Friday, 30 June 2017


Universal Orlando Resort Volcano Bay
Recently named AAA's Top Destination for Memorial Day Travel, Orlando is unveiling some of the largest expansions in theme park history this week, from the enchanting alien world of Pandora to the island paradise of Volcano Bay. These historic openings are the culmination of a year filled with new offerings including phenomenal dining options and brand new resorts. It's one of the most exciting times to be in Orlando, where all-new adventure, thrills and family fun await visitors looking for an unforgettable summer vacation.

Find more information, including exclusive insider tips, opening dates and the latest news on Orlando's summer happenings, at
  • Universal Orlando Resort Volcano Bay, a brand new tropical island water park, will open May 25, 2017, featuring innovative, thrilling attractions and TapuTapu wearable technology for virtual queuing. The new ride, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon,opened as well at Universal Studios Florida.
  • Walt Disney World Resort: Pandora - The World of AVATAR will open as a new land at Animal Kingdom on May 27, 2017, which is the largest expansion in the park's history. Also at Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light is an innovative experience combining live performances, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. "Happily Ever After," a new nighttime spectacular, debuted at Magic Kingdom Park. Also new is Miss Adventure Falls, a family-style raft attraction, which opened at Typhoon Lagoon.
  • SeaWorld Orlando: SeaWorld's first digitally-enhanced ride experience will open June 16 when the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster. Electric Ocean, a new end-of-day spectacle event, will take place June 17 - Aug. 5. An all-new stadium show called Dolphin Days is now open, immersing guests into the world of the ocean's most playful ambassadors.
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort: LEGO NINJAGO World, a new immersive land, is a training ground for future ninjas. LEGOLAND Beach Retreat is a new property with 83 single-story duplexes, a themed pool and sandy play area.
  • iFly Orlando Indoor Skydiving opened a new facility next to WonderWorks on International Drive, which is equipped with two all-glass wind tunnels in an open single-story floor plan that allows I-Drive passersby to see skydivers in action.
  • Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is a brand new $30 million indoor go-kart facility on Universal Boulevard near the convention center, opening June 2017. The new facility will feature electronic go-karting, zip lines, bowling, racing simulators, a ‘sky bar,' rock climbing, laser tag and a full-service restaurant.
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opened Heroes and Legends, showcasing the heroism of America's early space pioneers by inviting guests to vicariously experience the thrills and dangers of America's earliest missions through high-tech elements and special effects.
  • Fun Spot America will debut a new wooden coaster this summer, dubbed the Mine Blower. The $6 million new ride will be 82 feet tall, run nearly 50 mph and include a barrel roll inversion, a rare element for a wooden coaster.
  • A brand new Multipurpose Soccer Stadium opened in a developing entertainment center a block away from the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. The 25,500-seat stadium serves as home to the Orlando City Lions soccer team.
  • Orlando became the new home of American tennis, when the United States Tennis Association (USTA) opened a campus in the Lake Nona area of Orlando. The 63-acre complex encompasses more than 100 courts (hard and clay) and a multi-use building with a pro shop, fitness center, locker rooms, cafeteria and players' lounge.
    Main Event Entertainment
  • Main Event Entertainment at Pointe Orlando is a new dining and entertainment complex with more than 100 virtual and interactive games, state-of-the-art bowling and the first free-roam multi-player VR game in the U.S.

The Mekong Riverview Hotel - beautiful boutique hotel that offers a personal touch

The Mekong Riverview Hotel
The Mekong Riverview Hotel is at the very end of the old town of Luang Prabang, which has been granted UNESCOs World Heritage status. The hotel sits on the junction of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers on the tip of the Luang Prabang Peninsula. The river views are rather special from this charming hotel.

I found the staff to be excellent. They were very friendly and helpful and went out of there way to make my stay a pleasurable one. Checkin was very welcoming and smooth at the 24 hour reception lounge. Complimentary coffee and tea are available all day in the lounge, and in the afternoon cake is provided.

After a welcome drink I was shown to my wonderful Deluxe Riverview guest room which I fell in love with over the following nights. My room was on the first floor overlooking the Mekong River, and had a balcony with comfortable chairs to enjoy the view.

It was one of only 22 rooms spread out within 5 buildings. These have been all newly constructed in classic Luang Prabang architecture.

My Deluxe Room at The Mekong Riverview Hotel
I loved the timber hardwood floor, ceiling and furniture in my large room. The timber is the finest wood you can find in Asia. Its local name is My Dhou and had a lovely reddish brown hue and looked charming.

In the warm weather I appreciated the complimentary soft drinks and cold bottled water in the small glass fronted fridge conveniently placed above the room safe. My room was fully air-conditioned and had an overhead fans as well.

The standout feature of my room was the Swedish king sized bed that changed positions by using a remote control. This meant that I could adjust the bed to suit sleeping, reading, or watching TV.

A writing desk was a good place to rest my laptop, and housed several informative books about Luang Prabang town and district. The free high speed wifi internet was fast and reliable.

The bathroom had a seperate toilet, vanity basin area and shower with a nice rain shower head.

Apart from the Deluxe Rooms, there are a variety of other room types available, including Standard and Superior Sideview and Riverview Rooms and Suites.

Viewpoint Café
A highlight of my stay at the Mekong Riverview Hotel was the complimentary breakfast offered each morning at the Viewpoint Café overlooking the river. The view of the Mekong while eating breakfast in this beautiful outdoor setting under the palm trees and umbrellas was breathtaking. The breakfast was both à la carte and buffet food and was very authentic and delicious. It included pastries, fresh fruit, delicious omelettes, crepe pancakes, bacon, ham, cheeses, various jams, and the best yoghurt I have ever tasted as well as the best coffee I have ever tasted. The Viewpoint Café also serves delicious lunches and dinners.

Mr Urban Paulsson, the owner of the, originally from Sweden, worked in a restaurant in Paris, ran a hotel in Sweden, and then travelled around Asia. He discovered the charm of Luang Prabang in 2004 and officially opened the Mekong Riverview Hotel in 2007.

My King Bed in my Deluxe Room
The Mekong Riverview Hotel is located on the tip of the peninsula where the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers meet. I think it is the best quiet and peaceful location you can find in town.

It is located within close walking distance to many places of interest in Luang Prabang. It is just next door to the beautiful former royal Wat Xieng Thong temple and a short walk into the town centre to the many other Wats, street vendors, cafes, restaurants and craft shops. A large Night Market is held in the closed off main street each night.

