Travel

1
Dates set for Bangkok’s 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
2
AVANI Hotels and Resorts opens first property in Hua Hin  
3
Dusit International signs to manage new Hua Hin hotel
4
SALA Phuket Celebrating 10th Anniversary
5
What’s on at Six Senses’ Earth Labs?
6
Meet High Priestess Ibu Jero at Anantara Uluwatu Bali
7
Anantara Siam Bangkok unveils new contemporary Thai-inspired guestrooms
8
In Remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej 1927 – 2016
9
Soneva’s Secrets of Indochina Tour
10
Best Western Plus Wanda Grand Hotel Bangkok offering chance to win new car

Dates set for Bangkok’s 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

 

THE 2018 KING’S CUP ELEPHANT POLO TOURNAMENT will be held by the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River from March 8-11,, 2018, and promises a full range of fun elephant festivities for the whole family including.

These include an opening parade, children’s educational day and Ladies Day known as The ‘Bangkok Ascot”. Other entertainment will include a pop up foodie market and a host of popular bands and DJs

Now in its 16th year, the festival has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia that has raised more than US$1.5 million (BHT 50 million).

Funds raised from the event are donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population.

Funds from this year’s event were donated to various projects including the Zoological Parks Organization of Thailand which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of elephants and mahouts in the Surin Province where ex-street elephants face ongoing hardship.

The donations have also funded South East Asia’s first ever workshop to teach mahouts and vets the benefits of Environmental Enrichment to keep elephants happy as well as the construction of a watch tower in a village whose crops are raided by elephants, allowing villagers to watch and warn other villagers of approaching elephants in a safe manner for both people and elephants.

Donations also funded a conservation education trip to a National Park for the children and next generation of hereditary mahouts to learn the importance of elephants in the wild; the transport of Thai elephant vets to international conferences; funding Thai Government aid to teach mahouts to act as veterinary assistants and provide basic first aid and other medical care to their elephants; as well as community based Human Elephant Conflict mitigation projects in two Thai and one Tanzanian National Parks and the purchase of equipment for anti-poaching rangers in a Cambodian National Park.

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

Elephant Therapy Project which has been under way 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 now committed until the end of 2018 as well as the funding of Asia’s first workshop to show traditional elephant trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training for captive elephants.

Additional workshops this year in Myanmar are reaching teams responsible for over 200 elephants. Past projects include the donation of a 500,000 THB gantry to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) to help lame elephants stand which is still in operation; and the planting of an elephant corridor of 4,000 trees in Hua Hin to stop farmer vs. elephant conflicts.

A total of 20 unemployed ex-street elephants will take part in the event, during which they will receive full veterinary checks from the Zoological Parks Organization of Thailand, under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand and the Department of Livestock Development.

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

The welfare of the elephants that participate in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is of paramount importance, with strict rules ensuring that the pachyderms are well cared for at all times.

By imposing a “no micro-chip, no game” rule, Anantara guarantees that all participating elephants have been domestically bred and not captured from the wild or smuggled in from neighbouring countries.

The annual event was awarded a silver medal for Sports CSR Initiative of the Year at the Asia Sports Industry Awards in 2016.Â

Anantara has long been associated with elephant conservation efforts with the formation of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which has performed over 60 rescues of elephants off the streets of Thailand.

For more information on the 16th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com

 

 

AVANI Hotels and Resorts opens first property in Hua Hin  

FOR TRAVELERS LOOKING FOR  a tropical escape, AVANI Hua Hin Resort & Villas opens its doors on southern Thailand’s Gulf Coast.

Hua Hin is known as a popular getaway for Bangkok residents and is historically a favourite with the Thai Royal family.

Nestled in a tranquil spot on the coastline, AVANI Hua Hin Resort and Villas boasts natural tropical elements combined with contemporary design to create a serene and stylish atmosphere.

Surrounded by lush gardens and facing on to a large lagoon pool, the 196 guest rooms, suites and villas offer comfortable and relaxing accommodation.

Superior and deluxe guest rooms feature a private balcony and villas and suites have either a plunge pool or Jacuzzi and gazebo. Bathtubs and separate walk-in showers make for indulgent moments, while the outdoor rainforest shower in select suites encourages guests to stay in touch with nature.

