Archive - February 2013

Strong outlook for wellness tourism in 2013
Second quarter opening for Centara Grand Resort Pattaya
Dates for 2013 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
Two SALA resorts recommended by Condé Nast Johansens 2013
Centara launches first loyalty program on Valentine’s Day
Luxury weekend package from V Villas Hua Hin
YTSB launch party at VIE Hotel Bangkok
VIE Bangkok welcomes Korean actor Chae Si Ra
Centara offering new wedding packages
Mid-week specials at SALA Khaoyi

Strong outlook for wellness tourism in 2013

Metropolitan Hotel BangkokWELLNESS TOURISM is expected to heat up in 2013, according to a forecast by Wellness Tourism Worldwide.

Its top 10 wellness travel tends forecast – based on consumer and business-to-business surveys, site visits, feedback from travel suppliers, destinations and sellers – health-focused hotels, reconnecting through nature, spiritual seekers, indigenous healing experiences, celebrity instructor retreats and inter-generational family holidays.

For further details, visit:

In other news from the Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition (APSWC), Andrew Jacka, president of the Thai Spa Association and APSWC chairman, noted that the Thai association has broken new ground with the launch in 2012 of its World Spa & Wellness Convention in Bangkok, attended by more than 4,000 visitors from 37 countries.

In 2013, the event will be extended an extra day to four days.

Andrew also reported that the Thai Spa & Wellness Awards would be adding new categories in 2013.

In other business, APSWC is seeking nominations for the following positions: Chairman, treasurer (must be in Singapore), and three directors – membership, social media and web guru.

APSWC’s annual general meeting in 2013 will be held in Bangkok at the Metropolitan Hotel on March 28. APSWC’s Strategic Forum 2013 will also be held at the Metropolitan Hotel March 27-29.

Upcoming events:

SpaMeeting Europe & Africa, Paris, France
April 3-4, 2013

Cosmobeaute Vietnam
April 11-13, 2013
 Siagon Exhibition & Convention Centre,
Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

SPATEC Europe 2013
April 24-27, 2013
 Abama Golf Resort & Spa
Tenerife, Spain

Cosmobeaute Asia
July 15-18, 2013
Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur

Thailand Health & Beauty Show, BITEC, Bangkok
July 25-28, 2013

World Spa & Well-being Convention, IMPACT, Bangkok
Sept. 18-21, 2013

World Spa & Well-being Congress, IMPACT, Bangkok
Sept. 18-21, 2013

Thailand Spa & Well-being Awards, Bangkok
Sept. 19, 2013

Second quarter opening for Centara Grand Resort Pattaya

Centara  Pattaya - Lobby - Reception Area

THE CONSTRUCTION of Centara’s five star Grand Resort & Spa Pattaya is now well advanced, with its soft opening expected in the second quarter of 2013, according to General Manager Dominique Ronge .

The nine-storey property will have 161 rooms and suites and is being developed under a budget of 1.1 billion bath, including land. The location is in the centre of the exclusive Phratamnak district and within just two minutes of Phratamnak Beach. Its design and luxury offer a club-like atmosphere.

The hotel will have an all-day restaurant named Oceana serving international and Thai cuisines and featuring a huge aquarium as its design theme.

Other outlets include a rooftop restaurant named Altezza that will serve Italian cuisine and comfort food against a spectacular setting of ocean and city, a casual outlet named Deli-Café, and a French-inspired bistro. There will also be a Spa Cenvaree, a fitness centre and a swimming pool.

Its location in the very desirable resort area of Phratamnak Hill, just 90 metres from the beach, its air of discreet luxury and its very high quality restaurants.

The hotel will also be aimed at the MICE sector, with its Excel meetings facility that offers two function rooms and an adjacent lounge. Centara expects that resort’s events facilities will be especially attractive for companies with business interests in the region, and for local and Bangkok residents organizing private parties and receptions.

Dates for 2013 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

Monk Blessing

DATES HAVE BEEN SET for the 2013 edition of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament – one of Thailand’s major and internatiomally best known events – attarcting tousands of visitors and raising more than $600,000 to help Thailand’s elephants.

This year’s event will be held in the Thai royal seaside town of Hua Hin from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, going from a small two-day event in 200. It is sponsored annually by Anantara Resorts & Spas.

Last year’s tournament featured 12 teams encompassing over 40 players, including German royals, Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein, his wife Princess Anna, the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby team and Thailand’s famous transgender cabaret team Miss Tiffany’s.

Fundraising from last year’s event has, to date, been donated to a number of projects in Thailand. The first is to continue to support research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children in Thailand living with autism. Last year saw the research to date published and a continuation of the free clinics for Thai children is planned.

