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Travel Features – December 2013

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Travel features this December present about specials hotel: Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Chai Lai Orchid Eco Resort, and Other hotels with social missions in Thailand.

Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square
460853_3605663711289_122857048_oThe operations of big hotel chains can have an enormous impact to the environment, and the community. Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, with its unique location in the heart of the capital, is taking part in the Planet 21 campaign. This is an environmental initiative that helps to educate and engage hotel staff and guests to act together for the well-being of the planet through social, environmental, and community activities. The hotel plants trees to reduce its carbon footprint and encourages guests to practice energy-saving procedures. Along with this green approach, Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square developed an innovative rooftop spirulina farm which thrives in the intense Bangkok sunlight and reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The locally grown rooftop spirulina, recognized by the United Nations as “the most ideal food for mankind,” can be purchased at the hotel in 300-gram portions for THB 600, or added to any dish or smoothie at SQUARE Buffet Restaurant. To sample the beautifying effects of spirulina, pamper yourself with a spirulina facial or body treatment (starting at THB 2,000), at Tammachart Day Spa.

To help the local community, the Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square and the National Office for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (NEP) is participating in “Realizing the Potential,” an equal opportunity job skills training campaign for the physically challenged. The NEP provides hotels participating in this program with a tax deduction/exemption to encourage them to continue to support it. In October 2013, a group of hearing impaired candidates embarked on a professional on-the-job training program at this hotel to learn new skills and build the confidence needed to succeed in the workplace.

Where: 392/44 Siam Square Soi 6, Bangkok 10330
How much: Rooms run from THB 3,500 to THB 5,000 per night
More info: +66 2 209 8888,

Chai Lai Orchid Eco Resort
staffThe Karen hill tribe migrant community in North Thailand is one of the minorities in Thailand that live in extreme poverty and lack access to basic education. American-born Alexa Pham, owner of The Chai Lai Orchid Eco Resort, founded the NGO Daughters Rising, which strives to empower the local Karen community through education programs, hospitality training programs, and scholarships. The resort is located in Mae Wang, about 55 kilometers from Chiang Mai, in a natural setting surrounded by rice paddies, elephants, and mountains. The Lanna-inspired rooms are tastefully decorated with a natural touch, and most face the nearby river. Activities that can be done in the area include elephant riding, multi-day trekking trips, bamboo rafting, and volunteering. There’s even a rambunctious baby elephant on the premises to play with!

All of the staff at the Chai Lai are local Karen villagers whom Alexa is helping to not be stuck in an unending cycle of poverty and lack of career opportunities. The work training program she has implemented will one day help the villagers find jobs and break the cycle, paying dividends to many generations into the future. The Chai Lai also participates in weekly English teaching classes for the Karen children, who don’t have access to public education. Your stay here helps the Chai Lai fund all these socially driven activities for the local Karen community.

Where: 202 Moo 9 T. Mae Win, Mae Wang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50360
How much: Rooms run from THB 1,200 to THB 2,250
More info: +66 86 923 0867,

Other hotels with social missions in Thailand
Joy’s House
114 Moo 9 Sanpeesua Village, Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50300
Tel: +66 53 854 213

Green Pearls Phang Nga
33 Mu 5 Khokkloy Thakuathung, Phang Nga, Phuket 77220, Thailand

Six Senses Samui
9/10 Moo 5, Baan Plai Laem, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320
Tel: +66 77 245 678

Golden Buddha Beach Resort
131 Moo 2, Ko Phra Thong, Khuraburi 82150
Tel: +66 81 895 2242