First look: Avani Riverside Bangkok enters the MICE arena

29 Feb 2016 by Jeremy Tredinnick
AVANI Riverside Bangkok
Minor Hotel Group’s upscale Avani brand was launched in 2011 to complement the overtly traditional, resort-style Anantara hotels with a more contemporary type of property for guests “who value the details that matter”. The Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel is its latest incarnation, positioned directly behind the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort in Thonburi district on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. A 26-storey, new-build property whose lower levels comprise a shopping mall and office space, the new 248-room hotel occupies the 10th-26th floors, and is notable for the superb river and city views that every room boasts, as well as a slew of events spaces that place this new Avani in direct competition with established Bangkok MICE favourites the Shangri-La and Centara Grand. Another plus for events planners is a covered walkway between the Anantara and Avani properties, meaning a combined offering of more than 650 keys covering a range of resort-style and modern business-style rooms and suites. The hotel has already soft-opened and will be fully finished in April, and has immediately attracted prestigious clientele for meetings and events. “In March we are hosting a meeting of the Asian headquarters of Lufthansa (from Singapore), as well as a Louis Vuitton meeting, and also the Ford Motor Show exhibition,” says general manager Christian Hoechtl. The main events spaces are located on the 10th floor, and include a Grand Ballroom that boasts almost 4,500 sqm of pillarless space catering to as many as 1,500 people for product launches, corporate events and conferences. It can be separated into four spaces, and skylights flood the huge area with natural light – this is the tallest ballroom ceiling in Bangkok at 11 metres high. On one side is a unique open-plan show kitchen where delegates can watch the chefs work, while a car lift (6 x 2.6 x 2.2 metres) with a weight load of 3,000kg gives direct access to the ballroom. The pre-function spaces and side meeting rooms (27 in total) are equally spacious, featuring fantastic river views and a panorama of the downtown city skyline beyond through floor-to-ceiling windows (you can choose to have a sunrise or sunset meeting in either. Being a brand-new hotel, all event facilities offer state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, but the Avani prides itself on its personal touches as well. Five coffee stations in the pre-function areas offer a more relaxed, “kitchen pantry” atmosphere, says Hoechtl. “Two large counters serve as buffets where fresh pastries and savoury dishes are attractively displayed. Guests can walk around them to shelves and tall fridges displaying healthy sandwiches, fresh fruit juices and other beverages, which they can take as they wish,” he says. “The stations themselves feature coffee and tea machines and we do serve the customers, but there is more of a relaxed, residential feel. There are no old banquet tables dressed up with linen or makeshift coffee machines in the corner.” Guestrooms at the Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel are stylishly minimalistic and tech-savvy, the focus being on the grand views through the windows. On the roof is an infinity pool as well as Attitude Bar & Restaurant, offering great potential as a post-event party venue. The potential downside of the hotel’s location in Thonburi, some distance from the city centre, is offset by 15-minute complimentary shuttle boat transfers to Saphan Taksin BTS station near the Shangri-La hotel – and the overall benefits of the Avani’s location, highly competitive pricing and venue options make it an attractive new package for business travellers and event planners in Thailand’s capital. For more information, visit Jeremy Tredinnick
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