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Within Laguna are many restaurants

Christmas Eve to New Year at Laguna Phuket

Monday, December 22, 2008
ONE radical change generated by the crisis in tourist numbers is the awakening of Laguna Phuket to the expat (and Thai) market on the island.

There was a time when the giant of the island's resort business looked inward for sustenance when its corporate tummy rumbled.

Beyond its borders and one or two billboards close to the resort, it was frequently remarked that Laguna Phuket's presence went almost totally unremarked.

Now the marketing push to bring customers to dine at the resort is everywhere, especially in local print and online.

The latest subscription email spells out a range of options over Christmas and New Year, emphasising the competitive prices.

These begin at 920 baht for a Laguna Beach Resort Christmas Day brunch and bounce on up from Christmas Eve on through Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day options across six resorts.

It's a surprise to see that kind of cooperation across the big resort destination's food and beverage outlets, which for years coasted along without spending to bring in island trade.

Mostly, the prices are quite a bit leaner than they once were. Is this a sign that the resort's 32 dining establishments are changing course?

Yes, says Ashleigh Brayshaw, Marketing Manager at Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket.

She makes the point that Gekko, the resort's beachside restaurant, has cut its prices and the intention is to now keep it open year-round, if patronage continues to improve.

''There was a time when resorts settled for guests just visiting a restaurant inside the resort once during their stay,'' she said.

''But now we are pushing that figure up towards two visits per stay.''

The new-found marketing push also means that local gourmands can enjoy the Tre restaurant, previously only available to Banyan Tree guests.

According to Natasha Eldred, the Assistant Director of Marketing Communications and a self-confessed foodie, the Chocolate Bomb there is ''world's best dessert.''

A set New Year's Eve at Tre will set you back a minimum of 5250 baht, while the Gala 'Heritage of Siam' Dinner on the Lagoon Deck comes at 11,550 baht per person and up.

Now that's quite a few Chocolate Bombs.

The Dusit Thani's Christmas Eve Gala Buffet comes at 2800 baht, with events at three restaurants spread across both days and a New Year's Eve themed 'Pirates of the Andaman' party at 9350 baht, with children half price.

Allamanda and Laguna Holiday Club have lower-priced offerings.

The Sheraton's beachside New Year Fire and Ice party comes at 7999 baht, but includes drinks.

Details and Reservations: Sheraton 076 324101, Dusit 076 362999, Banyan Tree 076 324374, Laguna Beach Resort 076 324352, Allamanda 076 362700 and Laguna Holiday Club 076 271888.

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