!


I was lucky to be accompanied by ten amazing clients, we all thoroughly enjoyed our Mauritius experience, we had lunch on an island, we explored Mauritius in open top Mini Moke cars, we went to a factory that makes wooden galleons for display purposes, amazing artistry.  We enjoyed lunch in a local modern restaurant owned by Mario, a good friend of mine and our farewell drinks was at Café des Arts.  Oh I haven’t included a fabulous gala dinner at Chateau de Labourdonnais.


Stephane, Delpine and the team at Connections DMC were as ever amazingly outstanding, lovely lovely people.

For more photos on Mauritius see


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According to popular Hollywood tradition ‘the Grinch stole Christmas’, I have got news for Hollywood, Austria perfected Christmas.  I recently hosted a Business Development Event to Vienna with Martin and Evelyn of e+o meeting, event & travel management GmbH, the trip coincided with the first weekend of the traditional Austria Christmas markets.  They had very traditional Austrian Christmas food, decorated trees, ginger Christmas cookies, warm and hot spicy Gluhwein wine, wine and a huge selection of Christmas gifts, a perfect solution to a chilly Austrian winter. 


All that in addition to Vienna being the most classical, gentle city you could possibly hope to visit.  The city centre of Vienna is very walkable with pedestrian areas, classical venues for gala dinners and venues, a full category of deluxe five star hotels and excellent high quality four star hotels complimenting the beautiful hotel Sacher, said to be the hotel that created the original Sachertorte Chocolate cake.


Without wanting to make this reading like war and peace, I haven’t mentioned the Vienna Boys Choir, the Spanish Riding school, the amazing Schon Braun Palace, classical horse and carriage rides though the streets of Vienna hot chocolate, Apple Strudel.  I could then talk about the famous ski resorts, the best people to speak with for everything Austria are Martin and Evelyn at e+o meeting, event & travel management GmbH.

For more photos on Vienna see


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It was only two year since I was last in Malta, two years can be a long time having not been to a destination, but not in Malta’s case it was as familiar as ever and it was good to be back.

I was hosting a wonderful group of conference and incentive professionals, one of them had been to Malta before and even the two Malta veterans were delighted with what they saw.  In a short space of time we were driven in a vintage Bedford bus, vintage car transfers, Tuk Tuks and a speed boat, local fishing boats as well as regular coaches and limousines.  We checked out the Mdina at the island city at night, we saw historic venues as well as boutique hotels, the nights of Malta were present to light us through the historic city.


The Radisson Blu, an excellent choice of hotel recently refurbished and looking good.  One sight not be missed which we didn’t, was the stunning historic Malta Cathedral, only one word to describe it, magnificent.  No visit to Malta is complete without a visit.


Malta has a great night life, a whole area devoted to bars, clubs and restaurants in St Julian’s must not be missed.  The Mi Malta team of Helga, Erika and Douglas were amazing hosts, nothing was too much trouble and one thing I can tell you for sure is none of our guests went back to the UK hungry or thirsty.

For more photos on Malta see


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I have a great job, I travel to some amazing places, I can honestly say one of the most historic places I have travelled to is Berlin.  This city’s turbulent history much of it in the modern times is fascinating.  It’s an old cliché, but this city has risen from the dead, from the ashes of 1956, the division of the city until it’s re-unification in 1989 is remarkable, historic and meteoric.  It has gone from rubble to re-construction in eighty years. 


The city fathers of Berlin have done an amazing job at recalling history, commemorated it and built a world class city with fine monuments, outstanding hotels, funky post industrial event space and simply being an outstanding destination for conferences and incentives.


Berlin night life is legendary, it was legendary in the 1930’s, if you don’t believe me watch the movie Cabarets, it’s a very good reconstruction of 1930’s Berlin. 


MM and Company represent Camonsite Conference and More (part of germanyinsight).  I’m happy to say nobody knows Berlin like the team at Camonsite.

For more photos on Berlin see

Slovakia, Bratislava

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The great thing about the first flight out to Vienna Airport, the gateway to Bratislava is the traffic to the airport is light, the plane is on the ground, we are not waiting for it to land.  My Bratislava experience started at midday, I landed at Vienna airport, Enjoy Slovakia DMC met me at the airport and by 12.30 local time I was having lunch in a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Danube river.  The sun was shining, a gentle warm breeze, a perfect al fresco start to my visit.


Bratislava City Centre has miles of Danube river bank to sit by, to drink by and to dine by.  There is a running track, bicycle lanes all along the banks of the Danube making it the perfect location to blend business and exercise.  What better way to burn off a business lunch or a company dinner than exercising on the banks of the Danube.


I stayed at the Grand River Park Hotel, a beautiful hotel part of the Starwood organisation, my room overlooked the Danube.  The historic city centre of Bratislava is traffic free, very walkable, lots of things to see and do, there is also a modern city centre with a huge shopping mall as good as anywhere in Europe.  The Slovakian people are very proud of their wine heritage, the wines are excellent so good that they keep it for themselves and do not export their wine.  As well as cycling there is the world famous Cunovo water sports centre, a centre of excellence that has produced many Olympic champions.  You can enjoy a white-water rafting experience in total safety under the guidance of a rafting champion.  Did you know Slovakia has a thriving car industry?  Amongst other brands the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q2, Porsche Cayenne, Citroen Peugeot and Kia all produce various models in Bratislava.  There are opportunities to enjoy a factory visit as well as a driving experience in Bratislava.  There are numerous churches, fountains and landmarks to visit, two of the most famous is the UFO Observation Deck and Restaurant as well as the Chatam Sofer Memorial.


All in all Bratislava is an undiscovered European gem, a perfect location for a conference or an incentive.


Bratislava also has a secret weapon, the outstanding services of Enjoy Slovakia DMC.

For more photos on Bratislava see


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I was met at the new Cancun International Airport by Manuel, Susanne and Liliana of the EPIC Group.  In the transfer on the way to UNICO 20º 87º Hotel we had Tequila, Nacho chips, refried beans and guacamole, a great way to welcome to Mexico.  The EPIC Group team were with me for the whole four days, this is our 21st year representing the EPIC Group.  MM and Company stated in 1996 and the EPIC Group together with C Florida Hospitality and Dekon DMC Turkey joined MM and Company in 1997 and have been with MM and Company since.


It’s been five years since I landed in Cancun airport, five years is a long time in a destination, so much has changed it’s hard to know where to start.


I stayed in Riviera May which is about an hour and fifteen minutes from the brand new Cancun airport.  If you come out of the airport and turn left, you go to downtown Cancun city centre.  If you come out of the new airport and turn right, you go towards Playa del Carmen, Tullum and the Riviera Maya.


I had the extreme pleasure of staying at the all inclusive UNICO 20º 87º Hotel Riviera Maya, it’s been open a year and it’s everything and more you want a five star hotel should be.  I have never stayed in an all inclusive before and it was an interesting experience, one that I would definitely repeat.  Even the well stocked mini bar as included, I didn’t use the mini bar at all, didn’t have to the hotel bar was far more exciting.


On this trip I didn’t go to downtown Cancun, I did go to Playa del Carmen and Tullum.  Both destinations have grown and developed into destinations in their own right. 

Playa del Carmen even has a Coco Bongo cabaret show and club, it’s exactly the same as the one in downtown Cancun except it was a twenty minute drive from the hotel and not two hours twenty minutes away from the hotel.  Apart from doing all the good things on the water and beach, I got to experience an underground cave system called Rio Secreto.  An amazing experience and this secret cave also has fabulous event space.  The other exciting thing I did was to climb an ancient Mayan temple in the ruin city of Coba.  Climbing up the temple was strenuous but doable, coming down was much harder work but clearly succeeded in both.  At the entrance to Coba city you get to pick up a push bike and I cycled not a long way but far enough to get to the ancient ruins.


Whilst I enjoyed Playa del Carmen, Tullum and the Riviera Maya, my preference is for the original part which is downtown Cancun.

For more photos on Cancun see

Slovakia, Bratislava

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Slovakia or perhaps it would be easier just to mention Bratislava, Brati who? Bratis where? Bratis how?  Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia is an undiscovered, cost effective destination two hours flight from London.  It’s one of those destinations that you have heard about but yet to visit.  I’m delighted to tell you that a seamless event be it for a conference, an incentive or product launch can be delivered by Enjoy Slovakia DMC.

My first visit to Bratislava was December 2010, I can’t believe it’s that long ago.  I re-visited Bratislava last week, the destination, conference and incentive infrastructure has grown and matured.  It’s a destination that can compete in quality and service with other world class European destinations, what it does much better than many other European destinations is on the cost and value for many arenas.  If the budget is tight I’m confident Bratislava can come in within a tight budget. 


Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia has a charming, walkable, historic old town situated right on the banks of the Danube River.  It has excellent five-star hotels as well as outstanding four star hotels at very good prices.  There are historic gala dinner venues, river boat gala dinner venues, unusual, funky and cool dinner venues.  Its cuisine takes the best from Hungary and Austria and makes it its own.  Slovakian wine is excellent and I lost count of the number of microbreweries that are dotted around the city.   

