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Asia Business Meet 2018: Sentosa’s greatest hits

ABM buyers taking a group shot at the exact spot where US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un met for the very first time in June 2018.
ABM buyers taking a group shot at the exact spot where US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un met for the very first time in June 2018.

Clear skies and fair weather greeted ABM buyers on the last day of this year's Asia Business Meet (ABM) - which is perfect, considering that it was going to be a day of site inspections on Sentosa Island. 

The first half of the day's inspections was dedicated to Sentosa's hotel offerings, namely Le Meridien Singapore, W Singapore Sentosa Cove and Capella Singapore. 

Le Meridien Singapore charmed the ABM guests with its intimate venues. The World of Whisky, fondly known as The WoW, is the hotel's well-stocked bar, with premium whiskies from around the world. A connected patio opens out to a serene back lawn, which can hold up to 100 guests for outdoor events and barbecue parties. The majestic view of Sentosa's 37-metre tall Merlion doesn't hurt, either. 

Next stop on the inspection trail was W Singapore Sentosa Cove, located on the residential end of the Sentosa Island. Eivan Liew, cluster assistant director of sales, was eager to showcase the hotel's event venues - the largest of the three hotels that guests got to visit that day. W Singapore Sentosa Cove's ballroom, for example, holds up to 500 people at full capacity. There are also four studio rooms nearby, each with a capacity of 50 people. Guests were especially wowed by the hotel's lawn, which is capable of fitting up to 250 standing guests. 

Eivan Liew, W Singapore Sentosa Cove’s cluster assistant director of sales, giving ABM buyers an introduction to the hotel’s facilities.
Eivan Liew, W Singapore Sentosa Cove’s cluster assistant director of sales, giving ABM buyers an introduction to the hotel’s facilities.

The final stop was the historical Capella Singapore, a restored Tanah Merah colonial bungalow that dates back to the 1880s. More than its heritage value, however, Capella Singapore was also the venue for the recent 2018 Trump-Kim Summit on June 12, 2018. For that particular event, Cassia, the hotel's cantonese fine-dining restaurant, had to be transformed overnight to accommodate the signing session. The ballroom, which can hold up to 400 people, also had to be reconfigured for the US President's press conference later on. So charmed were the guests by Capella Singapore that they took turns to take pictures at the exact spot where the leaders shook hands. 

The second half of the day's inspections was for the potential leisure incentives on Sentosa Island. Buyers were able to tour attractions like AJ Hackett Sentosa, Madame Tussauds Singapore, Skyline Luge, as well as various beach-hosting venues along Sentosa's coast. AJ Hackett Sentosa, for example, is Singapore first and only bungy tower that stands 50 metres above ground on Siloso Beach - an attraction that's not for the fainthearted; Madame Tussauds Singapore, like its other iterations around the world, is home to wax versions of celebrities like Taylor Swift and Cristiano Ronaldo; Skyline Luge is a half go kart, half toboggan ride down Sentosa's Dragon and Jungle Trails, at 688 metres and 628 metres respectively.

These attractions were nice and fun but, at the end of the day, the buyers were most impressed by the hotels that they toured. Tamas Varga, director of operation of Hungary-based i Like MICE/Duax Ltd., thought W Singapore Sentosa Cove was the most memorable, "The interiors and facilities are both functional and simply beautiful. I also love the surroundings better, as it is further away from the tourist attractions on Sentosa Island." Life Travel & Tourist Services' project planner, Jamie Liu, agreed with Varga, "We are looking at venues that can hold about 80 to 100 people. I think W Singapore Sentosa Cove fits the bill and is within the price range we are looking at." Liu added that, because her clients are mostly based in Taiwan and W Hotels has an existing establishment in Taipei, the name recognition is particularly important to her. "For my clients, if they see W Singapore Sentosa Cove, they will know the brand and feel an immediate sense of trust."