Skål goes ‘hard rockin’

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Skål Pattaya & East Thailand held its regular monthly meeting at the Soul Lounge of the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday the 28th of September.

This meeting actually deviated from the more usual concept that Skål has enjoyed over the last few months since its re-launch, moving away from the sit down dinners and more formal events to a relaxed networking where Skålleagues enjoyed the sounds of the house DJ and the free flow beer, red and white wine or soft drinks.

The ticket price was a couple of hundred baht higher for this event to cover the free flow of drinks and the chefs at the Hard Rock laid out a great buffet which included a curious, yet delicious “Carbon black bun mini Wagyu burger”, Unagi (a freshwater Japanese eel) with avocado ciabatta sandwich, onion mushrooms and bacon puff pastry, foie gras, sweet potato samosa, shrimp and crab cake, fragrant lamb Biryani and for dessert there was maple caramelized banana nutella pizza, Strawberry mille feuille and a prosecco granita to help cleanse the palette.

President Tony Malhotra presents a membership certificate to Allan Riddell, director of SATCC.President Tony Malhotra presents a membership certificate to Allan Riddell, director of SATCC.

The lounge setting enabled those attending the event to enjoy the food and mingle with other business professionals from the world of tourism and with over fifty people in attendance it is obvious that Skål Pattaya has quickly become a popular option for those working in hospitality and travel.

President Tony Malhotra made a brief speech where he welcomed everybody and made the traditional Skål toast.  He went on to thank his board and then, as is usual at Skål, the microphone was handed round so that everybody could introduce themselves and state what company they represented, which also gave them a chance to mention any promotions that may be of interest.

Janya Rattanaliam (left), Head of Int’l Marketing and Ariya Chatsri, Marketing Executive for Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.Janya Rattanaliam (left), Head of Int’l Marketing and Ariya Chatsri, Marketing Executive for Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.

Among these were Allan Riddell from the South African Chamber of Commerce, Marlowe Malhotra and his team from Massic Travel, Spuarmart Vajanarat and Jurrasatree Suwannawong from Groupon, Dominque Ronge and his team from Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort, Pattaya which will have its soft opening on the 15th of October.

Jarusatree Suwannawong (left), Head of Travel and Accommodation, and Suparmart Vajanarat, Senior Market Executive-Travel Thai Groupon Ltd.Jarusatree Suwannawong (left), Head of Travel and Accommodation, and Suparmart Vajanarat, Senior Market Executive-Travel Thai Groupon Ltd.

Along with Dr Iain Corness from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, Angie Turton (former guest speak for Skål Pattaya), Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya General Manager Jorge Carlos Smith, Phillipe Delaloye, and the recently appointed general manager of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, Pattaya Robert J Lohrmann, who stated that he had worked in hospitality for many years and earlier this year had decided to retire to Chiang Mai but found that he still had a lot to offer and took up the reins of the magnificent hotel in Wongamart, which he dubbed as the Russian Hotel.

Howard Posener amazes the audience with his world class magic skills.Howard Posener amazes the audience with his world class magic skills.

The guest speaker for the event was the head of the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) for the Pattaya office, Auttaphol Wannakij, who gave an overview of tourism in Pattaya, from its many attractions such as golf and the calendar of festivals. He showed that in terms of international tourism, the Russians still lead the way with the Chinese in second place.  He also pointed out that the domestic market was still increasing with many Thais coming to Pattaya for the weekend.

(L to R) Guest speaker Auttaphol Wannakij, Director of TAT Pattaya Office, Elfi Seitz executive editor Pattaya Blatt and Peter Malhotra MD of Pattaya Mail Media Group.(L to R) Guest speaker Auttaphol Wannakij, Director of TAT Pattaya Office, Elfi Seitz executive editor Pattaya Blatt and Peter Malhotra MD of Pattaya Mail Media Group.

He went on to state that the TAT promotes Pattaya and Thailand to many international markets and had recently returned from a very successful promotional tour of Japan.

