Tag Archives: Shangri-La

Reflected candlelight shimmers from the marble floor of the lobby in the Shangri-La Hotel in Chiang Mai. Beside a picture of the King of Thailand, seven young girls clad in gold satin perform an immaculately choreographed traditional dance to celebrate his birthday.

They pride themselves on doing everything well at the Shangri-La Chiang Mai. It may be one of the reasons it’s been acknowledged by the Thai government as having the best meetings facilities of all five-star hotels in this relaxed city of 130,000 people.

IMG_1922They’re certainly the biggest. There’s a total of 2,350 square metres of meetings space here, including a ballroom that can accommodate 1,800 and an auditorium that can take 99. In the sprawling gardens, there’s plenty of room for special events like dinners, team building, lunches, cooking classes, yoga and other recreational activities. Venues in the grounds include the cabana area adjacent to the pools, ideal for smaller events; what the hotel calls its “secret garden;” and the swimming pool area itself which can be used for functions, cocktails and dinners.

 

In some ways this is a typical Shangri-La hotel, with the marque’s well-known tropical gardens, peaceful aromatic spa, selection of pleasant restaurants, sparkling pools, obliging and smiling staff, and 277 flop-down-on-the-bed-and-sigh rooms.

The mountainous surrounds of the upland city, about 40 minutes flying time north of Bangkok, and the hotel facilities combine to make it an enticing venue in every sense, according to Wiyada Sornprapha (top left), Director of Sales and Marketing.

Moreover the Shangri-La is the only hotel in Chiang Mai that has a comprehensive security system for checking vehicles and bags coming into the property, which is much valued by clients, especially those holding high-profile international events here, says Wiyada.

Outdoor venue_Poolside“That’s not to say Chiang Mai has security issues, it doesn’t!” she laughs. “But we live in an unpredictable world.”

Another huge advantage is the property’s location, adds Communications Manager Saranya Buntem (top right). “We’re in the city, yes, but we’re close to markets, five minutes’ walk from our night market, shops, restaurants and the river and we have wonderful gardens and facilities in the hotel,” says Saranya. “The airport is 15 minutes’ drive away. It seldom takes more than ten minutes to get anywhere in Chiang Mai.”

 

Unlike many other Thai cities, Chiang Mai has no big shopping offer or beaches but it’s culturally rich with – because if its elevation – refreshing weather, says Wiyada. And not everyone wants to shop and breathe traffic fumes. “It’s perfect for those seeking a less hectic city experience in a serene and natural green environment,” she explains. She points out that it was declared “Best City in Asia” and “Third Best City in the World” at the Travel + Leisure awards in 2017. It was also recently designated a UNESCO Creative City.

But one of the best attributes of the Shangri-La, perhaps, is cost. Room rates start at around 130 US dollars, while the full-day conference rate is around 60 US dollars, including lunch. “That’s fantastic value considering we’re a five-star hotel and have indoor and outdoor facilities,” says Wiyada. “We’re very flexible. And when we talk about value, we’re not just referring to price; it’s also about value-added and the offer that we have generally.”

The hotel’s events campaign tagline is “Meetings Made More Rewarding”. In practice that means additional benefits that conference organisers don’t expect, like free cocktails, complimentary upgrades and discounts from the master bill.

Deluxe RoomAnd organisers and delegates can select what they like to match their requirements. There’s a “one-stop” events service, with dedicated staff helping organisers through every step of the process, from the time they arrive, she says.

Rates across the board for rooms and meetings depend on the season, with especially good deals available during the “green” period from April until October, Wiyada adds.

MICE clients include Thais (17% of the total business), mostly from Bangkok, while better air accessibility has resulted in growing trade from elsewhere in the Asia Pacific. For example there are direct flights to Chiang Mai now from major cities in China, Taipei, Seoul, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and from Hong Kong, which is two-and-a-half hours away.

Indeed the expansion of the China business has been remarkable, adds Wiyada, with Chinese people travelling more than ever before and accounting for over a fifth of the hotel’s MICE enquiries. The Shangri-La has appointed staff who speak Chinese to help cater for this influx.

Events clients also come from Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Europe, the US and Australia. About a third of the conference business is corporate, and a significant percentage of these inbound visitors bring their spouses with them, seeking a holiday or engaging outings, such as visits to the nearby elephant sanctuary.

“Weddings are also a big business for us, both for locals and internationally,” says Wiyada. “We’re considered to be the leading wedding venue in town because of our capacity and car park.”

With beautiful assets, business for the Shangri-La Chiang Mai is likely to continue to expand, and official government figures support this view. Last year, Chiang Mai welcomed around 10 million tourists, 7 million of whom were locals and 3 million of whom were foreigners. As of November, tourist arrivals to Thailand had reached 34.43 million, up 7.53 percent, generating an estimated Bt1.8 trillion (AUD 86 billion) in revenue for the country.

