Archive - March 2016

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Splash your way into the New Year with Dusit
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Ring in Thai New Year with the traditional Thai way at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
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Anantara’s 2016 King’s Elephant Cup Polo Tournament winners
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Celebrating Easter at Soneva
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The Naka Island Phuket Luxury Island Resort winner
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Recipe of the Month: Northern Thai Abb Pla from Anantara Chiang Mai
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Anantara celebrates 15 years of ‘unforgettable journeys’
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Dusit International to showcase its latest products at ITB Berlin
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Spa Cenvaree’s healing celebrations for Songkran

Splash your way into the New Year with Dusit

Dusit-Thani-Pattaya-hi

DUSIT HOTELS AND RESORTS unveiled its new Songkran Splash offer, designed to help revelers ring in 2016 (or 2559) – in truly Thai fashion.

Guests staying a minimum of two nights or more throughout April 2016 will receive complimentary daily breakfast for two, a gift credit of 555 THB to use on buffet lunch, dinner or spa treatments, as well as a Songkran Splash kit – with all the essentials to survive the world’s largest water fight.

Songkran Splash kits are offered exclusively during Songkran week only – from April 9-17, while stocks last.

Guests booking via www.dusit.com can enjoy a 15% discount when they prepay for their stays at least seven days in advance while members of the Dusit Gold loyalty program will receive their choice of a free room upgrade or late checkout.

Non-members can now sign up for a free membership to qualify for this exclusive privilege and other program benefits at www.dusitgold.com.

 

 

 

Ring in Thai New Year with the traditional Thai way at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai

 Dhara Dhevi Songkran

THE DHARA DHEVI CHIANG MAI is inviting guests to come together with their families to celebrate the Songkran Festival that includes traditional Thai games and ceremonies to ring in the Thai New Year together.

Thailand’s New Year merriments, celebrated from April 13-15 this year, combine ancient rituals with modern practices, religious beliefs with rambunctious celebrations.

While historically a time to gather with family and wash away the old while preparing for a fresh start, today the festival is well known around the world for its iconic, nation-wide water fight where people of all ages take to the streets splashing and spraying water at each other as a way to celebrate and catch some relief from the hot season’s high heat.

Visiting a temple is an important part of all Thai holidays and Songkran is part of it. Especially early in the mornings, temples will be busy with locals offering food, goods and money. Many will also hold special merit making ceremonies.

Dhara Dhevi Songkran 2Songkran Celebration in The Dhara Dhevi style will run from April 13 to 19, 2016, when water will be gently poured over Buddha images.

There’s also the resort’s Songkran Parade and Rod Narm Dam Hua ritual honouring and rinsing the hands of elders, as well as gathering sand to be used in creating piles topped with flowers at the temples.

It’s part of the ancient “raising of the temple grounds” ritual and one of the great experiences that guests can join in.

There is an extra special celebration holding this year on Saturday. April 9 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the resort’s expansive lawn, Khuang Khong Khao as the ideal come together to “play Songkran”, which emphasizes traditional Thai culture, combined with a splash of style.

Guests can join local revelers to play the afternoon away while also learning traditional Thai folk games, enjoy local snacks in preventive market style as well as the live music in the early evening.

Throughout the celebration, the resort encourages everyone to dress up in traditional Lanna, Northern Thai attire to add a unique touch to the experience. The best-dressed family of the day will win a prize from the hotel. Entrance ticket is priced at 100 THB per adult and complimentary for the kids.

For Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, it’s not just a cultural demonstration but a way to raise money for the resort’s CSR annual projects.

The family experience stay offer of four days and three nights runs from now until April 20, 2016.

For more information on the festivities and accommodation, email enquiry@dharadhevi.com, or call +66 53 888 888.

 

Anantara’s 2016 King’s Elephant Cup Polo Tournament winners

Anantara King's Cup Opening_Ceremony

REIGNING CHAMPIONS KING POWER went head to head with rival team Rueang Chang in the finals and managed to retain this year’s King’s Cup trophy by scoring two goals in the dying moments of the match, resulting in a final score of 9-7.

Ten teams with players from around the world, including Miss Thailand, the New Zealand All Blacks rugby players and professional polo players created many memorable on (and off) pitch moments.