This was followed by some entertainment by international celebrity magician Howard Posener, who amazed the audience with his world class skills.  Howard has been a magician for many years and has worked for the likes of Tom Hanks, Michael Caine and Leonardo DeCaprio.  He performs close up magic at the table at Mantra restaurant every Wednesday from 7-9 p.m.

(L to R) Tony Malhotra, President of Skål Int’l Pattaya & East Thailand, Robert John Lohrmann, GM of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, Jana Kenton and George Kenton, Executive Assistant Manager-Rooms Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya.(L to R) Tony Malhotra, President of Skål Int’l Pattaya & East Thailand, Robert John Lohrmann, GM of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, Jana Kenton and George Kenton, Executive Assistant Manager-Rooms Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya.

Executive advisor for Skål Pattaya & East Thailand Peter Malhotra gave a vote of thanks for Auttaphol Wannakij and for Howard Posener and also to the staff and management of the Hard Rock Hotel for hosting the event and for their cooperation and support of Skål in Pattaya.

The Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya management (l-r) Luca Pulese, Executive Chef; Leon Berrange, F&B Manager; Oscar Martin, F&B Asst Manager and General Manager Dominique Rongé.The Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya management (l-r) Luca Pulese, Executive Chef; Leon Berrange, F&B Manager; Oscar Martin, F&B Asst Manager and General Manager Dominique Rongé.

There was still more networking to be done and the drinks and food were still being enjoyed when Nick Pendrell gave a brief overview of a new magazine and TV channel specifically aimed at the Chinese market.  It is free of charge and can be used in hotels in and around Pattaya. This is especially significant as the Chinese market makes up a huge part of the revenue stream for the hospitality industry, and the magazine and TV are the first to fill this niche.

The beauty corner (l-r) Supparatch Piyawatcharapun, Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya, Dueanpen Thongsombut, Asst Director Sales Amari Orchid Pattaya, Jitmanee Siravithayavanich, Hotel Manager for Way Hotel and Urai Patenya, Sales Manager for Eastern Star Resort & Golf Club.The beauty corner (l-r) Supparatch Piyawatcharapun, Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya, Dueanpen Thongsombut, Asst Director Sales Amari Orchid Pattaya, Jitmanee Siravithayavanich, Hotel Manager for Way Hotel and Urai Patenya, Sales Manager for Eastern Star Resort & Golf Club.

Since its re-launch earlier this year Skål Pattaya & East Thailand has quickly made a mark for itself, and has grown quickly into a welcome alternative to some of the other networking events across the city.

(L to R) Esther Kaufman, MD of My Office Travel, Kim and Pascal Schnyder, owners of Casa Pascal Fine Dining.(L to R) Esther Kaufman, MD of My Office Travel, Kim and Pascal Schnyder, owners of Casa Pascal Fine Dining.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday the 17th of October at the Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.  Looking onwards, Skål will be at the new Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort, Pattaya on November the 21st and rounding the year off with a Christmas party on the beach at the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort & Spa on December the 19th.

The Skål motto is “Doing business amongst friends” and if your business is related to tourism please keep up to date with Skål Pattaya & East Thailand on their facebook page: www.facebook.com/skalpattaya.

(L to R) Marlowe Malhotra MD of Massic Travel, Supa Kukarja director of PMTV and Vicky Malhotra, manager of Massic Travel.(L to R) Marlowe Malhotra MD of Massic Travel, Supa Kukarja director of PMTV and Vicky Malhotra, manager of Massic Travel.

Holiday Inn Pattaya team (l-r) Ireelda Jirachokchayanant, Meetings & Events Manager, Papakan Saguansap, Tea Tree Spa Manager and Sipat Vongsakul, Revenue Analyst.Holiday Inn Pattaya team (l-r) Ireelda Jirachokchayanant, Meetings & Events Manager, Papakan Saguansap, Tea Tree Spa Manager and Sipat Vongsakul, Revenue Analyst.

(L to R) Philippe Delaloye, Dimitri Chernyshev, EAM of Pullman Pattaya Hotel G and Jorge Carlos Smith, GM of Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya.(L to R) Philippe Delaloye, Dimitri Chernyshev, EAM of Pullman Pattaya Hotel G and Jorge Carlos Smith, GM of Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya.