Archive - November 2014

Centara’s all-new Blue Marine Resort and Spa Phuket
Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket appoints new resident manager
December celebrations at VIE Bangkok
Centara expands Krabi portfolio to 4 resorts
Anantara’s Muay Thai boxing expert
VIE Bangkok’s Tellow Tail Sushi Bar selected for Japanese Cuisine Guide 2014
Latest spa trends: Educational programs, fundraisers, giving back
Amari Phuket gets ready to launch new Ocean Wing in June 2015
Classic Cars at Hua Hin Automobile Concours 2014
Breeze Spas’ new honey-based treatments

Centara’s all-new Blue Marine Resort and Spa Phuket

Centara Blue Marine Resort & Spa Phuket - Swimming pool

CENTARA BLUE MARINE RESORT AND SPA PHUKET is set to welcome this high season’s guests following extensive renovations .

Located at the northern end of Patong Beach with Kalim Bay and views of the Andaman Sea and a green backdrop of forested hillside, Centara Hotels & Resorts assumed operational management of this four-star resort in January 2014.

A renovation and rebranding program is now complete, and the resort will be officially re-branded as Centara Blue Marine Resort & Spa Phuket from Dec. 1, 2014.

Accommodation is a mix of 266 rooms that includes newly designed and renovated Premium Rooms, suites and villas. The villas offer a choice of one and two bedrooms, with each having its own private pool.

There are three swimming pools including a water slide feature, plus two pools for children. Other leisure facilities include a spa, fitness centre, Star Bar, Premium Lounge for Suite guests comfort and Centara’s signature  Kids’ Club

The hotel lobby and Lobby Lounge have also been completely redesigned.

The restaurants include Blue Horizons, which serves international cuisine, and Tropics Restaurant which serves more casual offerings beside the resort’s ‘Waterfall Swimming Pools’.

Meetings facilities are included, with the Mediterranean Room able to hold up to 180 guests for cocktails and other smaller venues and outdoor locations for parties, meetings and gatherings.

The resort has its own laundry, bakery and an off-site garden producing fruit and vegetables for guests and staff.

Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels and Resorts, said “we are extremely proud to add Centara Blue Marine Resort and Spa Phuket to our portfolio of Centara Hotels and Resorts within the Kingdom Of Thailand, and we are confident that with the over-all remodeling of the resort,  Centara Blue Marine Resort and Spa Phuket will add further impetus and confidence to our investors and guests that our strategy to place Phuket high on our list of must-visit destinations is reaping mutual rewards for all parties concerned.”

For more information and reservations, call +66 (0) 7637 0400 or e-mail to



Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket appoints new resident manager

Claude-Benjamin-Perera-hiA.L. CLAUDE BENJAMIN PERERA has been appointed resident manager at Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket. His appointment was accounted by Denis Thouvard, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket’s general manager.

Mr. Perera, a Malaysian national, brings with him a wealth of experience, having worked in the hotel industry for over 25 years. His experience includes time at Hyatt Hotels across the world as director of food & beverage in locations such as Indonesia, Singapore, Russia and Thailand.

Mr. Perera holds an NTC-2 Certificate in Food & Beverage and he speaks fluent English and Bahasa Malay. In his new position, Mr. Perera’s responsiblities include overseeing and managing the functioning of the resort’s six dining outlets, including: Award-winning Italian restaurant La Trattoria; Ruen Thai Royal Thai cuisine restaurant; the beachfront Casuarina Beach Restaurant and Pub, the all-day dining venue Laguna Café; the Poolside Cafe© and Horizon Lounge. He is also responsible for overseeing the kitchen, the sports & activities department and other areas.


December celebrations at VIE Bangkok

VIE Festive Celebrations 2014 (2)

VIE BANGKOK is planning four big celebrations in December, starting with Father’s Day on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014.

Father’s Day will feature a grand buffet, and a chance for dads to win a grand prize of two days and a one-night stay in a one-bedroom pool villa at V Villas Hua Hin with a Champagne breakfast for two. The cost – 1,100 THB per person.

A lavish dinner is planned for Christmas Eve that will include entertainment by VIE’s Christmas carolers. Dinner will be served from 7 to 10.30 p.m. Cost – 2,200 THB per person and includes a welcome glass bubbly.

For Christmas Day, VIE will offer a three course lunch from noon to 3 p.m. Cost – 739 THB per person.

