For time-strapped meeting delegates, hotels located within walking distance of the event venue are a dream come true. Here are some of the newest accessible hotels to have opened in the region
Holiday Inn Express, Melbourne Southbank, Australia
Operating status: Opened January 2020
Hotel features: One of the larger properties on this list, the 345-key hotel comes with five function rooms.
Organisers can choose to combine the Sandridge and Walker rooms to house 36 pax in boardroom-style, or host delegates in the Festival Space, which has a capacity of up to 120 pax theatre-style.
The hotel’s most unique venue is its Winter Terrace, a choice venue for alfresco cocktail receptions of up to 60 pax.
All guests enjoy free hot buffet breakfast daily from The Great Room Bar and Restaurant, and complimentary Wi-Fi in rooms.
Star conveniences: Nestled within the heart of Melbourne’s Southbank, the Holiday Inn Express sits within walking distance of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Crown Conference Centre.
From the hotel, it takes only a short stroll to hit the city’s restaurants, shops and attractions, including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Arts Centre Melbourne as well as the Eureka Skydeck, which offers sweeping views of the city’s skyline.
Grand Dafam, Signature Surabaya, indonesia
Operating status: Opened June 2019
Hotel features: The 172-key Grand Dafam Signature Surabaya does not only provide convenient access to a convention venue, it boasts meeting facilities, most of which come with sizeable capacities.
Besides its grand ballroom, which seats up to 920 pax, it offers a less conventional venue in the Previere 21 Bar & Lounge. Located on the top floor, the lounge can be bought out for private events with up to 150 standing guests.
While Grand Dafam Signature Surabaya does not have an events team, event organisers can get support from the hotel banquet sales and F&B staff.
Star conveniences: Located within walking distance is the Grand City Mall and Convex Surabaya – home to a sizeable convention hall that can seat up to 5,000 pax in theatre-style, as well as an expansive exhibition centre spanning 4,100m2.
According to Grand Dafam Signature Surabaya, the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle service for guests when there is an event at the Grand City.
Amari SPICE Penang, Malaysia
Operating status: Opening September 2020
Hotel feaures: Hosting a large group of delegates in one accommodation nearby a massive convention centre will become a reality once the 453-key Amari SPICE Penang is completed.
Not only is the hotel set to be located within the area of the Setia SPICE Convention Centre, it is minutes’ drive away from the Penang International Airport.
Between sessions, delegates can take their pick from Amari SPICE Penang’s four F&B outlets, including all-day dining restaurant Amaya Food Gallery and rooftop bar SkyBar, which offers unobstructed views of the hotel’s surroundings.
The hotel’s 240m2 ballroom, which can be divided into two, can host pre- and post-conference functions. Four breakout rooms are also available.
Star conveniences: Delegates can access the Setia SPICE Convention Centre – and the Setia SPICE Complex on which it sits – via two connections on the hotel’s ground and fourth floors.
Billed as the world’s first hybrid solar-powered events venue, the Setia SPICE Convention Centre houses a 4,060m2 pillarless ballroom, which can accommodate up to 8,000 pax in a theatre-style setting.
Meanwhile, the state’s only championship golf course is also a short drive away at the Penang Golf Club.
W Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating status: September 2018
Hotel features: The 150-key W Kuala Lumpur has an in-house events team on hand to provide planners with support in hosting up to 700 guests in the 1,022m2 ballroom. Named the Great Room, it is said to be one of the largest ballrooms in the city centre.
Besides an outdoor pool that makes for a great vantage point from which to view the famed Petronas Twin Towers, hotel guests can enjoy the hotel’s 24-hour gym and dine at its five restaurants that offering a range of cuisines, from Cantonese to French fare. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available.
Star conveniences: W Kuala Lumpur is located in the busiest part of the Malaysian capital. Just a short walk away is the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, where 33,000m2 of flexible function space is available for association events. Options include two auditoriums, namely the 3,000-seater Plenary Hall and the 500-seater Plenary Theatre. With tiered seating over two levels, the Plenary Hall is perfect for opening ceremonies and keynote addresses.
Additionally, the Centre offers eight exhibition halls spanning 33,659m2 and a conference hall that can take in 1,800 pax or be divided into three small venues. For banquets, planners can host delegates in the 2,000-seat ballroom. There are also 20 meeting rooms, each being able to accommodate between 43 and 220 attendees.
The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Malaysia
Operating status: Opened April 2019
Hotel features: The Westin Desaru Coast Resort in Johor’s newest tourism destination offers its own conference facilities amid a relaxed atmosphere.
Featuring 275 luxurious rooms and suites, the resort boasts a wellness focus and delivers on the promise with a full menu of holistic body treatments at the resort spa – perfect for time-strapped professionals who need some rest-and-relax before or after their meetings.