Audemars Piguet & Citi Team and PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand All Blacks & Johnnie Walker Blue Label took third and fourth spots, followed by Mekhong, Anantara Arabian Knights, Casillero Del Diablo and Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spa

Twenty unemployed ex-street elephants took part in this year’s tournament, during which time they received full veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organization of Thailand (under the patronage of the King of Thailand) and the Department of Livestock Development.

In addition, all elephants were given essential vitamins, food and care which are not available to them during their normal daily lives.

Anantara Mahout_having_a_moment_with_his_elepehant.jpgThe tournament was introduced to Thailand in 2001 by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and has grown to become one of the biggest charitable events in Thailand, raising funds for projects that better the lives of Thailand’s elephant population. 15 million THB has been raised this year, taking the total raised to date to an impressive 47 million THB (US$1,300,000)

The money raised from the 2016 tournament will be donated to a variety of elephant related projects including funding a new mobile clinic in Mae Teang, Chiang Mai Province which has the largest concentration of trekking camps in Thailand.

Funds will also be donated to the Zoological Parks Organization of Thailand to support projects to improve the year round lives of the 200 elephants and mahouts in Ban Ta Klang, in Surin Province, where the ex-street elephants face ongoing hardship.

Other significant benefits from the money raised by the tournament include: the on-going Thai Elephant Therapy Project which has been underway since 2009 in conjunction with Chiang Mai University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, with future clinics to include children with Down’s syndrome and other conditions.

A 500,000 THB gantry to help lame elephants stand, donated to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC); 4,000 trees planted in Hua Hin for elephant corridors to stop farmer/elephant conflicts; funding a conservation curriculum for schools to teach children the importance of conservation and protection of wild elephants in Thailand and funding Asia’s first workshop to show traditional elephant trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training for captive elephants.

The event has something for everyone, kicking off with a spectacular opening parade, with the opening ceremony overseen by Thailand’s last ‘elephant spirit men’ (Kruba Yai), traditional dancers, plus the daily trunk-to-trunk action on the pitch.

Day two saw the tournament host one thousand children from schools all over Bangkok. Known as Chang Noi Day (Little Elephant Day), the children were invited to get up close with the elephants and learn more about their national animal. A range of educational walks, games and activities all teaching the benefits of elephant conservation and wellbeing were showcased by the organizers.

Saturday was ‘Ladies Day’, known as ‘Bangkok’s Ascot’, where ladies from all walks of life dressed to impress with the best dressed lady winning major prizes including a trip to Paris.

On pitch, an exhibition penalty shoot off between the New Zealand All Blacks rugby players Olo Brown, Robin Brooke and Charles Riechelmann and Thailand’s most famous trans-gender cabaret show members Miss Tiffany – the All Black’s showing their sporting prowess by winning 2-0.

The final was presided over by the King of Thailand’s Royal representative, H.E. Privy Councilor, Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk.
 

 

 

 

 


 

Celebrating Easter at Soneva

soneva-kiri-2[1]

CHAMPAGNE BREAKFASTS, egg decorating, Easter brunch, guided snorkelling tours, desert island picnics, sunset cruises, movie nights and more are part of the celebrations during the Easter Week at Soneva Kiri and its sister resort, Soneva Fushi.

From beachside barbecues, authentic Thai cooking classes and Easter breakfast to special culinary events such as a traditional Scottish breakfast and set menus at the resort’s signature restaurant Khun Benz, Soneva Kiri has a few surprises planned for guests this year.

Highlights include the Asian Orient Express for a gastronomic journey from Singapore to Chiang Mai, and the Easter Gourmet Special Menu, which will see the Eastern chefs take on the Western chefs in an exciting kitchen battle.

Easter festivities at Soneva Kiri include an Easter Butterfly Quest with the resort’s resident marine biologist for a look at the island’s beautiful butterflies.

Leading holistic therapist Lorenzo Becchi will be on hand to help guests rid themselves of unwanted habits, chronic stress, anxieties and emotional blockages with simple and efficient solutions.

Guests can also take part in the annual kayak race, go on a spectacular sunset cruise; or, for something more physical, sing up for Muay Thai classes. Other exciting activities include the Jungle Jim’s Wildlife and Fauna Journey, a discovery cruise to the nearby island of Koh Kradad (Deer Island), and the Koh Rang snorkelling trip.

