The location of the hotels, where delegates are billeted, is always of utmost consideration when it comes to transporting big groups to and from a conference or meeting venue. We’ve round up four hotels within the vicinity of Seoul’s Convention and Exhibition Centre (COEX) and Melbourne’s Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for a head start on accessible accommodation.
Two InterContinental hotels are located on opposite sides of Korea World Trade Centre, the capital’s one-stop business and entertainment hub featuring COEX, COEX Mall and casino.
- Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas
What is it like? The Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, located near the Samseong Station, is known for its sophisticated and yet distinctly Korean feel, much thanks to the curves of its interiors and the colourful ceiling decor. It has 546 guestrooms and suites and a variety of cuisines on offer at 10 dining options.
How near is it to COEX? Two minutes from the hotel’s ground floor: exit via the rear of the hotel and walk pass the Korea World Trade Tower. You’ll find the side entrance to COEX on the right. From the underground level: pass through the revolving doors in front of the Grand Kitchen buffet restaurant, and then walk straight, past the food court. You’ll find an escalator in front of the bookstore Bandi & Luni’s – take that up to the first floor, to get to the COEX lobby.
Any onsite meeting facilities? A 7.5 m-high, 1,290 sqm-wide grand ballroom accommodates up to 1,500 people and can be partitioned into three smaller venues. There are also three function rooms: the banquet room Orchid, which accommodates up to 250; Chysanthemum, which holds up to 240 and can be divided into two; and Rose, which holds up to 100 and offers quick access to COEX Mall. Furthermore, there are 11 smaller spaces – for groups of 10 to 150 – are available for boardroom meetings and intimate gatherings.
For more information visit http://seoul.intercontinental.com
- InterContinental Seoul COEX
What is it like? The 653-room InterContinental Seoul COEX, at a closer location to the convention centre, is also linked to the City Air Terminal and features immigration and check-in facilities, as well as transportation services to the airport. It has a two-year-old Club InterContinental Lounge (opened in December 2010) and features contemporary Korean art pieces around the lobby, rooms and banquet area, apart from those on display at the hotel art gallery.
How near is it to COEX? From the ground floor of the hotel: take the front entrance, walk straight and make a right at the Bongeunsa pedestrian crossing; head straight and find the main entrance to COEX on the right.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Aside from COEX with which it is directly linked, the hotel also has 10 function rooms, including the Harmony Ballroom which holds up to 1,200 people across 1,127 sqm. The Diamond Hall, featuring an LED-lit ceiling, seats up to 350; while multi-purpose rooms Vivace and Allegro each accommodate groups of up to 180. Executive meetings and smaller gatherings on the other hand can take place at one of seven smaller venues, ranging in size from 38 sqm to 133 sqm for 22 to 100 people.
For more information visit http://seoul.intercontinental.com
- Park Hyatt Seoul
What’s it like? The 24-storey property has a sleek glass facade, offering panoramic views of the city in all its 185 guestrooms and suites. The hotel is located in the Gangnam area, conveniently within the central business district.
How near is it to COEX? The hotel is directly opposite COEX, right across the street.
Any onsite meeting facilities? There are six meeting rooms, each furnished with a built-in LCD projector, flat-screen TV, teleconferencing facilities and espresso and coffee machines, as well as wireless internet access. Floor areas range from 27 to 112 sqm, accommodating anywhere between 10 and 85 people.
For more information visit www.seoul.park.hyatt.com
- Renaissance Hotel Seoul
What’s it like? Also within the Gangnam district, Renaissance Hotel Seoul has 475 rooms and 18 suites across 23 floors, all equipped with wifi. Guests will like its weekly curated, In-The-Know recommendations for local knowledge of whereabouts and happenings in the city. The hotel also features a newly renovated fitness centre.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Ten meetings rooms that total 1,845 sqm of space, accommodating anywhere between six and 200 people. The largest venue, Diamond Ballroom 1, 2 and 3 collectively occupy 917 sqm and hold groups of up to 1,000.
How near is it to COEX? A five-minute ride by taxi.
For more information visit www.marriott.com
- Hilton South Wharf
What’s it like? The newest Hilton hotel in Melbourne is located within the MCEC complex. Each of its 396 guestrooms offers either a view of the city or the Yarra river. Accommodations come with the latest technology, including wireless internet and iPod connectivity.
How near is it to MCEC? It is right next door, a few metres’ walk after a left turn from the main entrance.
Any onsite meeting facilities? A total of 56 function rooms are available, including boardrooms that seat up to 10; an outdoor terrace with an exquisite view of the Yarra River and city skyline; an art gallery for groups of 200; The Cocktail Bar featuring a wine wall, charcuterie tower and heated outdoor terrace that, entirely, can hold up to 500 people; and dining areas – alfresco, indoor and private rooms – at Nuevo37 restaurant.
For more information visit www.hiltonmelbourne.com.au
- Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders
What’s it like? The hotel is within easy access to key spots in the city: 20 minutes from the International Airport, a two-minute walk from the Southern Cross Railway Station and a few blocks from the convention centre. It has 202 rooms and 14 suites on eight floors.
How near is it to MCEC? From the main entrance of the hotel, walk down along Flinders Lane to the corner of Spencer Street. Cross the street, make a left and walk on straight, crossing the bridge. Head on, until you get to the MCEC complex to the right.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Three meeting rooms and two boardrooms complete with the latest technology and business facilities, accommodating at most 120 people.
For more information visit www.holidayinn.com
- Crowne Plaza Melbourne
What’s it like? Crown Plaza Melbourne is located by the banks of the Yarra River. It has 385 rooms and 11 suites on 10 floors, and is a five-minute walk from the Southern Cross Railway Station and two minutes from the tramway.
How near is it to MCEC? From the hotel – on the corner of Spencer & Flinders Streets – head down Spencer, turn right and walk straight ahead, crossing the bridge. It’s a five-minute walk to the MCEC complex.
Any onsite meeting facilities? The hotel has seven meeting venues that accommodate groups of 12 to 121.
For more information visit www.ichotelsgroup.com
- Crown Metropol
What’s it like? Six different types of luxury rooms are on offer at Crown Metropol, including the New York-style Apartment with its own lobby entrance, butler kitchen and a sweeping view of the Melbourne skyline; the Loft which comes with a dining room for four; and R59, composed of two separate suites sharing one entry. The luxury hotel is adjacent to the Crown Entertainment Complex, Crown Towers and Crown Promenade Melbourne.
How near is it to MCEC? Walk through the retail area on Level 1 of the hotel to access the glass-covered footbridge. On the other side is the Village Cinema. Turn right, take the escalators down to ground level, and walk straight ahead, passing the gaming centre to the front entrance. The MCEC is located across the street.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Meeting spaces are available in the Business Zone on Level 3: four meeting rooms that can each accommodate up to 50 guests theatre style, two small venues with room for four, a boardroom that seats 12, and the adjacent Crown Conference Centre, which can cater to groups of up to 840.
For more information visit www.crownmetropolmelbourne.com.au