Recreation also comes in the form of a 24-hour gym and a pool that comes with cabanas where one can retreat into.
The hotel’s signature Prego Italian restaurant and all-day-dining Seasonal Tastes provide private dining variety for programmes. For an after-meeting tipple, head for the MIX lounge or the resort’s beach bar where views of the South China Sea can be appreciated.
Star conveniences: The Westin Desaru Coast Resort is slightly over an hour’s drive from the state capital city of Johor Bahru via the new Senai-Desaru Expressway. It is also approximately a two hours’ drive from Singapore.
It sits right next to the Desaru Coast Conference Centre, which is managed by the resort. The Centre takes in a grand ballroom with capacity for up to 1,400 guests, divisible into four spaces.
Planners using the venue are supported by an in-house business events team.
InterContinental, Yokohama Pier 8, japan
Operating status: Opened October 2019
Hotel features: Since its revitalisation, port city Yokohama has been a key up-and-coming destination in Japan.
The second InterContinental-branded hotel to open in the city offers upscale facilities with a local touch, making it a choice business event accommodation. The 173-key InterContinental Yokohama Pier 8 also features a 138m2 banquet room on the third floor.
Delegates will appreciate the opportunity to experience Yokohama’s east-meets-west culture at The Larboard Restaurant & Bar. Its menu is specially crafted to showcase the city’s Japanese-European fusion cuisine, known as yõshoku.
Star conveniences: A short drive away is the PACIFICO Yokohama convention complex, with the 5,000-seater National Convention Hall as its centrepiece. Also located within the complex are a conference centre with a 1,000-seater main hall and 50 meeting rooms, including four that can be combined to seat up to almost 1,400 pax.
Both InterContinental Yokohama Pier 8 and PACIFICO Yokohama are a short drive away from the city’s well-known attractions, such as the Cup Noodles Museum and the historic Yokohama Red Brick Warehouses.
JW Marriott Hotel Nara, Japan
Operating status: Opening April 2020
Hotel features: Business events are a great platform to explore the culture of the host city. Nara, Japan’s first capital, offers just that opportunity. Located near the heart of Nara City is the 158-key JW Marriott Hotel Nara, billed as the first international luxury hotel in the area. The hotel also sits adjacent to the Nara Prefectural Convention Centre, the prefecture’s largest convention hall.
Food and beverage options at the JW Marriott Hotel Nara include Silk Road, a multi-cuisine restaurant that lives up to its name. There is also Japanese restaurant Azekura, which serves teppanyaki, sushi and kaiseki, a traditional, multi-course Japanese dinner.
Spanning 373m2, the Yoshino ballroom can seat between 150 to 220 pax, with the option to divide the ballroom into two. Four meeting rooms, sized between 41m2 and 76m2, are also available.
Star conveniences: Next door is the two-level Nara Prefectural Convention Centre, which opened in April 2020. Besides the 2,100m2 convention hall – designed to host up to 2,000 guests in theatre-style, the centre features 14 meeting rooms as well as indoor and outdoor function spaces.
Meeting rooms can seat between 45 and 270 pax in a theatre setting. Selected meeting rooms can hold up to 156 pax in a classroom setting.
The centre’s location near the Former Site of the Hejio Imperial Palace means delegates can spend their free time exploring reconstructions of buildings at what was once the heart of Japan’s oldest royal capital. Also nearby is the famed Nara Park, where deers roam freely.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort Yokohama, Japan
Operating status: Opening June 2020
Hotel features: Located along the Yokohama waterfront is the 146-key The Kahala Hotel & Resort Yokohama. The property is set to bring the brand’s signature Hawaiian hospitality to Japan’s shores – and outside Hawaiian shores for the first time.
Delegates can enjoy panaromic views of the revitalised Minato Mirai seaside district from selected rooms and suites, and perhaps weave in some leisure time at the spa which comes with an indoor bath.
Three restaurants serving Italian and Japanese cuisine provide dining variety for meeting planners.
Social functions during the official programme can be hosted at the hotel’s 407m2 ballroom.
Star conveniences: Delegates staying at The Kahala Hotel & Resort Yokohama will be within walking distance of PACIFICO Yokohama North, which is slated to open in 2Q2020.
The new convention centre will feature a 6,337m2 multi-purpose hall – billed as one of the largest in Japan – with the ability to accommodate up to 5,948 guests in theatre seating. Additionally, PACIFICO Yokohama North houses 42 meeting rooms that can house between 38 to 288 pax in a classroom setting.
Delegates can also easily access existing buildings in the complex – such as the 20,000m2 Exhibition Hall and the 1,350m2 Annex Hall – through an outdoor pedestrian deck. The Annex Hall, suitable for up to 1,300 pax, makes for a suitable venue for closing celebrations.