Watch that space – part 1

New hotels and resorts across Asia-Pacific are offering imaginative spaces with sensory experiences for events. Think indoor starry-night ceilings, outdoor private gardens, and expansive beachfronts.

W Brisbane
An unapologetic nod to ‘Brisvegas’, the 312-key W Brisbane marked the re-entry of the W brand in Australia after a 13-year hiatus when it opened in June 2018.

Expect the unexpected with decor colours that pack a punch, a pool dominated by zebra patterns and spa beds that glow. It is full of fun and thoughtful details with motion-sensitive neon room numbers that change colour as you pass by and a concierge reachable by WhatsApp. The Extreme Wow Suite showcases a limitless panoramic vista of the Brisbane River and mountains.

The hotel also boasts 1,100m2 of event space, including the 595m2 Great Room with a starry night ceiling, reminiscent of a Queensland outback evening full of stars. The statement lighting and four-metre LED wall panels are perfect for presentations. The W also offers a versatile Studios and Strategy Room with river views and floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing natural light to flow in.

United Places Botanic Gardens
Billed as a new concept in luxury boutique accommodation, United Places is designed to combine the idea of a hotel and a home. There are just 12 suites boasting spacious and opulent rooms with premium amenities and a personalised concierge service.

Every room is a ‘suite’, allowing for meetings in the room with living spaces that are separate from the bedroom. United Places is also the only hotel in Victoria with a two-hatted restaurant, Matilda, where one floor can be transformed into a meeting space for up to 80 people. And yes, it serves in-room dining.

– Adelaine Ng

Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel
The 471-room Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel is the park’s first hotel since it opened in 1977. The first-ever city resort hotel in Hong Kong offers a full suite of resort and business facilities with nature-themed decor, a 16m-high aquarium in the main lobby, a large lagoon pool, and four dining spaces.

For business events, the hotel offers more than 2,000m2 of meetings space across nine function venues, as well as outdoor spaces. A 1,200m2 pillar-free grand ballroom can cater for 960 guests banquet style, and up to 1,200 guests for a cocktail reception.

Rosewood Hong Kong
With 322 rooms and 91 suites, Rosewood Hong Kong has made its first foray into the city. Standing on the Kowloon waterfront and overlooking Victoria Harbour, this ultra-luxury property is situated within the Victoria Dockside arts, design and conceptual retail district.

Guestrooms here start at 53m2, while suites start at 92m2 making them among the largest in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the 1,000m2 Harbour House and The Garden House suites feature wraparound Victoria Harbour views from their private sky terraces on the 57th floor.

For events of all sizes, the hotel offers 3,200m2 of meetings space which includes a 1,000m2 ballroom; a 300m2 Pavilion Hall with floor-to-ceiling windows; and The Orangery, a private garden with gorgeous views overlooking the harbour.

– Prudence Lui

ITC Grand Goa
ITC Grand Goa further reinforces ITC Hotels’ exclusive partnership with The Luxury Collection brand in India. This 252-key village-styled resort is set amid 18.2 hectares of lush landscape, with direct access to the pristine Arossim beach in Cansaulim, South Goa.

Each of its rooms and suites feature private outdoor spaces in the form of a balcony or patio providing picturesque views of the Arabian Sea, landscaped gardens, lagoons or the multi-level swimming pool.

The hotel offers perfect outdoor spaces with the Seaside Lawns for 500 people; the Forest, a tropical garden for 350 people; the Boathouse overlooking shimmering lagoons for 25 people and private beachfronts. Indoors, the hotel features the Salcete Ballroom that seats up to 370 and can be divided into three separate sections. It also offers the Benaulim for smaller meetings of 30 people; and the Cansaulim Room for informal networking events for up to 40.

– Rohit Kaul

The Middle House
Located in the heart of Shanghai’s Jing’an district, The Middle House is Swire Hotels’ latest addition to The House Collective group of hotels.

The 111 modern studios range from 50m2 to 100m2 in size, with interiors designed by Piero Lissoni, who blends his minimalist style with classic Shanghainese elements. For intimate events, there is also the 110m2 Gallery Suite that comes with its own private terrace, separate bedroom and living room.

