Ritz-Carlton opens Langkawi resort

Set in a tranquil private bay, the Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi oceanfront resort has opened on the Malaysian island. The resort marks the company’s first destination resort in Malaysia, and the second property in the country following The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur. The resort is surrounded by ancient jungle, while its beachfront is sheltered by trees and extends to the Andaman Sea. It has 70 guest rooms, 15 suites and 29 villas. Hervé Humler, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said: “With spectacular coastal views, lush rain forests and a blend of cultures, Langkawi offers stunning natural beauty with a fascinating story. The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, provides guests with the opportunity to experience the wonders of this unique island for themselves.”

Club Med to open in Sri Lanka in 2019

All-inclusive resort brand Club Med has announced plans to open Club Med Ceylon, it’s first resort in Sri Lanka. The new property will be located in Sri Lanka’s South West Province in the small town of Beruwela, a 90-minute drive from Colombo International Airport. The resort is scheduled to open in August 2019. Henri d’Estaing, president of Club Med, said: “We are very excited to venture into a new market with such potential – Sri Lanka is a beautiful and mystical country with rich history and culture. I am delighted to welcome Club Med Ceylon into the Club Med family. Together with our partner LOLC, we are very excited at the prospect of our resort in Sri Lanka growing into the region’s premium holiday destination in time to come.” Club Med Ceylon will be located on Golden Beach, a 1.5km-long beach, and have 372 rooms and meeting and conference facilities.

High level adventure in Ladakh

An adventure location is offering MICE travellers options to hold their meetings and team-building activities with a difference. The Grand Dragon, a 100-room property in Ladakh, is 11,300 feet above sea level in the northern-most region of India, Jammu & Kashmir, and offers customised packages and activities like yoga sessions, cycling and soft treks.

Participants can start the trek early in the morning through the Leh Old Village, cross the mountain, have breakfast by the river, experience river rafting or ride on a Royal Enfield motorcycle. The peak season for the corporate events and MICE groups are August and September. The first day is spent acclimatising to the rarefied air with lower oxygen levels than in the plains and clients are educated about climate conditions. It has the capacity to host groups of 200 delegates. Danish Din, director of The Grand Dragon Ladakh, said: “We have hosted international conferences as well as small functions, meetings and conferences. Ladakh is a cultural and adventure destination, with rare, rugged beauty including lakes that are completely frozen in winter, offering a unique range of activities.”

Leh Ladakh has not been seen in the past as a place for MICE events but there are quite a few companies and corporates who like to do soft adventure. Daily flights operate from New Delhi and Srinagar.

Mercure debuts in holy city

Mercure has made its debut in the holy city of Dwarka with the opening of Mercure Dwarka. Strategically located in the Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat, the hotel is a short drive from the Dwarkadhish temple, popularly known as Jagat Mandir, and is conveniently located a five minute drive from the railway station, an hour’s drive from Porbandar Airport and a little over two hours from the Jamnagar Airport. The opening of Mercure Dwarka marks AccorHotels’ fourth property in the land of legends, Gujarat.

Featuring 99 well-appointed guest rooms, including one suite, the hotel offers contemporary comfort. Each guest room features spacious interiors and modern design; the rooms are equipped with in-room amenities and high speed Wi-Fi access. Fitness enthusiasts can also work out at the state-of-the-art fitness centre. Bringing local culture to life, the rooms are designed with Lord Krishna frames connecting guests with the divinity of the city.

The hotel is also home to Makhan, an all-day dining restaurant that offers a wide selection of quintessential local delicacies and an array of local and international cuisines. For small meetings and events, the hotel features a modern meeting room that can accommodate up to 40 guests.

A special inaugural rate of INR 4,999 plus GST per room night is on offer in August. Complimentary daily drop-off and pick-up is available from Dwarkadhish Temple on a shared basis.

Kota debut for Country Inn & Suites

Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Kota has made its debut in Kota, Rajasthan. The hotel is the first international brand to have a presence in the city. Strategically located, Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Kota offers 85 rooms and suites close to corporate zones and educational service institutes, making it the perfect stay for both business and family guests.

