SHANGHAI AND LAS VEGAS In two cities, eternally electric with activity and excitement, it pays to get to the (trade) show in time and seal those mega-buck deals. Here are some addresses that are great favourites with conference and exhibition veterans.
SHANGHAI NEW INTERNATIONAL EXPO CENTRE (SNIF)
• Dorsett Hotel
Meeting room set up
What is it like? A mid-scale 264-room property opposite the sprawling Century Park – the largest in Shanghai – and close to attractions such as the Science Museum, Shanghai Oriental Art Centre and Kerry Parkside Shopping Mall. It has two restaurants and a bar.
How near is it to SNIF? A 15-minute walk to the facility, but take a taxi during the sweltering summer months or you will certainly be drained by the time you reach there. The driver won’t mind the short distance.
Any onsite meeting facilities? The third-floor Peony Ballroom is new with seating for 120 persons for a banquet and enjoys views of the park. In addition, there are two function spaces.
For more information, visit www.dorsetthotels.com
• Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
Grand ballroom banquet spread
What is it like? Conceptualised by world renowned architect Arata Isozaki and KCA International, which executed the landmark Burj Al Arab in Dubai, this 401-room property is part hotel-part design icon. Its entire appearance blends Chinese style with contemporary vision, standing as part of a complex that includes a shopping mall, art museum and theatre.
How near is it to SNIF? A 10- to 15-minute brisk walk to the complex, but choose to take a taxi during those Shanghai summers, which can be deadly hot.
Any onsite meeting facilities? The Grand Ballroom features a ceiling soaring to 12 metres, believed to be the highest of its kind in the city. Receptions for 800 persons are easily accommodated here. Then, there are seven meeting spaces catering to between 20 and 100 guests and the rooftop Infinity Garden, with a performance stage and barbecue areas. It also adjoins the Himalayas Ballroom that accommodates 350 persons.
For more information, visit www.jumeirah.com
• Kerry Hotel Pudong
Classroom set up in function room
What is it like? Exuding a lively lifestyle vibe with innovative rooms and F&B options (like a microbrewery), Kerry Hotel Pudong is the perfect home away from home for corporates. Choose from 574 guestrooms or 182 serviced apartments to settle in for the short or long term. Most services like the gym are 24/7, there when you need them. The Kerry Parkside mall is a great place to spend time away from the computer.
How near is it to SNIF? The hotel is directly connected to the facility via an indoor walkway on level 3 or a covered outdoor walkway on the ground floor.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Kerry Hotel Pudong boasts a formidable arsenal of conference and networking spaces occupying several levels. Apart from two ballrooms with a variety of feng shui elements – the better to ensure a smooth flow of activities – there are four function rooms, five VIP rooms, office suites in the business centre, a boardroom and more venues in the Office Tower Meeting Centre. An outdoor rooftop garden is also available for casual receptions. The technical backup is entirely state-of-the-art.
For more information, visit www.thekerryhotels.com
SANDS CONVENTION AND EXPO CENTER
What is it like? An inventory of 2,550 rooms and suites are located directly above the meeting floor, ensuring quick access to the day's events. Amenities include a casino, seven entertainment venues, Olympic-size swimming pool and spa among others.
How near is it to Sand's Expo? A 10- to 15-minute walk to the facility.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Specialising in small- to medium-size meetings with the help of a 7,620-metre of space, occupying one level, that comes with the latest technology and a highly attentive staff.
For more information, visit www.harraslasvegas.com
• The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and The Palazzo Las Vegas (adjoining hotels that have newly allied to the IHG Group)
The Venetian boardroom
What is it like? The 4,027 all-suite product exudes a distinctly contemporary European flavour with all the bells and whistles modern travellers demand. The line up of dining (including the celebrity hang out Tao Asian Bistro) and leisure options would take up too much space, so check out www.thevenetian.com to get a better idea.
How near is it to the Expo? Directly linked to the facility.
Any onsite meeting facilities? There are more than 1.8 million sqm of convention space to play with, consisting of one of the world's largest pillarless ballrooms at 7,896.8 sqm and 298 meeting venues and boardrooms.
For more details, visit www.thevenetian.com
• The Palazzo Las Vegas
The Palazzo and sister property The Venetian all lit up
What is it like? The Palazzo features 3,066 sumptuous suites, ranging from the 720-square-foot Luxury Suite –nearly two times larger than the standard Las Vegas hotel room– to the 8,000-square-foot and 2,438-square-foot Presidential and Chairman suites with private terraces and outdoor plunging pools. The wealth of dining and leisure options is too lengthy to name here, so check out www.palazzolasvegas.com
How near is it to the Expo? Directly connected to the facility.
Any onsite meeting facilities? At meeting planners' disposal are over 1.8 million sqm of convention space with one of the largest pillarless ballrooms at 743.22 sqm and 298 venues and boardrooms.
For more details, visit www.palazzolasvegas.com
• Wynn and Encore (adjoining hotels)
What is it like? This multi-awarded 2,716-room property has 35 F&B outlets (count 'em!), both in the casual or fine dining mold, miles of branded boutiques, a casino, three hot nightclubs, the Aqua Theatre – home of Le Reve – The Dream – and even an 18-hole golf course among many others. The light show at its Lake of Dreams has become a must-see for any Las Vegas visitor.
How near is it to the Sand's Expo? A pedestrian bridge extends over Sands Avenue can be used to reach the facility or they can request the concierge to call them a cab.
Any onsite meeting facilities? Two lavish ballrooms and 34 conference spaces.
For more information, visit www.wynnlasvegas.com
Encore meetings hallway
What is it like? Contemporary and casual luxury that features a more exclusive ambiance to its sister property Wynn Las Vegas. In contrast to the 17 restaurants of Wynn, Encore has four signature restaurants – Sinatra, Boero, Society Cafe and Wazuzu – but whose chefs are each masters in the culinary world.
How near is it to the Sand's Expo? Guests are advised to use the pedestrian bridge over Sands Avenue to get to the facility, or they can hail a cab.
Any onsite meeting facilities? In the meetings inventory are 12 conference venues, a column-free ballroom and a full-service business centre.
For more information, visit www.wynnlasvegas.com
Margie T Logarta