Memories of Thailand

1
Centara World Masters set for Hua Hin next June
2
Making wedding dreams come true at Amari
3
Night to remember for 180 German travel agents at Centara Hua Hin
4
Shangri-La Bangkok’s serene sanctuary by the majestic Chao Phraya River
5
The winner of this year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
6
SALA Hospitality unveils new beachfront resort on Koh Samui
7
Fly in Seamless luxury between Angkor Wat and Soneva Kiri
8
Celebrate Songkran at Four Seasons Chiang Mai
9
Sharing love and fun with your family at Dhara Dhevi
10
New book on the early days of Thai tourism

Centara World Masters set for Hua Hin next June

CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS will again be the main sponsor and play host to the Centara World Masters amateur golf tournament in Hua Hin next June 10-16, 2018 .

It will mark the fifth year of the tournament, which attracts golfers from over 50 countries. It is expected to be bigger than ever, as it combines a week of golf at some of Thailand’s best courses with social and entertainment activities in this famous seaside resort town.

The 2017 tournament, recently completed, was praised by participants for its beautiful courses and organization, along with world class accommodation and gala events at Centara’s famous resort in Hua Hin.

Next year’s tournament will feature four outstanding courses. Players will enjoy one round each at Springfield Royal Country Club, Black Mountain, Banyan Golf Club and Imperial Lake View.

Carts and caddies will be provided at each course, and each player will be assigned a caddie wearing a bib with the player’s name and country flag. The tournament will be open to men and women over 35.

Centara Hotels & Resorts is the major sponsor, and most golfers choose to stay at the ideally located Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas in Hua Hin.

Established in the 1920s, the resort has been restored and renovated with all the modern luxuries and conveniences, while retaining the magic of elegant, bygone eras.

Taking full advantage of Centara’s beachfront location, the opening night welcome dinner and gala presentation dinners will be held around the resort pool, with the beach as a stunning backdrop.

Golfers gather each night during the tournament for 19th Hole festivities, where Thai cuisine is offered, Chang beer flows and daily golf winners are celebrated.

“At Centara, we have 37 hotels and resorts internationally, including many in golfing paradises such as Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Danang in Vietnam.

“ We look forward to welcoming many more golfers, friends and families not only to Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, Hua Hin, for the acclaimed Centara World Masters event next year but also to our array of city and tropical beachfront locations year round” said Thirayuth Chirativat CEO, Centara Hotels & Resorts.

 

 

Making wedding dreams come true at Amari

AMARI, PART OF ONYX HOSPITALITY GROUP, is ready to make all wedding dreams come true at its three romantic wedding destinations in tropical paradise locations across Thailand.

Feel the cool ocean breeze, listen to the gentle swash of the waves on the white sandy beach while gazing at the colourful, dusky sky, the crystal clear aquamarine sea in a tranquil and secluded cove minutes from Patong Beach in Phuket.

Even though this dream destination is bustling with people and activity, couples find peace and serenity at Amari Phuket due to its unique location tucked away from all the downtown action.

The bride and bridegroom can celebrate a warm and intimate wedding ceremony with their closest friends and family members in a green garden overlooking a picturesque beach. A traditional Thai wedding ceremony can be organized for the starting price of 79,500 THB. If a Western-style ceremony is preferred, Amari Phuket offers a package starting at 69,800 THB.

Lounge around the pool and enjoy the ever-changing seascape at Shoreline Beach Club near Cicada Market, where Amari Hua Hin can arrange a chic lounge-style beach wedding party. At this beachside venue, a short distance from the main resort, couples can enjoy every romantic moment on Khao Takiab Beach under the starry sky.

Amari Hua Hin offers special ceremonial events accommodating a maximum of 50 guests. Both Western and Thai weddings are tailor-made to suit their needs with packages starting at 78,000 THB for the Western nuptial ceremony and 82,000 THB for the Thai Nuptial Ceremony.

Or imagine saying, “I do”, on the island of Koh Samui with a panoramic view of the blue water and turquoise horizon while exchanging vows. The resort’s location on a secluded stretch of Chaweng Beach is an idyllic destination for a lovely wedding with everyone standing barefoot on the golden sand.

Amari Koh Samui can fulfil their desires by offering either traditional Thai or Western ceremony, with packages starting at 94,000 THB for the Western Marital Celebration and THB 98,000 THB for the Traditional Thai Wedding Ceremony.

