Archive - May 2017

1
South East Asia Hotel Investors Summit coming to Dusit Thani Bangkok
2
The winner of this year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
3
New Culinary Star at Centara Anda Dhevi Krabi
4
Extended stay package at Soneva resorts in Thailand and Maldives
5
Lest this day pass unnoticed
6
Shangri-la Bangkok MICE destination
7
‘You can be a new you in Thailand’
8
Get ready for Devarana’s  Filipinas Sampaguita Essence
9
Dusit becomes first hotel group in Thailand to accept WeChat Pay

South East Asia Hotel Investors Summit coming to Dusit Thani Bangkok

KEY HOTEL OWNERS FROM South East Asia are coming to Bangkok to discuss to discuss the challenges facing the industry and its future.

The inaugural South East Asia Hotel Investors Summit (SEASHIS) will be held June 13 and 14 at Dusit Thani Bangkok, the flagship hotel of Thailand-based, global hospitality company Dusit International.

The two-day gathering will bring together hotel company CEOs and other senior executives from the region, and feature not only Thai hotel leaders but also respected names from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Maldives and Australia.

Among the confirmed speakers are James Riley, Group CEO and executive director of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; Jennifer Cronin, president of Niccolo Hotels & Marco Polo Hotels; Vincent Yeo, CEO of M&C Reit Management; Tan Juay Hiang, CEO at Ascendas Hospitality Fund Management Pte Ltd; Ricky Ang, COO of Swiss-Garden International Hotels, Resorts & Inns; Peter Ryder, CEO of Indochina Capital; and Ron Barrott, CEO of Pro-invest Group.

Approximately 50 different companies, which own or develop hotels, and whose portfolios are worth billions of dollars, will join the event in Bangkok.

Hotel owners have a wide range of concerns in today’s market: high commissions from the OTAs; consolidation among operators leading to fewer choices, higher fees, and even more one-sided contracts; the spread of the sharing economy; global instability, and of course the ever-present danger of oversupply, said Simon Allison, CEO of HOFTEL.

What makes SEAHIS unusual is that almost all its sessions are led by senior executives from the real estate side of the business. They are likely to speak out and voice their views openly and in some cases quite assertively.

“We are delighted to host this unprecedented gathering of hotel real estate investors at our flagship hotel in Bangkok. The Summit promises to provide valuable insights for all who attend, and this complements well our own vision for hospitality education, which aims to provide industry-wide benefits via the sharing of best-practices,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO of Dusit International.

For more information about SEAHIS 2017, visit www.seahis.com.

Enquiries about the summit can be directed to Simon Allison, CEO of HOFTEL, or at 7771 762274 or by emailing simon.allison@hoftel.com

 

 

The winner of this year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING who won King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, it was Mekhong, who went head to head with reigning champions, King Power, culminating in a thrilling end to the tournament, with Mekhong clinching the title in the last moments of the match in a final score of 10-11.

A total of 10 teams with over 40 players from around the world created many memorable moments on and off the pitch during the annual four-day charity event in Bangkok.

A total of 25 unemployed ex-street elephants took part in this year’s tournament, during which time they received full veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand (under the patronage of His Majesty 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.

The tournament was introduced to Thailand in 2001 by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and is now one of the biggest charitable events in the Kingdom, raising funds for projects that better the lives of Thailand’s elephant population.  Six million THB has been raised this year, taking the total raised to date to over 50 million THB (US$1,400,000)

Funds will be donated to various projects including the Positive Reinforcement Target Training program for mahouts and vets, the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of the 300 elephants and mahouts in Ban Ta Klang, Surin Province where ex-street elephants face ongoing hardship.

Other significant benefits from the money raised by the tournament include: the ongoing 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.

Other benefits include 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 had something for everyone, kicking off with a colourful opening parade, with the opening ceremony overseen by the Kru Ba Yai, Thailand’s ‘elephant spirit men’, traditional dancers, plus the daily trunk-to-trunk action on the pitch.

Day two saw the tournament host hundreds of children from local schools in 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’, popularly known as ‘Bangkok Ascot’, where ladies dressed to impress with the best-dressed lady winning a stay in the Maldives.

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

Final Leaderboard for 2017 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament:  Mekhong, King Power, Casillero del Diablo, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Arabian Knights, Citi, PWC All Blacks, IBM, Benihana and Anantara.

For more information on the 15th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com.

