The Landmark Mekong Riverside hotel is an imposing six-storey building that faces directly onto a beautiful stretch of river. Yet I’m surprised to learn, soon after my arrival, that it only has 188 guest rooms.
From a pillared forecourt I step from Bangkok’s heat and humidity through glass doors, and into the cool, subtly-lit lobby of the 137 Pillars hotel. The omni-present traffic noise is suddenly hushed.
A warm breeze blows off the Pacific and a waveless sea laps the sandy beach a few metres below my feet. As I sip my beer in the open-sided ‘Le Faré’ restaurant and bar, it’s hard to believe that this is mid-winter.
Now is probably the best time, ever, to organise an event in the islands of Hawaii, thanks to a great airfare deal being offered by Hawaiian Airlines. Groups can travel from Sydney and Brisbane to Honolulu return from $799 per person including taxes.
With distinctive square contours, resembling New York’s Empire State Building, the newly opened, ultra-luxury Grand Hyatt in Manila is already gaining a reputation for being a venue for brilliant, atypical MICE events, say its operators.
“Why choose our meetings facilities?” says Gregory Preslier reflectively. “Without sounding selfish, look at the destination. Bangkok gets 37 million visitors a year, but in a way it’s the best-hidden secret in the world.”