60 seconds with... InterContinental London - The O2's Hasham Soliman

C&IT met with the general manager of InterContinental London - The O2, Hasham Solimon, to find out why event planners should be excited about the capital's latest opening.

InterContinental London - The O2's Eighteen Sky Bar
InterContinental London - The O2's Eighteen Sky Bar

The meetings and event space is a unique selling point for the property, what will interest event planners most about it?

We took inspiration from the Las Vegas hotels and how they handle their event spaces and our back of house is geared up to host similar large-scale events, parties, conferences and car shows, and being linked directly with The O2 gives us the diversity in what we can deliver, such as after parties.

The hotel’s meeting space, which includes the Arora Ballroom, the biggest event space inside a hotel in the UK, as well as two large breakout spaces for 600-800 people, is located in a separate wing of the building.

The 3,100sqm pillar-free space can host 3,000 delegates theatre-style and can suspend numerous cars from the ceiling for automotive events. The area outside the hotel can also be used for building marquees or landing helicopters.


Also see:

In Pictures: The InterContinental London - The O2 opens

London: Capital venues taking 2016 by storm


Have you had much interest from corporate groups since opening in January?

In February we had three car launches – all were major brands. They loved the ballroom and the fact that they could put their cars on the helipad with the Canary Wharf skyline in the background.

What quirky features can guests expect when staying at the hotel?

When designing the hotel, we wanted to introduce a nautical theme, which can be seen from the marble flooring to the Meridian Lounge. Groups can enjoy afternoon tea from the East India Company, which was founded near the hotel in 1600, and the alcohol percentage of the hotel’s bespoke gin is the same figure as the fastest recorded speed of a Clipper boat in the UK.

How does the location of the hotel in east London impact potential business for conferences?

We’re lucky with our location because we have good accessibility to London City Airport and easy access to and from ExCeL London. We also work closely with Thames Clipper to provide a unique arrival to the hotel from Central London. We’re on the doorstep of the financial district, too.

Some clients hesitate to take their events outside of Central London, but there is no longer enough room to build a product as large and luxurious as this in the city.

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