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SAii Phi Phi Island Village Inspires Next Generation of Marine Conservationists

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SAii Phi Phi Island Village Inspires Next Generation of Marine Conservationists - TRAVELINDEXPhi Phi Island, Thailand, January 4, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / SAii Phi Phi Island Village, the free-spirited five-star resort on the pristine Thai island of Koh Phi Phi, is celebrating the launch of another important environmental project by inviting eco-conscious families to experience immersive escapes that will inspire young minds and educate all ages about the critical issue of marine conservation.

Discover amazing Thailand during the Visit Thailand Year 2022 – Amazing Chapters

In November 2021, the resident marine biologist at SAii Phi Phi Island Village launched “SOS” (Save Our Sharks), an exciting new conservation project that will see the resort work hand-in-hand with experts from the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) to take care of bamboo sharks. From the incubation of eggs and larval rearing, to releasing the juveniles back into their natural habitat, this initiative will help to conserve this important species and boost the health of ocean ecosystems in the long-term.

This is the latest in a series of campaigns initiated by the Marine Discovery Centre, an innovative facility which serves as the nerve centre of SAii Phi Phi Island Village’s environmental efforts. This interactive hub houses indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, video rooms and aquariums, presenting a fascinating window into the underwater world and driving key projects such as coral propagation, mangrove planting, and breeding and release programmes for native species, including clownfish.

To celebrate the launch of SOS, SAii Phi Phi Island Village has created a new package that allows Thai and expat “inSAiiders” – including curious young explorers and budding marine biologists – to experience an engaging island adventure, with plenty of family-friendly activities and excursions into the mesmerising marine park.

Available for bookings made before 23rd December 2021, the “Marine Discoveries” package allows loved ones to stay together in style, with free accommodation and meals for up to two children aged 12 and under*. Guests will also be treated to a tour of the Marine Discovery Centre and an introduction to the SOS programme, plus a half-day longtail boat trip around the island and complimentary use of the fitness facilities, tennis court and non-motorised water sports, such as stand-up paddle-boarding and ocean kayaking. All guests will also enjoy daily breakfast, and a 25% discount on food, beverages and spa treatments throughout their stay.

Rates start from just THB 6,750 net per room per night, based on a Superior Garden Bungalow, and a minimum two-night stay is required. Other options include the Deluxe Sea View Bungalow (THB 8,000 net), Beachfront Junior Suite (THB 14,000 net), One-Bedroom Hillside Pool Villa (THB 18,000 net), Two-Bedroom Family Bungalow (THB 19,000 net) and the spectacular Two-Bedroom Hillside Pool Villa (THB 26,000 net). See package details here.

“Young people today care passionately about the environment and want to take positive action to help save the planet. At SAii Phi Phi Island Village, we can help them make a difference. Our Marine Discovery Centre provides a fascinating window into the underwater world; from keeping the beach clean to caring for baby sharks, we let our young inSAiiders play an active role in conservation, giving them a sense of achievement and perhaps even inspiring the next generation of conservationists and marine biologists,” said Nantiphat Saechao, Marine Biologist, SAii Phi Phi Island Village.

“We are also excited to unveil the SOS project, in partnership with the Phuket Marine Biological Center. Bamboo sharks are classed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), so this breeding and release programme will play a crucial role in protecting such an important species. We look forward to welcoming families to our resort in the coming weeks,” he added.

SAii Phi Phi Island Village is the Thai flagship property in the SAii Resorts portfolio, featuring a collection of spacious bungalows, suites and villas, five-star facilities and fresh brand concepts such as Mr. Tomyam, a casual poolside Thai fusion restaurant, Lèn Be Well, a standalone hillside spa, and M.I.Y Aroma Lab, where guests can create their own natural bathroom products. With its personalised approach and eco-sensitive ethos, this outstanding resort is ready to create truly immersive journeys for experience-seeking guests from around the world.

SAii Resorts is the free-spirited five-star lifestyle brand from S Hotels and Resorts PCL, the global hospitality company from Singha Estate PCL.

* Children stay for free in existing bedding, when sharing a room with their parents, and dine for free from the kids’ menu, when accompanied by an adult ordering from the regular menu.

Discover amazing Thailand during the Visit Thailand Year 2022 – Amazing Chapters

About SAii Phi Phi Island Village
SAii Phi Phi Island Village is a free-spirited five-star resort nestled in 70 acres of lush tropical gardens with an 800-metre stretch of powder-soft beach on the pristine Thai island of Koh Phi Phi Don. The flagship of the SAii Resorts portfolio, this exclusive hideaway features a collection of 201 contemporary bungalows, spacious suites and luxurious Hillside Pool Villas, with intuitive services empowered by the SAii App. Guests can unwind with full-service facilities including freeform pools, signature restaurants, a watersports & dive centre, kids’ club, Lèn Be Well spa, and the Marine Discovery Centre, an innovative and interactive conservation hub. Amid a paradise of swaying coconut palms and fragrant gardens overlooking the azure Andaman Sea, SAii Phi Phi Island Village blends intimacy and luxury with a spirit of discovery.

About S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited
S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited, the hospitality arm of Singha Estate Public Company Limited, is a fast-growing, Thai-inspired company with an extensive international portfolio and world-class standards. Specialising in the management and investment of high-quality hotels and resorts in desirable destinations across the globe, S Hotels & Resorts has created a collection of its own distinctive lifestyle brands, whilst also partnering with the hospitality industry’s leading names. The company aims to set new standards for leisure and lifestyle through diversified business platforms and to enhance value for all its stakeholders based upon a philosophy of sustainable development and delivering benefits to local communities.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Shinmonzen Hotel by Tadao Ando Opens in Kyoto

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Shinmonzen Hotel by Tadao Ando Opens in Kyoto - TRAVELINDEXKyoto, Japan, January 3, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / At the newly opened Shinmonzen Hotel heritage and contemporary creativity stand in playful contrast throughout the hotel in Kyoto’s historic Gion district. Despite its external appearance, it was built from scratch, designed by world renowned Tadao Ando, and dreamt up by hotelier Paddy McKillen as a little sister of Villa La Coste in France.

