Usually, when visiting a conservation building, what we see as being ‘conserved’ is only the building’s facade. The interior of the building would have been re-constructed to suit modern-day demands for safety and comfort. Rooms Hotel and Stamba Hotel are unique in the sense that they preserved much of the original building’s structures and features, yet infused chic, modern touches to old world charm.
Hôtels & Préférence Hualing Tbilisi is a five-star Hotel located just 20 minutes from the Tbilisi Airport and about 30 minutes from Tbilisi Old Town. The promotional materials described it as being “...located on the shorelines of the famous Tbilisi Sea”. In case you start forming in your mind, images of a resort hotel nestled on the beachfront with wavy blue sea, let us clarify that Tbilisi “Sea” is actually a huge man-made reservoir created in 1953. Although Tbilisi Sea is a popular recreational destination, it is not exactly a sea with white sandy beach. Given its proximity to the airport, Hôtels & Préférence Hualing Tbilisi is more suited as a business and convention hotel.
Traveling to Tbilisi, capital city of Georgia, during the rather cold month of March, we certainly felt at home at The Biltmore Hotel, part of Singapore’s homegrown Millennium & Copthorne group of hotels. Although arriving at wee hours of the morning and longing to tuck into bed to catch some sleep, we can’t help but noticed the classical-styled lobby with polished marble floors and crystal chandeliers exuding glamour and luxury.
Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace is probably the most convention-ready hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia based on ballroom size, facilities and the number of function rooms. The Kavkasioni Ballroom is the largest ballroom in Tbilisi with the capacity of over 1,000 guests in theatre-style seating arrangement, or 600 in classroom/banquet-style.
Radisson Blu Iveria is located along the Mtkvari River and provides scenic views of Tbilisi, Georgia, from its 249 guestrooms.
The event space at Radisson Blu Iveria welcomes guests with a cheerful feel as natural daylight fills the space through floor-ceiling windows, while bright colours and modern pop-art adorn the walls.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira is one of the newest hotel in Dubai. Opened for just about two months, it is already enjoying almost full occupancy. This is not surprising as the hotel is probably one of the few hotels in Dubai with its own private beachfront on Jumeira beach. On entering the lobby, guests are greeted by two rows of large bronze trees with glass leaves, and this visual perspective extends outdoors with real palm trees, leading to the pool and the beach.
InterContinental Dubai Festival City has a total of 19 meeting rooms. Its largest ballroom, Al Ras, can accommodate up to 1,300 guests in theatre-style seating. The ceiling height, at a little above five meters, is modestly high. The second largest ballroom can fit up to 1,000 guests in theatre-style seating, but the ceiling height is even lower at 4.3 meters.
The most well known and best developed resort city in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is of course Pattaya. There are many accommodation choices in Pattaya, but the Thai-owned Mytt Beach Hotel has one of the largest conference rooms in Pattaya. These include an amazing Vertical Ballroom on level 3, the biggest event and function room in Pattaya with capacity for thousands and towering ceilings for grand stage designs, and equipped with state-of-the-art AV and IT technology for all types of events. The Horizon Grand Ballroom on level 2 is smaller with lower ceiling height, and it can similarly be partitioned for more intimate meetings.
The hotel has 236 spacious and comfortable rooms and suites with high tech features such as bluetooth and other connectivity for digital devices. The offer of a complimentary mobile phone in the room for use in Pattaya is a nice touch.
For more information, visit: www.mytthotel.com
Rayong, which is about a 3-hour drive from Bangkok, is a fully industrialized city in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) dedicated to petrochemical and chemical industries. Hence, it is hard to imagine that such an industrialized region is home to a number of beautiful resort islands, such as Samed Island (also spelled as "Samet" in some publications and websites). The island is one of the top tourist destinations for both Thais and foreigners, and it is accessible by a 20 minutes speedboat ride from Ao Prao Pier in Rayong.
One of the most luxurious resorts on Samed Island is the Ao Prao Resort, part of the Thai owned and managed Ao Prao Resort Group. It offers 100 guest rooms and conference rooms with the scenic views of the Gulf of Thailand. This is definitely a MICE venue of choice for incentive groups heading for the EEC region because besides white sands and clear blue sea, there is a variety of activities to do, including nature trekking, portrait drawing, muay thai lesson and offering food to monks.
The Balcony group in Sriracha has its origins as a city hotel catering to the companies in the industrial estates near Sriracha District. As a result of the increase in demand due to the expansion of the industrial estates in the area, the Balcony Seaside was launched as the second branch. This is another fine example of local Thai entrepreneurship rising up to meet demand before the international big boys set foot here.
Just to clear the air, firstly, Balcony Seaside is more a service apartment than a hotel; secondly it is not really situated by the sea. In fact, the sea here is meant for fishing and is not suitable for swimming. Nevertheless, the sea and green views from the apartments provide a relaxing feel. The Balcony Seaside has 234 units of studio apartment, one-bedroom and two-Bedroom suites, complete with kitchen and cooking utensils. Perhaps an area requiring improvement would be sound proofing the apartments, as there were some reports of noise from next door units, corridor and engine rooms.
Function rooms in this hotel come in a variety of sizes, accommodating 25 to maximum 130 people. Balcony Seaside is suitable for small to medium corporate meetings in Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor. For more information, visit: www.balconythailand.com
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