Exclusive interview – Melvin Lim, General Manager of Marina Mandarin Singapore – at the heart of the Meritus offering…

Over almost five decades, Meritus has evolved to become an award-winning Asian hospitality brand synonymous with Asian Grace, Warmth, and Care, delivered at winning locations in Singapore and Malaysia. Meritus founded its roots from its flagship Mandarin Orchard Singapore—then The Mandarin Singapore, which opened its doors in August of 1971. The Meritus portfolio also includes Marina Mandarin Singapore and Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi. We asked Melvin Lim, General Manager of Marina Mandarin Singapore to firstly tell us a little more about the property.

Marina Mandarin Singapore is located in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District, opposite the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre and The Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay.  Situated on the trackside of the Singapore Grand Prix Formula One race, the hotel is within walking distance of popular tourist attractions such as Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer. Each of our 575 guest rooms overlooks breath-taking views of the spectacular Marina Bay or the city skyline from a private balcony.

Meritus Hotels & Resorts is a small actor compared to the giants in this industry. How much does it benefit your customers?

In today’s fast-changing and intensely competitive business environment, one should be fast and flexible enough to capitalise on the right opportunities when they present themselves. We may be small but we are effectively nimble and certainly more readily adaptable in taking advantage of new opportunities to innovate and deliver a differentiated customer experience. We have a huge drive to keep upping our game, and as such we have been focusing on offering curated solutions that combine intuitive in-hotel technology with a more personalised guest experience.

With millennials now shaping the landscape of corporate level, we understand connectivity is key. All guest rooms in both our hotels in Singapore—Marina Mandarin Singapore and Mandarin Orchard Singapore—come equipped with a smartphone solution that allows complimentary access to 4G data, free local and international calls, and even online city guides and ticket bookings to local events and places of interest.

Our product offerings are also continually being enhanced to drive satisfaction and deliver new experiences to the customer. Earlier this year, improvement works were carried out at both our hotels in Singapore to meet a wider range of banquet and conference requirements.

The MICE is a significant part of your business. Can you tell us more there and what are your key USPs?

We’ve done well in the MICE segment this year, largely due to the increased number of events such as the Singapore Airshow, Food and Hotel Asia, and the Singapore Grand Prix Formula One. Also boding well for us is the strong partnership we have forged with Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. This symbiotic relationship, coupled with our close proximity to Suntec, allows us greater leverage for successful collaborations and increased business opportunities for both parties.

Complementing its strategic location, Marina Mandarin Singapore offers over 20,000 square feet (over 1,800 square metres) of function space, including the grand, pillar-less Marina Mandarin Ballroom that can accommodate up to 700 guests. Located on the ground floor, the Marina Mandarin Ballroom is easily accessible from the driveway—one of the widest amongst Singapore hotels and capable of fitting multiple coaches and vehicles. The 100-seater Pool Garden Pavilion, with its newly installed all-glass sliding doors, boasts views of the garden foliage and the vibrant Marina Bay skyline and has an accompanying outdoor area that is perfect for teambuilding activities or an evening corporate barbeque. There are a total of 17 function spaces, most of which provide natural daylight, a feature preferred by numerous meeting organisers. Every function space is also enhanced with advanced audio-visual equipment and high-speed internet access, and backed by the expertise of a Meeting Services team.

To allow MICE organisers greater flexibility in their planning, we offer MICE groups the option of upgrading to suites. We also provide healthier food alternatives for meeting coffee/tea breaks to cater to the needs of more health-conscious guests.

What messages do you want to give to professionals to encourage them to advise your hotel to their customers?

We recognise that today’s corporate traveller looks to work in some down time and get an authentic experience of the locale. Hence, in addition to exciting dining options and a range of health and fitness facilities within our hotels, we tailor meet-and-stay packages that combine work with leisure, where local tours, popular hotspots as well as preferential dining and shopping privileges around the city may be arranged with external partners.