Archive - August 2013

Centara to open its 8th resort on Phuket in 2016
U.S. spa industry back to pre-recession levels
SALA Phuket offering 20% discount in September
Special rates for the Lost World Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya
SLOW LIFE symposium set for Soneva Kiri
Centara Grand Samui offering new package for meetings
Celebrating Mother’s Day SALA style
Michelin Star Chef at VIE Hotel Bangkok & V Villas Hua Hin in October

Centara to open its 8th resort on Phuket in 2016

Centara 8th resort contract signing

Left to right: Dr Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, senior VP for Finance and Administration, Centara Hotels & Resorts Suparat Chirathivat, VP for Development, of Centara International Management Co Ltd.: Prapharat Tangkawattana, VP Strategic Planning and Investment of Centara International Management Co Ltd.; Suthikiati Chirathivat, Centara Hotels & Resorts; Punnchalee Laothumthut, director, Adler Group Co Ltd., Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts; and Thirakiati Chirathivat, VP of Procurement of Centara Hotels.

CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS will be adding a second Centra value brand hotel on Phuket, signing a management contract for a new property being built in Bangtao.

Centara, Thailand’s largest operator of hotels, has four of its brands in Phuket, extending its reach across a range of tourism market segments. The management contract was signed at the Centara head office in Bangkok with owning company Adler Group Co Ltd.

The new resort, named Centra Bangtao Resort Phuket, is expected to open during August 2016.

“Bangtao is set on one of Phuket’s longest beaches,” says Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts. “This part of the island has become very popular with visitors, and we are delighted to be opening a hotel here.

“This gives us the opportunity to expand the range of our Centra brand in Phuket, where we at present have one other Centra property, at Patong, which is very successful.

“The new hotel will be our eighth property on the island, which indicates the strength of our confidence in Phuket as a world-class tourism destination.”

Chris Bailey, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts, says that Centara has a strategic expansion plan for Phuket, with currently four different brands to cater for specific market segments.

“We have properties in Patong, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Mai Khao Beach,” he says. “We also have a resort at Khao Lak, and two in Krabi.

“We have at present properties in Patong, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Mai Khao Beach,” he says. “We also have a resort at Khao Lak, and two in Krabi.

“Opening a new resort at Bangtao gives us extra strength in the Southern Thailand market, and extends our range in the value sector.”

Centra Bangtao Resort Phuket is a new-build project standing on 1.6 acres of land. Currently in the design and planning stages, construction will begin in July 2014.

The resort will have 150 rooms, with a swimming pool and sundeck. There will be one restaurant, a Cense by Spa Cenvaree, a mini-gym, a business corner, and a kids’ corner.

Centra hotels are designed to deliver the Centara style of service with quality accommodation and facilities, but without the facilities that may be superfluous to guest requirements.

Centra Ashlee Hotel Patong opened in 2010 and was the first Centra brand hotel. Now, in addition to the Laguna and Patong properties, there are two Centra hotels in Bangkok, one in Samui, and one in Bali. Centra Ashlee Hotel Patong is an eight-storey hotel with 110 rooms, set in the island’s premier shopping and leisure town of Patong, within a few minutes’ walk of the beach.

U.S. spa industry back to pre-recession levels

The Umstead Hotel and Spa

BUSINESS AT U. S. SPAS REBOUNDED to pre-recession levels, according to an industry study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, commissioned by the International SPAS Association (ISPA).

The study showed signs of positive growth for the industry with total revenue, spa visits, revenue per visit, total number of employees and the total number of spa locations all experiencing an increase over the previous year. The study covered the period May 2012 to May 2013.

This year’s annual U.S. study paints a very positive picture for the spa industry and reflects what we are hearing from our members. It is encouraging to see the total number of spa visits back at its pre-recession peak and even more encouraging to see total spa industry revenue reach a record high $14 billion,” says ISPA President Lynne McNees.

The upward momentum of the spa industry has positively impacted the over-all U.S. economy. In addition to generating $14 billion in revenue in 2012, the industry employs more than 343,000 individuals in the U.S. The total number of spa visits increased to 160 million and the average guest spent $87 per visit.

“The key message from this year’s annual spa industry study, as reported by a wide range of spas in the US, is the return to growth,” said Colin McIlheney, PricewaterhouseCoopers global research director.

“All the key indicators such as number of visitors and total revenues are showing an uptick and sentiment is also positive looking ahead to the coming months.”
The full 2013 U.S. Spa Industry Study will be released later this year.

SALA Phuket offering 20% discount in September

SALA Phuket presidential suite

SALA PHUKET is offering a 20% discount from the SALA Best Available Rate on every suite, any night with no stay restrictions during the month of September.

