Travel

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Dhara Dhevi’s Oriental Culinary Academy
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Celebrating Loy Kathrong at SALA
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Centara Maris Resort Jomtien opening in December
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Anantara offering complimentary in-room smartphone at two Bangkok locations
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Making your dreams of a good night’s rest come true at Six Senses
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What’s Trending at Six Senses?
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Evason Hua Hin opens Asia’s first plant-based culinary academy
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Six Senses Yao Noi’s week-long culinary and wine events
9
The hell of Hell Fire Pass
10
Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa launches John McDermott Gallery

Dhara Dhevi’s Oriental Culinary Academy

Culinary Academy

WANT TO LEARN some of the secrets behind preparing what is one of the world’s most loved cuisines?

Answer yes to any of the above and you’ll want to make a reservation at the resort’s Oriental Culinary Academy, which runs Thai cooking classes daily (except Sunday).

The Culinary Academy is located in a wooden pavilion behind Le Grand Lanna restaurant. Its classroom-style kitchen is fitted with individual cooking stations, extractor hoods, sinks and preparation areas for up to 20 “culinary students”.

More than just a cooking class, it’s a journey of culinary exploration and discovery, in which the chef explains the subtle balance of flavours in Thai cuisine – including the secrets of Lanna herbs and spices – and the difference between northeastern, central and southern Thai styles.

At the end of a class, guests are presented with an apron, Oriental Culinary Academy certificate (perfect for hanging on the kitchen wall back home) and easy-to-follow menu print-outs of the dishes cooked… great mementos from a great experience.

The Cooking Class is held twice daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., at 2,800 THB per person. A Fruit and Vegetable Carving Class runs from 1.30 p.m. to-2.30 p.m., at 1,000 THB per person

There is an option to include in the Cooking Class a visit to the local wet market, where guests are guided through an intriguing maze of stalls selling fresh vegetables, fruit, meats, sweets and other exotic market produce. The Cooking Class with Market Tour is available once daily from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m, at 3,500 THB net per person.

 

 

Celebrating Loy Kathrong at SALA

Loy Kathrong

SALA RESORTS & SPAS will be celebrating Loy Kathrong at its resorts throughout Thailand. The festival is one of the most popular in Thailand and is celebrated on the full moon of the 12th lunar month. This year it will be marked on Nov. 25.

The celebration is an expression of gratitude to the goddess of water, where individuals release candle-lit offerings into rivers or the sea, or send rice-paper balloons aloft into the night sky with their wishes.

At SALA Samui, Loy Kathrong festivities will include a traditional Thai buffet, featuring cuisines from Thailand’s four regions. Cost – 1,450 THB per person. For more information, call 66 (0) 7724-5888.

The festival will also be marked with a night of Thai cuisine and culture and romance, which is also associated with Loy Kathrong, at SALA Phuket Thai Village Market. Cost – 1,600 THB per person and 3,800 THB per couple. For more information, call 66 (0) 7633- 8888.

Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most popular Loy Kathrong destinations and at SALA Lanna, there will be riverside dining options that include international buffet options. Cost – 1,900 THB per person. For more information, call 66 (0) 5324-2588.

At SALA Ayutthaya, Loy Kathrong festivities start with a four-course Thai traditional set dinner that features a view of Wat Phutthaisawan and a Thai masked (Khon) dance show. Then, make your wish and release your kathrong onto the Chao Phraya River. The dinner is available from 6 to 10 p.m. Cost – 1,500 THB per person and includes a kathrong for each table. For more information, call 66 (0) 3524-2588.

SALA Rattanakosia will be marking the festival with a six-course set dinner and cultural entertainment at 7,500 THB per couple. SALA Rattanakosin eatery and bar will be offering a mini BBQ buffet at 2,500 THB per person at The Roof. Prices include a sunset cocktail party at the Roof from 6.30 to 7.30 p.m. For more information, call 66 (0) 2622-1388.

 

Centara Maris Resort Jomtien opening in December

Centra Maris Resort Jomtien - Junior Suite 03 CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS will be launching its newest property in Thailand, Centra Maris Resort Jomtien, in mid-December. Jomtien Beach is a short hop from Bangkok – with a new perspective from that of it nearby Pattaya.

It features 282 rooms, suites and residences in total, all designed with a fresh modern style, incorporating clean lines, light wood furnishings and splashes of vivid colours. All offer living spaces of up to 60 square metres, with the option of garden or ocean views.

