Archive - November 2012

Chiva-Som named favorite Asian spa by SpaFinder survey
Six Senses acquisition earns top award at Hotel Investment Conference
Loi Krathong Night of Flavors at VIE Bangkok
Loi Krathong Festival in Thailand 2012
Greetings from 1936 at Centara Hua Hin
Loy Krathong 5 Elements spa package at Spa Cenvaree
Intelligent Spas releases first Thailand spa consumer survey
Six Senses big winner at World Travel Awards 2012
Snorkeling and boating trips to islands from Centra Coconut Beach Samui
Centara upgrades and rebrands Koh Chang resort

Chiva-Som named favorite Asian spa by SpaFinder survey

CHIVA-SOM, HUA HIN was named Asia’s favorite spa by SpaFinder Readers’ Choice awards for 2012.

Chiva-Som received this year’s Crystal Award for Asia – the top award in the Readers’Choice survey. The Spa at the Oyster Box, The Oyster Box Hotel, received the award for Africa; Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, for Australia; The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Georges V Paris, for Europe; Life in Balance Spa, Miraval, for North America; and The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, for South America.

The Readers’ Choice Awards tallied a record number of votes globally this year.

To help consumers identify the best spa for their specific goals, SpaFinder Wellness also collected votes for aficionados’ favorite spas across 27 categories. Reflecting the diverse interests of today’s spa-goers, eight new Category Awards were added this year, including “Best for Girlfriend Getaways & Bachelorettes,” “Best for Weddings,” “Best for LGBT,” “Best Beach Spa,” “Best for Families,” “Best for Outdoor Adventure,” “Best Pet-Friendly” and “Best Instructor.”

“Working your way to the top of a global industry crowded with tens of thousands of hotel, resort and destination spas is nothing short of an extraordinary feat,” noted Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder Wellness. “We salute all our 2012 winners, particularly those that have won awards for the first time.”

Six Senses acquisition earns top award at Hotel Investment Conference

U.S.-BASED PRIVATE EQUITY Fund Manager Pegasus Capital Advisors LP was honored at the 23rd annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), receiving the award for the Merger & Acquisition Deal of the Year for its acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Bernhard Bohnenberger, long-time president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, was in attendance and received the award on behalf of the U.S.-based firm.

In June of this year, Pegasus acquired Bangkok-based Six Senses, a pioneer in the global trend of sustainable luxury hospitality, providing Pegasus the rights to the Six Senses and Evason resort and spa management contracts and related intellectual property. The new generation of Six Senses will consist of 28 branded spas and 12 branded resorts around the world.

Sustainable Luxury Holdings (BVI) Limited, a newly formed company managed by Pegasus and its affiliates, will operate the newly acquired assets.  The new structure establishes a well capitalized future to pursue international growth opportunities for the brand.

“Six Senses is an internationally recognized brand built on unparalleled guest service and experiences, while being a leader in sustainable hospitality with a strong sense of environmental responsibility,” said Craig Cogut, founder, Pegasus Capital Advisors.  “Six Senses will continue to pursue opportunities in new and existing international markets with a focus on unique destinations in keeping with the brand legacy.”

Loi Krathong Night of Flavors at VIE Bangkok

CELEBRATE THE FULL MOON at VIE Hotel Bangkok with Zaab & Spice buffet dinner at the award-winning VIE Wine & Grill restaurant as VIE marks its Loi Krathong Night on Nov. 28, 2012.

“Zaab”, by the way, means hot in Thai. Cost per person is THB 900 and includes a special order lotus-shaped candle to take home or to float at the hotel’s see-through swimming pool.

The menu includes a freshly mixed high-end ‘Somtum’ – Thai-style papaya salad, complimented by items like smoked salmon, king crab claw and New Zealand mussels. The buffet line also includes other Zaab delish like grilled premium quality steak with thick spicy herbal sauce, the delicate bamboo cram stir fried with holy basil, fresh pepper, galangal, and chilli, a traditional dish of hot and spicy soup with wild chicken, shallots, tomatoes, and lemongrass as well as other Zaab dishes.

