Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore has been voted Asia’s Best MICE Hotel by the region’s leading MICE magazine CEI Asia. In addition to this major achievement Marina Bay Sands came second in the category for the of Asia’s Best Convention and Exhibition Center. Marina Bay Sands Singapore Sister Hotel the Venetian Macau also came third in the category best MICE Hotel Asia. This is an amazing feat considering Marina Bay Sands has been open for barely a year and the award being decided by the magazine’s readers. The full media release from Marina Bay Sands Singapore can be read below: Marina Bay Sands voted Asia’s Best MICE Hotel Double honor from CEI Asia Industry Awards 2011 Singapore (January 26, 2011) Marina Bay Sands has started the New Year on a high note, as it receives a double honor from CEI Asia Industrial Awards for its MICE and hotel facilities. Marina Bay Sands has been named as “Asia’s Best MICE Hotel” by CEI Asia, the leading MICE magazine, in an award voted directly by its regional readers. Readership is made up of leading planners and buyers of conferences, exhibitions and incentives across Asia. This heavily contested category also places our sister property Venetian Macau in third place. In addition, Marina Bay Sands has nabbed the second spot for “Asia’s Best Convention and Exhibition Center” under the CEI annual awards. This is a significant accolade for an operation that will only cross its first year mark in April. “Marina Bay Sands is thrilled with this award. This prestigious win from the region’s leading MICE magazine based on votes cast by its regional readers is especially encouraging in our first year. From the beginning of our bid, we pledged to elevate Singapore’s MICE industry to the next level with our extensive industry knowledge and depth of experience. This regional award bears testament to the work we’re doing so far, and the promise that we represent,” said Marina Bay Sands President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Thomas Arasi. “We are encouraged by this win to continue to improve and to give our delegates once in a lifetime experiences everyday when they choose to do business at Marina Bay Sands. We thank all our customers for placing their trust in us, and we look forward to their continued support,” said Mr Arasi. Over 1,000 deals have been sealed so far, bringing over 600,000 participants to Sands Expo and Convention Center, the biggest meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) facility in Singapore. Offering the most flexible and unique venues in the region, Sands Expo and Convention Center is an ideal venue for many corporate planners. October and November 2010 are two record months for Marina Bay Sands, where the conference space on Level 4 and Level 5 was sold out for several weeks in a row. Its performance continued to be strong through this month, with large conference groups taking up space in the meeting rooms and extending their business conversations over cocktail receptions at […]
Accor group have announced the Pullman Auckland Hotel and Residences has taken over from the Hyatt Regency Auckland after the sale of the hotel to a new owner and subsequent change over. The Hyatt Regency Auckland was Auckland’s first and premier luxury 5 star hotel a title that the Pullman Auckland otel and Residences is expecting to uphold. The full media release from Accor group can be read below: Hyatt checks out of Auckland as Pullman checks in 21 January 2011: A new era has begun for Auckland’s most prominent 5-star hotel, with Hyatt Regency checking-out of the city and Pullman Auckland Hotel & Residences checking in. The Hyatt was New Zealand’s first 5-star hotel and commands a central position in the heart of Auckland’s commercial and retail district. Accor management took over at the hotel following the sale of the hotel to new owners. The change-over also marked Accor’s ascendancy to New Zealand’s largest hotel group, with a total of 29 hotels and 4017 rooms across the Country – 500 rooms more than its nearest competitor. Accor will increase its network further in mid-year when it adds Novotel and Formule 1 hotels at Auckland Airport. Accor Vice President New Zealand, Paul Richardson said that the new owners would undertake some minor upgrades of the hotel, but as all rooms had received a NZ$7 million refurbishment just two years ago, the hotel was in excellent condition and is an ideal addition to the Pullman network. “The launch of Pullman will be very beneficial for Auckland’s tourism sector with a fresh approach to upscale hospitality,” he said. “Over the coming months, we will be enhancing the hotel to bring the property up to Pullman standard, providing a complete array of personalised services and innovative technologies including a Connectivity Lounge and the groundbreaking ‘Co-Meeting’ concept which ensures flawless success for meetings and events.” The Pullman hotel offers 267 rooms, suites and apartments, with three Pullman Executive levels, all of which were refurbished in 2009. The hotel is one of Auckland’s leading hotels for conferences and events with facilities capable of hosting functions for up to 1000 delegates. Facilities range from a grand ballroom to the Top of the Town boardroom, one of Auckland’s most exclusive venues, which is located on the top floor of the hotel, providing superb views of the harbour, city and parks A feature of the hotel’s facilities is the Spa and Health Club, one of the largest of its kind in New Zealand. Available to hotel guests and external clients, the Spa includes six treatment rooms, gymnasium, a 25 meter heated lap pool with a retractable roof, steam room, jacuzzi, juice bar and spa boutique While making its debut in New Zealand, Pullman has a rich heritage in the global hospitality and tourism world. It is the fastest growing 5-star brand in the Asia Pacific region, with major additions in countries such as Vietnam, China, India, and Malaysia, building on the existing network in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and China as well as in Europe. The Pullman network already extends to over 50 hotels in some of the world’s most renowned cities and is set to double in size over the next three years.
