Category Archives: Bangkok

Point Yamu by COMO – A New Resort for Phuket Designed by Paola Navone – Opening November 2013

Como Hotels

Resort will be first in Thailand for COMO Hotels and Resorts outside Bangkok

Point Yamu by COMO, the new resort from COMO Hotels and Resorts designed by Paola Navone, will open in November this year.

Point Yamu is located on Cape Yamu, a peaceful peninsula on the east side of Phuket. The resort overlooks the limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the Andaman Sea. The resort comprises 106 rooms and private villas, a 100m swimming pool, a COMO Shambhala Retreat with eight treatment rooms, including one beauty treatment room and yoga studio offering yoga, Pilates and Asian-inspired therapies, Italian and Thai restaurants and a child-friendly interactive learning area. Private residences with access to all Point Yamu’s facilities are also now available to purchase.

Point Yamu is COMO’s first resort in Thailand outside Bangkok and it is also the first property designed for COMO Hotels and Resorts by Italian design talent Paola Navone (Navone is also working on COMO’s first Stateside hotel, Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach, set to open in December this year.) At Point Yamu, the collaboration sees COMO’s signature clean lines and pared-back, contemporary style united with the Italian designer’s eclectic, colourful approach and the use of local materials. Guests can expect a dazzling palette of bright aquamarines and hot oranges, with Thai artisanal techniques such as traditional wood tiling and woven rattan adding texture. The ocean-facing, floor-to-ceiling windows in each room, offers spectacular views of the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea.

Cuisine, prepared in a wood-fired oven also plays a star role at Point Yamu, with the resort offering a range of options, including relaxed Italian cooking and locally caught seafood at ‘La Sirena’, and spicy southern Thai cooking at ‘Nahmyaa’. Healthy COMO Shambhala Cuisine, designed to maximise energy and wellbeing, can be enjoyed at The Central Bar, while private dining such as beach picnics and romantic sunset meals can be arranged in-room and at a number of special locations in and near to the resort.

Point Yamu’s COMO Shambhala Retreat is extensive, with a 100m swimming pool, yoga studio, a large gym and signature treatments such as the COMO Shambhala Massage and PURIFY holistic facial. For the more actively inclined, Point Yamu offers adventure with biking through nearby villages and plantations, snorkelling and diving off remote islands, all under the guidance of COMO’s expert, English-speaking guides.

Families will also find much to do at Point Yamu, with plenty of interconnecting rooms and suites as well as a dedicated children’s play area with daily interactive games and activities. Family excursions can also be organized to include a visit to a Gibbons sanctuary, elephant rides and other exciting educational visits. Baby-sitting and childminding services are also available.

At just 20 minutes by car from Phuket International Airport, Point Yamu will appeal to Asia-based couples and families seeking a short break to rejuvenate as well as long-haul guests looking for a comprehensive escape. It is also well located for combined stays with the Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok.
About the COMO Group and COMO Hotels and Resorts
COMO Hotels and Resorts creates personalised luxury travel experiences in its Urban Hotels, Island Resorts, Adventure Retreats and Wellness Resorts – highlighting wellness, cuisine, adventure and culture, service and design – while always trying to uphold a strong, sustainable approach towards the people and places where we operate.

Founded by Christina Ong, COMO Hotels and Resorts develops and manages handpicked, individually curated properties: The Halkin by COMO in London, two Metropolitan by COMO hotels in London and Bangkok, Parrot Cay by COMO in the Turks and Caicos, Cocoa Island by COMO in the Maldives, and three Uma by COMO experience resorts in Bali and Bhutan. Point Yamu by COMO is a new property in Phuket, Thailand, opening 2013. The company also manages COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali in partnership with its sister brand in wellness, COMO Shambhala, which promotes health, relaxation and learning through its products, services, cuisine, treatments and spa facilities within each COMO property.

Hands-On volunteer travel project deals around the world!

Hands-On Time Travel

Dig into history with volunteer projects all over the world

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, February 26, 2012 – Help to unravel some of the world’s mysteries by assisting on archaeological sites where Roman soldiers, Mongolian warriors, and Rapanui sculptors once resided. Volunteers step back in time in spectacular locations whilst being guided by professionals in need of assistance. This is a hands-on way to help preserve vital cultural resources around the globe and learn more about ancient ways of life.

