Give your conference participants a break or incentive group a taste of the local experience, and include a workshop where they can pick up a skill to enhance their lifestyle or hone a talent. Hotels where your event is held may already be doing activities for guests in general. Why not check them out, we did with four around the region and here's what they offer.
"Feng shui and You" at Mandarin Oriental Manila
Feng shui master Joseph Chau
What’s it all about? Well-known geomancer Master Joseph Chau expounds on the basics of feng shui – revolving around the elements of air, fire, water, earth and metal – that will improve both luck at home and in the workplace. His new lunar year forecasts for various animal signs are always the highlight of his talks.
Group size: A minimum of 20 persons is required.
Price: Starts from PHP12,888 (US$312) per person for this half-day session, including one coffee break and lunch at Tin Hau Chinese restaurant, handouts and a feng sui token.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mandarinoriental.com
Chocolab at Sofitel So Bangkok
What’s it about? The charming boutique outlet in the hotel’s lower lobby not only displays and sells exquisite chocolate items – crafted from French Bonnat chocolate and quality cocoa beans from plantations around the world – but it also conducts a two-and-a-half-hour class in the morning from 10 am to 12.30pm and from 2.30pm to 5pm for those who want to add artesenal chocolate making to their culinary skills. Coffee or tea with cookies precedes the short introduction by the chef, who leads the group through the preparation of two recipes, followed by tastings.
If tastebuds are still not overwhelmed by the dark sweetness, guests can still eat as much as they desire during the Chocolate Rush session between 4pm and 5.30pm, selecting from Chocolab's over 50 choices, including packaged goodies, whole cakes and the ultimate melting experience, Chocolate Fondue. Served with unlimited hot or cold chocolate, coffee and tea.
Group size: A minimum of seven students is usually maintained for the workshop.
Price: THB300 (US$9.78) per person
Contact: H6835@sofitel.com, www.sofitel.com
COOKERY CONNECTION BY CAROUSEL AT ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS SINGAPORE
What’s it about? Following the successful launch of A Food Odyssey by Carousel – the hotel’s popular all-day dining venue, the team decided to go all out in sharing with gourmets and just plain foodies techniques in preparing mouth-watering dishes served in their premises.
Helmed by Executive Chef Abraham Tan and his sous chefs, the classes tackle an international repertoire, using halal ingredients to be able to cater to a wider customer base.
The recipes are easy to learn with live demonstrations of step-by-step procedures and useful marketing and cooking tips dished out throughout the workshop. Demonstrations with live feed through video projections on screen ensure that participants have a clear view. After each presentation, waiters march in to serve enrollees a tasting portion, allowing them a better appreciation of flavors and textures.
Group size: 20 attendees per class is recommended.
Price: S$70 (US$57.29) per participant
“COOKING WITH TALENT” AT HOTEL NIKKO HONG KONG
What’s it about? This hotel hosts one of the most active cooking programmes in the city, attracting a loyal local clientele over the years with its hands-on approach and provision of dedicated cooking station for participants.
The two-hour sessions, covering either Chinese (deep-fried clab claws stuffed with minced shrimp and scrambled egg with fish maw and crabmeat for example, European (South African sea bass fillet en papillote with vegetables and rich double fish stock for example) and Japanese (stewed clams in sake and assorted tempura for example) selections and dessert favourites (Hazelnut white chocolate cake for examples) are held at various onsite restaurants and followed by lunch at the respective outlet.
Group size: 20 participants is the preferred number for each class.
Price: Available upon request.
Margie T Logarta