The Business Travel Guru takes a break from his usually hectic schedule to kick back and relax at Australia’s newest and most talked about luxury resort Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa located in Australia’s Blue Mountains (190Km from Sydney). Wolgan Valley is a bit more than your average resort with it occupying 4,000 acres,costing approximately $130 million and taking 8 years to build, this is a resort like no other having said that it is not in your face either, its tasteful luxury that keeps the environment and the local economy true to heart. Picture 1: Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Main Homestead and Swimming Pool Transfer to Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Apart from the usual scenic chuffer driven min bus transfer, the resort has its own helipad providing for a luxury 45 minute transfer from Sydney’s Mascot Heliport, one way rates for the helicopter transfer for two Passengers plus luggage start from AU $1660. I was not lucky enough to get a helicopter transfer neither the less the chauffeur driven mini-bus transfer was a great scenic experience, first heading up into the Blue Mountains and then down into Wolgan Valley where the resort is located. Arrival at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Arriving through the main gate we pass the helipad that I mentioned earlier and a little later we reach the resorts security check point and guest car park, seeing the security check point and gate you cannot help but fell that you are about to enter some place very special. As we arrived at the main homestead where reception is location our small group of Journalist met by the reception team and guided inside for check-in. While everything was being organized at reception we were offered a glass of Australian sparkling wine juice or mineral water, after the long journey I could not resist a good glass of sparkling wine. Stepping into reception for check-in I got my first sense of the resort and how extraordinary this place really is, the reception area is only small but everything about it was refined luxury, from the smell of wood manating from the logs that make up the feature wall behind reception to the perfect stone walls and luxury leather chairs. Picure 2: Reception area at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Tour of the Main Homestead On arrival our group was given a tour of the main homestead that includes reception the main dining area, private function rooms, an RM Williams retail outlet and The Country Kitchen which is Wolgan Valley Spa & Resorts more casual all day dining area. Picture 3: The dining room in the main Homestead at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa Lunch at The Country Kitchen Following the quick tour we sat down for lunch at The Country Kitchen, where we were lucky enough to have lunch with the resorts General Manager Mr Joost Heymeijer, Joost had a lot to say about the resort as he has been with the resort since its inception stage, one of the very interesting facts he told us about how one of their philosophies is to purchase in season product that are within a 100 Km radius of their location this ensures the freshest […]
Accor recently received the Business Travel 2010 Gold Award at the IFTM TOP RESA Trade show in Paris, which is an international tourist and Travel market B2B event. Accor received the gold award in the “Best operation in favour of Sustainable Travel” category. The full media release from Accor can be read below: Accor receives the 2010 Business Travel Gold Award On 23 September 2010, on the occasion of the IFTM TOP RESA trade show (Paris), an international B2B event for the tourist and travel market, Accor received the 2010 Business Travel Gold Award, in the “Best operation in favour of sustainable travel” category, for Plant for the Planet, a Group reforestation initiative. The Business Travel Awards honour the best business travel companies The first edition of the “Business Travel Awards” was organised this year at the IFTM TOP RESA trade show. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards were presented in several categories to companies that implement or develop services, products or innovations in the area of business travel. These companies were determined via the votes of business travellers on a site that was specially designed for the operation. In the “Best operation in favour of sustainable travel” category, which rewards the best initiative in favour of environmentally friendly business travel, Accor received the Gold Award for its innovative reforestation project, Plant for the Planet, which mobilises its customers and employees and allows them to contribute to measures that respect people and the environment. Accor acts in favour of reforestation with the Plant for the Planet project Launched in 2009 and undertaken in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program in the framework of its “Billion Tree Campaign”, Plant for the Planet embodies sustainable development at Accor. It generates societal, environmental and economic benefits thanks to a simple principle: Accor hotels undertake to finance tree planting with the laundry savings generated when its customers keep their bath towels for more than one night. Through this commitment, the hotels give this symbolic gesture real meaning by telling their customers: “Here, YOUR towels plant trees. In this hotel, 5 reused towels = 1 tree planted”. Accor chose 7 projects undertaken by expert NGOs that were selected for their ability to manage planting actions that benefit local economic activity. To ensure the proper use of funds, Accor organises one week of audits per year for each project. Plant for the Planet is an effective project that rallies support. In April 2010, Accor announced it had reached a milestone: 1,000 hotels committed and 1 million trees financed. Accor’s objective is to finance the planting of 3 million trees by the end of 2012 thanks to the participation of the Group’s 4,100 hotels.
