The Northern Territory’s Top End has had a raft of enhancements in recent times – all great news for the business event sector.

Everywhere you look, and every way you turn in the Top End there’s something new or improved – whether it’s venue related or new experience offerings. Here’s a snapshot of some of the very latest:

Darwin accommodation facelift

Darwin continues to enhance its accommodation offering, with the Hilton Darwin having just completed a $5 million renovation. This included a total contemporary re-design of the executive rooms, a revitalisation of all guest bathrooms, and the introduction of a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

The renovations have been designed to not only be environmentally sympathetic but also energy-efficient, utilising clever innovations such as ‘intelligent lighting’.

The brand-new, 24 hour-access fitness centre will ensure conference delegates can stay fit and healthy while enjoying glimpses of beautiful Darwin Harbour, as they work off any over-indulgences.

The Hilton Darwin offers 236 guest rooms and five flexible meeting spaces, as well as Darwin’s only hotel executive lounge.

A milestone birthday celebrated

The DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin, located on Darwin’s iconic Esplanade, has undergone its own transformation project. This entailed a full renovation of all guest bathrooms as well as the installation of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) technology in all 184 of its rooms. This provides entertainment options for live TV, videos on demand and guest messaging.

The bathroom refurbishment and IPTV installation were completed just in time to celebrate the hotel’s 40th anniversary on May 20. The property is a renowned Darwin accommodation icon, having survived the full force of Cyclone Tracy back in 1974.

Élan to offer cutting edge guest technology

The new $120 million Élan Soho Suites in Darwin’s CBD is fast approaching its July opening date. The property will add 301 new accommodation options to Darwin’s portfolio, comprising 80 hotel rooms plus one and two-bedroom apartments and penthouse suites.

The property is one of only a small number of Australian hotels which will offer the very latest in cutting edge ‘Smart Fone’ technology. Guests will be able to download an App and enjoy remote check-in, using their smart phone as their room key, with check-out completed the same way.

Twenty four hour reception will still be provided for guests who wish to check in the usual way.

Busy conference delegates will also find the property provides an ideal office-away-from-home, with each room having a media console, Wi-Fi internet connection, and an individually addressable IP specific to each room.

The mezzanine conference level at Élan Soho Suites can be utilised as one large space or can be broken up into five smaller boardroom-style venues, with capacities varying from 18, 24 and up to 42 delegates.

All venues have natural light as well as state-of-the-art equipment, and Wi-Fi will be accessible throughout the property.  In its largest configuration, the venue will have capacity for 250 guests in a banquet-style setting, 388 delegates seated theatre-style or 419 for a cocktail function.

Boutique Top End spaces

The Northern Territory readily provides opportunities for conferences, incentives and meetings to incorporate the arts into their programs. Whether for off-site board meetings, workshops, think-tanks or social functions, galleries and performance spaces abound and provide a creative and stimulating venue option.

Rust 490 is a boutique photographic gallery, meeting room and event space located within walking distance of the heart of the Darwin CBD. This clever and quirky small meeting space can be booked on an hourly or event-specific basis. The venue offers access to high speed NBN internet, while its walls feature stunning photographs of NT faces, places, landscape and wildlife by nationally-acclaimed photographer, Peter Eve. Prints, cards and small publications featuring these images can also be personalised for corporate or delegate gift mementos.

Exciting times in Kakadu

There is plenty happening up in Australia’s largest national park. In Kakadu, the former Gagudju Dreaming has been re-named Kakadu Tourism and continues to offer an amazing array of Indigenous cultural experiences. Kakadu Tourism comprises the Crocodile Hotel and Cooinda Lodge, the award-winning Yellow Water Cruises, Yellow Water Fishing, Spirit of Kakadu Adventure Tours and the Warradjan Cultural Centre.

Since early April, international hotel operator Accor has taken over management of the 110-room Crocodile Hotel and the 48-room Cooinda Lodge. The Crocodile Hotel is the largest Top End conference centre outside Darwin and is uniquely shaped to represent Kakadu’s most famous inhabitant, the saltwater crocodile.

Outback incentive adventures

Outback Floatplane Adventures offers incentive planners an extraordinary outback adventure option for high-flying achievers.  The company provides the ultimate Top End safari, packaging up a scenic floatplane flight from Darwin, an exhilarating ride on an airboat across Top End wetlands, a breathtaking helicopter trip to Litchfield National Park, an off-road buggy journey under the rainforest canopy, and a billabong cruise into the heart of crocodile country.

Small groups can be treated to a program featuring all these exciting options, either as a half day activity or extended into a full-day adventure.

The Top End becomes even more accessible

Qantas has highlighted its ongoing confidence in the NT by increasing its domestic services frequency into Darwin by 15 per cent. As of March this year, additional flights were added to four key routes – Darwin to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

At the same time, Tigerair has also introduced a new daily service between Brisbane and Darwin, adding an extra 130,000 seats into the mix and providing additional low-cost fare options for conference delegates to access the Top End.

For further information on the Northern Territory visit www.ntconventions.com.au.

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