Marriott Manila opens PH’s largest ballroom
MANILA, Philippines – The growing MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) industry in the country has a new high profile addition with the official opening of the country’s largest ballroom, the Marriott Grand Ballroom, at the Marriott Manila in Newport City on June 23.
“With the new ballroom, we want to attract international conventions and eventually be the top choice for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions destination in Southeast Asia, targeting annual conventions, cars and product launches, shows, concerts, and national sales conferences,” Marriott Manila officials said.
The MICE industry has been growing in the past few years, following the Aquino administration designating it as a priority program of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in 2011.
The groups behind the country's integrated casino resorts, such as the Resorts World Manila complex of which the Marriot Manila is a part, have also made a concerted effort to invest in new MICE facilities in recent years to offset slowing gaming revenues brought about by increased competition and a crackdown on gambling in China.
With the addition of the Marriott Grand Ballroom, the hotel offers a total of 10,000 square meters (sqm) of function space, the biggest in the Philippine hotel industry, Marriott officials said.
The new grand ballroom offers a total of 8,000 square meters of function space, with 28 versatile meeting space, including 6 VIP sky boxes.
The main ballroom boasts 3,000 sqm of pillar-less space that can accommodate 4,000 guests for cocktails and 2,500 for banquet set-up.
This massive venue can be subdivided into 4 sections and features technology firsts for the country: the SkyFold Technology that uses vertical folding partitions that comes from the ceiling, and the 176 Programmable Pillow Ceiling Lightsthat changes to 360 colors and can adjust the ceiling height from 12 meters to 10 meters for a more intimate gathering.
As the venue is also intended as an exhibition space, it has a number of features to help exhibition organizers.
Each segment of the ballroom features 9 utility boxes that provide event suppliers with data, Internet, water, and even drainage.
There are also catwalks and high steel platform structure to give flexibility to design and easy access for lighting effects or hanging decorations.
It also includes 1,505 underground parking spaces across 6 basement levels to cater to event attendees.
The space of the Marriott Grand Ballroom was designed by international hospitality firm professionals Gettys Group, with the overall concept of the design defined as “Bayanihan" (communal unity or cooperation).
Its design is accentuated with touches of Filipino heritage, evident with the lighted bamboo statement piece at the lobby, complemented with customized pieces by renowned Filipino furniture designer Kenneth Cobunpue.
The ballroom houses over a hundred pieces of modern art, featuring a mix of locally established Philippine artists and international artists, as well as custom-made works from Melange Studio.
The artworks reflect Philippine culture blended with Marriott's International art concept, hotel officials said, that can be seen through pieces such as floral mood wall relief, specially made by Melange; timeless works by Tony Twigg, an Australian artist with strong Filipino influences; art installations by Filipina sculptor Impy Pilapil; and Filipino contemporary artist Roberto Robles. – Rappler.com