 

 

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New Culinary Star at Centara Anda Dhevi Krabi

WITH OVER 16 YEARS EXPERIENCE across Asia working for some of the best hotels and chefs in the business, Chef Thong Aek Seneewong na Ayuthaya has chosen Centara and Krabi as his new workplace.

After completion of the Siam business college with focus on tourism, Chef Thong Aek Seneewong na Ayuthaya was able to get his first opportunity during the opening of the Bangkok Peninsula Hotel. Other people would have aimed for a chance in one of the restaurants but he was quite content to get a chance to work in “Chili & Pepper”, the staff canteen of this hotel. He learned to cook Thai food for Thai people.

At that point, instead of learning to plate fine dining creations, he managed a wok and cooked for portions for 10 persons at a time. This basic knowledge accompanied him all his life and created the base of his culinary career.

He got a chance to go abroad for the first time to join the Mandarin Oriental Macau for a total of five years. His starting position was as Commis in Naam, the fine dining Thai restaurant. Here he learned the finesse of fine dining and elegant plate presentation.

He was promoted after two years and worked as demi chef, and later given a chance to move as demi chef to the fine dining Italian Restaurant, Mezzaluna. This change was an extremely hard challenge since he never cooked Italian food before. He studied very hard on the recipes and the cooking techniques to become an effective Italian chef.

During this time, the Mezzaluna belonged to the very best restaurants in Macau and he was able to work with numerous well known foreign chefs, who by now have made excellent careers.

During this time Chef Thong Aek was also able to join some promotional chefs such as the celebrity chef, David Laris, owner of David Laris Creates, and working with the 1 star Michelin Chef Mario Corti.

After five years abroad, he felt it was time to return to his family and look after his mother and grandmother in Chiang Mai. Through Mandarin Oriental Hotel group he was invited to return back to his roots of Thai cuisine at the Le Grand Lanna Restaurant at the Dhara Dhevi, the magnificent Hotel of Chiang Mai, where he was fortunate to be promoted to Chef de Partie.

He enjoyed his time back in Thailand and especially to cook Thai food again. It was a great learning experience to be part of such an excellent hotel and improve his knowledge of Thai food under the guidance of Chef Virat Kanja.

When he moved again, it was as assistant Thai chef to Melt restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore. After another short visit to Macau, he finally returned to Thailand to settle down. He joined his first American style managed hotel, the JW Marriot Phuket at the Cucina Italian restaurant and later joined Crown Plaza as Chef de Cuisine of the Patio restaurant. He enjoyed taking care of the Patio Restaurant, working with his team and teaching them new dishes and techniques. Meanwhile, he also gained official Chef Certifications in order to qualify to work and cook in Europe.

After a while with Patio restaurant and an excellent 16 years culinary journey he received an opportunity to join Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi as Head Chef. This role is quite new to him due to its job description. As the head of the kitchen department, he is not only using his technical skills but also able to develop his skills in other areas. He has learned a lot about department financials, planning, organizing, and developing both product and people.

“It is my pleasure and pride to join the Centara family as I received the opportunity to show my skills, develop myself and have a chance to develop others,” he said.

“We are delighted and excited to have on our team Chef Ake, and look forward seeing you continue your fascinating journey with us in Krabi,” said   George Kenton, general manager, Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa.

 

 

Extended stay package at Soneva resorts in Thailand and Maldives

SONEVA IS OFFERING an extended stay package at its luxury Sovena Kiri, Thailand, and other resorts in the Maldives that runs from May 1 to June 30, 2017.

Exclusive benefits include complimentary nights, breakfast and dinner.

Extended stays at Soneva Fushi also earn complimentary seaplane transfers to the resort. This promotion is available for a limited period only, and includes:

One complimentary night when you book three nights (four nights total): Two complimentary nights when you book five nights (seven nights total); daily complimentary breakfast and dinner  

Rates for the special spring promotion start at US $4,066 at Soneva Fushi, US $6,962 at Soneva Jani, and US $4,190 at Soneva Kiri.

 

 

Lest this day pass unnoticed

HE WAS KNOWN as Dictionary Johnson, creator of the first English dictionary, under some very difficult circumstances. Before then, he eked out a living as a journalist, sometimes making up the speeches that were supposedly given in Parliament.

There is one memorable scene before he became famous:

JonsonEvening. May 16, 1763. James Boswell, an impressionable 22-year-old from Scotland, is about to meet Dr. Samuel Johnson for the first time. Boswell had tried to meet Johnson a number of times but something always went wrong at the last minute. Then, quite unexpectedly, while he was having tea with Mr. Davies, the bookseller and sometime actor, Johnson suddenly made an appearance.