Discovering Italy’s Ancient Etruscan and Roman Coast http://goo.gl/l7Y0L

The ancient maritime settlement of Poggio del Molino is located in the heart of the former territory of Populonia, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. This excavation of the Etruscan coastal necropolis aims to fill key gaps in our knowledge of the industrial history and coastal economy, from the early Roman period to the Middle Ages. The project results will offer a profound understanding of the industrial aspects of Roman rule and exploitation. With treasure hunters, looters, and even development pressures threatening the integrity of the site, volunteer help is needed to secure the past before it is lost forever.

Origins of Angkor http://goo.gl/6exJR

The rural village of Ban Non Wat in Northeast Thailand is one of the most important sites for understanding indigenous societies ancestral to the Angkor Empire. Volunteers with Earthwatch will help to search for new prehistoric sites and identify the location of resources such as salt and potting clay. They will help reveal how Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age peoples were affected by their environment, changing climates, the development of agriculture, technological advances, and by contact with those from other lands.

Digging for the Deep World of Devon’s Roman Ruins http://goo.gl/jZpgF

The discovery of this Romano-British settlement is of tremendous importance. The settlement is the largest discovered in the county to date and detected structures hint at native roundhouses, enclosures, and a Roman road. At present, there is nothing comparable to the site in Devon and research will significantly contribute to our understanding of life in the Romano-British world. Earthwatch volunteers will be the first to conduct fieldwork helping further understand the nature, date, and extent of the site.

Restoring Prehistoric Landscapes on Easter Island http://goo.gl/H488W

The massive stone sculptures that dot this remote Polynesian island have perplexed centuries of explorers. Earthwatch probes the past to discover what forces led to disastrous changes here in the 17th century, ending a millennium of peace and prosperity. Volunteers will work in a uniquely beautiful landscape, searching for prehistoric gardens, livestock enclosures, and agricultural fields. Under the gaze of the giant stone moai, they’ll conduct surface surveys, take photographs and GPS coordinates, measure stone features and dig test-pits in gardens to document the evolution of farming on the island.

Archaeology of the Mongolian Steppe http://goo.gl/A6ylc

Earthwatch is supporting archaeological and cultural investigations in the stunning Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, needed to ensure a holistic approach to managing the area. Volunteers will be surveying the landscape for significant archaeological and cultural resources such as burial cairns, steles and other commemorative monuments or markers, the remains of campsites and rudimentary structures, rock art, and other indications of the cultural history and vitality of the region. The goal of the project is to establish baseline data and is a remarkable opportunity to be involved in designing an ongoing archaeological investigation.

About GoVoluntouring: www.govoluntouring.com

Flight Centre’s responsible travel division, GoVoluntouring, is a leading online community for volunteers, overseas teachers, and learners abroad. Its unique search filters allow users to perform detailed and customizable searches from a huge database of projects and programs in over 110 countries around the world.

Thirty-One Days of Wellness.

Thirty-One Days of Wellness

Como Hotels

Join our leading wellness experts at Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok during ‘Wellness Month’ in March

February 8, 2013 (Bangkok, TH) – Experts in ‘raw food,’ massage therapy and yoga will be on hand at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape throughout March as part of a dedicated ‘Wellness Month’ at Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok. The schedule is open to both guests of the hotel, Bangkok residents and members of the spa.

Raw food specialist Diana Von Cranach, and the renowned musculo-skeletal therapist Rohan Quarry Day, are among the experts who will be resident with us throughout the month. They will be delivering a packed schedule of classes and sessions that will help clients share in their knowledge and expertise. Experts in yoga (including facial yoga) and Pilates will also be running special classes during the month.

Diana Von Cranach, who is widely acknowledged for her contribution towards the raw food movement, collaborates with COMO Shambhala regularly at Metropolitan, Bangkok and at COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali. Together with the hotel’s Executive Chef Chris Miller, Diana will be on hand to share her tips for getting the most out of raw cooking. Guests will be able to take part in a raw cooking class with a specific focus on Thai and Balinese menus. Diana’s delicious, enzyme-packed raw menu will also be available to order at the Metropolitan’s healthy glow restaurant. Diana Von Cranach said: “I am excited to work again with Chris Miller of glow restaurant – our collaboration will highlight the best of Asian cuisine via Living Foods, specifically Thai and Balinese flavours, all sourced from the freshest, local produce.”

Australian-born Rohan Quarry Day is the founder of Musculo-skeletal Deep Tissue Massage Therapy, a powerful combination of many different types of therapy, personally developed by Rohan after years of studying and working with a wide range of clients, to relieve symptoms of pain, stress and tiredness. His renowned hands-on healing therapy has won him a dedicated clientele all over the world, from stressed out executives to Olympic athletes. Rohan, a long-term collaborator with COMO Shambhala will be offering a number of one-to-one sessions at the Escape over selected dates.

Other special classes on offer will include:

  • Yoga for Urbanites: Yoga expert Shane Cox will show you how to de-stress your life through yoga.
  • Strengthening the Core through Pilates: This class is led by Pilates instructor Bell Suphatachaya Lattisophonkul.
  • Face Yoga with Chatrisa Srisarntiwong: This half-day workshop will show you how to tighten tone and combat the signs of ageing.

For a full calendar of what’s on during Wellness Month at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Bangkok, visit comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok

Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok

Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok on South Sathorn Road enjoys close proximity to Bangkok’s urban nightlife as well as shopping and the city’s Sky Train. The 171 rooms and suites, defined by subtle contemporary design, offer cosseting luxury with attentive service. The Met Bar is a lively bar well known for its DJs and selection of martini cocktails. Australian chef David Thompson delivers award-winning Thai cooking at nahm restaurant whilst glow focuses on COMO Shambhala Cuisine—a nutritious, healthful menu. Relaxation is available at the hotel’s COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, comprising Asian-inspired treatments, a gym, yoga studio and 20m outdoor pool.

About the COMO Group and COMO Hotels and Resorts

COMO Hotels and Resorts creates personalised luxury travel experiences in its Urban Hotels, Island Resorts, Adventure Retreats and Wellness Resorts – highlighting wellness, cuisine, adventure and culture, service and design – while always trying to uphold a strong, sustainable approach towards the people and places where we operate.

Founded by Christina Ong, COMO Hotels and Resorts develops and manages handpicked, individually curated properties: The Halkin by COMO in London, two Metropolitan by COMO hotels in London and Bangkok, Parrot Cay by COMO in the Turks and Caicos, Cocoa Island by COMO in the Maldives, and three Uma by COMO experience resorts in Bali and Bhutan. Point Yamu by COMO is a new property in Phuket, Thailand, opening 2013. The company also manages COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali in partnership with its sister brand in wellness, COMO Shambhala, which promotes health, relaxation and learning through its products, services, cuisine, treatments and spa facilities within each COMO property.

COMO Hotels and Resorts, in collaboration with MasterCard, invites guests to ‘Purchase with Purpose™’

Como Hotels and Resorts

COMO Hotels and Resorts, in collaboration with MasterCard, invites guests to ‘Purchase
with Purpose™’

Como HotelsTuesday, September 11, 2012. (Singapore) – For the third year running, COMO Hotels and Resorts is teaming up with MasterCard to support development projects and charities across the globe.

From October 1 to December 31, 2012, COMO guests can help local community projects raise US $30 everytime they pay for their stay using their MasterCard. MasterCard’s generous contribution builds upon COMO’s partnerships with grassroots organisations to support underserved communities and enable sustainable livelihoods.

The MasterCard initiative applies across COMO’s nine luxury properties, this year including the newly-opened, Uma by COMO in Punakha, Bhutan. Each COMO property runs social and environmental programmes for staff and the local community throughout the year, focusing on projects and charities with immediate relevance to each location.

Projects currently supported by COMO that will benefit from MasterCard’s Purchase with Purpose™ donation include:

  • St. Mungo’s (personal and skill development for homeless women restarting life after domestic violence and the sex trade) in London, supported by The Halkin by COMO and Metropolitan by COMO, London, UK
  • Goodwill Group Foundation (vocational skills training for underserved young women) in Bangkok, supported by Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Maafushi and Guraidhoo Schools (hospitality skills training facilities for both high schools) in the Maldives, supported by Cocoa Island by COMO, The Maldives
  • Raymond Gardiner High School (sewing and hospitality skills training facilities) in North Caicos, supported by Parrot Cay by COMO, The Turks and Caicos
  • Loden Foundation (micro-grants for young female Bhutanese entrepreneurs) in Bhutan, supported by Uma by COMO, Paro and Punakha, Bhutan
  • Bali International Women’s Association (welfare services and employment initiatives) in Bali, supported by Uma by COMO, Ubud, Bali
  • Tirta Kumara Kindergarten (extension of classroom facilities) in Bali, supported by COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali

COMO Hotels and Resorts and MasterCard have worked together for the Purchase with Purpose programme since 2010, enabling community investment of US$ 75,580 thus far.

