Archive - 2017

1
VIE Bangkok receives World Luxury Hotels award
2
Night to remember for 180 German travel agents at Centara Hua Hin
3
ONYX plans major expansion in Pattaya
4
Shangri-La Bangkok’s serene sanctuary by the majestic Chao Phraya River
5
Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach big winner at Asia Pacific Property Awards
6
South East Asia Hotel Investors Summit coming to Dusit Thani Bangkok
7
The winner of this year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
8
New Culinary Star at Centara Anda Dhevi Krabi
9
Extended stay package at Soneva resorts in Thailand and Maldives
10
Lest this day pass unnoticed

VIE Bangkok receives World Luxury Hotels award

VIE HOTEL BANGKOK, MGALLERY BY SOFITEL, has been given a 2016 World Luxury Hotels Award in the prestigious ‘MD Choice Award’ category.

An MD Choice Award winner is selected by the managing director of World Luxury Hotel Awards, personally awarding VIE Hotel Bangkok for the ultimate in exceptional service that the property demonstrates consistently.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards is a recognized global organization providing luxury hotels with recognition for their world class facilities and service excellence provided to guests.

Awards are presented to luxury hotels in different categories on a country, continent and global basis. The World Luxury Hotel Awards aim to encourage and raise service standards within the luxury hotel industry.

 

Night to remember for 180 German travel agents at Centara Hua Hin

FOR 180 GERMAN travel representatives, it was a night to remember as they tucked into a special dinner at Centara Grand Beach Hua Hin.

The dinner started off with canapés, designed especially for this event, including coconut flavoured minced chicken salad on crispy rice cracker, mini pizzas with tom yum shrimp, Thai pomelo salad in a crispy cup, and Mango sticky rice sushi, were served in a relaxing atmosphere of traditional Thai music played by a stringed instrument called “Khim”.

During the serving of canapés and drinks, site inspection was also available for the agents to view a variety of the resort’s iconic colonial-style room types.

After the garden’s networking opportunity, guests were ushered to the welcome dinner party at the beachfront COAST Beach Club & Bistro and by the Colonial Pool.

The themed “Thai Street Food” presentation was arranged to resemble traditional Thai street food stalls, where the food is easy to eat standing or sitting and served in a traditional way using containers made out of banana leaves or a coconut.

At this special dinner setting, the agents had a chance to experience and learn more about some of the “Heritage Cuisine of Hua Hin”, which ties in with the historical aspects of the resort.

Savoury items freshly concocted and served at the food stalls included Phad Thai with chicken, Crispy fish cake and spring rolls, Chicken coconut soup served in a whole coconut, BBQ pork skewers with dipping sauce, Assorted grilled satay with peanut sauce, followed by popular desserts like Thai coconut ice cream and Deep fried banana.

Traditional and Western entertainment was provided during the evening.

“The resort is definitely the crown jewel of the resort town with so much potential to attract European travellers, especially those looking to explore the myriad of natural and cultural attractions that Hua Hin has to offer,” said Kevin Keogh, senior vice president of sales & marketing, and management representatives of DER Touristik GmbH & Co. KG.

“We believe that guests will find the resort the perfect place to spend a memorable holiday or an eminent venue to host all kinds of special events such as private parties and weddings on the beach.”

For more information about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, visit: www.centarahotelsresorts.com/chbr

 

 

ONYX plans major expansion in Pattaya

 ONYX HOSPITALITY GROUP plans to open a new 406-room OZO hotel on a site adjacent to the existing Ocean Tower of Amari Pattaya.

 As part of a US$100 million investment to redevelop the iconic North Pattaya site, OHG will also launch a new premium all-suites Amari wing on the location where the Garden Wing of Amari Pattaya once stood.

In addition, the 20-storey Amari Pattaya Ocean Tower and surrounding facilities will undergo an extensive refurbishment program.

Upon completion in early 2019, the prime North Pattaya landmark will comprise three hotels with a total of 752 keys, a new state-of-the-art ballroom, a wide range of recreational facilities and dining options, enhanced pool areas and re-landscaped gardens.

The site also enjoys close proximity to the upcoming Terminal 21 Pattaya, a mega shopping mall which is a five-minute walk away.

“Through the decades of the company’s ongoing growth and transformation, this iconic Amari location has stood the test of time and witnessed many milestones, achievements and events,” said Douglas Martell, CEO, ONYX Hospitality Group.

“As we approach the 45th anniversary of Amari Pattaya, it is with great excitement that we embark on plans to enhance the guest experience at this flagship property, while introducing a brand-new OZO and an all-suites Amari property to accommodate the evolving needs of international travellers, regional visitors and local patrons.”

Featuring a dedicated entrance area and recreational facilities, OZO Pattaya will be positioned as a mid-scale hotel with signature beds in sleep-friendly rooms, energizing breakfasts and superior connectivity with high-speed wifi and easy plug-and-play integration for personal devices.