Sightseeing is easy, as the Luang Prabang Peninsula is flat and easy to walk around. The hotel offers free bicycles to ride around the town, and provides free rides on its Eco-friendly cart service. The hotel also offers free airport transfers both way.

The Mekong Riverview Hotel is beautiful boutique hotel that offers a personal touch to all guests. It is a home away from home. 

The Mekong Riverview Hotel

The Mekong Riverview Hotel

Address: Mekong Riverside Road,
Xieng Thong Village P.O. Box 183, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Tele: +856 (0) 71 25 49 00
Tele: +856 (0) 71 25 49 10
Fax: +856 (0) 71 25 48 90


Whats on at the Sydney Opera House

Fascinate yourself with First Nations feminism. Celebrate awe-inspiring artists, thinkers and doers. Taste your way through a spine-tingling degustation or see the sails light up at sunset. Breathtaking and culture-shaping experiences, it’s all happening at the Sydney Opera House.

Badu Gili

Daily sunset sails lighting
Launching tonight at sundown
Badu Gili is a new daily experience that will explore Australia’s ancient stories in a spectacular seven-minute projection, illuminating the Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sail year-round at sundown and 7pm.
Find out more

Opera Australia
La Bohème - on Sydney Harbour

23 Mar - 22 Apr 2018
PRE-SALE - On sale 9am
Experience the romance of the original Bohemian love story on the magnificent floating stage at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, the cultural event of the year.
Access pre-sale tickets

Hot Brown Honey

7 Jun - 2 Jul
Final week: An audacious platter of dance, poetry, comedy, circus, striptease and song, don’t miss this Helpmann Award nominated cabaret with a twist! Must close this Sunday.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Lukewarm Water Live
12 - 13 Oct
Pre-sale: Join Derek Smalls formerly of the band Spinal Tap, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his new multi-media extravaganza.
Access pre-sale tickets

Iron Chef All Star 2017 Dinner

2 - 3 Aug
Pre-sale: For the first time, the original Ironchefs Hiroyuki Sakai, Kenichi Chen, Masahiko Kobe and Rokusaburo Michiba will gather together to deliver an unforgettable charity gala.
Access pre-sale tickets

Jason Owen sings John Denver

5 Nov
Pre-sale: Golden Guitar and CMC Award nominee, Jason Owen sings John Denver, the 20th Anniversary album and tour. Hear all of Denver’s classics and Jason’s hit.
Access pre-sale tickets


Video Junkee 2017, a festival for creators and lovers of video, has announced an amazing line-up of speakers for this year’s inaugural event.

Taking over Carriageworks from 28 to 29 July, the program will feature the creators and stars of the hit Foxtel series Wentworth, and Raphael Bob-Waksberg from the Netflix Original series BoJack.

The festival is a two-day celebration of creativity and innovation in video, partnering with leading platforms Foxtel, YouTube, Netflix, BuzzFeed and ABC iview to present a series of talks, screenings, masterclasses and awards that bring together world leading and emerging content creators to discuss the golden age of video.

Video Junkee 2017 is presented with the support of Strategic Sponsor Destination NSW.

Visit the Video Junkee 2017 website for more information and to buy tickets.

Princess Cruises Expands Ocean Medallion to Australia and More Destinations within North America

  • Three More Princess Ships Join Fleet of Ocean Medallion Class Ships™, Will Provide New Level of Personalisation for Enhanced Guest Experiences

Princess Cruises, the world’s largest international premium cruise line, announced today that Golden Princess, Crown Princess and Ruby Princess will be the next three ships to feature the Ocean Medallion™. The wearable device -- powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform within the One Cruise Experience Access Network™ (O·C·E·A·N™) -- enables a new level of personalisation and delivers an enhanced guest experience not previously available in the global holiday industry.

Golden Princess (November 2018), Crown Princess (November 2018) and Ruby Princess (January 2019) join four other Princess ships scheduled to debut Ocean Medallion -- Regal Princess on November 13, 2017, followed by Royal Princess on January 19, 2018, Caribbean Princess on March 18, 2018 and Island Princess on May 16, 2018.

“With the addition of Golden Princess to the fleet of Medallion Class ships, we will make available a more personalised holiday to guests sailing in and around Australia,” said Jan Swartz, group president, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia. “And, as we continue to enhance our ships with the Ocean Medallion, we do so to further our commitment in providing our guests the most memorable and relaxing holiday.”

Some distinctive sailing news on these ships for the 2018-2019 season includes:
  • Golden Princess returns to Melbourne for a season sailing October 2018 to April 2019 with departures to South Pacific, Tasmania, South Australia and New Zealand
  • Crown Princess will be Ocean Ready™ for the Autumn 2018 Caribbean season. With this news, all Princess Cruises Caribbean cruisers will experience Ocean Medallion
  • Ruby Princess sets sails from Los Angeles for a season of West Coast cruising

Announced at CES 2017 in January, the Ocean Medallion goes well beyond the growing number of wearables used by theme parks and other holiday companies by leaving behind the required action of "tap" and ushering in a new paradigm for guest interactions.

The Ocean Medallion makes cruising more personal, immersive, simple and seamless than previously considered possible. At the heart of this personalised experience is the Ocean Medallion, which enables endless holiday possibilities.

The Ocean Medallion has no discernible technology -- no on-off switch, no charging, no menu to navigate -- and can be worn as a pendant, on a wristband, in a clip or simply placed in a pocket to reveal enhanced services and personalised experiences without guests having to push a button or take any action. The pre-cruise engagement will allow guests to provide preferences that detail their wants, needs and desires so their on-board experience can be personalised.

Pairing with the Medallion is the Ocean Compass™ -- a digital concierge accessible by all guests using interactive displays throughout the ship, on stateroom TVs, via guests’ own smart devices or through a crew member.

For example, guests can find their way to venues around the ship; make reservations at the Lotus Spa®, specialty dining restaurants and for shore excursions; arrange celebrations; view and purchase photographs; learn about the destinations they will visit and activities at each port of call and more. The Ocean Compass will invite guests to experiences based on their individual needs, wants and desires.