Kuno Fasel, Chief Operating Officer for COMO Hotels and Resorts, said: “COMO Hotels and Resorts is delighted to collaborate with MasterCard on Purchase with Purpose. The program builds upon community efforts by our properties throughout the year, so our staff takes great pride in sharing the initiative with our guests. Our guests, in turn, have demonstrated great interest in the projects as they focus on education, entrepreneurialism and supporting the local economy.”

Georgette Tan, group head, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, said: “More and more, we find that our well-travelled MasterCard cardholders are eager to give back to the community and continue to demonstrate a sense of responsibility about the products they are purchasing. We are pleased to collaborate once again with COMO through the Purchase with Purpose program. MasterCard cardholders who stay at COMO look forward to the program and appreciate the opportunity it presents – knowing they can make a difference, just by using their credit card.”

About COMO Hotels and Resorts
Founded by Christina Ong, COMO Hotels and Resorts is known for its handpicked, intimate and individually-curated properties. COMO Hotels and Resorts provides custom-made luxury travel experiences offering culture, memorable cuisine, adventure and wellness combined with the essence of COMO Shambhala. The COMO properties are: Cocoa Island by COMO, The Maldives; Parrot Cay by COMO, The Turks and Caicos; The Halkin, by COMO, London; Metropolitan by COMO, London and Bangkok; Uma by COMO, Ubud, Bali; Uma by COMO Paro and Punakha, Bhutan and COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali. For more information, please visit www.comohotels.com

MasterCard Purchase with Purpose™
MasterCard’s corporate social responsibility platform (CSR) in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) is focused primarily on bettering the quality of life for women and children. MasterCard does this by supporting a broad range of women’s and children’s causes through scholarships, financial assistance, educational and various sustainability programs, helping provide them with the skills required to stand on their own feet and support themselves and their families. This ultimately improves life and prospects within the communities that these empowered women live and work. Apart from the educational aspects of MasterCard’s CSR programs in APMEA, consumer education is an important area of focus for MasterCard given the significance of financial literacy in improving lives and the socioeconomic standing of families throughout the region.

A key component of MasterCard’s social responsibility and citizenship efforts across the region is MasterCard Purchase with Purpose™. Based on the concept of transactional philanthropy, it is at the heart of a drive by MasterCard to encourage responsible spending while, at the same time, making a difference in someone else’s life. Across APMEA, MasterCard Purchase with Purpose initiatives involve cardholders in the company’s efforts to give back to the community whenever they use their MasterCard cards. More information on MasterCard Purchase with Purpose in the region is available at www.mastercard.com/sea/purchasewithpurpose
Image: Jorge Monje, former GM of Uma Paro, presenting a cheque to their community partner Kela Goemba, a nunnery in Bhutan. Last year’s program supported the reparation of a dormitory which was damaged in an earthquake.

COMO Hotels and Resorts to open a new property in Phuket, Thailand in 2012

Como Hotels and Resorts

COMO Hotels and Resorts to open a new property in Phuket, Thailand in 2012

Como Hotels

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 14, 2010. (Singapore)-COMO Hotels and Resorts, the award-winning five-star hotel group based in Singapore, is to develop and manage a new property on the Yamu peninsula of Phuket in Thailand. Located in Phang Nga Bay on the northeast coast of Phuket, this property is the ninth member of COMO’s family of unique destinations and is scheduled to open in September 2012.

The key partners in this project are property development company Campbell Kane, the KS Group and Hotel Properties Limited. COMO’s multi-year management role encompasses full branding, sales, marketing and operational responsibilities. COMO is also playing key roles in the concept, development and execution of design and cuisine, to bring the signature COMO experience to guests.

Located at the very headland of Yamu peninsula, the new property offers 129 rooms with panoramic views of the cape and the surrounding Andaman Sea. Guests can use the resort as a base to explore the dramatic limestone islands and calm turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay. Just 20 minutes from Phuket International Airport, the hotel will be an attractive proposition for Asia-based guests looking for a short break to rejuvenate as well as long-haul guests seeking a comprehensive escape from city life.

The new COMO resort will offer a 100-metre swimming pool, a COMO Shambhala Retreat with yoga studio, two restaurants and a private beach.

Founded by Christina Ong, COMO Hotels and Resorts is known for its handpicked, intimate, and individually curated properties, including The Halkin in London, two Metropolitan hotels in London and Bangkok, Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos, Cocoa Island in the Maldives, and two Uma experience resorts in Bali and Bhutan. It also manages, in partnership with its sister brand in wellness, the COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali.

