Atlantis Restaurant at Centara Azure


Way back in 1983, Thailand’s leading retail group, Central Group of Companies, formedCentral Hotels and Resorts and in the same year opened its first property in the developing northern suburbs of Bangkok. The company’s meteoric growth has resulted in its establishing a network of deluxe and first-class properties nationwide. There are now 43 properties in Thailand, 33 in operation and 10 under development.pattaya2

The very latest hotel to join the company’s hospitality portfolio in Pattaya is Centara Azure Hotel. This stunning city hotel lies to the east of The Avenue and to the west of the bright lights of Soi Buakhaow. For urbanite visitors and tourists the location puts them within walking distance of scores of restaurants, fitness centres, bowling and a state-of-the-art cinema.

Mick and I were invited to visit their flagship restaurant and all-day dining outlet Atlantis recently and were so impressed not only with the friendliness of all the staff but the spectacular aqua-décor of the huge column aquarium that dominates the centre of the restaurant. We sat right by this fishy entertainment and the sheer variety and number of the exotic fish kept us amused all evening.

We opened with a more than generous Black Tiger Prawn Salad (B.250). Big, fleshy BBQ prawns were stacked atop a technicolour salad of cherry tomatoes, chopped mangos and coriander and flashed with Balsamic dressing. Fresh, tasty and vibrant, it made the ideal starter. The kitchen also prepares a Classic Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad with garlic confit and house-made pesto sauce that would also have fitted the bill nicely (B.210).

For a healthy delicious lunchtime snack, the menu offers some interesting wraps and sandwiches. The Indonesian Chicken Wrap (B.185) highlights grilled, marinated chicken with lettuce, peanut salsa and shavings of shallots and cucumber or the big house signature Ciabatta Club (B.250) is full to bursting with chicken, crispy bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato and coated with garlic mayo. Their Classic Beef Burger (B.250) or Jalapeno Popper (B.290) for that extra kick were popular choices on the night we were there, as were their beer (Singha) battered fish and chips (B.180) with potato wedges.



WTTC tourism leaders show support for Bangkok’s ‘Green Lung’


About 100 attendees from the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok will plant more than 300 mangrove trees in Bang Krachao, Bangkok’s ‘green lung’ across the Chao Phraya River from Klong Toey, to draw attention to environmental issues and the continuous pressure to develop the area.

The greening effort on April 28 is part of the global Tourism Cares non-profit initiative, which unites tourism industry members to give back to local communities and is held in close collaboration with the WTTC.

“I think WTTC tourism leaders will be pleasantly surprised by the wonderful 16 km of orchards, canals and rural walkways that we have on the doorstep of downtown Bangkok,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures, a sustainable tourism facilitator company which was chosen by Tourism Cares to organise a green event after the summit. “Bang Krachao is Bangkok’s last oasis of calm, home to hundreds of bird and plant species. The pressure to pave it over in the name of ‘development’ is immense. We should keep it green. Our tree planting is a small step in that direction,” said Niemeijer.

There is a three-year scheme with the Royal Forestry Department, Kasetsart University and petroleum company PTT to enhance public green spaces and ensure at least 60 percent of the area remains green.

However, changing Bangkok lifestyles and developers offering to pay around 24 million baht (US$700,000) for an 80 x 80 metre plot of land mean that pressure to sell is immense.

Increasing numbers of the Thai capital’s walkers, cyclists and kayakers use Bang Krachao as a convenient escape to nature, a five-minute ferry ride from Bangkok. The eco-friendly solar powered Bangkok Tree House hotel in eastern Bang Krachao is indicative of how sustainable tourism is now popular in the area and could help keep Bang Krachao mostly green.

WTTC members will inspect the area first hand on Friday.

“It will be an important day,” said Gerald Lawless, WTTC chairman. “One where we can personally demonstrate and inspire others by showing we are hands on, caring and engaged and leaving a positive contribution to the city of Bangkok.”

source: http://www.pattayatoday.netpattaya3.jpg