Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is a five-star hotel in Bangkok owned in part and managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the original structure was the first hotel built in Thailand when it opened as The Oriental in 1879. Today, the hotel is one of two flagship properties of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and is known for service, which consistently places it among the world's best hotels.

When Siam opened to foreign trade after the signing of the Bowring Treaty the sailors that manned the ships which conveyed this trade though Bangkok required accommodation on shore. To meet this demand, Captain Dyers, an American and his partner J.E. Barnes opened a hotel called the Oriental Hotel. This burnt down in 1865.

Several years later a partnership of Danish captains opened a replacement hotel. In the 1970s the board of the Oriental Hotel decided with the opening of the new River Wing, upon 1876 as the official establishment date of the Oriental Hotel.

At the end of the war a six-person partnership each contributed US$250 to buy the hotel. The partnership consisted of Germaine Krull (1897–1985), Prince Bhanu, General Chai Prateepasen, Pote Sarasin (a Thai lawyer) and John Webster and Jim Thompson, two Americans who had served in the Organization for Strategic Security (OSS) and who had stayed on in Thailand. Krull took the position of manager in 1947, despite no prior experience in the hotel field. Born in Poland, she had been best known as a photographer during the 1920s before service in the Pacific as a war correspondent for Agence France Presse. Badly run down after its wartime service, the partnership immediately began restoration and restocking of the hotel which offered to put Thompson’s an opportunity to use his architectural and artistic abilities.

The hotel reopened for business on 12 June 1947. Krull turned out to be a natural hotelier and during her reign restored the hotel to it position as the premier hotel in Thailand. Thompson soon left the partnership over a plan to build a new wing, though he stayed on in residence at the hotel for some time. To compete with popular clubs and a new local bar called Chez Eve, Krull established the Bamboo Bar, which soon became one of the leading bars in Bangkok .

In 1958 the ten-storey Garden Wing was built. It featured the city’s first elevator and was home to the Le Normandie Restaurant. In 1967, fearful that Thailand would fall to the communists, Krull sold her share to Italthai which at the time was well on its way to becoming one of the country’s most significant mercantile groups eventually totally some 60 companies involved in almost all aspects of the Thai economy.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Recently voted “World’s Best Hotels 2010” by Travel + Leisure, “Top 20 Asia Hotels” by Conde Nast Traveler and recognised in “The Gold List 2010” by Condé Nast Traveler, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, is one of the city’s foremost luxury hotels. Featuring an impressive atrium lobby and 527 beautifully refurbished rooms, suites as well as the premium Oriental Club Lounge, the hotel also has extensive meeting and banqueting facilities, five renowned restaurants and a lounge overlooking spectacular Marina Bay. The hotel is located close to the financial hub with easy access to Marina Square Mall, Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Millenia Walk and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

Mandarin Oriental, Singapore is located in Marina Centre adjacent to Marina Square Shopping Mall , within walking distance of Suntec City, which houses one of Asia Pacific’s largest convention centres, the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Marina Bay Sands Resort and Casino The hotel is also five minutes’ drive from the city's financial district and only 20 minutes’ drive via the expressway from Changi International Airport and the Singapore Expo.

Mandarin Oriental, Singapore is jointly owned by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Marina Centre Holdings Private Limited.

Mandarin Oriental, Singapore opened in 1987, and was built by US architect John Portman, who also designed the FAN-shaped atrium for the hotel. H.L. Lim of LTW Design Works, the renowned interior designer who has handled many prestigious projects, including the refurbishment of The Oriental, Bangkok, was responsible for transforming Mandarin Oriental, Singapore into a modern landmark with a multi-million dollar renovation in end 2004. The renovation included the redesign of all 527 guestrooms and suites, and the enhancement to all public areas, dining and meeting facilities. Relaunched in May 2005, the hotel now provides guests the ultimate in luxury and sophistication along with unparalleled service.

The Oriental Ballroom and fourteen meeting rooms are fitted with the latest conferencing systems such as high-tech audio visual equipment, LCD projectors, built-in projector screens and wireless broadband Internet access. The Ballroom also encompasses a modern surround sound system and intelligent lightings, providing guests the opportunity to create the desired theme or mood for their events. At the Bridal Salon, couples can discuss their wedding requirements and plans assisted by the dedicated wedding consultants, and review a selection of wedding packages, menus, invitation cards, music themes, linen, chinaware and decorative elements, in a stylish and relaxed manner.

