Archive - May 2012

Who will be the 2012 roving elephant reporter?
Soneva Group sells Evason Phuket Resort
Devarana Spas introduce Season Change Retreats
Salmon Steaks/Fillets in Aromatic Dry Red Curry
LeBua Tower Club’s Thai culinary class package
Lest this day pass unnoticed
Songkran tourism up this year
Two offers from Rayavadee Krabi
Making Thailand the Spa Service Hub of Asia
APSWC annual form set for Bangkok March 28-29, 2013

Who will be the 2012 roving elephant reporter?

 ANANTARA HOTELS, Resorts & Spas is looking for an elephant lover and budding TV star between the ages of seven and 15 to become its roving elephant reporter for the 11th annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, which will run from Sept. 12-16 in Hua Hin.

The winner will be featured in a video report on the event and enjoy an all-expense paid seven-night stay at Anantara Riverside Resort and Spa with an accompanying adult.

As the roving elephant reporter, the winner will do exclusive interviews with Cherry the Elephant Vet and director of elephants, John Roberts, and Thailand’s last Elephant Spirit Men.

“Being the winner of last year’s Roving Elephant Reporter was the most amazing experiences in my life,” said 2011 winner, 14-year-old Ann Skelly from Ireland.

“From helping with actual vet checks, interviewing the elephant experts and the players, including the New Zealand All Blacks and German royalty, to seeing the elephants up close was truly an awe inspiring experience and I wish all the entrants to this year’s competition the best of luck.”

To enter the competition, simply submit/upload a short video lasting between one and two minutes to

  • Press “Like”;
  • Go to ‘Share’ on the main wall
  • Click ‘Video’, where you have a choice of recording a video with your webcam or uploading a pre-prepared video and tell us why you should be chosen as Anantara’s Roving Elephant Reporter.
  • Alternatively, mail the CD to I Want To Be An Elephant Reporter, Anantara Hotels, 17th Floor Berli Jucker House, 99 Soi Rubia, Sukhumvit Soi 42, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.

The contestant with the best video entry, as voted by our elephant experts will be invited to spend seven fun-filled nights on a full board basis with an accompanying adult at Anantara in Bangkok and Hua Hin, including return flights, accommodation, daily activities and transport.

Soneva Group sells Evason Phuket Resort

THE SONEVA GROUP has sold its Evason Phuket resort to an international and Thai hospitality and leisure group. Price was not disclosed.

Evason Phuket will cease operations immediately and will no longer be operated by Six Senses Resorts & Spas.

“Although it did not fit into The Soneva Group’s strategic plans, Evason Phuket is a wonderful property that will continue to thrive under new ownership,”said Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of the Soneva Group.

“I would like to take this opportunity to give my personal thanks to all of the hosts at Evason Phuket for their commitment and hard work. We are working hard to provide alternative employment to as many hosts as possible. In addition, we have agreed a package for any Evason Phuket hosts we can’t employ elsewhere.”

The full package includes salary payment according to Thai law, plus one month advance notice, a bonus as per agreement with the union, health insurance coverage until November 2012 plus a job reference.

“This follows our initial strategy to focus on owning and managing our own properties and to work with just one brand, the Soneva brand.”

The Soneva Group, which is controlled by Sonu Shivdasani, sold Evason Phuket to a third party – a deal that is separate from the Pegasus acquisition of the Six Senses and Evason-branded resort and spa management contracts. The Soneva Group continues to retain a majority stake in Six Senses Hua Hin and Evason Hua Hin and Six Senses Laamu.

Devarana Spas introduce Season Change Retreats

DEVARANA SPAS has launched a holistic health retreat program designed to protect your body, mind and skin from weather changes.

The program, available to all Devarana Spas in Thailand and the Philippines, consists of a series of three Season Change Haven programs – Fedora Retreat, Umbrella Sanctuary and Cardigan Hideaway. Each combines life force spa treatments to enhance your well-being during weather variations.

The Fedora Retreat is designed for hot, humid weather and features a Yellow Color Therapy Hot Bath, Green Tea Turmeric and Charcoal Body Scrub, a Swedish Massage, using aromatic Tea Tree essential oil scent to help strengthen your immune system.