New Year’s Eve celebrations start with a grand buffer dinner that includes a chance to win a grand prize of two days and one-night stay in a two-bedroom villa at V Villas Hua Hin. Cost – 3,000 THB a person and includes a glass of bubbly. Dinner will be served from 7 to 10.30 p.m.

The dinner will be followed by a New Year roof-top party, featuring special DJs. Entrance fee is 600 THB and includes two drinks. The party runs from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Accor AdvantagePlus members get a 10% discount.




Centara expands Krabi portfolio to 4 resorts

Centara new Krabi resortFrom the left: Suparat Chirathivat, vice-president, business development, Centara International Management Co Ltd.; Dr. Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, senior vice-president of finance & administration, Centara Hotels & Resorts; Thirayuth Chirathivat, Centara Hotels & Resorts’ CEO; Suthikiati Chirathivat; Prawith Deechaisatetha; Kanockwan Deechaisatetha; and Watcharaphon Deechaisatetha.

CENTARA HOTELS & RESORTS will expand its presence in Krabi with the addition of a Centra value brand hotel in the province – Centra Phu Pano Resort, Krabi.

Centara, Thailand’s largest operator of hotels will thereafter feature three of its brands in Krabi, 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 Chok Dee Suk, who beside their hotel interest are the family who own the Vogue Department Store which has been operating more than 20 years.  Centra Phu Pano Resort is expected to open in mid-2016.

“With its location in Ao Nang close to shops and entertainment spaces this resort sits in a unique location for our guests” says Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts.

“The area of Ao Nang is very popular with visitors, and we are delighted to be opening another hotel here.

“Since we opened our 5-star resort in Krabi in 2006 we have built an excellent reputation and have a strong customer base, allowing us to so to expand and add more resorts including Pelican Bay earlier this year. I’m very proud that Centara Hotels & Resorts is trusted by investors. We believe this newest property will also be very successful,” he said.

Chris Bailey, senior vice-president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts, says that “Centara has a strategic expansion plan for the south of Thailand, with currently three different brands across the region to cater for specific market segments”

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

Centra Phu Pano Resort will have 158 rooms, featuring a series of family rooms and connecting rooms especially designed and suitable for the Family market – all day restaurant with bar – a meeting room of 150m2 – a fitness centre and Swimming pool with a separate children’s pool.

The resort is conveniently located in Ao Nang and is just a short drive from the beach, shops and restaurants and is where many boats are available to take guests to the Islands.




Anantara’s Muay Thai boxing expert

Khun Ping at Anantara Chiang Mai

MUAY THAI BOXING is Thailand’s national sport, and for Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa’s Muay Thai expert Tanaphong Khunhankaew (nicknamed Ping), mastering this traditional martial art form has been a passion since a young age.

His dedication has reaped great rewards, from being a highly successful competitor himself and a trainer of world class champions, to a sought-after international instructor, as well as a referee and fight promoter.

Born and raised in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, Ping fell in love with Muay Thai as a young boy. “My uncle used to fight in local competitions and I’d spend every weekend at his house watching matches on TV with him. I was always practising my fighting skills with school friends and at 15 I started training every day at a professional Muay Thai gym. After just one month I entered my first competition and won it by a knockout. From that point on I was hooked.”

Out of 134 local and international competitions, Ping has won 112. When asked what it takes to become a champion, his eyes light up. “You need to be strong, have excellent technique, relentless energy and a courageous spirit. If you’re scared you’ll lose, so a strong inner will is essential.

“I train six days a week, between two and four hours a day, and up to six or eight hours if I’m preparing for a fight. Getting ready for a competition also takes great mind control.  On the fight day itself, just before I compete I pay respect to my mum, dad and trainer as this ritual helps me to get focused.  When it’s time to enter the ring I psyche myself up.

“Sometimes I know my opponent and if I start thinking he’s a better fighter, I remind myself that he’s just the same as me – he eats rice not iron, has two hands and two legs, and is only human.  I make myself feel like his equal. The mind is very powerful – if you believe you can achieve something, you will.

“I love the challenge of competing but I’m just as passionate about training and the psychology behind it. I’ve been a Muay Thai instructor at seminars all around the world, from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, to Dubai and China. To date I’ve trained over 3,000 people from all walks of life, from complete beginners to professional fighters and world champions.