Kyoto’s new hidden gem is exclusively located in the beautifully preserved Gion Shirakawa and Shinmonzen Street. The Shinmonzen; a luxury boutique hotel designed by one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary architects – Tadao Ando with cosmopolitan interiors by Remi Tessier and other artist friends. The project has been a labour of love for over 10 years and has been designed for the modern travellers with a deep inspiration of an experience from a traditional Japanese Inn, Ryokan.

Kyoto’s new hidden gem is eponymous of ‘Shinmonzen Dori’ – known as The Street of the Artists, Fine Arts and Antique shops; a neighbourhood rich in arts, historical heritage and cultural legacy. Joining this artistic community and Japan’s cultural capital is The Shinmonzen; a luxury boutique hotel exclusively located in the beautifully preserved Gion Shirakawa and Shinmonzen Street.

The project has been a labour of love for over 10 years and has been designed by one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary architects – Tadao Ando with cosmopolitan interiors by Remi Tessier and other artist friends for the modern travellers.

For Tadao Ando, the starting point of the hotel, constructed on the site of a former parking lot, was balancing an exterior sensitive to its Kyoto surroundings with an interior evoking a sense of Europe. We were obliged to create a wooden façade and Japanese roof tiles known as kawara and we tried to design the outside in a traditional Japanese style, but a completely different new modern world can be found inside.

The Shinmonzen provides a highly personalized experience with Japanese Omotenashi as the core combined with the refined epicureanism shaped by our sister property Villa La Coste in Provence, creating ever-lasting memories of your trip.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Avani Riverside Bangkok Invites Guests to Explore Perception of Beauty

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Avani Riverside Bangkok Invites Guests to Explore Perception of Beauty - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, December 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / To offer guests a truly transformative experience this festive season, Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel has partnered with Bangkok-based art gallery Joyman to curate a visually arresting exhibition of contemporary art. Taking place from 9 December 2021 to 31 January 2022, the ‘Quantum Kawaii’ show explores the concept of beauty in the 21st century, as seen through the artistic vision of five Thailand-based artists working across various media, from digital painting and 3D animation to manga.

Rather than focusing on high or conceptual art, the show aims to be accessible to a broader audience, whilst posing important questions about living in today’s highly digitised society. Japanese manga fans will easily recognise kawaii references, while technology buffs will delight in the creative use of VR, holograms and other technology.

“In the age of the internet, when ideas and trends, whether it’s memes, crypto, AR or photo filters, spread with lightning speed, certain aesthetic values become common on a global scale,” said Bancha Wongchotiwat, the head curator at Joyman gallery. “With this unique show at Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel, we wanted hotel guests, restaurant patrons and art lovers to explore this globalised concept of beauty at the confluence of the digital and quantum ages.”

On the main exhibition area on the lobby 11th floor, guests will be greeted by a psychedelic motion collage on conjoined TV screens by Tyler James Bangkok, an American artist living and working in Asia. There will also have a dramatic virtual painting on VR glass by an award-winning Thai artist Ayino Verapong Sritrakulkitjakarn; a piece merging Sci-Fi stop-motion animation and hologram technology by Tarntara Sudaduang, a young Thai artist inspired by the cutest animals on earth which has been seen from extraterrestrial; a pop-art style sculpture by Bobby Leash who channels his love for Japanese manga and video games in his striking piece; and a dramatic, angular sculpture by MaMaMiya that evokes origami.

Art lovers can see these pieces in the lobby on level 11 of Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel from 9 December 2021 to 31 January 2022. Entry is free.

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First published at – Global Travel News

WTTC: China’s Tourism sector to Recover by More Than 60% this Year

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WTTC: China’s Tourism sector to Recover by More Than 60% this Year - TRAVELINDEXBeijing, China, December 27, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / If key measures are followed, the number of those employed in the sector could eclipse pre-pandemic levels. New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals the recovery of China’s Travel & Tourism sector has soared ahead of many major tourism markets such as France and the U.S., and ahead of the global recovery.

Before the pandemic struck, China’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP represented CNY 11.5 trillion (11.6% of the total economy).

In 2020, when the pandemic brought international travel to a grinding halt, China’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to the national economy fell by almost 60%, representing a decrease of CNY 6.9 trillion.

However, according to the research, and based on the current rate of recovery, the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP could see a year on year increase of 60.7% this year.

This growth is almost twice the global average of 30.7% and represents an annual increase of nearly CNY 2.8 trillion.

The data also reveals Travel & Tourism’s contribution to the country’s economy could see a further year on year rise next year of 40.4%, representing an increase of nearly CNY 3 trillion.

Domestic spend is expected to grow by 75% by the end of this year and experience a further year on year rise of more than a third (35.9%) in 2022.

However, while international spend, which is critical to the sector’s recovery, is set to grow by just 7.2% in 2021, next year, when China’s border is expected to reopen to major source markets around the world, it could significantly outpace domestic spend with a rise of 94.3%.

After a loss of more than 16 million jobs last year, when Travel & Tourism businesses in China and around the world suffered catastrophic losses due to severe travel restrictions and complete border closures, employment growth is set to rise by a minimal 3.6% in 2021.

