Starwood Hotels & Resorts is pleased to announce the world’s largest Sheraton and Macau’s largest hotel, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, is on target to open in September, 2012. Ideally situated in the centre of the Cotai Strip, Sheraton Macao Hotel is part of Macau’s newest fully integrated resort complex, Sands® Cotai Central, a hub of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment that is certain to redefine how travelers will experience this storied city. The 3863-room Sheraton Macao Hotel will be both the largest hotel in Macau and Starwood’s largest hotel in its more than 1000-strong portfolio of hotels and resorts globally. “With the grand opening of the Sheraton Macao Hotel in September, we will help establish Macau as the world’s gathering place – a vacation destination for travelers of all backgrounds,” said Josef Dolp, managing director of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central. The property has 3863 well-appointed guest rooms, 20,000 square metres of flexible meeting space, and a host of unique branded amenities.

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The Sebel Pier One Sydney, one of the city’s premier over-water hotels is embarking on an extensive renovation of its conference and event space, which upon completion, will position it as one of Sydney’s finest MICE venues. To be unveiled mid-September, Phase 2 of the hotel’s renovation program is well underway and the four ground floor conference rooms, formally known as Watersedge, will be stripped back to their bare bones allowing natural light to fill the space, breathing new life into the 100-year-old building. Called HarbourWatch, the new function space will be a great location for cocktail parties, product launches, conferences, events and gala lunches and dinners. “The expansion of our conference and event facility is going to make a huge difference to the hotel,” says general manger, Michael Sheridan. “Not only will HarbourWatch have the best harbour and bridge views in town, it will play host to some of the city’s most impressive events and gala dinners. For those event organisers who really want to make a statement, HarbourWatch will undoubtedly provide a memorable backdrop to an outstanding meeting, conference, event or party.” The main room can be divided into three separate event spaces and at full capacity can cater for up to 168 people cabaret-style, 220 banquet-style, 300 theatre-style and 440 for cocktails

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The Mercure Hobart has launched Australia’s first disability hotel rooms designed for travellers with vision and hearing impairment, modifying eight accommodation rooms. Statistics from the Australian Network on Disability show that almost four million, or one in five Australians, have a disability. Over one million Australians are hard of hearing, with around 30,000 people living with a total loss of hearing. In addition, 300,000 Australians have a vision impairment that is not correctable by glasses, and up to 20,000 people have total loss of sight. In partnership with Hearing Link Tasmania, The Tasmanian Deaf Society and Royal Guide Dogs Tasmania, Mercure Hobart has worked hard to ensure its rooms and hotel services cater to the needs of those with vision impairment and hearing loss. Rooms have been updated with a range of fixed and portable features for the deaf and hard of hearing visitors including tactile technology such as an alarm clock with strobe light and under pillow vibrating pad, which is responsive to the hotel’s fire alarm, independent room door bell and telephone unit. Large dial button and display screen telephones, touch reactive alarm clocks, increased room lighting, audio versions of the room compendium, room service menus and emergency and evacuation information have been introduced for the vision impaired. In-room stationary and door signage have also been produced in braille. Minister for Tourism, Scott Bacon, praised the Mercure Hobart for the new upgrades. “It’s important our hotels offer support to meet the needs of a wide variety of visitors,” he said.