Bratislava is a destination without client expectations, which delivers above and beyond some of it’s better known European cousins.  


Enjoy Slovakia DMC will work their magic on putting together your perfect event.


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I had a fabulous weekend in early March basking in THIRTY degrees of Moroccan sunshine, I was there on a brief visit to Marrakesh with Lina, Dounia, Rachid, Karim and the team at Visit Morocco DMC.  We have seen a huge upturn in interest in Morocco, it’s fair to say it went through a dip as do all destinations one time or another however, Morocco is well and truly back on the radar.  The last time I was in Morocco was a couple of years ago, lots has changed, new hotels have opened, new Riyadh’s, great gala dinner venues, a few terrific bars and clubs Marrakech is happening big time. Also some things have stayed the same; the Souks, Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, Berber villages, the wonderful and warm Moroccan people and of course the stunning Atlas Mountains. 


I stayed at the new Radisson Blu Hotel, terrific location only four kilometres from the Medina I know it is four kilometres because I ran there and back as my Sunday morning run and my Runtastic app measured the run. It is a perfect hotel at an extremely good rate for a brief weekend stay. 


If you want your hotel to be super deluxe five star and you want to stay within the old city walls you could try the fabulous La Mamournia or equally amazing The Royal Mansour.  There are also some amazing ten – twelve room Riyadh’s as well as the slightly larger Riyadh Hotel Le Jardin de la Koutoubia, whilst on the subject of hotels there is a beautiful new hotel fifteen minutes away from the centre of town called the Royal Palace Marrakesh, it’s part of the Beachcomber group.  If you want a fabulous hotel with warmth and sunshine, extensive grounds, beautiful appointed, the Royal Palace is for you. 


During my trip with Visit Morocco DMC I had dinner in a hidden palace in the old city, I had dinner in a funky club and had drinks in some amazing bars.  I travelled to a wonderful camp in the Sahara Desert, it’s selling point is peace and quiet, no traffic in the Sahara desert, the entertainment at night is the big star lit African sky.  Morocco, has it all, an ancient city, modern infrastructure, the Sahara desert and to top it all the Atlas Mountains.

For more photos on Morocco see

Slovakia, Bratislava

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Destination highlights about our latest DMC Enjoy Slovakia 

Where to stay?

Bratislava has a broad range of five and four-star hotels. Hotel chains include: Starwood, Crowne Plaza, Radisson and Austria Trend. There are some excellent traditional non-chain hotels. 

What to do?

Bratislava has a lot to offer for incentive groups, from Touareg Drives to speedboating along the Danube. Enjoy Slovakia can arrange tailor made incentive programs specific to group requirements.

Conference and Meeting facilities;

Slovakia has many interesting and unique venues to offer. To find out what is best suited for your group requirements, get in touch with our world-class DMC.

Flights; Direct from the UK, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa

Currency; Euro, Exhange rate as of September: 1GBP = 1.17 Euro 

Visa Requirements; VISA not required for UK citizens 


Destination Highlights;

- You have probably never been to Bratislava/ Slovakia -Really − Slovakia is Europe’s best kept secret and Bratislava is an attractive and dynamic town.

- It’s a compact and friendly city - Bratislava’s Old Town is extraordinarily “user friendly”.

- Bratislava's history - In more than 2,000 years of history, Bratislava came under Celtic, Roman, Germanic and Slavic rule and for more than two centuries it was Hungary’s royal capital and coronation site. All these influences – and more – have left their mark on the modern Slovak capital.

-Gastronomy - The local gastronomic tradition is a cosmopolitan blend of Slovak, Hungarian, Moravian and Viennese cuisines, and Slovak wines can be excellent.

-City of incentive tourism - Bratislava can be easily accessed via two international airports, Vienna and Milan Rastislav and frequent IC train connections, and the motorway.

For more information on Slovakia visit our Destination page.

Costa Rica

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A few weeks ago, I was in Costa Rica on a site inspection with Arno, Nathalie, Pauline and the team at Quetzal Motivo. I also visited Panama whilst I was over there, but that's another post for another time. Today I thought I would let you know a little bit about why you might want to consider Costa Rica for incentive travel. 


The Eco destination of Central America is located on a strip of land in this amazing world of ours between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica is effectively a new destination for the UK with the commencement of direct British Airways flights twice a week from Gatwick to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. An eleven and a half hour flight from Gatwick brings you into a world of fauna, fauna, active volcanoes, an amazing rain forest and picturesque coffee plantations. There is also the alternative of world-class beach and resort hotels but Costa Rica is all about ecology and the rain forest.