VIE Wine & Grill is located on the 11th floor. The buffet dinner is available from 6:30 – 10:30 pm.

For reservations and more information, call 66 (0) 2309 3939 or email

Loi Krathong Festival in Thailand 2012

LOI KRATHONG represents a time for the Thais to give thanks to the goddess of water and to seek forgiveness for past misdeeds.  It occurs at night during the full moon of the 12th Thai lunar month, which in 2012 takes place on Nov. 28.

Loi literally means “to float,” while Krathong refers to the lotus-shaped vessels containing candles, incense and flowers which participants float down rivers, lakes and ponds across the country. The festival also includes beauty pageants, fireworks and contests in which individuals construct the Krathong from unique materials such as banana leaves, banana tree trunks, coconut barks or even paper.

Each province has its own special features in celebrating this annual Festival of Lights. Some of the most colorful include:

The Delightful Color of Stream, Loi Krathong Festival, Nov. 24 – 28 at Asiatique The Riverfront, Chao Phraya River (Krung Thep Bridge-Krung Thon Bridge), Bangkok. Highlights include opening ceremonies on Nov. 24, plus cultural performances, light decorations and the float procession all along the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

Phra Nakhorn Si Ayutthaya, Loi Krathong Festival, Nov. 28 at the Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre, Ayutthaya. Highlights include: Beauty pageants, Krathong contests and cultural performances, with individuals competing to win the King’s Trophy.

Yee Peng Festival, Nov.28 – 29 at the Tha Phae Gate (Nov. 28 – 29), Amphur Mae Jo (Nov. 24 – 30), Chiangmai. Highlights include: cultural performances and crafts, the Lanna style walking street and the opening ceremony of “Yi Peng Festival 2012,” plus an amazing procession of hanging lanterns at Chiangmai Night Bazaar, beauty contests and a light and sound presentation on the Ping River.There will also be a Krathong procession competition for the King’s Trophy.

In addition, several Thai resorts and hotels also feature their own Loi Kathrong celebrations, including:

137 Pillars House, which has created a package to celebrate this very special occasion.  Valid from Nov. 27 –30, it includes two nights’ accommodation in its Rajah Brooke Suite, private limousine airport  transfers, complimentary fruit basket on arrival and a sumptuous daily breakfast.  Guests will also receive a traditional local style Kad Mua buffet dinner (food only) and entertainment on No. 28, as well as a Kom Loy (rice paper lantern) and Krathong (flower arrangement with candles).

This package is priced at USD $760 (THB 22,700).  Additional nights are available at best available rate for applicable dates, and are inclusive of accommodation and breakfast. For more information and reservations, visit or call +66 53 247 788.

Experience Yi Peng, the Northern Thai Festival of Lights, at Four Seasons Resort Chiangmai. This year, Four Seasons Resort Chiangmai has created a special package to let guests celebrate the Lanna Yi Peng Festival – famous for its floating lanterns, in conjunction with Loi Krathong.

Its two-night Festival of Lights package is available between Nov. 29 and Dec.1, 2012, and includes accommodation, daily breakfast for two, a special Loi Krathong dinner at Terraces, transfers to Chiangmai to see the floating krathongs, and the chance to take part in and witness the spectacle of thousands of floating lanterns being launched simultaneously at Tudongkhasathan Lanna.

For more information and to make reservations, visit

Greetings from 1936 at Centara Hua Hin

The Railway Hotel as it was in 1936

A POSTCARD DATED JAN. 15, 1936, depicting the Railway Hotel in Hua Hin recently come to light in the records of Centara Hotels & Resorts, which now owns and operates the hotel as Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin.

The hotel is about to celebrate its 90th birthday, having opened in October 1922 and had its grand opening on Jan. 1, 1923.