However, employment growth could experience a more positive increase next year of 17.7%, reaching more than 80 million jobs in 2022, just 1.9% below pre-pandemic levels.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Our research clearly shows that while the global Travel & Tourism sector is beginning to recover, China’s recovery is faster.”

“Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic saw 16 million jobs lost from China’s Travel & Tourism sector. But the predicted rise in both international and domestic spend next year brings a positive outlook for both jobs and GDP.”

According to the research, the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP and the rise in jobs could be more positive this year and next, if five vital measures are met by governments around the world.

These measures include allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely, irrespective of their origin or eventual destination.

Secondly, the implementation of digital solutions which enable all travellers to easily prove their COVID status, in turn speeding up the process at borders around the world.

Thirdly, for safe international travel to fully restart, governments must recognise for all vaccines authorised by WHO.

Fourthly, continued support of the COVAX/UNICEF initiative to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.

Finally, the continued implementation of enhanced health and safety protocols, which will underpin customer confidence.

The future could be even brighter for China’s Travel & Tourism sector

If these vital measures are followed before the end of 2021, research shows the impact on the economy and jobs across China could be considerable.

The sector’s contribution to GDP could rise by 71.3% (nearly CNY 3.3 trillion) by the end of this year, and a further year on year rise of 43.3% (CNY 3.4 trillion) in 2022.

Domestic spend could increase by 85.2% this year, followed by a 37.9% growth in 2022.

International spend could rise 23.6% in 2021 and could experience a substantial year on year boost of 103.2% next year.

Employment could see a 10.5% rise this year, and a year on year increase of 20.1% in 2022, which would see the number of those employed in the sector eclipse pre-pandemic levels by more than 5.5 million.

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First published at – Global Travel News

2426 What’s Your Surname? My Café at My Beach Resort Phuket

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2426 What’s Your Surname? My Café at My Beach Resort Phuket - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, December 23, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / My Café at My Beach Resort Phuket will take all gastronomes to a flashback of the past into an era when surnames were still new in Siam or Thailand in the current day. At that time, Thailand’s many delicious dishes still did not have prominent names and still relied on the Western culture and influence. Our locally made food was collectively called “Thai Food” from the development of the word “Eat Like Thai.”

Discover the origins of the name of dishes under the concept of “2426 What’s Your Surname?” a beautiful journey led by Chef Tai Nutchtakamol Songkhramsee, our guest chef, the owner of Tanya’s restaurant, and a figure widely recognised as the hidden jewel in Hua-Hin’s restaurant industry.

For centuries, inhabitants of Thailand did not have surnames, and all went by similar first names. 2426 BE was the first time when postal communications were introduced in Thailand and required people to be distinguished by the given and surnames, which were usually the given names of their parents. Therefore, when the postman went out to deliver mail, a question that was frequently asked was “What’s your surname?” in order to ensure that mail was delivered to its correct recipients. Comparably, Thai dishes during that era did not have names to refer to. Recipes were not recorded making it difficult to recreate dishes, and it was during this similar period that the first Thai cookbook ever recorded, the “Mae Krua Hua Pa” cookbook, appeared. This cookbook and other cookbooks during the same era had become the inspiration of our dining event along with the integration of Chef Tai’s family recipes passed down through generations, making this meal exceptional.

This dining experience at 2426 What’s Your Surname? will make you feel as if you were dining at a friend’s place, and they were telling you stories about each dish you are enjoying. Hors’ d’oeuvres will begin with Macaroni cooked with pineapple curry and dressed in horseshoe crab eggs, followed by a combination of old meets new – Steamed curried fish served in jelly form. The next dish as part of our hors d’oeuvre is a bite of Mun Luem Gluen, mashed potatoes topped with garlic and pepper shrimp. For appetizers, Kanom Jeen Poon or Thai fermented rice vermicelli dressed in grilled scallops and crab meat will be served followed by a soup, Tom Plong Talay, a traditional Thai tamarind seafood soup with grilled giant tiger prawn, squid and salmon. For the main course, guests will be served Khao Sao Nam and Mussamun Som Za, or rice in seasoned soup served with orange infused massaman curry with a choice of meat. The dining experience ends with a dessert called Kanom Chang Ma, or traditional Thai sweet rice noodles in coconut cream. Come and join us for a wonderful evening of delicious food and memorable moments.

Our delightful food journey presented in a 5-course meal is THB 2,500++ (excluding beverages). Experience 2426 What’s Your Surname? from 23 December 2021 until 16 January 2022. For reservations, please call 076 305 066

About My Beach Resort Phuket
My Beach Resort Phuket is a five-star resort located on Phuket’s tranquil east coast overlooking the pristine Panwa Beach. The resort has been recommended by the Michelin Guide for three consecutive years from 2019-2021, commending the resort for its rooms with magnificent panoramic sunset view. The resort offers elegant guest rooms designed in muted earth tones, a restaurant offering authentic Southern dishes, a bar with panoramic sea views, boutique meeting rooms, fitness room, and many more activities for guests to enjoy by the beach.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Michelin Guide Thailand 2022 with 6 New One Michelin Star Restaurants

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Michelin Guide Thailand 2022 with 6 New One Michelin Star Restaurants - - SAVELBERG - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, December 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / In the official launch event of The Michelin Guide Bangkok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2022, Michelin announced awardees of the coveted Michelin Star, the Michelin Green Star, the Michelin Guide Young Chef Award, and the Michelin Guide Service Award. Featured in this fifth local edition are 361 dining establishments – with 6 two Michelin Star (all retained their status), 26 one Michelin Star, 133 Bib Gourmand, and other 196 selected entries. New additions to the Michelin Guide consist of 6 (all located in Bangkok) in the one Michelin Star, and 33 in the Bib Gourmand lists, together with another 51 in the Guide’s official selection.

