Big Venues

Australia

Cairns Convention Centre

34,337 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 22 meeting rooms; www.cairnsconvention.com.au

Darwin Convention Centre

43,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 12 meeting rooms; www.darwinconvention.com.au

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

323,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 52 meeting rooms; www.mcec.com.au

Now under construction, the Melbourne Convention Centre will be integrated with the exhibition center, opening in 2009.

Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre

322,917 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 30 meeting rooms; www.scec.com.au

China

Beijing International Convention Center

828,821 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 50 meeting rooms; www.chinaplanner.com

China World Trade Center, Beijing

107,639 sq. ft. of exhibit space; www.cwtc.com

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

889,982 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 52 meeting rooms; www.hkcec.com.hk

The convention center is adding 200,000 sq. ft. of space by 2009.

AsiaWorld Expo, Hong Kong

710,418 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 18 meeting rooms; www.asiaworld-expo.com

Shanghai Exhibition Center

322,917 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 40 meeting rooms; www.shzlzx.com.cn

Sidebar

Culture Notes: China

Indonesia

Bali International Convention Centre

29,060 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 15 meeting rooms; www.baliconvention.com

Jakarta Convention Centre

103,172 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 13 meeting rooms; www.jcc.co.id

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

104, 518 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 20 meeting rooms; www.klccconventioncentre .com

The two-year-old center has achieved multiple environmental certifications, as well as benchmarked status to the Green Globe Company Standard.

Singapore

Singapore Expo

1,076,391 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 27 meeting rooms; www.singapore-expo.com.sg

The center has achieved ISO 9001 certification, added free Wi-Fi, and upgraded food outlets.

Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre

243,263 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 31 meeting rooms; www.suntecsingapore.com

The center partnered with Sembcorp Environmental Management to introduce environmentally friendly practices, including a comprehensive recycling program for conventions.

South Korea

COEX, Seoul

372,293 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 52 meeting rooms; www.coex.co.kr

Thailand

Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre

542,501 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 29 meeting rooms; www.bitec.net

Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, Bangkok

313, 575 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 9 meeting rooms; www.qsncc.co.th/about_qsncc/about_qsncc.asp

Hotel News

Carlson Hotels Worldwide

Carlson will double its Asia/Pacific portfolio over three years, adding more than 50 hotels. The company has 9,383 rooms under development within its five brands — Regent Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites, and Park Inn. In China, Carlson will open 10 new hotels; India will see more than 30 new hotels by 2011; 7 hotels are planned for Thailand, including luxury Regent hotels in Bangkok and Phuket, both to open in 2010. In the Philippines, Carlson will open a Regent and Radisson hotel in 2009 in Manila.

Ritz-Carlton Hotels

Ritz-Carlton Hotels plans to add hotels in mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong over the next two years, including a new hotel in Guangzhou, China (see below). Also planned is a Macau hotel, and a Hong Kong Ritz-Carlton in the International Commerce Centre (ICC), opening in 2010.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Counting Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Le Meridien, W, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, and aloft brands in its portfolio, Starwood continues to grow at a brisk pace in the Asia/Pacific region, with more than 80 hotels and resorts under development. Over half are in China, where Starwood expects to double its portfolio by 2011. The company is also growing in India, with 10 new hotels in development. In Thailand alone, Starwood will debut 11 new hotels in the next three years, including three Le Meridien hotels in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai coming on board this year. In Malaysia, the Luxury Collection brand completed a $12 million renovation of Hotel Imperial Kuala Lumpur this year.

China

Four Points by Sheraton Lianyungang

The 254-room Four Points by Sheraton Lianyungang will offer more than 14,000 sq. ft. of meeting space when it opens in 2009. One of the first coastal cities in China to open to foreign trade, Lianyungang welcomes growing numbers of business travelers and tourists.

Four Points by Sheraton Hainan, Sanya

Slated to open in mid-2010, Four Points by Sheraton Hainan, Sanya will be located at Sanya Bay on China's resort destination of Hainan Island. Sanya is also a political, economic, and cultural hub and a foreign trade port. The 405-room resort will feature more than 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Hotel Nikko Shanghai

Nikko Hotels will open a five-star luxury hotel in Shanghai in March 2009. Hotel Nikko Shanghai will have 388 guest rooms in a 25-story building, along with banquet and meeting rooms.

Raffles Tianjin

The 116-room Raffles Tianjin, which will occupy the top floors of Tianjin Centre's West Tower when it opens in 2009, will feature commanding views of the city. Meeting facilities are planned, as well as a Raffles Amrita Spa. Two hours by car from Beijing, the city is an industrial base and has been tapped by the Chinese government for development into a financial hub for north China.