Regarded as one of the classic hotels of the East, and earlier this year enlisted as a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the property dates back to the time when Hua Hin itself was evolving into Thailand’s first beach resort.

“The railway era brought great changes to Siam, as Thailand was then known,” says Thirayuth Chirathivat, Centara Hotels & Resorts’ CEO. “There were very few roads into the provincial areas, and places such as Hua Hin were known only to the local population.

“When the railway was built from Bangkok down to Malaysia, it suddenly became possible for the aristocracy of the day to travel to Hua Hin, and to enjoy the beach and the ocean.”

The beauty of Hua Hin was realized by the engineers surveying the southern railway route in 1909.  Land was set aside for a station, and when the first section of the line opened in 1911, Hua Hin became a destination where wealthy Bangkok residents built their holiday homes. The southern line to Malaysia was completed in 1921, making it possible to travel between Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore by train.

Royal Siamese Railways (RSR) directed Italian architect A. Rigazzi to build a hotel, and at the same time commissioned a Scottish engineer named A. O. Robins to layout a golf course.

The Railway Hotel initially had only 14 guestrooms, but it was very well appointed and furnished and had an excellent standard of service to cater for its wealthy Thai and foreign guests. By 1928 the hotel’s reputation was international and to accommodate the growing number of visitors to Hua Hin, RSR added a new wing of 13 rooms, which were built to the exact same design as its existing building.

After the Second World War more guestrooms were added, along with three restaurants, a downstairs bar, and a lobby with a panoramic view of Hua Hin’s bay.

The value of the Railway Hotel as a building of architectural and historic interest was fully acknowledged by the Thai Government when in 1986 Central Group, the parent company of Centara Hotels & Resorts, acquired the property, with the preservation of the old buildings and extensive gardens an important condition of the contract.

The historical building has been meticulously preserved, with all the subsequent additions designed to blend with the existing structure and to maintain the air of elegance and leisure into which the hotel was born.

Hua Hin meanwhile has developed into a royal town, a resort known worldwide for its quiet charm, the old golf course now known as Royal Hua Hin Golf Course, the Hua Hin Railway Station regarded as an architectural design marvel, and Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, which has become the centre of the town’s social life — as it was in the 1920s — and all the way through the subsequent decades.

“We regard ourselves as the custodians of this important part of Thailand’s history, and consider it our privilege to be able to present the best of Thai service tradition to the world,” says Mr Thirayuth.  “Having this lovely old hotel included as one of the Leading Hotels of the World is a great delight and honour for us, and our promise is that this heritage property will be maintained for the generations to come.”

Postcards featuring the hotel were very popular, said Mr Thirayuth , who also noted that the 1936 card was found among a collection of memorabilia, some of which can now be seen in The Museum Coffee & Tea Corner, which is set in the original hotel lobby.



Loy Krathong 5 Elements spa package at Spa Cenvaree

 NOVEMBER IS THE MONTH OF LOY KRATHONG, a festival rooted deep in the cultural heritage of Thailand. To mark the occasion, Spa Cenvaree has introduced a 5 Elements package that draws upon age-old Thai herbal remedies and treatments.

The package is available at selected Spa Cenvaree branches in Centara Hotels & Resorts properties in Bangkok, Krabi, Samui, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Phuket from From Nov. 1-30.

The 2.5-hour spa treatment begins with an invigorating scrub infused with warming herbs such as black pepper for detox, cinnamon for soothing, and holy basil for stimulating, mixed with freshly crushed almond nuts and oatmeal, designed to engage all five senses through its aromas and nourishing properties.

For the ladies, the scrub mixture has rose essential oils added for an unsurpassed fragrance, and for the gentlemen, the scrub mixture is enhanced with freshly crushed coffee beans for an intoxicating aroma. This is followed by a relaxing hot oil massage with Spa Cenvaree’s signature blend massage oil or an Ayurvedic Abhyanga, a massage native to India to boost your body’s natural immune system.

