As part of CEI Asia's inaugural Editors' Choice industry excellence report, here we celebrate the best cities for meetings and events across the region: 

Hong Kong

If the world’s top MICE experts decided to magically create the ideal group destination it would look very much like Hong Kong: a city boasting breathtaking physical beauty, superb luxury hotels, celebrated restaurants and exciting nightlife, plus a world-class international airport and convention centres. And all this is located within a compact cityscape, where no place is more than 40 minutes away, via the world’s best-run public and private transport networks.

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Among the many attractions perennially popular with groups are Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, the Lan Kwai Fong nightlife district, the Big Buddha, the racetracks at Happy Valley and Shatin, and the striking views from Victoria Peak.

While among the feast of fabulous hotels, two of the best include the 545-room Grand Hyatt—adjacent to the world-class Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre—and the legendary 300-room The Peninsula Hotel on Kowloon-side, with its eight gourmet restaurants.

HKCEC


New on the scene, the 336-room The Murray Hotel is due to open in October on Hong Kong’s Cotton Tree Drive. “Its prime central location and close proximity to major financial institutions, legal companies, and luxury retail malls, means The Murray will be frequented by business leaders, hosting such events as corporate parties, global conferences and major shareholder meetings,” says managing director, Duncan Palmer.

When completed, events facilities will include 14 flexible banqueting spaces featuring natural light, combined with a variety of indoor and outdoor settings, including a rooftop bar with spectacular views of Victoria Harbour.

Meanwhile, the fourth Shangri-La Group hotel to open in Hong Kong, the new 16-storey, 545-room Kerry Hotel was designed by noted local architect Andre Fu of Singapore’s Fullerton Bay Hotel and London’s Opus Suite at Berkeley fame.

Opened in December on the Kowloon waterfront, the Kerry Hotel is a 20-minute walk from the Tsim Sha Tsui East shopping district. Over 60 per cent of the rooms feature unobstructed views of Victoria Harbour. There are four restaurants and bars—including an outdoor terrace, as well as a 25-metre outdoor swimming pool and a 24-hour gym.

The hotel has what it claims to be “the city’s largest pillarless grand ballroom”—at 1,756 sqm, it can accommodate 1,000 guests seated and up to 2,100 standing.


Shanghai

Located within four hours’ flying time of most of Asia’s big cities, and with a dozen major hotels—including such luxury properties as the JW Marriott, Grand Hyatt, The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, The Peninsula, and Mandarin Oriental all competing for MICE market share—Shanghai’s conference and convention business is booming like never before.

Shanghai also boasts two international airports, plus the world’s largest exhibition complex—the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center, with an immense 170,000 sqm of space across six halls. The centre is easily accessible from the Hongqiao Transportation Hub, a joint high-speed rail station and airport.