Five competing hotel GMs conspire to Dine Along The Beach
Dine Along The Beach experienced its second successful year in Hua Hin Thailand, thanks to five 5-Star Hotel Managers.
I must say, we were amazed. How often do the biggest Five Star Hotel Groups in Thailand go head to head, not in battle but in professional arms? However, due to the sheer audacity of five conspiring Hotel GMs, Thailand now has one of its major culinary beachfront highlight tours.
These 5 Star Hua Hin Hotels found the means to work harmoniously together through an original idea cooked up by their respective General Managers. An initiative for punters to travel along the Hua Hin beach coast stopping at five 5-star Hotels to sample each restaurant’s fine dining dishes. A rather tricky yet wonderful initiative created for the good of Hua Hin’s culinary scene and for local/International tourism.
Bangkok Foodies had an absolute blast taking the 2 km shy walk from Hyatt Regency Hua Hin to Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort, along Hua Hin’s beach coast. As a collective group, each hotel PR would lead us from one stop to the next, where we could rest. And when we say rest we mean wine and dine, soak up that incredible beachfront view with dishes curated by each evidently passionate resident chef.
The quality and freshness of produce on offer such as the local seafood is something even big sister Bangkok could not compete with, plus each dining setting was completely different but equally as beautiful. It was like getting five unique dining experiences in one. Score!
Bangkok Foodies tracks down these five GM brainchilds to ask them how the epiphany came about, the challenges they faced and what we should really expect in this little-big beach town of Hua Hin.
BKF: So how did Dine Along on the Beach come about?
Goetz Bauer (Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa): The idea was born over a GM Lunch and brought to life by the five leading 5-star hotels in Hua Hin which all are located on prime locations along Hua Hin Beach.
BKF: Was it hard to convince your hotel board considering some of you are in direct competition?
Goetz Bauer (Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa): All GMs agreed that this is a great opportunity for us and we all see it as a Destination Marketing for Hua Hin activity which other destinations cannot copy that easily. Aside from that, we want to show the customers that Hua Hin is this fantastic beach and no other areas can misuse the name “Hua Hin” without being located in our city.
Carey Osborne (Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa): A very easy decision! It is great to work with the other hotels and resorts in Hua Hin to promote our amazing destination.
David Martens (Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas): Well, it is true that all of us, the five hotels who participated in Dine Along the Beach 2018, are competitors. However, the purpose is to reinforce the fact that Hua Hin should be recognised as a beach destination not only be known for golf or retirees. To also highlight the richness of Hua Hin as a destination for beautiful hotels and resorts, but also with its beaches, food and culinary culture. This year, with five talented chefs from five leading hotels each taking part in a dining journey we curated to welcome Thai clientele and international visitors.
Mr. Christian Wurm (Hyatt Regency): No at all, we all appreciate this marketing initiative to promote Hua Hin as a First Class Beach Destination. The objective of this 2nd year Dine Along The Beach is to continue to build on the success from last year, because we realised how important this collaboration is especially when it comes to promoting the destination.
BKF: Why would you recommend anyone to attend Dine Along the Beach and what are the main highlights of attending this event?
Goetz Bauer (Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa): This is a unique experience which nobody should miss especially for those who are capable of walking along the beach and is a food lover: Walking along this nice beach while enjoying the wonderful seaside scenery, being served excellent food & drinks at five different 5-star hotels – a highlight not to miss when you are in Hua Hin.
BKF: What were some of the challenges you faced when coordinating and executing dine along the beach?
Carey Osborne (Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa): Our teams communicate well together. Our biggest challenge is the weather and tides that can make an outdoor event on the beach a little tricky at times.
David Martens (Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas): One of the challenges was to find the right balance for this particular event, to delight everyone’s palate while maintaining the individual style of each chef. Ultimately, the final result was clearly a success and diners were very satisfied. The chefs’ creativity truly reflected what we would like to present; Hua Hin’s local ingredients and products as well as their culinary richness.
Mr. Christian Wurm (Hyatt Regency): Similar to other outdoor and beach activities, the weather can be a challenge. We decided to postpone in case of rain.
Michael Janssen ( InterContinental Hua Hin Resort): Our Food and Beverage team works very well together with the teams from other hotels, hence this event has become so successful.