The session is complemented with a herbal compress using a towel soaked in a hot blending of herbs including mint leaf, basil, ginger, lemongrass, clove and cinnamon to sooth the muscles.

A traditional herbal balm foot massage specifically created for this occasion to disperse negative energy will leave you with the sensation of total renewal and relaxation, and your spa journey ends with a refreshing chrysanthemum tea.

Loy Krathong falls this year on Nov. 28. “Loy” means to float, while a “krathong” is a miniature lotus-shaped raft traditionally made of banana leaves. Offerings are placed on the krathong to the Goddess of Water, together with a lit candle, and throughout the country the krathongs are floated out onto rivers, lakes and the ocean to bring luck for the year to come.

For more information, please contact Spa Cenvaree at Tel: 02 100 1234 ext 6511, 6516   or e-mail

Intelligent Spas releases first Thailand spa consumer survey


INTELLIGENT SPAS has released the results of the first dedicated Spa Consumer Survey in Thailand, which identified a collection of valuable statistics about spa goers’ recent behaviors, current preferences and forecast spa visits. This vital research will enable spa operators, consultants and hoteliers to better cater for the changing needs of spa goers.

“Intelligent Spas was proud to be selected as the premier research partner by the Thai Spa Association to conduct this inaugural study.

The report includes information relating to the number and frequency of past and predicted spa visits, reasons for visiting spas, successful promotional channels, popular treatments and spending patterns,” explained Julie Garrow, managing director of 100% independent research company Intelligent Spas (

“The analysis included information about spa visits close to where the respondent lived, as well as their choices while traveling, providing very interesting comparisons.”

Andrew Jacka, president of the Thai Spa Association added: “Knowing your customer is essential for every professional business operator, regardless of industry. The Thai spa industry has never had any spa consumer statistics, relying on assumptions and guestimations. Now for the first time, we have professionally collected spa consumer statistics for Thailand – an important tool for every spa operator in the kingdom.”

The report was launched at the World Spa and Well-being Convention in late September.

Intelligent Spas and TSPA thanked sponsors and supporters for this research. These include the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Voya, SpaRitual, Kamalaya, BEAUTY department store and Ramburi.

Intelligent Spas is the only 100% independent research company specializing in the spa industry. Founded in Singapore in 2001, it has pioneered statistically reliable and comparable research for the global spa industry and continues to publish a range of spa operations manuals and spa survey reports to assist the performance and growth of this essential industry.


Six Senses big winner at World Travel Awards 2012

SIX SENSES RESORTS AND SPAS won five top awards at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Ceremony 2012, held in Singapore on Oct. 19.

Six Senses Hua Hin in Thailand won in two categories, reinforcing its position in the luxury Hua Hin sector as Asia’s Leading Villa Resort 2012 and Thailand’s Leading Villa Resort 2012.

Six Senses Samui in Thailand received the award for Asia’s Leading Honeymoon Resort 2012. This intimate villa resort is set on a 20-acre promontory which offers uninterrupted panoramas to the Gulf of Thailand.

Vietnam’s Evason Ana Mandara at Nha Trang, received the award as Vietnam’s Leading Resort 2012. Evason Ana Mandara is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and was Vietnam’s first beach resort to be opened as the country embraced tourism.

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay won the title of Vietnam’s Leading Spa Resort 2012. The resort is located across the bay from Nha Trang.

On hand at the gala event to receive the awards for Six Senses, was Jamie Crisp, director of sales at Six Senses & Evason Hua Hin.

A packed delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled from 42 nations to attend the Singapore event, held in conjunction with TravelRave 2012, Asia’s most influential travel trade festival.

