The Istana has long established itself as a fivestar hotel inspired by royal Malay-style hospitality. Recently refurbished, it is now looking to take a share of the lucrative MICE business in Malaysia, with Kuala Lumpur the capital having been ranked by ICCA as the fourth-most popular convention city in the Asia Pacific region. The property is very well positioned to offer customised meetings and conventions facilities.
This is further endorsed by the general manager of Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, Praba G Menon: "Following our extensive renovations in 2007 and 2008, our new focus will be on increasing our share of the MICE market. Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur is in the right position and has the right facilities and services to safely cater to any or all MICE business."
Location wise, the Hotel Istana has the advantage of occupying a prime corporate address at the corner of Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Sultan Ismail which is in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s prestigious Golden Triangle - this is the city’s business and commercial centre. Within walking distance from the hotel’s door step is the Bintang Walk shopping and entertainment hub, boasting several renowned shopping malls such as the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Lot 10, Starhill, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Sungei Wang Plaza and Suria KLCC. A definite plus for the hotel, since "super tourists" of the meetings industry are known to have higher average spending power than a typical leisure traveller.
To events organisers and suppliers, the hotel provides comprehensive banquet and meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions facilities. The Istana also has a pillar less ballroom which is one of the largest in Kuala Lumpur. This is The Grand Mahkota which has an area of 1,657.5 square metres and a seating capacity of up to 2,000 guests making it an ideal venue for grand banquets, wedding receptions, private celebrations, as well as conventions, corporate meetings and product launches. The ballroom is accessible through a separate entrance from the hotel.
There are also 14 meeting rooms available, eight of which form the hotel’s ‘Meeting on the 23rd’ a venue specially designed for meetings and conventions. All the meeting rooms are complemented with high-speed broadband internet access with the latest audio-visual aids.
Understanding the impor tance of having qualified personnel in this industry, the hotel has employed a team of convention professionals who have extensive experience in event planning. They work together with other trained service staff from the hotel.
Praba Menon who has been in the hospitality industry for over thirty years, has expressed that with the setting up of Malaysia’s first convention and exhibition bureau (MyCEB), the Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur looks forward to working with the bureau in attracting MICE organisers from around the world to Malaysia, thus establishing the country as the preferred MICE destination.