Some of the initial service innovations include:
  • Ocean Ready: Expedites embarkation as required information is added to the guest profile at home.
  • Stateroom Access: The Ocean Medallion will unlock a guest’s stateroom door – replacing the key card.
  • Here & Now™: Guests can place food and beverage orders and have them delivered to select locations.
  • There & Then™: Guests can place select food and beverage orders and have them delivered to where they plan to be at a designated time.
  • Ocean Navigate: Accessed through the Ocean Compass, guests can learn the whereabouts of their family as they enjoy activities throughout the ship and be guided seamlessly in finding their way around the ship. Friends and family will also be able to easily communicate with each other through a seamless messaging service.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1300 551 853, or by visiting the company's website at

Ascott Surpasses 100th Property Milestone in China

Citadines Dianchi Time Plaza Kunming
CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has clinched seven new contracts to manage over 1,300 apartments across six cities in China. These properties mark Ascott’s first foray into Kunming and Yichang while deepening its presence in Chongqing, Dalian, Shenzhen and Xuzhou. To date, Ascott has added more than 2,700 units across 15 properties in China this year. This is a 56% increase compared with the more than 1,700 units and 10 properties secured in the first half of 2016.

Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “China remains Ascott’s biggest market and we are excited to be surpassing our 100th property milestone in China this year. Chinese are amongst Ascott’s top customers at our properties globally with revenue surging by 35% year-on-year. Awareness of Ascott has also grown significantly in China. In 2016, about 62% of our guests in China are Chinese. With close to 19,000 units in 104 properties across 29 Chinese cities, Ascott will achieve our target of 20,000 units in China well ahead of 2020. With this momentum, we are confident of exceeding our target of 80,000 units globally by 2020.”

In addition, Ascott has listed about 15,000 serviced apartments on Alibaba’s online travel service platform Fliggy, covering its properties in more than 20 destinations most popular amongst Chinese travellers, such as Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris and London.

Mr Lee added: “China’s rising incomes are driving domestic travel and making it the world’s biggest outbound travel market. Besides boosting our number of properties in China, Ascott is sharpening our competitive edge by having a stronger online presence. We now have one of the largest serviced apartment listings on Fliggy, which has more than 200 million users. Our penetration of the Chinese market both offline and online is already contributing to Ascott’s business worldwide.”

Of the seven new serviced residences, Tujia Somerset Garden City Chongqing is already operational while Ascott Yulian Plaza Dalian, Citadines Gaoke Liangjiang Chongqing, Citadines Three Gorges Yichang and Somerset Q Plex Shenzhen are slated to open in 2018. Citadines Dianchi Time Plaza Kunming and Tujia Somerset Yunlong Lake Xuzhou are expected to open in 2019. Please see Annex for further details on the new properties.

On 15 June 2016, Ascott launched its new lyf brand in China with two properties in Dalian and Shenzhen to seize opportunities in the booming millennial market and rising co-living trend. Earlier this year, Ascott secured contracts to manage six properties in Changsha, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, as well as two new cities – Handan and Xuzhou.

At the recent 2017 World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia ceremony held in Shanghai, Ascott was recognised as the finest in the industry by sweeping the top accolades of Asia’s ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’; ‘Leading Serviced Apartments’ in Asia and China; as well as nine accolades for these categories across Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.



Bitter and Twisted Boutique Beer Festival is celebrating 10 years. To mark this milestone they're bringing you the biggest line up of boutique beer, internationally recognised music, food from across the globe, home brew masterclasses plus a few twisted surprises.

Bitter and Twisted Boutique Beer Festival will headline the Indie rock four piece The Jungle Giants and blues musician Ash Grunwald, plus a whole host of other artists. 

Food, glorious food! 

With the best prison food you'll find and over 80 craft beers on offer, you're guaranteed to find a new favourite brew. 

People everywhere are doing anything they can to get into the gaol... what's your escape plan?

For more information:

Experience Remarkable Undersea Adventures at Mozambique’s Anantara Island Resorts

The islands that speckle Mozambique’s coastline are a welcome vision of paradise for every guest. Equally as breath-taking as these stunning ocean views are the extraordinary sights that lie just below the surface. Seamlessly blending in with the natural beauty that surrounds them, Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort and Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort are as popular with marine adventurers as they are with holiday-makers and honeymooners.

Falling within the protective borders of the Bazaruto and Quirimbas National Parks, both island resorts offer extraordinary oceanic adventures in pristine, unspoilt waters. From vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, to some of the world’s largest populations of dolphins, whales, sharks, turtles and dugong, it is these remarkable ecosystems and the surrounding crystal-clear waters that makes Anantara Bazaruto and Anantara Medjumbe premier diving destinations for both first-timers and seasoned professionals alike.

Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort – a tropical jungle beneath the ocean

In addition to its world-renowned hospitality, Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort offers PADI scuba diving courses from Open Water to Dive Master, along with a range of extraordinary dive site excursions, including its famous Manta Reef and Rainbow Runner Reef sites.

Requiring two dives to complete, Manta Reef is vast and flat, boasting kaleidoscopic gardens of sea anemones and coral, attracting large numbers of bright clownfish, as well as green turtles and populations of graceful manta rays. Alternatively, the Rainbow Runner Reef is renowned for its forests of green-tree corals and thrilling opportunities to see Zambezi sharks in their natural habitat.

And when the underwater adventures of the day have been wrapped up, Anantara Bazaruto offers innumerable ways to recharge and relax.

Soothe tired muscles with a sensual and restorative massage or beauty treatment at the award-winning Anantara Spa. Recharge after a long day’s diving with a sumptuous meal at one of three world-class restaurants. Or add a dash of romance to your stay with a bespoke private dining experience for two, complete with a private butler, to make your Dining by Design cuisine truly memorable.

Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort – twelve flavours, one for every type of diver

Only a short boat ride from the incomparable luxury of the Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort lies a diver’s dream – a selection of twelve unique dive sites featuring untouched marine ecosystems and some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs.

Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort offers PADI scuba diving courses, with adventures for all levels of experience and qualifications. Highlights include Neptune’s Nursery, a 15-metre deep flat reef with delicate coral, and a rich hunting ground for game fish and blue spotted stingrays.

Intermediate divers might prefer to tackle Sambi Sambi’s 40-metre sloping wall, frequented by elusive leopard sharks, as well as green and Hawksbill turtles. And for truly seasoned divers, there can be no greater thrill than peering over the 800 metre sheer drop at the Edge of Reason. Opportunities for exploring these exquisite sites abound, and intrepid underwater explorers can even set out in search of new sites, and may even be awarded the chance to name it themselves.

No matter how much (or how little) time you spend in the water, the 12-villa Anantara Medjumbe offers a wide variety of day-trips, sporting activities and leisure options to suit the tastes of any guest. From bird and whale watching to water-sports and impossibly romantic sunset Dhow cruises, guests to Medjumbe Island are as spoilt for choice on land as they are at sea.