”The addition of this Phuket property is aligned with COMO Hotels and Resorts’ expansion plans within the region, supporting our growth strategy to include key destinations within the COMO portfolio,” says Harry Apostolides, Vice President of Business Development, COMO Hotels and Resorts. “This new COMO resort will be our second Thai property, after the Metropolitan in Bangkok. These two properties will, in concert, showcase both the vibrancy and serenity of Thailand. Phuket is one of the top tourist destinations in the region, and we have focused on its east coast — an area of outstanding natural beauty and great biodiversity. The location perfectly frames the COMO experience of service and cuisine, complemented by a wellness focus delivered by our award-winning COMO Shambhala Retreat.”

“We are pleased to be working with COMO Hotels and Resorts on this venture” states Peter Hamilton, Managing Director at Campbell Kane and developer of the new hotel. “COMO’s range of properties and the experiences they offer continue to redefine luxury travel.”

The COMO Group and COMO Hotels and Resorts

Headquartered in Singapore, The COMO Group represents Christina Ong’s unique vision of contemporary living. This encompasses the hospitality collection known as COMO Hotels and Resorts, the international luxury fashion retailer Club 21, the award-winning wellness concept COMO Shambhala and the philanthropic COMO Foundation.

COMO Hotels and Resorts are renowned for accurate and intuitive service, sympathetic and elegant design befitting each location, and outstanding cuisine, including the Michelin-starred Thai restaurant nahm in London and Bangkok, and the internationally-renowned Nobu restaurant in London. COMO Shambhala, its sister wellness brand, promotes health, relaxation and learning through its products, services, cuisine, treatments and spa facilities within each property.

Urban Hotels: COMO Hotels and Resorts’ urban properties include the Halkin in London’s Belgravia, and the Metropolitan hotels in London and Bangkok. All three properties feature Michelin-starred chefs and a contemporary aesthetic and unobtrusive, Asian-style service. The lively Metropolitan hotels also house the world-famous Met Bars.

Island Resorts: COMO’s private resorts offer powder-white beaches and some of the world’s best diving. The understated style and laid-back nature of Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos and Cocoa Island in the Maldives belie the exacting service that has become a COMO hallmark. World-class cuisine and comprehensive wellness treatments and activities at COMO Shambhala Retreats complete COMO’s approach to a perfect beach holiday. The new Phuket property is the latest addition within this category of COMO properties.

Adventure Retreats: The Uma properties in Paro in Bhutan and Ubud in Bali unveil local culture, nature, and religious and folkloric traditions. Specialist guiding, treks and tours, physical activities and tailor-made programmes ensure memorable insights into some of the world’s most unique locations. Intimate and relaxed, the Uma properties reference local design and cuisine while providing an unmistakeably COMO experience.

Wellness Resorts: COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali is a sanctuary for holistic wellness. Expert staff are goal-oriented, relevant and realistic in their consultative approach. Each guest’s individual needs and ambitions determine the programme of nutrition, exercise, therapies and activities. Facilities and tropical villa-style accommodation are impeccably appointed.

For more information, visit www.como.bz

                                                  

Celebrate the Winter Holiday Bhutanese Style at Uma Paro

Como Hotels and Resorts

Celebrate the Winter Holiday Bhutanese Style at Uma Paro

Como HotelsOctober 18, 2010. (Paro, Bhutan) – Bhutan’s festival calendar is regularly marked by Tshechu. Meaning ‘Tenth Day’, this celebratory event occurs on the start of the tenth day of each month in the Buddhist lunar calendar. It is an opportunity for local people to come together in a spirit of festivity and faith.

With Tshechu as its inspiration, Uma Paro in Bhutan—an intimate adventure resort deep in the Himalayas—is offering a special ten-day program of activities for guests staying either for the complete period or for a shorter stay over the prime winter holiday and New Year.

Taking place from 23rd December 2010 to 1st January 2011, this will be a unique opportunity to experience the country’s Buddhist culture at a meaningful level while engaging in meditation, Yoga, cookery, traditional Bhutanese sports and hiking in the surrounding Himalayas.