In February the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), based at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Spa, will play host to a landmark “positive reinforcement training” workshop with traditional elephant trainers from throughout South East Asia.

The workshop will be guided by well known trainer Dr Gerardo Martinez and feature guest speakers from Thai universities.

This will be the first time positive reinforcement training for elephants will be introduced and discussed on a large scale in the range of participation. GTAEF’s work with Thailand’s wild herd has continued with Human Elephant Conflict mitigation and partial sponsorship of the Wild Elephant Counting Week in Kui Buri Royal Project area.

“One of the main aims of this event is to take as many elephants off the streets of Thailand as possible during the event. Last year we were able to take over forty street elephants and make sure they were properly fed, and received vitamins and veterinary care while at the event,” said Bill Heinecke, CEO Minor International and owner of Anantara.

“We must never forget the true meaning of holding this event and that is to raise awareness and as much money as possible towards the conservation and welfare of Thailand’s elephant population.”

For more information on King’s Cup Elephant Polo, visit

Two SALA resorts recommended by Condé Nast Johansens 2013


SALA SAMUI RESORT & SPA and SALA PHUKET RESORT & SPA have been recommended by Condé Nast Johansens for the year 2013. It is the third time these resorts have been singled out by the publication.

Now in its 31st year, Condé Nast Johansens is one of the most comprehensive illustrated reference to annually inspected, independently owned hotels. Its inspectors visit and assess almost 10 times as many properties than appear in its guides.

“We are honored to receive such prestigious recognition. Condé Nast Johansens is a highly respected publication, and to be recommended by them once again is a very nice compliment for our resort teams in Samui and Phuket,” says Brian Moodie, COO, SALA Hospitality Group.


SALA Phuket

Condé Nast Johansens has an unequalled collection of luxury hotels, spas, country house hotels, boutique hotels, inns, resorts, restaurants and meeting venues. Its portofolio spans over 65 countries – from castles in Scotland to exotic spas in the Indian Ocean.

Each property is specially selected for its dedication to the highest standards of comfort, unique personality, warmth and service, impressive facilities and surroundings.

Every featured property is approved for recommendation following an annual inspection by one of their team of local experts. If a property does not reach Condé Nast’s standards, it is rejected.

Centara launches first loyalty program on Valentine’s Day

Centara Press conference re new card

Centara CEO Thirayuth Chirathivat presents a Centara The 1 Card to Panadda Wongphoodee, Miss Thailand 2000, the first brand ambassador of Centara The 1 Card.

CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS today launched its first loyalty program, choosing St. Valentine’s Day to promote its new rewards card and theme – Loyalty from the Heart.

The heart of the new program is its new free Centara – The 1 Card. The card will enable members to accrue points that members can use for a free stay at any Centara hotel or resort, anywhere in Thailand or overseas – without any blackout dates.

St Valentine’s Day is, we feel, the perfect time for us to launch Centara –The 1 Card,” said Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts.

“We feel it will be of great value to our guests and customers, and a very heart-warming and giving way in which we can show how much we value them and how much we appreciate their loyalty.”

There are four tiers to membership — Classic, the entry level; Silver; Gold; and Platinum Elite. Members progress upwards through the tiers simply by earning more points.

At each level the rewards increase, with free room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout, pre-registration, guaranteed room availability, and much more.

Mr Thirayuth said that members of the program would find it very easy to earn points that go towards a free hotel stay. “They will earn five points for every 30 baht they spend when staying with Centara Hotels & Resorts, dining in a Centara restaurant, or relaxing in a Centara spa. And if they book directly through the Centara website and they will earn double these points.

“Members will also earn points when dining in a Centara restaurant or enjoying a Centara spa, even if they are not actually staying in a Centara property and will also earn points when they shop at any Central Retail Corporation store.

“As members progress through the membership tiers, their points carry a bonus rating, enabling fast progress upwards to the maximum rewards level.”

Membership in Centara – The 1 Card is free. It is also fully compatible with The 1 Card, the very successful loyalty program that is operated by Central Retail Corporation Ltd.

“At Centara Hotels & Resorts, we are very much aware that there are many loyalty programs in the market and have created what we feel is a perfect blend of benefits for those who wish to call Centara their second home.”

Chris Bailey, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts, said that the company feels the basic premise of membership will itself be a powerful marketing tool.

“A member will accrue points simply by doing something he or she would normally be doing, by staying in a hotel or resort, dining, using a spa, or shopping, and these points can then be redeemed for a free hotel stay.”