Pool suites and family residences come complete with a private garden and plunge pool, while each residence can sleep up to 3 adults, or 2 adults and 3 children.

Family-friendly facilities are a specialty of Centara and Centara Maris Jomtien will offer Thailand’s first hobbit-themed Kids’ Club, with Camp Safari for the youngest ones and a teenage-friendly E-Zone where there are engaging activities to keep kids of all ages entertained.

Other facilities worth exploring are the lagoon-shaped swimming pool complete with Jacuzzis as well as a children’s water play area and water slide.

For adults, there’s ‘Cense by SPA Cenvaree’, set over two floors where you can journey through the healing traditions of Southeast Asia. Guests can choose from a broad range of therapies, including massage, body treatment and facials that feature Thai herbs, floral extracts and aromatic oils. A fitness centre also allows for further rejuvenation for the body and mind.

Dining options include an all-day dining venue serving varied buffet-style breakfasts, and an international and Thai à la carte menu for lunch and dinner, with indoor and outdoor dining options.

The resort’s poolside restaurant offers an eclectic selection of quality food & drink, serving everything from fresh seafood and fish to chops and steaks, and perfect burgers with modern twists. In-room dining is available throughout the day. There’s also a the swim-up pool bar — another appealing feature for adult guests.

Centra Maris Resort Jomtien is a one and one-half hour drive from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and conveniently close to some of the area’s most iconic attractions, including Koh Lan Island, Underwater World Pattaya, Pattaya Floating Market, and the religious monument, the Sanctuary of Truth.

The over-all area of Jomtien is undergoing a face lift that will make it more attractive to tourists. The facelift includes new sidewalks, building sports, recreation and water facilities, more greenery and playgrounds.

 

 

 

Anantara offering complimentary in-room smartphone at two Bangkok locations

Anantara handyphone - 1ANANTARA SIAM BANGKOK HOTEL and Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort now offer a complimentary smartphone called “handy” in all guest rooms – the first hotels in Thailand to offer such a service.

Much more than just a smartphone, the aptly named handy device is preloaded with destination specific features to offer a superior guest experience and interactive travel solutions for leisure and business travelers.

The smartphone keeps guests connected, informed and entertained 24 hours a day, both onsite at the hotels and when they are on the move.

handy also offers unlimited local and international calls to ten destinations from each hotel, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Unlimited 3G data connectivity comes with a WiFi tethering capability to other mobile devices such as laptops and tablets and also pre-installed popular social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These features eliminate the expense of data roaming and high phone bills, and make it exceptionally easy to stay connected with friends, family or work.

Anantara handy - 2Whether guests are in Bangkok for business or pleasure, getting out and about for sightseeing, shopping, events or meetings are seamless with a selection of pre-installed travel apps, including currency conversion, maps, GPS, news and translation services, enhanced by the option of installing additional apps from the Google Play Store.

A digital city guide includes recommendations and promotions for restaurants, shops and tourist attractions.

Returning to the hotels after exploring the city is made easy using the handy taxi card feature, which details the hotels’ addresses written in Thai with a location map included for easy reference.

handy is also a great travel companion, with direct dial features that can be used whilst on the move around the city, as well as at the hotels.

Browsing history and any additional apps that have been installed and all personal information will be removed at check out.

 

 

Making your dreams of a good night’s rest come true at Six Senses

Six Senses Sleep Matresses

MANY PEOPLE DO NOT SLEEP WELL, and according to Dr. Michael Breus, diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and consulting sleep doctor to Six Senses, poor sleep over a period of months and years is associated with long-term health consequences such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

There are several things that a person who struggles to get a good night’s can do to increase the quality of their sleep. Tips include going to bed at the same time each evening, consistency reinforces the body’s sleep-wake cycle; setting your thermostat to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) for the ideal ‘night’ temperature and energy savings, and making sure your bedroom is completely dark since nightlights, phones and alarm clocks disturb natural melatonin production.

Also topping the list for optimizing sleep is the quality of the mattress you sleep on and your choice of linens.

At Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, great efforts have been made to deliver the best possible night’s rest to guests and the group identified the highest quality, handmade natural fibre bed on the market that is also made based on sustainable practices and components – Naturalmat.

The Six Senses bed created by Naturalmat is a mattress and topper combination made with entirely natural and organic materials, all from renewable and sustainable sources. All Naturalmat mattresses are handcrafted from their premises on the banks of the River Exe in Devon, UK.