The 11 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom lagoon pool villas have direct access to the main pool and are ideal for a group of friends or a large family wanting to be part of the resort action but also having a private space to enjoy each other’s company.

Culinary experiences celebrate authentic Thai dishes, rustic Italian flavours and international fare with an emphasis on fresh local produce. The all-day dining restaurant Staas serves international favourites and local dishes and delicious coastal Italian cuisine can be enjoyed at Brezza.

A hotspot highlight of the resort will be the opening the Jazz Lounge on New Yearâ’s Eve. The Tapas and Mezze menu, great cocktails and live music will appeal guests and visitors.

Pampering awaits at AVANISPA, where trained therapists administer indulgent modern treatments to restore body, mind and spirit. The spa has nine treatment rooms including two couple’s treatment rooms and an authentic Hammam where guests can enjoy a hot steam bath followed by a massage.

The AVANIFIT gym is equipped with the latest cardio and weight-training machines and the resort has mapped out a jogging and cycling track so guests can keep up with their exercise routines should they want to whilst on holiday.

ctive guests can also choose to partake in a wealth of watersports, such as kite surfing, sailing and stand up paddle board yoga.

The resort offers a vast array of activities and excursions in the local area from foodie market tours to painting classes and Street Art tours.

Younger travellers are also catered for at the AVANIKIDS Club. Under the supervision of a qualified and caring team, children can enjoy a variety of activities, including pool time, marine adventures, face-painting and indoor games.

The resort also features an independent 900 square metre Ballroom, the largest event space in Hua Hin, and the perfect setting for a decadent wedding or a conference with enough space to easily accommodate banquets of 500 people and theatre style seating for 700 people.

The Ballroom can also be re-configured to offer up to five smaller meeting rooms or event venues.

Hua Hin feels miles away from the bustle of the capital. The town has long stretches of golden sand beaches and nearby night markets feature prominent Thai artists and delicious fresh seafood.

 

 

 

Dusit International signs to manage new Hua Hin hotel

From the left: Lim Boon Kwee, Suphicha Promsentana and Somsakul Limsuttaphan.

DUSIT INTERNATIONAL HAS signed a hotel management agreement with Enrich Paranimmitr Company Limited, a subsidiary of Bangkok-based Enrich Group, to operate the hotel and residences in the heart of the beach resort destination’s main Petchkasem Road.

Designed to cater to families and leisure travellers seeking a fun-filled escape, the property is conveniently located close to Hua Hin’s largest shopping; dining and movie theatre complex; BluPort, the hip and stylish Cicada Night Market; and the Vana Nava Waterpark, which boasts some of the fastest and longest waterslides in Thailand.

Slated to open in the first quarter 2020, the new property will comprise the upscale dusitD2 hotel with 154 keys, a dusitD2 branded condominium with 364 fully-furnished residential units, and retail and office spaces.

Facilities will include an all-day dining restaurant, fitness centre, swimming pool, a kids’ club, a rooftop bar, and 300 sq m of banqueting space. In keeping with the dusitD2 brand, the property will boast a modern design with bright and colourful décor.

The residences will operate separately to the hotel and will offer its own swimming pool and fitness centre.

Located only three hours by car from Bangkok, Hua Hin serves as a popular beachside getaway for Bangkokians, and is renowned for its seafood restaurants, lively markets, cultural sights, world-class golf courses, kitesurfing, and family-friendly activities.

With royal links going back to the early 1920s, the city also has two regal summer residences that visitors can explore.

“Hua Hin is one of Thailand’s most popular seaside destinations, attracting over five million visitors per year, but it still retains a charming, relaxed atmosphere which makes it perfectly suited to families and leisure travellers seeking relaxation and fun activities by the beach,” said Lim Boon Kwee, COO, Dusit International.

“With its stylish design, comfortable rooms, upscale facilities, and Dusit’s distinctive brand of gracious hospitality, dusitD2 Hua Hin will be perfectly positioned to cater to visitors’ needs. We look forward to working with Enrich Paranimmitr Company Limited to make the property a resounding success”

Suphicha Promsentana, business office director of Enrich Group, said: After completing several high-end housing projects in Bangkok, we wanted to expand our portfolio beyond residential into hospitality and services.