More information:

Call (66 53) 253 888

Email chiangmai@shangri-la.com

Web: www.shangri-la.com/chiangmai

Sukhothai RoomIMG_1905Outdoor venue_Cabana areaOutdoor venue_Secret GardenPhayao RoomCHI Spa Room

 

 

 

 

 

The Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts group shares its name with the mythical, isolated Himalayan utopia described in 1933 by British novelist James Hilton, in which residents are always relaxed and happy. In many ways it’s an appropriate comparison.

That’s because even the most experienced of travellers surely can’t help but be uplifted by the jaw-dropping views from the rooms of Shangri-La hotel in Sydney. They take in the poetic lines of the old steel bridge, the teeming harbour traffic and ferries, the sails of the Opera House, juxtaposed with the clean lines of skyscrapers and water that glitters, in the words of the great Australian writer Clive James, like crushed diamonds. This is Sydney at its best.

Success in the incentive and event market hinges on the ability to deliver exceptional service, observes Paul McMurray, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Shangri-La hotel, Sydney.

Horizon Club Rooms_Pics Mauro Rische (3)Every operator will say this of course, but this hotel has a highly experienced on-site events team led by a respected professional, and the cheerfulness of obliging employees is evident from the moment you step into the marble-floored lobby.

Moreover the incentive and events market is acutely focused on destination these days, says Paul McMurray, which is one reason the hotel enjoys a booming MICE business.

Why Sydney?

“Sydney is a “trip of a lifetime” destination”, explains Paul, “that can reward and inspire high achievers.”

Aside from the beauty of the harbour, it has over a hundred great beaches, outstanding restaurants, a thriving arts scene, showcases just about every sporting code under the sun and has a pretty efficient public transport system.

“It’s becoming increasingly apparent to us that companies are moving away from the traditional and towards the special,” Paul says. “This is where Sydney truly shines – in cultural experiences that add a wow factor to incentive or event programs.

Grand Ballroom_Event 2_Shangri-La Hotel, SydneyThat could be, for example, climbing the bridge together, sunset sailing while harbour island hopping, enjoying views of the city from a helicopter and so on.”

The hotel has a good track record with boutique, high-end groups as well as larger city-wide programs which has resulted in good relationships with decision makers who organise and travel with groups, he adds.

These groups can choose from 18 flexible spaces for groups of ten to 400 –  including a covered outdoor venue – and a Grand Ballroom that can seat 750 theatre style and 800 for stand up cocktail. The ballroom’s attributes include a complete lighting, sound and visual system that can be controlled with a wireless iPad, adjustable LED spotlights for table pin-spotting, four skylights with customisable colour settings at the touch of a button, and six motorised projection screens.

As The Siteseer can attest, the hotel offers fine attention to detail in its 565 rooms and suites, which have generous windows and where the furnishings reflect the colours of the harbour. There’s a swish spa, which groups can book exclusively, and a range of dining options including Altitude, a signature restaurant with views of the city on floor 36.

Though it’s a primarily a western hotel, a beautiful Asian influence is evident everywhere: in the service, food and décor – what one staff member describes as “a slice of Asia in Australia”.

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney Grand Ballroom“Our repeat business is a testament to our ability to meet clients’ needs,” says Paul McMurray. (Indeed with the power of social media these days, the hotel’s operators recognise that having clients as ambassadors is critical. Moreover the Sydney hotel gets mostly fulsome reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere).

Another advantage of the hotel is its relatively discreet location, a bit removed from the main part of the CBD, yet still only a few minutes’ walk from it and the main ferry terminal, Circular Quay, and the old precinct of The Rocks, established shortly after the founding of the New South Wales colony in 1788.

New loyalty program

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts recently created other incentives for people meeting at its properties, launching “The Events Collection and Golden Circle Event Planner Rewards loyalty program”. This provides meeting and travel professionals and members of Golden Circle – the frequent guest scheme – with the ability to earn “elite” status and earn and redeem points for meetings and events throughout the group’s portfolio.

The Events Collection offering is valid for meetings and events booked for groups taking 25 or more paid guest rooms for at least one night and with a minimum function room spend. In addition to other enticements, groups can get a 10% future event credit.

Special rates on specific dates

Online rates starts from around AUD 260 per night. Organisers can get special rates for groups of 10 or more rooms for meetings or events on specific dates. And if a group or conference books a Sunday night, the hotel is usually able to offer savings. “This is particularly true in the winter months, which is a wonderful time to experience the sights and sounds of Sydney,” says Paul McMurray.

Altitude Private Dining Room