Blue sky thinking
Marina Bay Sands
Ideal for large incentive groups, this 2,500-room behemoth is comprised of three distinctive towers crowned by Sky Park, an entertainment complex featuring theatres, shopping outlets and restaurants. The hotel also offers a casino, billed as the world's most expensive standalone gambling property of its kind. For business groups, there are 250 meeting rooms covering 48,000m2, the largest of which can seat 6,000 delegates. The hotel is also set to open the Art Science museum this month.
Swissotel The Stamford
Delegates can find Swiss hospitality in an Asian setting at Swissotel The Stamford. Part of the Raffles City shopping mall, the hotel sits atop the City Hall MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) station. It is a five-minute walk away from the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay art centre and is also linked to Marina Square shopping mall. The venue is next to Singapore Grand Prix racetrack and 20 minutes away from Singapore Changi Airport. It offers 1,261 rooms and suites, 16 restaurants and bars and the Willow Stream Spa, complete with panoramic views of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. For events, the venue offers a 3,200-delegate theatre-style space and 27 function rooms.
The movie-themed park is located at Resorts World Sentosa, a 1,830-room resort occupying more than 121 acres of land on the island of Sentosa, which boasts a range of hotels and attractions including a casino. Universal Studios offers a wealth of unique event spaces including Waterworld, which often hosts product launches for up to 3,500 delegates. The Madagascar area, meanwhile, can provide dining for up to 500, while Sci-Fi City Street can hold 200 for sheltered cocktail receptions. Users of the venue include JP Morgan and IBM.
Located on the east side of Singapore, close to Changi airport, Singapore Expo is the country's largest convention and exhibition venue with more than 100,000m2 of column-free, indoor space spread across ten halls. Managed by PSA Corporation, and funded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the venue also offers ten conference halls, ranging in size from 89m2 to 844m2, with capacities for 150 to 1,000 people. In addition, there are nine meeting rooms capable of seating 125. Outdoor space is also available.
Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre
Opened in the mid-1990s, Suntec Singapore is situated in the central business district, 20 minutes from Changi International Airport. The venue's convention centre has capacity for 10,000 in a theatre-style set-up, while its 31 meeting rooms can hold up to 400. The venue is adjacent to hotels offering 5,200 rooms, 300 restaurants and the region's performing arts centre, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.
At a height of 165m, Singapore Flyer is the world's largest observation wheel, featuring fixed capsules that can be hired for events. Each has a 28-person capacity. The observation wheel boasts panoramic views of Marina Bay's skyline and can host events, meetings and conferences. The venue's largest space, a waterfront dining area located beside the wheel, can hold up to 3,233 delegates. It also offers a VIP lounge for 40 people.
Waterfront wow factor
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore is a popular five-star choice. The 574-room hotel sits next to the Singapore River and close to the central business district and Orchard Road. The venue's Waterfront Conference Centre offers 34 meeting rooms covering 6,038m2, including four ballrooms. The largest, the 820m2 Grand Ballroom, has the capacity to seat 900 theatre-style. Facilities also include a health and leisure centre, outdoor pool, and four restaurants.
Singapore Tourism Board
Contact: Maria Pangoli
Tel: 0207 484 2714
Ron Pike, communications manager at Goodyear, explains why Singapore has really come into its own as a venue for business travellers:
- How would you characterise Singapore as a destination for UK corporate groups?
Singapore is often seen as a quick stop-off destination - somewhere to visit to freshen up before heading somewhere else. However, the country is very much a destination in its own right. The feedback from our last incentive trip, where we took 40 UK dealers and their partners for a day and a night to thank them for their hard work over the year, was nearly 100 per cent positive. Singapore has lavish, world-class facilities and its continued regeneration has made it barely recognisable today compared with ten years ago. The riverside, with its extensive array of theatres and restaurants, looks particularly impressive.
- What kind of activities can you recommend in Singapore?
CMS Events, a Milton Keynes-based company that we use for all our annual incentive trips, organised a visit to the Marina Bay Grand Prix street circuit, which was hugely impressive and fitted our brand perfectly. I think that simply having free time to explore Singapore at your own pace would be really valuable for business travel groups. The city has so much to see by day and night. It boasts some great hotels and there are attractions to suit anyone's taste. It's somewhere that deserves to be treated as more than just an afterthought.
- Which hotels can you recommend?
We stayed at the Raffles Hotel Singapore, which was so good that it threatened to overshadow the second leg of our trip, which took place in Bali. We had heard about the hotel's excellent reputation before we flew out, but we were all overwhelmed by our experience there. We were greeted at the hotel with traditional Singapore Sling cocktails at the venue's Long Bar, a nice gesture that made us all feel really welcome.
- Have you used any good restaurants or bars?
Yes, we spent an evening in the China Club, a traditionally Chinese, members-only restaurant and nightclub located on the 52nd floor of the Capital Tower in the Central Business District. The space features breathtaking views over Malaysia through its huge glass windows. It was such a memorable experience in its own right.