In the northern Laotian countryside where lush paddy fields, rivers and mountains beckon, one would least expect to find an invigorating retreat equipped with world-class meetings facilities.
The opening of Pullman Luang Prabang in July 2018 has not just expanded the city's MICE facilities with the largest ballroom in Luang Prabang, but added options for outdoor experiences and socially-responsible activities.
For meetings, planners can choose from three venues, from the 368-sqm ballroom and 116-sqm function room, which can be divided into smaller spaces, to an intimate boardroom. Groups ranging from three to 300 can be accommodated across the three venues.
Groups can also take part in unique on-site and off-site activities that are designed to give back to the local community.
Options include a visit to local dairy farm, Laos Laos Buffalo Dairy, to learn how the socially-responsible enterprise produces buffalo mozzarella for Pullman Luang Prabang and meet the owners, Susie Martin and Rachel O'Shea. There, delegates get to enjoy close encounters with their 150-plus buffalos, visit the dairy and of course taste their delicious products first-hand.
Alternatively, groups can head to Ock Pop Tok, a sustainable textiles business that empowers the women of Laos. Launched in 2000 by local weaver Veo Douangdala and British photographer Jo Smith, this start-up works with more than 500 artisans throughout the country. Planners can arrange for delegates to visit the textile factory and even take part in a group weaving class.
At the resort, groups can also explore paddy fields, which provide rice for the hotel's all-day dining restaurant L'Atelier. Seasonal rice cultivation classes can be organised for corporate groups, allowing delegates to discover this ancient Asian occupation. Further enhancing the resort's environmental ethos, the unused rice husks are donated to MandaLao Elephant Conservation Camp, which cares for rescued elephants.
"We understand that meeting planners are increasingly seeking bespoke, CSR-related activities to enhance their events," said Denis Dupart, acting general manager, Pullman Luang Prabang. "Responsible tourism is at the heart of everything we do, and this is reflected by our innovative and inspirational MICE programmes."
The resort's events team can tailor activities for groups, from invigorating morning yoga and tai chi classes on the resort's rooftop deck, to alms-giving at a temple in UNESCO-listed Luang Prabang.
Planners can benefit from the "Meet and Play" MICE package, valid till August 31, 2019, for full- and half-day meetings. The offer includes one free room night for every 15 paid rooms, round-trip airport transfers for one VIP guest, discounts on group cocktails and dinners, and more.