The hotel offers amenities including free high speed Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, minibar, coffee and tea making facilities, satellite TV, in-room dining and wellness and recreation facilities such as a rooftop swimming pool, spa, steam room and health club. A choice of F&B outlets such as Mosaic, the all-day dining restaurant, features a spirited mix of local and international delicacies. FLAVI, an Indian specialty, pure vegetarian restaurant presents Awadhi, Chetinnad, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Gujarati, Bengali and Rajasthani dishes in exquisite new ways. The Unwind Lobby Bar, serves a wide selection of cocktails, wines, single malt whisky, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks in an elegant and modern setting. On the terrace, poolside bar, Splash, offers slow-roasted, aromatic barbeque innovations paired with a collection of liquor blends.

Ideal for meetings and events, the hotel features an expansive 20,000 square feet outdoor garden and flexible banquet hall as well as meeting space of over 10,200 square feet, complete with state-of-the-art audiovisual facilities.



Rebrand for Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace

The 30-year old Surya Palace, the iconic hotel in the city of Vadodara in Gujarat, has been rebranded to Grand Mercure Vadodara Surya Palace.  Strategically located close to Vadodara’s business district and corporate hubs, the hotel is the first Grand Mercure to launch in the state of Gujarat. Featuring 146 guest rooms including five suites, an all-day dining restaurant, a delicatessen, an outdoor pool, fitness and wellness centre, the hotel is a two minute drive from the railway station and ten minutes from the airport.

Each guest room features modern design aesthetics, in-room amenities and Wi-Fi access. The hotel is also home to one of the city’s largest pillarless events space spanning over 19,000 square feet, with six meeting rooms. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagarh is a 50 minute drive away from the hotel. The property is AccorHotels’ 48th hotel in the country and highlights their growing network in the region.

Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu opens in Nepal

Marriott International has debuted in Nepal with the opening of Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu. Located in Thamel, a popular area for tourists in the capital’s central commercial district, the 115-room property is close to attractions such as the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Garden of Dreams and Kathmandu Durbar Square. Amenities in the hotel include an all-day dining restaurant, a bar and lobby lounge, a fitness centre and two meeting rooms.

The brand’s presence in South Asia is marked by four hotels in India – Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Rajajinagar, Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Outer Ring Road, Fairfield by Marriott Lucknow and Fairfield by Marriott Belagavi.

Holiday Inn opens close to Kolkata Airport

InterContinental Hotels Group has introduced its first Holiday Inn hotel in Kolkata, Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport, with the opening of the 137-room hotel in partnership with Jain Group. The total number of Holiday Inn hotels has gone up to 11 in India. Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport is five kilometres away from Kolkata International Airport, the nearest five–star hotel in the city, and in close proximity to business parks, special economic zones and information technology hubs of Kolkata in Rajarhat, New Town and Salt Lake Sector-V area.

The hotel offers the contemporary business and leisure traveller an inventory of 137 well-appointed rooms and suites. For MICE and corporate guests, the hotel offers 6,076 square feet of meeting and banqueting space, state-of-the-art technology as well as creative catering for their events. The food and beverage outlets include an all-day dining restaurant, a specialty restaurant/ bar and a patisserie. The recreational amenities include a terrace top swimming pool with a stunning view of the cityscape and a well-equipped fitness centre.

Sky’s the limit as resort unveils transparent marquee

A large, completely transparent marquee has been set up permanently at Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort.

Called the Crystal, the unique space opens up opportunities at the resorts for meetings and events.

It is fully air conditioned and can seat up to 250 people banquet style. Its positioning on top of the hotel gives visitors beach views of the resort’s Bel Ombre coast.

Cyrille Carmona, deputy general manager of the resort, said: “Crystal is unique in Mauritius and repositions the Outrigger as a full-on MICE destination for events, incentive meetings, weddings and banquets. With Crystal, the sky is now the limit.”

Meliá makes it three in China

Meliá has opened the Meliá Shanghai Hongqiao, just minutes from Shanghai’s National Exhibition & Convention Centre. The luxury urban hotel is Meliá Hotels International’s third property in China, following Gran Meliá Xian and Meliá Jinan. The 187-room hotel features high ceilings and fabric-lined walls, with marble and walnut wood. The hotel also has a YHI Spa, Meliá’s signature wellness sanctuary. Marko Janssen, general manager of Meliá Shanghai Hongqiao, commented: “Every traveller deserves a truly uplifting experience, one that is bespoke and memorable – this is what we want our guests to feel the moment they walk through the door. Our service will focus on going above and beyond, paying attention to every detail for a personalised experience. Building on the legacy of the Meliá brand, we’re thrilled to bring to life our ethos of Spanish service to distinguish ourselves as the benchmark for hospitality in Shanghai and more widely in China.”