Ritz-Carlton, Beijing

The 205-room Ritz-Carlton, Beijing opened its doors in December, the third Ritz-Carlton in China. In the business district at Central Place, the hotel is styled after an English country manor, unique in the city. A Grand Ballroom can seat up to 400 guests, and nine meeting rooms take their names from famous Chinese teas. Atop the hotel is a modern fitness center and spa.

Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou

In time for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, the 351-room Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou debuted in March in the heart of the Pearl River New City area. Occupying the 20th to 38th floors of a modern building, the hotel offers views of the Pearl River and the largest guest rooms in the city. More than 11,000 sq. ft. of meeting space includes a 7,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. Six dining options include Lai Heen, serving Cantonese specialties in an elegant Chinese dining room, and Terra, serving Western-style cuisine. Wines and cigars can be enjoyed in The Churchill Bar, while H2O is a poolside bar and grill.

Shangri-La Hotel Beijing

In March 2007, the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing unveiled its new Valley Wing, which added 142 rooms (for a total of 670); a 14,533-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom and conference rooms; an exclusive contemporary Western restaurant; a health club; and CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La. Following in the footsteps of the Valley Wing at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, the new tower is designed for luxury and exclusivity, with chauffeur-driven limousine service, an exclusive check-in lounge, 24-hour butler and concierge services, and more.

Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

In December, Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu opened in Southwest China, site of many World Heritage areas, with direct transportation options into Tibet. The 593-room hotel offers meeting facilities that include the 22,000-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom, an auditorium, and 16 other function rooms. Also featured is CHI, the chain's signature spa, with treatments based on Chinese and Himalayan traditions.

Shangri-La Hotel Guangzhou

Shangri-La Hotel Guangzhou debuted in March 2007 next to the Guangzhou International Convention & Exhibition Centre. The 704-room hotel has two ballrooms, eight function rooms, and an auditorium, totaling 64,590 sq. ft. The 24,113-sq.-ft. Pearl River Grand Ballroom is the largest in Guangzhou. Expansive grounds include a 21,530-sq.-ft. lawn for open-air functions. Also featured is CHI, the Spa at Shangri-La, and eight dining options.

Shangri-La Jing An Kerry and Jing An Shangri-La

Two new hotels from Shangri-La will open in 2011, focal points of Shanghai's Jing An Kerry Centre, a new business, entertainment, dining, and conference complex. The Jing An Shangri-La will open on the top 24 floors of a 58-story building. It will include 347 guest rooms and a CHI spa brand. The sleekly styled Jing An Kerry Centre Hotel will have 600 guest rooms. The hotels will share 49,196 sq. ft. of meeting space, with a 25,836-sq.-ft. grand ballroom and 10,765-sq.-ft. junior ballroom.

Shangri-La Kerry Centre Hotel, Pudong

The 574-room Shangri-La Kerry Centre Hotel Pudong in Shanghai opens in mid-2010 as part of a multipurpose complex with serviced apartments, offices, and shopping. Meeting facilities will include a 25,835-sq.-ft. grand ballroom and a 12,918-sq.-ft. junior ballroom, which can be combined.

Shangri-La Hotel Qingdao

Following a $62 million expansion, the Shangri-La Hotel Qingdao debuted its 196-room Valley Wing in March, bringing total rooms to 696. Valley Wing guests arrive at a separate lobby entrance and receive in-room check-in, pressing of one suit, and shoeshine, as well as exclusive use of the Valley Wing lounge for breakfast, and all refreshments and cocktails. The hotel's China Hall Ballroom holds 2,000 people.

Westin Guangzhou

In the heart of the Tian He business district, the Westin Guangzhou opened its doors in October with 448 high-tech guest rooms and 13,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Pre-function areas overlook a park, ideal for registration, cocktails, and networking breaks. Also available is the Westin Heavenly Spa.

St. Regis Hotel Tianjin

The 284-room St. Regis Hotel Tianjin opens in 2011 as part of a mixed use development. The hotel will have 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Langham Hotel Hong Kong

The 495-room Langham Hotel Hong Kong is converting 158 guest rooms into Grand Rooms, providing a warm, residential ambience with 37-inch flat-screen TV, DVD player, and i-Home audio system. Meeting facilities include a 5,000-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom and six meeting rooms.

