Tag Archives: accommodation

The Pannarai Hotel Udon Thani

The Pannarai Hotel Udon Thani by Dan Keegan

Located on Sampanthamit Street, the mid-sized hotel is situated at the epicenter of Udon’s entertainment and shopping district. The Pannarai Hotel is an elegant yet comfortable hotel that’s likely to become an Udon favorite.

The Pannarai Hotel Udon Thani

Pannarai Hotel Udon Thani

One of the Pannarai’s best features, is its location.  The hotel is within easy walking distance of Udon’s top attractions.  Just behind the hotel, is the stunning Central Plaza shopping complex, with shops, restaurants, a movie theater, and bowling alley.  On Sampanthamit Street itself (Soi Sampan), the Pannarai is surrounded by Udon’s nightlife scene and popular foreign food restaurants.  East of the hotel, are the lively night market and UD Town shopping center.

The Pannarai offers guests many amenities.  One, is the hotel’s swimming pool, nestled in a small private garden.  It’s a nice place to cool-off or sip a drink, away from the city bustle.  The hotel includes the full service “Pannawadee” restaurant, which specializes in gourmet Thai food.  There’s also a coffee shop in the lobby.  While the hotel lacks a dedicated exercise room, they may add one in the future.

Ease of access is important for a hotel. Udon’s main bus station and train station are just a short walk from the Pannarai. Guests will appreciate the hotel’s shuttle bus to and from the airport. The hotel’s underground parking makes coming and going a breeze.

One thing you’ll notice about the Pannarai is its natural ambiance.

The hotel’s color scheme is soothing brown, beige, and white colors bathed in natural light.  In guest rooms, the interior design, furniture, and bathrooms are elegant and tasteful. Most rooms have natural woods floors.  Each guest room has a small balcony to survey the surrounding city.  Room prices start at 1280 Baht.

Many travelers will seek out the Pannarai for its size.  With just 79 rooms (58 Standard, 19 Deluxe, and 2 large Junior Suites), this is not a huge hotel.  You won’t get lost in endless dark hallways here.

Instead, the Pannarai is big enough to provide upscale guests with the features they desire, but small enough to feel comfortable and homey.

The Pannarai’s motto is, “Best Service is Our First Priority”.

The Pannarai offers two meeting rooms and a theater for conferences and weddings etc.  Each of these rooms holds 50-80 people.  Management expects the conference facilities to draw quite a few Thai guests to the hotel.

During the “soft” opening period, the Pannarai Hotel will accommodate a small number of guests.  The management team will use this time to ensure that guests receive the high-quality experience they expect.

The hotel plans a Grand Opening a few months after the soft opening.

Feel free to drop by the Pannarai to see it for yourself.  After experiencing the hotel first-hand, I expect many Udon residents will recommend it to family and friends coming for a visit.

For more information about the Pannarai Hotel, please visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Pannarai-Hotel/183957345036968.

Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Udon Thani

Udon Thani’s Indispensible Hotel The Centara Hotel & Convention Centre By Jeff Petry

As I walked into the Centara to chat with the staff about their newly reopened hotel, I noticed a change in the place.  It wasn’t just the recent renovations that caught my eye – the whole atmosphere seemed different: like someone showing off an expensive facelift they’d just received.  In fact, this was pretty much the situation here.

Centara Hotel Udon Thani

Centara Hotel Lobby

Before I’d taken three steps inside, Khun Thananya, the amiable Public Relations Director, and Khun Phantipa, the lovely Catering Manager, asked if I was from Udon Map, and escorted me to a comfortable sofa.  After recovering from my initial shock at their state of readiness, I was handed a print-out detailing all aspects of the new Centara, from its rooms to its restaurants to its meeting facilities and its spa, fitness center, and pool.  I was thinking to myself, “We’re not in Udon anymore;” or rather, “Welcome to the new Udon Thani.  And the new Centara.”

