TTGmice reporters take a look at some of the region’s most event-friendly integrated resorts and find out how their varied facilities can support business event programmes
Australia by Adelaine Ng
Stay Crown Melbourne has three hotels which together offer 1,600 rooms. Crown Towers and Crown Metropol are rated five stars, with 481 and 658 rooms respectively, while four-star Crown Promenade has 465 rooms.
Host Crown Conference Centre has three floors of event facilities across 7,350m2. It can cater for up to 840 delegates with two main plenary rooms, 16 breakout rooms, an exhibition space, exclusive group registration areas and four barista-style cafes. Crown’s Palladium Ballroom seats 1,500. The first floor of the centre also features an Organiser’s Suite, a private work area for organisers, a 10-seat boardroom and a private bathroom with shower.
Play Crown Melbourne’s complex hosts live shows and houses nightclubs and the largest casino in the Southern Hemisphere.
Feast There are restaurants and bars within the complex, offering dining styles that can seat up to 500 for a cocktail-style event.
Do good Crown Melbourne has a Carbon Offset Program for guests and event planners. This programme is in partnership with carbon management solutions company Carbon Neutral, which purchases offsets in Western Australia’s Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor native reforestation project.
Watch this space Crown Melbourne has received government approval to construct a new luxury hotel and apartment complex on an adjacent site, which would add 388 six-star rooms and 708 apartments to the property. Construction may begin in 2018 and is expected to take up to six years to complete.
The Star Sydney
Stay The Star Sydney has two hotels with more than 600 keys. The Darling is a five-star boutique offering that takes in 171 rooms, suites and penthouses, while The Astral Towers & Residence which has 491 serviced apartment rooms will complete refurbishment works by July 31, 2017.
Host The Star Event Centre offers state-of-the art, configurable space over three floors, suitable for 200 to 2,680 delegates. Its rooftop floor showcases views over Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, and has capacity for 2,000 guests for cocktail receptions or 1,500 pax theatre-style. The plenary hall can hold 700 delegates theatre-style, with quick access to the main floor of the centre for seated dinner or exhibition. The is also a pre-function lobby space for up to 800 delegates.
Play The Star is home to Sydney’s Lyric Theatre which hosts major musicals, concerts and ballet. The Event Centre also stages concerts for international artists, which in the past have included Tom Jones and Ricky Martin. Event planners are welcome to organise an entertainment night of their own.
Feast The Star Event Centre offers a choice of 19 menus for gala dinners, and takes a step further by allowing event planners to brainstorm dining ideas with its chefs. The complex also has about 20 restaurants and bars with adaptable space for corporate event groups of up to 100 delegates, including at its five signature restaurants.
Do good Guests can opt in to the towel reuse programme which saves hundreds of gallons of water per year from reduced laundry loads. The hotels also work with non-profit organisation Soap Aid, which collects leftover soap to create soap bars much needed by disadvantaged communities. In FY2016, more than 9,900 soap bars were created.
Watch this space The Star is planning to build a signature A$500 million (US$369 million), 215m tower which will add a 220-room six-star Ritz Carlton hotel at its top and another 150 residences to its current operations. The Star Entertainment Group and its partners in the proposed development, Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, is working with architect FJMT to submit a final design in mid-2017 for government approval.
Cambodia by Marissa Carruthers
NagaWorld, Phnom Penh
Stay Spanning almost 112,000m2, NagaWorld in the Cambodian capital city boasts more than 700 suites and deluxe rooms of eight room types.
Host NagaWorld has a dedicated team of event experts as well as a collection of venues that are able to support all events. The Grand Ballroom, constructed by international designers based on global standards and best practices for business events, can accommodate more than 1,000 delegates. A smaller ballroom can take up to 500 guests while an additional five meeting rooms are ideal for 50 to 60 guests each. More spaces are offered in the form of NagaWorld Auditorium theatre and an exhibition hall. Inhouse event experts can also plan itineraries for groups, taking in some of the city’s top activities and sights.
Play NagaWorld offers an array of entertainment highlights, including top international clubs, a karaoke lounge and rooftop pool bar with amazing views of the Mekong River. Entertainment options range from traditional Khmer cultural performances and local and international live bands to customised lineups catering to planners’ requirements.
Feast There are 18 world-class restaurants serving a variety of international cuisines. Personalised menus can also be done.