Evergreen Group

The Evergreen Group is the organizational designation used by a Taiwan-based conglomerate of shipping, transportation, and associated service companies. The Evergreen Group arose in 1975 from the diversification of the original Evergreen Marine Corporation, which was established in 1968 and currently operates as the world's fourth largest containerized-freight shipping company. Today, the Evergreen Group encompasses the Evergreen Marine Corporation, Evergreen International Corporation, EVA Air, Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation, Evergreen Air Services Corporation, Evergreen Air Cargo Services Corporation, and Evergreen International Storage and Services Corporation. Additional divisions and subsidiaries exist within several Evergreen Group companies, such as Uniglory Shipping Corporation and Uni Air.

Evergreen Marine is the fourth-largest containerized shipping company in the world, with a fleet of over 150 ships calling on 240 ports worldwide in about 80 countries. Evergreen Marine Corporation includes subsidiaries/divisions Uniglory Shipping Corporation, Hatsu Marine Ltd., and Italia Marittima S.p.A.

EVA Air is the international airline of Evergreen Group, operating regular flights to over 40 destinations worldwide. EVA Air features full passenger and dedicated cargo operations to North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The parent company of EVA Air, EVA Airways Corporation, has links with the Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation, Evergreen Air Services Corporation, and Evergreen Air Cargo Services Corporation.

Swiss Quality Hotels International

Swiss Quality Hotels International is a non-profit organization and claims to be the largest hotel chain in Switzerland. The Zurich based chain represents 85 hotels in 52 cities and resorts in Switzerland (79 Swiss member hotels), Germany, Austria and Italy. The member hotels are 3, 4 and 5 star. Each Swiss Quality member hotel is an independently owned and operated hotel, acting and voting as a member of the non-profit association. The hotels keep their independent identity and their own name but are marketed under the brand Swiss Quality Hotels International.In Switzerland the hotels are classified by the Swiss Hotel Association-Hotelleriesuisse and have at least been awarded the Quality Label Level I from the Swiss Tourism Quality Programe.

Swiss Quality Hotels International was founded in April 1986 by a group of German and Swiss hoteliers. With 19 initial members the organization was known until 2003 as “TOP International Hotels”. Nowadays, the organization operates independently and owns its own reservation system, “QOnline”. In 2001 Swiss Quality Hotels International introduced its own classification of hotels.

Milad Tower

Milad Tower, with its height of 435 meters, is the fourth tallest telecommunication tower in the world. Milad Tower consists of five main parts: foundation, transition (lobby) structure, shaft, head structure and antenna mast. The lobby structure consists of six floors. The first three floors consist of 63 trade units, 11 food courts, a cafeteria and a commercial products exhibition, which is supposed to be 260 square meters.

The first and second floors underground consist of official and installing sections and data center. The ground floor is devoted to the entrance and visitors reception. The shaft is a concrete structure which is 315 meters high from ground floor. In three different sides of it 6 elevators are designed to transfer the visitors to the head of the tower at the speed of 7 meters per second and an emergency staircase exists at the fourth side.

The head of the tower is a steel structure weighing about 25,000 tons and consisting of 12 floors. This structure is the biggest and the tallest multi-story structure among all the telecommunication towers in the world. In the top floors of the tower, there are the fire-immune area as a refuge zone, closed observation deck, cafeteria, public art gallery, open observation deck, a revolving restaurant, telecommunication floors, a VIP restaurant, Mechanical floors, and a sky dome. The 4-stage antenna mast is 120 meters high. The lower floor of the mast is for the adjustment of public users' telecommunication antennas and the three upper floors are devoted to the antenna of radio and television organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Kwek Leng Beng

Kwek Leng Beng is a Singapore businessman. He is the Executive Chairman of Hong Leong Group Singapore. In 2009 his Forbes estimated net worth was US$1.2 billion.

Kwek's father, the late Kwek Hong Png left Fujian province as a penniless teenager for Singapore and subsequently founded the Hong Leong group there. Kwek Leng Beng was trained as lawyer in London, but chose to join the family business in the early 1960s. He became chairman in 1990 and went on to establish an international reputation for his leadership of the Hong Leong Group,which is now a conglomerate with more than 300 companies, including 12 listed ones. Kwek is the Chairman of City Developments Limited (CDL), an international property and hotel conglomerate and the leading real estate developer in Singapore. It operates in 20 countries in Asia, Europe, North America and Australasia. The CDL Group has over 250 subsidiaries and associated companies including 8 companies listed on the stock exchanges of Singapore, London, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, New Zealand and Manila. CDL has a market capitalization of US$5.8 billion and ranks just outside Singapore's top 10 listed companies. It is also the second-biggest property developer in Southeast Asia.

Kwek Leng Beng also chairs Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) Hotels, which is a London-listed international hotel group of which 53% share belongs to CDL. M&C is ranked 40th among the world's top international hotel groups and has a portfolio of over 120 owned and managed hotels with close to 36,500 rooms in 19 countries (including those in the pipeline). In an Interview, Kwek mentioned that the Millennium Resort Patong is the first resort operated by the group in South East Asia.