Four Pool Villa Suite categories are included in the offer. The suites feature the perfect configuration for families or couples traveling together, special events, or those who just prefer a little more space to unwind.

The four categories are: The 214 square metre SALA Pool Villa; One-Bedroom Duplex Pool Villa Suite, a two-storey suite of 333 square metres with a downstairs living room, outdoor balcony and swimming pool; Two-Bedroom Pool Villa Suite, designed for couples traveling together or families with choildren,447 square metres in size; and its Two-Bedroom Presidential Pool Villa Suite, 619 square metres in size and featuring two air-conditioned bedrooms, each with its own private living room and outdoor bathroom.

Special rates for the Lost World Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya

Centara Pattaya night

THE LOST WORLD themed hotel Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya is offering a special discount of 15% off its best available rates from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, 2013 for stays of two days.

Under the “2 Nights Stay” package, the rates begin from 3,485 BHT per night, plus service charge and tax, for a deluxe ocean-facing room, with breakfast for two persons included
Other room types are available under the package, including family rooms, with rates according to the room category.

Designed to an exciting Lost World theme and set around a huge water park that leads directly onto the beach, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya is a five-star resort, whose rooms and suites all face the ocean.

The water park includes free-form swimming pools, a meandering lazy river, waterfalls and water slides. With 230 metres of its own white sandy beach the resort offers a choice of water sport activities.

There is a fully equipped fitness centre, tennis courts, and recreational activities that include volleyball, table tennis, snooker and rock-climbing. Set in its own oceanfront village, Spa Cenvaree offers traditional aromatherapy, therapeutic massages and modern rejuvenation practices.

For more information and reservations, please contact tel. +66 38 301 234 or e-mail to

SLOW LIFE symposium set for Soneva Kiri

soneva kiri dock

THIS YEAR’S SLOW LIFE Symposium, sponsored by the Soneva Group, will be held at Soneva Kiri Resorts, Residences & Spas, located on the island of Koh Kood in Thailand from Nov. 7-10.

The 2013 symposium is built around the theme: Innovation through Collaboration and brings together leading influential environmentalists to lay the foundations for some of the most dynamic sustainability initiatives in the world.

This year some 30 business leaders, scientists, NGOs, renowned thinkers and policy makers will immerse themselves in a series of plenaries, panels and workshops to explore opportunities for both the business and philanthropic sectors to increase their positive impact on the environment.

As in past years, it is expected to generate a new set of ideas and solutions during three days and nights of discussions covering sustainable tourism, marine and water conservation, energy security and threatened biodiversity.

Chairman for this year’s conference is Jonathon Porritt, founding director of the Forum for the Future and co-director of The Prince of Wales Business and Sustainability Programme.

Tree diningJonathon was at the SLOW LIFE Symposium in 2011 when the WHOLE WORLD Water campaign was conceived. WHOLE WORLD Water( is uniting the hospitality and tourism industry in eliminating branded bottled water in favour of selling triple-filtered source water with a portion of revenues contributing to clean water initiatives around the world.

He was also at the SLOW LIFE Symposium in 2010 when the government of the Maldives and the BLUE Marine Foundation, led by Symposium participant Chris Gorell-Barnes, pledged to work together to protect Maldivian waters in a way that is compatible with and complementary to the country’s sustainable fisheries.

This year he will be joined by a distinguished panel of speakers from a broad spectrum of environmental interests including Sonu Shivdasani, the Chairman and CEO of the Soneva Group and the driving force behind the SLOW LIFE Foundation.

Soneva Fushi, the location for previous symposiums, and Soneva Kiri, produce their own drinking water, recycles 85% of their solid waste and rely heavily on solar technologies to reduce dependence on expensive and polluting diesel. Both Soneva Kiri and Soneva Fushi provide constant reminders of an environment worth protecting.

The SLOW LIFE Foundation is a UK registered charity (#1138811) which supports the development of innovative and imaginative projects whose impacts directly address social and environmental challenges around the world.

For further information,

Centara Grand Samui offering new package for meetings

Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui - Outdoor function 2

CENTARA GRAND BEACH RESORT SAMUI, with its prime Chaweng beachfront location, features an events space that is among Samui’s largest and now a special meetings package that includes lunch.

The cost is 1,500 BHT per person for a full-day meeting, or 1,300 BHT per person for a half-day event. Organizers can select a venue for the coffee break, with a choice of the pre-function room, the garden or the beach.

Complimentary free-flow soft drinks are provided during the lunch break if there are more than 60 participants, and free Wi-Fi for participants.

Thai cooking classes can be arranged at a special 30% discount, and there is also a great 30% discount on the Spa Cenvaree à la carte menu.

Bookings can be made through using the booking code CSBRMICE01.

Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui is located in the centre of Chaweng, the island’s main leisure, shopping and entertainment resort town, with a prime beachfront setting and extensive gardens. The hotel, which is designed in colonial style, has 203 rooms and suites, plus function rooms that can accommodate up to 200 guests for meetings and receptions. The gardens make a delightful setting for outdoor functions and receptions.

For more information and reservations, call 66 77 230 500 or e-mail to

Celebrating Mother’s Day SALA style

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MOTHER’S DAY is a national holiday in Thailand, where it is celebrated on Aug. 12. It coincides with the birthday of Queen Sirikit.

During the month of August, Thai homes and public places are decorated with portraits of Queen Sirikit. In the morning, an alms-giving ceremony will be held followed by country-wide candle-lighting ceremonies and fireworks in the evening.

While celebrated throughout the kingdom, the Queen’s birthday is especially celebrated in Bangkok along Ratchadamnoen Road and the areas surrounding the Grand Palace.

To mark the occasion, the SALA Hospitality Group is offering a range of dining promotions throughout its properties in true SALA style.

SALA Rattanakosin Bangkok suggests starting the day with a tour of the river via river ferry from the Central Pier at Saphan Taksin and take in many historical sites, architectural achievements and new developments on the banks of the Chao Phraya River along the way.

First stop: SALA Rattanakosin for a freshly brewed coffee or tea and a breakfast on the river deck, featuring a traditional English Breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Thai Omelet with Blue Swimmer Crab, pastry and sweet tropical fruits.

Just meters from SALA Rattanakosin, make your next stop at Wat Pho. Bangkok’s oldest temple and first university. It also houses the 46-meter long, 15-meter high gold-colored Reclining Buddha, a must-see. Then take a museum tour while you’re there. There are plenty to choose : Museum of Siam, Old Big Gun Museum, Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles and the Bangkok National Museum.

Take a break in the parklands on the river bank next to Tha Thien pier with some of your favorite snacks purchased direct from the many surrounding markets before boarding the Wat Arun ferry across the river to visit the picturesque Temple of the Dawn.

The return to SALA Rattanakosin Bangkok and take in the great sunset views from its rooftop bar before indulging in its Mother’s Day Seafood Set Menu. Contact for details.

SALA Samui 'Dining In The Pool'SALA Samui is offering an in-villa BBQ that lets you choose from three BBQ menus – The Earth Menu, with Wagyu beef, Australian Lamb and tasty sides; The Sea Menu, with Maine lobster, king prawns and a Valhrona chocolate dessert and The Essentially Thai Menu, with Rock Lobster and BBQ chicken prepared in aromatic Thai spices. Contact for details.

At SALA Phuket, you can take advantage of a family outing in one of the resort’s chauffeur-driven vehicles. Design a day of exploring and adventure from a list of recommended activities including elephant rides, the butterfly garden, the Big Buddha, mini golf and paint ball and much more. Contact for details.

Each month, SALA Khaoyai one of the many locally grown products from the Nakhon Tatchasima region. August highlights local spinach. Its special spinach menu offers three dishes, creamy spinach soup, chicken breast rolled and stuffed with spinach and a twist of spaghetti carbonara with a spinach highlight. Contact for details.

At SALA Lanna in Chiang Mai, you can indulge in an exclusive selection of dishes from Chef Mirko Lacchini every Tuesday at Italia with a special degustation menu. Contact for more information.

Michelin Star Chef at VIE Hotel Bangkok & V Villas Hua Hin in October

TWO MICHELIN STAR FRENCH CHEF Alexandre Couillon is coming to VIE Hotel Bangkok and V Villas Hua Hin where he will serve special dinners in early October.

Chef Alexandre is chef and owner of La Marine restaurant in the small fishing village of L’Hermbaudiere on Noirmoutier Island on the Vendée coast. He is a former student of Michel Guérard, one of the founders of nouvelle French cuisine and since then, he has been making quite a name for himself.

He was awarded the Hope Trophee, a recognition among young chefs deemed best to represent the future of French gastronomy, and in 2007, earned his first Michelin star. The following year he was named the Grand Chef de Demain by respected critic Gault Millau. He received his second Michelin star in 2013.

Chef Alexandre has been described as a superb “fish cook” due to his excellent handling of the changing catch of the day, with stylish and complex recipes.

He will serve a six-course dinner at VIE Hotel Bangkok on Friday, Oct. 4 and at V Villas Hua Hin on Saturday, Oct. 5. Both dinners will include his famous homemade seaweed bread, using the natural sea salt of Noirmoutier Island, and seafood dishes that have earned him world-wide recognition.

His appearance is being supported by Kasikorn Bank (K Bank) and Advance Info Service Plc.

For more information, call 02 309 3939 or e-mail :

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