A peep into Sanya’s booming hospitality industry via Sanya hotels
1). Horizon Resort and Spa
The general manager Thomas Sun opines that Horizon Resort and Spa has several advantages in terms of meeting facilities. First, the hotel has 16 meeting rooms in different sizes ranging from 50-square-meter ones for small meetings to 850-square-meter for group meetings with a seating capacity of 1,155 attendees. Multiple choices of meeting space and the most advanced lighting, audio and wiring facilities can fully meet professional demands of various meetings. Second, the "perfect meeting guarantee" facilities of the hotel are second to none in Yalong Bay: the hotel’s self-contained power supply equipment restart up all power supply facilities in ten seconds after a power failure to ensure the success of meetings; Yalong Bay experiences several power failures caused by emergencies such as typhoons and municipal rush repairs every year. During typhoon Conson typhoon and a 24-hour power failure in July 2010, Horizon was the only resort that could supply power normally when other hotels could not even provide normal lighting, which is an important guarantee for meeting guests. Also, Horizon boasts the only pure water ozonization system in Yalong Bay, its super-silent Trane three-stage compressing and centrifugal air conditioning unit makes rooms cozy all the time; of course, and all guest rooms and meeting rooms are conveniently equipped with computers and provide free broadband access. Meeting guests account for about 20% of all the hotel’s guests according to Sun.
With nearly 1,000 guest rooms in various types, the hotel was designed by its US architect in the architectural style of Bali. Many details of rooms are tailored to guests, such as the elaborate matching of room tone and light that increases spaciousness and coziness, convenient free broadband access, bedside LED reading lamps in deluxe sea-view suites that facilitate night reading and protect eyes, super large space of sea-view suites, semi-open toilets, double wash basins and separate shower rooms.
The hotel enjoys the widest private beach and best sea view in Yalong Bay, is home to the most diverse tropical ecological landscape, and offers the best experience of seaside leisure. The catering is also famous in Yalong Bay, over 10 distinctive restaurants, in luxurious, original, exotic and economical styles, for business and holiday purposes, can live up to the expectations of guests from different regions. Also, the hotel offers rich sports and recreation activities to create healthy and agreeable holiday experience for business guests: the swimming pool is particularly popular in Yalong Bay, the 2,000-cubic-meter double-layer heated freshwater swimming pool is also Hainan’s first swimming pool disinfected by the internationally popular method of ozonization, which is totally safe and harmless to humans. Equipped with three water chutes with a fall of five meters, the pool gives guests excitement and fun of aquatic sports. Additionally, the hotel has imported a deluxe sailing catamaran from France.
As a designated media reception hotel of the Boao International Tourism Forum, Sanya Horizon Resort and SPA offered professional and high-caliber reception services in March 2010: the hotel offered GRO language service targeting journalists from different regions and countries; also it opened separate restaurants for hugh numbers of media and guests from all walks of life; the VIP club offered in-hotel airport check-in service; there was also a site as the press conference hall for information release; and media guests were provided with a vehicle rental service for interview purposes.
Furthermore the hotel once hosted Volvo annual conference reception services. For the reception, the hotel placed the customer’s cars on the garden lawn.
2). Narada Resort and Spa Sanya
Liu Kaiqiang is the general manager of Narada Resort and Spa Sanya. He estimates that 15% of the hotel’s overall profit comes from MICE customers and says the Narada Resort and Spa Sanya is the perfect venue for meetings, incentives, corporate events. The pillarless 800-square meter Grand Ballroom with 10-meter-high ceilings, a spacious foyer, several break-out rooms, and an adjoining tropical garden to hold a full scale conference, a formal banquet or a high level meeting. The hotel offers eight meeting rooms with a total of 1,400 square meters, that can accommodate 15 to 1,000 guests, and all meeting facilities are located on one level with a business centre and convention services centre and a separate entrance. The tropical Lawn area is ideal place for exhibitions, photo shoots or a cocktail party. Several outdoor venues in the tropical gardens or the exclusive beach are ideal locations for corporate events and theme parties.
A major European car launch was held in the hotel’s convention center garden and on the beach. As the beach is private and exclusive, resort was able to offer the client the possibility to have the car displayed on the beach whilst their team events and a cocktail party were being held. The setting and the event itself were so spectacular and breathtaking that they impressed not only the clients but also all invited media and guests.