The hotel will also offer OZO hallmarks such as EAT and EAT2Go dining outlets, a paperless front desk and interactive kiosks featuring destination tips by OZO insiders.

OZO Pattaya is being co-developed by Orion Hospitality, a joint venture between ONYX Hospitality Group and Singapore Hospitality Holdings, aimed at accelerating the expansion of the OZO and Shama portfolio across the region.

Amari Pattaya Ocean Suites, a 49-key all-suites wing adjacent to the Ocean Tower, is in response to a rising trend among travellers who enjoy home-style comforts supported by a full range of hotel services.

This newly constructed wing will be angled to ensure that every suite has direct views of the sea. Each suite will also features residential-style amenities, including fully-equipped kitchens and large balconies.

The Ocean Tower of Amari Pattaya will be relaunched following an extensive refurbishment program, with brand-new guestrooms and suites, enhanced lobby and arrival zone, upgraded Horizon Club executive lounge and Amaya Food Gallery, an innovative market-style dining concept inspired by Asian street food.

Based in Bangkok, ONYX Hospitality Group has a growing regional portfolio of 42 operating properties across three core brands in eight countries. 2017 is a significant year of expansion for the Group, with new openings scheduled in China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Laos.

 

 

Shangri-La Bangkok’s serene sanctuary by the majestic Chao Phraya River

 SHANGRI-LA HOTEL  BANGKOK, one of the major players in the hotel industry, offers a serene sanctuary amidst a relentlessly evolved digital world at the most perfect location on the banks of the world-famous ancient river, the Chao Phraya.

Offering the best of both worlds, Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok has developed a deep understanding of consumer needs and their 24-hour connected lifestyle, with benefits like Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel and a pocket Wi-Fi for Horizon Club guests who would like to venture outside the premises.

Those who would like to get away from it all may achieve a digital detox by switching all distracting devices off and getting lost in the mesmerizing scenes of the passing parade on the Chao Phraya River – a peaceful way to appreciate the present moment and reconnect with the loved one sitting next to them.

Located on the right side of the Chao Phraya River, just a few minutes away from Bangkok downtown, guests at Shangri-La can hop into the BTS SkyTrain and hop out at the centre of business district in the blink of an eye, and relax in the ambiance of a riverside city-resort while within reach of all the actions in the city.

The hotel has its own pier, so an aquatic adventure is always a major plus when staying by the riverside. Romance is redefined with a dinner cruise on board Shangri-La’s Horizon boat, where the journey takes guests to the Chao Phraya River, where you can see the sights of Bangkok by night and famous landmarks – the Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn.

Or seek the assistance of the hotel’s concierge team to reserve a long-tail boat to take them on a little adventure – through a canal tour, stop by to pay respect to the world’s largest Buddha image at Wat Pho, or simply learn the lifestyle of the people living in the small over-a-hundred-year-old riverside village.

A riverside night market, Asiatique, is just 20 minutes away by the hotel’s shuttle boat, available with the hotel’s compliments. Shopping, dining and fun are always in the guest’s agenda when in Bangkok.  .

For more info about Shangri-la’s The Stay & Dine Package or http://www.shangri-la.com/bangkok/shangrila/offers/section/rooms-suites/details/rooms-suites/stay-dine-package/

 

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach big winner at Asia Pacific Property Awards

 Roger Panow, cluster director of sales & marketing; Panchan Noimeecharoen, marketing Communication and PR manager; and David Ippersiel, general manager

PHUKET MARRIOTT RESORT AND SPA, NAI YANG BEACH is celebrating after it won multiple major honors at the Asia Pacific Property Awards.

It was a hugely successful night for resort, which opened in June 2016. In total, the beachfront property took home five awards: “Thailand’s Best Interior Design Hotel”, “Thailand’s Best Wedding Venue”, and “Asia’s Best Wedding Venue”.

These awards are testaments to the sheer quality of the resort’s design, as well as the consistent high standards achieved since the property opened last year.

Thailand’s Best Interior Design Hotel

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach underwent an extensive, multi-million dollar renovation prior to its opening, and the results are clear to see. The low-rise property combines contemporary style with classical Thai elements to deliver the ultimate beach resort experience.

Thailand’s Best Wedding Venue

The secluded beach on which the resort lies makes it the ideal venue for destination weddings. Couples can exchange their vows on the soft, silky sands, as the gentle waves of the Andaman Sea lap against the shore. Alternatively, indoor function venues are available.

Asia’s Best Wedding Venue

An increasing number of couples from across the world are choosing Phuket’s shores as the setting for their dream wedding. On its private beach, Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach can host many different types of ceremony, including Indian, Chinese, Western and Thai weddings.

The Asia Pacific Property Awards celebrate the highest levels of achievement in all sectors of the property and real estate industry. Entries were received from as far afield as Australia, China, India, Japan, Thailand, and even Turkmenistan, so for Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Nai Yang Beach to have received five awards is truly an outstanding achievement.

 

 

 

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.”

 

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