From humble beginnings and a relatively small-scale structure 20 years ago, Birchwood now has a variety of features and facilities that are not only unrivalled in the hospitality and conferencing industry, but comprehensively versatile.
“We have options available for the smallest group of two delegates, all the way up to large-scale conferences and events hosting 3 000 people,” says Kevin Clarence, Birchwood’s founder and CEO. “Our aim is to provide a seamless multi-day conferencing experience that offers variety through more than sixty venues on the property. Different dining experiences make each meal – and day – memorable and different.”
According to Kevin, Birchwood’s extensive on-site offerings have developed over years of designing and delivering unforgettable, top-class events and conferences.
“We have a front seat to the challenges our clients face when it comes to delivering conferences that need to meet specific corporate objectives,” explains Kevin. “Conferences aren’t just ‘nice-to-have’ corporate getaways. They have to deliver on specific mandates, which need to be met long after everyone is back at the office.
“In order to get the most out of an event or conference, it’s therefore essential to keep delegates engaged and excited. Our goal is to not only add value from a planning, logistics and organisational perspective, but to ensure enough variety to boost creativity and morale.”
A dining experience
“Creating a memorable stay for guests on a multi-day conference was always a priority of ours, which is evident in our brand new Boma area,” says Kevin. This new outdoor dining area comprises scenic decking areas, a flowing fountain and a semi-outdoor Boma.”
This spectacular new dining area adds to the already popular upmarket steakhouse, The Grill at OneTwenty, as well as the more casual and quick, BC Café, home to some of the finest coffee this side of Gauteng.
“In keeping with a seamless experience, that awkward period between the end of your day-conference and dinner is always taken care of,” says Kevin. “Birchwood’s Hotspot Bar is ideal for unwinding, catching up on social media and enjoying an ice-cold drink while watching some sports on TV. Hotspot’s semi-private booth areas are even complete with their very own LCD screens.
“If heading to the bar is not your thing, we have a renowned Mangwanani Boutique Spa nestled in our garden or you can even grab a quick work-out in the fitness room, followed by a revitalising swim in Birchwood’s pool.
Award-winning one-stop shop
It’s thanks to a host of innovations and a focus on being a one-stop shop for travellers and conferences that has earned Birchwood both provincial and national awards, including the Lilizela Tourism Award in 2017, and the Readers’ Choice for Best Conference Venue and Best Function Venue in the annual Best of Ekurhuleni Awards in 2017, by Caxton Media.
The Hospitality Hub
Within Birchwood’s hospitality hub are 665 accommodation rooms, which have been sub-divided into three unique and distinctive brands – all appealing to different target markets.
Silverbirch @ Birchwood is a tailor-made product for the modern, and discerning business traveller. Silverbirch is a ‘hotel within a hotel’ that offers unwavering quality secluded within the manicured gardens, far from bustling events at the Birchwood ensuring a peaceful night’s rest,” says Kevin. Silverbirch has earned a wealth of positive feedback, including a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor within its first three years of existence.
Birchwood’s second offering, ValuStay @ Birchwood, has the budget-conscious traveller or group in mind. 96 accommodation rooms near the main reception are built to exceed expectations, not budget. ValuStay’s incredible ratio of rate versus value has attracted a host of groups.
The remaining accommodation rooms form part of the conference or event offering based on the location near the many venues on offer, ensuring an easy move from venue to room.