With a bustling population and lively city centres to rival the West, Crown's Marketing Manager, Cecilia gives her recommendations for Hong Kong as an event destination.
With the world’s busiest international airport, it is little wonder why Hong Kong (HK) is the gateway to Southeast Asia. The country is as eclectic and diverse as ever, mixing the old with the new; Western influences with traditional culture; and draws inspiration from its rich ancestry. Here are some reasons why Hong Kong makes an ideal MICE destination.
Don’t let the nonstop 12hour+ flight from London deter you. Hong Kong International Airport is served by all major city airports and serves as a hub for stopovers to the rest of Southeast Asia and Australia. The islands itself are served by an array of transport, from the familiar blue, green or red taxi (colours denoting territory) and mini buses, to trams; ferries, and a highly efficient, rapid transit MTR system.
Real estate in HK is a premium luxury and hotels are at the cutting edge of design, influenced by Western culture and technology. Hotel ICON offers a 570 sq metre ballroom and seven additional function rooms to cater for events of varying sizes. Rooms are fitted with the latest AV equipment and the sleek, contemporary design makes it highly flexible for branding. The Mira Hotel is centrally located in Tsim Sha Tsui, the heart of Hong Kong’s commercial, shopping, dining and entertainment district. It offers 16,000 sq ft of event space across eight function rooms and a 10,000 sq ft ballroom. The hotel is within easy reach of all attractions and the nearby harbour, offering panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. The stylish and fashionable W Hong Kong offers 2 floors of studio and event space, with amazing harbour views. The seventh floor houses six ‘studios’ that can be combined to create a bigger space, whilst the eight floor contains five strategy rooms with a large pre-function area that is idea for a drinks reception or networking.
For more traditional, corporate settings, the International Finance Centres (known as One IFC and Two IFC respectively) have become landmark buildings of the HK skyline. Each tower offers a variety of meeting spaces of varying sizes and amazing views of the city. One IFC is at the centre of the transport network. Airport Express station has its own in-town check-in facilities, connecting the airport with AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition and convention centre.
Where to stay
If you’re planning an event outside of a hotel, there is an abundance of hotels within walking distance of every venue, or at least served by an accessible mode of transport. Modern and chic is favoured over any traditionally Chinese décor when it comes to high end hotels. The National Hotels collection offer high-end interiors accommodation by renowned designers such as Christian Liaigre for The Jervois; Andrée Putman for The Putman; Norman Chan for One96 and Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners for 99 Bonham.
What to do
It is no joke that you are never more than two minutes away from a shopping centre or mall so whilst this isn’t to everyone’s leisure, there are huge opportunities to explore the country and its culture. Hong Kong’s New Territories (despite the name) gives visitors a taste of ‘old Hong Kong’. Away from the rapid modernisation of Hong Kong Island, here you will find a slower-paced, more authentic HK lifestyle where locals mill around open markets among their villages and remnants of old buildings still stand alongside newer builds. On Hong Kong Island, you’ll find The Peak, a tower perched on a mountain top paying architectural homage to the humble Chinese gold nugget. The Peak is famed for its spectacular views 396 metres above sea level and its 120 year old historic mountain tram ride.
For those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Macau is only 1 hour away by turbojet. A once Portuguese territory up until 1999, it has been transformed into the Las Vegas of Southeast Asia. Casinos occupy hotels and can be sights in themselves. The Venetian Macau is a replica of its Las Vegas resort. It is the largest casino in the world (980,000 sq m) and also the largest single structure hotel building in Asia. It houses its own indoor arena, the CotaiArena which has a seating capacity of 15,000. The Grand Lisboa is the tallest building in Macau, standing at 856 feet with its flaming-torch-shaped tower, the exterior light display is amazing. With its 3-Michelin starred restaurant, its wine list alone features over 14,600 different wines from around the World. Macau’s best known landmark, the Ruins of St Paul’s is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a particular tourist draw for its enduring southern stone façade and intricate carvings.