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Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of Michelin Guides, revealed: “Due to lockdowns and dine-in restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries, the restaurant business has been on its all-time lows. Nevertheless, Thailand sees the opening of new restaurants with interesting cuisine types – such as street-food-inspired stalls and authentic Thai food from ancient recipes. Local produce and ingredients have been incorporated in the menu, as diners are increasingly concerned about living healthy lifestyles and food sources. This not only ensures optimum freshness that elevates the cuisine, but also encourages sustainability in the agriculture and restaurant industries that help boost up the local economy.”

“This year’s Michelin Guide celebrates Ayutthaya as the latest city introduced into the guide – yet the oldest and with the richest heritage among all. In addition, this former capital city of Thailand boasts historical charm and retains among the greatest history in Thai cuisine. We are thus convinced that our local and international readers will enjoy exploring this extended coverage of Thailand’s culinary scene,” added Mr.Poullennec.

Six New Entrants Joining the one Michelin Star List, While the two Michelin Star Listing Remains the Same

In the 2022 Michelin Guide Thailand edition, two Michelin Star listing remains the same with 6 entries – namely, Chef’s Table, Le Normandie, Mezzaluna, R-Haan, Sorn, and Sühring. However, the one Michelin Star selection welcomes 6 new entrants, all located in Bangkok, namely: Aksorn, a Thai restaurant offering flavorsome dishes inspired by chef’s collected Thai cookbooks from the 1940s to the 1970s, with highlights including the coconut cupcakes with salted pork, and the fermented bean curd relish with minced pork and prawns;

Côte by Mauro Colagreco, a French contemporary restaurant with contemporary Riviera-inspired cuisine that serves lunch set menus, à la carte dishes, plus a special nine-course “Carte Blanche” dinner – an Omakase experience where every course is a surprise;

Gaa, an innovative restaurant offering an exquisite variety of Indian dishes transformed with modern techniques and presentation, plus a street-food-inspired tasting menu with a delightful balance of flavors, textures and aromas; IGNIV, a European contemporary restaurant serving up modern European cuisine – including its signature chicken nuggets and barbecue sauce – through a unique shared meal experience; Savelberg (new by relocation), a French contemporary restaurant offering à la carte and fixed menus that boast sophisticated modern French fare made from fine international ingredients; Yu Ting Yuan, a Chinese restaurant offering refined Cantonese dishes that emphasize nuance of flavor and strike the right balance of oil – with highlights including delectable Peking Duck and succulent Dim Sum.

Another 51 Eateries Included for the First Time in This Year’s Michelin Guide Selection
Apart from dining establishments awarded with the Michelin Star, the Bib Gourmand, and the Michelin Green Star; the official selection of the 2022 Michelin Guide Thailand edition also recognizes an additional 196 eateries that provide good meals, capably prepared with fresh ingredients and good cooking. Out of this number, 91 are located in Bangkok & Surrounding Provinces, 16 in Ayutthaya, 37 in Chiang Mai, and 52 in Phuket & Phang-Nga.

It is notable that 51 are first-time entrants (15 in Bangkok, 16 in Ayutthaya, 5 in Chiang Mai, and 15 in Phuket & Phang-Nga). Among them are Baan Suriyasai [Bangkok], a restaurant offering time-tested dishes drawn from royal recipes and bygone family favourites – including the savory 5-spice stew with boiled eggs; and the stir-fried crispy pork belly, fish flakes, and dried shrimp with seasoned paste; Phak Wan Noodles [Ayutthaya], the first and only restaurant in Ayutthaya where every dish is cooked using local greens called “Pak Wan” (Melientha), providing unique and pleasantly different flavors and aromas; Yangzi Jiang [Chiang Mai], a Chinese restaurant in a contemporary Lanna house, offering fresh, clean, and expertly cooked food – including the signature steamed scallop dumplings with black truffles; Juumpo [Phang-Nga], a restaurant offering many unique local “Baba” (Chinese-Thai) recipes – such as the Baba-style coconut milk soup with shrimps and Thai herbs, the chilli dip with shrimp, and the fried fish with sweet and sour sauce.

PRU Retains Its Michelin Green Star: The One and Only in Thailand
For the second year in a row, PRU – the one Michelin Star restaurant in Phuket – retains the Michelin Green Star for its sustainable gastronomy practices. As part of the restaurant’s initiatives, ‘Pru Jampa’ – PRU’s own farm that supplies vegetables, herbs and flowers – is where PRU puts the idea of permaculture into practice, while pursuing sustainability and supporting artisan producers. With seasonal, 100% locally sourced ingredients that determine its menu cycles, the restaurant offers a dining experience that combines culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitment, and stands as a source of inspiration both for foodies and the restaurant industry as a whole.

Michelin Guide Thailand 2022 Young Chef Award:
Ms. Garima Arora from Gaa
An Indian native, Garima was born on 9 November 1986 and is the first Indian woman to win one Michelin Star in November 2018. Her cuisine is focused on applying traditional Indian cooking techniques onto locally sourced ingredients. An alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu school in France, Chef Garima has worked alongside many world-renowned chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay, René Redzepi, and Gaggan Anand.

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Michelin Guide Thailand 2022 Service Award:
Mr. Thibaud Charlemarty from Côte by Mauro Colagreco
According to the Michelin Guide inspector, the whole service team under the direction of Mr. Charlemarty is professional and very well-trained. All service sequences were perfectly executed without any flaws. Staff are very approachable and polite. Information of each dish, including inspirations and cooking method, were clearly explained. All elements (excellent food, service, and atmosphere) encourage another visit.