The Centara is Udon Thani’s largest hotel and main convention center, and is joined at the hip to Central Complex, itself now undergoing complete reconstruction.  When completed around April, these two behemoths will have indisputably staked out their territory as the beating heart of Udon Thani.  Most everyone in the area will come to see what is now available in Udon, and virtually every VIP, from the Prime Minister to the Royal Family, will have slept in the Centara and enjoyed her charms by the end of 2012.

Centara’s Public Relations Manager

Centara’s Public Relations Manager Mrs. Thananya Chowurai (left) & Catering Manager Ms. Phantipa Chiemwichitra (right)

A quick note on the name: Mr. Suthikiati Chirathivat, Chairman of the Executive Board of Central Plaza Hotel (Public) Co., Ltd. (CENTEL) said that after much discussion several years ago, they finally settled on “Centara” to be their new hotel brand. He stated that “although ‘Central’ is more famous here in Thailand, especially in the retail business, for the hotel’s international customer base, it doesn’t really reflect ‘Thai-ness’” and the depth and quality of their product and service.

However, “Centara” does sound more Thai, more exotic, but still links the association with the group – “Cen” from Central, which has a reputation spanning 60 years, and “Tara,” coming from the Thai language meaning “Water”.  Worth noting is that Centel’s Fast Food Division includes KFC, Mister Donut, Baskin Robbins, Auntie Anne’s, and Pepper Lunch.  Obviously, we’re looking at one of Thailand’s major players here.

The hotel looks deceptively small from the outside, given the virtual world that lies within: a place one could easily live for ages without ever having to venture outside its walls. There are 259 newly renovated rooms and suites in the hotel, each offering a minimum of 32 square meters of space. There are also 21 Suites, ranging from 42 to 128 square meters in size, with a separate living room and a bedroom equipped with a king-size bed.

Centara Hotel Udon Thani

Centara Hotel Twin Room

All rooms come with the latest mod-cons, as you would expect of a hotel of this caliber in the 21st Century.  The details can all be found on their corporate website (see link below), but to give you an idea of (Internet) prices, we’re talking roughly 1900 Baht for a Superior Room and 2300 Baht for a Deluxe Room, which many tourists will find very reasonable indeed, given the Centara’s facilities, service, quality, and location.

There is a business center for those needing the latest equipment for their work, as well as secretarial services on offer.  The wide array of restaurants ensures you won’t tire of the regular cuisine in the main restaurant, which would actually take you a long while to work through on its own. And master chef Peter Lai, a very young 59-year-old Hong Kong Chinese, always seems to be around, guaranteeing the quality and diversity of scores of scrumptious dishes.  There are breakfast and lunch buffets every day, and dinner buffets on Friday and Saturday nights.

After indulging in Mr. Lai’s offerings, you may want to work some of it off at the fully equipped Fitness Centre, including weight & Yoga Studio, or pamper yourself in the Jacuzzi, Sauna, or Steam Room, take a dip in the Swimming Pool, or ease your muscles with a traditional treatment at SPA Cenvaree, “the place to get body, mind, and soul back into shape.”

Restaurants include the Ban Chiang, for Thai & International cuisine; Luk Fatt, for Chinese food; Deli Corner, a bakery shop & café; the Lobby Lounge for snacks, drinks & light refreshments; the Pool Bar featuring light dishes and drinks; Karaoke @Tune for those who enjoy this type diversion, complete with 7 private rooms; and finally, a la carte in-room dining, available 24 hours a day.  With all these choices, you’re not likely to go hungry at the Centara.

Then, there’s the second half of the name: “The Convention Centre,” the first choice for many planners, both professional and personal, for meetings, conferences, conventions, presentations, product launches, incentive groups, weddings, and private celebrations of all kinds.

At 2,900 square meters, the Udon Thani Convention Centre will hold up to 3,000 guests for a reception and 5,000 people for a concert. The 11-meter ceiling makes this a versatile space, and indoor sports can even be staged here.

The Tung Sri Muang Grand Ballroom has a capacity for 600 guests, and a total area of 700 square meters. For smaller events, the room divides into two equal sections as Grand Ballroom 1 – 2, each with a capacity of 300 persons.