Rainy weather is a stressful time for many people, resulting in depression, fatigue as well as emotional and energy imbalance. The Umbrella Sanctuary will help bring your life energy back into balance through passive yoga stretching. This program also features Green Color Hot Bath, Sea Salt and Tea Tree Body Scrub, a Green Color Hot Bath and a Devarana Signature Massage.

When the weather turns cold, the Cardigan Hideaway will help to warm you up and strengthen your immune system. This retreat starts with a detoxifying Thai Herbal and Coffee Bath and features a 60-minute Detoxifying Cocoa Coffee Vanilla Body Wrap to moisturize and protect your skin from dryness; a Reviving Source Mask to cleanse and moisturize your faced; a cleansing body wrap with the scent of vanilla and chocolate; and finallyhm a 90-minute Aromatic Detoxifying and Contouring Massage with slimming oil to eliminate cellulite and reduce water retention.

Salmon Steaks/Fillets in Aromatic Dry Red Curry

Like Thai food? Then meet Mini C. That’s the pen name for Ob-oom Chutrakul, author of two cook books; executive consultant chef, S Cuisine, S Medical Spa; executive consultant chef, The Gastro; and managing director, Quintessentially (Thailand). She spent three decades abroad, returning to Thailand in 2007. While in the U.K., Mini C operated the prestigious Busabong Restaurants in London’s Chelsea district and became known as a celebrity chef, appearing as guest chef on a number of SKY Channel’s cooking programs. In addition, she shared her love for Thai cooking with audiences in 170 countries on TV shows broadcast over the Thai Global NetworkChannel 5


Serves 2 with steamed brown rice/boiled potatoes

Red curry sauce really goes well with salmon.  In this recipe, I have replaced the coconut cream with unsweetened soy milk or cream (if easily found) as coconut cream contains more calorie than the soy milk/cream.  Be careful when you cook with soy milk as it can evaporate really quickly so watch out as the sauce may get too dry too quickly or even burnt out almost completely

1 ½ table spoon ready-made Thai red curry paste

2 salmon steaks or fillets, total weight about 280g/10oz

½ tablespoons sunflower oil

225 ml/8fl oz soy milk

1 ½ tablespoons Thai fish sauce

1 ¼ teaspoon caster brown sugar

For the garnish

4 kaffir lime leaves, 3 torn and 1 shredded (discarding the middle stalk)

1 fresh red chilli, thinly sliced lengthways

Half-cook the salmon steaks/fillets by boiling or steaming until they are medium-rare.  Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a low heat. Add the mixed red curry paste and shredded lime leaves and fry for about 30 seconds.  Pour in the soy milk and stir constantly until all ingredients are well mixed and the sauce is steamy hot but not boiling.  Stir in the fish sauce and sugar.

Put the half-cooked salmon steaks/fillets into the wok or pan, cover the fish with a lid so that the heat is evenly distributed, and simmer for another few minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.

Transfer the salmon steaks/fillets to a serving plate and spoon over the sauce.  Garnish with the finely shredded lime leaves and chilli.

LeBua Tower Club’s Thai culinary class package

If you’d like to know the secrets of Thai cuisine from Thai master chef, Prayong Khundonging and explore Bangkok, you’ll be interested in a special Thai culinary class package at LeBua Hotel Club Tower in Bangkok.

The package starts at $769 a night for a two-night stay, and is available for up to four guests, and up to six people, when a three-bedroom suite is booked. It is available through Nov. 30, 2012.

The package includes daily breakfast; buffer lunch; one three-hour traditional Thai cooking class at Café Mozu with a five-course meal, where you’ll be able to sample your own creation, plus a 5% saving on purchases made at Bangkok’s Emporium and Paragon shopping centres.



Lest this day pass unnoticed

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 249 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.”

Songkran tourism up this year

THAILAND’S SONGKRAN FESTIVAL drew 140,000 international visitors and 1.26 million Thais to celebrations in 13 provinces, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya and Phuket.

Thai tourism was up overall for the month of April that saw Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok welcome 6000,000 international arrivals, up over 12% from 2011, and Phuket airport, where international arrivals were yup 16% over the previous year.

The festival is known for its water-splashing street parties that symbolize cleansing and purification ceremonies that harken back to ancient Thai traditions and rituals.