The WTA awards program, hailed as the Oscars of the travel industry by global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

Graham E. Cooke, president and founder, WTA, underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across the three regions. “Our winners are drawn from the breadth of Asia, Australasia and the Indian Ocean, reflecting the strength and depth of the travel and tourism sector in the regions. I am sure these organizations will fare strongly in our grand final, which takes place on Dec. 12. 2012.”



Snorkeling and boating trips to islands from Centra Coconut Beach Samui

SNORKELING, BOATING AND KAYAKING at Koh Tan and Koh Mutsum, both of which are renowned diving and snorkeling spots, can be arranged for guests staying at Centra Coconut Beach Resort Samui, before or during their arrival.

The two islands are within view of the resort, and are easily accessed from Samui.

Koh Tan, also known as Coral Island, is a few hundred metres off the southwestern coast of Samui. A small island with no roads or cars and only one village, it is surrounded by a coral reef and with serene and sandy beaches, is an idyllic spot for snorkeling and sunbathing. Koh Mutsum is to the south of Koh Tan, and has a long and sandy beach that is ideal for picnics and barbeques.

The intimately scaled Centra Coconut Beach Resort Samui has 54 rooms and villas of living space including a furnished balcony or terrace. Perfect for couples and large enough for families, the accommodation includes pool view rooms and rooms with direct pool access, while the resort’s seven villas each feature a Jacuzzi, a large living space and garden or ocean views. Thai and international cuisines with an emphasis on fresh seafood are served at the beachfront restaurant, and there is also a beach bar and a pool bar.

For more information about snorkelling and kayaking and reservations, call +66(0) 7733 4069 or e-mail

Centara upgrades and rebrands Koh Chang resort

KOH CHANG TROPICANA Beach Resort & Spa, managed by Centara has undergone a multi-million baht upgrade prior to being rebranded as Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort.

Centara Hotels & Resorts acquired the management contract for the property, which is set on Klong Prao Beach on the island’s west coast, in April of this year.

Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts, who made the announcement, said Centara was “delighted to have added this exceptionally fine resort to our management portfolio, and look forward now to the completion of this very extensive upgrading program and rebranding of the property,”.

The upgrade will see renovations and remodeling undertaken to the entrance, lobby and reception, and the creation of a new lobby bar.

The resort’s ocean-facing Sea Breeze restaurant and bar will also be completely renovated.

Interior remodeling is being undertaken on 22 of the cabanas to make the accommodation more family-friendly, a new kids’ club and adventure playground is being installed, and a waterslide is being added to the splash pool.

The resort’s 157 rooms and suites are designed to enhance the sensation of living in a tropical setting and are contained in two wings, Superior and Deluxe, spread throughout landscaped gardens.

With its natural surroundings the resort is tranquil and features an oceanfront swimming pool, water sports and spa. Nearby attractions such as forest paths, waterfalls, a fishing village and an elephant camp to explore.

SAND SPA at Centara Koh Chang Tropicana is also being branded to Centara’s own-brand, Spa Cenvaree, and part of the rebranding of the resort itself,

Remodelled to Spa Cenvaree standards, the new spa is set in the garden of the beachside resort, with its own lotus pond, and utilizes the natural surroundings to create a mood of relaxation.

There are eight treatment suites including two private couple rooms with Jacuzzi and sauna. Its spa menu includes a range of treatments, including traditional massage, rubs and body scrubs using herbs and other natural ingredients, holistic rituals that have their origins deep within Thai history and culture, and an exotic blend of East and West therapies.

Massage salas are placed on the beach, and there is an outdoor relaxation lounge where guests can enjoy complimentary herbal tea, fresh juices and healthy snacks after their treatment.

Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort is set on the white sands of Klong Prao Beach, in the centre of Koh Chang’s west coast.

The resort’s 157 rooms and suites are designed to enhance the sensation of living in a tropical setting and are contained in two wings, Superior and Deluxe, spread throughout the landscaped gardens.

For more information or reservations, call 662 101 1234 ext 1 or e-mail


  Copyright © 2016.   Website design by CooperCreative