Do Good CSR is deeply rooted in NagaWorld’s culture, with programmes made available to corporate groups. The focus on education, environmental, social welfare and sports development and awareness. Green actions include city clean-up days, tree planting activities, waste collection management and Reduce, Reuse and Recycle programmes with the schools in provincial areas.
Watch this space NagaWorld is finalising its expansion project, which is slated for completion in 4Q2017. The expansion will double the hotel capacity and add a host of new facilities, such as F&B outlets, a luxury spa and business event facilities with a 2,000-plus theatre seating capacity. NagaCity Walk, an underground retail walkway connecting NagaWorld to the new property, offers duty-free shopping and is Phnom Penh’s first underground shopping mall.
Macau by Prudence Lui
The Parisian Macao
Stay The newest addition in Sands Resorts Macao’s portfolio, the French-themed property features approximately 3,000 elegant guestrooms and suites across four categories. More than a third of the rooms promise views of the half-size replica Eiffel Tower.
Host There are over 5,200m2 of meeting venues, comprising the 3,400m2 pillarless Parisian Ballroom, five meeting rooms, two boardrooms, a business centre and various outdoor function spaces. Its inhouse event planners can customise venues for specific events. In addition to these dedicated venues, The Parisian pool deck can also be used for unique events with up to 500 guests.
Play The Eiffel Tower replica is a fascinating entertainment option, as visitors can head up to the observation decks for unbeatable views of the Cotai Strip and Macao’s cityscape. The structure also offers a spectacular light show every night. World-class live shows at The Parisian Theatre and The Venetian Theatre, colourful Streetmosphere characters, and live concerts at the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena, add to The Parisian Macao’s complete entertainment package.
Feast World cuisines are offered under one roof through The Parisian Macao’s varied F&B establishments, from sidewalk cafés, tea lounges and market bistros to signature restaurants.
Do good As a property Sands Resorts Macao, The Parisian Macao offers event planners the benefit of the Sands ECO360˚ event planning tool, which consolidates green meeting goals and crafts a customised, sustainable experience. Planners are also supported by the property’s green meetings concierge.
Watch this space The Parisian Macao was officially opened in September 2016, and more features will come online this year, such as Le Jardin French gardens and even more F&B offerings including renowned restaurant brands.
City of Dreams Macau
Stay City of Dreams satiates diverse accommodation tastes through the contemporary Crown Towers (about 300 keys), the luxurious Grand Hyatt Macau (about 800 keys) and the 326-room The Countdown (rebranded from Hard Rock Hotel on July 5, 2017).
Host City of Dreams’ main business event offering resides in Grand Hyatt Macau. The hotel’s two pillarless ballrooms and eight flexible conference and meeting salons span almost 8,000m2. For informal events, the pool deck is ideal and is said to be one of the largest outdoor event venues in Macau. Business events are supported by a team of professional staff, and delegates can enjoy complimentary wireless Internet access.
Play A kaleidoscope of entertainment options is available, comprising The House of Dancing Water, the world’s largest water-based extravaganza; and Club Cubic, a prestigious night club.
Feast There are over 20 F&B venues, including one-Michelin-star Shinji by Kanesaka, two-Michelin-star The Tasting Room, and Chinese culinary masterpiece Jade Dragon.
Watch this space Morpheus, a luxury hotel designed by the late architecture extraordinaire Zaha Hadid, will open by April 2018. It will feature restaurants, retail space and a gaming area.
Stay Opening in 4Q2017, MGM Cotai presents 1,390 rooms and suites. The ultra-luxurious Skylofts and Mansion Villas are new room categories MGM will bring to Asia.
Host All meeting rooms promise beautiful views and natural light. The Spectacle’s undulating glass ceiling lets in maximum daylight and comes with climate control, ensuring a comfortable event rain or shine. In addition, planners may have an opportunity to book an exclusive event in the Mansion courtyard which replicates a Moroccan private garden.
Play MGM Cotai will house Asia’s first dynamic theatre which can take more than 10 different seat configurations with just a push of a button. While it will have a resident show in the evening, the theatre is open for private hire in the day and can accommodate up to 2,000 people.
Feast The property entices with nine restaurants and bars that cater to all price points. In the collection are restaurants helmed by well-known names such as Mauro Colagreco, Mitsuharu Tsumura, Graham Elliot and Janice Wong. Planners may also host their events by buying out celebrity chef-run restaurants and have exclusive menus tailored for their group.