Visit or to experience these undersea adventures or contact +27 010 003 8977 for direct bookings.

Staging Connections’ exclusive Masterclass presents the latest event industry innovations

Staging Connections held their second Masterclass at Hilton Brisbane earlier this month, attended by 150 event organisers, PCOs, corporate buyers, partners, team members and management, to learn about event trends and new products and technologies designed to engage the senses, to deliver a superior guest experience.

The Masterclass enthralled guests, demonstrating the importance of engaging all five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing, plus demonstrating Staging Connections’ latest products and technology to achieve this. The presentations showed the event planners attending how powerful it is to engage all senses and the many different ways this can be achieved to make events more memorable and messaging more effective.

The technologies and production examples presented included 2D and 3D projection mapping, virtual reality, social media engagement, innovative set designs, rendering technology and video fly-throughs, multimedia and animation, touch screens, interactive presentation technology, gesture control, mobile apps, webcasting and streaming, bespoke styling, illuminated event backdrop and Staging Connections’ new scenic panel product.

A unique stage set was created to deliver a sensational visual feast. A combination of seven custom Hexagon panels with two extra large side screens were used to form one interconnected projection canvas. Custom-designed multimedia content, visually representing the five senses theme and designed by Staging Connections’ in-house motion graphics designer, played back using the latest Dataton Watchout V6 media server and Barco Multiscreen Switch gear, feeding Panasonic 10K Full HD Projectors, and delivering seamless vision across all 9 surfaces.

The Ballroom was transformed using decorative fleur panels, up-lit with new battery LED lights, to create a unique textural room divider. Intelligent lighting highlighted key areas and created dramatic atmosphere, including; lighting wash on black drapes, moving lights ballyhoo during lucky prize draws, and fusion bars with Staging Connections new scenic panels creating striking, effortless class. Full control of the lighting atmosphere was achieved through the use of a GrandMA2 Lighting Console driving multiple LED lighting fixtures and interfacing with the Hilton’s architectural roof LED system.

Sound was a key component of the multimedia content, to ensure the sense of hearing was tantalised. Audio was delivered via a Yamaha QL1 Audio desk driving a Meyer Sound System custom designed for the Hilton. Instead of traditional hand-held microphones for the Q&A session, speaker lapels, Staging Connections new SpeakUp! Microphones and Event Poll were used.

The styling and design team presented a beautiful Tuscan-style vineyard, using a cellar door design illuminated 3D Event Backdrop, complete with wine barrel cocktail tables lit with lanterns and draped in ivy. The extra long central table was beautifully themed with Italian linen, log-based candelabras, twisted willow, lanterns, and real grapes. More faux grapes and foliage cascaded down from a vine suspended above the table to ensure the theme was all-encompassing.

Tim Chapman, General Manager, Digital - Staging Connections was excited to showcase the latest technologies and digital innovations in event production.

“The Masterclass showcased everything that is hot and new from Staging Connections and our parent company Freeman. It is a great way to engage with top event professionals and demonstrate how these products and technologies, like the gesture control and the latest examples of projection mapping could be integrated into their future events. Everyone seemed to love our new Scenic Panels product too.

“The team are always on the lookout for the latest and most innovative products and technologies globally, and this annual event enables us to share our findings and insights and provide our clients with the knowledge and tools to deliver world-class events,” said Mr Chapman.

Chris Partridge, General Manager, Hilton Brisbane, commented on the success of the event and the opportunity to work with the exclusive guest list.

“Working with Staging Connections is always easy; the team are seasoned professionals who know how to deliver above and beyond expectation. Being able to showcase our newly renovated function rooms to an exclusive group of event organisers was a great opportunity,” said Mr Partridge.

The Masterclass enabled Staging Connections to give back to the events industry by sharing their insights and knowledge into current and future trends and showcase one of their valued venue partners, Hilton Brisbane.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Pathumwan Princess Hotel - An Exceptional Bangkok Hotel

View from my 25 floor Pathumwan Princess Hotel guest room
When in Bangkok recently I was privileged to stay at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel.

This centrally located luxury hotel offers 455 elegant, fully-equipped rooms and suites in an impressive choice of sizes and styles. All guest rooms are located between the 9th and 29th floors of the hotel, with most commanding glorious views of Bangkok’s iconic skyline.

I was warmly welcomed by the hotel staff and provided with a smooth checkin.

I thoroughly enjoyed my large 40 square meter Deluxe Room on the 25th floor. Wonderful panoramic views of the southern city buildings and parklands were enjoyed from the large picture windows. Plenty of natural light came in during the day, and blackout curtains shut out any light at night.

My Pathumwan Princess Hotel Deluxe Room
My room was a quite oasis to escape the vibrant and busy city of Bangkok. Its contemporary decor and highlights of Thai motifs provided an air of sophistication about it. I appreciated the fresh fruit and flowers on the coffee table in the room.

The large double bed and comfortable pillows provided a very good nights sleep. The handy bedside light switches controlled the lights in the room.

There were complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, and replenished bottles of drinking water. A personal mini bar/refrigerator kept drinks cool.

A remote-controlled flat screen LCD with satellite connection provided a choice of TV stations to view. A desk and chair provided the space to work at. Free internet wireless access made it easy for contact with my family and friends back in Australia. Individually controlled air-conditioning made the room very comfortable to be in.

My Pathumwan Princess Hotel bathroom
The spacious marble bathroom offered a full range of amenities, including bathrobes, hairdryer, slippers, and toiletries.

I appreciated that there was a separate shower and bathtub. The bathroom was divided from the bedroom with a glass partition that was made private by electrically operated privacy curtains.

Other room options at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel include the 35 sqm Superior Rooms, the 55 sqm Executive Suites, the 60 sqm ExecuPlus Suites located on the 9th and 14th Floors and the 64 sqm Horizon Suites that are located on each corner of the hotel with unique sloping windows. The largest Suites are the the Executive Terrace Suite, a 40 sqm room with 80 sqm terrace that resides on the top floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel, and the Horizon Terrace Suite, a 75 sqm room and 80 sqm garden on the hotel’s 29th floor.

Part of the Olympic Club at Pathumwan Princess Hotel
A standout feature of the Pathumwan Princess Hotel is the many leisure and sporting options available for hotel guests to use. The Olympic Club on the 8th floor is Bangkok's largest Gymnasium, with more than 100 different workout stations in its huge 9,000 sqm gym space.  The latest state-of-the-art equipment for both cardio, lower body, upper body and free weight training are available to use.

I noticed plenty of staff on hand to offer friendly guidance, offer advice and provide encouragement. Separate male and female Shower and Locker Facilities are provided. I enjoyed using the large Sauna and Steam Rooms that are located in these change rooms.

Seperate to the gym is an Indoor Cycling Room with stunning views across the Bangkok skyline. This Cycling Room provides plenty of standing bicycles to ride in a cool environment with background music.

A wide range of classes are held in two Aerobic Rooms, including aerobics, steps, yoga and aero-box. 

View down on swimming pool from my guest room
There is a full-size professional Boxing Ring that offers top class body conditioning and authentic Muay Thai skills classes. Muay Thai is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand and combines the use of fists, elbows, knees and shins.

For those wanting a break from training, or simply a quiet place to relax, the Reading Room is a comfortable quite room with a selection of reading material in several languages.

The Olympic Club’s Sports Zone on the 8th floor has facilities to participate in several sports. There is a standard-size air-conditioned Badminton Court, two full size Tennis Courts, a half size Basketball court and two full size Squash Courts.

A recent addition is the 500 meters Jogging Track around the outside of the Sports Zone, with cooling breezes and great views.

Night view of swimming pool at Pathumwan Princess Hotel
I enjoyed swimming each day and night in the impressive 25-meter salt chlorinated Swimming Pool, and going in one of the two garden jacuzzis. There is a landscaped outdoor terrace around the pool, which has colourful LED lighting at night. Refreshments are available from the Pool Bar.

Lack of time meant that I did not go to the DESHELI Diamond Treasure Spa. This offers anti-aging treatments, luxury spa facilities and rejuvenating massage services. It is well worth going to for that extra bit of pampering when staying at the hotel.

The Pathumwan Princess Hotel has seven outstanding restaurants. The Citi Bistro is a dynamic all day dining destination located on the ground floor. Its has an open kitchen and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner meals featuring an international menu from around the world.

Breakfast egg station at Citi Bistro
I enjoyed eating breakfast each morning in the Citi Bistro, choosing from the many hot and cold options from the buffet. The chefs cooked your order of egg dishes on the spot for you. The Citi Bistro also offers a buffet lunch and dinner of European and Asian cuisine with an extensive selection of freshly prepared soups, meat and vegetarian mains, locally caught seafood and delicious Thai desserts.

The t@Lobby, The Trendy Bakery offers a wide choice of baked pastries, made-to-order sandwiches, homemade ice-cream and hot and cold beverages. It serves continental breakfast, mid-morning cake and coffee, traditional afternoon tea or simply a late evening sandwich.

Other restaurants at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel include the Kongiu Korean Restaurant, Loop Italian Restaurant and Bar, Ping's Thai Seafood Restaurant, Ping's Hotspot Restaurant and the Tatsumi Japanese Restaurant. Bars include the Studio Bar and the Vista Bar Terrace.

The hotel’s Club Lounge allows guests the opportunity to relax in a friendly, peaceful and private setting. Guests can enjoy a special breakfast and a “Happy Hour” open bar with complementary drinks and snacks.

Pathumwan Princess Hotel is ideally set up for small meetings, large scale conferences, or gala dinners. The board rooms, function rooms, outdoor terrace and ballroom provide ideal venues for meetings, conferences, banquets and weddings.

Floral arrangement in Pathumwan Princess Hotel lobby
The location of the Pathumwan Princess Hotel makes it easy to travel to. It is just a short walk from the BTS Skytrain National Stadium station through the second floor of the MBK Shopping Center.

As the hotel is in the heart of Bangkok, it is very conveniently connected to everything in Bangkok. This makes it very easy to get around for shopping, sightseeing or business appointments.

Its location means that it is within covered walking distance to the other famous shopping malls in Bangkok - Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Paragaon,  Siam Square and Central World. It is very close to the National Stadium of Thailand, Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, Jim Thompson silk house, and the Pathum Wanaraum Temple.

The Pathumwan Princess Hotel Bangkok is indeed an exceptional Bangkok hotel. Its comfortable guest rooms, great food, friendly staff, excellent sport & leisure facilities and ideal location make it the perfect choice for business and leisure visitors to Bangkok.

Pathumwan Princess Hotel Bangkok

My Pathumwan Princess Hotel Deluxe Room
Address: 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Telephone: (+66) 2216 3700
Fax: (+66) 2216 3730
Facebook Message: PathumwanPrincessHotel
Send a Tweet: @PPrincessHotel
Chat on LINE: PPrincessHotel
Chat on WhatsApp: +66 (0) 8 1818 1866
Chat on G+: Hang Out With Us

A Concert of Harmony

Please mark your calendar 20 July 2017. 

The concert of harmony to celebrate 60th anniversary Thailand - Malaysia relations hosted by PRD and partnership.

Free Entry !! Special gifts for guests!!!

See you in KL.

Korea's Top 25 Wellness Attractions designated for visitors in 2017

Forest Healing-themed Cypress Forest (left) / Healing spa (right)
The Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism and Korea Tourism Organization have this month released a list of the '25 Must Visit Wellness Attractions in Korea'.

Wellness tourism is currently booming around the world and relates to sites where the focus is on health maintenance such as spas, leisure resorts, healing meditation and forest healing. The wellness attractions are listed in four categories - Oriental Medicine, Beauty Spas, Healing Meditation and Forest Healing.

From herb healing centres to cypress forest healing or a visit to Healience Zen Village or the Jinan Red Ginseng Spa in Jeonju Korea there is a wide choice of treatments for all. We all know how good we feel after a walk in the park or the forest, but Korea's interest in Therapy Forests for maintaining good health for its citizens is now being promoted to foreign visitors as well.

The Korea Forest Service (KFS) facilitated 'Forest Healing' to utilise forests for enhancement of health and quality of life and to assist with the lifestyle-related health issues in our modern society, particularly to deal with psychological disorders such as stress, depression and addiction which in turn can lead to other more severe diseases.

There is a National Centre for Forest Therapy set up to improve people's health through the healing effects of the forest. This centre has short and long term accommodation, healing forest trails, aromatherapy gardens, hydrotherapy centres and many more options.

The full list of the 'Top 25 wellness attractions' can be found on the official Visit Medical Korea website, as well as on the individual websites of the attractions.

To see more go to and click on 'Wellness Korea'. From here you can visit each and every attraction's website for further detailed information.

Kids Pay Their Age For Afternoon Tea!