“As for our move to develop a hotel; we just had to find the right partner who shared our vision for excellence. We are delighted Dusit International is that partner. The company’s rich hospitality experience speaks for itself, and we are confident that, in Dusit Internationalâs capable hands, the hotel will live up to Dusit’s promise to exceed expectations. Always.”

With 28 properties currently in operation across four brands in eight countries, Dusit International is in a significant growth phase which will see the number of Dusit properties exceed 70 within the next four-to-five years across key markets worldwide. Alongside dusitD2, other brands in Dusit International’s portfolio include Dusit Thani, Dusit Devarana, and DusitPrincess.

dusitD2 Hua Hin Hotel and Residences will be the second Dusit branded property in Hua Hin. Dusit International also owns and operates the Dusit Thani Hua Hin, a luxury resort which celebrates its 27th anniversary this year.

 

 

SALA Phuket Celebrating 10th Anniversary

THIS DECEMBER, the award winning SALA Phuket Resort and Spa will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

From next month and throughout 2018, SALA Phuket will be releasing a number of special offers and events to celebrate this special milestone.

All guests staying in December will receive a 10% discount on treatments in SALA Spa, and also when dining in the SALA Restaurant and beachfront Bar.

In addition, all guests staying 10 nights or more from December and through the following year will receive a special 10,000 THB resort credit, to be used on services during their stay.

And while you’re there, turn up the heat with a “Bubble Tub Champagne” setting the scene for romance, complete with an aromatic milky bath, a bottle of champagne, and a hot fudge dipping sauce with cookies, fruits and vanilla whipped cream to share. From 2,100 THB.

 

 

 

What’s on at Six Senses’ Earth Labs?

EVERY SIX SENSES PROPERTY now runs an Earth Lab, “and we’re inviting our guests to stop by, join in our activities and participate with us in reaching our sustainability goals”.

A visit to Six Senses would not be complete without visiting Earth Lab. It’s a place to learn, grow and reconnect with the natural world.

It’s named Earth to celebrate our home and source of all life, and Lab for experimentation, innovation and exploration. This is a place where Six Senses showcases its sustainability efforts.

Six Senses has adopted a philosophy of Zero Waste, producing materials and upcycling on site to reduce transportation-related impacts. It also communicates work happening off site, for example marine conservation, forest restoration and community development.

Earth Lab topics and activities include:

Water is bottled on site, eliminating the transportation impacts and use of plastic water bottles, and alternatives to plastic straws are produced including paper, bamboo and lemongrass.

Natural insecticides are distilled from plants and used as an organic alternative to chemical sprays; biologically active cleaning solutions are grown in batches and used to replace chemical cleaners; free-range chickens produce organic eggs; and goats process landscaping waste and produce milk.

Food waste is composted and used to fuel our extensive organic gardens; fruits and vegetables are harvested from our organic gardens to provide fresh and healthy meals for guests; bees are kept for honey and to pollinate local crops; glass (where recycling is not available) is crushed and upcycled into flower pots, paving stones and light fixtures.

Renewable energy is produced from solar and biomass; plants are harvested and oils freshly extracted for spa treatments; seeds are harvested, kept in a seed bank and made available for guests to take and grow organic at home; DIY videos are produced and shared online; guests can join workshops; and local community members are invited to learn and share traditional knowledge

“We are delighted to launch Earth Lab, said Bernhard Bohnenberger, president of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. “Each facility represents the seriousness we place on sustainability and the importance of working locally and with nearby communities to tread lightly on the environment and respect Mother Nature.

 

Meet High Priestess Ibu Jero at Anantara Uluwatu Bali

ANANTARA ULUWATU BALI RESORT provides a prime location for rebalancing your body and mind and is introducing a new series of unique healing packages, led by renowned native High Priestess, Ibu Jero.

Ibu Jero is a native Balinese healer offering traditional therapies combined with the wisdom of both Asian and Western ideology. Fifth in a long line of Balinese healers, she brings the extensive knowledge and experience of her ancestors to bear on her enlightening work

. She offers a channel between the spiritual and our physical selves, and her power is rare, being one of only a few High Priestesses in Bali. To maintain this title she, in part, lives in devotion of Bali’s spiritual traditions, visits all major temples, and even makes up to 50 offerings every day.