Malaysia by S Puvaneswary
Resorts World Genting
Stay Resorts World Genting has 10,000 rooms ranging from budget to five-star. Maxims Hotel and Genting Grand are five-star properties, while Resort Hotel, Awana Genting and Hotel On The Park take four stars. The three-star First World Hotel is the biggest hotel in the complex and in the world with 7,315 keys.
Host Genting International Convention Centre boasts the largest column-free hall in Malaysia for up to 3,500 delegates in theatre style. There are also 18 meeting rooms which can accommodate up to 800 people. Arena of Stars, which can seat 5,200 people in theatre style, makes a great venue for an opening gala.
Play The five-storey Sky Avenue mall is heaven for shopaholics. More retail therapy options will come when Genting Highlands Premium Outlets opens in 2Q2017 opposite Awana Resort & Golf Couse. It will house around 150 designer and brand name stores.
Feast Private dining with entertainment provided by Resorts World Genting as well as themed dinners can be arranged in a variety of venues, including those within Genting International Convention Centre and the hotels. For unique dining events, planners can pick Chin Swee Caves Temple and a natural rainforest setting at Awana Genting. As well, the new Sky Avenue Mall offers more than 100 F&B outlets, which makes interesting dine-arounds possible.
Watch this space The world’s first Twentieth Century Fox World theme park is scheduled to open by end-2017.
Philippines by Rosa Ocampo
Stay Okada Manila’s two Y-shaped hotel towers offer 993 keys, ranging from 55m2 deluxe rooms to 1,400m2 villas. All include a tablet that controls room amenities and feature views of either the Manila Bay or the world’s largest multicolour dancing fountain.
Host Apart from three ballrooms and function rooms, Okada Manila has Cove Manila, the country’s first-ever indoor beach club and night club. It is enclosed in a glass dome and can host around 5,500 guests. The nightclub is the world’s first entertainment complex that seamlessly incorporates the most advanced audio, video and ambient lighting technologies.
Play Okada Manila boasts a creative concept called the World of Wonders, a brand of entertainment that gathers the finest performers from around the globe to bring guests a multicultural spectacle that blends cabaret, theatre, circus and club. Retail fun can be found at the Crystal Corridor which has more than 50 of the world’s leading brands.
Feast Just opened this year, Okada Manila will be home to over 40 dining establishments boasting modern and elegant interiors and revered international chefs.
Do good Corporate groups are welcome to join Okada Manila’s CSR initiatives and programmes designed to help communities within its business operations and those across the country. Most recently, it partnered with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation to help implement its major CSR projects for this year, highlighting education, environmental awareness, and volunteerism.
Watch this space There are four phases in this 44-hectare development. The first phase covers 22 hectares and is scheduled to be completed within 2017 while the rest are targeted for completion within a five-year timeline. Additional rooms and restaurants, a bigger retail area, a cinema complex, an amusement centre, a concert hall and residential properties are all in the plan.
City of Dreams Manila
Stay City of Dreams Manila offers 937 keys across Crown Towers, which features only suites and villas with exclusive butler service; Nobu Hotel, which is celebrity-inspired and fun; and the modern, restful Hyatt City of Dreams Manila.
Host The Grand Ballroom seats up to 600 for banquets and 900 for theatre-style events. There are also two boardrooms with built-in screens and other fixtures. Complimentary Internet connection and standard meeting requirements are offered, as well as the services of a designated Meeting Butler.
Play City of Dreams Manila continues its vision and reputation in delivering spectacular Asia-inspired entertainment by featuring four distinctive entertainment venues: DreamPlay by DreamWorks, the world’s first DreamWorks-inspired interactive play space; CenterPlay, a contemporary entertainment bar on the gaming floor, with live performances from top local artists; Chaos, a unique night club situated in the Fortune Egg dome-like structure; and KTV at Chaos at the upper level of Chaos, designed for singing parties of 10 to 30 pax.
Each of the three hotels feature cutting edge fitness centres.
Shops at The Boulevard is home to some of the world’s most sought-after brands for indulgent retail therapy.
Feast More than 20 restaurants come together to guarantee exquisite gastronomic experiences, including Crystal Dragon for premium Cantonese and regional Chinese specialities; Nobu for new style Japanese-South American fusion flavours; and Hide Yamamoto for fresh seafood right from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market and quality Japanese Wagyu beef.