For more detailed information of the Easter programme at each resort, click on Soneva Fushi or Soneva Kiri.

Award-winning luxury resort Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s fourth largest but least populated island, Koh Kood – just one hour by private plane southeast of Bangkok. It offers an unrivalled combination of luxury, an integral environmental approach, authentic Thai experiences and organic food.

Soneva Kiri Resort comprises 36 vast pool villas on beach level, hillsides or cliff tops, all overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Available to rent or purchase, all have impossibly chic furnishings, personal electric buggies and impeccable service courtesy of Mr./Ms. Friday private butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, a home-made chocolate and ice cream parlour, a high-tech Observatory, a manta ray shaped children’s Den and the spectacular Treetop Dining Pod.

 

 

 

 

The Naka Island Phuket Luxury Island Resort winner

Naka Island Deck

THE NAKA ISLAND, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Phuket, was voted “Winner of Luxury Island Resort” at the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards 2015.

The annual World Luxury Hotel Awards rewards and celebrates service excellence within the luxury travel industry from all around the world. The result of votes by thousands of hospitality industry professionals.

The award strengthens The Naka Island Phuket’s reputation as a unique tropical island resort destination in Asia.

Situated within lush coconut groves and beside beaches with unobstructed views of the emerald green Andaman Sea and Phang Nga Bay, The Naka Island offers travelers elegant villas, gourmet dining at three restaurants, and memorable experiences and spa retreats, all enhanced by personal service.

Each of the 67 luxury villas features a private swimming pool and contemporary Thai furnishing and décor that reflect the authentic culture and natural beauty of the island.

The resort’s stunning natural environs are used to inspire its guests through storytelling and activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing and access to endless pristine beaches and swimming pools.

Guests are able to call upon the knowledge of the resort’s concierge, who is able to provide insights into the island’s local charms and treasures.

The Naka Island is 25 minutes from Phuket International Airport, including a five-minute ride by private speedboat to Naka Yai Island.

 

 

 

 

Recipe of the Month: Northern Thai Abb Pla from Anantara Chiang Mai

Northern Thai Abb Pla

ONE OF THE FAVOURITE dishes at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa is Northern Thai Abb Pla or grilled herb and spice marinated fish in banana leaves.

Thai cuisine’s seafood specialties are most often associated with tropical islands and coastal regions – yet the country’s vast lush interior features fish abundant lakes, rivers and shallow water rice paddies.

Abb Pla is a northern Thai specialty fish dish and a culinary tradition of rice farmers. While cultivating the rice fields, farmers catch fish in the irrigated paddies.

Once cleaned, the fish is marinated in Thai herbs and spices, then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked on top of burning wood, making this recipe very convenient for rice farmers to source and prepare.

At Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa, guests can savour this flavourful fish dish in a naturally serene waterfront setting, at a restaurant overlooking the Mae Ping River.

Ingredients for Curry Paste

5g   Dry chili, 10g Shallots, 10g Garlic, 5g  Turmeric, 10g Lemongrass, 10g Galangal, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Shrimp paste.

Mash all the marinated ingredients together (roughly)

Main Ingredients

200g   Red snapper fillets, 2tbs Soy sauce, 5g  Coriander, 5g  Spring onion, 2 Kaffir lime leaves and 1  Banana leaf (square piece)

Method

Mix all of the curry paste ingredients and put in a blender to create a smooth paste; Marinate the fish in the curry paste and soy sauce, then keep in the fridge for about 20 minutes; Chop the coriander, kaffir lime leaves and spring onion and sprinkle over the marinated fish; Cut the banana leaf into a square, put the fish on top, fold into a parcel and secure the top together with a small bamboo stick; Grill the leaf wrapped fish on a low heat until the leaf turns yellow and a little burnt.

 Serve with sticky rice, fresh vegetables, cucumber and string beans.

Anantara Wine Guru’s recommended drinks: Chardonnay Sanderford Element, Western Australia and Sensi Pinot Grigio Collezione Veneto, Italy.

 

 

 

 

Anantara celebrates 15 years of ‘unforgettable journeys’

 Anantara_Kihavah_Celebrates_15th_Anniversary

FROM THE DESERT in the United Arab Emirates to the shores of a Maldivian island to an elephant camp in the North of Thailand, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas celebrates 15 years of “unforgettable journeys” since the luxury hospitality brand’s first resort in Hua Hin opened its doors.

Guests and team members enjoyed the festivities in 11 countries around the world, including William Heinecke, Chairman and CEO of Minor International, and Dillip Rajakarier ,CEO of Minor Hotel Group, who joined in the celebrations in Bangkok, the brand’s home base.

With its fresh, new look which was recently unveiled in line with a new brand platform – Life is a Journey – Anantara’s portfolio now includes 35 hotels and resorts in a diverse range of locations across Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa.

Since its inception a decade and a half ago, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has become known for its commitment to corporate responsibility, contributing to social and environmental projects in each country of operation, as well as supporting grassroot initiatives.

On top of matching guest donations as part of its Dollars for Deeds program to support causes such as elephant and turtle conservation and medical care for disadvantaged children, Anantara recently raised US $285,000 through its sponsorship of Bangkok’s first Elephant Parade.

Now in its 14th year, The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, recently took place on the banks of Bangkok’s Chaophraya River, is one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia, raising nearly US $1 million to date.

Anantara_Celebrates_15th_Anniversary_-_Dillip_Rajakarier_and_William_Heinecke.jpgLooking to the future, Anantara recently announced plans to open a second resort in Sri Lanka – Anantara Kalutara Resort – as well as two resorts in Oman – Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort and Al Baleed Salalah Resort by Anantara – which will all open by mid-2016 along with Anantara Guiyang Resort in Guizhou Province in central southern China and Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort in northern Morocco.

Other Anantara resorts in the pipeline include: Anantara Tozeur Resort which will open in the southwest of Tunisia in 2017; Anantara Dubai Creek Hotel which is under development in Culture Village in Dubai; Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, Anantara’s first property in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah; the brand’s first property in Bahrain, Anantara Durrat Al Bahrain Resort; and Anantara Desaru Resort & Villas in Malaysia – all of which are slated to open in 2018.

During the celebrations with team members at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, Dillip Rajakarier said:

“The travel and hospitality landscape has changed dramatically over the past 15 years but the true lifeblood of Anantara has not – the success of our brand is down to the passion and the drive of all our team members around the world.

“They help connect our guests to each destination by offering indigenous experiences and a high level of expertise. At the same time as celebrating 15 years of success, we are looking ahead to the next 15 years and beyond. This is only the beginning of our journey and we are aiming to offer guests a choice of over 50 Anantara hotels and resorts by 2020.”

As well as its much-loved signature concepts such as its personalized dining concept, Dining by Design, Spice Spoons cooking classes and resident experts, Anantara gurus, Anantara is renowned for its spa experiences using indigenous techniques and ingredients.

As a natural extension of its award-winning expertise, Anantara recently launched ‘Balance’, an innovative new wellness concept.

Balance motivates guests to pursue their personal passions and goals through bespoke experiences from ‘Passion Mapping’ to ‘Sound Healing’ as well as transformational wellness retreats which promise to deliver long-term health benefits and a positive lifestyle impact.

To start planning your own journey with Anantara, go to www.anantara.com or follow #AnantaraJourneys

 

Dusit International to showcase its latest products at ITB Berlin

Dusit Krabi

DUSIT INTERNATIONAL will be present at this year’s ITB Berlin (March 9-16, 2016). Europe’s biggest annual travel trade show to share its latest news and updates in the European market place as it continues to expand its international footprint.

Dusit International will be located in Hall 9, Stand 21,1 where Suphajee Suthumpun, newly appointed Group CEO, and Rustom Vickers, vice-president of development, will discuss the latest developments across the company’s portfolio, comprising the Dusit Thani, Dusit Devarana, Dusit Princess and dusitD2 brands of hotels and resorts, as well as its signature Devarana Spa.

With 29 properties in operation, the group is in a growth phase as it expects this number to grow to nearly 70 within the next three to four years. Over 40 projects across the world are now confirmed in the pipeline, including China, South East Asia, Australia, sub-Saharan Africa and more.

