The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Game changer convention centre opens on Vietnam peninsula

Game changer convention centre opens on Vietnam peninsula

Vietnam has welcomed a striking multipurpose convention centre with a design inspired by the country’s ubiquitous coracle boat.

Axi Plaza celebrated its grand opening at its beachfront location, overlooking Long Beach on Vietnam’s scenic Cam Ranh peninsula. Its facilities include a vast state-of-the-art conference hall, a 360-degree rooftop venue, an outdoor beachfront event space, and about 10,000 sqm dedicated to shopping and dining outlets.

The largest multipurpose convention centre in the region, Axi Plaza marks The Anam Group’s third major development, following the launch of luxurious resorts The Anam Cam Ranh and The Anam Mui Ne in 2017 and 2023 respectively.

Adjacent to the 12-hectare The Anam Cam Ranh with 213 rooms, suites and villas, Axi Plaza is breaking new ground in Cam Ranh, which was once renowned as southeast Asia’s greatest deep water harbour and is now rising as an upscale alternative to nearby Nha Trang.

Billed as affording “meetings above the beach”, the 1197sqm conference hall and ballroom area on Axi Plaza’s third floor accommodates up to 1000 people. Dominated by a high ceiling with timber beams fashioned in a fan formation, the hall features a cutting edge 75sqm LED screen and panoramic vistas encompassing swimming pools, a manicured lawn and the ocean.

Totalling 1077sqm, the 360-degree rooftop area on the fifth floor has been designed for receptions and company events and offers sweeping views of Long Beach’s white sands and turquoise waters. A dramatic headland named “Song Lo”, meaning the ‘wave next to the mountain’ in Vietnamese, rises up to the immediate north and west.

The outdoor event space situated between the basket boat-shaped building and the beach is underpinned by the capacious lawn that fronts three picture-perfect swimming pools – one saltwater, one chlorine and a kids pool – supervised by lifeguards.

Situated behind Axi Plaza’s vast second floor entrance and reception area, the 200sqm Axi Plaza Lounge overlooks the swimming pools and serves Vietnamese fare.

In addition to MICE and indoor and outdoor dining areas on the fourth floor, Axi Plaza’s first floor is dedicated to 46 shops ranging in size from 14sqm to 239sqm.

The exterior of the building is crisscrossed with wood set to last at least 100 years. By night, Axi Plaza changes colours in an elaborate lighting display. At the entrance is a garden updated daily to articulate the day’s date.

“Axi Plaza is a game changer for Cam Ranh and Vietnam’s entire coastline – there’s nothing like it for business and leisure travellers alike,” said The Anam Group’s founder Pham Van Hien. “Building Axi Plaza in the shape of a large thung chai boat, resting beside waters still plied by traditional boats, is a bold and striking way to pay homage to Vietnam with contemporary flair.”

With Axi Plaza Lounge, swimming pools, Long Beach, bathrooms, lockers and more on offer, Mr Hien described Axi Plaza as a “convenient solution” for travellers who need to check out of their hotels at noon but do not want to wait for hours at Cam Ranh International Airport before their departure flights.

Together, Axi Plaza and The Anam Cam Ranh will offer a complete package of services and amenities for bleisure guests in one location.

Various company events, weddings and a forum in cooperation with the local tourism department are already planned at Axi Plaza this year. The Anam Group is exploring organizing events such as classical concerts, fashion shows and product launches.

The basket boat traces its history back to the French colonial era, when the French levied a tax on boat ownership. It’s believed Vietnamese fishermen who could not afford the taxes responded by deploying basket boats, arguing they were not boats but baskets and thus could not be taxed.

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