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London’s Greenwich adds to its unrivalled MICE facilities

Raj Shah

The 453-room InterContinental London-the 02 opens in November

In November 2015 the Royal Borough of Greenwich will have another reason for claiming to be one of Europe’s most MICE friendly locations. This will be the opening of the InterContinental Hotel London - the 02. An 18-storey building, it will add 453 high quality rooms and an impressive new conference centre to the facilities in this rapidly developing, previously neglected part of east London.

The excitement created by this plan was very evident as Raj Shah filled in some of the details for ITCM. Raj is Commercial Director of Arora Management Services. Arora is a fast-growing entity in its own right with hotels under its own name and as the proprietor of such iconic properties as the Sofitel Hotels at Heathrow Terminal 5 and at Gatwick.

‘Bear in mind’, he said, ‘that the Royal Borough of Greenwich is benefiting from as much as £5bn investment, if you include the remarkable facilities it has inherited from the London Olympics. Our new InterContinental will have a direct link into the O2 Dome, which has already established itself throughout the world as a top concert and events hall. We will also be able to work together with ExCel exhibition and conference halls, which can be seen across the Thames from the hotel. London City Airport is a short distance away.’

Delegates attracted to these outstanding new facilities will also be able to plan itineraries during their stay that will take in some of the world’s most interesting attractions located on the Greenwich Peninsula on the Thames. These include the National Maritime Museum, which is the largest of its kind in the world; the 19thC clipper ship, Cutty Sark; the 17thC Queen’s House collection of fine arts; and the Royal Observatory. Here a visitor can stand astride the Prime Meridian that marks Greenwich Mean Time, with one foot in each of the planet’s two hemispheres.

InterContinental London-the 02
Raj gave some details of the new hotel’s Conference Centre. ‘One the third floor, the Arora Ballroom will have the largest pillar-free space of any hotel in the UK, with 1,500sqm that can be divisible into as many as 14 separate function rooms. Double partitioning will create a space between them to ensure the best possible sound insulation. And a foyer, overlooking the Thames, will have an additional 1,000sqm. ‘The 2nd floor will consist of nine break-out rooms with views across to the business centre of Canary Wharf.

‘There will be two restaurants and a 24-hour dining service. One of the two bars will be on the 18th floor, so that views of the London skyline can be enjoyed.

There will be eight treatment rooms in the hotel spa, which is likely to be called About Time, with reference to the part played by Greenwich in the world’s time-keeping.’

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