“I use my training in other martial art forms like judo, jujitsu, tae kwondo, boxing and wrestling, as well as my Masters in Sports Science, to create training programs for fitness, weight loss, self-defence, mixed martial arts and competitive training.”

He teaches everyone on a personal level to bring out the best in them and build confidence. We find out what each person’s strengths and weaknesses are, and most importantly what motivates them. Two people might want to train for the same purpose but what it takes to inspire them might be very different.

The most important thing, he says, is to getting to know your student – what they’re looking to achieve and what keeps them interested to learn more and be better. He even teaches children and turns training sessions into fun activities so they don’t realize the games we’re playing are getting them fit and developing skills.

When he’s not travelling to compete, instruct, referee or promote other Muay Thai fighters, Ping can be found training at the gym, running up the steep 13-kilometre slope of Chiang Mai’s famous Doi Suthep Mountain, or training Anantara Chiang Mai guests from all walks of life, who are keen to get fighting fit with a true expert.







Latest spa trends: Educational programs, fundraisers, giving back

SPAS ARE PLACES devoted to over-all well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit. Several International SPA Association (ISPA) member spas are taking that a step further, and are focusing on educational programs, fundraisers, donations and other philanthropic gifts.

“Spas are great at customizing and responding to their customers,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “Consumers feel good about going to businesses that give back. Spas are successfully doing their part and supporting the communities that support them. The spa industry has been paying it forward for years and we are becoming more aware of the good deeds spas and their providers are doing.”

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Lantana, Florida, partners with the United Way of Palm Beach and Habitat for Humanity. In the process of renovation this year, Eau Spa will donate everything that still has value in Habitat for Humanity building programs, according to owner Eva Hill. The spa also contributed to Family First and Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse during the holidays, donating toys and clothing.

“We chose these charities because they do a great job guiding families to reach goals, and in the meantime they help them to get through hard times,” said Carolina Griffith, head of Eau Spa’s children’s beauty at coast program. “It is very important to give back to the people in need, especially kids.”

The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, New Mexico, chose a widespread approach to giving back and developed a philanthropic partnership with the Santa Fe Community Foundation after a membership survey demonstrated the spa’s guests’ dedication to the community.

The partnership produced the Las Campanas Community Fund, a permanent investment of 5 percent disbursed annually to local charities — as much as $75,000 dollars in 2012. “Our programs are founded and supported by members and have become integral to our operation,” said Todd Show, director of fitness, tennis and spa.

Some spas work philanthropy into both their mission and hiring practices. Spa Shiki at the Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Missouri, requires that, upon interview and hiring, each associate understands he or she must give one complimentary treatment per month to one of four local charities. The spa shares its initiatives with clients and asks for financial help during certain months, such as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“In giving I have received so much more back in return: Gratitude, great friendships, a sense of peace and fulfillment,” said Ann Brown, spa director. “I have also seen it truly change some of the staff’s attitude about life and being selfless.”

In addition to donating to philanthropic institutions and local nonprofits, Kurotel – Longevity Center and Spa in Gramado, Brazil, also partners with schools to promote healthier lifestyles.

“Health is the greatest asset that a person can possibly have,” said human resources manager, Deise Cristina Arend. “In the same way we hope to change bad habits in our customers, we also believe it is important for the people in our community.”





Amari Phuket gets ready to launch new Ocean Wing in June 2015

Amari Phuket

AS AMARI PHUKET BEGINS its 30th year of operations in 2015, it will also be getting ready to unveil a completely new wing with270-degree views of Patong Bay.

The additional rooms at the new Ocean Wing will occupy one of Phuket’s prime locations tucked in a tropical forest perched atop a hillside above the ocean.

The Ocean wing will add another 148 rooms, divided into one and two-bedroom suites with extra space for living including a kitchen and dining areas, bringing the total number of rooms to 345.

At the heart of the new Ocean Wing is a Clubhouse featuring a free-form swimming pool with a sun deck and pool bar. Additional facilities include a fitness centre and an exclusive dining and lounge area. Ocean Wing guests will also have access to the Amari Phuket resort facilities.

Commenting on the latest addition, Pierre-André Pelletier, vice-president, area manager South Thailand and general manager of Amari Phuket said:

“Phuket continues to be one of the most sought-after destinations among tourists coming to Southeast Asia. The launch of our expansion will set a new market benchmark in Patong and we are excited to see it come to life next year. With the introduction of the Ocean Wing, we will be able to cater to new market segments, including families requiring more space and guests, who are seeking a home away from home.

