There’s never been a better time for business events planners in our part of the world to go shopping. Due to the explosion of hotels, catering to the full gamut of travel niches, supply in many countries outpaces demand.
Destinations, both established and emerging, just seem to keep adding to their accommodation arsenal as if there were no tomorrow, their owners believing in the “build and they shall come” theory. Such thinking, of course, puts pressure on their management partners to find creative ways to attract a steady clientele, especially when the environment is a crowded one.
The meetings and incentive travel sector has proven to be lucrative as well as a reliable income source, so hotels are now opening up more spaces around their property where a range of functions can be held – you name it, and the events team will make it happen, or at least do their very best to approximate it.
As for value-added options these days, the variety and number of features on the package menu certainly spoils the customer for choice. In places like Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and now in China, where even secondary cities boast high-end hotel brands, there is always an amazing deal to be found.
The following sampler shows some of the perks and privileges that are currently offered by selected hotels at surprisingly attractive prices. Imagine, if you went digging for more!
What's the deal? From RMB988 (US$160) per person.
What's included? Accommodation in a single deluxe room, buffet breakfast, complimentary use of meeting room and LCD projector, two coffee breaks, lunch and other meeting essentials.
What's the catch? The rate is good for a group taking up a minimum of 10 rooms, but a surcharge of RMB300 (US$49) is added should a guest bring a partner.
Validity: Until March 14, 2013.
What's the deal? US$203 per person per day. Upgrade to the next room category for booking of over 30 nights and one complimentary suite for bookings of over 50 room nights.
What's included? Accommodation in a Hilton room, with one breakfast (an extra breakfast is charged at US$16), meeting space, two coffee breaks, buffet or set lunch and use of AV equipment.
What's the catch? A minimum attendance of 30 persons is required.
Validity: June 30, 2013.
What's the deal? From RMB1,488 (US$237) for a full-day package and RMB1,388 (US$221) for the half-day alternative. All based on per person per night.
What's included? A deluxe room stay with breakfast (and subject to availability upgrade to a deluxe lakeview room), free in-room broadband internet, and up to 60,000 Priority Club Reward points for Priority Club Meeting Rewards members. A full day covers nine hours’ meeting room rental, two coffee breaks, a working lunch, LCD and internet access, flipcharts and white board. The half-day option’s meeting room rental is for four hours and there is only one coffee break and one working lunch.
What's the catch? A minimum of 20 people is required.
Validity: January 1 to March 31, 2013.
Marco Polo Lingnan Tiandi Foshan
What's the deal? US$200 twin-share per night.
What's included? Accommodation in a studio room, buffet breakfast for two persons in the Café Marco, buffet lunch for two persons in Café Marco or Chinese fusion menu in one of the Lingnan Rooms, use of a meeting room for eight hours, with two coffee breaks during the day and standard meeting room amenities. Extras include a welcome seasonal fruit cocktail (non-alcoholic versions available) and free entry to the Xumiao Ancestral Temple located on the hotel’s doorstep, featuring the Martial Arts Museum and Lion Dance School.
What's the catch? A minimum of 15 persons is required.
Validity: Until June 30, 2012.
Best Western Premier Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur
What's the deal? RM395 (US$127) per person based on a twin-share basis, with a single supplement of RM160 (US$52).
What's included? One night’s stay in a one-bedroom club suite, buffet breakfast, morning coffee and tea break with two choices of juice and three snack items, buffet for a minimum of 20 persons or set lunch, afternoon coffee and tea break with two choices of juice and three snacks, buffet for a minimum of 20 persons or set dinner, evening coffee and tea break with two choices of juice and three snack items and one free drink at Punch Bar & Lounge on Level 2 (valid for three months).
Meeting amenities cover stationery, mineral water, a flipchart and whiteboard, a PA system with standing microphone and rostrum and an LCD projector among others.
What's the catch? Only applies to a minimum guaranteed 20 persons – if less than 10 persons, a nominal fee is charged.
Validity: Until December 31, 2013.
Radisson Blu Cebu
Radisson Blu Cebu
What's the deal? US$193 per person nightly, with an option to upgrade at US$51 per person nightly to an executive room that enjoys access to the business lounge, which offers all-day snacks and cocktails.
What's included? A stay in a superior room, buffet breakfast at the all-day dining outlet Feria, access to the gym and pool, whole-day meeting benefits include buffet lunch at Feria, morning and afternoon snacks and meeting amenities of pad and pens, bottled water, flipcharts and high-speed wifi.
What's the catch? A minimum of 10 persons per group applies.
Validity: December 2013
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
What's the deal? US$250
What's included? A stay in a superior room with breakfast for two at Spiral – the hotel’s newly opened F&B restaurant-cum-events space featuring 21 dining ateliers and four private rooms in French and Asian styles – plus a set menu for morning and afternoon snacks and lunch.
What's the catch? At least 10 people in a group is required.
Validity: Until March 31, 2013.
The Sala at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok
Hyatt Regency Hua Hin
What's the deal? From THB3,900 (US$127) per delegate on a twin-share basis.
What's included? One night’s stay in a Hyatt guestroom with daily breakfast, two coffee breaks, snacks and soft drinks in the morning and afternoon. One lunch, either set or buffet with soft drinks, can be arranged in an exclusive venue. Meeting room use is from 8am to 6pm, for up to eight hours. As a bonus, the hotel throws in THB500 (US$16) credit for each participant to enjoy a therapy session at the Spa at the Barai, as well as a complimentary dinner for a three-night stay conference.
What's the catch? A minimum of 15 rooms must be booked for the rate to take effect. This also applies to twin share and meetings held during weekdays from Sunday to Thursday.
Validity: January 6 to June 30, 2013.
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok
What's the deal? THB6,000 (US$220) per person per night.
What's included? Accommodation in a 45 sqm deluxe room (single occupancy), daily buffet at Orchid Café, choice of full-day or half-day meeting including morning and/or afternoon coffee break, lunch and meeting room rental, use of AV equipment and other meeting amenities such as stationery, notepads, bottled water, herbal tea, free high-speed internet access throughout the hotel, choice of buffet lunch at Orchid Café, private buffet or set lunch at Rossini’s, Thai set lunch at Basil or in-room working lunch. More perks come with one room for the meeting organiser and double SSP Points for SSP members (upon booking confirmation).
What's the catch? Bookings for a minimum of 20 people are required, and an additional person sharing the room is charged THB2,000 (US$65), though that individual can enjoy the buffet breakfast and meeting benefits.
Validity: January 1 to September 30, 2013.
Margie T Logarta