Mercure Sydney Airport has unveiled newly refurbished rooms on levels 7 through 8 that feature a 42” LCD TV, iPod Docking station, and a designer desk with power and network ports for a great working away from the office environment. Cheap rates at the Mercure Sydney Airport start from US $148 Check Full rates in your local currency The full media release from Mercure can be read below: Mercure Sydney Airport has unveiled three newly refurbished floors. The new rooms on levels 7 – 9 are a traveller’s dream, with contemporary décor and a clever new flexible layout that makes the rooms seem more spacious. The rooms feature a designer desk that doubles as both a work space and a place for dining, with all data and power points at desk height to make working away from home a breeze. The superior rooms boast comfortable tub chairs, with some rooms featuring an ottoman so guests can stretch out and relax in style. Bright throw cushions add a splash of colour with a burnt orange stripe. Each room features a clock radio with ipod docking station so you never miss a flight and can play your favourite music, and a 42” LCD TV with pay channels and inhouse movies. Many rooms feature water views or views over the adjacent parklands, while from most you can watch flights taking off and departing – but with all rooms having sound-proofing you feel like you are miles away from the airport. The suites in the hotel have also undertaken a transformation and now offer a separate lounge and dining area, ideal for small meeting or as an extra space to unwind. Marble-topped dining tables are perfect for intimate dinners or private meetings and the lounge seat doubles as a comfortable sofa bed for families. A separate 42” LCD in the bedroom means there will never be fights over what to watch and the king size bed provides the perfect night’s sleep with a thick mattress and lots of room to move about. Mercure Sydney Airport is situated out of direct flight paths and all rooms feature new window coverings including both a soft copper sheer curtain and full black-out curtain to ensure complete rest. More than your standard airport hotel, the Mercure also features an outdoor pool, spa and tennis courts and is surrounded by parklands and waterways that you can explore at your leisure to banish the jetlag. Cheap rates at the Mercure Sydney Airport start from US $148 Check Full rates in your local currency here
The Accor hotel group has announced plans for two new Pullman hotels in Southeast Asia, the Pullman Kuala Lumpur and the Pullman Saigon Center will both target luxury and business travelers from around the world. The Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar will be Accor’s largest hotel in Southeast Asia with 515 rooms, the Pullman Hotel Kuala Lumpur is due to open in July 2011 The Pullman Saigon Center will featuer 300 rooms, will be located in District 1 on Tran Hung Dao street and is set to open in 2013 The full media release from the Accor Hotel Group can be read below: Accor to open signature Pullman hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Saigon The Accor Group announced two major projects for its 5-star Pullman brand – Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar, and Pullman Saigon Centre. Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar will be the largest Pullman hotel in Southeast Asia with 515 rooms, three restaurants, two bars and extensive meeting and leisure facilities. The hotel, which is scheduled to open in July 2011, is currently under construction. It is located close to Menara Telekom and Midvalley Mega Mall. It will be the third Pullman in Malaysia, following the opening of Pullman Putrajaya and Pullman Kuching in the past two years. Accor is looking for additional Pullman projects in other key Malaysian destinations including Penang, Langkawi and Port Dickson. Vietnam is another destination targeted for significant development of the Pullman brand. Pullman Saigon Centre is the latest Accor signing in Vietnam. The Pullman will be a 300-room hotel, with contemporary architecture and chic interiors, and a highly attractive location in the city centre in District One on Tran Hung Dao, Pullman Saigon Centre will target business, conference and leisure travelers from around the world and will help fill the continuing demand for upscale accommodation in the city. When completed in 2013, Pullman Saigon Centre will comprise 300 rooms, 1,500 sqm of ballroom and meeting facilities, two restaurants, a bar, as well as an outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Three are three other Pullman hotels under development in Vietnam – in Vungtau, Sapa and Lao Cai. Accor is already the largest international operator in Vietnam with 14 hotels currently in the network, and with an additional 12 under development.
