Travel

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Safe fun in the sun this summer from Centara
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Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas’ New Ultra Luxury Package
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New signature treatment at Breeze Spa Samui
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Lest this day pass unnoticed
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The Crowning Touch returns to VIE Bangkok May 25-28
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Earth/Check recognizes Centara for its sustainability program
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Soneva Kiri’s environmental support offer
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Ring in Thai New Year with the traditional Thai way at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
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Anantara’s 2016 King’s Elephant Cup Polo Tournament winners
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Celebrating Easter at Soneva

Safe fun in the sun this summer from Centara

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WHILE IT’S TIME to get out and enjoy the summer breezes, remember the power of the sun’s rays.

Centara Hotels & Resorts knows a thing or two about beautiful, sunny destinations, such as Samui, Hua Hin, Phuket, Bali, the Maldives, to name just a few, and wants to share some useful tips with you to help protect you and your family this summer.

Centara’s Tara Hanrahan, group director of spa operations, and Michelle Jamieson, corporate director of marketing communications, teamed up to put together some important tips to remember this summer while relaxing on the beach, enjoying water sports and activities, exploring a destination or even while shopping:

To get your skin silky-smooth and sun-ready, here’s a simple recipe for a body exfoliation: SPACenvaree’s Javanese Body Scrub. It removes dry, flaky skin and helps prolong tan even-ness (the divine coffee smell also helps): simply mix together a handful of fresh coffee grounds with coconut oil and brown sugar to produce a rough paste.

“Vigorously scrub all over before showering and your skin will smell gorgeous, look great and feel soft. Look out summer! ” says Tara Hanrahan.

While those big floppy hats not only don’t look incredibly stylish, they do provide great shade from the sun.  This goes for men as well – but a hat is a great outfit addition to fend off those harmful rays, especially if you are not blessed with a full head of hair.

“This goes for the littlest ones in the family as well.  A large brim hat will combat rays coming from any direction,” says Michelle Jamieson.

A great pair of wraparound sunglasses provides great coverage for the delicate and sensitive skin around the eyes.  If you haven’t tried polarized lenses yet, then go and try some out.  They reduce the glare from the sun allowing you to see much clearer on a bright day.

“You might not know this, but your eyes can get sun burned just like your skin so protect them,” adds Michelle.

There are a ton of great swim suit options out there that have built in sunscreen preventing unsightly tan lines and harmful sun exposure.

After long stints in the sun, says Tara, take a cold shower to help cool down the skin as well as prevent further dehydration of the skin, which can be caused by hot water.  The cool water also has additional benefits for your skin and is also more environmentally friendly.

Eat up this summer.  There are many fruits that help your skin from the inside and out.  Cantaloupes are a great choice as they are filled with antioxidants and assist with skin hydration.

Another fruity trick is to grab a fresh strawberry and poke some holes in the flesh to awaken the juices, then rub the strawberry all over your face in small circles.  Rinse off after about two minutes to see brighter skin.

If you did get too much sun on your face, the most heavenly, cooling facial is also one of the cheapest.

Simply chill, peel and blend 1-2 cucumbers and gently pat the mixture over the red areas. Lie back with a few cucumber rings on the eyes and relax.

After 10 minutes gently wash off with cool water and moisturize (don’t rub the moisturizer in, rather let it sit on the surface and soak in). “I have used this facial many times and it’s one of my favourites!” says Tara.

If you do get sunburnt, there are fantastic healing benefits to sipping a glass of red wine.  Resveratol, found in the skin of red grapes, helps to reduce the redness from sunburns along with other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects from the wine.  Cheers.

 

Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas’ New Ultra Luxury Package

ANANTARA MAI KHAO PHUKET VILLAS

ANANTARA MAI KHAO PHUKET VILLAS is taking tasteful luxury up a notch with its most exclusive and lavish package yet – the ‘Taste of the Suite Life’ package. Bookings available up until Dec.25, 2016.

This “unique experience” allows guests to spoil themselves like a King or Queen with a three-night stay in the Royal Villa, as well as a luxurious Dining by Design dinner with one of the rarest bottles of wine in the world.

Natural exclusivity is assured at the all-pool villa oasis of Anantara Mai Khao, set around a tropical lagoon and quiet Mai Khao Beach along Phuket’s sunset coast.

A three-night stay in the beachfront two bedroom Royal Villa ensures wow factors all day. Guests can refresh first thing with a dip in their 67 square metre private pool. Lazy days can be spent sunbathing in total privacy on the spacious timber deck.

A floating sala is a great sunset hideaway. Additional privileges include with an in-villa check-in. Each day a signature breakfast is served at the lagoon-edge restaurant La Sala.

Couples can soak up the romance with a sensual bath experience, i which the in-pool tub s laced with flowers and surrounded by candles and an oil burner.

