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WHAT'S NEW IN CONFERENCING AT MANTRA GROUP - AIME 2013
It’s been a busy year at Mantra Group with new properties joining the network in Australia and New Zealand; growth into Asia with a new resort to open in Bali, conference space refurbishments, the launch of new MICE-specific websites and the chance to have Mantra Ambassador, tennis legend Pat Rafter, speak at your next conference!

A summary of the latest Mantra Group MICE news from Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree hotels and resorts is featured below.  For further information on any of these items visit the Mantra Group stand # 2814 at AIME or contact Paul Wilson, Director of MICE - paul.wilson@mantragroup.com.au

WHAT’S NEW AT PEPPERS

Peppers Launches Dedicated MICE Website Focusing On Regional Conferencing

Leading accommodation and venue provider, Peppers, has launched a comprehensive conferencing website for its network of 26 retreats and resorts providing conference organisers with a ‘one stop shop’ for boutique regional conferencing options across Australia and New Zealand.  

As the experts in regional conferencing, Peppers’ dedicated conference website – www.peppersconferences.com - focuses on exceptional conferencing experiences at 19 properties across Australia’s East Coast and seven properties in New Zealand’s North and South islands, under the banner “Where can I...?”.  In answer to this question are a variety of conferencing experiences, from walking in the footsteps of famous golfers, to swimming with sea turtles or sailing the high seas – all where Peppers properties are located.

“Traditionally conferencing has been about location, but more and more we encountered conference organisers seeking an experience, hence the reason to focus the website on not only highlighting our fantastic regional venues, but also what we can offer once you get there.”” said Director of MICE, Paul Wilson.

The diversity of locations means options for meetings planners are endless with coastal resorts in Port Douglas and Magnetic Island in North Queensland; to exceptional gourmet experiences in Kingscliff Northern NSW; boutique retreats in the Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands and Daylesford; golfing resorts in Torquay and the Mornington Peninsula and wilderness escapes in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand properties offering exceptional ‘meetings of minds and wines’ in Martinborough; an unforgettable eco experience in Abel Tasman National Park and a golfer’s dream in Christchurch.

Peppers Continues New Zealand Expansion

Peppers continues to expand its network of luxury retreats and resorts in New Zealand announcing the additions of Peppers Carrington Resort and Peppers Portage to bring the network to a total of eight properties.

Peppers Carrington Resort is a leading golf resort offering superb lodge and villa accommodation; vineyard and cellar door; and extensive conference and event facilities located on the Karikari Peninsula in the picturesque Northland region, four hours north of Auckland.  

Purpose built conference facilities seat up to 100 people theatre style or 90 people banquet style with adjacent breakout areas. A variety of off-site activity options such as kayaking, fishing charters and 4WD tours are also available.

Peppers Portage is a 41-room boutique resort near Nelson is perfectly positioned to enjoy winery tours in and around Blenheim and Picton, cruising on the Marlborough Sounds, walking New Zealand’s famous Queen Charlotte Track, wildlife eco tours, or sea kayaking, fishing and sailing on Kenepuru Sound.  Hotel rooms and spa suites offer spacious comfort in tranquil surrounds with spectacular views over the Sound, with plans to complete upgrades to rooms, restaurant and bar later in 2013.

Peppers Portage also offers conferencing venues for up to 100 delegates with a variety of outdoor team building activities available.  Depending on the season, there are at least 5 scheduled boats to Peppers Portage daily and an airport shuttle can be arranged to meet delegates as required.

The two new additions will join other recent acquisitions, Peppers Parehua Martinborough and Peppers Awaroa Lodge which joined the network in 2012.  

Visit www.peppers.co.nz for further information.

Size Does Matter at Peppers and Mantra on Salt Beach

Peppers and Mantra Resorts on Salt Beach in Kingscliff, northern NSW, combine to provide the largest conference and meetings facilities in the region catering for up to 500 delegates and offering a comprehensive range of 700 accommodation rooms collectively

In 2012 a record of over 450 conferences took place at this idyllic beachside venue with over 24,000 delegates utilising the variety of venues on offer.  A Who’s Who of Top 50 blue chip companies have chosen to conference at ‘Salt’ as the region is affectionately called, embracing it’s convenient location just 30 minutes drive from Gold Coast airport.  

Larger conference spaces include heavy duty suspension points, rigging points and lighting patch points in the ceiling to cater for the most complex or large scale product launches and events including motor vehicle and manufacturing equipment launches.

The conference experience is complemented by excellent food and wine at Season Restaurant – which recently retained its Australian Good Food Guide Hat for the second year.  Season is another excellent venue choice for dining and cocktail functions.
Visit www.conferencesandeventsatsalt.com.au for further information.

Peppers adds first Australian Ski destination to the portfolio

Mantra Group announced further expansion to its network of boutique Peppers Retreats and Lodges in Australia with the addition of Rundells Alpine Lodge in Victoria's Mt Hotham ski fields.  To be known as Peppers Rundells Alpine Lodge, it will be the first Peppers property to be located in an Australian ski region.