BKF: What are some of the changes or improvements you made since the first year?
Goetz Bauer (Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa): The basic concept has not changed – we changed the dishes at all properties and highlighting the Head-Chef who is in charge for the respective food at each property vs. in the past, we highlighted the Executive Chefs of the 5-star hotel.
BKF: For the event, what restaurant do people dine-in at your property, who is your specialty chef and what type of dish do they serve up?
Goetz Bauer (Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa): We provide special set up for this Dine Along The Beach event on our Beach Front Terrace which provides the perfect view of the beach with the backdrop of our resort ground. Chef Xavier Charest–Réhel, the head chef of Big Fish & Bar takes care of the first main course; a sumptuous fillet of sea bass with garlic, parmesan and pesto.
Carey Osborne (Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa): We have an amazing Executive Chef – Anak Koonmart and he works closely with his culinary dessert specialists to put together a dish that showcases our local produce.
David Martens (Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas): For Centara Grand Hua Hin, we highlight COAST Beach Club & Bistro. The restaurant provides a brand new beachfront drinking, dining and lounging experience in a casual and cool vibe. For the event, we present our Chef de Cuisine, Tharathon “Phu” Chindaphu, a talented hand for Western and Mediterranean inspired food with a keen eye for details of distinctive dishes.
Mr. Christian Wurm (Hyatt Regency): As our resort has the longest beachfront, we chose our beautiful Beach Bar overlooking the Gulf of Thailand in combination with McFarland House, our signature restaurant where Khun Tae does his magic. Chef Tae has been developing his skills in western cuisine and he is now one of the best up and coming young chefs in Hua Hin.
McFarland House specialises in relaxed modern European cuisine using the best local Thai and imported ingredients.
Michael Janssen (InterContinental Hua Hin Resort): In fact we have two venues, depending on availability and weather condition:
1st Venue: Of course, the beautiful beach in front of our hotel. We make some great efforts to set up the beach in order to reflect the true luxury ambiance and style of our beautiful resort.
2nd Venue: Our La Residence, an elegant feat of colonial style architecture and design imitating King Rama VI’s 19th-century Royal Summer Palace in Hua Hin with two floors of classic Thai-Victorian feature. We set up the dinner venue for our guests in front of La Residence on the lawn overlooking the infinity pool and panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand.
BKF: When does it occur every year, is it only for hotel guests? How many people can participate and how does one reserve seats for this special event?
Dine Along the Beach will take place on the last Thursday of every month until November 2018. This is the second year we are holding the event. Of course, this is not limited to the hotel guests and we do encourage everyone and especially the food lovers to try this memorable experience.
The price for the five-course meal is THB 2,499 nett per person, accompanied by Monsoon Valley wine, Evian and Badoit mineral water. Only 50 places are available per event so advanced reservations are essential.
To reserve your place at this unique culinary occasion,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org / telephone: +66 (0) 32 521 234.
Full Name: Mr. Goetz Bauer
Title: General Manager
Property/ies: Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa
Contact email: email@example.com
Phone: +66 (0)32 904 666
Property Website: www.huahinmarriott.com
Property Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Phone: +66 (0)32 904 666
Full Name: Carey Osborne
Title: General Manager
Property/ies: Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa
Contact email: email@example.com
Property Website: Huahin.Hilton.com
Property Email: Hua-Hin@hilton.com
Property Phone: +66 32 538 999
Full Name: David Martens
Title: General Manager & Corporate Director of Operations Hua Hin, Krabi & Samui
Property/ies: Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin
Contact email: Davidma@chr.co.th
Phone: +66 (0) 3251 2021-38
Property Website: www.centarahotelsresorts.com
Property Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Phone: +66 (0) 3251 2021 -38
Full Name: Mr. Christian Wurm
Title: General Manager
Property/ies: Hyatt Regency Hua Hin & THE BARAI
Contact email: email@example.com
Phone: +66 3252 1234
Property Website: www.hyattregencyhuahin.com
Property Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Phone: +66 3252 1234
Full Name: Mr. Michael Janssen
Title: General Manager
Property/ies: InterContinental Hua Hin Resort
Contact email: Michael.email@example.com
Property Website: www.huahin.intercontinental.com
Property Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Phone: 032-616-999