It’s all about the experience at Essex and real hands-on practical knowledge is important to succeed in your hospitality or events career. Wivenhoe House is the 4* hotel where our students gain those all-important skills.
Wivenhoe House is situated on Essex’s Colchester campus. A five minute walk from the centre of campus and accommodation, the hotel is next-door to the Edge Hotel School departmental offices.
Wivenhoe House is a 40-bedroom country house hotel with a brasserie restaurant and a busy conference and events function that hosts over 300 events and 50 weddings annually. Here you will spend some weeks throughout your course working real shift patterns alongside a team of staff. You would typically complete four or five shifts per week when you have a hotel week, which may involve early or late shifts.
Edge Hotel School has also developed a suite of industry-engaged virtual activities as substitute the practical experience offered by our courses, introduced in response to the COVID19 pandemic and government restrictions on the hotel's opening and closures.
You will be dealing with real customers, events and working demands to give you the type of experience that employers are impressed by and that will help you in your future career.
All of our courses involve time working in conference and events, kitchens, restaurants and front of house. On our Hospitality Management and Hotel Management degrees you will also spend time working in housekeeping of bedrooms. Whichever course you choose, your experience at Wivenhoe House will provide an insight into three key areas of hospitality – bedrooms, conference and events, and dining.
Due the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also developed a suite of virtual activities that have been designed to provide a substantial alternative to practical experience in the event of government restrictions preventing the completion of shifts in the hotel. Our department will make every reasonable effort to ensure our students receive practical experience when permitted as part of their programme.
As a student at the Edge Hotel School you will gain experience in reception, which includes reservations and room bookings. Students on our two-year Hotel Management and three-year Hospitality Management courses will also gain experience within housekeeping of bedrooms.
The original Wivenhoe House building is an 18th century Grade II listed house with 16 individual suites and bedrooms. The traditional main house is complemented by the modern garden wing which is home to 24 contemporary bedrooms. Among the bedrooms are rooms sponsored by some of our industry supporters – BaxterStorey, Exclusive Hotels and Venues, Hilton, Milsoms, Marriott and Portico.
This means that during your rotations in the 4* hotel you will not only gain experience of different room types – from the grand individual suites, to the more uniform rooms in the garden wing – you will also gain experience in rooms that are decorated and hosted by other organisations and hotels, giving you a unique insight and a link with that particular brand.
All Edge Hotel School courses include rotations within the conference and events department. If you are studying for one of our events management degrees you will also gain experience of organising your own event in the final level of your course, with the expert assistant of the Wivenhoe House conference and events team.
Wivenhoe House typically hosts events within the lounges in the main house, in the 3 conference suites in the garden wing and in the brasserie restaurant. As a student at the Edge Hotel School you will work on real-life weddings, corporate functions and meetings and private parties and events in the 4* setting of Wivenhoe House.
As a student at the Edge Hotel School you will gain experience in both the restaurant and kitchen departments at Wivenhoe House. You will gain experience in the brasserie restaurant, work on afternoon teas and be involved with private dining functions.
The brasserie was refurbished in 2017 and Edge Hotel School students worked alongside an Edge Hotel School alumni, who is now working in interior design, to create the new design.
“The facilities at the University of Essex are amazing – I immersed myself as much as I could. You just have to throw yourself at it.”