THAILAND RANKED the fifth most-searched honeymoon destination of 2013, according to Google’s annual Zeitgeist report, placing it in the top international destinations searched over the past year.
Thailand has a continued reputation as a host to luxury-travel experiences that has excelled over the decades, directly correlating with the addition of many world-class resorts and hotels. These luxury properties follow Thai customs and go “above and beyond” to cater to couples seeking memorable wedding and honeymoon experiences.
Additionally, the growth in the number of private luxury pool villas throughout Thailand is another factor that makes Thailand alluring for couples. These accommodations offer the allure of privacy, comfort and style along beautiful, world-class beaches to create the perfect honeymoon atmosphere.
The dinner is supported by Kasikorn Bank (K Bank), Advance Info Service Plc. (AIS), and Fresh Direct (Thailand), Co., Ltd.
Originally from the Vercors, Christophe Aribert has been at the helm of the kitchens of some of the top restaurants in France before becoming the chef of Les Terrasses in Uriage-les-Bains. His cuisine expresses his unique personality, forged by a career spanning 25 years of research, experiment and success with products sourced direct from the treasures of nature.
The five-course dinner features: Saint Jacques, salsifis a cru et radis noir (Scallop, raw salsify and horseradish); Foie gras poele, fraises, vinaigre de banyuls et miel (pan-fried foie gras, strawberry Banyuls red vinegar and honey); Cabillaud, homard, bouillon gingembre et citronnelle (Cod, lobster, ginger and lemon-grass); Filet de veau, chou-fleur, pomme et celery (Veal tenderloin, cauliflower, potatoes and celeriac); and Chocolat, mandarine, piment et reglisse (Chocolate, tangerine, chili and liquorice).
For more details and reservations, please contact: 02 309 3939, E-mail : email@example.com
REGENT PHUKET CAPE PANWA is offering the ultimate honeymoon package, designed to create unforgettable memories in an intimate paradise setting for two.
The Romance to Remember package includes:
Three-night stay in the luxurious Suite or Pool Villa; daily breakfast for two; ound-trip transfers between the resort and Phuket International Airport; three-hour Regent Indulgence Spa Treatment for two; romantic set dinner for two at The Grill Lounge (Suite Residents); guaranteed ocean view with private balcony; complimentary non-alcoholic mini-bar; four complimentary pieces of laundry or free pressing daily ; complimentary in-room romantic floral set up with romantic flower bath; and a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolates.
Extra perks when staying at the Pool Villa include: in-villa barbeque dinner for two, complimentary alcoholic mini-bar, eight pieces of complementary laundry or free pressing daily and 24-hour butler service.
A minimum three-night stay is required. The package is available through Feb. 28, 2014, starting at $1,580; and March 1 to 31, 2014, starting at $1,498.
For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.regenthotels.com/EN/Phuket.
SIX SENSES YAO NOI is pulling out all the stops for a feature-filled Culinary Week from Feb. 21 through March 3 with a number of specially-planned food and wine events.
In addition to three hosted events with Michelin-starred Celebrity Chef Jesper Koch, there will be wine-matching dinners with organic-inspired European-style degustation cuisine, Indian dishes being featured and Chef’s Table dining with the resort’s Executive Chef Anthony Reynolds presenting personalized dinner experiences.
These dinners will be accompanied with matching wines selected by the resort’s sommelier, which are also offered together with meals throughout the resort.
One of many highlights will be an organic farm-inspired dinner to be held in Garden Sala of the Dining Room, hosted by Senior Chef de Cuisine Jim Driskell, who has a wide range of experience in organic farming.
In addition to these gourmet experiences, the expert beverages team, headed by Executive Sommelier Christian Maier, will present educational wine-tasting events paired with Thai food or cheese selections and will also host Wine Games, with great wines and delicious food set against the backdrop of Phang Nga Bay.
Christian, who originally comes from Alsace, spent his formative years in Europe, working in celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants in both France and the United Kingdom, and has spent the past 15 years living in Australia, working in several of Melbourne’s most celebrated restaurants as sommelier.