By this time, Boswell, who liked to hobnob with the talented and famous, was highly agitated and nervous, wanting to insinuate himself to Johnson, yet frightened of saying the wrong thing.

Here’s how he remembered it in his biography of Johnson:

Mr. Thomas Davies, the actor, who then kept a bookseller’s shop in Russel Street, Covent Garden, told me that Johnson was very much his friend, and came frequently to his house, where he more than once invited me to meet him; but by some unlucky accident or another he was prevented from coming to us.At last, on Monday the 16th of May, when I was sitting in Mr. Davies’s back parlour, after having drunk tea with him and Mrs. Davies, Johnson unexpectedly came into the shop; and Mr. Davies having perceived him through the glass door in the room in which we were sitting, advancing towards us — he announced his awful approach to me, in somewhat the manner of an actor in the part of Horatio, when he addresses Hamlet on the appearance of his father’s ghost, “Look my Lord, it comes.” I found that I had a very perfect idea of Johnson’s figure from the portrait of him painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds soon after he had published his Dictionary, in the attitude of him sitting in his easy chair in deep meditation, which was the first picture his friend did for him, which Sir Joshua very kindly presented to me …

This passage still resonates, even after 254 years, as does this memorable account of Johnson’s meeting with David Garrick, a famous actor of the day and a former pupil from Johnson’s teaching days. They are standing backstage in Garrick’s theatre and Garrick had just asked Johnson how he liked it.

“I’ll come no more behind your scenes,” said Johnson, ”for the silk stockings and white bosoms of your actresses excite my amorous propensities.”

 

Shangri-la Bangkok MICE destination

SHANGRI-LA BANGKOK is gearing up for a busy meeting season. The hotel is known for its ability to cater large or small MICE groups as needed, without ever compromising its renowned five-star standard.

Shangri-La Bangkok has 802 rooms including 72 suites, in two wings, the Shangri-La and the Krungthep. It is the only riverside hotel that is adjacent to the Saphan Taksin BTS SkyTrain station.

Step through the entrance and gaze upon a sparkling lobby and lounge and beyond that, into a free-form swimming pool set by the river amidst lush tropical greenery, offering an oasis of tranquility in the middle of bustling downtown Bangkok.

A culinary paradise by the River of Kings consists of Salathip Thai Restaurant; Volti ristorante & bar for the finest Italian cuisine; and NEXT2 Café, a vibrant all-day dining café with theatre-style live cooking buffet stations.

The Horizon Cruise is the hotel’s own riverboat, offering dinner cruises and charters.

Modern presentation technology and the expanse of the Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate over 1,000 guests for a banquet, promise smooth meetings, conferences and evening functions.

The Garden Rooms – Event Suites provide the seamless flow of event space for meetings and private dining with residential flair. Each spacious and innovative suite is available individually or can be combined for larger meetings and corporate functions.

Nineteen function rooms, some with natural daylight, are also available for smaller functions.  Wi-Fi and high-speed broadband connections are free of charge throughout the hotel.

Shangri-la Bangkok has a professional team of highly trained banquet staff, audiovisual technicians and dedicated MICE specialists guarantees your event is smooth and successful.

For enquires and bookings, call (66 2) 236 7777, fax: (66 2) 236-8570, or email: events.slbk@shangri-la.com for more details. Alternatively, request a proposal online via the hotel’s website https://www.shangri-la.com/bangkok/shangrila/meetings-events/request-for-proposal/.

 

 

 

‘You can be a new you in Thailand’

 From the left: Chad Intrachooto, TAT New York; Charinya Kiatlapnachai, director, TAT New York; Kayla Shubert, TAT Canada; and Ratchanida Potipiroon, TAT New York.

THE TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND, will be emphasizing Thai health and wellness, focusing on three groups – millennials, baby boomers and women – in its marketing program in 2017.

TAT unveiled its 2017 program at a special gathering of travel agents and travel writers in Toronto by Charinya Kiatlapnachai, director of Tourism Authority of Thailand, New York.

In 2016, close to 30 million people visited Thailand, with a large number of them going to Thai spas.

“People today want to take care of themselves, especially women in senior business positions, who don’t have the time to take care of themselves and need the time to do it,” said Charinya.“

“With holistic treatments and pampering, not just for your body but balancing your mind and soul as well. Thailand has much to offer – a variety of products, including medications, healthy Thai food, spa treatments, Thai massage and detox treatments that can help you be a new you.

