I was the organiser for a Masonic Ladies Festival at the Bournemouth Carlton Hotel over a weekend in September 2021.
The organisation for such an event was a big task but made somewhat easier by 'Kerry', a member of the hotel's staff who was a superstar. Kerry is one of the hotel's receptionists who has been given the added responsibility of organising large-scale events for one day in her working week. Clearly, just from my event, one day a week is insufficient time to arrange these events. Kerry often phoned and emailed me during her days off and in the evenings to make sure our event was well planned and catered for by the hotel. She came into work on her day off to meet me and discuss our requirements. Very commendable. I hope someone senior in the Best Western Chain recognises her dedication.
With 97 guests resident, I anticipated some complaints. These were of a trivial nature and immediately put right by the hotel. Some of the hotel rooms were somewhat dated but clean, comfortable and spacious. Many of our guests had sea view rooms and balconies.
Friday night entertainment, arranged by Kerry, was first class and received very complimentary remarks. Dinner in the restaurant on the Friday night was a little slow due to staff shortages but very reasonable.
Our main Ladies Night function on the Saturday was a first-class event. Everything was as planned. The food, music, band, ambiance, and setting worked extremely well, again due to the dedicated planning by Kerry. A measure of the success of the event can be identified by the sum of £4,000 being raised over the weekend for charity.
Early in our booking arrangements, we had a meeting, by zoom because of the pandemic, with Paul Clarke the hotel's General Manager. This initial meeting was the start of what turned out to be a very enjoyable and affordable weekend. less