Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Chateau de Bangkok Applauds Thai Government Decision to Scrap Visa Fees

Chateau de Bangkok, a leading Thai hotel, has applauded the government's recent plan to scrap visa fees. The Bangkok hotel expects business to boom, with up to a 20% increase in visitor numbers.

Chateau de Bangkok, a leading Bangkok boutique hotel, expects profits to soar with the introduction of a new government plan to scrap visa fees.

Ms. Somrudee Nooner, the hotel's director of sales and marketing, says that "We should see visitor numbers increase significantly with a scrapping of the visa fee. A substantial number of our visitors are business related, and

they will save up to US$150 on a tourist, multiple entry visa."

The visa rates were increased by the previous Thai government in 2007, to US$60 for a single tourist entry, US$150 for multiple tourist entries or APEC multiple entries, and US$300 for a non-immigrant Business and Work visa.

"The savings would allow several extra nights stay in Thailand, and should help boost our occupancy rates", Mr Nooner continued.

The government plan to waive visa fees is part of a tourism stimulus package, which also includes discounted aircraft landing fees. These and other incentives are part of a one billion Thai baht stimulus package. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is projecting 14.8 million visitors will land in Thailand this year.

Mr Nooner believes the global financial crisis will actually be of benefit to countries like Thailand: "Our cost of living is much lower than in Western countries, and luxury Bangkok hotels cost the same amount as low-end hotels in Western cities. I believe Thailand will have a greater share of global tourism, even if numbers are down."

"This will help Chateau de Bangkok grow its base of customers that return to our boutique Bangkok hotel again and again", he continued. The visa fee will be waived for nationals of 41 countries, identified by the government as key source markets. It is these nationals which realize the greatest savings by vacationing in Thailand, according to Mr Nooner.

About Chateau de Bangkok:

Chateau de Bangkok is a 4-star boutique hotel, conveniently located only minutes from the Skytrain, Sukhumvit Road and some of Thailand's best shopping, dining, and nature reserves. It is described as 'an oasis of continental luxury, spacious relaxation and attentive service, all within minutes of Bangkok's world-fmaous attractions'. Room facilities at Chateau de Bangkok include Jacuzzis, fully equipped kitchens, separate living and sleeping areas, and state of the art technology. A fitness center, pool, steam room and sauna ensure that guests feel as invigorated as they do relaxed. Chateau de Bangkok consistently exceeds visitor expectations.

For more information contact Somrudee Nooner, Director of Sales & Marketing, Chateau de Bangkok
Email: dos@chateaubkk.com

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The new chef at the helm of Chateau de Bangkok

Yvon, The new chef at the helm of Chateau de Bangkok : Lunch buffet 420 Bht net only. 100 metrers from BTS Ploenchit 500 metrers from Lumpini night Bazar

Monday, 10 November 2008

Koh Samui - A New Luxury Destination in Thailand

Koh Samui, also known as Samui, is Thailand's one of the most idyllic islands, located in the Gulf of Thailand. Situated about 85 km east of Surat Thani and about 700 km south of Bangkok, Koh Samui is the largest island on the Gulf of Siam and third largest island in Thailand, other two being Phuket and Ko Chang. Sometimes Koh Samui is also referred to as Coconut Island because of its countless number of coconut palms, harvesting more than two million coconuts per month.

Koh Samui's prime attraction is undoubtedly its serene environment blessed with mountainous jungle terrains, luxuriant tropical ferns, swaying coconut palms, long stretch of pristine white sandy beaches, granite boulders, clear blue water, superb waterfalls, and sparkling ponds. Hence, it is no wonder why foreigners, particularly from Europe, flock here year-round.

One of the most popular among the Koh Samui's attractions is Wua Ta Lap, which has to its credit a stunning cave. Perhaps the most prominent attraction of Koh Samui is Pra Yai or the Big Buddha - a 12 mt high golden statue which is proudly placed at the northern point of the island. This astounding image is visible even from several kilometers away. Located at the southern part of the island, Na Thian Butterfly Garden is another popular attraction, providing opportunities to observe numerous species of butterflies. A well-maintained garden, bee house, and a Thai style house are also attached to the garden.

There are also some interesting destinations in the area, such as, Hin Ta Hin Yai, which are two renowned granite stones that stand out among numerous other rock formations along the coastline. These two rocks, literally meaning Grandfather and Grandmother are believed to be the origin of the Mui people. Landmarks also include the Samui Aquarium with a variety of tropical fish and marine fauna. Other worth visiting destinations in the area are Thale Nai, encircled by mountains; the statue Garden featuring an array of Buddhist and Hindu Statues; and Tham Bua Bok.

In addition, Samui is much famed for its incredible beaches such as Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, and Maenam Beach, each of them providing options to enjoy a range of activities such as fishing, boat chartering, and sailing. Further, Samui boasts of some stunning water falls like Namuang. Koh Samui is home to some of the best diving sites in Thailand, with a range of spectacular islets such as Koh Mad Lang, Koh Som, and Koh Taopun.

However, Koh Samui's enormous range of activities is more than diving and fishing. For instance, Koh Samui provides excellent options for bowling, with more than ten pin bowling. For shooting enthusiast, superb facilities are available to enhance your shooting skills at the Shooting Gallery, consisting of a variety of guns with live ammunition.