3b4aa8cd-ac11-4bb2-a0a4-ab1e1a1946c6A traditional Loy Krathong floating flower ceremony immerses guests in Thailand’s enchanting culture. Completing the ultimate stay, a personalized Villa Host service takes care of any special requests.

The signature Dining by Design experience is a tailor-made “moveable feast”. Couples can savour the occasion at a beautifully decorated table on the beachfront lawn at sunset, on a raised platform surrounded by shallow water flowing from the infinity pool, reclining on Thai triangular cushions in a poolside sala, or in The Tasting Room wine cellar.

A choice of fine dining menus celebrate the treasures of the sea, Royal Thai recipes, authentic Italian cuisine, oriental inspirations and flame grilled delights, enhanced by the opportunity to collaborate with a personal chef to fine tune the culinary sequence.

Dining by Design’s luxurious experience is completed with one of the most expensive and rare bottles of Burgundy wine in the world – 1990 Domaine Romanee Conti.

As chosen by the resort’s award-wining Wine Guru Jirachai Sethisakko, the exceptional vintage is even raved about by Allen Meadows – the world’s most famous Burgundy wine expert:

“Initially, this is aromatically tight and closed but after two hours, it absolutely explodes from the glass with a breath-taking panoply of Asian spices, exotic fruit aromas and a touch of earth followed by rich, lush, almost opulent flavors that melt in the mouth and coat the palate with a layer of velvet on the fantastically long finish.

“This is a dramatic wine in every sense of the word yet it’s not at all showy but rather discreet and understated. I particularly like the sense of inner power and purity of expression and this is as good a post ’45 RC as I ever hope to drink.”

To book this package for 950,000 THB, call +66 76 336 100 or email phuket@anantara.com. Otherwise visit the Anantara Phuket Villas website: phuket.anantara.com

 

 

New signature treatment at Breeze Spa Samui

Samui Pina Colada - Breeze Samui REVIVE YOUR MIND AND BODY with three new signature treatments at Breeze Spa outlets in Thailand and beyond.

Amari Koh Samui is offering its exclusive Samui Piña Colada Package – a full body treatment that begins with a detoxifying body scrub to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems, followed by a cocktail of organic extra virgin coconut oil from newly pressed, fresh raw coconuts, infused with rice bran oil, sweet almond oil and vitamins from the Monk’s pepper plant.

This natural tanning booster will help to stimulate melanin formation and naturally induce an even all-over glow. Finish off with a revitalizing massage and a sprinkling of ultrafine, shimmering body oil for a flawless golden radiance.

The Samui Piña Colada Package is exclusively offered at Amari Koh Samui at approximately 74 US for the two-hour-minute treatment.

The signature spa package and a three-night stay is being offered by Amari Koh Samui in its Great Escape Package.  Starting rate is at 1,207 US in a grand deluxe ocean view room available from now until Dec. 31, 2016. For more information, visit www.amari.com/koh-samui/.

The Dhaka Pure Delight Package is exclusively offered at Amari Dhaka Bangladesh at approximately 154 US for the 150-minute treatment. Guests can enjoy the signature spa package during a stay at Amari Dhaka, which is also offering a free upgrade to the next room category when booking on Amari.com from now until 31 March 31, 2017. For more information, visit www.amari.com/dhaka/.

The Maldives Oceana Touch Package is exclusively available at Amari Havodda Maldives at $470 US for the 180-minute treatment. The signature package and a four-night stay with the Maldives Easy Package is available at $2,720 US in an Overwater Villa for stays from now until Oct. 31, 2016. For more information, visit www.amari.com/havodda-maldives/.

 

 

 

 

Lest this day pass unnoticed

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Evening. 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 250 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.”

The Crowning Touch returns to VIE Bangkok May 25-28

Menu by 2-Michelin Star Chef Stephane Buron (3)

2-Michelin Star Chef Stephane BuronTHE MASTER RETURNS to La VIE – Creative French Cuisine in VIE Hotel Bangkok – 2-Michelin Star Chef Stéphane Buron will be displaying his unique skills for four days – from May 25-28, 2016.

Stéphane Buron bears the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, the highest and most prestigious award amongst all professional craftsmen in France. Only those who have earned it are allowed to wear the red, white and blue collar, which is its respected symbol.

Chef Stéphane has also been named the Best French Professional and is well known as the “Crowning Touch” of acclaimed Le Chabichou, the oldest and most distinguished hotel in the village of Courchevel, one of the world’s most luxurious ski resorts, located high in the French Alps, an exclusive retreat of royalty, VIPs and celebrities.

Stéphane Buron’s cooking is inventive, refined and generous. He utilizes the fresh and natural, seasonal products throughout all four seasons in the Alps.

In his May appearance, he will be offering his newest 7-course dinner menu. Dinner is served at 7 p.m.