Following a life-threatening experience Ibu Jero devoted herself to spirituality.

“I understand that Eastern and Western modalities are complementary; where the East is spiritually aware, the West is physically advanced,” said the high priestess.

“The human being is a complex system of mind, emotions, spirit, body and soul. When we want true healing and liberation to occur, we need to go deeply into each level.” Ibu Jero’s ability to act as a channel for healing energies to flow thru is greatly influenced from her ancestors.

Her years of training cover traditional restorative treatments, massage, aromatherapy, natural medicine, traditional herbs and chakra balancing.

Discover deep meditation practices and enhance your energy through special therapies with Ibu Jero. Learn to set intentions that improve your life and well-being. Listen to your inner voice and achieve balance with the help of the enchanting High Priestess.

A seven-hour spiritual journey is offered for guests who seek a deeply immersive experience. Travel to the extremely sacred Tirta Sudamala Temple in Bangli where a holy spring has provided cleansing for hundreds of years.

Pilgrims bathe in blessed water where they connect to the earth and undergo holistic cleansing.

Ibu Jero guides participants through the temple processes and then performs a seven stage chakra cleansing and purification to clear life blocks from the past and present.

Step into the revered pool to wash away that which no longer serves you. Transport, lunch, and temple offerings are all included in the US450 package for two persons.

Guests can choose a 60-minute Balinese Reiki Session to cleanse and align their chakras, a powerful and restorative therapy. Or, try an Energy Cleansing Session if there is the need to release negative energies that are restricting their path in life. Both therapies are offered at US 165 per person.

Couples can declare their love with a Sunset Couple Blessing and Healing Ritual, which involves a past life and chakra cleanse, allowing you to move forward together afresh.

Next, she’ll align your chakra energies and let any negativity slip away, offering peace and setting intention for a harmonious relationship. A calming water blessing purification follows before a traditional Balinese offering.

Ideal for engagements, pre-wedding vows or anniversary celebrations, the ritual lasts 90-minutes and is priced at US300 per couple.

The Group Melukat Ceremony comprises a water blessing, often compared to a ‘holy’ shower. Together, the group chant mantras and set good intentions for the future amidst water, incense and flowers.

Only High Priests or Priestesses can offer this therapy and Ibu Jero is famous for it, bringing holistic balance to participants. This 2-hour purification ceremony is priced at USD 600 for up to five people.

Ibu Jero’s healing therapies can be booked through Anantara Spa. For reservations and more information, please call + 62 (361) 8957555 Ext.6900 or email spa.uluwatu@anantara.com.

These experiences are the perfect add-on to the Wellbeing Retreat package at Anantara Uluwatu. Rates start from US145 per couple, per night and include luxury accommodation and a personalized wellness itinerary.

 

 

 

Anantara Siam Bangkok unveils new contemporary Thai-inspired guestrooms

DESIGNED BY Jeffrey A. Wilkes of LTW Designworks, recognized for his ability to blend cosmopolitan influences with tradition, the new interiors of its flagship Anantara Siam Bangkok’s deluxe and premier guestrooms inject a fresh sense of luxury by infusing a more contemporary esthetic, greeting guests with a subtle Thai character, in keeping with the Anantara brand.

Using elegant regional undertones, typical Asian details were eschewed with the design instead paying homage to Thai palaces that have been constructed with European influences.

Thai silk has been used as wall panels to give a simple and elegant finish, a refined reflection of Thailand, and an antique map of Bangkok in the deluxe rooms provides an interesting conversation piece.

The 307 new 42-square-metre deluxe and premier guestrooms in one king size bed or two double bed configurations can accommodate up to three adults or two adults and a child, and feature an en-suite marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate glass enclosed shower.

Four room categories are available: Deluxe Room; deluxe view room; premier room; and premier view room.  The view category rooms expansive windows reveal the hotel’s tropical gardens; swimming pool; or the immaculate private golf course of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in the heart of one of the world’s most enigmatic capital cities.

Ideal for business travellers, some of the deluxe and premier guestrooms are located on the hotel’s exclusive Kasara Floor where, at a daily fee, guests are afforded access to the Kasara Executive Lounge with all-day dining; dedicated Concierge and business services; and private meeting facilities.

