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Saturday, Apr 19, 2014

Sports

SEA Games: Sports village in the city

The New Paper | Saturday, Apr 19, 2014

The Marina Bay Sands (top right) is one of the hotels in the Marina area to have won the tender to house SEA Games athletes.

Team-bonding on roller-coaster rides, making new friends at the Adventure Cove Waterpark, calming their nerves at the S.E.A Aquarium, or just chilling by the Singapore River at Clarke Quay.

The various contingents arriving here next year for the 28th South-east Asia (SEA) Games will be able to enjoy Singapore's unique sights and sounds as they will be housed at hotels within the Havelock, Tanjong Pagar, Chinatown and Marina Bay area.

The Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (Singsoc) announced yesterday that 20 hotels have won the tender to provide accommodation for more than 7,000 athletes, officials and delegates from 11 countries for the region's biggest multi-sport event, which will run from June 5 to 16.

These include Amara Singapore, Peninsular Excelsior Hotel, Marina Bay Sands, the Hard Rock Hotel and Festive Hotel at Resorts World Singapore (RWS), and Swissotel The Stamford Singapore.

The New Paper understands that around 4,000 hotel rooms will be occupied for the SEA Games, and based on the concept of a "Celebration in the City", Singsoc made the decision to house the athletes and officials near the Singapore Sports Hub and areas where most events will take place.

"We are very appreciative of the hotels' support and effort for this historic event," said Singsoc exco committee chairman Lim Teck Yin.

"The 28th SEA Games will celebrate and showcase sport against the backdrop of Singapore's stunning city setting.

"We want our SEA Games athletes and officials to enjoy our city's unique flavours, sights and sounds, even as they focus on competing at their best.

"The 28th SEA Games is an important event in our calendar of celebrations for Singapore's 50th anniversary next year, and for the entire South-east Asian region," said Lim.

Seeking the most cost-effective arrangement for accommodation, Singsoc had evaluated the alternative of a centralised athlete's village at university hostels, like the 2010 Youth Olympics.

They found that the cost of using hotels would be comparable as there would be a need to install security fencing at university hostels. Singsoc added that the 51 hotels that participated in the tender had also taken on board their role in the national effort and offered attractive packages.

DISCOUNT

A check on the RWS website indicates that a night's stay at the Festive Hotel cost around $350. A night's stay at the Hard Rock Hotel costs around $390.

TNP understands that SEA Games athletes and officials can expect to pay a discounted rate.

Lim Soon Hua, RWS assistant vice-president of communications, told TNP: "We are proud to contribute to the success of the 28th SEA Games.

"As Singapore's first integrated resort, we look forward to extending our hospitality to the athletes and officials, as well as their families, from ASEAN.

"We believe the resort will cater to exciting times for the participants. Beyond celebrating victorious moments with the athletes at our myriad of offerings, we are also prepared to cater to their special needs, including dietary requirements.

"We look forward to creating great memories for everyone during the Games." Ng Khee Siong, general manager of Amara Singapore, believes every Singaporean has a part to play towards the success of next year's SEA Games.

"As Amara is a home-grown lifestyle hospitality brand, we find it very meaningful to be part of the SEA Games, especially when it is also Singapore's 50th year of independence," he said.

"All these years, Amara has been very involved with the Singapore sporting scene, providing accommodation for the Football Association of Singapore, and we are also the first and only hotel here to have a futsal court.

"As such, we are very happy to be one of the hotels that has won the bid."

This article was published on April 17 in The New Paper.

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