Cost of the 7-Course Set Dinner is priced at 6,000 THB per person and 7-Course Set Dinner with wine pairing, 8,000 THB.

For more details and reservations:call: 083-8204224 or E-mail: afbm@viehotelbangkok.com, or 081-910028 or E-mail: fb@viehotelbangkok.com

 

 

 

Earth/Check recognizes Centara for its sustainability program

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CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS has received two more gold certifications from EarthCheck for Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui and Centara Grand Beach Resort & villas Hua Hin along with numerous properties achieving silver certifications.

The “EarthCheck Gold” designation is only conferred after five years of continual independent assessment and adherence to internationally-recognised, scientific standards. These efforts help inspire stakeholder confidence and drive further organizational improvement, competitive advantage, innovation and growth.

Centara Gold Certified properties have continued to engage in programs such as energy, water and waste management since 2008, along with stakeholder and community education and engagement that helps Centara manage and the communities monitor their impact on the environment.

At Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, for example, its ‘green’ team understands the importance of educating and working with stakeholders, partners and the local communities to further implement sustainability efforts.

Working together with local environment groups, Centara assists to increase the level of public awareness for the environment.

As part of these initiatives, Centara Grand Samui also produces EM Water (Effective Micro-organisms Water) out of fruit and vegetable waste, which is then used as fertilizer and biochemical to use in the hotel.

The EM Water is also donated to the local temples and schools.  This water has many benefits to the environment as well as for agriculture and in order for the community to yield the benefits, the team at Centara Grand Samui helps to educate the nearby community on how to produce their own EM Water.

Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, has a rich history, as it is the original Railway Hotel, first opening its doors to welcome guests in the early 1920s.  It was Thailand’s first beach resort.  This history is preserved with the original building as well as the popular topiary gardens.

Centara-640x400A water management system was implemented as it was vital to the operations of the property as well as to the ove-rall guest experience. The water management system uses the waste water, including over 100,000 KL of gray water, which are effectively treated and reused to water the extensive topiary gardens.

The giant topiary animals that are featured in the garden require a great deal of attention and water and the use of the recycled wastewater allows for property maintenance without heavy impact on water usage.  Centara Grand Hua Hin also produce EM Water and run programs with the local community.

“As one of Thailand’s leading hospitality groups, it is important to take a leadership role and to encourage others to join in the efforts,” shares Mr. Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts.  “These accomplishments motivate our teams as we continue our efforts to bring about positive environmental change while providing our guests with memorable travel experiences.”

In June 2015, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi became the first property in Thailand to be Gold Certified.  It is overall an amazing achievement by the operations and ‘green’ teams to be honoured with three Gold Certifications.

Centara is also noted that 12 properties had achieved silver certification in 2016: Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World; Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok; Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya; Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket; Centara Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phuket; Centara Karon Resort Phuket; Centara Kata Resort Phuket; Centara Villas Phuket; Centara Villas Samui; Centara Hotel Hat Yai; Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives; and Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives. 

“Centara Hotels & Resorts has taken a significant leadership position in sustainability and has shown continued dedication to the EarthCheck program. Achieving EarthCheck certification is not an easy task to achieve. It requires the commitment and ownership from management, staff and suppliers and a willingness to submit reporting to expert scrutiny,” said Stewart Moore, CEO for EarthCheck. 

“Congratulations to all 15 certified properties, in particular Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi and Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui for being awarded with EarthCheck’s prestigious Gold Certification.”

Two more properties are on track to receiving gold certification in 2017 – Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld and Centara Karon Resort Phuket.

While Centara Hotels & Resorts continue to make great strides in its sustainability management, they are always exploring new opportunities that will allow for even greater sustainability measures to further lessen the impacts on the environment and to better support the local communities, he added.

 

Soneva Kiri’s environmental support offer

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AN INTERERESTING OFFER from Soneva Kiri. Do your part to preserve the environment and support the local community and get three complimentary nights added to your retreat at Soneva Kiri in Thailand.

Assist the resident tropical ecologist to identify and log rare species of flora and fauna thriving in the tropical rainforest and support the local community through a variety of sustainable initiatives. This is a real opportunity to get close to nature and learn more about the complexity of the rich ecosystem of this beautiful island.

For booking, contact reservations@soneva.com or call 91 124 4511000 and quote S6P3UBB. The offer is applicable on all room types for stays from May 10 to Sept. 20, 2016 and will be offered in the same room category as booked.

Food and beverages, transfers and experiences are not included in the offer, and bonus nights cannot be exchanged for cash or other equivalents, be transferred or be taken during a different period.

All guests under the same booking reference must participate in the volunteering programs to avail the offer. The booking reference is required to confirm the booking.

 

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

 Dhara Dhevi Songkran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Anantara King's Cup Opening_Ceremony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 


 

Celebrating Easter at Soneva

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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