"We are pleased to now offer our guests who've enjoyed staying with Peppers in wine regions, coastal destinations and golf resorts, the chance to enjoy the Peppers experience in Australia's premier ski destination," said Mantra Group CEO, Bob East.

Set amongst the snow gums in the Victorian High Country, Peppers Rundells Alpine Lodge provides a unique retreat for small to medium conferences and business meetings of up to 85 delegates offering privacy, space and the opportunity to promote creativity. The stunning High Country setting also provides the perfect backdrop for weddings and special events.

Visit www.peppers.com.au/rundells for further information.

Iconic Cradle Mountain Lodge joins the Peppers Brand

The iconic Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania joined Australia’s premier boutique accommodation brand, Peppers Retreats & Resorts.
Now known as Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, the multi-award winning property first opened in 1972 and transformed over the years into a world-class boutique wilderness retreat. The Lodge’s 86 guest cabins boast an enviable location at the entrance to the spectacular World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park in the northern Tasmanian highlands, just over an hour’s drive from Devonport and two hours from Launceston.

The property also offers conferencing space for up to 90 guests with an array of team building activities on offering including nights walks through the beautiful surrounding bush land.

Visit www.peppers.com.au/cradle-mountain-lodge for further information.

A gourmet conference experience at Peppers Guest House Hunter Valley

The much loved and renowned Chez Pok restaurant at Peppers Guest House has made a return to the Hunter Valley with a new Executive Chef and a new French inspired menu to tantalise the taste buds of conference guests.  
Chef John Edwards will ensure that delegates are treated to much more than the standard conference faire throughout their meetings schedule and treat them to a memorable dining experience welcome functions or awards ceremonies that are part of the conference program.
Chez Pok (roughly translated means ‘amongst the Pokolbin people’ – a nod to town in which it is located and the local people) was the first hotel restaurant to open in the Hunter Valley nearly 30 years ago and became both a popular meeting spot for winemakers to gather and locals to dine, and soon attracted other discerning palates from Sydney and interstate.  After a brief interlude as ‘Restaurant Sanctuary’ under previous management, the name that helped put Hunter Valley dining on the map is back.
In addition to its new look restaurant, Peppers Guest House has completed upgrades to all meeting rooms with new carpets and paint throughout.  From the intimate boardroom setting of the Library Room for 8 people through to the 120 capacity Tallawanta Room, the superb facilities and tranquil surrounds provide an excellent interruption free conference setting.

Visit www.peppers.com.au/guest-house for further information.

Peppers Airlie Beach introduces new venue options

The newly renamed Peppers Airlie Beach (formerly Peppers Coral Coast Resort) has expanded with two new venue options to complement the existing 120 delegate capacity conference spaces.

The new Tides Pavilion with uninterrupted views across the Whitsunday Passage offers a unique glass enclosed space for breakout areas, workshops and dining events for up to 20 guests.  The Ocean’s Edge Villa overlooking the Port of Airlie marina, is an ideal venue for private cocktail functions for up to 60 guests, or small boardroom meetings for up to 16 delegates.

Peppers Airlie Beach features 102 beautifully appointed one, two or three bedroom apartments with panoramic views of the Whitsundays and a range of first-class leisure facilities such as a wet-edge resort pool, Tides Restaurant & Bar and an endota spa.

Visit www.peppers.com.au/airlie-beach for further information.

Peppers to open in Brisbane CBD in 2015

Peppers will open its first CBD property in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in early 2015 to be known as Peppers Dunmore Brisbane.

The new development will provide an extra 100 studio, one and two bedroom suite apartments to the constrained Brisbane market and provide a superb 5 star boutique accommodation option located between Fortitude Valley and New Farm precincts.

Located within a few minutes walk to Brisbane CBD and the new Royal International Convention Centre (RICC), Peppers Dunmore will offer excellent delegate accommodation.  The RICC, opening in March 2013, will have a capacity for 3000 people across its 7700 square metre exhibition space.   

Contemporary style apartments will be complemented by recreation and lifestyle facilities including a skyline gymnasium overlooking the 10 metre recreation pool on level 7; Rooftop bar and conference centre; Business centre and meeting facilities; and signature restaurants and bar at ground level. 

WHAT’S NEW AT MANTRA

Mantra Makes It Easy With New Dedicated MICE Website – and the chance to have Pat Rafter as your guest speaker!

Leading Australian hotel and resort operator, Mantra, is set to make life easy for conference organisers with a dedicated website for conference enquiries.

Visit www.mantraconferences.com and confirm an event at any of the participating Mantra properties (to be held between 19 May and 13 December 2013) before 26 April, 2013 to be in the running to win Pat Rafter as the guest speaker!

The dedicated conference website - under the banner “Mantra Makes It Easy” – features the top nine conferencing properties from Mantra’s pool of 23 conferencing hotels and resorts across Australia.  The nine featured offer the largest conference facilities in the Mantra network, but according to Director of MICE, Paul Wilson, the diversity of the smaller venues still have a lot to offer:

“Large scale conferences will certainly be wowed at properties like Mantra on Salt Beach in Kingscliff or Mantra Lorne – where it’s not unusual to have cars hanging from a hoist or a Bedouin tent themed ballroom at the these venues - but we have smaller boardrooms and meeting space at over 20 properties in all capital cities as well as coastal destinations within a 2 hour drive from CBDs.”