Centara – The 1 Card will be promoted in a variety of ways, via advertising campaigns, online and social media marketing, database marketing, and point-of-sale.

“We shall also be marketing through Central Retail’s The 1 Card, and we see that as being an exceptionally strong marketing tool, as there are in excess of 4 million members of The 1 Card in Thailand, and the number is continually growing,” said Mr Bailey.

Members of Central Retail’s The 1 Card will also be able to redeem their existing points for free hotel stays by taking membership of Centara – The 1 Card.

For more information, call 66-02769-1234 ext 2 or email  or see website

Luxury weekend package from V Villas Hua Hin

V Villas - 2 Bedroom Pool Villa

V VILLAS HUA HIN is offering a one-night, two-day luxury stay and a wine-and-dine-by-the-beach dinner with Michelin Star Chef Kei Kobayashi this weekend, Feb. 16 and 17.

The package includes a two-bedroom pool villas that can accommodate four people, an eight-course dinner with wine paring on Saturday evening and a champagne breakfast Sunday morning. Cost of the package is 39,000 BHT. If you opt for the dinner only, the cost is 6,000 BHT and with food paring with wines, 7,500 BHT.

For Michelin Star Chef Kei Kobayashi dinner and reservations, call 66-02-309-3939, Ext. 3705 or email

YTSB launch party at VIE Hotel Bangkok

YTSB Launch Party

VIE HOTEL BANGKOK launched its new Japanese sushi restaurant, called YTSB (short for Tellow Tail Sushi Bar) at a special party supported by Singla Corp., American Express and Cavalino Motor Co. Ltd.

VIE Hotel, led by Vicha Poolvaraluk, chairman of Major Cineplex Group PCL, played host for the evening. YTSB is located on the third and fourth floors of VIE 39. The third floor offers seating on its outdoor terrace and indoor sitting on the fourth floor.

Taking part in the event were, from the left: Yoji Kitayama, Japanese master chef of YTSB; Jirapa Akkaraj, general manager of VIE Hotel Bangkok and V Villas Hua Hin; Manasnan Panlertwongskul, actor and model; Vicha Poolvaraluck, chairman of Major Cineplex Group PCL; Nandhamalee Bhirombhakdi, managing director of Cavallino Motors; Anakkawat Kowathanakul, vice-president and head of consumer card at American Express (Thai) Co. Ltd.; and Hester Chew, chairman of executive committee and CEO, McThai Co. Ltd.

Centara offering new wedding packages

Wedding Photo 1

CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS has launched a new range of wedding packages with prices starting from 18,750 BHT at selected resort properties in Krabi, Samui, Phuket and Trat. The price for the package at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi is at 25,000 BHT.

These packages provide the option of Thai or Western ceremonies, with a choice of venues such as beachfront, the resort grounds, or a villa setting.

Wedding Photo 3Resort hotels available are Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi, Centara Villas Samui, Centara Karon Resort Phuket, Centara Chaan Talay Resort & Villas Trat and Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort.

The wedding package includes:

Wedding ceremony on resort beach; (Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi arranges at nearby beach and Centara Karon Resort at a choice of in-resort location); decoration of venue; bridal bouquet and buttonhole for bridegroom; sparkling wine to toast; romantic dinner for two including a bottle of wine; and elected properties offer in-room breakfast the day after the ceremony.

Additional optional services include:

Upgrade to Thai-style ceremony presided over by monks; assortment of wedding cupcakes; champagne tower; photography and/or filming of the wedding; beauty treatment for the bride; make-up/hairdressing; sunset cruise at Centara Grand Beach Resorts & Villas Krabi; and “Just married” elephant ride at Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort

For more information and reservations, call 662 101 1234 ext 1 or e-mail to

Mid-week specials at SALA Khaoyi


SALA KHAOYI is bringing back its mid-week specials, beginning March 1 and running to Oct. 31, 2013. The specials are good on stays from Sunday to Friday.

Under this promotion, stay for two consecutive nights in either a deluxe or deluxe balcony room and receive a 50% discount on the second night. If you book a SALA pool villa or a SALA pool villa suite, the second night is free.

SALA Khaoyai consists of only seven bespoke rooms and pool villa accommodations, fit out with natural wood and leather materials. The resort is perched on a scenic hilltop above the lush, green Khao Yai countryside with panoramic 360-degree views.

The resort’s facilities include the SALA hilltop restaurant, which serves Thai and international favorites as well as an infinity edge swimming pool. Massage services are available in the resort’s outdoor spa, in-room or poolside.

For further information or reservations, email

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