The ten days of holiday fun will comprise around four events daily from which guests can cherrypick at no extra charge. This will include:

• Lecture on Buddhism
• Cookery lessons, where guests can learn how to put together ‘momos’ (dumplings filled with pork, cheese, vegetables or beef), and ‘ema datshi’ (a local classic comprised of chilli and cheese)
• Archery (dha) contests—this is the national sport of Bhutan, with every village, as well as Uma Paro, boasting a ‘bha cho’ (field of target)
• Yoga by candlelight, which will include time for meditation, with morning and evening sessions led by Uma Paro’s resident Yoga instructor
• Mask performance
• Bhutanese film night
• Evening of traditional music and dance

On 25th December, Father Christmas arrives with his horsecart, the evening featuring a special ‘hot chocolate with churros’ treat of thick hot chocolate with a fried pastry. The day ends with a classical Bhutanese instrumental performance (a sound similar to a guitar played alongside a xylophone). On New Year’s Day, guests can enjoy a special festive meal.

With plenty to choose from for families and individuals, this is a chance to reconnect with the things that matter most to Uma’s guests—inquisitive, active, adventuresome people. There will also be time to relax at COMO Shambhala Retreat under the nurturing hands of a masseur, as well as opportunity to explore the mountains, villages and byways, with scheduled hikes and walking meditations led by experienced English-speaking staff.

By staying at Uma Paro and paying with your MasterCard during the holiday season, you can make a positive contribution to the local community in Bhutan.

From 1st October to 31st December 2010, guests at Cocoa Island, Uma Paro, Uma Ubud, the Metropolitan Bangkok and COMO Shambhala Estate will be supporting local community initiatives simply by paying with MasterCard. For every transaction logged, MasterCard will make a donation of US$30 to a local charitable cause. Beneficiaries include a Bhutanese nunnery, a Balinese care centre for the mentally disabled, as well as Balinese, Thai and Maldivian local schools.

These organisations are longstanding partners of the respective COMO hotel or resort located nearby, with service missions closely aligned to COMO’s commitment to their local cultures, economies, environments and communities. In addition to this ‘Purchase with Purpose’ programme, the properties work year-round with these partners through funding, capacity building, staff engagement and skill development. Such community investment is part of a more holistic effort called the COMO Approach, geared towards developing and operating COMO Hotels and Resorts in a sustainable and responsible fashion.

Kela Goemba, located in Cheele La, Bhutan, houses 58 Bhuddhist nuns aged between 13 and 84 years old. At the sacred heart of the local community, the nuns lead an undisturbed life of religious studies, prayer, and meditation. Their remote, mountainous location means that even basic supplies are scarce and the little government support they receive is earmarked for food. In addition to Uma Paro’s ongoing donations and support, each MasterCard ‘Purchase with Purpose’ will help provide a ‘three-month essentials package’ for each of the nuns, comprising a toothbrush, toothpaste, cold cream, soap, shampoo, laundry soap and sanitary pads.

Understanding Uma: Uma means ‘Living House’ in Bahasa, the Indonesian national language. Developed by COMO Hotels and Resorts, Uma properties are located in unspoilt, inland locations. They are also ecologically aware. Every aspect of an Uma resort is infused with indigenous attributes, from design to cuisine to local staff knowledge. The intention is to immerse guests in the textural richness of the resort’s carefully chosen region – from culture to religion and landscape – offering the dual experience of escape and adventure. This is complemented by the holistic core of the COMO Shambhala philosophy, featuring Yoga and Asian-inspired therapies. Uma Paro’s sister resort, Uma Ubud, is located in Bali. For more information, visit www.uma.paro.como.bz

Koichiro Ikebuchi Designs nahm Restaurant at the Metropolitan Bangkok

Como Hotels and Resorts

Koichiro Ikebuchi Designs nahm Restaurant at the Metropolitan Bangkok

Como Hotels

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 7th, 2010. (Bangkok, TH) – nahm Bangkok, the latest venture from award-winning Australian chef David Thompson, occupies a dramatic, newly designed space at the Metropolitan Bangkok. The result is a tour-de-force in intelligent, intimate restaurant design created by award-winning, Japanese interior architect, Koichiro Ikebuchi. The space, which seats 112, sits comfortably with the hotel’s contemporary aesthetic.

Established in 2004, Atelier Ikebuchi’s impressive portfolio spans Asia-Pacific to Europe. His projects include Hotel Uma Ubud, Bali (2004), COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali (2005), Huize van Wely, Jakarta (2008) and Club 21 Men, Bangkok (2009). In 2009, Ikebuchi was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at the Presidents Design Awards, Singapore.

Ikebuchi’s design for nahm is both modern and elegant in conception with a warm, honeyed glow to the dominant palette. It is also loyal to local culture, with inspiration drawn from the grandeur of the Ayutthaya period. Between 1300 and 1700 centuries, this was the wealthiest kingdom in Thai history. Also known as the Golden Age of Thai arts and architectural ornaments, artisans were celebrated for their elaborately decorative works including wood carvings, weaving and murals.