Key figures of the 2022 selection at a glance:

6 two Michelin Star entries
26 one Michelin Star entries (6 new)
1 Michelin Green Star entry
133 Bib Gourmand entries (33 new, 6 promoted)

6 restaurants with two Michelin Stars
– Chef’s Table
– Le Normandie
– Mezzaluna
– R-Haan
– Sorn
– Sühring

26 restaurants with one Michelin Star (6 new)
– 80/20
– Aksorn (New)
– Blue by Alain Ducasse
– Cadence by Dan Bark
– Canvas
– Côte by Mauro Colagreco (New)
– Chim by Siam Wisdom
– Elements
– Gaa (New – Relocated)
– Ginza Sushi Ichi
– IGNIV (New)
– J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain
– Jay Fai
– Khao (Ekkamai)
– Le Du
– Methavalai Sorndaeng
– Nahm
– Paste
– Saawaan
– Saneh Jaan
Savelberg (New – Relocated)
– Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
– Suan Thip
– Sushi Masato
– Yu Ting Yuan (New)

1 Michelin Green Star restaurant

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First published at – Global Travel News

Kamalaya Sanctuary Koh Samui Embraces Philanthropic Partner

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Kamalaya Sanctuary Koh Samui Embraces Philanthropic Partner - TRAVELINDEXKoh Samui, Thailand, December 16, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / With an interest in preserving the original vision and integrity of Kamalaya, founders John and Karina Stewart have entered a strategic partnership with Thai-based businessman and technology investor Chakrit Sakunkrit who joins the world-renowned wellness retreat as a co-owner.

Kamalaya’s visionary founders John and Karina Stewart will continue in their respective roles as Chairman and Chief Wellness Officer of Kamalaya, both contributing to the operations and management of Kamalaya Koh Samui while spearheading the continued development of the brand and ensuring its legacy.

Kamalaya’s founders and the team of professionals and health practitioners will continue to operate Kamalaya Koh Samui in the way in which wellness travellers know, love and trust while exploring options to expand the reach and breadth of the Kamalaya experience.

Speaking of his investment, Mr. Chakrit Sakunkrit said: “Since its inception 16 years ago, Kamalaya has remained at the forefront of wellness, and now more than ever, the world needs Kamalaya. Thailand needs Kamalaya, wellness tourism needs Kamalaya, and most importantly our guests need Kamalaya. It is for the benefit of Thailand’s wellness tourism that I am pleased to have been invited to make this philanthropic investment into Kamalaya. It will enable the founders, John and Karina Stewart, to continue realising their vision and to help a great many people on their personal journey to lifelong wellness.”

Founder & Chairman John Stewart said: “We welcome Khun Chakrit with open arms, as our shared vision on health, wellness, and sustainable business, makes him the ideal partner for Kamalaya. Karina and I, along with our team look forward to working closely with Khun Chakrit and his network, combining our collective knowledge and passion in the fields of health, wellness, technology and philanthropy to continue to develop Kamalaya.”

Founder & Chief Wellness Officer Karina Stewart adds, “Kamalaya is a place where growth and transformation, a natural life process, will always be nurtured, guided and supported. We look forward to working with our new partner Khun Chakrit to enhance and add complementing capabilities and facilities to our existing service offering at our beautiful sanctuary.

This move ultimately supports the continuous evolution of Kamalaya, bettering its ability to remain a sacred place where our guests can re-connect with themselves and their natural surroundings. John and I are very excited about our new partnership and what it will do for the future of Kamalaya in the coming decades.”

Chakrit Sakunkrit’s addition to the Kamalaya family comes at a pivotal moment for international travel and global wellness tourism as Thailand’s borders re-open and the world-renowned wellness sanctuary prepares for a bright future.

Catering to the needs of individuals, Kamalaya launched in 2005 with a host of curated wellness programmes that addressed prevalent concerns of the time, including anxiety, loneliness, and discontent. Over the years, three additional programmes have been added. Now, after a long pause on international travel, the holistic wellness offerings at Kamalaya are more significant than ever before.

Throughout the global pandemic, Kamalaya Koh Samui remained open to guests. Now with the re-opening of Thailand, the team of hosts and health practitioners are ready to re-connect with guests and look forward to welcoming international travellers back to the wellness sanctuary for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.

About Kamalaya Koh Samui
Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa is a multi-award-winning wellness sanctuary located on the southern coast of Koh Samui, Thailand. Founded by John and Karina Stewart in 2005, Kamalaya offers a synergistic wellness experience that helps people reconnect to life’s potential and achieve optimal wellbeing, while integrating healing therapies from East and West, including customized programmes that approach Detoxification, Stress & Burnout, Enriched Gut, Sleep Enhancement, Yoga Synergy and Emotional Balance.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Phuket Hotels Association Welcomes New Leadership Team

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Phuket Hotels Association Welcomes New Leadership Team - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25 HotelsPhuket, Thailand, December 15, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Bjorn Courage was named as the association’s President and Sumi Soorian promoted to the role of Executive Director, while long-term leader Anthony Lark will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor. The Phuket Hotels Association, a non-profit organisation with 72 member properties, has embarked on an exciting new era with the appointment of a new senior leadership team.

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Bjorn Courage, General Manager of the InterContinental Phuket Resort, who has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, has been named as the Association’s new President of the Phuket Hotels Association, succeeding founding President, Anthony Lark, ex General Manager of Amanpuri, Trisara, and now Executive Director at HMD, Shinta Mani and Bensley Collection hotels.