3). Sheraton Sanya Resort
Stephen Ford, the general manager of Sheraton Sanya Resort, says that the Seven Seas Ballroom is the largest in Yalong Bay with a capacity for 1,000 people in a meeting or 900 people at a banquet. With a ceiling height of 10 meters, it can cater for rear projection presentations comfortably. The 11 smaller meeting rooms, some of which have natural daylight, can be used as breakout rooms or for smaller meetings for 20 to 90 people. The extensive outdoor facilities can accommodate up to 1,000 people for a sit-down dinner as well as providing a venue for team building events. A team of very experienced resort associates can help organizers to create team building exercises on-site. A purpose built Laguna stage located just outside the Seven Seas Ballroom is the perfect setting for an outdoor event, ranging from a cocktail event to a product launch dinner for up to 150 persons.
Take the Boao Forum for Asia as an example: Sheraton Sanya Resort has been appointed to accommodate state leaders and ambassadors officially. In order to provide the most professional and exclusive services, the resort has conducted special training for associates which fully reflected the brand culture. The resort has also organized an associate amenity team to warmly welcome VIPs and made them feel at home.
4). Grand Metropark Resort Sanya
Thomas Guan is the general manager of Grand Metropark Resort Sanya. He thinks that business travel is becoming more and more popular, and what a hotel needs to provide more than just a hotel room or a meeting venue. In order to have a pleasant, comfortable and convenient environment to encourage company morale, unite employees, and to release pressure, guests usually like to choose a different destination out of their company for business.
Grand Metropark Resort Sanya boasts a 500-square meter ballroom and other meeting venues, which are equipped with full and advanced meeting facilities and audio visual equipment and can accommodate groups of different sizes. All guest rooms have free Internet access and wireless Internet access is available in the lobby, swimming pool and all meeting venues. The hotel also offers a variety of cuisines, including traditional German, Cantonese, Jiangzhe, Taiwan, Japanese, and local Hainan food. The hotel also provides an intimate pillow service so that guest can choose from five kinds of pillows and three types of quilts. After business activities, business guests can relax themselves at V•SPA, enjoy a professional oil massage or Thai massage in an outdoor pavilion.
The hotel emphasizes that it provides an all-round service for the guest, the mature doormen to strengthen the guest loyalty, rapid check-in and check-out procedures, special guest rooms and bedding according to guest habits, a welcome drink and snack, a customer relationship manager, and a birthday wishes service. Warm, thoughtful, considerate, and patient service is most important.
The official approval of Hainan international Tourism Island brings great development opportunities for the transformation and upgrading of Hainan’s tourism industry, while Sanya is becoming the first choice for holiday or business travel. At present, Sanya has 23 domestic intercity routes and nine international routes to Singapore, Macao, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo. Business travel has occupied an important position in the Sanya hospitality market, especially during the traditional low season. Meanwhile, more and more supporting facilities, activity facilities, and entertainment projects are being financed and constructed. These will bring significant development for Sanya MICE market.
Business and Travel in Sanya
Lin Hui, the Beijing marketing director of Haikou Civil Holiday Travel Service, says that the agency has 45 branches all over China, and each of them boasts abundant aviation resources. In Hainan, Civil Holiday has 16 years of experience in receiving tourists.
The most important thing when choosing a suitable venue for an event, according to Lin Hui, is to see if the venue can meet the requirements of the activity. And price is also an important factor. Nowadays there is little difference between hotels’ facilities, and that’s why the style of the hotel is so important. The hotel’s service, such as the sense of responsibility of its meeting team and their work attitude are excellent.
Lin has used many hotels in Sanya including Grand Metropark Resort Sanya, Yalong Bay Villas and Spa, Yalong Bay Mangrove Tree Resort, and Yalong Bay Universal Resort Sanya. Grand Metropark Resort Sanya surrounded by golf course has impressed Lin the most with its beautiful environment.
The most attractive thing of Sanya to MICE guests, according to Lin Hui, is the unique natural tropical island environment. Here in Sanya one can join business activities in a relaxed atmosphere, traveling while doing business.
5). Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay
Peter Wise, the general manager of Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay, believes that a good environment creates a quality meeting. The Pacific Grand Ballroom is the place for upscale meetings, dinner parties, product promotions, and cocktail parties for 350 people. The 11 meeting rooms and multifunctional rooms offer flexible choices for meeting organizers, while the garden, the lake and the swimming pool have provided nice background for the hotel. All the meeting rooms of the hotel are equipped with advanced meeting facilities, multimedia equipments and wired/wireless Internet access. The featured relaxation area of Pullman hotels enables guests to enjoy wireless Internet access, a massage chair, and meeting breaks. The hotels professional meeting consultants will help guest to customize their meeting planning.
In Wise’s opinion, there are many factors that make Sanya a popular MICE destination, such as the sunshine, the sea, the pleasant climate, the rising popularity, the tourism facilities, and the improved environment construction. Sanya has successfully held many major events such as Miss World final contest, Mr. World final contest, New Silk Road Model Contest, Golf Tour, International Triathlon, and Around-the-Island Cycling Competition. Now Sanya is striving to develop MICE, including the construction of large-scale venues. When Sanya has convenient logistics system, enough talent and higher popularity and reputation, it will be the most popular MICE destination in southern China.
