It is also home to the largest concentration of high-end hotels and resorts. The major riverside properties offer abundant facilities for meetings and post-meeting incentive events. This includes a combined total of 10 ballrooms, 109 meeting rooms, 4000-plus bedrooms, 42 restaurants, 17 bars, and health and spa facilities – with these numbers increasing exponentially on an annual basis as hotels upgrade, add to, and renovate their properties.
These diverse and flexible MICE facilities provide home and international event planners with tremendous potential for managing and coordinating riverside events that can accommodate everything from small-scale seminars to annual general meetings.
The choice of meeting, function and conference rooms is exceptional. Extensive ballrooms can accommodate up to 1,000 guests for formal sit-down banquets, around 1,600-plus for cocktail receptions, and 1,600 for theatre-style meetings. This flexible space can accommodate events as diverse as product launches, networking events, business meetings and annual conferences. The riverside offers the added advantage of avoiding Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams as all the main riverside hotels are serviced by convenient river shuttle services thereby maximizing the time devoted to business as opposed to commuting.
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Cutting-edge technology is also standard at hotels that belong to global chains along the riverside. This includes wireless broadband Internet access, satellite and teleconferencing facilities, audio-visual equipment hire and translation services. Each hotel has in-house expert event coordinators to ensure that each event runs seamlessly in line with the expectations of hosts, guests, event planners and delegates.
This personalised service extends to the selection of seating arrangements, lighting, sound, and décor such as flowers and signage.
The leading riverside hotels all have strong connections with the capital’s main convention and exhibition centres – including the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, BITEC (Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre), and Impact Muang Thong Thani Convention and Exhibition Centre – and they can provide “two-centre” city meeting events and provide accommodation, food and beverage and ancillary services to organisations that stage events in these three venues located across the capital.
Even the arrival and transportation of guests can be made a part of an event at a riverside hotel. Meeting and conference delegates can be flown to a rooftop helicopter pad, or a designated landing area within the confines of a hotel. Alternatively, they can be fast-tracked on the toll highway from either of Bangkok’s two international airports. Another option is to sail down the river on an elegant converted teak rice barge and step ashore at one of the hotel’s private piers.
The range of hospitality services is as diverse as the properties that have been built alongside the riverside and event planners can incorporate this factor into their planning, be it the choice of a 19th century cultural building such as a former royal palace that has been converted into a heritage hotel, or a chic, ultra-modern international brand hotel.
For post-meeting events, incentive activities can be arranged in the heart of Bangkok’s historic quarter which is home to the city’s most iconic attractions including Wat Pratum Khong Ka, Wat Kanlayanamrit, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaw (the Emerald Buddha temple). Bangkok’s premier entertainment complex, Asiatique, is also in the vicinity and this lifestyle complex is home to shopping, dining, nightlife and cultural entertainment outlets across an expansive 80,000 sq-m site. The ever-popular night-time dinner cruises are also a popular way of ending a busy day at a conference or trade show.