Amanda has just returned, fully rejuvenated from a fam trip weekend in South Wales.

We stayed for the weekend in total luxury at the Vale Resort Hotel near Cardiff.

This four-star hotel nestles in 650 acres of countryside yet it is still conveniently located for Cardiff. The leisure-menu at Vale Resort Hotel is excellent. There are two championship golf courses, tennis and squash courts, a state-of-the-art gym with a 20-metre indoor pool plus a luxury spa.

However, we were at the Vale Resort to work as well as to view the local venues.  But before we move on I must mention the bedrooms at The Vale Resort.

aa5Hotels in general always list the in-room facilities; the free wi-fi, coffee machines, iron and ironing board – but at the end of the day all you really want is a great night sleep.

The Vale Resort has all the in-room technology in its 143 bedrooms plus wonderful views and a great night sleep was virtually guaranteed. I can understand why it is official hotel to the Wales rugby team.

Meeting-wise, the Vale Resort has 15 meeting rooms that I counted. The highlight is undoubtedly the Castle Suite which will seat up to 700 delegates for a theatre style meeting. The suite also boasts its own large terraced balcony overlooking the grounds.

Off to work and down the road to Hensol Castle (picture above left).

aa3Hensol Castle is also set in its own grounds which, in this case,  includes a 15-acre lake.

Whilst Hensol Castle has benefitted from a £10million restoration project installing the latest technology it has still retained its unique features dating from the Middle-Ages, including turrets, gothic towers and feature staircases.

I thought the original builders of Hensol Castle showed great foresight choosing a site for their castle just off the M4 motorway and only a short drive from Cardiff Airport.

Statistics-wise, Hensol Castle will accommodate up to 300 delegates in the main Courtyard Hall and this is supported by five additional meeting rooms.

aa2And so to the ‘fun’ part of the weekend – sorry the ‘team-building’ component of the weekend.

A friend of mine recently went canyoning in the French Alps and it sounded totally insane to me. Why would anyone in their right mind hang off rock faces in waterfalls, leap into large canyons and float down waterways in freezing cold water – for fun!

Team-building specialists, ‘Call of the Wild’, took us to the Brecon Beacons National Park for some exhilarating activity – a canyoning experience.

To my relief, we didn’t have to leap off a canyon but floating down stream was part of the fun. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Once dried-off and recovered – or partially recovered - we were off to Llanerch Vineyard for dinner. Llanerch Vineyard is just a five-minute drive from the Vale Resort. It is a restaurant and bistro with boutique ‘vineyard-themed’ hotel rooms.

aa4Llanerch also offers vineyard tours and cookery classes.

Llanerch Vineyard has seven bedrooms and two suites plus Calon Lodge, a purpose built events suite which will seat up to 80 guests for a dinner.

Our party enjoyed an excellent finally-night dinner at Llanerch Vineyard.

The trip was both thoroughly enjoyable and interesting. It opened my eyes to some of the unusual and excellent events venues which are available just outside the major conurbations of South Wales.

My thanks to Call of the Wild for arranging the weekend.

If you have scrolled this far down the page you will have a good idea of the services we offer. We simply believe in finding the right venue for the right meeting at the right price - because the venue and the services provided are the most important component of a successful meeting. Ring us today 0121 749 7575