Sumi Soorian, who has been with the Phuket Hotels Association since its foundation in 2016 and most recently served as Development Director, has also been promoted to Executive Director. A marketing and communications professional who specialises in project management and business development, Sumi graduated in the USA and has worked in multiple countries, including Australia, China and Thailand.

Bjorn moves into the role of President at a time of optimism for Phuket’s tourism and hospitality industry. The island was one of the first Southeast Asian destinations to safely reopen to international visitors when it launched the innovative “Phuket Sandbox” programme in July 2021, and its hotels and resorts are now gearing up for a strong recovery in the winter high season and beyond.

There can be few more qualified people to lead this proactive organisation than Bjorn. During the course of a 25-year career, he has worked with many of the industry’s most iconic brands, including IHG, Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Six Senses, and Mandarin Oriental. He also successfully completed Cornell University’s Executive Leadership programme.

“During these initial times of recovery from the Covid pandemic, I am proud to serve our member hotels, communities and destination to the best of my ability. I will strive to continue and further evolve the important work done by the association, working groups and member hotels to-date, especially in regard to our association’s three key pillars: Marketing, Environment and Education. Thank you to Anthony for his leadership since the inauguration of the Phuket Hotel Association and for continuing to serve the Association as Senior Advisor,” Bjorn commented.

Since it was founded in January 2016, the Phuket Hotels Association has grown to represent 72 of the island’s top internationally-branded and independent luxury and midscale hotels and resorts, comprising just over 12,000 rooms. Each of these members has made a commitment to the destination and, through the Phuket Hotels Association, are actively investing in a sustainable future through long-term environmental and educational initiatives.

Discover the Phuket’s Best Luxury Hotels at

Anthony Lark will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Association, alongside Bill Barnett, a founder of the Phuket Hotels Association and Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, David Keen, CEO of QUO, David Johnson, CEO of Delivering Asia Communications, Boon Yongsakul, Chairman of Boat Pattana, and Saharat Jivavisitnont, Executive Director at Jee Teng Hospitality Group.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Siam Piwat Unveils Super App to Delivers Extraordinary Experiences

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Siam Piwat Unveils Super App to Delivers Extraordinary Experiences

Bangkok, Thailand, December 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Reinforcing its position as the thought leader, Siam Piwat Company Limited, a leading retail and real estate developer, the owner and operator of Siam Paragon, Siam Center, and Siam Discovery, and one of the joint owners of ICONSIAM and Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok, is unveiling the ONESIAM SuperApp – the Universe of Extraordinary Experiences, which brings together experiences beyond expectations into a single platform. In conjunction, the company is also advancing its Co-creation initiatives by joining forces with innovative organizations, partners, retailers, and brands from across the world to create a premium global ecosystem that connects to powerful customer bases both locally and internationally, thus opening up a new world of business that can expand beyond all boundaries.

– Siam Piwat is launching a groundbreaking premium world-class business ecosystem that homes in on over 7 million affluent customers in Thailand and reaches powerful customer bases around the globe.
– Advancing its Co-creation initiatives, Siam Piwat is joining forces with leading partners across various sectors as well as over 1,000 premium and luxury brands from Thailand and around the world, onboarding them into its ecosystem of success, which links together platforms for content, loyalty programs, and digital assets.
– Siam Piwat is unveiling the ONESIAM SuperApp: the Universe of Extraordinary Experiences, which merges four universes of experiences into one, and introducing an all-new loyalty program that offers more rewards through VIZ COINS.

Ms. Chadatip Chutrakul, Chief Executive Officer of Siam Piwat Group, said, “Ten years ago, Siam Piwat completely overhauled its business strategies. We were the first to announce that our shopping centers would no longer be just places that sold products and services but would be venues that delivered fresh and unparalleled experiences across all dimensions that sought to inspire and offer endless value to people’s lives. Our business success was no longer measured in profit but rather by the ability to win the hearts of Thai and international customers. Since then, we have successfully transcended domestic competition and become the winner of numerous global accolades, making history and establishing strong customer bases both locally and internationally. Our success today is owed to the long-standing collaboration with our retailers and business partners, who are ready to move forward with us to revolutionize the industry and introduce novelty. The growth and success that we have been able to achieve together thanks to our mutual support is something we truly take pride in.”

Digital technology plays a critical role in business today as it has altered the business ecosystem and brought opportunities for digital systems to become interconnected. As such, a retail business no longer has to confine itself to the conventional limits of the industry and can now expand towards new business models through partnerships as well as integrate customer bases in such a way that will maximize benefits and deliver an astonishingly diverse range of experiences to customers through a single platform. Siam Piwat recognized this opportunity and thus began developing a premium Global Ecosystem that will connect its partners from around the world, so that every party can achieve mutual growth on the digital platform, all of which is all rooted in Siam Piwat’s business philosophy of Share Values and Co-creation for greater and more sustainable success.

