Diversity, in the name of MICE
Dates: 5 – 7 February 2015
No. of Participants: 36
- To utilise the unique facilities and venues that the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing & Yanqi Island destination has to offer and to create a different environment and ambience at every event.
- To empower the Kempinski’s employees to think ‘out of the box’, and to encourage each individual to come together to create themes that will become a unique option for MICE planners.
Trying to impress 36 industry veterans from Kempinski China Region and the management board of Kempinski, was no easy task. Every leader would have witnessed every type of themed break and unique set-up ever created, in their career. However, the team at Sunrise Kempinski & Yanqi Island was not fazed.
Turning the business into art - originality, creativity and innovation were key. The three-day Kempinski China Region General Managers Meeting was held at various venues at Sunrise Kempinski and on Yanqi Island, which is managed by Kempinski. One minute, guests were in a 1,850-square-metre eight-metre-ceiling-high ballroom in a cabaret setting, and the next, in a Shaanxi-inspired designed ballroom setting, followed by a Dai ethnic-inspired designed Presidential Suite, and then, guests were dining in a swimming pool in their business suit.
Diving Deep into Delicacies in a Swimming Pool
On Yanqi Island, guests were invited to ‘dive’ deep into seafood delicacies in The Poet’s Haven’s (Boutique Hotel 10) swimming pool, which was drained and dried for this special occasion. Contrary to the architecture and interior design theme of Boutique Hotel 10, which was inspired by the designs of Shaanxi province, where meat is the staple diet, the culinary team led by Executive Chef Bruce Xie designed a seafood and pool theme where the 25-metre swimming pool was transformed into a seafood market.
If a seafood spread of marinated octopus, scallops & beetroot, prawns & sweet onion, homemade salmon with yellow pepper and dill, codfish, tuna tempura, sushi, tuna, herring, seafood focaccia with cheese and tomato sauce, seafood rice and seafood pasta, was not enough, the theme was further enhanced with a chocolate fish display, chocolate mousse sailing boat, rescue ring donuts, Blue Curacao water jelly, an anchor-design dessert platter, fruit pearl salad in maritime watermelon carving and pirates of the Caribbean dessert treasure chest.
Ferrying guests across the lake from Sunrise Kempinski to Yanqi Island on an electric boat would have only taken five minutes, however, with a frozen lake, guests were ferried to and from on hotel coaches, which is about a five-kilometre drive around the lake.
High-life with a View
A cocktail and dinner was held at The Views Bar, located on the 21st floor of Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, adorned with three large cloud-shaped crystal chandeliers on the seven-metre-high ceiling, and boasts an almost 360-degree view of the Yan Mountain and Yanqi Lake. A sensuous menu of Iberian ham on mushroom salad and truffle oil, tomato soup with king crab ravioli, pan-fried scallops on beetroot mousseline, and Wagyu beef with smoked artichoke and chestnut mousse meringue, was served.
APEC-themed Royal Dinner
An APEC-themed dinner was held at Yanqi Hotel’s Haiyan Hall, on Yanqi Island. Haiyan Hall was where the 21 world leaders dined for lunch during the APEC summit in November 2014. The nine-metre-high ceiling boasts black and gold royal colours whilst the wall is framed with a large Chinese painting, painted by China’s top eight artists. The painting draws inspiration from the theme ‘Season of Spring’. The bamboo on the painting, in the Chinese culture, symbolises ‘integrity of the wise men’, and the birds on the painting represent the ‘sounds of nature’. In short, the painting means: It is very peaceful in the spring, and when the wind blows, one can hear the sounds of the bamboo and the birds – symbolising peace and harmony.
Guests were seated around a hollow square setting, with a grand landscaping of flowers in the middle. An eight-course banquet of Beijing and Canton cuisines was served, starting with a combination platter of goose liver, beancurd roll, salmon and cucumber, followed by a seafood pumpkin soup, steamed egg white with sautéed lobster, roasted beef short ribs with yam, fried sole fish with black bean sauce, Peking duck with pancake, bamboo shoots with peas and black sticky rice cream with rice dumplings.
A Dai Ethnic Experience
An after-dinner cocktail was held on Yanqi Island at the two-storey and four-bedroom Presidential Suite of The Scholar’s Retreat (Boutique Hotel 9), whose ‘bamboo and water’ architecture and interior designs are inspired by the Dai ethnic minority from the Dai Autonomous Region. A 20-metre line of candles lit the way for guests from the entrance of the boutique hotel to the Presidential Suite. The set-up included a whiskey ice bar, complemented by little homemade desserts, pastries, chips and nuts.
Some other notable moments include guests baking their own desserts with the help of Executive Pastry Chef Cord Bredemeyer in the pastry kitchen, and an ancient fruit market coffee break experience with animal paper cutting, an art and craft culture which was first introduced in China 3,000 years ago.
Led by Executive Housekeeper Christiane Mueller, the Housekeeping team put together personalised and home-made amenities including dried lavender and lavender essential oil bath bombs that frizzle like sparkling water, as well as ‘healthy’ soaps made from organic almond oil and soy bean milk.
The new Sunrise Kempinski & Yanqi Island destination has indeed changed the MICE landscape in Beijing with the vast unique options that the venues have to offer, be it on land, by the lake, on the water (or in the swimming pool), or by the mountain. Spanning 14 square kilometres in total, this new destination houses facilities that can be customised to host events of any size, from large-scale industry meetings to global summits such as APEC China 2014.
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Located 60km north of Beijing's city centre, alongside the picturesque Yanqi Lake and boasting panoramic views of Yan Mountain and the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing & Yanqi Island is Kempinski’s largest property in China.
This new destination, managed by Kempinski, and owned by state-owned Beijing Enterprise Group, includes 595 guestrooms and suites housed across the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing, located along the lake, the Yanqi Hotel and 12 Boutique Hotels, located on Yanqi Island. Leisure facilities include 14 restaurants and bars, two Kempinski The Spa, a private marina, the Yanqi Pagoda, recreational and fitness facilities, a Kids Club and beautifully-landscaped gardens.
With 14,069 square metres of meeting space, spread across the 8,277-square-metre Beijing Yanqi Lake International Conference Centre, and the hotels with four ballrooms and 23 meeting rooms, this new destination is designed to host high profile government conferences and is set to become the location of choice for global summits and large-scale international meetings in the region.
Be it dining with loved ones, entertaining business associates, hosting a meeting or staging a conference, celebrating a large or intimate wedding, or a weekend escape with the family, the facilities at Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing & Yanqi Island offer guests a surprising change from their traditional experience in a resort hotel.
The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing & Yanqi Island destination was the Official Host Venue for APEC China 2014.
Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski’s rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now manages a portfolio of 75 five-star hotels in 31 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage. The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts, and prestigious residences. Each one is imbued with the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2014.