Kwek's Hong Leong Group also owns Hong Leong Finance, which is Singapore's largest finance company, with a network of 28 branch offices.

Kwek Leng Beng is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Singapore Management University. He also holds an honorary doctorate (DUniv) from Oxford Brookes University.

Kwek oversees the Singaporean operations of the Hong Leong Group while his cousin and fellow billionaire Quek Leng Chan oversees the Malaysian

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management is a private university located in the Swiss Alps in the Canton of Valais. Since 1979, Les Roches offers hotel and tourism management programs taught entirely in English. The Les Roches campus is home to approximately 1200 students from 87 different countries every semester, with an additional 580 students on internship around the world at any time.

Les Roches offers a range of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses in the field of hospitality management with branch campuses in China, Spain, and the USA.

The mission of Les Roches is to prepare students for an international career in the service industries. Les Roches maintains close ties with the hotel and tourism industry through a panel of industry advisors from four major hotel chains.

The Ecole des Roches, an international boarding school for young people, was founded in 1954 by Messrs Marcel and Jean-Pierre Clivaz. In 1979, Les Roches International School became “Les Roches” Hotel and Tourism School and was the first hospitality school in Switzerland to offer all courses in English. The main campus was virtually destroyed by a fire in April 1985. Despite considerable destruction to the property and its contents, the school only lost one day of classes as arrangements were made to house students and teaching facilities in three hotels in Montana, which were rented for a three-year period. Construction of entirely new buildings began in May 1986. In June 1987, the school moved into its new buildings.

The Les Roches campus stretches across the village of Bluche in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Located at 1,200 meters of altitude, the campus has a mountain climate and a panoramic view of the surrounding region. The campus features three academic wings with 30 classrooms, two computer labs, one demonstration kitchen and demonstration bar, a reception, a mock hotel room, a housekeeping practical classroom, two professional kitchens and two auditoriums. The renovated library offers 10,000 academic titles and 2,000 DVDs and CDs in addition to the 7,000 online academic journals and the separate media center.

Student accommodations are spread throughout the village in 16 separate buildings with different types of room options. All rooms and buildings have internet access, with wireless internet available in the main building. Dining rooms in the campus include a restaurant for a buffet style meals, another restaurant for fine dining, and the lobby bar for snacks and drinks during school hours. A third restaurant, the Café du Village, is located in the village for casual meals at lunch and after-hours.

The Les Roches campus provides a number of sport and recreational facilities including fitness center, gymnasium, basketball and volleyball courts, a football field, and outdoor swimming pool. Within ten minutes by train, students can also visit Crans-Montana for night-life and shopping.

Les Roches is accredited at university level by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in the United States. This accreditation entitles Les Roches to deliver internationally recognized undergraduate degrees. In addition, “Hôtellerie Suisse”, the Swiss Hotel Association, is affiliated with Les Roches for the educational design and recognition of the Hotel Management Diploma program. Les Roches is also recognized by the Swiss Cantonal State of Valais and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The Masters of Business Administration is offered through the Universidad Europea de Madrid, in Spain. The UEM holds recognition of the Spanish Minister of Education.

In July 2008, Les Roches' sister school, Les Roches Gruyère-University of Applied Sciences (LRG-UAS), received recognition from the Swiss Confederation to become the first private Swiss university for hospitality management. LRG-UAS students in the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management program with a specialization in Food, Beverage and Operations Management take their courses on the Les Roches campus in Bluche.

Developments in Dubai

The Dubai government's decision to diversify from a trade-based but oil-reliant economy to one that is service- and tourism-oriented has made real estate and other developments more valuable, resulting in the property boom from 2004–2006. Construction on a large scale has turned Dubai into one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. There are a number of large-scale projects which are currently under construction or will be constructed in the future. Due to the heavy construction which is taking place in Dubai, 30,000 construction cranes, which are 25% of cranes worldwide, are operating in Dubai. Due to the burst of construction, Dubai has acquired various building-related records, which include: the world's tallest tower (Burj Khalifa), the world's largest shopping mall (Dubai Mall), the world's largest fountain (Dubai fountain) and the world's tallest hotel (Rose Tower). Also under construction is Dubailand, which will be almost twice the size of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Dubai Media City (DMC) part of Dubai Holding is a tax free zone within Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It has been built by the Dubai government to boost UAE's media foothold, and has become a regional hub for media organizations ranging from: news agencies, publishing, online media, advertising, production, and broadcast facilities. The ground work for infrastructure (Such as fiber optic cables) was already laid for firms to setup easily and its visa and operational procedures are relaxed for firms operating within DMC.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a near-shore financial hub for the MENA containing a capital market designated as a financial free zone in Dubai. It is established to create an environment for growth, progress and economic development in the UAE and the wider region by providing the needed legal and business as well as physical infrastructure benchmarked with international standards.

