Manila and Honolulu, both balmy and tropical metropolises, are known to offer colourful and fun-filled experiences not easily forgotten. We suggest a few hotels conveniently located near their premier meeting hubs.
PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER (PICC)
• Diamond Hotel Manila
Leo Executive Boardroom. Constellation Room
What is it like? Despite having 500 rooms, this hotel, along Roxas Boulevard, manages to maintain the ambiance of a boutique hotel. All units enjoy a view of Manila Bay and standard perks such as free mini bar items and internet access for the first three hours.
How near is it to the PICC? A 20-minute cab ride away.
Any onsite meeting facilities? The Diamond Grand Ballroom, which accommodates 700 people theatre style and 600 for cocktails; eight function spaces; and the Constellation Room on the 27th floor consisting of several areas including a culinary studio and executive boardroom for 12 persons.
• Sofitel Philippine Plaza
What is it like? It's the only deluxe hotel in the Cultural Center Complex where the PICC is located. Lush expansive grounds featuring a lagoon-shaped swimming pool and 18-hole putting green create an unexpected oasis in an eternally frenetic city.
How near is it to the PICC? The walk to the facility only takes minutes, but with Manila's usually humid climate, it may be an uncomfortable one. So pace yourself and bring a bottle of mineral water to stave off any panting along the way.
Any onsite meeting facilities? The Grand Plaza Ballroom is good for 1,500 guests for cocktails and a theatre style arrangement; the Harbour Garden accommodates 2,000 for cocktails and 2,000 for theatre style, while 17 other function spaces are flexible enough for a variety of set ups.
• Traders Hotel Manila
What is it like? This mid-range brand, belonging to Shangri-La, is a long-time favourite of corporate travellers used to the chain's well-known perks such as free wifi access. Kitsho Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar is not to be missed for its authentic Japanese staples of sushi, sashimi, tempura and more.
How near is it to the PICC? About 15 minutes by taxi.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Now undergoing a total refurbishment are the Embassy Ballroom, which usually accommodates up to 500 guests, and various function rooms. Expect a cutting-edge events arsenal by July of this year.
HONOLULU CONVENTION CENTER
• Ala Moana Hotel
What is it like? Newly emerged from a multi-million dollar renovation, the Alana Moana offers one of the city's most desired locations, thanks to its proximity to the HCC, Ala Moana Beach Park and Alana Moana Shopping Center with nearly 300 stores and dining options.
How near is it to the HCC? It's just next to the facility.
Any onsite meeting facilities? A wide range of event spaces is available, consisting of nine function rooms, the Hibiscus Ballroom for up to 750 guests, the Garden Lanai that provides an intimate setting for exclusive shows and socials as well as other flexible indoor areas.
For more information, contact www.alamoanahotelhonolulu.com
• Double Tree by Hilton Alana Waikiki Hotel
What is it like? Hawaiian and contemporary accents infuse its 317 guestrooms and suites, which enjoy either a partial ocean or city/mountain view. Wifi access is complimentary in the main lobby, mezzanine and poolside. The hotel recently completed a refurbishment programme.
How near is it to the HCC? A 10-minute walk to the facility.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Nine function venues are at event planners' disposal to arrange in a variety of set ups, the largest beng for 100 guests in a theatre style set up.
For more information, contact www.doubletree3.hilton.com
• The Modern Honolulu
What is it like? Contemporary and sleek, guestrooms face either Waikiki Beach or the city. All suites feature private terraces.
How near is it to the HCC? A few minutes away by taxi.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Indoor and outdoor options are available. On the ground floor are located the 9,200 sq ft ballroom with three pre-function galleries and a pool deck. On the second floor are the Meeting Studios, three of which open to private terraces and the Sun Suite, which comes with a 1,500 sq ft verandah. Addiction, an exclusive nightclub, welcomes private gatherings.
For more information, contact www.themodernhonolulu.com
Margie T Logarta