Hotel Should Have Unique Self-positioning
Zhou Zhou is the regional director of Ctrip.com’s hotel business division. He explains, Sanya boasts many high-quality resorts and golf courses which are quite attractive to MICE guests. He is of the opinion that, because of the Expo in Shanghai, Sanya might see a relatively muted MICE market in 2010.
Location, facilities, service, /performance ratio, and brand, all these are very important when choosing a proper hotel for an event, Zhou states. He has used almost all the major hotels in Yalong Bay, Dadonghai and Sanya Bay, and Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay with its unique culture and fine hardware and software facilities is the best among all these hotels.
6). Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa
The general manager of Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa Jean Pierre Mainardi told China Hospitality News about the six features of the hotel’s meeting facilities. First, hotel has an independent conference center offering full meeting facilities, convenient for meeting organizers to arrange their work. Second, there is 800-square meter outdoor lawn just beside the ballroom, suitable for tea breaks and dinner parties of up to 300 people. Third, the ballroom has natural light and is quite spacious. Fourth, the garden poolside is the right place for a BBQ buffet of 100 people. Fifth, hotel boasts 3,000 square meters of beach lawn for a 1,000-person banquet and performances. Sixth, the hotel also has a private beach and swimming pool which enable meeting organizers to plan exciting teambuilding activities such as beach volleyball, beach soccer, water basketball, or swimming competition.
Mainardi estimates that 20% of the hotel’s overall profit comes from MICE guests.
The hotel has many special services for MICE guests. For example, there is personalized guest room for MICE guests, and pillows of various materials for guests to choose from. The in-room high speed Internet access and wireless Internet in public areas enable guests to surf the Internet anywhere at any time. The business center provides copying, fax and translation services. Tea breaks together with yoga, Tai Chi, and archery can help guests relax themselves after meetings. It also provides various cuisines that can meet most guests’ taste. In addition, guests here can have special teambuilding activities such as canoe relay races on the sea.
To attract more MICE guests, Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa has many programs to meet their requirements. Mainardi has shared a successful case. In June 2010, the Mercedes-Benz C class wagon launch ceremony was held in Sanya. As a luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz has strict requirements for hotel service and facilities. Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa had key cards made with the Mercedes-Benz logo on them. When guests turned on the TV in their room, a video about Mercedes-Benz would appear first. Meanwhile magazines and newspapers including Mercedes-Benz ads could be found in the rooms. These measures made a successful event for the company.
7). International Asia Pacific Convention Center and HNA Resort Sanya
The general manager of International Asia Pacific Convention Center and HNA Resort Sanya, Liu Jinting, told China Hospitality News that the hotel has a total of 16 meeting rooms of 5,400 square meters, suitable for events of 20 to 1,000 people. All of them are equipped with advanced digital meeting systems and recording equipment: sufficient for an international ministerial conference of 600 people. The hotel also has venues for dinner parties and teambuilding, such as the poolside, the beach, and the lawn. Liu said MICE accounts for 10% of the hotel’s total revenue.
Liu says that the hotel has different personalized services for different MICE guests. If the participants of a large-scale conference are all from the same country or same city, the hotel will adjust the menu for breakfast accordingly. Room arrangements, means of payment, and venues will also be adjusted according to guests’ requirements. The hotel undertook an even for a clothing company. According to the client’s requirements, the hotel set up a runway by the fountain, and provided several function areas for photography, locker rooms, media, and VIPs.
Wu Tong, the national trade marketing manager, Sara Lee (China) Trading Company Limited, says that that the company holds distributor assemblies for about 120 participants each year. In 2010 the assembly will be held in Sanya. A venue with full facilities and large enough to accommodate all participants will be the company’s choice, especially those can assist the meeting company to set their own meeting venue. If the meeting is to be held in a hotel, convenient transport, a fine environment, good hardware and software facilities should also be considered.
InterContinental Sanya and Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa have impressed Wu a lot with their service. The company’s distributor assembly was held in InterContinental Sanya this year. This was the first meeting case the hotel has received since its opening. Great changes have been made in the hotel one month after the company signed the contract, and everything seemed perfect when the guests finally arrived here. The hotel had arranged a welcome ceremony with flowers. The hotel did very well in following up the assembly. The background music it used during the signing ceremony was quite suitable. The hotel has very special guest rooms with 180 degree sea views and elements of Hainan’s Li ethnic group. Its restaurants are at the beach. The staffs of the hotel are very considerate and friendly.
The company has also cooperated with Crowne Plaza Sanya.
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