The Six Senses mattress has a supportive core made from hand-nested individual pocket springs in cotton casings, these are then sandwiched between layers of natural latex. The mattress is tufted in organic lambs wool. Wool is the perfect natural insulator, its complex structure of fibres allows it to wick moisture away from the body ensuring even body temperature maintenance – keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The Six Senses topper adds a soft top layer to the mattress. Naturalmat bed bases are traditionally made, using FSC timber, which is constructed using solid corner pieces and all components are glued and screwed together to make a really strong and long-lasting bed base.

Guests interested in experiencing the Six Senses Sleep Program, can contact their Six Senses property of choice in advance of their arrival to inquire about the availability of the new bed.

Guests interested in purchasing a Six Senses Naturalmat mattress can place their order at any of the resorts currently featuring the mattresses – Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal and Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman. Orders can also be placed by phone at +66 2631 9777 or email at mail@sixsenses.com.

Six Senses in tandem with Dr. Breus, consulting sleep doctor to the brand, will roll out a group-wide sleep program called Sleep with Six Senses in 2016.

 

 

What’s Trending at Six Senses?

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SIX SENSES RESORTS & SPAS
 is launching a social media feed aggregator on the brand’s website, sixsenses.com.

The new platform called The Edit by Six Senses aggregates user generated and brand content through the use of hashtags and key words in social platform posts.

Guests visiting the website of Six Senses can enter into the social media world of the brand through the group’s home page or via dedicated microsite, http://theedit.sixsenses.com, pulling content from Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, and featuring the best and most interesting content shared by users as well as Six Senses resorts and spas.

Updates to the feed occur daily, so the content is always changing.    Six Senses prioritized the importance of connecting with guests and fans at a deeper level through social media in 2015. The brand’s objectives were to grow its social IQ by educating Six Senses hosts about the most important social media channels and functionality, while simultaneously inspiring guests through the publishing of rich, engaging content.

Teams have been selected as social media ambassadors at all resorts and in the spa division. The most talented joined the Six Senses Social Media Academy, which ran over a period of eight months. Channel tutorials were held on a monthly basis and included daily homework, channel testing and a final exam.

“This dedicated micro site, not only allows us to curate the best content, but makes it easy for guests to search content, photos and videos by property location and subject,” said Julia Gajcak, vice-president marketing and communications.

“We’ve seen some tremendous work and creative content developed at all levels of the organization and look forward to evolving our social media and online presence in the months ahead.”

The brand’s first campaign entitled #outoftheordinary celebrates what makes the unique group of resorts and spas so special – from paragliding arrivals off a mountain cliff in Oman at Six Senses Zighy Bay and oenology and wine certification programs in Portugal at Six Senses Douro Valley to behind the scenes access to pandas in China at Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain.

 

Evason Hua Hin opens Asia’s first plant-based culinary academy

EHHChill_by_the_pond_-_Reception_hiresEVASON HUA HIN is opening of a culinary academy in partnership with Matthew Kenney Cuisine, well-known American integrated lifestyle brand founded to meet the increasing interest in living foods, and the art of raw food preparation.

For Evason, Matthew Kenney Cuisine is “an ideal partner”.

The new academic facility offers Asia’s first classically structured plant-based culinary academy, surrounded by 20 acres of rich, manicured tropical gardens, lotus ponds and access to the best plant-based produce in Thailand.

Built upon Founder Matthew Kenney’s culinary training in plant-based raw foods cuisine, the new culinary academy offers month-long courses, as well as weekday and weekend workshops, which will be introduced later in the year.

The curriculum centres on the use of whole, organic, unprocessed plant-based foods to achieve healthy, esthetically refined and flavourful cuisine. Core programing focuses on the “Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine” and offers students comprehensive training in the principles in the art of raw food, as well as cooked plant-based cuisine classes that further the modern, creative approach to preparing nutritious foods.

Its programs are structured to provide students heightened new techniques, enabling them to execute and innovate raw and cooked plant-based cuisine at the highest level. As part of an exclusive enrollment package, students are provided with accommodations at the resort.

The intimate class structure and personalized instruction at all Matthew Kenney Culinary Academies allow for hands-on experiences within a custom designed, commercial living foods kitchen.

Every aspect of the culture, operation, and facility are developed to foster the company’s mission to advance cutting-edge living cuisine. As at other locations, the faculty and staff are hand selected and trained in the latest culinary and educational techniques, priding themselves on continually advancing their own creativity and knowledge.

