With Christmas coming up fast, chances are you will be trying to find free time to pick up a few presents in the next few weeks. Combining some shopping with a business trip may be one way to do this. These newly opened hotels all offer great opportunities to do this, with large shopping malls located right on their doorsteps.
Hotel: EAST, Beijing
When it opened: Early October 2012
What is the hotel like: This is Swire Hotel’s second “business lifestyle” EAST-brand property following EAST, Hong Kong (see www.east-beijing.com).
Location: It’s located in the Chaoyang district on the east side of central Beijing near the 4th Ring Road, 15 minutes from Beijing Capital International Airport or the central business district. It has 369 rooms, a fitness centre and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
The mall: The hotel is part of a mixed-use development, which contains the INDIGO Mall with over 170 shops (see www.indigobeijing.com).
The shops: These include the international bookstore Page One, a flagship Lenovo store, a Sephora cosmetics shop, and Biorck&Co home accessories. There are also fashion stores including MO&Co, Vero Moda, GAP, H&M, J.Lindeburg and EITIE.
Food & beverage options: XiHeYaYuan Roast Duck Restaurant serves the local specialty Beijing Duck, Honeymoon Desert offers Chinese-style desert options and there’s also a brand of the large international café chain Costa Coffee and a McDonald’s.
Other: The mall has the CGV XingXing Cinema which has seven screens. A large park is under development and opening gradually next to the mall.
Opening hours: Most of the shops in the mall are open between 10am and 10pm.
Hotel: Conrad Seoul
When it opened: November this year
What is the hotel like: It has 434 rooms that are all equipped with an Apple-based multimedia centre (see here www.conrad.hilton.com/seoul).
Location: The Conrad Seoul is located in the Yeouido district, known as “Korea’s Wall Street”. The hotel is 18 minutes from Gimpo Airport and above a major metro station.
The mall: The hotel is connected to the IFC Mall that aims to offer a very international shopping experience with the best brands from across the world. The light, glass clad building has around 100 shops over three levels (see here www.ifcmallseoul.com).
The shops: These include Korea’s first Apple and Hollister stores, plus stores by Banana Republic, Pull & Bear, Calvin Klein, Jill Stuart and Cath Kidson.
Food and beverage options: For a quick drink break there’s The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Starbucks or Caffe Bene or for fine meat feasts there’s The Steak House and Korean barbeque at Sariwon.
Other: The mall’s two atria host regular music performances and other live entertainment, while outside the mall is the large IFC Garden.
Opening hours: Between 10am and 10pm.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East
When it opened: End of September 2012
What is the hotel like: Hong Kong’s second of IHG’s Crowne Plaza-brand hotels has 120 superior rooms and 160 deluxe rooms, an outdoor pool, a fitness centre and three restaurants (see here www.crowneplaza.com).
Location: In the Tseung Kwan O district on the far east side of the Kowloon Peninsula, close to the emerging Kwun Tong and Quarry Bay business districts.
The mall: The hotel is located above the youthful-style Popcorn shopping mall, which has over 100 shops (see here www.popcorntko.com.hk).
The shops: Some of the more striking stores include Bros Plus, which sells T-shirts and sweatshirts with expressive cartoon graphics, and PlusHome selling quirky home accessories. There are also stores by brands including Nike, Casio, Timberland, along with L’Occitane, Clinique, and Lancôme cosmetics shops.
Food and beverage: There’s a California Pizza Kitchen and the Singaporean tea restaurant Toast Box, plus Itacho Sushi, Praise House Congee and Noodle Cuisine, and Starbucks.
Other: The mall has a STAR Cinema and there are occasional performances held there (see website for more information).
Opening hours: The shops in the mall are open between 10am and 11pm.
When it opened: This month.
What is the hotel like: This hotel by the Canadian hospitality group is the first deluxe hotel to open in the Philippines premier financial district of Makati in 20 years. The hotel’s design combines modern touches with the rich, cultural characteristics of Filipino design. Each of the 280 guestrooms has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city (see here www.fairmont.com/makati).
Location: The hotel is located in Makati City, an area in the south of central Manila which is the country’s main financial centre and is home to large numbers of international businesses. It is close to Ayala MRT Station.
The mall: The hotel is 300 yards from the huge Greenbelt Mall, a complex of five different buildings with both indoor and outdoor streets offering more than 300 shops (see here www.ayalamalls.com.ph/malls).
The shops: Greenbelt 4 has stores for designers including Burberry, Armani, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and others. Greenbelt 5 has high-end watch and jewellery stores, a Bang & Olufsen story, and a Marks & Spencer. It also has a zone dedicated to local Filipino designers.
Food and beverage options: For fast food there is McDonald’s and KFC, while the food courts offer a range of Philippine food, Italian pasta dishes, hot dogs, steaks and more.
Other: Greenbelt 3 has a large multiplex cinema.
Opening hours: Greenbelt 1 is open from 10am to 8pm (9pm on Fridays and Saturdays), Greenbelt 2, 3, 4, & 5 are open from 11am to 9pm (10pm on Fridays and Saturdays).
Hotel: Grande Centre Point Hotel & Residence Sukhumvit-Terminal 21
When it opened: November 2011.
What is the hotel like: This four-star hotel is part of the Thai hotel group Centre Point Hospitality. The hotel has 498-rooms, a swimming pool, sauna and fitness centre with a squash court (see www.centrepoint.com).
Location: In the heart of Bangkok’s main business district in the Asoke-Sukhumvit area, close to Exchange Tower and offices of multinational companies like Citibank.
The mall: The hotel is connected to the nine-floor Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, which has over 600 shops and an airport theme with different floors taking you to foreign countries (see www.terminal21.co.th).
The shops: M floors is modeled on Paris’s Champs-Élysées and has international brands such as Paul Frank and Esprit, plus a Body Shop and Sunglasses Hut. The third floor is like an Istanbul Souk with eclectic shops selling jewelry, fashion accessories, toys, and home décor. The ground floor has a Roman theme, and hosts shops of Kipling, Nike, Adidas, Levi’s and more.
Food & beverage options: AI Japanese Village offers ramen and sushi, Bread Talk has baked goods and Canton House does Chinese steamed dumplings.
Other: The mall has SF Cinema City – a multiplex showing the most recent releases.
Opening hours: Every day from 10am to 10pm.