Some superb options are also available for adventurers in the form of Bungy Jumping in Chaweng. Equally fabulous is Samui's nightlife, with a range of happening beach bars, cabaret bars, rocking, and pubs. If you are looking for something different during your Koh Samui vacation, then spectacle a Muay Thai (Thai boxing) match or take a Thai cooking lesson under the guidance of some renowned Thai cooks. Likewise, take an elephant trekking for a unique experience.

A lot number of other choices are also available, such as Treasure Island Adventure Golf Course and a tennis court facility as well as a go kart facility. For weary travelers, a plethora of spa facilities are available to get pampered and relaxed. Majority of the high-end resorts and hotels render a range of massages and herbal treatments.

From elegant bungalows and sea view villas to beachfront resorts and world-class hotels, accommodation options are aplenty in Samui. Many of them provide top-class facilities including air-conditioned rooms coupled with en-suite bathrooms, lounge, kitchen, and dining room.

Facilities cover barbeque area, baby sitting service, and car rental. Further, majority of the villas and apartments offer maid service, apart from facilities such as superb swimming pools and complimentary airport transfers. Besides, there are also some fantastic options available for budget conscious travelers. Above all, most of them provide some kind of discounts for booking rooms in advance.

With these attractions and umpteen options to choose from, Koh Samui is unquestionably a luxury destination in Thailand!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

History of Hua Hin

Hua Hin, literally meaning 'stone head' in Thai, is one of the oldest as well as the most popular beach resorts in the country, situated on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Located about 200 km south of Bangkok and 85 km from the provincial capital, this resort town is much favored for its serene atmosphere comprising striking vistas, tranquil beaches, rainforest jungles, stunning caves, crystal clear water and clean white sand.

Once a typical fishing village, Hua Hin has now transformed into a well-established beach resort coupled with first-class facilities and traditional Thai hospitality. Attractions, among many others, are National Parkland of more than 2000 sq km and Teakwood Palace, which is 12 km south of Hua Hin. Hua Hin also provides excellent options to enjoy a range of activities such as elephant trips, fishing, beach cycling, snorkeling, and horse riding. Besides, Hua Hin is a golfer's paradise, with world-class golf courses such as Royal Hua Hin Golf Course and Lake View Golf Course.

Hua Hin boasts of a rich history. Throughout its history, Hua Hin has been known by different names such as Ban Samoe Rieng, Samoriang and Ban Laem Hin, until it got its present name in 1911.

In the late 19th century, a better option for traveling was introduced here, with the passing of the Siam Orasumphol - the first steamer - through many small communities along the Gulf of Thailand. The resort's royal connection, that has still to this day, began during the turn of the 20th century when Prince Chakrabhongse, a member of the royal family, came here for a hunting trip. Impressed with the tranquility of the area, he built a beach villa, which was first of its kind in Hua Hin.

However, the history of Hua Hin's transformation as a luxurious seaside resort dates back to 1903 when a railroad connecting Hua Hin to Bangkok was built here as a part of the Southern Railroad. As a result, the destination enjoyed the convenient access and it gradually began to draw the attention of nobilities such as members of royal people and aristocrats from the nation.

The first person to recognize the unequaled beauty of the place was Prince Nares, who served as the Minister of Public Works during the reign of King Rama V. As a result, he constructed an elegant residence, namely, the Saen Samran Royal Residence in 1911 at the southern end of Lam Hin Village. Subsequently, another bungalow, named Ban Plub Pa, was built by Prince Tewawongworapakorn nearby the Saen Samran. Again within a period of five years, a series of stunning bungalows were built by other members of the Royal Family at the northern end of the village.

In 1916, during the reigns of King Rama V and VI, the construction of southern railway line connecting Siam to British Malaya was completed. This in turn spurred the popularity of the place, and many elites of Bangkok society began to flock to Hua Hin.

However, until 1922, there were only limited accommodation and dining facilities for passengers taking a break at Hua Hin Railway Station. Understanding the problems, Prince Purachatra - the then Director General of the State Railway - took steps to provide better lodging and dining facilities.

As an outcome, in 1923, the Railway Hotel - a graceful Victorian structure coupled with a superb continental restaurant - was opened, which is today's Sofitel Central Hotel. Soon after this, the then king commissioned for road maintenance in order to build a golf course opposite the railway station. This led to the establishment of the country's first standard golf course, the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course. Later, the much famed night market, Talad Chatchai was opened.

After sometimes, inspired by the pristine beauty as well as natural surroundings of the place, Prince Prajadhipok commanded for the construction of Klai Kangwon Palace, even prior to his accession to the throne as Rama VII. On the completion of its construction, the palace was named Klaikangwon, meaning 'far from worries,' which in turn is still used by the members of the Royal Family.

Year after year, more and more attractions were introduced in the area by the Royal Family. Consequently, Hua Hin gradually shot to fame and became one of the sought after destinations, frequently visited by aristocrats from different parts of the country. Al though, badly affected by the World War II, Hua Hin managed to recover.

Today, Hua Hin is undoubtedly a holiday destination of international stature. Despite its amazing growth and development as a splendid tourist destination, Hua Hin still continues to be a peaceful sanctuary, maintaining rich as well as royal Thai roots.