For more information, call Amari Phuket 66 (0) 7634 0106-14 or www.amari.com/phuket/weddings.aspx

Amari Hua Hin, call 66 (0) 3261 6600 or www.amari.com/huahin/weddings.aspx

Amari Koh Samui, call 66 (0) 7730 0306-9 or www.amari.com/koh-samui/

Amari is the centrepiece of the ONYX portfolio of hospitality brands reflecting the warmth and energy of an evolving modern Asia. Amari’s network of properties spans Thailand and beyond, from scenic seaside locations to vibrant urban settings, including Doha, Dhaka, Bangkok, Buriram, Pattaya, Samui, Phuket, Krabi, Hua Hin and the Maldives. Visit www.amari.com.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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/

 

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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SALA Hospitality unveils new beachfront resort on Koh Samui

SALA HOSPITALITY’S latest addition – SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort –  will open in November 2017.

Located on a 120-metre beach in north Chaweng, the debut Beach Wing will comprise 52 pool villas and pool suites featuring private pools between 18 and 46 sqm in size.

The first phase will also include The Beach House open-air beachfront restaurant, Beach Bar, and a beachfront pool.

The second phase, “ Garden Wing“, will open at the end of 2018, and welcome the addition of 83 more guest rooms, pool villas and pool suites, as well as the SALA Spa and SALA Gym, a second swimming pool with pool bar, and an open-air show kitchen experience.

 

 

 

 

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Fly in Seamless luxury between Angkor Wat and Soneva Kiri

FROM THE MAJESTIC temples at Angkor Wat to Koh Kood’s untouched beaches: Now you can combine both with our luxurious flight service, avoiding the hassles of transiting in Bangkok. Soneva Kiri is the closest luxury beach resort to Siem Reap, and the resort’s personalized eight-seater private charter flight experience lets you take in the dramatic scenery between the two.

Soneva’s one-of-a-kind flight operates twice weekly, flying at low altitude over verdant jungle, stunning forests and rice paddies, finally revealing the white sand beaches of Koh Kood as you approach our private island airstrip. The cost is $650 U.S. per person each way on a fixed schedule.

Soneva also offers a fully private transfer service, departing at your convenience, for a special launch price of just $10,000 U.S. Guests can then transit back to Bangkok on its twice-daily 60 minute flight service straight into Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

For more information and bookings, contact: reservations@soneva.com  or call 91 124 4511000.

 

 

Celebrate Songkran at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR FEATIVALS in Thailand is the Songkran, which attracts hundreds thousands of visitors every year. It’s really different.

Every April, Thailand ushers in a brand-new year in stunning, vibrant style with the festival of Songkran: a celebration like no other – from its sacred ancestral rituals to the spirited aquatic games in streets across the country.

The use of water holds a special place in these ceremonies: it is believed to grant good luck, bring much-needed rain, and wash away past sins.

The water-play of Songkran is accompanied by a myriad of other cherished traditions that provide an insight into the rich heritage of Thailand: Temple visits, offerings for the monks, elaborate meals with family and friends, the creation of sand pagodas, vivid processions, blessing rituals, and local contests.

Depending on which part of the country you are in, the celebrations can last anywhere between three to seven days.

Chiang Mai is the best place to ring in the Thai New Year, with the festivities lasting an entire week and featuring many a unique sight.

The old town, fringed by the moat, is the heart of Songkran celebrations in the city, where revelers begin splashing each other with water at dawn, and the merriment lasts until the sun goes down.

The surrounding moat is cleaned up and transformed into a convenient refilling station for water guns and buckets, with ice adding a welcome relief on hot days.

Perhaps the most famous Songkran event in Chiang Mai is the spectacular parade held on the first day of the New Year: Scores of beloved Buddha images are placed on intricately decorated floats and carried through the city, where they are sprinkled with water by residents and visitors as a sign of respect and for good luck.

Other smaller processions can also be seen such as that of the Mai-Khum Saree – a long piece of wood that is taken to support a local Bodhi tree. It was under the shade of a Bodhi tree that the Buddha gained enlightenment, which is why it holds a special place in Thai tradition.