Ms. Chadatip added, “Today, we are ready to launch into a new world where business can expand without boundaries and introduce the Universe of Extraordinary Experiences. In only 13 months, we revised our strategies and developed a brand new application with capabilities to connect to various types of platforms of our partners in the ecosystem. Under the guidance of Mr. Ariya Banomyong, Acting Chief Innovation Officer of Siam Piwat and CEO and Founder of Transformational, and our Chief Digital Officer Mr. Axel Winter, and with state-of-the-art innovations from various premier organizations overseas, Siam Piwat has invested over 300 million baht in the development of this application along with big data, with the primary goal of supporting the business of the retailers in our four shopping centers as well as over 1,000 local and international partners that we have invited to join this Global Ecosystem, forming the first-ever synergy of such scale. We are very pleased to introduce the ONESIAM SuperApp as a platform that enables businesses across 13 industries to engage customers, essentially placing them firmly into the daily life of the customers as insightful companions. The vision behind the development of the ONESIAM SuperApp that will enable the partners in this business ecosystem to fulfill the lifestyle needs of affluent customers are as follows:

1. Sharing Economy: Siam Piwat believes in the power that comes with the sharing of benefits to every party in the supply chain. The ONESIAM SuperApp, therefore, has been designed to bring benefits to all involved, including:

– Global customers: The ONESIAM SuperApp not only delivers the Universe of Extraordinary Experiences but also maximizes what customers gain out of each spending by transforming existing Loyalty Programs into a value creation system through which customers receive VIZ COIN in return under the specified terms and conditions. In addition, Siam Piwat also has plans to expand towards digital asset services in the first quarter next year in collaboration with various business partners.
– Participating retailers and stores from the four shopping centers: Siam Piwat has positioned the ONESIAM SuperApp as an Earn & Burn destination in order to boost sales, support brand building, promote spending, as well as foster steady growth for the participating retailers and stores.
– Business partners: The ONESIAM SuperApp will be a single unified platform that all the partners in the Global Ecosystem can utilize to advance their business and develop new digital products. It will also serve as a hub for VIZ COIN conversion and spending as well as a vast range of privileges and benefits, enabling all the partners to expand their customer bases on the platform without limits or boundaries.

2. Co-creation: Siam Piwat has joined hands with innovative organizations, partners, retailers, and brands from around the globe to kick off an exciting large-scale content development initiative in collaboration with world-class content makers as well as to create marketing campaigns, promotional activities, and loyalty programs. Members in the ecosystem can also co-create communities around customer interests. In 2022, the ONESIAM SuperApp will also be developed further as a space where customers can have fun and co-create content in each community.

3. Collaborate to Win: This marks the first time ever that platforms across such a diverse range of business types, including fintech, S-commerce, E-commerce, NFT, cryptocurrency/benefits, and metaverse platforms, are connected into a unified ecosystem in order to give Siam Piwat’s customers and partners access to all types of transactions in a single platform strengthen the platform. In addition, Siam Piwat’s partners can always think up and co-develop new digital businesses on the ONESIAM SuperApp.

4. Sustainable Growth for All: Siam Piwat’s mission is to ensure mutual growth for all members on the ONESIAM SuperApp platform, which will open up a new world of digital business that breaks down every limitations, leading to meteoric business growth, the mutual expansion of customer bases among partners, and the co-development of new digital businesses without limits. The platform will also help expand customer bases towards global citizens for sustainable growth.

Siam Piwat is among only a handful of real estate developers in the world to invest in developing their own platform for their customers and partners to bring benefits to all involved. This initiative is built upon the vision of Siam Piwat and its partners in the Global Ecosystem, who will come together and co-create digital experiences beyond expectations on the single platform. Siam Piwat approach for the experience management is customer-centric, which enables the profound understanding of customer behavior and needs, injects inspiration and delivers the unrivalled experiences while fostering the mental values and serving the consumers’ consumption demand in all dimensions with the ultimate services.

The new ONESIAM SuperApp will be launched on December 9, and membership is free and open to all. The ONESIAM SuperApp curates a selection of products and services based on each user’s interest and is capable of recognizing patterns in user behavior thanks to AI-based technology. In addition, as part of hyper-personalized marketing, the application can analyze purchasing behavior and predicts each customer’s next purchase, which in turn improves Siam Piwat’s merchandise management and creation of campaigns that truly meet customer needs as well as enhances the integrated experience for customers who are seeking an insightful companion.

Mr. Panthep Nilasinthop, Chief Customer Officer of Siam Piwat Company Limited, stated, “The ONESIAM SuperApp will be a portal to Siam Piwat’s ecosystem that will empower its members more fully than ever. Today, retail is no longer just a matter of transactions, but is also about building experiences that will maximize satisfaction for customers, which will in turn reinforce Siam Piwat’s unique innovative retail leadership.”

The ONESIAM SuperApp brings together extraordinary elements through the four universes of experiences below:

1. Universe of Shopping Experiences: Over 1,000 premium and luxury brands have accepted the invitation to become part of the ONESIAM SuperApp in early 2022. These world-class brands will be participating by offering their products on the platform, contributing exciting content, and developing loyalty platforms. Siam Piwat believes the integration of the partners and retailers into this ecosystem will mark an important milestone for Siam Piwat in delivering fresh experiences and rewarding privileges beyond expectations once again. In addition, Siam Piwat is also catering specifically to luxury customers, with dedicated features such as separate content, products, and services windows for them.

2. Universe of Co-Created Communities: Siam Piwat is collaborating with thought leaders, new generations, partners, and retailers to co-create an online community platform that delivers a diverse range of content around customer interests to drive engagement and inject inspiration into their daily life. Each month, customers will have access to over 3,000 pieces of curated content on latest trends from five main communities: Style (fashion and accessories), Glow (health, wellness, beauty, skincare), Feast (food, beverages, celebration), Travel (travel, art, culture, design), and Fun (sport, games, gadgets).

3. Universe of Infinite Rewards: In collaboration with its partners and retailers, Siam Piwat is launching a new revolutionary loyalty program that uses the VIZ COIN – each coin equivalent to one baht – to elevate the shopping experience at participating stores both in the shopping centers and online. Siam Piwat is also working with the loyalty programs of its partners to empower users with the ability to convert the points in their credit cards and member cards into VIZ COIN, so that they can shop in a more rewarding and convenient way. The more they shop, the more VIZ COIN they can earn and immediately spend. Furthermore, Siam Piwat is shaping the ONESIAM SuperApp into an Earn & Burn destination for the retailers and partners in its global ecosystem.