Do good Corporate groups can join City of Dreams Manila employees in volunteering their time and services in charitable and civic institutions. Among these are building homes and rehabilitation for indigent communities; tree planting, coastal cleanup and other environmental activities; Red Cross blood donation drive; and visit to orphanages, homes for the elderly and nursing homes
Watch this space Ayala Mall will open across the street from City of Dreams in about two years’ time, and will be connected to the integrated resort by an indoor pedestrian bridge.
Solaire Resort & Casino
Stay The complex houses The Bay and Sky Tower which offer 800 rooms, suites and villas.
Host The pillarless grand ballroom seats a maximum of 1,300 guests while The Forum encompasses 2,000m2 of meeting facilities including eight function rooms and two boardrooms. All meetings facilities have advanced presentation equipment and come with full banquet and catering capabilities.
Its crown jewel, The Theatre, is a lyric theatre with 1,760 seats which doubles as a business event venue.
Play Fun can be found at the Sky Range Shooting Club, an indoor shooting range, The Solaire Shoppes, outdoor swimming pools with cabanas and jacuzzi, spa and fitness centre.
Feast Extensive dining options are offered at Solaire, from fine dining to casual outfits as well as exclusive bars.
Watch this space Solaire has a land for expansion which will be utilised depending upon market conditions.
Singapore by Karen Yue
Marina Bay Sands
Stay Marina Bay Sands takes in 2,561 guestrooms across three towers.
Host The 120,000m2 Marina Sands EXPO and Convention Centre takes in exhibition halls across basement two and level one, and ballrooms and meeting rooms across levels three through five. The Sands Grand Ballroom on level five can accommodate a 9,225-pax reception.
Play Marina Bay Sands’ MasterCard Theatres is a reputable destination where world-class performances are staged. The architecturally stunning ArtScience Museum showcases an ever-changing line-up of fascinating exhibitions. Other attractions here include Spectra, a new light and water show at the Event Plaza along the promenade; the SkyPark Observation Deck; an indoor ice-skating rink; and sampan rides down the artificial river that flows through The Shoppes where strings of high-end boutiques can be found.
Feast There are nine speciality restaurants under one roof, seven of which are helmed by the world’s finest celebrity chefs. More affordable dining options are also aplenty at Marina Bay Sands, including the hugely popular Rasapura Masters food centre where a dazzling array of ethnic Asian flavours are served up.
Do good Marina Bay Sands actively helps event planners introduce CSR activities into their programmes. This support is derived from the resort’s own successful CSR programme, Sands for Singapore, which sees it contributing to underserved communities in various ways. This is matched by the award-winning Sands ECO360˚ sustainability programme and Marina Bay Sands’ dedication to helping clients push the envelope of their green meetings and set higher environmental standards for their events.
Watch this space Continuous refreshments are made to hardware. Guests can look forward to refreshed guestrooms in Towers 1 and 2 by end of 2017. New entertainment venues are also being lined up, such as Lavo, a multi-concept restaurant, lounge bar and night club that will bring a taste of New York nightlife to Singapore.
Resorts World Sentosa
Stay Within the massive complex stands six hotels with more than 1,500 keys – Festive Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore (refurbished in December 2016), Hotel Michael, Equarius Hotel, Crockfords Tower and Beach Villas.
Host The Resort World Ballroom can accommodate up to 6,500 people theatre-style. It is supported by 21 function rooms with capacity for more than 4,300 people. Elsewhere, Hard Rock Hotel and Equarius Hotel offer five and seven function rooms respectively.
Play Perfect as a one-stop destination for solemn meetings and fun pre/post programmes, Resorts World Sentosa dangles Universal Studios Singapore (which has park buyout options), S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Dolphin Island, The Maritime Experiential Museum, Trick Eye Museum and the Royal Albatross sunset cruise.
Feast Three feasting grounds have recently made their debut: Hard Rock Hotel Singapore’s Sessions, a three-in-one dining destination; Fratelli Italian restaurant helmed by celebrity chef brothers Enrico and Roberto Cerea from three-Michelin-star Da Vittorio in Lombardy, Italy; and Curate, led by Munich-born Benjamin Halat who blends classic and avant garde culinary techniques with Japanese ingredients. Four other Michelin-star finds also call Resorts World Sentosa home.
Do good The integrated resort has been actively supporting clients’ charity functions by way of sponsorship.
Watch this space Resorts World Convention Centre is undergoing a facelift which includes lighting upgrades, carpet replacement and new fabric for its partition walls.
