Holding a conference in Portlaoise and beyond

If you need to host a conference, you can't go wrong with one of the many great hotels in County Laois, with its inspiring country landscapes, professional facilities, and luxury hotels for accommodations.

Maldron

The three-star Maldron hotel is the perfect spot for a conference. As a reputable Irish chain hotel, guests can expect high-quality facilities whether they're in Dublin or Portlaoise. It offers eight fully equipped conference suites featuring plenty of natural light and air conditioning. A range of free services including free WiFi, free parking, and free access to the health club are offered to guests of the hotel. The conference rooms can accommodate small groups of five up to large gatherings of 80 people.

 

Facilities available include dimmer switches, blackout screens, dedicated business center services, free flipcharts and pads, free mineral water and mints, several power points, audiovisual equipment (rented), and refreshments. Guests can stay in any of the 90 guest rooms, or they can opt for the overnight delegate package, which includes a guest room and dinner for one night, with a carvery main course and tea and coffee in the morning and afternoon. A minimum of 15 people must book together to take advantage of the delegate packages. The conference menu covers breakfast, mid-morning breaks, lunch, a carvery main course, afternoon breaks, finger food buffets, canapés, baked potatoes, wraps, and hot buffet options.

The Heritage hotels

Two Heritage hotels, one a five-star venue in the country and the other a four-star venue in town, offer excellent conference options. The five-star Heritage Killenard offers six meeting rooms on the first floor and three dedicated board rooms for 2-12 guests. The ballroom can accommodate up to 400 delegates. There's also an auditorium with 50 seats.

 

The Gallery offers a good space for pre-conference activities, such as signing in or hosting themed events. It also looks out onto the courtyard, where vehicles and large signs can be placed. Business center services are available 24 hours a day. All conference and meeting rooms have audiovisual equipment built in. The board rooms include a 42-inch plasma screen TV and connections for laptops. Also provided are flip charts with markers and pads, mints and water, and note paper and pencils. Free WiFi is also  available. There's also a dedicated events team to make managing the event smoother. Free parking is available for up to 400 guests. Conference-goers staying at the hotel have free access to the health club, walking track, and tennis court. About 98 rooms are available for delegates staying overnight, including regular rooms (some of which overlook the golf course), family rooms, a junior suite with a balcony overlooking the golf course, and large four-bedroom golf homes. Also available are two-bedroom suite apartments (villas) on the golf course and the penthouse two-bedroom spa apartments. All of the larger accommodations are self-service.

The 4-star Heritage Hotel Portlaoise in town offers conference rooms that can handle anywhere from 5 to 550 delegates.

 

Eleven rooms are available in the O Laoighse Wing, and the Coote Wing holds three suites. For alternative venues, guests can try the mini suite, presidential suite, Sky Venue, and Dan Keanes room. Special rates are available for weekend conferences. Advice is provided for team building exercises. The day delegate package requires a minimum of 15 guests. It includes the rent of a meeting room for one day, two refreshment breaks, a two-course carvery lunch, iced water and mints, notepaper and pens, a projection screen, flip charts and markers, an LCD projector, free parking, and WiFi access. For overnight stays, rooms range from standard rooms to suites. There are 4 mini suites and 4 regular suites, as well as 102 standard rooms.

Killeshin

Killeshin offers several meeting rooms, which is ideal for those organizing several panels for a single event. The 262 square meter Walnut Suite can accommodate up to 180 people in a theater seating arrangement. The smallest meeting rooms can hold up to 9 people in a U-shaped arrangement. There are 5 meeting rooms and 6 board rooms. Some rooms include a plasma screen, drop-down screen, air conditioning, DVD player, and/or blackout facilities.

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All rooms have wheelchair access, free WiFi access, flipcharts, and natural daylight. Free car parking is available for guests and visitors, 24 hours a day. Conference refreshments cover morning breaks, light lunches, buffet lunches, Lunch in the Cedarooms, and afternoon breaks. Delegate packages require a minimum of 15 bookings. There are two day delegate packages, which include hiring the meeting room, lunch, and refreshments, and two 24-hour packages, which add dinner, overnight accommodation, and a full Irish breakfast. There are a total of 87 rooms available for overnight stays.

Castle Durrow

Castle Durrow offers a brilliant tranquil location to host a memorable event. It can accommodate 10 to 160 participants in a theater style arrangement. It is self-contained and offers a bar and separate catering options.

 

The Tiffany Room is ideal for small meetings. A dedicated conference coordinator is available to oversee all conference requirements. There is also plenty of parking spaces. Delegates who need to spend the night but don't wish to stay at Castle Durrow can stay in other local hotels or B&Bs in Laois.

The venue is about an hour away from Dublin. Special packages are on offer for day and overnight delegates. Groups of 12 or more receive special rates. Day delegate packages include tea, coffee, and a Danish pastry on arrival; morning break refreshments, a buffet lunch, afternoon break refreshments, and the cost of hiring the meeting room. The 24-hour package includes all of these as well as dinner, a room for the night, and breakfast. Facilities provided in the meeting room are flipcharts, pens, paper, mineral water, and a PowerPoint data projector.

Ballyfin Demesne

If you want your event to be memorable, there's no better place than Ballyfin, where you can rent the entire mansion and grounds for the duration of the event. It can accommodate about 20-30 attendees. It is the perfect backdrop for team building exercises because of the wide range of activities available on site. You can arrange customized activities, such as cooking classes, road rallies, archery, treasure hunts, and clay pigeon shooting. The grounds are private and cannot be explored by anyone who is not resident at the hotel, so conference-goers who have rented the entire mansion will have the 614 acre demesne to themselves.

 

 


Carolyn John, 2015

UNIQUE VACATION