“We are delighted to offer this week of culinary highlights in February,” said Anthony Reynolds, executive chef at Six Senses Yao Noi. “Our team has planned wonderful menus of edible memories. In addition to the gourmet experiences, our guests will have the unique opportunity to discover more about a vast variety of wines while having an entertaining time.”
In praising Chef Jesper, Chef Anthony added, “Following his visit to our resort, on vacation one year ago, Chef Jesper asked to come back to Six Senses to cook with our team after experiencing the unique and preserved original culture of the island.”
SPECIAL RATES at the newly opened five-star Centara Grand Modus Resort Pattaya bring the rate for a weekday in a Superior Resort View room down to Baht 2,990 per night for two people, including breakfast, between now and Feb. 28, 2014.
Weekday stays in a Premium Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite are priced at Baht 4,190 per night. Up to two children under the age of 12 years sharing their parents’ room and bedding are included in the rate.
The Centara Grand Modus Resort is set on the sands of quiet Wong Amat Beach, in northern Pattaya, and is adjacent to one of the ocean city’s most famous tourist sites, the Sanctuary of Truth. The private beach provides an exclusive setting for guests, and the calm sea is ideal for water sports.
The resort is designed for couples and for families, and includes rooms with direct pool access, along with family suites that have special sleeping areas for children and feature self-catering facilities.
The striking décor used throughout the resort combines industrial chic with elements from the old world, using vintage furnishings, antique art, and bold colors and concepts to create a dazzling and memorable visual environment .
Darren Shaw has been named area general manager of Centara Phuket Beach Resort and Centara Villas Phuket, and Martin Heiniger, as area general manager Samui and general manager of Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.
Darren moved to Thailand in 2010 as general manager with Laguna Phuket resorts complex before joining Centara in February 2012, serving as general manager of Centara Karon Resort, Phuket and Waterfront Suites by Centara.
Martin Heiniger moves from cluster general manager of Centara Hotels & Resorts Bali, Indonesia to area general manager Samui and general manager of Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.
Martin’s experience in hotel management goes back more than 20 years, working in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Switzerland, Egypt, Indonesia and Thailand. He can speak fluent German, English, Italian and French and has been with Centara Hotels & Resorts since 2006, initially general manager of Centara Villas Samui and Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.
Martin was cluster general manager of Centara Hotels & Resorts Bali, Indonesia for two years being appointed to his new position.
For more information and reservations, call 662 101 1234 ext 1 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.centarahotelsresorts.com
PLANNING SOMETHING SPECIAL for St. Valentine’s Day? VIE Hotel Bangkok has two interesting options – a romantic dinner on the rooftop pool of its Yellow Tail Sushi Bar (YTSB) and a special Valentine set dinner high above the glittering Bangkok skyline at VIE Wine and Grill on Feb. 14.
YTSB is offering a special and secret Valentine sushi dinner in a secluded setting. The dinner is reserved for just five couples and is priced at 5,000 THB per couple for the dinner or 6,000 THB if you add a jar of sake and a surprise gift for your lady.
The VIE Wine and Grill’s set dinner includes U.S. scallop salad with beet jus and truffle dressing; sweet parsnip soup; a main course of sous vide chicken, lobster, cauliflower puree, and nature jus; and desserts to bring the sweetness direct to your hearts, dark chocolate Raspberry Rose or lychee and raspberry sorbet.
The dinner is prices at 3,000 THB per couple for food or 4,000 THB if you add a bottle of sparkling wine and a surprise gift for the lady.
IN A SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT, Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas said it was moving its highly popular King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament to Bangkok and advancing the dates to Aug. 28-31 this year.
This year’s event will move from its original home of Hua Hin to the Siam Polo Park at VR Sports Club in Bangkok due to the popularity of the event and to make it more accessible for more people.
The four-day festival will have something for everyone including an opening parade, Children’s Day, Ladies Day, and wide a range of elephant related activities for the whole family.
The annual tournament, now in its 13th year, has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia.
Last year’s event which had 16 teams encompassing over 50 players, including Thai supermodels, professional horse polo players, the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby team and Thailand’s famous transgender cabaret team, Miss Tiffany’s, was a far cry from the small two teamed event when it started in 2001.
Over US $750,000 has been raised and donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population.
Fundraising from last year’s event has been donated to a number of projects in Thailand including supporting research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children living with autism; building the first elephant hospital in Krabi in the southern part of Thailand and donating a gantry to help lame elephants stand to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC).
Other projects include planting 4,000 trees to create elephant corridors in Kui Buri to help avoid elephant/farmer conflicts; funding the roll out of children’s educational programs with the Thai Ministry to teach them the importance of conservation and protection of wild elephants in Thailand, and funding workshops showing traditional elephant trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training for domesticated elephants.
Fifty street elephants will take part in this year’s tournament, during which they are well fed, provided with a native forest environment, and receive essential vitamin supplements, full veterinary checks and care for the duration of the event.
Street life and ‘unemployment’ can be tough for an elephant, walking through crowded tourist areas and busy roads for ten hours a night, forced to rest during the day on small green spaces within the cities, often without shade and water.
The King’s Cup schedule is deliberately designed to give these elephants rest and relaxation on a scale they are never afforded in their ‘normal’ lives.
For more information, visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com
ONE OF GRAND HYATT ERAWAN BANGKOK’S on-going biggest successes over the past eight years has been its organic farm project in Wang Nam Keaw.
It’s been a huge success for everyone concerned – the hotel’s guests, its employees, local farmers and, most of all, the environment, says Richard Greaves, the hotel’s general manager.
It’s part of an environmental sustainability program launched by Hyatt 20 years ago. “From day one of the orientation program, conducted for every employee, we emphasize the fact that Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok aims to serve only delicious, healthy food using quality products,” he said, noting that the hotel has worked with local farmers to enhance its responsibility for the environment and awareness of the health benefits of health vegetables.
“We have planted more than 60 varieties of seeds on 15.4 hectares that is 500 metres above sea level, using no toxic chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The organic farm is also one of the ways in which we support the community in remote areas, helping to generate income for farmers, as well as extending job opportunities to them, thereby helping to improve their living standards.”
In addition to being free of toxic chemical fertilizers or pesticides.”
Its own home-grown organic produce replaces imported vegetables as we bring in about 250 kilograms of produce from our farm every week, “allowing us to enjoy a dramatic decrease in the carbon footprint of products brought in to the hotel. Specifically, our use of styrofoam, cardboard boxes and plastic bags, all of which are considered waste, has been decreased considerably,” said Greaves.
Organic vegetables provide 50% more vitamins, enzymes and nutrition than vegetables grown using such toxic chemicals. People who consume vegetables contaminated with pesticides or toxins will absorb the poisons in the liver, which is unhealthy and may cause illnesses down the road. “In addition, if we consume products grown with chemical hormones, this can cause an imbalance in our immune system, causing sickness.”
The organic farm project now produces more than 17 varieties of seasonal vegetables of a quality that meets the standards for the food we offer our guests in all its restaurants – The Dining Room, Spasso, Banquets, Room Service and Tables.
The project, he noted, is just one example of the activities in which
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has been engaged over the years. These include:
Extending professional support and guidance for hospitality management to the Janjawa School in Chiang Rai to develop the Janjawa Lakeside Eco-Resort, an eco-friendly resort owned and operated co-operatively by students, teachers and the parents of students at the school.
Implementing a system that treats water before it is released into public drains. This program helps to reduce waste water that may be released into public water resources by as much as 500 cubic metres a day. The hotel also uses chlorine-free water in its swimming pool to prevent approximately 18 litres of chlorine being released into the public water system every day.
Scheduling an Earth Day on the first Wednesday of every month to build environmental awareness and teach best practices, helping to save about 100kwh of electricity a day.
“We aim to continually raise awareness among our employees, letting them know that even one person can play an important role in protecting the environment simply by adjusting his/her behavior. After all, many simple practices start with us in the work place, and extend to our homes, our families and society in just one way we can be responsible for our environment and society.
“Our organic farm produces more than 17 varieties of previously imported vegetables, such as Romaine and Iceberg lettuces, all of which are served in the hotel’s restaurants. The farm is also one of the ways we support remote communities.”