“The diversity of our products and locations allows us to be flexible with what we offer and this is just one of the ways that Mantra makes it easier to conference.”

Other elements ensuring conferencing with Mantra is easy include value for money options suitable for SMEs and companies working within a budget; a relaxed yet professional level of service that reflects the group’s Australian roots; and an experienced team that will create solutions to take the stress out of conferencing.

*Conditions apply.

Mantra Mooloolaba Beach Puts the Fun Back Into Conferencing

Mantra Mooloolaba Beach has put the fun back into conferencing with a brand new "Delegate Reviver Zone".  The Zone includes exercise bikes, exercise balls, iPod/iPhone docking stations and headphones, iPads fitted to game consoles with loaded arcade games, juggling balls and “how to” guide, bean bags, ottomans, fresh juices, selection of fruit and daily newspapers. Delegates can 'zone' in and out to refresh their mind, encourage creativity, and refocus on business.

The new Reviver Zone complements the extensive upgrades made to the resorts conference rooms and board room over the last 12 months. With over 260 conferences and events held at Mantra Mooloolaba Beach each year and capacity to hold 250 delegates, the resorts conferencing facilities and variety of activities in the surrounding region provides an excellent meeting place.

Delegates will also enjoy the $3 million upgrade to the one, two and three bedroom apartments, public areas and facilities, providing a refreshed contemporary style to the resort.

Visit www.mantra.com.au/mooloolababeach for further information.

Mantra Lorne Gets With the Theme Of Conferencing

Mantra Lorne, the largest conferencing and accommodation venue in regional Victoria, understands the importance of capturing the attention of delegates, and has introduced a selection of ideas to theme your next conference.  The themeing is a complimentary inclusion along with free Wifi for plenary sessions.

A ritzy ‘Red Carpet’ theme; a hay bales and cowboy hat ‘Country & Western’ theme; or a heavy metal ‘70s Rock Theme’ are on offer for conference organisers to choose from to help create a memorable first impression on delegates.

As the only beachfront resort in Lorne and in enviable location on the iconic Great Ocean Road, Mantra Lorne is located just a two hour drive from Melbourne, combining both heritage and contemporary style, and catering for all business requirements from small groups to large conferences with over 500 delegates.  

Set on 12 acres of landscaped gardens, the resort has the capacity to receive helicopters for a ‘wow factor’ entrance and with its location near the Great Ocean Road it provides the perfect venue for luxury car launches.  On-site facilities include heritage listed croquet pitch, tennis courts, lawn bowls and an Endota Day Spa while surfing, kayaking, beach volleyball and horse riding are just some of the activities that can be organised in the area.

Visit www.mantra.com.au/lorne for further information

Mantra Takes Australian Hotel Brand To Asia

Popular Australian accommodation brand, Mantra Hotels & Resorts, is set to open its first hotel in Asia with a new resort development in Bali opening in March 2013.

Located in Bali’s famous resort enclave, the Mantra Nusa Dua is conveniently situated just 10km from Denpasar Airport and will offer 172 spacious guest rooms including 24 suites, a spa & wellness facility and extensive conference space.

A ballroom catering for up to 400 delegates with eight meeting rooms and boardrooms plus a dedicated business centre is on offer for conference groups.

The brand new 172 room resort will offer an exclusive onsite spa & wellness facility; state of the art fitness club; a unique indoor/outdoor pool with pool bar & lounge plus separate children’s pool; a restaurant serving Asian and western cuisine and sports bar.

Visit www.mantra.com.au for further information.

WHAT’S NEW AT BREAKFREE

New look for BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort Coffs Harbour

Cost effective conferencing combined with million dollar views is achievable at BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort in Coffs Harbour.  

The North Coast property has a 180 capacity conference venue and now offers a new look restaurant and bar overlooking the resort’s own private beach that also converts to meetings and function space.

Finz on the Beach restaurant overlooks Diggers Beach – just 30 metres from the restaurant deck – and now boasts a fresh new look, vibrant furniture and lighting and contemporary decor to match the spectacular views.  Casual yet comfy new wicker lounges on the Casay Bar deck also provide a relaxing spot for pre dinner drinks and break out areas.

The resort offers a tasteful blend of health, recreation and relaxation with lush gardens surrounded by acres of open parkland, a short stroll down to the sand, with heated pool and spa and outdoor pools and Mi-Time health and beauty retreat.

Over 100 accommodation rooms from Studios through to 4 bedroom apartments in bure style are available to choose from.  

Visit www.breakfree.com.au/aanuka-beach for further information.

ABOUT MANTRA GROUP
Mantra Group is a leading manager and marketer of hotels and resorts in Australia and New Zealand. The Group owns and operates three well-known and trusted brands – Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree.  With over 110 properties and 15,000 rooms under management, Mantra Group is the second largest accommodation operator within Australia. The Group is positioned to offer both leisure and business style accommodation ranging from self-contained apartments to luxury resorts and retreats.