Thailand’s Songkran Festival is an annual highlight for visitors, with joyful celebrations and heart-warming traditions. Each visitor enjoys the cultural and entertaining activities that the Songkran Splendors Festival is best known for,” said Suraphon Svetraseni, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Two offers from Rayavadee Krabi

RAYAVADEE KRABI has two special offers that run from now until Oct. 31, 2012.

The first is Rayavadee’s Experience 4 Night offer that includes four nights’ luxury accommodation; three gourmet dining experiences; a 75-minute spa treatment for two; a choice of either an Thai cooking class or a private half-day rock-climbing lesson for two; daily breakfast; daily afternoon tea at the Raya Lounge; and round-trip transfers from and to Krabi International Airport.

Cost is 74,300BHT. For further information:

The second is a special offer for Canadian and U.S. visitors which features a free night for every night booked – up to five free nights.

To qualify, you must book by May 31, 2012, The offer is based on seasonable rates and applicable to all room categories. It also includes daily breakfast.

To book by email: or phone 66-75-620-740 or 66-2-301-1850. 

Making Thailand the Spa Service Hub of Asia

SEVERAL LEADING SPA PROVIDERS and suppliers have already been confirmed as exhibitors for the World Spa & Well-Being Convention in Bangkok Sept. 19-21.

The three-day show will feature a wide range of business resources for the spa and wellness industry, covering spa operators, spa education centers, spa product suppliers, spa consultants and architects and interior designers.

There will also be congresses and seminars designed to provide exhibitors with opportunities to build business connections and netword, as see what’s new and on the horizon.

The first two days, Sept. 19 and 20, is for trade visitors and Sept. 21 for the public. The event will be staged in Hall 4, Impact Exhibition and Convention Centre, Bangkok.

Andrew Jacka, president of the Thai Spa Association, one of the organizers for the show, noted that while the Thai spa industry experienced positive growth in 2011, the establishment of the AEC will pose greater challenges for business operators.

Local entrepreneurs will need to bolster their strengths to make Thailand the spa service hub of Asia. Andrew sees the convention as “a dedicated platform for the spa and well-being industry, which is expected to set new standards in helping to drive the industry forward to new levels across the region on the approaching AEC”.

Thailand is essentially there now, according to Dr. Manish Patwardhan, president of the Indian Spa & Wellness Association. “Anyone who wants to set up a spa always looks to Thailand as the spa capital of the world. I believe that Thailand can be a centre for an education and standard for spas. We are looking forward to promoting the event across India in order to establish more knowledge for India’s spa industry.”

Barry Worthington, director of the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition, added: “Other countries should look at Thailand for direction. I would encourage all members to get involved – as there are only a few trade exhibitions dedicated to the spa industry.

Tetsuo Shibata, director, Trade Co-operation Department , Japan External Trade Organization, noted that JETRO’s policy is to support any companies related to the spa industry in Thailand. He regards this as a good opportunity for Japanese investors, as well as for building a relationship and strength between Japan and Thailand. He also sees big potential for Thai spas to get a great number of customers from Japan.

For more information about World Spa & Well-being Convention 2012, contact Jaravee Kamolsiripichaiporn, IMPACT Exhibition Management at 0-2833-5126, fax: 0-2833-5127-9,  email: jaraveek@impact.or visit

APSWC annual form set for Bangkok March 28-29, 2013

ASIA PACIFIC SPA WELLNESS COALITION, which postponed its 2012 two-day forum, will hold its next annual forum in Bangkok on March 28-29, 2013.

Andrew Jacka, president of the Thai Spa Association and chairman of the Asia Pacific Spa Wellness Coalition, notes that the group’s Events Committee was continuing to plan a study tour for India later this year.

Half of APSWC’s board of directors is changed every year and that APSWC is calling for nominations. Anyone interested in joining the board should email Joy Menzies ( for a nomination form.

The current board comprises:

Executive directors: Chairman, Andrew Jacka, Thailand; secretary, Joy Menzies, Thailand; treasurer, Katharine Kelly, Singapore.

Directors: Association liaison, Dr. Manish Patwardhan, India; task force liaison, Sharon Menzies, Thailand; events, Sharon Menzies, Australia; government liaison, Cathy Turvill, Philippines; resource acquisitions, Florence Jaffre, Thailand; IT manager, Barry Warrington, Thailand; and education, vacant.

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