Thailand by Karen Yue
Royal Cliff Hotels Group and PEACH
Stay Located in Pattaya, Royal Cliff Hotels Group takes in four hotels of five-star standards. They are the Royal Cliff Beach Terrace (89 keys), Royal Cliff Beach Hotel (474 keys), Royal Cliff Grand Hotel (372 keys) and Royal Wing Suites & Spa which comprises Royal Wing Suite, Presidential Heritage Suite and Presidential Platinum Suite.
Host The Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (PEACH), part of the Royal Cliff complex, is purpose-built for hosting exhibitions, conventions, trade shows, product launches and gala dinners. It has 13,500m2 of usable space, suitable for up to 10,062 delegates. One of the newest additions to PEACH is the Royal Opal Theatre, a multifunctional space with flexible seat configurations. It can be transformed from a theatre setup to a banquet hall.
Play Guests can access two private beaches, relax at the Cliff Spa, get active at the luxurious Fitz Club sports centre, learn to whip up Thai dishes from an award-winning chef at Nah Pah Cooking School, pick up some unique jewellery and Jim Thompson Thai silk products from the Royal Cliff Shopping Arcade, and swim in seven different pools.
Feast Eleven restaurants in this integrated resort promise a culinary tour around the world while diners remain in their seat. Guests can also appreciate some of the world’s best wines at the Devine Wine Club.
Do good Event planners are offered the opportunity to plant flame trees in vital locations to offset their carbon footprint. Royal Cliff is also actively involved in funding the local community and charities. Event groups are offered an option to participate by donating and visiting various charities Royal Cliff is involved in.
Watch this space A complete makeover of one of the hotels is likely to happen this year, with an exterior facelift, new lobby, breakfast area, restaurants and guestrooms being part of the plan. Meanwhile, renovation of various sports facilities in the Fitz Club is in progress, with completion by end 2017.
Stay Laguna Phuket is home to seven hotels and resorts, including owner Banyan Tree Group’s very own brands Banyan Tree, Angsana and Cassia.
Host Planners can use the 1,000-seater Latitude Marquee, in addition to function rooms across the seven hotels and resorts as well as more than 405 hectares of tropical parklands that can also be utilised for corporate events. There is also a teambuilding grounds with activities provided by Quest Laguna Phuket Adventure.
Play The award-winning Banyan Tree Phuket Spa Sanctuary can provide welcome retreats for top winners, while the more active event participants may find joy at the 18-hole, par-71 Laguna Golf Phuket. Laguna Phuket also organises its own tours around the destination.
Feast The hotels each boast their own unique collection of F&B outlets, which provide diverse dining experiences for event groups staying on complex.
Do good The resort recently launched the Happy Friday – Stay For Good initiative as part of its 30th anniversary celebration this year. A variety of do-good and feel-good activities can be organised for delegates every Friday morning with the resort’s Fully Booked! Mobile Learning Centre, a mobile library and classroom. Delegates can also volunteer at Laguna Phuket Kindergarten.
Watch this space Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket’s South Wing is undergoing a major renovation, while construction of Cassia Phuket is underway. The latter will add almost 200 rooms to the integrated resort’s total room inventory. There are also plans to enhance the Canal Shopping Village, one of the centrally-located venues favoured for medium-sized events.
Vietnam by Marissa Carruthers
The Grand Ho Tram Strip
Stay As the first of a string of planned five-star resorts, The Grand Ho Tram Strip, which opened in 2013, boasts 541 rooms.
Host The convention centre spans 2,200m2 and comprises the Grand Ballroom, which at 1,296m2 is one of southern Vietnam’s largest pillarless ballrooms. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 1,794 people for a cocktail reception or 900 for a banquet, and is available in a variety of configurations and features state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. More intimate spaces are available at restaurants, on the beach and by the pool. Additionally, The Bluff Golf Course’s indoor banquet hall with a large outdoor patio takes group bookings.
Play The Bluffs’ link-style championship golf course comes with a restaurant, banquet facilities, pro shop and PGA Golf Instruction, while the Grand Premium Outlet boasts a wide range of international high-end brands. Guests can also show off their golden vocals at Jukebox Karaoke.
Feast There are 11 F&B options, ranging from Cantonese and Vietnamese to Western steaks and seafood.
Watch this space The Ho Tram Strip will see a series of integrated resorts and residential developments across 400 acres of land. Construction is well underway on The Grand’s second tower, which will increase rooms to 1,100 and add a host of new entertainment and activities, including a 2,000-seat amphitheatre, waterpark, numerous F&B outlets and a skytop lounge. It is slated for completion by end-2017.