The addition of a complimentary Handy smartphone in every room allows guests to keep in touch with family and friends with unlimited international calls and texts to 25 countries, and 4G and preloaded popular apps to explore Bangkok with ease.

The refurbishment of its Deluxe and Premier guestrooms completes a 470 THB million project that also saw the upgrade of Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel’s suites and public spaces.

 

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In Remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej 1927 – 2016

This month, SALA Hospitality joins the Thai people in mourning and bidding farewell to the nation’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who for over 70 years has been Thailand’s guiding light.

The royal cremation ceremony is scheduled to take place from October 25-29, 2017.

On October 26, the Thai government has called for the public’s co-operation in refraining from organising all kinds of entertainment, with entertainment expected to be toned down from October 21 until the end of the month out of respect for the funeral ceremonies.

Following the royal cremation ceremony, the government will hold a month-long exhibition from 1 to 30 November 1-30, 2017 at the Royal Crematorium and Sanam Luang ceremonial ground in remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Sala Samui Choengmon Beach, guests interested to learn more about the late King’s life and work are invited to join special outdoor screenings of a short film about His Majesty. All musical entertainment and beach movies have been cancelled for the month of October, except for these two screenings.

Click here for more information about the Royal Cremation Ceremony

 

 

 

 

Soneva’s Secrets of Indochina Tour

SONEVA IS OFFERING a special Secrets of Indochina tour – your choice of a 3, 4 or 7-night cruise along the Mekong River on the Aqua Mekong – a 20-suite, five-star luxury vessel – to glide through the beauty of Vietnam and Cambodia.

Then hop aboard Soneva Kiri’s private cessna, departing from Siem Reap, to whisk you away to Soneva Kiri on the secluded island of Koh Kood. Retreat to your own pool villa or discover the lush island nestled in the Gulf of Thailand. End the trip in Bangkok.

Stay in The Siam, a hotel filled with bespoke cultural amusements and captivating design. Sip a cocktail riverside or venture out into the city. Book at least two of the three properties and get a 10% discount off the published rate and receive a complimentary Treepod Dining experience; a private Cinema Paradiso Experience; a cooking class; a private sunset cruise; a father & son picnic as well as a mother & daughter spa; or a cheese and red wine tasting with gourmet canapés, chocolates and ice cream and mocktails for the kids at Soneva Kiri.

For reservations, go to reservations@soneva.com or your preferred trade partner. Quote the booking code when making reservations: Secrets

 

 

Best Western Plus Wanda Grand Hotel Bangkok offering chance to win new car

ANY CUSTOMER booking an event or wedding at Best Western Plus Wanda Grand Hotel, Bangkok, from now until Dec. 10, 2017, will go into the draw to win a Mitsubishi Attrage valued at 456,000 THB. The winner will be announced on Dec. 20, 2017.

Best Western Plus Wanda Grand Hotel, which opened in 2016, is a stylish property that caters for both business and leisure travelers. It also has extensive function space, including the spacious Wanda Grand Ballroom, which makes the hotel ideal for all types of events, from corporate functions to social soirées and once-in-a-lifetime weddings.

“When we launched this contest earlier this year we received an amazing response,” said Rene Jewel, the hotel’s general manager. “Our meeting venues were already very popular in the local market, and this unique competition has made us even more appealing to event organizers.

“It resonated especially strongly with wedding planners, as couples dream of driving away from their “big day” in a brand new car.”

“We’re now entering the final phase of the contest and customers have just three months left to enter. We’re really looking forward to announcing the winner of the brand new Mitsubishi Attrage on Dec. 20 – it will be a fantastic occasion,” Rene added.

Best Western Plus Wanda Grand Hotel has four floors of meeting space, making it perfect for large or more intimate events. And the hotel’s convenient location, close to Bangkok’s expressway network, puts the entire city within easy reach – especially when you’re driving away in a brand new car.

For more information about this amazing contest, or to book your next event at Best Western Plus Wanda Grand Hotel,  call 02-582-8282 ext. 4520, visit www.bwpluswandagrand.com or check out our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bwpwanda.

 

 

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