Take the little ones in for Afternoon Tea at The Windsor Melbourne these school holidays with children prices matching their age. Pay as little as $3 for your three year old or $9 for a nine year old!

Bookings are coming in fast and second seatings have been added on Monday 3rd July and Tuesday 4th July, at 2.30pm

Children will receive a bespoke stand filled with ribbon sandwiches, mini desserts and savoury pastries, plus our delicious chocolate fountain will also be available from 3rd to 14th July.

It's your perfect chance to indroduce Afternoon Tea this school holidays!

Advance reservations are required for this offer.
Call 03 9633 6004 or email

Terms and Conditions:
- Valid only on Monday-Friday seatings, from 3rd to 14th July 2017.
- Valid for children aged 3-12 years (inclusive); no charge for children under 3 years.
- Limit of 2 children at promotional price per adult
- Reservations must be made at least 1 day in advance.
- No alterations or additions can be accommodated on the day to receive this promotional price.

Tohoku Tourismn - Surrounded by fresh green nature - Oirase Stream Aomori Prefecture

From Aomori Prefecture Towada City, Towada Lake ’’Nenokuchi (子ノ口)’’ to the ’’Yakeyama(焼山)’’, there is a renowned clear stream about 14 km - Oirase Stream, which is covered with deep natural forests. 

The landscape is full of dynamism giving birth to the ever-changing stream. 

The cliffs near to the coast are welded tuff which is generated by piled stones and volcanic ash deposited at high temperature. 

And it gives an impressing landscape to the pretty Oirase Stream. 

And summer is the most recommended season to go in my view. 

I was so healed by a forest bath in this green tunnel interwined with clear stream and fresh forest, and it was truly inspiring!

Please find a chance to wander along this Oirase stream while being fascinated by forest beauty!

◆ Promenade
· Yakeyama ~ Nenokuchi 14 km (4 hours on foot / 1 hour 30 minutes ~ 2 hours by bicycle)
· Ishigedo - Nenokuchi 8.9km (about 2 hours 40 minutes on foot)
◆Comfortable Bicycle Cycling
You can experience the relaxing cycling through the Oirase Stream with a rental bicycle.
◆ Access
About 2 hours by JR bus from JR Shin Aomori station
#dnjapan #dj_tohoku #aomori #oiras



Hunter Arts Network is launching Art Bazaar Pop Up in 2017. The first Art Bazaar Pop Ups will be held at 
  • The Levee during the Aroma Festival on Saturday August 12;
  • and Dan Rees Street Carpark during Wallsend Winter Fair on Sunday August 13.

There will be over 40 Hunter Arts Network members stalls at each Art Bazaar Pop Up with a wide variety of forms of visual arts. 

Every stallholder's work is their original work of high standard, originality and innovation, as well as being produced and located in the Hunter region of NSW.

New stallholder applications are welcome, please apply online.

For more information:


The Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce & Visitors’ Bureau presents their 26th Annual “Farm + Fish + Flowers,” formerly known as Tour des Fleurs, on Saturday, July 29, 2017.

“Farm + Fish + Flowers” offers the general public a once-a-year opportunity to visit the Half Moon Bay Coastside’s nurseries/greenhouses, historic sites, farms and even a working harbor. Many of these businesses are not ordinarily open to the public except during “Farm + Fish + Flowers” when they invite visitors for a behind the scenes tour of their facilities and operations.

There are a wide variety of experiences including one new offering: Iocapi Farms, and five that were new last year: the Half Moon Bay History Association’s Downtown Tour, Miramar Farms, the HEAL Project, Ananda Valley Farm and Harley Farms’ Bunnies, Berries and Secret Gardens. The public will enjoy guided tours of flower gardens, organic herbs and field greens, California native plants, a working dairy farm, grass-fed livestock, a historic house, organic vegetable farms, Pillar Point Harbor and much more. Host locations will share helpful tips for pruning and caring for flowers, others will share their key to an efficient operation and some will share their colorful and fascinating family history and how it shaped their businesses today.

Each tour package includes three different locations. Ticket holders drive themselves to each tour in their package for a one-hour guided tour. There are six different tour packages to choose from, and each package of three tours costs $30.

2017 Tour Packages:

Tour A

10 am - Bay City Flower Company - hydrangeas & high-end potted plants
1 pm – The James Johnston House - historic 1800s saltbox style home
2 pm - Giusti Farms - produce farm including Brussels sprouts & artichokes

Tour B

10 am - Coastside Farmers’ Market - fresh local produce & plants
1 pm - Yerba Buena Nursery - native plants, ferns & carnivorous plants
3 pm - Half Moon Bay History Association “Downtown Tour” - walking guided tour of historical buildings

Tour C

10 am - Pillar Point Harbor - working harbor, fresh seafood & sustainable fishing info
1 pm - Iacopi Farms - English peas, sugar snaps, artichokes, fava and blue lake beans
3 pm - Miramar Farms/Half Moon Honey Co. - organic family farm and orchard, chickens and honeybees

Tour D

10 am – Rocket Farms - wholesale home & garden
12:30 pm – The HEAL Project - educational farm, sustainably grown berries, vegetables and flowers
3 pm – Markegard Farms - grass fed livestock

Tour E

10 am – Ouroboros Farms - aquaculture & hydroponics
1 pm – Oku Nursery - Lilies, gerbera, alstroemeria, tulips in season, and other flowers
3 pm – Harley Farms Goat Dairy - goat cheese dairy farm

Tour F

10 am – Ananda Valley Farm - organic vegetables and free range chicken
1 pm – Harley Farms Goat Dairy - goat cheese dairy farm
2 pm - Harley Farms (formerly Phipps Ranch) - bunnies, berries, and a secret garden

Tickets will need to be presented at each tour. No time substitutes allowed.