For larger events, the Penthouse, occupying an impressive 660m2 on the 14th floor, features an inviting living area perfect for entertaining, and outdoor terraces with views overlooking Nanjing Road West. The Penthouse even boasts an outdoor area, and its own 208m2 indoor room that can be converted further into two smaller spaces for more intimate events. It can hold up to 200 people for a cocktail party.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland
As the world’s first underground hotel, the 336-key InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is an 18-storey resort that is built into the wall of a once-abandoned quarry in the Sheshan Mountain Range.

Sixteen floors are underground and two floors are submerged underwater into a 33m-deep aquarium, where guests can watch marine life and enjoy round-the-clock butler service.

Event planners will find the 900m2 Wonderland Grand Ballroom impressive. The space is divisible into three function rooms, features sky lighting and can accommodate drive-in displays. The light and water theatrics are spectacular, and can be customised for events.

– Prudence Lui

The Capitol Kempinski Hotel
Taking over the heritage icon Capitol Theatre, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel marks Kempinski’s debut in Singapore, presenting 157 keys and a collection of luxurious meeting and ballroom spaces.

Intimate gatherings or board meetings of up to 20 can be hosted in one of the elegant meeting rooms or The Private Dining Room, which affords high ceilings, natural daylight, an integrated LED screen and a chef’s table for the option of a bespoke dining experience.

Larger events of up to 220 guests can be hosted in the event salon, which is equipped with state-of-the-art conference technology; in the open show kitchen; or even in the directly linked Capitol Theatre next door, whose multi-functional space features a rotational floor system.

Village Hotel at Sentosa
Newly opened in April, this latest addition to Far East Hospitality’s Village brand is Sentosa Island’s next big draw for meeting and incentive groups thanks to its more affordable and egalitarian price point.

The 606-key property features outdoor event spaces by the pool and various ballroom spaces from 88m2 to 778m2. These include Village Square – a 330m2 space able to host up to 190 guests in banquet seating – which can be combined with the all-day dining space to form the The Commune (778m2), and accommodate up to 400 banquet guests.

Other remaining venues are located in the carefully restored Events Centre heritage building, which comprises more than 800m2 of flexible spaces for smaller-sized celebrations to mid-scale gatherings.

– Pamela Chow

Hotel Marino Beach Colombo
The 300-key Hotel Marino Beach Colombo is the country’s newest five-star hotel situated in the heart of Sri Lanka.

The hotel’s rooftop is home to an  infinity pool and garden that affords panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and city skyline, while all of its rooms and suites feature balconies and range from 35m2 to 137m2 in size.

For events, the hotel boasts the city’s trendiest Banquet Hall featuring the latest technology, a state-of-the-art lighting system, large screens, and a data projector. The banquet hall can cater for 900 people, while the two function rooms – Ruby and Pearl – can cater for smaller group sizes.

– Feizal Samath

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok
Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria debut in South-east Asia is an exercise of sophistication and glamour, backed by renowned names such as Andre Fu, who melded contemporary lines and Thai artisanal touches into the interior décor, while AvroKO has kitted out a trio of dining outlets on levels 55 to 57 – Bull & Bear, The Loft and Champagne Bar – each offering sweeping views that make them ideal for C-suite meetings and gatherings in their private rooms.

Standing across from the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in the Ratchaprasong district, the 171-room hotel is also home to the 730m2 Magnolia Ballroom, whose statement staircase and soaring eight-metre ceiling make the backdrop for events of up to 700 guests.

Amari Pattaya
Fresh out of a major revamp as part of Onyx Hospitality Group’s US$100 million investment for the North Pattaya property, this 45-year-old hotel is a standing testimony of Pattaya’s changing vibes and character in recent years into a more business-oriented destination.

The re-launched 20-storey Amari Ocean Tower now features a 620m2, state-of-the-art ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,000 pax; 297 brand new guestrooms and suites; an upgraded Horizon Club executive lounge and the Amaya Food Gallery – an innovative market-style dining concept inspired by Asian street food – which together with the new midscale 406-room Ozo Hotel and the premium 49-suite Amari Pattaya Ocean Suites wing now offer 752 keys altogether.

– Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

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