4. Universe of Unlimited Experiences: Starting from early 2022, members will be able to carry out digital transactions related to digital assets and digital utility through the ONESIAM SuperApp. In the first phase that aims at delivering experiences that go beyond the global retail, Siam Piwat has announced its collaboration with KASIKORN X or KX as its first partner to establish Coral – Super Simple NFT Marketplace (CORALWORLD.CO) to support and drive advancements in art, culture, and lifestyle, both offline and online, by Thai and regional artists, and a partnership with ZIPMEX for the redemption of exclusive collections with ZIPMEX Tokens (ZMT). These initiatives will pave the way for the second phase, in which Siam Piwat will be working with leading partners, such as X Spring and J Ventures, to deliver a comprehensive array of digital experience within next year. Furthermore, Siam Piwat is also preparing to expand its capabilities to connect the real and virtual worlds on a metaverse by joining hands with experts overseas so that customers can avail themselves of a diverse range of benefits through a single source, with more business development and digital activities in the pipeline for the ONESIAM SuperApp.

For the development of the ONESIAM SuperApp, Siam Piwat has partnered with various leading tech companies, such as Transformational and Perx Technologies, to create unprecedented digital experiences beneficial to both retailers and partners. At the same time, the customers will be able to avail themselves of a full range of privileges through a new Loyalty Program that replaces traditional points collection with the VIZ COIN, which can be earned and spent with greater ease and excitement thanks to the gamified experience. The Company has also joined hands with Adobe, who will be overseeing content management and personalization, and Huawei Technologies, who provides cloud services, with plans to partner with more leading companies to develop the platform towards fintech and digital assets in the future. Siam Piwat expects to garner 500,000 downloads for the ONESIAM SuperApp in the first three months and 5,000,000 downloads by the end of 2022.

The ONESIAM SuperApp is ready to team up with global privilege partners and retailers to deliver a universe of experiences that match customer needs with products and services more precisely. Thanks to the confidence and trust that the Company has earned from its partners through the years, over 50 companies across 13 industries have accepted the invitation to join Siam Piwat in co-creating this premium world-class business ecosystem. A preliminary list of the partners who have joined the ecosystem is as follows:

• Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
• Financial and banking institutions: BANGKOK BANK, Krungthai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya PCL., KRUNGSRI CREDIT CARD, Krungsri First Choice Visa Platinum, KASIKORNBANK, Krungthai Card, CITIBANK, TMBThanachart Bank, SIAM COMMERCIAL BANK, United Overseas Bank (Thai), Government Saving Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Thai), Visa International (Thailand) Ltd.
• Insurance: Bangkok Life Assurance Public Company Limited , Dhipaya Insurance Public Company Limited, Howden Maxi Insurance Broker Company Limited
• Information technology and telecommunications: True Corporation Public Company Limited, Total Access Communication Public Company Limited, Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited
• Real estate development: Sansiri Public Company Limited
• Hospitals: Bangkok Hospital, BDMS Wellness Clinic Company Limited,
Bumrungrad International Hospital, RAKxa Fully Integrative Wellness & Medical Retreat
• Airlines: Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, Bangkok Airways,
airasia Super App
• Automotive: Millennium Group Corporation (Asia) Limited
• Media and entertainment: Kantana Group Public Company Limited, Plan B Media Public Company Limited, VGI Public Company Limited
• Tourism and hospitality: Banyan Tree Bangkok, Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
• Digital assets: J Ventures Company Limited, ERX Company Limited, XSpring Capital Public Company Limited, KASIKORN X, Zipmex
• Technology: Transformational, Perx Technologies, Adobe, Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd., inCart by Muze Innovation
• Advertisement and content creation: Ogilvy (Thailand), D-production, And Friends ,Pentu-Penta Boutique Agency and Production House, Ease Creative and Production House, Team Jinto

Enjoy extraordinary experiences in the parallel world today at your fingertips today through the ONESIAM SuperApp, available for download on the App Store (iOS) and Play Store (Android).

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp Launches Family Jungle Bubble Lodge

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Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp Launches Family Jungle Bubble Lodge

Chiang Rai, Thailand, December 8, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / In 2019, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Northern Thailand introduced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travellers to spend the night observing majestic elephants in their natural habitat while staying in unique transparent Jungle Bubbles. Now the luxury resort is giving families and small groups of friends the inimitable opportunity to revel in this bucket list experience together, from the comfort of a brand-new two-bedroom Jungle Bubble Lodge.

Located in a lush jungle on the banks of the Ruak River, the Jungle Bubble Lodge accommodates up to four guests in 150 square metres of indoors and outdoors living space and is perched on a raised wooden deck offering uninterrupted views of rescued elephants and stargazing at night.

At a glance:
– Guests at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort can purchase the Jungle Bubble Lodge experience as an optional activity and spend the night from dusk till dawn, returning to the hotel in the morning.
– The fully climate-controlled Jungle Bubble Lodge consists of two bedrooms under a transparent roof, each with a king bed and an enclosed nontransparent en-suite shower and vanity; and a living room under a transparent roof with comfortable lounge furnishings, a minibar, and tea and coffee making facilities. Outside an 80 square meters wooden deck offers ample space for quality family and elephant viewing times with separate al fresco lounging and dining areas and plunge pool.
– Guests spending the night in the Jungle Bubble Lodge can participate in unique optional elephant experiences, including waking up in the early morning mist and joining the elephants on their morning walk through the jungle to the banks of the Ruak River, where the frolics and fun of a river bath demonstrate just how cheeky these graceful animals can be.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News