Five miles from the centre of downtown San Jose there is a brand new development of an Intercontinental Hotel, an extremely good Sheraton and a huge shopping mall & entertainment plaza with bars and restaurants. I spent some time in San Jose checking out the hotels and entertainment offering; there is an eclectic mix and the hotels are outstanding but as I mentioned before, the rainforest beckons.

Three hours drive from San Jose through the hinterland of this amazing destination is Arenal – a small town with a large active volcano which erupted last in 2009. Here you can enjoy a true rain forest experience combining a cable car ride up to the top of the canopy, a zip line through the tree tops followed by a walk through the rain forest itself which is spectacular in its own right. I was lucky enough to do the walk during a tropical downpour, the canopy is so dense I hardly got wet! I stayed overnight in Arenal at the foot of the volcano in an excellent hotel. The grounds of the hotel have a series of intricate thermal pools with hot water fed directly from Arenal’s active volcano – this is truly an incentive destination.


My final day in Costa Rica began with a four by four adventure, continuing to drive along the Pacific Ocean coast through the rain forest with a few stops on the way first to sample excellent coffee and tropical juice in a local cafe that has an overview of the lake and volcano followed by lunch at the former Presidential Mansion. We ended up at the Marriott Hotel on the beach which is a perfect location to ditch the four by four for two days of rest and relaxation.


A couple of days in Costa Rica was not really enough to do the destination justice in terms of what it has to offer, however if you are feeling inspired by what you have read so far, do get in contact with Arno and the team at Quetzal Motivo DMC, they will be happy to provide you with additional information and group ideas.

To conclude I have to say; whilst my trip was short, four days in the Eco capital of the World - Costa Rica - was a truly amazing experience.

For more photos on Costa Rica see

For more photos on Panama see


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Anusha Soopal of Connections DMC has been over in the UK on sales calls this month and along with her she brought us a little update from Mauritius. One of the biggest and most important changes over on the stunning Island is the new star rating system being applied to Mauritius’ hotels and resorts.

The new system has introduced upgrades to 4* and 5* with new 4* superior and 5* luxury. The new rating system is still under progress however we thought you might like to see some of the hotels that managed to make the 5* Luxury grade, so without further ado;

Constance Le Prince Maurice


This architecturally stunning resort takes advantage of its surroundings in a natural reserve and private beach to offer a luxury experience complete with 76 suites, 12 Villas, 3 restaurants, 3 poolside/beach bars, a spa and business lounge. The resort also boasts 2 18-hole golf courses and a Tennis Court.


Four Seasons Mauritius

Nestled in Tropical Gardens on the East Coast of Mauritius and overlooking the Indian Ocean, this resort is located on it’s own private Island with 136 villas with an upgrade option to include private plunge pools. It is easy to see why the resort has been awarded Five Star Luxury classification as it also offers a golf course, 12 spa treatment rooms, 2 Tennis Courts, 4 pools, 4 restaurants and even 4 friendly giant tortoises!

Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa

This resort offers fantastic garden and ocean views. Some of the villas come with a plunge pool, terrace and rain shower with upgraded villas offering heated infinity pools, butler service and private gardens. There are 65 villas in total with either garden or beach views. The resort is complete with 3 restaurants, a spa and water-sport activities available. This spectacular hotel also has the accreditation of Mauritius’ leading resort 2015 from the World Travel Awards.

The Oberoi

Located in Turtle Bay with stunning views over the Indian Ocean, The Oberoi has 71 luxury villas along with 2 restaurants, a private beach, tennis court, a spa and water sport activities. There are a variety of villas available, with private pools in the upgrade option.

Royal Palm Hotel

This luxurious resort is located on the historical site of Grand Sable and is just 5 minutes away from the popular village of Grand Baie. Complete with 69 suites, 2 restaurants, a squash court, spa, tennis-court, water sport activities and helipad, the Royal Palm also won the 2015 award for the ‘leading hotel suite of Mauritius’ at the World Travel Awards. It is also a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

Shangri-La le Touessrok Resort & Spa

The Shangri-La Resort & Spa offers 200 rooms and suites with balconies and terraces offering stunning ocean views. The resort also has luxury beach-villas with private infinity pools and a whole host of other amazing features including a spa, a variety of event/meeting rooms, 2 pools, a private island and a world-class 18-hole golf course; Ile Aux Cerfs Golf Course.

If you require any assistance with accommodation, ground programs, rates or incentive information; please get in touch with our world-class DMC Connections.

New Hotel openings 2016

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The Global Hotel Industry sector is ever-changing, ever-developing and continuously innovating. We understand that a great hotel for MICE clientele comes with a reputation that precedes it- but we also wanted to share our excitement with you on all of the new hotels and their exciting features that are currently under development and due to open in the destinations we represent.