Indonesia

Grand Hyatt Bali

Set on 41 acres of beachfront and gardens in the Nusa Dua area of Bali, the 648-room Grand Hyatt Bali has renovated all guest rooms, restaurants, and public areas. A new Grand Ballroom holds 1,000 for a banquet. The hotel also offers 14 function rooms, four boardrooms, an auditorium with 80 seats, and the Karangasem Ballroom. The Kriya Spa was added in 2007, and a golf course is nearby.

InterContinental Bali Sanur Beach Resort; Holiday Inn Resort on Tuban

InterContinental Hotels Group has announced two new developments in Bali. The beachfront InterContinental Bali Sanur Beach Resort will open in 2009 in the village of Sanur, sister property to the existing 418-room Inter-Continental Bali Resort on Jimbaran Bay. The resort's 104 rooms will be in low-rise cluster pavilions and will be complemented by 54 villas, all featuring private pools and courtyards. The 200-room Holiday Inn Resort on Tuban is the former Balihai Resort & Spa, which is being refurbished.

Macau

MGM Grand Macau

With Portuguese-inspired architecture at a prime waterfront location, the $1.25 billion MGM Grand Macau opened last December near the Wynn Macau and the Sands Macau. The 28-story resort features 600 rooms, suites, and villas, and 13,500 sq. ft. of meeting space, including an 11,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and Vista, a banquet room with glass walls overlooking the pool. A 1,500-seat theater is also available, along with a world-class spa and a 222,000-sq.-ft. split-level casino.

Venetian Macau

Las Vegas Sands' second resort in Macau, the Venetian Macau, has opened as anchor of the Cotai Strip development, positioned as the “Las Vegas Strip” of Asia and expected to have as many as 20 hotels with 6,000 rooms. Like its sister property in Las Vegas, the $2.4 billion, 3,000-suite property is themed around Renaissance Venice, with replicas of St. Mark's Square, the Doge's Palace, and Campanile Tower. The hotel offers 1.2 million sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space, including the largest pillarless ballroom in Asia at 70,000 sq. ft., along with the 15,000-seat Venetian Arena and the 1,800-seat Venetian Theatre. At 550,000 sq. ft., the casino floor is the world's largest, with 870 table games and 3,400 slot machines.

Singapore

Amara Sanctuary Resort

Sentosa Island's Amara Sanctuary Resort was the 2007 Architectural Heritage Award winner for the tasteful conversion of the property's World War II British military barracks into a chic, five-star resort. Overlooking the South China Sea near Palawan Beach, Amara Sanctuary features 121 rooms, suites, and villas. The Grand Ballroom seats 500 guests, and there are seven other meeting rooms, along with several outdoor event spaces. The 18-hole, par-72 Sentosa Golf Club is nearby and a spa is planned.

St. Regis Hotel Singapore

Located in the uptown Orchard Road shopping and embassy district, the 20-story, 299-room St. Regis Hotel Singapore is close to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the U.S. Embassy, and several of Singapore's top hospitals. The new luxury hotel offers more than 16,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including the John Jacob Ballroom, at 7,671 sq. ft. The hotel also features the Remede Spa, as well as a fitness center overlooking the outdoor pool.

Thailand

aloft Bangkok-Silom

Located in the business district of Bangkok, the 130-room aloft Bangkok-Silom opens in 2009. With urban-influenced design, aloft will offer high-tech amenities such as in-room wireless Internet access and plug-and-play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cellphones, MP3 players, and laptops.

Hilton Hotels Thailand

The 358-room Doubletree by Hilton Golf Resort & Spa Si Racha Hills will open in December near Si Racha Golf Club. Hilton also announced the Conrad Koh Samui Resort and Spa, to open in 2009 with 80 guest rooms. Plans call for another 20 new hotels under the Doubletree brand in Thailand within the next five years in such destinations as Bangkok, Hua Hin, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Phang-Nga, and Krabi.

Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa

On the Gulf of Siam, the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa opened last summer with panoramic ocean views and a coveted address in the beach community of Hua Hin. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the 240-room property consists of nine buildings with a lagoon-style swimming pool in the middle. More than 2,600 sq. ft. of meeting space accommodates up to 500 guests. An Aspadeva Spa is planned, and the resort is near several world-class golf courses. Elephant riding, diving, snorkeling, and fishing trips are popular day trips.

St. Regis Hotel Bangkok

Opening in early 2009, St. Regis Hotel & Residences Bangkok will introduce the renowned St. Regis brand to the city near its prestigious entertainment and business districts. The new property will offer 198 guest rooms, 22 serviced apartments, and 71 residential units, plus 10,000 sq. ft. of function space and a Remede Spa.