2017 Tour Locations:

  • Ananda Valley Farm – Nestled in a beautiful valley just north of Half Moon Bay, this CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm grows organically using low-till, permanent beds to help restore soil vitality.
  • Bay City Flower Company – This third-generation family owned-business is one of the largest hydrangea growers and also one of the most efficient commercial potted plant growers in the nation. Their main customer base is national and independent Supermarkets as well as independent garden centers.
  • Coastside Farmers’ Market – Erin Tormey, founder and manager, will tour visitors through this diverse farmer’s market filled with flowers, fruits, vegetables, fish, herbs, handmade crafts and soaps, and much more. Erin is a wealth of information and has promoted the agricultural heritage and economy of the Coastside. She has been instrumental in supporting the emerging agricultural economy of first-generation farmers and ranchers, creating and piloting programs addressing food security for our aging population and under-resourced neighbors, and encouraging partnerships with our locally based small businesses and supporting the efforts of our non-profit community.
  • Iacopi Farms - For three generations, Iacopi Farms has been growing seasonal produce in the coastal town of Half Moon Bay. About half of what they grow is "dry farmed" which means that 50% of what’s planted has no access to water. After so many years of learning about the climate in this area of California’s coast, Iacopi Farms has developed specialized moisture enhancing and soil tilling techniques that enable seeds to grow without added irrigation. Iacopi Farm’s English peas are especially sweet and can be harvested for eight or nine months of the year, while California farms further inland are typically only able to harvest peas for a few months. Iacopi farms supplies a year-round assortment of fresh vegetables to restaurants and wholesalers. They also sell at many of the largest Bay Area farmers markets from San Rafael to Mountain View.
  • Giusti Farms - Giusti Farms is a vegetable farm in Half Moon Bay specializing in traditional Coastside crops such as Brussels sprouts, artichokes, English peas and green beans. Giusti Farms raises approximately 350 acres of these crops on four separate properties along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. John Giusti is a third generation farmer and his family has farmed on the Johnston Ranch since 1949.
  • Half Moon Bay History Assn. Downtown Tour – Join historian David Cresson on a guided walking tour of some of the original “Spanishtown” houses and commercial buildings from Half Moon Bay’s historical past. Half Moon Bay, formerly known as Spanishtown, was the first city in San Mateo County.
  • Harley Farms Goat Dairy – Harley Farms Goat Dairy, home to 300 Alpine goats, produces award-winning cheese daily in what is now the last remaining dairy farm in San Mateo Co. Learn how goat cheese is made while meeting the baby goats and touring the milking barns and cheese production room. 
  • Harley Farms “Bunnies, Berries and Secret Garden” - Take a walk on the wild side across Pescadero Creek Road into 20 acres of secluded pasture, ancient orchards and gently restored secret gardens. Check out beehives, rabbits and rambling roses.
  • The HEAL Project /San Mateo County School Farm – This San Mateo County School Farm is an outdoor experiential learning space and market farm operated by The HEAL Project since 2010. They engage students from across San Mateo County and beyond in the process of growing a diversity of fruits, vegetables and flowers. This tour will include farm fields and outdoor classrooms including a compost education station.
  • The James Johnston House – Tour the historic James Johnston House, a classic New England Salt-box, circa 1853-55 built by pioneer Scot James Johnston for his California bride, Petra de Jara.
  • Markegard Ranch – Visit a 1,000 acre coastal grass-fed ranch and learn how they raise and sell their beef, pork, lamb and laying hens.
  • Miramar Farms – Miramar Farms was first settled in the late 1800s and has a long and colorful history spanning over 120 years. Owners Jayne and Mark Battey will take visitors on a walking tour and share a bit about historic and current operations including how they’ve integrated the farm with their leadership development work in Silicon Valley. They’ll be joined by Gary and Teri Butler who will discuss the vital honeybee operation along the Coastside. 
  • Oku Nursery – Originally one of the premier rose growers in the United States and now also specializing in field flowers. See their hydroponically grown flowers that can grow an inch a day. Owners Steve and James Oku will personally lead a fascinating tour of this 100-year old business.
  • Ouroboros Farms – Owner Ken Armstrong will demonstrate how they blend aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing in water) to produce incredibly pure, delicious produce, while using just a fraction of the resources required with other modern farming methods. 
  • Pillar Point Harbor – Enjoy a tour of a working harbor by a fisherman and learn about sustainable fishing practices. Visitors can even buy fish right off the boat.
  • Rocket Farms - Founded by Carl and Virginia Pearlstein more than 60 years ago, Rocket Farms has grown into one of America's leading wholesale home and garden companies. Wholesale only, they carry blooming plants, tropical plants and foliage, bulbs and packaged shrubs. They also have a complete line of home and garden designs.
  • Yerba Buena Nursery – In operation since 1960, Yerba Buena is located in a beautiful glass greenhouse at Pastorino Farms. Purchase California native plants for drought tolerant gardens, or sign up for an on-site consultation to make a dream landscape a reality. Knowledgeable staff is on hand to answer questions and make recommendations.

For those who want to make a weekend of it, there are 20 lodging facilities along the Half Moon Bay Coastside and a wonderful variety of restaurants. Tour Half Moon Bay and the coast, stroll along the beaches, enjoy hiking and biking trails, shop historic Main Street…the options are endless. For more information about the Half Moon Bay Coastside, visit

Advance ticket purchases are required for “Farm+Fish+Flowers,” as there is limited availability on each tour. For further information and to purchase tickets, call the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau (650) 726-8380 or visit

Gold Coast Welcomes Record Number of Australians

The Gold Coast welcomed a record 3.9 million domestic overnight visitors in the last year, according to the latest national visitor survey.

Strong growth of 7.5 per cent from the March quarter 2016 to March 2017, shows the Gold Coast's continued popularity as a destination for holidaying Australians, Gold Coast Tourism chair Paul Donovan said.

“We had a period impacted by Cyclone Debbie as well as the Easter holidays moving out of that quarter compared with the year before,” Mr Donovan said.

“But the resilience of the destination is demonstrated not only in the total number of visits but also by the fact that domestic overnight total expenditure was up 3.5 per cent to $3.05 billion.”

The Gold Coast figure reflects record growth in visitor numbers for Australia (up 3.1%) and Queensland (up 4.3%) for the same March-ending year. The previous high for the Gold Coast was 3.8m overnight domestic visits.

The total number of domestic nights spent on the Gold Coast by visitors hit 14.3 million, with the average length of stay stable at 3.7 nights.

Mr Donovan said however, the tourism sector would not rest on its laurels.

“This is a particularly important year for the Gold Coast as we lead into the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“We are very appreciative of the record funding allocated to Gold Coast Tourism by the City of Gold Coast council and that is a clear green light to market the destination with extra vigour.

“We have seen a slight drop in day-trippers to the Gold Coast and the average length of stay for business events and conferences is also a little softer. So even within those overall positive figures there are segments where we have to continue to work really hard for success.

“It is an extremely competitive environment.”

The domestic results, combined with the international visitor numbers released a fortnight ago mean the Gold Coast hosted 13.23 million visitors in the 12-month period.