The World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands in the shape of a world map currently being built off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World is one of a series of artificial island projects in Dubai, along with the Palm Islands, and like the other islands The World is being built primarily using sand dredged from the sea. The World is the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. As of November, 2009, only one of the hundreds of islands is completed, topped with a large house and many trees. All others remain barren, and no construction equipment is in evidence.

Business Bay is a central business district under construction in Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The project features numerous skyscrapers located in an area where the Dubai Creek has been dredged and extended. The Business Bay will have upwards of 230 buildings, attracting commercial and residential developments.

Business Bay extends from Ras Al Khor to Sheikh Zayed Road. It is located for international trade as one end of the development touches Sheikh Zayed Road with its office towers housing international firms and the financial institutions of the Dubai International Financial Center. International hotels such as the Emirates Towers and Shangri-La are also on Sheikh Zayed Road. On the Creek side, Business Bay is next to the Dubai Festival Center and is in proximity to Dubai International Airport.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons Hotels, Inc. is a Canadian-based international luxury hotel management company. Travel + Leisure magazine and Zagat Survey rank the hotel chain's 83 properties among the top luxury hotels worldwide. The company has been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune every year since the survey's inception in 1998.

Four Seasons does not own most of its properties; it operates them on behalf of real estate owners and developers. The contracts between Four Seasons and property owners typically permits the company to participate in the design of the property and run it with nearly total control over every aspect of the operation.

Four Seasons generally earns 3 percent of the gross income and approximately 5 percent of profits from the properties it operates, and the property owners are required to additionally contribute money for chain-wide sales, marketing and reservations systems. Four Seasons hotels have larger staffs than competing chains, therefore they create a separate reserve accounts to cover upkeep costs. While profit margins are relatively low, the reputation of the brand and the value of the hotel for sale as well as loan collateral generates developer interest. The Four Seasons also produces a complimentary magazine for guests that is supported by ad revenue.

Canadian businessman Isadore Sharp founded Four Seasons in 1960. While a young architect working for his father, Sharp designed a motel for a family friend that succeeded and inspired him to try creating his own hotel in Toronto. As the only large parcel of land he could buy was in a disreputable area, he designed the hotel as an oasis for business travelers; the Four Seasons Motor Hotel opened in 1961. Sharp built more hotels, but upscale luxury did not become part of brand until the company expanded to London. When a developer approached Four Seasons about building a hotel in London, Sharp argued that the hotel should compete with the city's old-world, elite hotels, such as Claridge's and The Connaught, which he felt treated customers based on their social class. The hotel opened in 1970.

In 1974, cost overruns at a Vancouver property nearly led the company into bankruptcy. As a result, the company began shifting to its current, management-only business model and eliminate costs associated with buying land and buildings and instead begin earning profits once the hotel opens. The company went public in 1986. In the 1990s, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton began direct competition, with Ritz-Carlton emphasizing a uniform look while Four Seasons emphasized local architecture and styles with uniform service; in the end Four Seasons gained market share.

Omni Hotels and Resorts

Omni Hotels & Resorts is a privately held, international luxury hotel company based out of Irving, Texas. The hotel brand consistently ranks "Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upscale Hotel Chains" by J. D. Power and Associates, and has won numerous other awards, including recognition as one of the top hotel brands by Consumer Reports and placement in the Best of the Best Luxury Portfolio by the Robb Report.

The company currently operates 43 properties in the United States, Canada, and Mexico totaling over 14,500 rooms and employing more than 15,000 people. Of the properties only four are franchised (Cancun, Puerto Aventuras, Newport News, and Philadelphia), with the remaining hotels being managed or owned by Omni Corporate. Omni Hotels places emphasis on the upscale leisure and corporate business traveler, complete with a complimentary guest loyalty and kids program, complimentary Wi-Fi, and award-winning dining, including a McCormick & Schmick'sOmni San Diego and the acclaimed Noé Restaurant & Bar at the Omni Houston and the Omni Los Angeles.

Omni Hotels ranked number one in the 2010 J.D. Power North America Guest Satisfaction Survey in the Upscale Hotels category, the fourth time ranked number one since 2000. Several Omni properties have consistently won national acclaim and accolades based on customer service, guest satisfaction, and overall luxury including the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas in Irving, the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, the Omni Parker House in Boston, the Omni San Diego, the Omni San Francisco, the Watermark Hotel & Spa in San Antonio, and the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh. Other hotels include the Amelia Island Plantation.