The Thai references are subtle yet visually striking. These include the textured rusty-red (laterite) brick-stepped columns reminiscent of Ayutthaya temples, a gold-leaf featured wall, reclaimed Thai teak wood used for the flooring, hand-crafted wooden screens expressing a weave-like design and Thai silk in rich colours of earthy tones for the upholstery. Throughout Ikebuchi has combined an emphasis on locally sourced, hand-crafted materials together with high-quality finishes.

With the layering of low-level screens, soft light is naturally diffused throughout the restaurant to create a cosy, intimate ambience for each dining space without compromising the buzz of this busy, popular address.

Every design detail has been attended to, including the tableware. The handpicked selection includes Benjarong bowls from Thai Artisan ‘Pinsuwan Benjarong’ and Celadon plates from local, Thai manufacturer ‘Mengrai Kilns’. The variety in shape, height, width and size of the tableware reflects the diversity of the textures and flavours of David Thompson’s cooking.

Interested in experiencing a meal at nahm? Visit the Metropolitan Bangkok before the end of 2010 and enjoy the following package.

TANTALISING THAI
Guests who love their food will surely be tempted by this overnight package. It includes an exotic welcome drink on arrival, dinner for two at nahm, the Metropolitan Bangkok’s new Thai restaurant from Michelin-starred chef David Thompson, and a signed copy of his acclaimed book on the cuisine. Breakfast the next morning showcases the healthy, energy-giving cuisine.

  • Overnight accommodation
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Dinner at nahm restaurant (food only)
  • David Thompson’s book
  • Breakfast for two

Costs:
One night stay
Single USD225++ Double USD300++ (Metropolitan room)

Two nights stay
Single USD360++ Double USD 450++ (Metropolitan room)

Guests at the Metropolitan Bangkok and other COMO properties will be supporting local community initiatives simply by paying with MasterCard. For every transaction logged, MasterCard will make a donation of US$30 to a local charitable cause. Beneficiaries include a Bhutanese nunnery, a Balinese care centre for the mentally disabled, as well as Balinese, Thai and Maldivian local schools.

These organisations are longstanding partners of the respective COMO hotel or resort located nearby, with service missions closely aligned to COMO’s commitment to their local cultures, economies, environments and communities. In addition to this ‘Purchase with Purpose’ programme, the properties work year-round with these partners through funding, capacity building, staff engagement and skill development. Such community investment is part of a more holistic effort called the COMO Approach, geared towards developing and operating COMO Hotels and Resorts in a sustainable and responsible fashion.

Located in the Ayudthaya province, Wat Bangploeng School caters to 151 low-income rural students who leave their families and countryside in search of an education. The students lodge at the temple next door to the school and only visit home once a year. The Metropolitan Bangkok has partnered with Wat Bangploeng in building new facilities for the school, as well as providing regular training in health, nutrition and facilities management.

Clean and potable water is a pressing need at the school to be used for drinking, washing, cleaning, and cooking. The shortfall in water from the government supply is hand-drawn from a well or carried from a canal nearby.

Through the MasterCard programme, donations will enable provision for new pipes to increase water pressure from the government supply, new water pumps for the well and canal along with a filter for drinking and cooking water.

Understanding the Metropolitan: COMO Hotels and Resorts currently owns and operates two Metropolitan hotels, in London and Bangkok. They share dynamic elements: a contemporary east-west aesthetic, youthful staff, a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape and a lively members’ bar. Both hotels have restaurants regarded as gourmet destinations in their own right. They are city hotels that stand at the centre of the action – both physically and in the city’s psyche. They are places where things happen, attracting creative travellers who seek both the high-octane lifestyle as well the peace and calm that comes with clean-lined modern design. This unique potential to experience two different worlds – the energy of a vibrant metropolis, and serene escapism within the hotel’s calming confines – is what defines the Metropolitan life. Website: www.metropolitan.bangkok.como.bz

THE MIGHTY ARROW, Soca King of the World, dies at 60.

The Mighty Arrow, Soca King of the World, dies at 60.

OLVESTON, Montserrat (Sept 15, 2010) – The Soca King of the World, Alphonsus “The Mighty Arrow” Cassell, died at his residence on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat today at the age of 60. 

The international recording artiste was diagnosed with cerebral cancer in early 2009. He was airlifted to the neighbouring island of Antigua last week for treatment. 

His family wishes to thank the medical teams, friends and family who gave their support during the period of his illness. 

Arrow or “Phonzie”, as he was referred to by close friends and family, is responsible for taking the soca genre to the international music scene with his 1982 smash hit, Hot, Hot, Hot. 

Having won the local calypso competition on four occasions, the talents of the proud son of Montserrat were spotted by former Beatles manager, Sir George Martin, who  worked with Arrow to turn his focus to his recording and touring career. 
 
Arrow recorded no less than 22 studio albums with other notable hits including Long Time, Dancing Mood, O’La Soca and Groove Master. 
 
He has performed at concerts, music festivals and gala events across the globe. 
 
“His death is a great loss to the family, his native land of Montserrat and the music world,” said his brother, Justin “Hero” Cassell, another talented vocalist and songwriter, who worked with Arrow during his peak years. 
 
Funeral announcements will be made in due course.  
 
—For further information contact Justin “Hero” Cassell at (664) 496-0203. 

David Thompson opens a Thai restaurant in the city that first inspired him

Como Hotels and Resorts

David Thompson opens a Thai restaurant in the city that first inspired him

Como HotelsApril 5, 2010. (Bangkok, TH) – In July, David Thompson—the Australian-born chef of nahm at The Halkin hotel in London—opens his first restaurant in Bangkok. He will be working alongside his long-term partner of 20 years, Thai-born Tanongsak Yordwai, who helped Thompson set up the chef’s first hit restaurant, Darley Street Thai, in Sydney in 1992. This was followed by Sailors Thai, also in Sydney, and nahm in London.

“It’ll be great,” says Thompson, “to land back into Bangkok and all that delicious chaos. I can’t wait to use local ingredients, going to the markets, playing around in the kitchen, and then putting them onto the dishes in the restaurant.”

In 2002, nahm, London became the first Michelin-starred Thai restaurant in Europe. In Bangkok, Thompson’s ambitions are similar: “to deliver proper, decent Thai food done really well.” The restaurant will have a lighter, more easygoing feel.

The cuisine will be like the food eaten at home, relaxed, generous and authentic. This comfortable approach will be reflected in the style of service, beginning with several different canapés served at each meal. Guided by highly informative Thai waiters, diners will then be able to explore the full gamut of Thompson’s repertoire.

Key dishes will include a jungle curry with snake-headed local fish known as pla chorn grown in the clear water of the rice paddies. “It’s an ugly looking fish, but the flesh is delectable,” says Thompson: “firm, plump, sweet and entirely delicious.” There will be rich dishes on the menu—for instance a southern geng gati of crushed prawns with turmeric and coconut cream or a northern relish of grilled chillies and tomatoes known as nahm prik nuum. These will also be a colourful array of Thai deserts—sweet, creamy, occasionally salty—prepared by Tanongsak, and a wine menu selected by Troy Sutton, the sommelier who has worked with Thompson in London from the start.

Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, the restaurant will be located in the Metropolitan, Bangkok—among the city’s leading addresses with a central position on South Sathorn Road.

It will be designed by Japanese interior architect, Koichiro Ikebuchi, who also designed Uma Ubud in Bali and Aoki in Singapore. Ikebuchi is defined by his sensitive approach to cultural authenticity. Both modern and traditional at the same time, nahm, Bangkok uses natural wood, including screens for privacy, and warm oranges and browns with shimmering bronze plates on tables. The space will be steeped in natural daylight and in the evening, enriched by the soft mood lighting of the nearby outdoor pool.

nahm, Bangkok will feature a private dining room and terrace dining. It is expected to draw its majority of customers from the city, including Bangkok’s significant expat community. Set menus will be priced at 1800 Baht per person (CAD $56).

Understanding the Metropolitan: COMO Hotels and Resorts currently owns and operates two Metropolitan hotels, in London and Bangkok. They share dynamic elements: a contemporary east-west aesthetic, youthful staff, a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape and a lively members’ bar. Both hotels have restaurants regarded as gourmet destinations in their own right. They are city hotels that stand at the centre of the action – both physically and in the city’s psyche. They are places where things happen, attracting creative travellers who seek both the high-octane lifestyle as well the peace and calm that comes with clean-lined modern design. This unique potential to experience two different worlds – the energy of a vibrant metropolis, and serene escapism within the hotel’s calming confines – is what defines the Metropolitan life. Website: www.metropolitan.bangkok.como.bz