Please visit for more information

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa - Elegant Indulgence

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
After attending the Mekong Tourism Forum I extended my stay in Luang Prabang so that I could have more time to explore this enchanting UNESCO world heritage listed town in Northern Laos. 

I chose to stay at the stylish Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa, a new hotel opened at the start of last year. The 33 guest rooms are housed in several delightful contemporary styled buildings that combine modern decor with a touch of Laos styling. Teak timbers are used extensively throughout the hotel, including the guest rooms. The outdoor areas of gardens and ponds filled with lotus flowers are delightful to walk through and sit in and relax.

Upon my arrival at the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa I was warmly welcomed by the reception staff and given a welcome drink and refresher towel, then taken to my guest room.

My Classic Room (lower right) 
I was fortunate to have one of the luxurious ground floor Sanakeo Classic rooms that overlooked the swimming pool. Sliding glass doors provided access to the balcony, from which I could jump right into the pool. 

The room had everything that I could wish for to make a comfortable stay. The large plush bed, cosy pillows and fresh white linen were very comfortable and gave a wonderful nights sleep. I appreciated that the room was very quite at night. The towels were folded into a charming sculptural piece with fresh flowers and laid on the bed.

A flatscreen TV provided several TV stations, and complimentary wifi internet meant that I could keep in touch with my family and friends back in Australia. The room was air-conditioned, and had coffee making facilities.

The seperate functional bathroom had a shower with large shower head, toilet and handbasin. A nice ranger of amenities and fluffy towels were supplied.

My Classic Room at Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
Apart from the Classic Rooms, there are also Deluxe Rooms and a Presidential Suite for VIP guests.

Each morning I was served a tasty buffet breakfast in the first floor restaurant. Whilst not a huge range of items to choose from, the Laos and International delicacies filled me up for each days sightseeing. I have since learnt that all the menus of the hotel food and beverage outlets have been revamped, so the breakfast should be even better now.

The restaurant features authentic Luang Prabang cuisine and International dishes with fresh ingredients sourced from the local region. The Cocktail Bar beside the pool offers a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including some very special cocktails. The Coffee Shop next to the Reception Lobby serves locally sourced Laos coffee and light refreshments throughout the day.

The leisure facilities of the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa include a Sauna, Day Spa with Massage, Fitness Centre, Yoga Relaxation Studio and Swimming Pool.

Using the Sauna can help cleanse your skin, increase circulation and ease muscle pain.

The Day Spa offers a range of treatments, including the Traditional Lao Massage which relieves tension throughout the entire body. 

The Fitness Centre has a small number of exercise machines to cater for those who like to work out.

The Yoga Studio is a restful place with Yoga mats for those who wish to relax in a quite way.

Swimming Pool at Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
The Swimming Pool is a delightful way to cool off in its clear blue water. The pool is large enough to swim laps, or just float around in. Day lounges are placed on one side of the pool to relax on.

The Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa is ideally set up to host meetings, conferences, events and weddings. They can assist with the organisation of your next event by tailor making the most suitable package. They offer a variety of  Conference Room set-ups, such as theatre, class room or U-shape, and can provide audio-visual equipment, pens, note pads and drinking water. A variety of catering options are available for morning and afternoon coffee breaks, lunches, dinners, welcome receptions and cocktail parties. These can be served in or beside the meeting room, beside the swimming pool, or in the restaurant. 

I noticed that the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa has adopted many policies and practices to become a green hotel that takes care of the environment. They are proud to be the recipients of The MARK, which is a UNIDO accreditation for clean and green dining, and safe environmental practices in Luang Prabang.

Some of notable initiatives the hotel has made include -
  • placing of ceramic pump action dispensers for soap, shampoo, conditioner in guest rooms and public areas 
  • removing cleaning chemicals and using a home made solution of lemon grass and eucalyptus oil
  • encouraging the refilling of water bottles from the complimentary water dispenser located in Reception Lobby
  • limiting the use of plastic bags and re-using plastic bags whenever possible
  • recycling all plastic bottles, aluminium cans, paper and cardboard
  • collecting ‘Ring-pulls’ from drink cans for the manufacture of prosthetic limbs
  • sending food waste to a local pig farmer
  • mulching garden waste at the hotels orange tree plantation
  • using low energy lightbulbs
  • turning off outside lights wherever possible
  • turning off office computers and other electrical appliances when not in use
  • using cloth bags for guest laundry service, and returning laundered items in a cane basket
  • encouraging guests to explore local attractions by walking or by using the complimentary bicycles
  • buying local produce and produce ‘in season’ wherever possible
  • encouraging guest to turn off lights and air-conditioning when not in the room, and reusing towels
  • taking indoor pot plants outside for a drink when it rains, instead of using town water. 

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
A most interesting initiative is that families of staff are given vegetable and herb seeds to grow and then sell the produce back to the hotel when harvested. 

The Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa is located on a lovely wide street just outside the out part of the town. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the old town to explore the French style architecture, shops and cafes. Here you will find the Palace Museum, many Buddhist Temples and the Night Markets. The hotel has complimentary bicycles for guests to explore the local surrounds, and also offers a shuttle service into town. I borrowed a bicycle and explored the local area during one of the afternoons I was there.

There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities nearby Luang Prabang to fill your days when staying at the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa. You can can go on trips to the Pak Ou Cave, the majestic Kwangsi Waterfalls, Elephant Sanctuaries or neighbouring villages. You can take a longboat ride or sunset cruise on the legendary Mekong River. Well worth visiting are the new Botanical Gardens on the other side of the Mekong River reached by a short longboat ride.

Tak Bat alms giving ceremony
A unique event that happens early every morning is the ancient Tak Bat alms giving ceremony, where over a 100 Buddhist Monks make their way past the hotel. They can be viewed from the comfort of the hotels restaurant balcony, or from their doorstep. It is well worth setting the alarm clock to wake up in time to view, as the tradition of Tak Bat dates back to the 14th century. Many locals line the street and give the Monks gifts of sticky rice, traditional snacks and fresh fruit in return for merit from the Monks wearing their orange robes.

My stay at the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa was over all too soon. I liked the modern decor and comfort of my Classic Room and the use of the swimming pool. I appreciated the friendly nature of the Lao hotel staff and their understanding of the English language. At the end of my stay I was kindly taken in the hotel shuttle van to the airport for my return home. I took with me fond memories of Luang Prabang and the elegant Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa.

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa

Phu Vao Road, Pong Kham,
Luang Prabang, Lao P.D.R
Tel: +856 71 252 055
Fax: +856 71 252 039