The most recent openings include the five-star luxury resort Dusit Thani Guam (July 2015), the tallest building on Guam and the first newly built resort to open on the island since 1999, and the Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort (July 2015), located on a secluded stretch of beautiful Klong Muang Beach on the west coast of southern Thailand.

This year’s openings include Dusit Thani Dongtai (January), the first Dusit Thani to launch in the People’s Republic of China, and the dusitD2 Khao Yai in Thailand in June

This chic mountain escape is only two hours from Bangkok, this boutique hotel, a few minutes’ drive from the Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and award-winning local wineries.

In another first for Dusit, the Dusit Princess Serviced Residences, Shanghai (summer) marks the first Dusit project to launch in China’s financial capital, while the dusitD2 Kenz, Dubai (Q4), the 6th Dusit property located in the UAE, debuts the D2 brand in the Middle East.

The hotel will be host to the PATA Annual Summit (18-21 May 2016) which attracts up to 400 delegates from more than 30 countries, bringing together international opinion leaders, industry shapers and senior executives of the travel industry in the Asia Pacific region.

Latest offers from Dusit include:

Bonus Night Encore – “ Buy 2 nights at Dusit’s best available Rates and get one night free. This offer is valid from April 17 through Sept. 20, 2016.

More for Less – A Dusit Gold loyalty program member exclusive, buy one night at Dusit’s best available rate and get the second, third and fourth nights at 50% off.

Non-members can sign up online for a free membership by visiting www.dusitgold.com to qualify for this exclusive offer as well as the full range of Dusit Gold privileges and benefits.

 

 

Spa Cenvaree’s healing celebrations for Songkran

SPA Cenvaree Muscle Melter

THE TRADITIONAL THAI NEW YEAR is in April, and marked by by its enormously popular Songkran Festival. A distinct part of Songkran is the use of water to wash away misfortunate and to represent a fresh start for the New Year.

The special SPA Cenvaree package for Songkran observes those rituals in a special way.

A perfect start is the spa’s Floral Foot Ritual, where guest’s feet are washed with water infused with Neem Tea, Neem and citrus salt and flower petals.  This ritual helps to wash away any negative energy and calm the mind.

Next, guests have the option between a Siam Body Scrub or Siam Clay Body Wrap.

The Body Scrub, which is gentle in texture, is a combination of tamarind, lemongrass, lime, turmeric powder, yogurt, honey and olive oil. Its exfoliation benefits are powerful and the circular massage assists to improve skin texture and promote healthier, glowing skin.

Its Clay Body Wrap also assists in improving skin with a combination of Thai clay, turmeric, Aloe Vera gel, milk, yogurt, honey and olive oil.  This mixture replenishes moisture in the skin, prevents sun damage and helps to retain skin’s natural glow while brighten and tightening the skin complexion.  After the scrub or mask, guests can rinse off in their private in-room shower.

Through traditional recipes and attention to the finest details, our spa therapists freshly prepare the body scrub and body wrap clay mixtures before each treatment.

The fresh ingredients hold more healing and soothing powers than pre-made mixtures as well as allows for our therapists to infuse their nurturing touch for further enhancements.

This special package is finished with a Muscle Melter Massage with Herbal Compress.  This treatment begins with the guest taking three deep breathes of the aromatic scent from the muscle ache relief body oil that helps to begin the relaxation process.  With rosemary, grapefruit, lemon, basil and May Chang the oil helps to engage all senses.

The therapist will then use their elbows and hands to carefully massage sore muscles and help release muscle tension.  Mixed with the massage is the use of the herbal compresses, which are heated to further relax strained and sore muscles.  The herbal compresses are gently rolled back and forth over the skin.

Spa Cenvaree believes in making its guests feel comfortable and nurtured from the reception desk to the final ginger tea after treatment. Its spa therapists communicate with guests throughout the treatment to ensure appropriate pressure during massage, room temperature is suitable as well as heat of the herbal compress is comfortable.

All of these details assist in creating the peaceful and rejuvenating environment needed to balance mind, body and soul.

Spa Cenvaree’s Songkran Thai Sabai package at all SPA Cenvaree locations in Thailand as well as at select Cense by SPA Cenvaree locations from March to April 2016.   For spa reservations, visit www.spacenvaree.com.

 

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