Archive - March 2014

1
10 Centara hotels receive EarthCheck Silver Certification
2
Centara World Masters Golf Championship set for Hua Hin June 15-21
3
Thailand’s Songkran Festival starts April 5
4
Chocolate making and Easter egg hunts at Soneva Kiri
5
Birth of boy elephant highlights National Thai Elephant Day
6
Ritz Carlton’s Phulay Bay Reserve’s ‘Discover Thai-licious’ package
7
Two-for-one promotion at VIE Hotel Bangkok’s revamped restaurant
8
Centara Khon Kaen ready to welcome regional events
9
Emotional Healer Katrina Love Senn at Six Senses Yao Noi until March 31
10
Anantara’s Northern Delights package

10 Centara hotels receive EarthCheck Silver Certification

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok

EARTHCHECK, the specialist organization that sets the benchmarks for environmental awareness and conservation for the international hospitality industry, has awarded 2013 Silver Certification for 10 hotels within the Centara Hotels & Resorts group.

Eight of the properties are part of Centara’s five-star Grand portfolio, including all of the self-owned Grand hotels, fulfilling a corporate target one year ahead of schedule. Nine of the properties were in Thailand.

“Green and sustainable tourism is at the heart of our corporate culture, and we have been working with EarthCheck for several years to ensure that we operate all of our hotels to strict environmental standards,” says Thirayuth Chirathivat, Centara’s CEO.

“We have set our own internal targets for progressing through the certification levels, and it gives all of us immense satisfaction to say that our targets are being achieved.

“Our target for 2015 is to have a total of 15 hotels with Silver Certification, including all of the self-owned Hotels & Resorts core brand.”

The 10 Silver Certification hotels for 2013 are Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa Maldives, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, Centara Karon Resort Phuket, and Centara Kata Resort Phuket.

EarthCheck operates an Environmental Management System, a series of practical tools for the benchmarking and certification of operations practices.

The environmental performance of each property is monitored against policy, benchmarking the indicators against baseline and best practices. The environmental and social impact is measured through the EarthCheck Online Self Assessment. All results are assessed and verified by third party auditors on an annual basis.

To achieve Silver Certification all participating hotels are required to have a sustainable policy in place and to implement an environmental action plan for proper monitoring and measurements on 10 key performance areas, namely greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, management of freshwater resources, ecosystem conservation and management, social and cultural management, land use planning and management, air quality protection, wastewater management, solid waste management, and elimination of environmentally harmful substances.

For more information and reservations, call 662 101 1234 ext 1 or e-mail to reservations@chr.co.th or website www.centarahotelsresorts.com

Centara World Masters Golf Championship set for Hua Hin June 15-21

Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua HinMORE THAN 600 GOLFERS from 20 countries are expected to compete at the Centara World Masters Golf Championship 2014.

The event, which is based at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin from June 15-21, will be Asia’s biggest week of amateur golf.

Centara Hotels & Resorts, which is sponsoring the event, has been joined by Thai Beverage, Thai Airways, Coca-Cola (Thailand) and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf in supporting the event.

“We anticipate that every place available will be booked long before the event begins,” says Chris Bailey, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts. “This event has been a success every year in which it has been staged, and its reputation as a week of golf, fun and sunshine has spread worldwide.”

The event is also Thailand’s richest amateur tournament with US $30,000 in prizes to be won.
The Centara World Masters is open to all amateur golfers over age 35 and who have an official golf handicap. There are 15 tournament divisions based on age and handicap.

Participants will play at four of Hua Hin’s world-class golf courses – Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Imperial Lake View.

Hua Hin was named Golf Destination of the Year for Asia and Australasia at the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators’ convention, held in Spain in November last year.

Along with great golfing and good camaraderie there are lively social and entertainment events every night, as Thailand’s biggest 19th hole moves each night to stunning rooftop, beach, and poolside settings. A grand farewell dinner caps off the fun filled week.

Visit www.thailandworldmasters.com for event updates.

Accommodation for the event is available at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, a member of Leading Hotels of the World. Originally opened in 1923, when the laying of the railway line from Bangkok to Malaysia turned the fishing village of Hua Hin into Thailand’s first beach resort, this classic old hotel has in recent years been gently upgraded to meet the needs of today’s travellers, while still retaining its genteel ambience of a more leisurely age.

For more information and reservations, please contact tel. +66(0) 3251 2021 or e-mail to chrbr@chr.co.th

 

Thailand’s Songkran Festival starts April 5

Songkran Elephant

IF YOU’RE COMING TO THAILAND FOR SONGKRAN, Dusit Thani Bangkok is offering special discounts for visitors who want to join in the wildest water fight in the world.

Behind the fun, there’s also a very serious side. Traditionally, Songkran activities begin in the early morning when Thai Buddhists go to the temple to earn merit by offering food to monks and listening to the Dhamma speak. In the afternoon, Thai Buddhists sprinkle scented water on Buddha images. During this time, younger people ask blessings from their elders and pour scented water over their elder’s hands. In return, the elders wish them good health, happiness and prosperity.

Songkran is the Thai traditional New Year Day which is celebrated April 12-15 each year. It is one of the most important festivals in Thailand. Songkran, also called the “Water Festival,” is believed to flow and wash away bad omens.

With many celebrations throughout the country, Thais locals – and visitors alike – engage in massive water fights where they splash each other with water to symbolize the gift of a New Year blessing.

Dusit Thani is located in the heart of Bangkok’s Silom area, one of the best locations to celebrate the festival.

Dusit will be offering a special price of 500 THB per person for breakfast as well as 20% discounts for food at participating restaurants and bars and for a la carte spa treatments at Dusit’s Devarana Spa.  The discounts are available April 1-30, 2014. This year’s festival runs from April 5-20.

The festival comes at a critical time for Thailand’s tourist industry, which had suffered because of the political unrest during the fall and winter months. The state of emergency declared in January has now been lifted and business has returned to normal.

While the state of emergency caused little inconvenience to travelers, the lifting of the state of emergency is a sign that things are fast returning to normal in Bangkok, and visitors can look forward to traveling around the Thai capital with ease, as well as to the provinces during the festival, says Thawatchai Arunyik, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Chocolate making and Easter egg hunts at Soneva Kiri

Easter egg time at Soneva

EACH YEAR, SONEVA KIRI invites specialist chocolatiers from around the world to visit and design SLOW LIFE inspired Easter Eggs.

The past few years have seen visits from Spanish Enric Rovira, and in 2014, British-Italian Fiona Sciolto who has designed chocolates for Prince Charles’ conservation charity Plantlife, Princess Alexandra’s charity CFAB and Christian Dior, will be spotlighted.

In true SLOW LIFE style, she makes the most of ingredients growing around her, seasonality and never uses essences or flavorings. She will be working with Soneva chefs to create a new menu of Koh Kood-foraged chocolate delights as well as a creative Easter egg for gifts to guests.

There will also be jungle and beach Easter egg hunts at both Soneva resorts, and for a myriad of entertainment options such as astronomical cruises at night, chocolate-making lessons, traditionally prepared meals with local dancers and music, desert island picnics, gourmet kitchen classes for junior guests and a traditional Easter Sunday feast for the whole family.

Gastronomy has always been of huge importance to the Soneva Group with the resort cooking focused on providing Michelin star quality food and drink using fresh ingredients, especially ones that have been ethically sourced.

Given the remoteness of both Soneva Fushi in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in far-flung Southeast Thailand, there is obviously a cost air miles, so to counteract this, the Soneva Group offsets every air mile of any food flown in, with a huge emphasis on serving locally grown produce as much as possible.

Sonu and Eva Shivdasani like to do things differently. Where else could you double up your holiday with learning how to cure meat and make your own cheese, as at Soneva Kiri all through April?

Other culinary events at Soneva Kiri include wining and dining from April 7-11 April with Harlan Estate, a Californian wine producing Bordeaux blends. From May 7-10, Singapore chef Tony Khoo will be visiting chef for a Chinese gala dinner.

For bookings or enquiries, visit www.soneva.com

Birth of boy elephant highlights National Thai Elephant Day

Anantara elephant day

A 10-DAY-OLD BOY ELEPHANT stole the spotlight at this year’s National Thai Elephant Day, marked by the traditional blessing of the elephants by Buddhist monks.

Nong Sam – 85 kg in weight and standing 84 cm and measuring 129 cm from forehead to tail – was born at the Elephant Camp at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort outside Chiang Rai. Nong Sam was born at 11.15am to 45- year old Boon Jan, her fifth son. Elephants normally give birth in the night.

He was nicknamed by his mahout (elephant carer), as is tradition, meaning “three” in Thai and alluding to his birth date on the third day of the third month. Being a Garieng elephant, Nong Sam will choose his own formal name at the age of three in a special ceremony involving bits of paper wrapped around sugarcane.

According to John Roberts, Anantara Resorts’ director of elephants, Nong Sam was the fourth elephant born at the Elephant Camp and the seventh baby raised there.

“The Elephant Camp was set up in 2003 to improve the plight of Thailand’s elephants, and has since been diversified to include welfare projects that incorporate broader philanthropic and cultural objectives with unprecedented success. Since 2006 the camp has operated under the auspices of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF).

National Thai Elephant Day takes place every year on March 13. The aim of the day is to draw attention to the elephant which is the national animal of Thailand and plays an important part in culture, religion and tradition.

A week-long celebration at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort kicked off with more than 60 children and novice monks from local orphanages and schools. They were invited to the resort to learn about the importance of elephant conservation and affording them a rare opportunity to meet the elephants up close and personal. Festivities included an exclusive elephant parade painting workshop and a charity brunch to benefit GTAEF.

Guests can visit Nong Sam at the resort in his new elephant nursery sponsored by Citibank. To follow Nong Sam’s progress on social media, visit Anantara Resorts on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/anantara or on Twitter Anantara_Hotels John Roberts’ Elephant Trails blog http://elephant-tails.anantara.com/

Ritz Carlton’s Phulay Bay Reserve’s ‘Discover Thai-licious’ package

Krabi
DISCOVER THE TASTES of Thailand beyond traditional restaurant settings or have a personalized menu at the resort’s Chef Tasting Table at Phulay Bay, a Ritz Carlton Reserve at Krabi, with the resort’s Executive Chef Gaetan Biesuz.

The Discover Thai-licious Package starts at $2,294 and includes:

Three nights stay in an Ocean Pavilion return transfer from Krabi Airport; one traditional Thai food cooking class; “dining beyond” experience chef ‘s table; 24-hour dedicated butler service; complimentary daily boat shuttle trip to Hong Island.

This offer is available until Oct. 31, 2014.

For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.phulay-bay.com.

Two-for-one promotion at VIE Hotel Bangkok’s revamped restaurant

La VIE - Creative French Cuisine

TWO CAN DINE for the price of one in a special promotion for the month of March as VIE Hotel Bangkok celebrates the opening of its newly renamed flagship restaurant.

New called La VIE – Creative Cuisine, the restaurant adds its own special touch to a variety of dishes, including Tiger prawns flambé, Wagyu Tenderloin, rich desserts, such as Dark and White Chocolate Millefeuille and French Crème Brûlée, and a delightful variety of starter soups and salads. Menu descriptions read like fine wines.

La VIE – Creative French Cuisine is open for lunch with special set menu “La VIE Set Lunch” from Noon – 3 pm and for dinner with special set menu “La VIE Set Dinner” from 6.30 – 10.30 pm. A la carte menus will also be available.

For reservations and more information, call 66 (0) 2309 3939, or email info@viehotelbangkok.com

Centara Khon Kaen ready to welcome regional events

Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Khon Kaen - Superior

THE FINAL DEVELOPMENT PHASE of the new Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Khon Kaen has been completed with the hotel now fully placed to cater for the increasing levels of tourist and business travel to the Isaan region, and the substantially increasing demands of the MICE sector.

The hotel is the largest events venue in Khon Kaen, and is located a short distance from Central Plaza, the biggest shopping and lifestyle complex in the city.

All 196 rooms and suites have a modern Isaan design theme, coupled with stylish international facilities, including extra kitchen facilities for the convention centre to add flexibility in catering for large or multiple events. Also, new audio-visual technology has been added to the events rooms, the parking area has been extended to hold 300 cars, and the building exteriors and landscaping have been given a stylish new finish.

“We are very happy indeed to announce completion of this final phase, and our hotel is now ready to shine as a regional events venue and to welcome independent travelers and groups alike with our warm Isaan hospitality,” says General Manager Patrick Tan.

Chris Bailey, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts says that Khon Kaen’s importance as a tourism and commercial hub has been growing in recent years.

“Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Khon Kaen is a prime venue in northeast Thailand for tourists and for the business sector, and already plays host to a very wide variety of functions in the public and private sectors,” he says.

“Completion of all the facilities consolidates the hotel as the premier meetings and events venue in the region, and sends a strong message to the industry that Centara’s focus is continually on customer satisfaction.”

Restaurants include an international all-day outlet named the Globe, two Chinese restaurants, a restaurant serving Asian and Isaan dishes, a London-style pub, and a karaoke lounge.

The hotel convention hall can hold up to 2,000 attendees seated theatre-style and is divisible into three smaller sections. The hall opens to the outdoor swimming pool, making it an ideal venue for both conferences and outdoor receptions. The Prachasamosorn Ballroom can hold up to 700 for cocktails.

The hotel is 15 minutes from Khon Kaen International Airport.

For more information and reservations, call66 043 209 888 or e-mail ckk@chr.co.th or its website www.centarahotelsresorts.com/ckk

Emotional Healer Katrina Love Senn at Six Senses Yao Noi until March 31

katrinaINTERNATIONALLY KNOWN, intuitive and emotional healer Katrina Love Senn is a visiting practitioner at Six Senses Spa Yao Noi until March 31.

As a Yoga teacher and author of the ground-breaking books, Losing Weight is a Healing Journey: A Woman’s Guide to Losing Weight Naturally, and Yoga For Weight Loss, Katrina is also the founder of the online yoga magazine, Yoga Girl Revolution.

At Six Senses Spa Yao Noi, Katrina is leading yoga and detox healing retreats, similar to those that she has taught around the world. Venues have included Skyros in the Greek Islands, The Hill That Breathes in Italy, Sunflower Retreats in Italy and The Grange in the Isle of Wight in the UK.

Katrina infuses her teaching with inspiration, love and encouragement and helps people to reconnect back to their inner wisdom.

An article transcript on from her online blog states: “There are many different reasons why you might consider going on a yoga retreat. Apart from exotic locations, great food and great company, yoga retreats offer many special hidden benefits. In my many years of teaching international yoga retreats, I have noticed that the people who experience really deep and long lasting transformation, are the ones who are often least expecting it.”

Six Senses Yao Noi is located on a small, lush island 30 minutes by boat from Phuket, offering dramatic views Phang Nga Bay, and personalized service to create exceptional experiences of a lifetime. Three restaurants present world cuisine with an emphasis on Thai and while the resort’s bar, The Den, serves daily refreshments, evening cocktails and Asian snacks and light tapas.

Six Senses Spa offers a wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation and beauty treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists. Six Senses Spa is also located in prestigious hotels and resorts around the globe.

Anantara’s Northern Delights package

Elephants -- Anantara

ANANTARA IS OFFERING a 20% discount at two of its resorts in Northern Thailand – Anantara Chiang Mai and Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Resort in Chiang Rai.

The four-night Northern Delights package starts at 28,000 THB a night for a three-country view room at Anantara Chiang Rai and 5,080 THB a night for a deluxe room at Anantara Chiang Mai. The package is available until June 30, 2014.

The two-night stay at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa includes a daily breakfast beside the tranquil Mae Ping River, exploring nearby attractions. A 10- minute walk away is the old city of Chiang Mai, surrounded by a moat and ancient Lanna Kingdom ruins. Inside is a staggering number of temples vie for attention with quirky shops, traditional markets.

Just a five-minute stroll away is the vast Night Bazaar, and further afield, scenic excursions that include national parks and mountains, nature and wildlife sanctuaries, hill tribes and adrenalin-pumping jungle activities.

ananatara chiang rai nightMoving on to the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, two nights or more at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort comprises an all-inclusive Discovery Package. The retreat is perched on a hilltop overlooking three countries.

All-day dining commences with an international buffet breakfast on a terrace with misty hillside views. For lunch and dinner guests may dine at authentic Thai and Italian restaurants, or at the colonial bar and lounge, accompanied by all day beverages of healthy drinks, international house wines, local beers, imported spirits and classic cocktails.

A daily choice of four signature experiences includes once in a lifetime adventures at the onsite Elephant Camp, where guests can observe the behavior of baby elephants, learn about the camp’s scientific research projects, sign up for mahout training, trek through lush bamboo forest and watch the antics of river bath time.

Anantara Spa offers a choice of five signature packages, each lasting two hours and combining a selection of pampering treatments.

Spice Spoons cooking classes commence with a market tour, coffee with the locals, a temple offering and a breakfast picnic in the temple grounds, followed by a tour of the resort’s herb and vegetable garden, a master chef cooking class and a chef-hosted meal.

The Three Country Tour of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos combines market and temple experiences, exploration of the ancient Lanna capital, and travel by tuk tuk and a longtail boat on the Mekong.

At the Hall of Opium, you’ll be able to delve into the region’s infamous opium trading days and successful regeneration projects.

For reservations or more information, call 66 2 365 9110 or email reserveanantara@anantara.com

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