Hangzhou update: hotels, ideas for event planners

Hangzhou is proving to be a dynamic city for incentive groups thanks to the efforts of the local tourism authority’s MICE promo- tion department. The city is home to Unesco World Heritage Sites and has the famed West Lake as its centrepiece. Lingyin Temple’s ancient Buddhist rock carvings and the new Qianjiang CBD further add to the quality of product with the range of teambuilding and incentive opportunities growing.

New and upcoming
Hangzhou is preparing to host the G20 Summit in 2016 and more properties, ranging from the 120-guest room Anantara Qiandao Lake Resort and Spa, to the Conrad and Raffles, are opening.

A second Shangri-La is set to open in the city in mid-2016. Midtown Shangri-La Hangzhou, Xiacheng, will be a 417-room hotel featuring a grand ballroom that can seat up to 1,100 guests and nine function rooms.

Sheraton Hangzhou Binjiang Hotel is scheduled to open on March 31, 2016. The 56-storey hotel has 310 rooms and offers 1,600 sqm of events space, including an 800 sqm grand ballroom and nine function rooms.

The 300-room Fairmont Hangzhou is expected to open in 2017 and will offer more than 3,000 sqm of meeting and banquet space.

Starwood’s Azure Qiantang Luxury Collection Hotel, East Wangjiang Road, has 205 rooms, a grand ballroom for up to 600 people and seven function rooms. Situated on the bank of the Qiantang River, the hotel is in the heart of Hangzhou’s Central Business District, minutes from West Lake.

Banyan Tree Hotel Hangzhou in the Westbrook Resort offers 72 rooms and three meeting venues that can accommodate up to 150 guests. The luxurious hotel is set within the beautiful Xixi National Wetland Park, with suites and villas that feature traditional Jiang Nan architecture.

There are two Marriott Courtyard hotels in the city. Courtyard Hangzhou Wulin, Hushu South Road, Gongshu district, has 330 guest rooms and 14 meeting rooms, while Courtyard Hangzhou Qianjiang, Fuchun Road, Jianggan District, has 364 rooms and four meeting rooms.

IHG’s Crowne Plaza Hangzhou Xanadu Resort, Xiang Lake Road, has 301 rooms and offers 3,500 sqm of events space across 20 meeting rooms. Polar Ocean World, Hangzhou Paradise Park, Crazy Appleland. Xihu Tiandi and Hangzhou Zoo are all within 20km.

There are three Sheraton hotels and resorts in Hangzhou, with a fourth set to open in 2016. Four Points by Sheraton Hangzhou, Binjiang, Dongxin Avenue, has 350 rooms and more than 6,000 sqm of meeting space. Sheraton Hangzhou Wetland Park Resort, Zigingang Road, has 380 rooms with 1,900 sqm of function space over nine rooms, and Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort, Xin An North Road, has 249 rooms and 1,694 sqm of events space over 10 meeting rooms.

Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake, Lingyin Road, has 81 rooms and offers 515 sqm of events space, including a ballroom and three function rooms. Just minutes from West Lake, the hotel has views of the forest and traditional gardens from most rooms.

Hilton Hangzhou Qiandao Lake Resort, in Huanhu North Road, Zhejiang, has 348 rooms, three ballrooms and seven function rooms. The hotel is on the shores of picturesque Qiandao Lake, with mountains as a backdrop. Double Tree by Hilton Hangzhou East, Jinsha Avenue, offers 308 rooms, two ballrooms and 12 function rooms for up to 1,883 people.

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hubin Road, Shangcheng, has 390 rooms, a ballroom, six Regency rooms, three drawing rooms, a West Lake Room for up to 120 guests, and The Residence, an exclusive meeting and banquet venue.

There are two Intercontinental hotels in the city. The Intercontinental Hangzhou, Jiefang East Road, Zhejiang, has 384 rooms and 31 meeting rooms, and Intercontinental One Thousand Island Lake Resort, Wanxiang Rd, Qiandaohuzhen, Chun’an, has 255 rooms and 10 meeting spaces.

JW Marriott Hotel Hangzhou, Hushu South Road, has 305 rooms and 2,255 sqm of events space over 14 meeting rooms.

The 598-room Dragon Hotel, Huanglong Commercial Area, has two ballrooms, each capable of holding up to 1,000 people, and eight other rooms. Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Hangzhou, Fengqi Road, has 283 guest rooms and eight meeting spaces, including a pillarless ballroom for up to 450 people.

Incentive ideas
Dragon boat contests in Xixi Wetland Park give participants the chance to learn about this traditional Chinese sport, which also makes a great teambuilding activity.
“Amazing Race” events in Xixi Wetland Park draw inspiration from the American TV show. Participants are divided into groups and use clues to find sites in Xixi Wetland Park.

“Low-carbon” hiking around the West Lake is the perfect environmentally friendly way to enjoy the stunning beauty of Hangzhou’s icon. Participants are encouraged to enter into the team spirit by wearing company-designed outdoor outfits.

Local experts can give a presentation on how to pick tea, followed by a tea ceremony.

Impression West Lake, by renowned Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, is a large-scale natural scene performance with a background of mountains and water. The show “symbolises the travel culture of Hangzhou” and “reflects the divinity and nature of the lake” by mixing a display of dance, martial arts, hi-tech visuals synchronised with fountains create “the rain of West Lake”.

There is an environmentally friendly bicycle relay race that starts in front of the Six Harmonies Pagoda and progresses along Zhijiang Road, ending up at the Gongshu section of the canal.
Visitors to the Chinese Hangzhou Cuisine Museum can feast their eyes on nearly 200 dishes and see 110 cultural artefacts related to Hangzhou food.

Offsite venues
Meetings and events can be held on board Hangzhou’s “waterbuses”. The chartered boats, with between 32 and 64 seats, must be leased for a minimum of one hour and reservations are required seven days in advance.

Chenghuang Pavilion overlooks the city and has a teahouse. Banquets can be arranged for groups of up 120 accompanied by traditional musicians. Landison Longjing Resort lets delegates unwind amid the tea culture of the area, which includes the nearby tea museum.

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