Evason Hua Hin, located 25 km south of Hua Hin, is famed for the Thai Royal Summer Palace, and provides calming views over the Gulf of Siam. A fully-immersive destination, Evason Hua Hin recently underwent a major enhancement program, refurbishing all 196 guest rooms, suites and pool villas.

The resort complements the Matthew Kenney Culinary approach to holistic living with its Six Senses Spa featuring popular wellness programs including Discover Yoga, Yogic Detox and Yogic Sleep and a dedication to sustainable practices including water use reduction, waste management, sustainable purchasing and carbon emission reductions.

For more information on academy training, visit Matthew Kenney Culinary’s website or contactadmissions@matthewkenneycuisine.com.

To reserve accommodations for the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy, visit: www.sixsenses.com/evason-resorts/hua-hin/destination/news/matthew-kenney-culinary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Senses Yao Noi’s week-long culinary and wine events

 Six Senses Yao Noi wine 1SIX SENSES YAO NOI is introducing its third private labeled wine, the Syrah Red, on Aug. 11, 2015.

The event, to be held at the resort’s Hilltop Reserve restaurant, will be attended by winemaker Nikki Lohitnavy of GranMonte Estate, who will personally introduce the Syrah Red to guests and resort team.

The launch starts at 5:30 pm as a highlight of the General Manager’s Cocktail Reception.

The next evening, Aug. 12, a Thai wine and barbecue dinner will be held on the beach beneath the stars. Guests are encouraged to dress casually and comfortably to join Executive Chef Anthony Reynolds and Nikki on the beach as they cook and pair seven Gran Monte wines with freshly caught seafood.

The event starts at 6:30 pm with sparkling wine at sundown and is priced at 3,000 THB.  Later in the week Executive Sommelier Christian Maier will present a unique Champagne tasting set on a deserted island accompanied by delicious nibbles. Guests will be guided by the resorts’ wine expert in one of the most unforgettable surroundings at sunset.

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Several informative wine-tasting events paired with Thai food plus a wine game dinner will also be held at the Hilltop Reserve. They feature great wines and delicious food set against the dramatic backdrop of Phang Nga Bay.

The Master Thai Wine is priced at THB 1,500 per person; Champagne Tasting event is 1,800 THB per person; and the Wine Game Dinner is 4,000 THB per person.

Winemaker Nikki Lohitnavy is one of the youngest and most dynamic oenologist in Thailand. She studied her craft at Adelaide University in Australia, where she was the first Thai student to take the intensive four-year course, which involves both viticulture and winemaking. She graduated with honors and received several awards including the Fosters Wine Estates Prize for excellence in winemaking.

The Syrah Red is produced solely for Six Senses Yao Noi, and has resulted from collaboration between Six Senses Yao Noi and Nikki. The sustainably-produced wine is crafted from estate grown fruit of the Asoke Valley, and aged in French oak barrels for eight months.

It shows blackberries and blackcurrant fruit with a hint of pepper spice and is perfect with Thai food. Its freshness blends perfectly with the natural lifestyle of Six Senses Yao Noi.

 

The hell of Hell Fire Pass

Hell Fire Pass steps

IF YOU HAVE A BAD HEART OR HIP PROBLEMS, don’t even think about it.

Walking from the Information and Display Centre to Hell Fire Pass, about an hour’s drive from the River Kwai in Thailand, is a nightmare of steep, unforgiving concrete steps that seem to go up forever. From the Information Pavilion, the walk takes 10 or 15 minutes – if you’re in good shape.

If you’re not, take the alternative route that requires the services of a van and driver. But if you want to stick it out, be prepared for some pretty challenging climbs. In the toughest areas, you’ll find metal railings on both sides of the steps to help you along before reaching a rocky level path and then, another wall of stairs before descending finally down a long twisted flight to the pass, itself.

Voices cry out from the past as you walk through the pass – a rose inserted in a drill hole by relatives of POWs, a broken compressor drill still stuck in the rock where it was left 65 years ago, and here and there, a wooden tie peeps up from the gravel. In the middle of the pass a tree has taken root and grown up in the middle of the rocky railway bed.

That’s when you find out that there are only two ways to get back – by the way you came or by van. “Walking back is easier,” I was assured by one of the tour guides. Unfortunately, I believed him and was barely able to stagger back on my own.

On the way back, I kept thinking of the prisoners-of-war who had to make their way back to camp after an exhausting shift under brutal conditions day after day. If you pause along the way, as I did, you can hear the birds and cicadas in the bamboo grove that has grown up around sections of the pathway. Hell Fire Pass was the longest – and deepest – along the entire length of the Thai-Burma Railway.

