Joined to the Spanish mainland, the famous Rock of Gibraltar is one of the mythological Pillars of Hercules; it also marks the European beginning of the Mediterranean Sea. Measuring only 2.6 square miles (with parts still off limits to all but the military), this huge rock riddled with caves and tunnels. It is is densely populated with a generally bilingual population of 30,000 persons, an elected government of its own, and a famous troupe of Barbary apes, which are the only wild apes or monkeys found anywhere in Europe (and should not be treated as cuddly pets). A British Overseas Territory long held by for its tactical location, its people have decided to remain separate from the European Union. Its currency is the Gibraltar pound that is pegged at par with the UK pound. That there is no sales tax/value-added tax adds allure to Gibraltar MICE venues.
Gibraltar has an airport, a mostly artificial strip running parallel to the Spanish border, and all road traffic into and out of Gibraltar stops when a plane takes off or lands. The airport, Gibraltar International Airport (GIB), also known as North Front Airport, still is owned by the military but does have commercial flights to the United Kingdom cities of Birmingham, Manchester, and London (three airports, including London Heathrow).
The principal Gibraltar MICE venue is John Mackintosh Hall, which contains three exhibition halls, a theater, six meeting rooms, and a library. Four MICE hotels in Gibraltar are the 189-room Sunborn Gibraltar Hotel, a permanently moored luxury mega-yacht with a ballroom for up to 400 persons and conference center with six meeting rooms; the 151-room Caleta Hotel, which has seven meeting spaces, the largest able to host 150 persons, and a dramatic location; the 123-room O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel, which has function space for up to 180 persons; and the 104-room Rock Hotel Gibraltar, which was built in 1932 by the Marquis of Bute and has two conference rooms and a huge Moroccan-style tent for up to 300 persons. A meetings property in Spain but very close to the Gibraltar border in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion is the 225-room Asur Hotel Campo de Gibraltar, which has room for events of up to 1,100 persons.
Event spaces on Gibraltar include what is perhaps its most dramatic venue, the St. Michael's Caves, which are deep inside the Rock of Gibraltar and can host banquets; there is also a 400-seat theater. Other sites include Boyd's, which has a large bar that often hosts a nightclub and a larger terrace that can fit a tent for up to 300 persons; Gibraltar Museum, which is also known as the Bomb House and chronicles 30,000 years of the Rock's history; Gibraltar Garrison Library, which was founded in 1793 and has a boardroom and banquet space; and the Alameda Open Air Theatre, which sits within the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and has 450 seats.
Excellent restaurants for groups here include the Casa Brachetto, which has an attractive, cellar-style dining room and an Italian menu; Gatsby's, which has a surf n' turf menu and is in the Watergardens area; Cafe Rojo, which is in a wonderful, cool, arched, slightly Moorish space and is famous for its lemon cheesecake; Rock Bastion Restaurant, which can cater to conferences and banquets and is part of the King's Bastian Leisure Centre, which has a cinema and bowling alley among its attractions; and Bistro Madeleine, which is unimposing but has a very thoughtful array of nouvelle cuisine.