When talking big one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is Emirates & Dubai, first they have the Emirates A380 and Dubai the Burj Khalifa Towers and now the Park Towers Dubai is set to make it mark. This 365 meter Twin tower will be one of the tallest Single use hotel and residential apartment buildings in the world and you guessed it its located in Dubai owned by Emirates. The Park Towers Dubai which is set to open its first tower with the hotel to be managed by Marriott in May 2011, eventually when the second tower is complete the entire twin tower complex will boast 1,612 rooms. Commenting on the progress of the development, Ali Mubarak Al Soori, Executive Vice President, Chairman’s Office, Facilities/Projects Management and P&L (NA) at Emirates, said: “Emirates Park Towers will be an iconic and dramatic addition to the ever-changing skyline of this exciting city.” He added: “The construction process has followed the very highest international standards and specifications. Despite the challenges the real estate sector faces following the recent global financial crisis, there will always be a demand for the very best quality space, in the best buildings in the best locations.”
Accor has announced a massive Hotel expansion for Vietnam, with new 9 new hotels to open by 2012 under the following Accor brands Pullman Novotel, Mercure ibis, MGallery and Le Belhamy all to be operation by 2012 Accor is already Vietnam’s biggest Hotel group with the expansion to further grow their presence. Accor’s future Vietnam hotels and resorts listed below will nearly double Accor’s number of rooms from 2,147 across 13 hotels to 4,147 rooms across 22 Hotels and Resorts. 2 New ibis Hotels Ho Chi Minh City Saigon Novotel Imperial Hoi An Novotel Resort Phu Quoc Novotel Saigon Center Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi (Second MGallery for Hanoi) Le Belhamy Hoi An – To open 1 April 2010 Pullman Vung Tau – To open late 2010 Mecure Hado Hanoi – to open late 2010 The full media release from Accor can be read below: Ho Chi Minh City, March 10, 2010 – Accor, the largest international hotel operator in Vietnam, announces today its strategic expansion plans for Vietnam. This plan includes additional hotels within the Novotel, Mercure hotel brand, launching of the ibis brand and MGallery label and the ambitious goal of doubling the number of rooms under management in the Vietnam by 2012. “Vietnam has always been considered as one of the strategic markets in Southeast Asia for Accor, which is demonstrated through Accor’s early entrance and consistent growth in the country since 1991. With signs of both economic recovery and a re-strengthening of tourism arrivals, Accor is confident and ready to selectively expand our presence throughout the country,” says Patrick Basset, Vice President of Operations for Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Accor’s multi-brand expansion throughout Vietnam Accor plans to expand the number of brands on offer in Vietnam to include upscale products such as Pullman and MGallery, through to more economical ibis hotel brand. In late 2010, Accor anticipates the opening of the first Pullman hotel in Vietnam – Pullman Vung Tao and the second MGallery hotel for Vietnam in the country’s capital – Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi. Beyond this additional developments include 3 Novotels’ – Novotel Imperial Hoi An, Novotel Resort Phu Quoc and Novotel Saigon Centre. Mercure Hanoi Hado with its central location in the city will be the third Mercure for Vietnam. The first 2 ibis hotels for the country are also announced for Ho Chi Minh City – ibis Saigon and ibis Saigon South. These hotels represent the first two international economy hotels for Vietnam. “The coming twelve months is sure to be an exciting period for Accor in Vietnam, with many new developments in the pipeline. Pullman Vung Tao will be the first for the brand in the country, while Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi will be the second hotel of the highly distinctive upscale MGallery label.” Mr. Basset further explains. Accor expansion ambitions Accor currently has 13 hotels and 2,147 rooms in operation throughout Vietnam and more than 2,000 additional rooms committed through the above mentioned […]