Four Seasons Chiang Mai offer:

Head into Chiang Mai town to join the spectacular parade with the resort management team and enjoy the water games with your very own Songkran survival kit. After the lively celebrations, return to the resort, nestled amid glimmering rice fields and lush mountains. The offer also includes plush accommodation, round trip airport transfers, daily breakfast and a special meal credit.

Valid from April 12-16, for a minimum stay of two nights. To book, visit fourseasons.com/chiangmai/offers/Songkran-package

 

Sharing love and fun with your family at Dhara Dhevi

THE DHARA DHEVI CHIANG MAI is now offering an exclusive “Fun Family Bonding” package created to satisfy the whole family while also ensuring a luxurious escape.

From getting to know the resident water buffalos on the Colonial Lawn every morning during breakfast to splashing in the two expansive swimming pools, giving alms to local monks for a colourful cultural experience to taking an old-fashioned horse carriage through the lush grounds, you and your kids will find an endless array of exciting activities over this 60 acres of a destination resort.

In addition to the resort’s event-packed Kid’s Club and various child-friendly dining specials, families can now enjoy even more fun together with the “Family Fun Bonding” package.

The offer is inclusive of three days two nights for families of two adults and up to two children under the age of 12. Available from now until Dec. 15, 2017, with price start from 19,550 THB per suite per night, and comes with the following benefits:

An accommodation in selected room type; complimentary one extra bed set up for kid under the age of 12; daily buffet breakfast at Akaligo for two adults and one child; one set dinner for two adults and one child at Fujian restaurant or Le Grand Lanna; private rice planting experience for the entire family; complimentary scheduled activities for kids each day; and roundtrip transfer from and to Chiang Mai International Airport.

The offer requires a minimum of two-nights stay and advance reservation and booking must be made directly with the hotel in advance.

To make a reservation, the reservations office at 053 888 888 or e-mail:  reservations@dharadhevi.com

 

 

 

New book on the early days of Thai tourism

A NEW BOOK that charts the development of Thai tourism over the past 60 years – Thailand Tourism: The Early Days – has been published by Dusit International, in partnership with Bangkok Bank, Boon Rawd Brewery, Central Group, Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Jim Thompson, Siam Piwat, Thai Airways, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The book was written by Thailand-based journalist and lecturer, Steve Van Beek, and edited by Roy Howard, the original advertising manager of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited.

The book examines in rich detail the challenges faced by these early pioneers and, through profiles, anecdotes and quotes, underscores the need to preserve their stories.

Among the key figures profiled in the glossy, full-colour book are His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani, president of the Royal Project Foundation; General Prem Tinsulanonda, former prime minister of Thailand; Lt. General Chalermchai Charuvastra, founder of the Tourist Organization of Thailand; Niels Lumholdt, former executive vice-president of Thai Airways International; Dr Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, founder of Bangkok Airways; Kusa Panyarachun, founder of Thailand’s first travel agency; Chin Sophonpanich, founder of Bangkok Bank; Samrit Chirathivat, founder of Central Group; and Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, founder of Dusit International.

A special section dedicated to Thailand’s royal family highlights how projects initiated by His Majesty the late King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, have had a positive effect on tourism.

Chanin Donavanik, Dusit International, hopes the book will not only help to preserve the stories of the early pioneers, but also inspire a new generation of hospitality workers to follow in their footsteps.

The travel industry is one of the most important industries in Thailand, and today employs almost 15% of the population and contributes 17% GDP to the Thai economy, said Mr. Chanin.

“I think it’s vitally important that the new generation understands what happened in the past, and how the risks and opportunities taken by the early pioneers ultimately shaped the industry as we know it today.

“In producing the book, we hoped to preserve the inspiring stories and wisdom of our forebears by featuring as many influencers from 60 years ago as possible.”

In keeping with Dusit’s aim to help boost hospitality education in Thailand, copies of the book will be distributed for free to schools, colleges and universities offering tourism, hotel management and culinary programs in Thailand. A free ebook, available in English and Thai, will also be available at www.thailandtourismtheearlydaysbook.com.

The book is also available at Asia Books and all Dusit hotels in Thailand, priced at 1,500 THB.

In remembrance of His Majesty the late King, all proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Royal Project Foundation, which helps to improve the living conditions of Thailand’s rural communities.

For more information visit www.thailandtourismtheearlydaysbook.com.

 

 

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