It was also notorious as one of the worst places of suffering and cruelty faced by the POWs. The cutting was planned by Japanese engineers and carried out by the prisoners. It became known as the Hammer and Tap, because of the constant sound of hammering by the POW crews. who kept working long into the night by light from torches and fires, reminding more than one POW of a scene out of Dante’s Inferno.

Their suffering is retold in a series of display panels in the Information Pavilion, built by the Australians after the war to document the sufferings of their servicemen who toiled at Hell Fire Pass. As you enter the pavilion, you are asked to take your shoes off. This is customary in Thai homes and temples.

This is how one of the panels describes the work of the POWs: “If you stood at the top of the cutting, you could see fires at intervals of about 20 feet and the shadows of the Japanese, wearing Foreign Legion caps, moving around and beating the POWs with sticks.

Many of the POWs were almost naked under their slouch hats, moving rocks around and hammering. The shouting and bellowing went on all night ….

” Work gangs were divided into three groups: Moving gangs, who cleared the earth; tap men, who drilled deep holes into the rock for blasting and explosives; and rock rollers, who cleared the rubble after each blast. Men worked all day, even through Monsoon rains, stopping only at midday for lunch. And later, when the Japanese decided to speed up the process, the gangs were required to work through the night.

“Each morning, as the POWs arrived on the job, the Silent Basher, a guard, went down their lines, never uttering a word, punching the POWs in the head and face to make sure they were suitably motivated for the day’s work,” Gunner Keith Harrison, 4th Anti-Tank Regiment of Australia, was to write later.

Work on the pass started on April 15, 1943 – ANZAC – the day Australians remember their war dead. Many of the POWs fell sick and died. Reinforcements had to be brought in, continuing to work under “Speedo” conditions until the cutting was completed and rail-laying teams took over. Hundreds of men were working at the site at any given time.

Interestingly, the Japanese paid the POWs working on the railway. Hourly rates were low and payment at the whim of the Japanese. The POWs used the pay to buy extra food and contribute to camp funds to buy medicine and food for the sick.

The POWS were led to believe they were going to rest camps. Even sick POWs were asked to fill their quotas. By the time they reached their camps, most of the POWs were in poor shape and their possessions stolen from them. In fact, they had to build the camp and start work on the railway almost immediately.

“All we knew was that they want a work party to go to Thailand. It was supposed to be a land of milk and honey – with plenty of food and very little to do,” wrote Geoff O’Connor, D Force.

 

Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa launches John McDermott Gallery

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ILLUSTRATING HOW authentic indigenous experiences can be creatively enhanced by international flair, Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa in Siem Reap, Cambodia now houses The McDermott Gallery, featuring an ethereal collection of Angkor monument images by the award-winning photographer John McDermott, who also leads guests for exclusive photography tours of these iconic UNESCO temple ruins.

John first came to Angkor in 1995 to witness a total eclipse of the sun. Inspired by the surreal light of the eclipse, he spent over a decade creating a definitive artistic portrait of the ancient Khmer temples before the arrival of tourism. These magical images reveal a hidden realm of Angkor temples lost in the forest, conjuring a 19th century explorer’s dream.

John’s evocative Angkor photography can be seen in his fine art book Elegy: Reflections on Angkor and at his galleries in Siem Reap. His images are on display at the National Museum in Phnom Penh and have been published and exhibited worldwide.

His photographs are held in private collections worldwide and have been printed in numerous books and publications, including Time, Newsweek, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times which calls John McDermott “the Ansel Adams of Angkor”, writing that his photographs are “not just beautiful but iconic. . . dreamlike photos which look as though they were taken in an ancient, forgotten world.”

Housed in a setting that is perfectly suited to viewing and appreciating the dramatic photography, The McDermott Gallery is located on the second floor in an open air environment overlooking the resort’s beautiful front courtyard. All artworks on display at the gallery are available for sale.

Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa is also offers once-in-a-lifetime Angkor photography tours with John McDermott for guests who aspire to take direction from this leading photographer. The new bespoke tours are tailored to the personal interests and passions of each guest, whether they are a budding amateur or a more serious photographer who would love the opportunity to capture magnificent images of these ancient ruins.

Half-day photography tours are priced at US $350 per couple and full day tours are charged at US $600 per couple.

For more information, call  +855 63 966 788 or email  angkor@anantara.com

 

 

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