Roving Report: Terrific Tenerife
Hard Rock Hotel
So.... I was invited to attend the 3-day, 2-night, Networking and Workshop event in Tenerife, organised by DBF Events – Delphine and Michiel Fortuin.
Beforehand I was sent a list of the 50+ suppliers who would be in attendance and I was asked to choose around 15 I would like to go speed dating with – 15 minutes with each. I spoke with Andy who – with his vast knowledge of all things – helped me narrow down my short list and I threw in a few wild cards. Everyone also had to attend 4 destination talks – Malta, Switzerland, Copenhagen and Cannes.
They also had an event app for us to download, they uploaded the itinerary to this and a map of the hotel pin pointing which part of the itinerary was taking place where etc. – this became very useful upon arrival, when I realised the size of the hotel and my not so great navigational skills. We were also instructed to vote for the best supplier, and the best client of the year via the app – having never met any of these people before I picked at random.
Day 1 - Friday
So, I had snuck down to Gatwick the night before our 8am flight with EasyJet, so I had a very long and tiresome 3-minute walk into the terminal Friday morning. Instructions were given to meet at check-in. Nobody met at check-in....
I got chatting to a couple of the group as we waited to board, and then made further friends on the plane. Around 1 hour into the 4-hour flight it became obvious that 82% of the people on this trip knew each other.... I had some serious ground to make up.
We landed on time and took a transfer over to the hotel we were staying at for the 2 nights – Hard Rock Hotel – we were greeted by a DJ and a guy singing and playing the guitar, it was funky and made for a very warm welcome. We checked in and had a couple of hours eating and drinking and getting to know each other. I took very quick 5 minutes away to find my room and have a brief nose about. Basically, it was funky– very stylish and very cool, exactly how you'd imagine a room at a Hard Rock Hotel to be. It did take me most of the afternoon/evening to find my toilet and shower, but I think that all added to the edginess. The hotel had the usual Hard Rock décor, celebrity clothing in glass cabinets, funky carpets, funky seating etc. The staff were very friendly and very accommodating to us all. And everywhere you went music was either being played from speakers or a guy playing a guitar, always music around.
Key facts on the Hard Rock
· 30 minutes from the Tenerife South Airport
· 624 rooms and 259 suites
· 1 large space for events, that can be split into 2 rooms if necessary 546m2
· 2 meeting rooms 25m2 and 27m2 of space
· 3 private smaller meeting rooms
· A very flash spa, that I never got to see....
· 10 restaurants and bars
You pretty much wouldn't need to leave the hotel.
Day 1 was by far the busiest for my scheduled meetings, I had 2 destination talks and 7 meetings. The room where the suppliers were set up was just off reception, each supplier had their own table and table number. It was literally just like speed dating, my brain was slightly fried by the end of the day, I think my last meeting was at 7:30pm and we had dinner at 8pm.
They put on a beach party for us the first evening, one of the meetings I had previously in the day was with the event organiser in Tenerife who had worked with DBF and Hard Rock to put our dinners and activities together, so she had given me insider info into what was happening that evening. But it was a great setup, a man was djing on top/inside an old VW Beetle. A huge BBQ was laid out for us, and the drinks were flowing.
Day 2 – Saturday
A much more relaxed start to the day, my first meeting wasn't until 10pm so I of course had to suss out the breakfast the Hard Rock had on offer. And I don't think there was much they missed off the menu – I'm pretty sure they even offered a doner kebab.... They had Nespresso stations where you could help yourself or for a more speciality coffee waiter service was available.
I had another destination talk first thing, then another 4 meetings with suppliers......from memory I think this was a rather French morning.
Meetings concluded around midday and we had lunch, in the main restaurant where breakfast was served and again a very large selection was on offer. Although with the activities ahead I didn't want to fill myself to much in case I, a. sunk or b. got seasickness.
Referring to the app, we were instructed to change into 'active wear' and something you didn't mind 'getting wet' – excellent. We headed down to one of the hotels many other areas, this one had a stage .... obviously, it is a Hard Rock after all. We were split into teams and instructed to build a raft using equipment we were given, we were then to row the raft out the catamaran. It was one of the best things I've done, so much fun and I never fell in – result! We spent the rest of the afternoon out on the catamaran dolphin and whale watching.
That night we headed to a banana plantation for our 'All about people awards dinner 2018'. The venue was amazing, we sat on the longest table I have ever sat at and within the plantation. We then had entertainment from a local entertainment group who played a range of different drums, and then a DJ played for the last hour of the evening before we headed back to the hotel.
Day 3 – Sunday
Meetings continued from 10am till 12:30pm, I had been very sensible and gone to bed early the night before, it was evident from the lack of people around that not everybody had been so sensible. Once meetings had finished we were to check out and depart the hotel for our site visit/lunch/dip in the pool at the new Barcelo Royal Hideaway – and breathe!
Upon arrival we entered the hotel at the 'family side' which is the Suites side of the hotel, the entrance/reception area has been built into a cave, it is amazing and a fantastic first impression to the hotel. We made our way to lunch, again this was a buffet style but not quite like that at Hard Rock. The food was delicious and reminded me very much of being on a cruise ship – not like P&O, more like Seven Seas or Seabourn. We were then taken in smaller groups for a show round, obviously taken to the best room first, the pictures below are probably better than me trying to explain how beautiful it was. It was very clean cut, incredibly well presented and the facilities were of the highest quality, no expense had been spared. We ventured to the other side of the hotel – adults only. The standard was just as high on either side, and as long as you are over 16 years old you can move between each side of the hotel, there is no guard in between the different sides stopping you.
Although I saw a pea sized amount of Tenerife, the amount of knowledge I took from the various suppliers has been phenomenal. This was my first ever trip like this, and I learnt so much, even little things like taking my first flight on my own, and meeting a bunch off strangers and just getting involved. I made some great friends, and it cemented the fact this is the industry I want to stay in.
I would like to say a huge thank you to both Delphine and Michiel, they did a fantastic job of organising the event and making me feel so welcome.