I recently wrote an article for our sister website Asia Travel Magazine outlining the Top 10 Best Luxury Hotels in Asia, needless to say the article was a hit and since Luxury Hotels are somewhat related to business & Airline travel I decided to provide an excerpt for the readers of Business Travel Guru. In no particular order the 10 Best Luxury hotels in Asia are Shangri-la Hotel Singapore The number 1 luxury hotel in Singapore for its attention to detail & service. Our pick for best room is any room or suite in the Valley wing Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong A well established top notch luxury hotel in Hong Kong which has been in operation since 1963. The top room at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is the Mandarin Suite Peninsula Hotel Tokyo Japan State of the art technology & Luxury yes this is the Peninsula Hotel Tokyo Japan. The best room in our opinion is the Peninsula Suite which has sweeping views of Hibiya Park and the Imperial palace gardens. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Thailand Just like the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong its sister in Bangkok is a real gem, a fave with the rich and famous as well as heads of state. The best room in this house is the Royal Oriental Suite. The Peninsular Hotel Bangkok Thailand Some of the best outfitted rooms you could want or even dream of. The Peninsular Hotel Bangkok is set on the Chao Phraya river. Again the best room at this hotel is the Peninsula Suite. Four Seasons Chang Mai Thailand Its tranquillity with a whole lot of luxury thrown in, The top room here is a private residence with private plunge pool. Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur India If you are lucky enough to stay at the Oberioi Udaivilas Udaipur India you will find out what life is like as a King or Queen, service and attention to detail at this hotel resort is like no other. Sofitel Metropole Hanoi Vietnam The Sofitel Metropole Hanoi Vietnam is the number 1 luxury hotel in Vietnam, the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi is over 100 years old, built way back in 1901 when the French occupied Vietnam. This hotel has real French old world charm. The best room? If you are into older style architecture and design then a room in the Historical Wing is tops for those that cannot live without their mod cons a grand premium room in the opera wing is great. St. Regis Shanghai China The St. Regis Shanghai yearly wins many major national and international hotel awards, the facilities are great but the service is even better. Our top room is the Imperial Suite. Pudong Shangri-La Shanghai China The Shangri-La personally is one our favourite hotel chains and the Pudong Shangri-La Shanghai China does not disappoint, perhaps one of the best Luxury hotels in Shanghai if not China. Our pick for best rooms at this hotel is a Bund View Horizon […]
Starwood Hotels and Resorts are set to expand its existing 47 hotels in China with the announcement of an additional 5 hotels. The full media release from Starwood Hotels and Resorts can be read below: Starwood Hotels & Resorts the largest international upscale hotel operator in China with 47 existing properties, announces the addition of five new hotels to its growing portfolio. The new signings include the first St. Regis resort in Sanya; the first St. Regis hotel in Chengdu, Sichuan; the first Sheraton hotels in Jiangyin and Dalian; and a second Sheraton resort in Huizhou, Guangdong. Focused on opening the right properties in the right places with the right partners, Starwood remains on track with plans to double its footprint in China by 2011 with 50 hotels in the pipeline. In 2009, the company will open more than 10 high caliber, best-in-class hotels throughout China, including Le Meridien Xiamen, The Westin Nanjing, Sheraton Qingdao and Four Points by Sheraton Guangzhou. “Starwood’s long term growth opportunity in China is perhaps unsurpassed anywhere in the world. China is home to the largest number of our hotels outside of North America, and more importantly, it comprises the largest portion of our pipeline outside of the United States,” said Frits Van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood. “As a point of perspective, within two years we expect to have a presence in Shanghai that rivals our existing footprint in New York City, where we have a strong representation of more than a dozen hotels and growing.” In 2008, Starwood opened eight new hotels in the China region including its first W Hotel in China; the first Aloft Hotel in Asia; Four Points by Sheraton Hangzhou, Binjiang; Four Points by Sheraton Changshu; Sheraton Huizhou Resort; The Westin Beijing Chaoyang; Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian; and Le Meridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa.