Archive - June 2014

Dusit revamps its Thai cuisine concept with new chef at the helm
King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament Aug. 27-31
TripAdvisor rates Centara Grand Phratamnak one of Pattaya’s top hotels
SALA Group opening five-star property in historic Ayutthaya
Anantara’s ‘Thailand: Still Having Fun’ photo competition
Night time curfew lifted in Thailand
Moët Ice Impérial Launch Party at Catch Beach Club
Dusit D2 launches new resort in Phuket
Australian troubadour Gabriel Lynch special perfromance at SALA Rattanakosin Bangkok
SALA Hospitality Group awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excllence

Dusit revamps its Thai cuisine concept with new chef at the helm


THE THAILAND-BASED HOTEL CHAIN DUSIT INTERNATIONAL has repositioned its popular Benjarong Royal Thai cuisine restaurants, taking the brand from its deep, classic roots to give it a contemporary flavour.

Spearheading the shift is the company’s new Group Chef of Thai Cuisine Morten Bojstrup Nielsen. The award-winning Danish chef, formerly of Nahm Restaurant in London and Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin in Bangkok, specializes in combining modern techniques with traditional flavour profiles to produce contemporary dishes that are distinctly Thai at heart.

Based in the flagship Benjarong branch at the Dusit Thani Bangkok, Chef Morten oversees its kitchen which also doubles as the training ground for developing future Dusit Thai culinary talent for all hotels, globally.

Chef Morten has already begun introducing his particular style of Thai cuisine with a well-received inaugural visit to the Benjarong restaurants in the UAE, first visiting Dusit Thani Dubai followed by Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi in February.

Some of Chef Morten’s signature dishes include: Yam Pla Duk Foo Deconstructed: Tom Yam Custard with Crabmeat and Crispy Catfish Salad; Salad of Grilled Wagyu Beef with Sweet Melon, Dehydrated Tomato and Yam Pudding and 72-Hour Slow Cooked Beef Ribs in Aromatic Green Curry.

Benjarong’s new menu is now available for lunch and dinner bookings at Dusit Thani Bangkok. For more information or reservations, call (66) 2200-9999 ext. 2199.


King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament Aug. 27-31

KIng's Cup BKK

SIXTEEN TEAMS involving 50 players will take part in the 2014 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, set for Bangkok Aug. 27-31

Now in its 13th year, this year’s event – one of Thailand’s biggest charitable events — will move from its original home of Hua Hin to Bangkok, featuring local television stars, supermodels and professional polo players. It will have something for everyone, including an opening parade, Children’s Day, Ladies Day and wide a range of fun elephant-related activities for the whole family.

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 10 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.

Over $US750,000 has been raised from the tournament and donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population.

Due to the growing popularity of the tournament, the event will move from the Royal seaside town of Hua Hin to the Siam Polo Park at VR Sports Club in Bangkok. With the move, Anantara’s three Bangkok properties – Anantara Baan Rajprasong, Anantara Bangkok Sathorn and Anantara Bangkok Riverside – are offering a special Pachyderms and Polo package to get guests into the swing of the games during their stay.

Guests will look the part with free souvenir polo player shirts, free entrance to the tournament, where they can have their photo taken with the players and enjoy the wide range of activities and games. Then after each day, guests will travel back to their hotel to relax in five-star luxury, with all transfers between the hotel and pitch and a daily breakfast included.

Prices start from: Anantara Bangkok Sathorn 3,900 THB; Anantara Baan Rajprasong 5,480 THB; Anantara Bangkok Riverside 5,800 THB . The package includes:

Two nights’ accommodation or more for two people; daily breakfast for two people; Polo Tournament entrance; shuttle transfers to polo pitch; polo team shirt for two people; pitchside lunch at Anantara tent; and c omplimentary pitchside spa treatment

For more information on the 13th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, visit

TripAdvisor rates Centara Grand Phratamnak one of Pattaya’s top hotels

Centara Grand Phratamnak, Pattaya, Thailand, November 2013

TRIPADVISOR ranks Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya as number five out of 361 hotels in Pattaya, less than eight months after the five-star luxury hotel opened.

The TripAdvisor rating is 94%, based on the reviews and star-ratings provided by guests who have stayed at the hotel and posted their reviews to the international travel website, which is regarded as a benchmark for providing information to travellers.

Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya is located at Pattaya’s exclusive Phratamnak Hill district, and is only steps away from the beach.

The architectural style and the interior design of the property reflect the luxurious ambiance of the area, the hotel featuring an atrium with glass lifts to service the rooms and the rooftop level, and a lobby that has two large aquariums and uses furniture from premier Italian designer Casa Fendi to add to the air of elegance.

The hotel’s style and location has also quickly led to it becoming a prime venue for high society and corporate events.

“Our team here is thrilled and honoured that our hotel is so highly regarded by so many people within just a short time of the opening,” says General Manager Dominique Ronge.

“Pattaya is a highly competitive destination in terms of hotels, and to achieve this level of rating reflects both on this beautiful property and on the genuine warmth of our team.”

The first phase of Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya opened in October last year. The second phase, which will include Club rooms, Suites, a meeting room, and a beach house with Spa Cenvaree, will open in the third quarter of this year.

Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 47 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Thailand. .


SALA Group opening five-star property in historic Ayutthaya

SAY-River-View-Deluxe SALA HOSPITALITY GROUP’S 7th property, Sala Ayutthaya, comes on stream on Aug. 1, 2014.

Sala Ayutthaya is located in the heart of historical Ayutthaya, along the north shore of the Chao Phraya River, directly opposite the famous Phutthaisawan Temple (Wat Phutthaisawan).

The property is the 4th Sala boutique branded property for the group, along with Sala Khaoyai, Sala Lanna Chiang Mai and Sala Rattanakosin Bangkok. The group also owns and manages the well-known SALA Samui and SALA Phuket in their SALA Resort and Spa brand.

This latest SALA development consists of 26 luxurious rooms and suites, many with stunning views of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Phutthaisawan and the surrounding area. There is a special 2-level duplex riverfront suite, and a romantic pool suite featuring its own private in-room swimming pool.

The romantic riverside restaurant and bar offers indoor air-conditioned dining as well as scenic outdoor dining along the riverfront. There is a cosy guest swimming pool in the ground floor courtyard, and a boutique spa overlooking the same courtyard.

SALA ArthAyutthaya is an enthralling city; a former wealthy and powerful Siamese Kingdom, rich in Thai culture and containing many spectacular historical and cultural temples and attractions, incuding the Ayutthaya Historical Park, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1981.

“sala ayutthaya is one of our most exciting new developments,” says Brian Moodie, COO for SALA Hospitality Group. “We are breaking new ground literally and figuratively in this wonderful, vibrant city by being the first and only five-star branded property in the area


Anantara’s ‘Thailand: Still Having Fun’ photo competition


ANANTARA IS CALLING for all amateur photographers and Thailand enthusiasts from all over the world to enter the ‘Thailand: Still Having Fun!’ photo contest. The grand winner will receive an amazing 14-day Thai adventure for two staying at Anantara’s five star hotels in the north, central and southern parts of the kingdom.

With its great cuisine, vibrant markets, rich cultural traditions and breathtaking scenery, Thailand has been providing travelers to the country with countless fun photo opportunities for decades. Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas wants you to share your favourite happy snaps to show the world that Thailand is Still Having Fun.

To enter, simply follow Anantara on Facebook ( or Instagram (@anantara_hotels) post your favourite original picture of Thailand or a Thai-themed image between now and Aug. 1, showing just how much fun Thailand can be. And hashtag the photo #funthailand #anantara

The person who shares the picture that best captures fun in Thailand will win a free 14 night getaway, staying at Anantara’s luxurious Thailand properties. From beaches at Anantara Phuket Layan, a royal seaside retreat at Anantara Hua Hin and a luxurious urban retreat in the heart of Bangkok with Anantara Bangkok Riverside, to enjoying an unforgettable elephant adventure in the jungle at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort.

Show the world just how much fun Thailand continues to be and you could win the ultimate holiday.

The prize is valid for stays up until Aug. 1, 2015, is subject to availability and is not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. A maximum of five photos per person, you must be the author and owner of the copyright of all images you enter. The prize non-transferable and the winner will be announced on the Anantara Facebook page on Aug. 8, 2014.

To enter, follow Anantara on Facebook ( or Instagram (@anantara_hotels) upload the image to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #funthailand #anantara by the closing date specified within the contest.

The winning image will be judged by the Anantara Management team. The winning image will be used as the icon for the gallery after the competition has closed, and will be showcased on one of that month’s newsletters.

Night time curfew lifted in Thailand

THE NATION-WIDE NIGHTTIME CURFEW in place since May 22 was lifted Friday night. The announcement from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), currently overseeing Thailand’s administration, has been welcomed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), as it marks a return to normality for the country’s tourism industry.

The nighttime curfew had already gradually been revoked in provinces and destinations popular with tourists, such as Pattaya, Phuket, Ko Samui, Krabi, Hua Hin, Cha-am and Phang-nga, ensuring that visitors to the kingdom would not be inconvenienced and would be free to sample Thailand’s many attractions.

The lifting of the nighttime curfew has been expected for some time as the situation in the country is calm and everyday life is going on as normal for tourists as well as local residents.

It is not expected that any further curfews will be imposed so visitors can continue to enjoy their days in the sun and taking in the sights of the temples, mountains and beaches, as well as treating themselves to the many fine-dining, nightlife, spa treatments and shopping for which Thailand is famous.

This nationwide lifting of the curfew is also good news for restaurants, entertainment venues and other tourism-related businesses, as well as Thailand’s tourism industry as a whole.


Moët Ice Impérial Launch Party at Catch Beach Club

Twin Palms Beach

IT’S PARTY TIME at Twin Palms’ Catch Club this Saturday (June 14) for the launch of Moët Ice Impérial Champagne. The party runs from 5 pm to 7 pm. Twin Palms is located on Phuket’s popular Surin Beach.

The Catch Beach Club will be the only Phuket venue with Moët Ice Impérial on its menu – the world’s first champagne specifically created to be enjoyed on ice in hot weather.

Moët Ice Impérial is found only in holiday spots including Miami, St-Tropez and Playa del Carmen and created around the idea of Fun, Fresh and Free – a “new stylish alternative to cocktails”.

“With Moët Ice Impérial, Moët & Chandon has created a new occasion to drink champagne, outside of ‘traditional’ moments,” said Benoît Gouez, Chef de Cave of Moët & Chandon. “For the first time, champagne has been created especially to be served on ice, the perfect compliment for spontaneous moments of celebrations with friends on a sunny day.”

Moët Ice Impérial blends tropical fruits with an original flavour twist of fresh red fruits with a selected proportion of Chardonnay grapes to ensure crispness and thirst-quenching sensation. For a new enlivening experience, add three ice cubes topped with fresh mint leaves or a bit of grapefruit zest.

Moët Ice Impérial will be the star of the party, complemented by the sounds of a saxophone player and singer, plus fruit skewers for added refreshment.

To ensure a prime position for enjoying your first taste of Ice Impérial, be sure to reserve a sofa seat, available with a minimum spend of 4,000 THB per person. Space is limited.. Entrance is free for Catch Beach Club members or 1,000 THB for non-members, including one complimentary glass on arrival.

The Catch Beach Club is offering special reduced prices for Moët Ice Impérial of 4,500 THB per bottle and 750 THB per glass. Other drinks from the menu are available on request.

For reservations and more information, see or call to 076 316567.


Dusit D2 launches new resort in Phuket

Dusit D2 Phuket DUSIT D2 PHUKET marked the official opening of its latest resort at a special party and a two-night getaway package that includes complimentary breakfast and one-way airport transfers for two..

The well attended event saw a number of senior executives from Dusit International in attendance, including Chanin Donavanik, MD and Dusit’s CEO, as well as the hotel’s owner, Gary Murray of Destination Properties.

Dusit D2 Phuket is located one block from Phuket Island’s popular Patong Beach and within walking distance from the Jungceylon shopping and leisure complex.

Kelly Lewis, the resort’s general manager, describes the resort as a true entertainment destination, offering two internationally branded restaurant chains located in-house, a chic hotel lobby bar concept and a cool rooftop lounge set to launch in the high season.

The hotel also boasts 390 well appointed guest rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant and two pool bars.

Dusit International currently operates three hotels under the DusitD2 brand including DusitD2 Chiang Mai, Thailand and DusitD2 Binhu, China. This year will see the launch of the brand in Pasadena, California and Nairobi, Kenya with projects in Khao Yai, Thailand; New Delhi, India; Gurgaon, India and Davao, Philippines currently under development.

For more information on DusitD2 Phuket Resor’s special launch offers, visit


Australian troubadour Gabriel Lynch special perfromance at SALA Rattanakosin Bangkok

Australian TroubadourAUSTRALIAN TROUBADOUR GABRIEL LYNCH is preparing to record and release his new album, All of Us. To celebrate, he will be playing a special performance on Sunday June 8, 2014 from 7 p.m. at Sala Rattanakosin Bangkok.

Lynch will be bringing a band to South East Asia for the very first time. Joined by his Australian bandmates, Christopher Oldman (drums/percussion) and Craig Kickbush (bass/vocals/synths), they will be playing a very special performance on the banks of the Chao Phraya River at Sala Rattanakosin Bangkok.

He is described as “The best male Aussie vocalist you’ve never heard” by RAVE magazine.

For more information on Garbiel Lynch, visit

SALA Hospitality Group awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excllence


SALA HOSPITALITY GROUP has received TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awards for four properties, SALA Samui Resort and Spa, SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, Sala Lanna Chiang Mai and Sala Rattanakosin Bangkok.

The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an over-all TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a business’ tenure and popularity ranking on the site.

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, president of TripAdvisor for Business.

“The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience.”


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