General managers at three hotels in the Kuala Lumpur area are positioning their properties to be the venues of around the Malaysian capital for meetings and incentive groups.
The St Regis Kuala Lumpur, which opened in May 2016, and Le Meridien Putrajaya, which opened the following August, recently showcased meeting venues and unique offerings for corporate groups.
They were joined by Element Kuala Lumpur – a brand that is making its first entry to Southeast Asia. The 252-guest room eco-themed hotel is set to open in April in the upper floors of the new Ilham Tower, a kilometre from the Petronas Twin Towers.
Samuel Wong (left), general manager of the St Regis Kuala Lumpur, says the properties can be combined to offer flexibility to large groups both in terms of meeting space and creative ideas for event planners.
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The properties are also seen as aligned to the growth of the Asean (Association of Southeast Asia) economies and stronger regional flight connections. Kuala Lumpur’s Sentral district, where The St Regis is located, is set to form part a rail system that connects with Singapore and north through Thailand and the west of China.
Among the meeting-product highlights at The St Regis is a seamless LED video-wall projection system that extends to three sides of the Grand Ballroom. Wong says the LED system is the first of its type for a hotel in the region and provides a “digital canvas” for corporate meetings with live-feed and multimedia capability. There is also a freight lift for vehicles to access the Grand Ballroom, while the driveway for the junior Astor Ballroom – located in a separate section of the hotel –m can be cordoned off for privacy and security.
For post-conference and incentive events The St Regis also offers groups the Screening Room where events can be themed around movies such as The Great Gatsby. Styling and a photographer can be arranged with a private dinner rounding off the evening.
Le Meridien Putrajaya has been serving the requirements of international universities that have opened campuses in the area along with hi-tech companies. Putrajaya is also the location for Malaysia’s prime minister’s office and – in tandem with nearby Cyberjaya – was developed as a base for international corporate headquarters.
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General manager Kumar Renoo (right) says Le Meridien operates as a “one-stop shop” offering groups recreation, themed culinary events and meeting facilities geared towards creativity. Le Meridien’s new meetings concept based around practical team engagement and creativity is currently being tested in Putrajaya and other locations before being rolled out this year.
Offsite facilities that Le Meridien can access include a golf course opposite the property, dragon boating on Putrajaya Lake and District 21, an adventure complex located in the largest shopping mall in Southern Klang Valley of Malaysia, which is next to the hotel. The facility has the country’s first indoor high-ropes course and roller-glider system among other adrenalin-inducing apparatus that can be adapted for teambuilding.
Element Kuala Lumpur will be Malaysia’s highest hotel with views of the Klang Valley with meeting planners offered activities based around health and wellness, including the services of an Element yoga and zumba teacher. A bicycle-borrowing service is also available. The 275 metre Ilham Tower is designed by Foster+Partners with an exo-skeletal structure and is Green Building Index certified.
“Airline connectivity and new hubs opening up connecting to Indonesia, Singapore and elsewhere; also, Malaysia is hosting the next Southeast Asia Games – and all this is going to help make Kuala Lumpur more attractive,” says Ramesh Ganeson (left), Element Kuala Lumpur general manager.
Ganeson says meeting and event planners at the three hotels are “upping their game” to meet client expectations with Element by Westin filling the gap between high-end luxury and a business hotel by offering an environment that meets the needs of a younger, health conscious and environmental aware delegate.
The three properties were formerly under Starwood before the company was acquired by Marriott in 2016. The SPG Pro rewards programme for meeting and event planners still operates while integrated loyalty systems are being set up.
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