“Our members-only Clubhouse will also give us an exclusive facility for guests looking for peace and tranquillity on their vacation. We pride ourselves on nearly 30 years of operations and are we are pleased to be able to challenge ourselves to create new experiences for our guests.”

Less than a year ago, the main resort at Amari Phuket completed an 18-month enhancement period, which saw a fresh new look for all guest rooms, public areas, Breeze spa and restaurants.

A new guest lounge, Voyager was also introduced offering snacks and light refreshments, a wash and change area, library and selection of games to keep minds active. Amari Phuket’s Ocean Wing is set to open in June 2015.



Classic Cars at Hua Hin Automobile Concours 2014

  Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn-Modify

CENTARA GRAND BEACH RESORT & VILLAS HUA HIN, together with Dr Prachin Eamlumnow, president and CEO of Grand Prix International Co. Ltd, Prachuab Khirikhan, Petchaburi, Hua Hin Municipality, and with support from select five-star hotels in Hua Hin, are organizing the 12th edition of the Hua Hin Automobile Concours 2014 to celebrate the 87th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The event, the largest ever to be held in its history, will be held from Nov. 27-30 with the revenue generated after deducting expenses, being donated to the Chaipattana Foundation.

Initiated by His Majesty King Bhumibol, the Chaipattana Foundation is known for projects dedicated to improving quality of life and self-reliance. The aim of the rally is to raise awareness of Hua Hin as a destination and give the public a chance to view these superb classic cars.

The Hua Hin Automobile Concours features a fun-filled program of activities and fine dining, most of which take place at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin. Highlighted cars include a Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, displayed by Dr Eamlumnow, which was the most exclusive model of car built in England during 1949-1955.

The vehicle had been a birthday present for Chao Phaya Ramakob upon his returning to Thailand, hence its affectionate nickname“Ramprapath”. Queen Elizabeth II had also used this majestic vehicle during her state visit to Thailand when visiting His Majesty King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.

Benz 300 SL RoadsterThe three-days event bring together a stunning display of passionate classic car collections such as a Stingray Corvette 1963 by Sayam Sethaputra, 1958 Porsche 356 B by Sawad Horrungrueng. A 1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith by Dr. Surakiet Satienthai, along with vehicles belonging to Kiatichai MonsereenusornPoj Vitjittranon, and Wittawat Svasti-Xuto.

The classic cars will be a paraded around the Hua Hin as well as a joyride to the renowned Banyan Golf Club Hua Hin, where the cars will be further showcased and lunch will be served. The day will end with a spectacular gala charity dinner at Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin featuring the glamorous theme of “the Great Gatsby”.

Other activities will include releasing birds, fishes and turtles at Chang Hua Man Royal Project as well as donating of 87 bicycles and hosting lunch for the underprivileged children from four rural schools in Prachuab Khirikhan and Petchaburi.

Anyone interested in bringing their own classic cars to participate in the event or join the gala dinner, please contact Public Relations, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin.

Tel: 0 3251 2021-38 or email:

For more information and reservations, call. 66 032 512 2021 or e-mail to

Breeze Spas’ new honey-based treatments

Honey Spa treatment_low res

BREEZE SPAS are introducing two new treatments – an Almond Honey Body Scrub and an Oat Honey Cookie Body Mask – made from organic honey at its spas in Thailand.

The organic raw honey is harvested from Plan BEE, a part of the group’s CSR project to help preserve local biodiversity. Introduced in 2013, ‘Plan BEE’ established a rural bee farming project in the province of Krabi, where the local of community in Baan Kao Kram was provided with specialized training from an experienced beekeeper and the start-up tools for the keeping of the Asian Honeybee which is under threat of extinction.

Plan BEE is set in the lush natural forest of the region. The bees promote local biodiversity while providing the local community with an additional source of income.

With notes from the nectars of Krabi’s natural wild flowers, these invigorating spa treatments offer “a perfect guilt-free delight” to help restore the skin after a long summer.

With a special three months promotion across all Breeze Spas, guests booking any 90-minute massages will enjoy a selection of one of the treatments from the honey collection. The offer is valid from now until Nov. 30, 2014. For more information or reservations, visit,


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