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November 16, 2011

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First class all the way at Kerry Hotel

OUTSTANDING facilities, top service and wonderful food create an unbeatable combination for corporate events at the Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai. Tan Weiyun tours the property that has raised the bar in the hospitality industry.

Vibrant and relaxed but without compromising on service or quality, the Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, opened earlier this year, is a younger version of Shangri-La hotels, but with more vigor.

As the hotel group's second upscale brand, Kerry might be a newbie to Shanghai, but it is definitely a giant in the city's MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) market.

It boasts the largest portfolio of hotel meeting and banqueting facilities in the city, with more than 7,300 square meters of space spanning a total of 26 multi-purpose function rooms and two ballrooms.

"The hotel provides a seamless link between business, entertainment and recreation. Extensive leisure facilities are designed to be a social activity hub for both hotel guests and the local community," says Molly Chang, director of Events Management.

On the hotel's third floor are the Grand Shanghai Ballroom and the Pudong Ballroom.

Nine chandeliers created out of nearly 6,000 individual pieces of imported Czech "Lasfite" hand-blown crystal, depicting clusters of darting and swimming goldfish, light up the expanse of the Grand Shanghai Ballroom, offering a subtle feminine touch. The Pudong Ballroom's glass rods, a total of 3,000 pieces individually hand-blown, convey a more sturdy elegance and have a light masculine appeal.

The Grand Shanghai Ballroom, at 2,230 square meters and a ceiling soaring up to 9 meters, is the city's largest column-free ballroom, with a pre-function foyer area offering natural daylight. Former NBA star Yao Ming selected Kerry Hotel as the venue to announce his retirement.

It can accommodate more than 2,800 people theater style and 1,600 guests for banquets. Divisible into three sections, the ballroom is equipped with built-in LCD projectors and four motorized wide screens, plus a mega portable LED mobile screen (40 square meters, 8m by 5m) - a first in the city.

A heavy-duty lift with a maximum capacity of 8 tons is strong enough to ferry an automobile from the hotel's loading bay in the basement up to the ballroom on Level 3. It can easily transform the ballroom into an automobile showroom for model launches.

24/7 operation

The Grand Shanghai Ballroom is adjacent to the Grand Shanghai Ballroom foyer, which can be used as a pre-function area and partitioned into two, with one section leading to an outdoor terrace.

It is also interconnected to the 1,018-square-meter Pudong Ballroom, which can be opened to optimize flow between the hotel's two largest ballrooms.

The Pudong Ballroom is adjacent to the Pudong Ballroom Foyer and can be subdivided into seven sections. Each section has its own separate entrance.

Complementing the diverse selection of venues, the hotel also offers the Business Center and Office Suites, with 16 fully furnished service offices and four meeting rooms. The round-the-clock operation is dedicated to meeting the needs of business travelers and guests on the go.

Kerry Hotel sits just opposite Century Park and is directly connected to Shanghai New International Expo Center, the city's largest trade exhibition venue, and adjacent to the Kerry Parkside shopping mall, which celebrated its grand opening on October 29, by a covered walkway and footbridge.

Located in the heart of the Pudong New Area, the hotel is directly above Metro Line 7 and is only five minutes to the Maglev station, which takes commuters to Shanghai Pudong International Airport within seven minutes.

"The flexibility and spaciousness of the ballrooms and function rooms are tailor-made for various events and activities, from global conventions to high-powered boardroom meetings and grand celebrations like wedding parties," Chang says.

Meetings and event organizers benefit from a dedicated events manager, a meetings butler and an audio-visual technician on standby at all occasions.

Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai also designs a wide variety of interesting theme meetings, ranging from a forest-themed conference to a supreme elite meeting.

One of its highlights is the Echo-Meet, which uses recycled paper pads and pens, function rooms with natural daylight, leather desk blotters, non-toxic markers, organic coffee and fresh squeezed juices.

Conference participants can enjoy the gym facilities in Kerry Sports, the city's largest sports club spanning 6,000 square meters over three floors. Nearby Century Park is also an ideal destination for corporate team-building events.

"Kerry Hotel is also an ideal venue for wedding ceremonies," says Chang.

It offers three major wedding packages: Extravaganza, Indulgence and Glamour. All packages include a 30-minute pre-dinner reception, stage setup, champagne fountain, wedding cake for cutting ceremony, tailor-made Chinese menu and other benefits.

"Newly-weds will have a romantic and memorable ceremony in our hotel," says Chang.

The hotel boasts one of Shanghai's most innovative dining concepts, integrated at a three-in-one venue - The Cook, The Meet and The Brew.

Michael Huang, director of Food and Beverage, says: "Our experienced culinary professionals and a well-trained banquet services team collaborate closely with the Events Management team to ensure no detail is spared in executing successful events for guests."

The Cook, the main à la carte restaurant with 11 live show kitchens and a gourmet delicatessen, has seating for 365 people, including an outdoor patio.

The Brew is a bar with pub-style favorite dishes, live music and seating for 153 people.

"We brew our own homemade beer here, super fresh with all the ingredients imported from around the world," Huang says.

It offers six handcrafted beers and one cider as well as a vast selection of beverages.

The Meet is a place for meat and more meat. The steakhouse and specialty grill offers seating for 112 people, including The Master's Table, a private dining room accommodating 12.

The Meet also provides a wide variety of premium grilled items from fresh seafood and organic poultry to vegetables, pork and lamb, accompanied by signature side dishes and sauces.

All through to November 24, the hotel is in full swing to celebrate American Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving Turkey Hamper will feature a whole roasted turkey, honey roasted sweet and baby potatoes, oven-baked pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie and more. Kerry is also offering a Christmas Turkey Hamper and Christmas celebratory dinners in The COOK and The MEET, ending with a New Year Eve's bash in The BREW.

Its Sunday brunch is another highlight with succulent fresh seafood, a luscious carving station, organic salads and fruit bar, Japanese, Italian, Malaysian and Cantonese specialties, cheese and prosciutto from The Cheese Vault and playful desserts.


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