“You can be a new you in Thailand.”

 

 

 

Get ready for Devarana’s  Filipinas Sampaguita Essence

DUSIT THANI’S DEVARANA SPAS in Bangkok and the Philippines have a new two-hour treatment that harnesses the skin-nourishing, relaxing properties of Sampaguita, the national flower of the Philippines and a symbol of purity and love.

Available from April 1 to June 30, 2017, the Filipinas Sampaguita Essence treatment uses the flower’s essential oil, which is similar to jasmine and famed for its sweet and heady fragrance, to both lift one’s mood and relax the senses.

The two-hour treatment starts with a Sampaguita & Seasalt Body Scrub, whose deep cleansing promotes soft, healthy glowing skin, followed by an invigorating Sampaguita Aromatic Massage, specially designed to eradicate stress.

 

 

Dusit becomes first hotel group in Thailand to accept WeChat Pay

THAILAND-BASED, GLOBAL HOSPITALITY GROUP Dusit Hotels & Resorts has signed a partnership agreement with Ksher (WeChat Pay Thailand) and Asset Bright Public Company Limited to accept WeChat Pay at Dusit Hotels and Resorts.

WeChat Pay is part of China’s largest mobile instant messaging app, WeChat, which to date has over 800 million active users. It allows users to pay bills, order goods, transfer money to other users, and pay in selected stores directly via smartphone using credit from their personal WeChat Pay accounts.

Under the new partnership agreement, Dusit Hotels & Resorts will be the first hotel group in Thailand to accept WeChat Pay at its restaurants, spas, participating outlets, and for hotel rooms upon check-out, initially at its owned properties in Thailand and subsequently its other properties around the world. Users will be able to pay their hotel bills by simply scanning a QR code to have the relevant fee deducted from their accounts.

Authorized by the Bank of Thailand, Asset Bright Public Company Limited will process all e-payments made via WeChat Pay at Dusit hotels in Thailand. Ksher, meanwhile, will implement and maintain the WeChat Pay system, including providing online security and technical support.

According to figures released by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), 8.75 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2016, and Chinese visitors now account for 27% of all foreign travellers to Thailand.

Dusit Hotels & Resorts believes implementing WeChat Pay at its owned properties in Thailand will prove an attractive proposition for Chinese visitors who are well aware of the security and convenience that WeChat Pay affords.

“In China’s top-tier cities, approximately 90% of stores now accept WeChat Pay as a payment method and the platform’s reach is starting to expand globally”, said Lim Boon Kwee, COO of Dusit Hotels & Resorts.

“Chinese tourists are high value market and increasingly significant to our business, so it’s important we do all we can to cater to their needs. By implementing WeChat Pay, our Chinese guests will now be able to benefit from favourable exchange rates and occasional exclusive promotions, so we are confident it will be a huge success.”

“As WeChat Pay’s strategic partner in Thailand, we work together with Asset Bright to provide secure, stable and advanced mobile payment solutions designed to provide the utmost of convenience to Chinese travellers.

“We are delighted that Dusit Hotels & Resorts is the first hotel group in Thailand to adopt WeChat Pay, and we now look forward to working with the company to delight its Chinese guests,” said Donald Tang, vice -president of global business development at Ksher

“We are fast moving towards a cashless future where transactions are made seamlessly online. As WeChat Pay allows Chinese guests at Dusit Hotels & Resorts to pay for rooms and services securely, easily, and without currency exchange, we believe this will lead to more transactions made at each hotel, making it a solution that benefits all parties involved.”

In addition to all Dusit hotels in China, WeChat Pay is now accepted at all Dusit-owned hotels in Thailand, including Dusit Thani Bangkok, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Dusit Thani Pattaya, Dusit Thani Hua Hin, DusitPrincess Korat, DusitPrincess Chiang Mai, DusitPrincess Srinakarin Bangkok, and dusitD2Chiang Mai.

Dusit Hotels & Resorts will also introduce the service at its international properties in the near future. In celebration of the launch, from now through Sept. 30, 2017, Dusit Hotels & Resorts will offer an exclusive Dusit WeChat Pay package of up to 40% off regular room rates at its owned hotels in Thailand. Guests must use WeChat Pay to qualify for this package, which also includes breakfast, and is bookable via Dusit’s WeChat account.

 

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