Our DMCs have great working relationships with all of the best hotels in their destinations- so for recommendations, suitability, additional information and competitive rates-make sure you get in touch.


The Oberoi, Marrakech – This luxury spa resort located just 20 minutes from the city centre is set in 25 acres of land with a yoga studio, function room and business centre and 3 restaurants. (opening late 2016)

L’Amandier – Set Atop a Plateau at the foot of the hills of the Atlas Mountains, the resort boasts fantastic views across the surrounding Toubkal National Park. The hotel offers 22 rooms, 2 luxurious penthouses, an outdoor Yoga studio, infinity pool, tennis court and a plethora of activities in the area like Water skiing, Zip-Lining and Horse-Riding.


Our DMC: Visit Morocco



Santo Maris, OIA – Set to open this month, this resort features 44 suites, 4 villas, a restaurant, pools and two churches! The suites and Villas also have their own terraces with a Jacuzzi and Sunbeds.

Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort – This spectacular 300 room resort has many amazing features, including a floating Helipad, a thermal spa so large it sits across two floors, 4 thermal pools, 1 thalassotherapy pool fed directly from the sea, 3 normal pools, 5 restaurants and a Marina. (opening May 2016)

Our DMC: AME Greece



Amanemu, Aman Resorts – A 24 suite resort with 4 villas modelled on a traditional Japanese Ryokan complete with hot springs. The resort is located in Ise Shima National Park with high-speed rail links to Tokyo. (opening soon)


Our DMC: The J Team



W Dubai Al-Habtoor city – this incredibly stylish and modern resort has it all with 356 rooms, 5 dining venues, a WET deck and a great location near to Dubai’s key attractions and it’s business district. (opening May 2016)

Four Seasons Dubai DIFC – this hotel will be located in the downtown business district complete with a rooftop pool, bar and garden and fantastic views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai skyline.

Jumeirah Al Naseem at Madinat Jumeirah – This resort provides contemporary Arabian Luxury with 430 rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows and rain showers. The resort also features 3 pools and private beach access.


Our DMC: SNTTA Emir Incentives and Conferences



EAST Miami – This modern and innovative hotel will have 352 large rooms with private balconies and amazing views from its rooftop bar- Sugar. The hotel also offers over 20,000 sq feet of indoor and outdoor event space including a ballroom. (opening summer 2016)


Our DMC: C Florida Hospitality



The Soho House, Barcelona – This 60 room hotel is located in a stunning 19th Century town-house with rooms that surround a central glass atrium. It will also have a rooftop terrace and swimming pool (opening 2016)

Park Hyatt, Mallorca – set on a hilltop in the style of a traditional Spanish Village, Park Hyatt’s first resort in Europe will boast 4 restaurants, a spa, water-sport activities, golf-course access and 142 rooms. (set to open spring 2016)


Hard Rock Hotel, Tenerife – this resort can cater for all guests with a huge 624 rooms-including 236 suites, 3 pools, a saltwater lagoon, a spa and a mix of restaurants and dining options. (opening late 2016)


Our DMC: TA Spain


South Africa

Singita Lembombo Lodge, Kruger Park –  this lodge is currently under refurbishment, set on top of a cliff face with views across the Kruger National Park and river. Perfect for small groups with 15 suites.


Singita Boulders Lodge, Sabi Sand, Kruger, South Africa. Agency HKLM. Art Director: Paul Henriques. Stylist: Georgina Pennington. Photographer: Mark Williams. 14/11/11.

Leeu Hotels & Leeu Estates – this 17 room retreat will be set in a 19th century manor house surrounded by 168 acres of vineyards in South Africa’s wine country. (opening 2016)


Our DMC: The Inside Edge


New York

The Beekman, Thompson Hotels – this hotel will be transforming a landmark building into a luxurious hotel. Located in Lower Manhattan, close to key tourist attractions like The World Trade site, this hotel will take over the building that was formerly home to New York’s first theatre. (opening 2016)


The Williamsburg Hotel – This super-glam hotel will offer 150 rooms and suites along with a stunning rooftop bar and swimming pool! (opening soon)


Our DMC: Details NYC



Nobu Hotel, Cabo San Lucas – Although this hotel isn’t due to open until 2017, we thought it was so exciting we had to tell you now! This 200-room beach front hotel is being developed by the chef-turned-hotelier Nobu Matsuhisa.


Our DMC: The EPIC Group


That’s all for now! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates on all of our exciting destinations and get in touch with our DMCs for further information and sample proposals.

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