PHUKET: South African Shaun Dunhofen has been appointed General Manager of Thanyamundra Organic Resort, with a brief to take the award-winning sanctuary on the fringes of Thailand's most ancient rainforest to new heights of luxury, service and style.
News of Mr Dunhofen's appointment comes hot on the heels of Thanyamundra garnering a slew of accolades and press, including a full page story in Conde Nast 'Traveller' in its widely-read and much anticipated May ''Hot List'' edition, elevation to regional title DestinAsian's Luxe List, and being named one of Asia's top three eco-retreats by global travel portal Agoda.
Mr. Dunhofen said he was ecstatic to read in the Conde Nast 'Traveller' story how guests would "wake up to the sound of tiny apes playing as the mist rises up jagged karst limestone mountains from a valley dense with coconut palms." The nine-suite resort and retreat is perched amidst the mist-shrouded mountains of Khao Sok National Park.
The resort is part of Thanyapura, Phuket's cutting-edge campus of world-class health, wellness, sport and educational offerings, including the Olympic-standard sports facilities of the Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club, the Mind Centre, and Phuket International Academy.
Commercial Real Estate Developer, The Castlewood Group Singapore, announced they are expanding the world-renowned lifestyle brand, Nikki Beach, in Asia, commencing with a Hotel, Spa and Beach Club in Phuket in 2013. Nikki Beach which has already seen massive success with its Koh Samui Beach club which opened 2009, plans to operate and expand its brand with Castlewood Group in Singapore, Koh Samui (hotel property), Bali, Langkawi and Hai Nan - potential investors will have the opportunity to own a slice of one of the hottest and exclusive properties which attracts celebrities and trendsetters alike.
Castlewood Group CEO Chris Comer said: ''We are delighted to contribute to the expansion of this hugely exciting and successful brand in Asia and offer our investors the chance to become part of the Nikki Beach lifestyle. The Nikki Beach Club plus The Nikki Beach Hotel and Spa in Bang Tao, Phuket will be our first offering to the market and will comprise a five-star hotel with 151 luxurious suites and a mix of 23 sky villas and exclusive villas all with private pools and gardens.
''In addition there is a 45 m free form swimming pool, roof top infinity pool with bar and lounge overlooking an external yoga area. Combined with the glamour of the Nikki Beach Club this will be the place to be seen in Phuket."
The latest edition of Elite Traveler, ''the private jet lifestyle magazine,'' reports that Sofitel Luxury Hotels have proudly unveiled the Sofitel So Bangkok, the second hotel under their Sofitel So label. Renowned Thai architect Smith Obayawat partnered with five of Thailand's most well-known interior designers, as well as fashion designer Christian Lacroix, to carry out the project. The result is extraordinary: 238 rooms and suites designed to illuminate one of four different earthly elements.
Four elements - water, earth, wood and metal - were used as inspiration for the guest rooms, while fire was saved for the hotel restaurant and dining locales. For desert, Chocolab allows guests to create their own chocolate and candy - an experiment they can also bring home with them.
Guests who stay within the first 80 days of the opening of Sofitel So Bangkok will receive the ''80 dollars, 80 days'' deal: An 80-dollar credit per room, per night. The savings may go towards a room upgrade, or be used at any of the hotels facilities.
DUSIT THANI LAGUNA PHUKET and neighboring Laguna Phuket hotels recently have been hosting the Thai holiday island's largest-ever corporate gathering. The resort development complex welcomed more than 18,000 representatives of Amway China for the direct sales company's annual month-long leadership seminar on April 16-May 15, as part of its annual reward program for top performers.
Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket contributed its diverse hotel facilities and resources, as well as its close proximity to Phuket International Airport, to this successful event.
Amway China delegates arrived and departed in waves to Phuket throughout the four weeks, experiencing a rolling program of dinners, business sessions, and sightseeing based at the seven deluxe hotel and villa properties on Bang Tao beach, Phuket's northwest coast.
The resort's flagship Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket accommodated delegates and co-hosted 21 grand Chinese buffet dinners, each seating approximately 900 delegates at the central Laguna Grove venue. Diners overlooked one of the resort's tropical lagoons while entertainment and laser shows were staged on a floating platform.
A PACKED delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled from more than 30 nations to attend WTA's Middle East Ceremony 2012.
Dubai's rapid ascendancy up the global tourism order was further strengthened after it was named ''Middle East's Leading Destination'' for the second year running. The emirate's insatiable appetite for pushing boundaries also led to a number of its hotels picking up awards, including Atlantis The Palm (''Middle East's Leading Resort''). Meanwhile Dubai International Airport was voted ''Middle East's Leading Airport''.
Dubai-based hospitality group Jumeirah enjoyed an evening of rich rewards. Victories included ''UAE's Leading Spa Resort'' (Jumeirah Zabeel Saray), ''Dubai's Leading Resort'' (Madinat Jumeirah), ''UAE's Leading Hotel'' (Jumeirah at Etihad Towers) and Dubai's Leading Hotel (Burj Al Arab)
The Fresenius Kabi Advanced Nutrition Course (FRANC) Asia 2012 was held in Thailand at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa from April 27-28. FRANC Asia brings medical experts in their field from Asia, Europe and South America for scientific discussions on current concepts and developments within Clinical Nutrition therapy, providing a unique forum for experience sharing and discussions within the field.
Professor Jonathan Asprer, chairman of FRANC Asia 2012 revealed that ''FRANC Asia has been well received each year with high attendance and active participation from top experts in Clinical Nutrition from Asia Pacific and Europe. Our aim is to generate discussion and advancement in Clinical Nutrition and to raise awareness of malnutrition in the region. FRANC Asia offers an exceptional opportunity for practitioners of Clinical Nutrition to learn of the most recent updates and cutting-edge developments, and practice excellence in Clinical Nutrition.''
FRANC Asia 2012 on Phuket welcomed more than 220 delegates from Europe and 11 Asia Pacific countries including Thailand, Vietnam, China, India, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong.