Already planned a trip to London and Paris for the coming holiday? In case you’ve already been-there-done-that, you might want to consult the GoGo City Guides (www.gogocityguides.com) which recommend where to see the best art, eat at hip places, and shop for interesting finds. It’s actually not very new, first launched as a biannual guidebook for Paris in 2010, but its success has brought regular updates, as well as another guide for London.
The latest resort to open in Ao Nang, Krabi’s tourist central, is the Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach (Nopparat Thara Beach, Ao Nang, Krabi, 075-810-000, www.holidayinresorts.com/krabi)—just in time for high season. Rebranded from the giant Sala Talay Resort opened in 2008, the resort currently features 55 rooms and suites with minimal furnishings, raw cement, natural wood and green hues, with another 133 rooms to be finished next year.
There is a lot happening in Phuket, the latest being a two-day beach party on Surin Beach called Sydictive Element. Scheduled to take place on the nights of Dec 30 and 31, the event is organized by Thai entrepreneurs, endorsed by shameless self-promoter Paris Hilton, and will feature a long list of top electro acts like Dash Berlin, Basement Jaxx and Tiga.
We haven’t heard much from Regent, the Asian-based luxury hotel brand, since The Regent Bangkok was rebranded as Four Seasons. A decade passed, the brand was bought by a Taiwanese investor, and only now is it making a comeback to Thailand, in Phuket. The Regent Phuket Cape Panwa (84 Moo 8 Sakdidej Rd., Vichit, Muang, Phuket, 076-200-800.
In recent years, more and more independent travelers have ditched hotels for short-term rental apartments which give them a larger space for the same price and sometimes free guided tours from the hosts.
If you’re booking a last minute flight to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai for the Loy Kratong Yi Peng festival (Nov 28), please take note that around this time planes are not allowed in the skies after 6pm. At the time of going to print, only THAI had announced they will suspend all post-6pm flights from Nov 27-29, but normally other airlines do likewise. This is because the flying lanterns that are essential to the festival are not friendly to air travel, so the modern-day flying machines must make way.
We were in Tokyo just in time for the first anniversary of Hankyu Men’s (Yurakucho JR Station, Tokyo. www.kankyu-dept.co.jp), a nine-floor mall where everything is impeccably curated for urban guys. Though it’s not the first of its kind in Tokyo (think Isetan Men’s and 109 Men’s Shibuya), it does stock top fashion brands we don’t have here, like Goyard, Tom Ford, Maison Martin Margiela and Maison Takuya, as well as Japanese brands like Undercover, Yohji Yamamoto and Takeo Kikuchi.
Already booked a trip to Phuket at the end of this month? You might want to check out the annual North Phuket Culinary Arts Festival where four five-star resorts on Mai Khao Beach (Anantara, Sala, Renaissance, JW Marriott) will team up to offer signature dishes at three dining events during Nov 30-Dec 2. Nov 30 will see Phuket’s longest dining table on the beach in front of Sala and Renaissance, while on Dec 1 Anantara will hold a wine dinner featuring its signature sea salt. The festival ends with a Sunday brunch at JW Marriott on Dec 2.
The annual sale of the Accor Asia Pacific hospitality group, which owns top hotel brands like Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Ibis Style, is back. The Accor Super Sale begins today and runs until Nov 22 for Le Club loyalty program members (join for free on their website) and Nov 19-22 for regular customers.
Those disappointed that Jennifer Lopez ditched Bangkok can take solace in the fact that she will stage a concert in Kuala Lumpur at Stadium Merdeka on Dec 2. To mark one of the biggest events in Malaysia this year, Tourism Malaysia, the country's tourism authority, is giving away 30 tickets to J.Lo's concert (worth RM628/B6,280 each) to those who can prove they have booked an air ticket to Kuala Lumpur during the concert period. This is on a first-come-first-serve basis.