There are five additional meeting rooms, each measuring 100 square meters with a capacity of up to 80 guests per room, making them ideal for breakout meetings or for seminars or receptions. For a slightly larger event, the Ban Phue Banquet Room will hold 100 guests within its 135 square meters, while the 300 square meters Na Yung has a capacity for 200 guests.

The hotel also operates a separate Halal Kitchen to ensure appropriate catering for guests who follow a Halal diet.

Should you wish to stage a full-blown, “hi-so” wedding ceremony, you need look no further than the Centara for this as well.  They can provide all you need for the big event, starting from the arrangements of traditional lustral water ceremony to the reception, and much more.

As I sat in the restaurant sampling dish after dish, for purposes of this article of course, I was expertly handed off between the PR Director, the Catering Manager, the Chef – who had just served a huge group upstairs – and I was now enjoying the lively company of Food & Beverage Director Mr. Vichit Chatthong.

He was telling me about the host of extras available for wedding receptions, including decorative ice sculptures, flower arches and stands, traditional garlands and corsages for the wedding party, guest books, multi-tiered cakes, and so on. Plus, a special rate for an overnight stay with complimentary meal voucher at the resort.

I was surprised to learn that he also organized and arranged events outside the hotel, for those wanting to have a wedding or ceremony at a place of their choosing – at home, or perhaps in an idyllic natural setting.

We also discussed the different charities and programs he has been involved with over the years with the Central Group, including training ethnic Karen students in Mae Sot to work in their hotels, and much more.  In fact, many of these hospitality industry professionals with whom I had the pleasure of speaking have worked with each other on and off for twenty to thirty years in different Central properties throughout Thailand.

Finally, pet-lovers will be pleased to learn that they can bring their precious animals to the Centara as well, given a few reasonable rules, which can be found on their website, but include the following: Your pet must be clean and shampooed prior to arrival; only one dog per booking is permitted to stay with you and can weigh no more than 20 kilograms and must be trained to obey your commands; and, as the owner, you will be responsible for cleaning up any “accidents” that occur within the hotel grounds.  A fully refundable cash deposit of 2,000 Baht is payable upon check-in.

I was tempted to sample some of the “Exclusively for Him at SPA Cenvaree” treatments on offer before leaving, but decided to postpone this to another time.  The Swedish Massage was particularly enticing, a full body massage designed to stimulate blood circulation and break up lactic acid build-up in the muscles. Also on offer was the Jurlique Men’s Vitality Facial: a deep-cleansing and purifying facial designed specifically for men’s skin.

Those interested should visit www.spacenvaree.com, where you can review the various programs and treatments, shop online for spa products and chat with a spa concierge about your upcoming visit and personal treatment needs.

I thought I’d met most everyone at the hotel by the time I left; however, the very friendly GM, Mr. Chaiphun Thongsuthum (Jok) met me in the lobby on my way out, inviting me and all my friends to come experience the new, improved Centara.  Based on my brief encounter, I can highly recommend it, and believe that most visitors will be pleasantly surprised by all the Centara now has to offer.

Much more info can be found on the Centara Udon Thani website at www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cud/

You can also contact the friendly, well-trained staff using the info below:

Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Udon Thani
Tel.:  +66 (0) 4234 3555
Email:  cud@chr.co.th

Centara Hotel Udon Thani to reopen soon

Centara Hotel Udon Thani

Centara Hotel Udon Thani Logo

Centara Hotel and Convention Centre, which is adjoins Central Plaza shopping center in central Udon, is still undergoing major renovation and will be ready in March 2012.

The hotel renovations have expanded the number of guest rooms and suites to a total of 259. The rooms are being redesigned to offer international standards with stylish furnishings and brand-new bathrooms.

There will be 236 Standard, Superior, and Deluxe rooms, each with 32 square meters in area. The two Petit Suites feature 42 square meters of floor space, while the 20 Junior Suites have their own individual bedroom and living room within their 64-74 sqm. The Executive Suite on the top floor has one bedroom and one living room and offers a very spacious 128 sqm.

The restaurant, Ban Chiang, which is open all day, will serve local Issan cuisine along with international food. There will be a Chinese restaurant called Luk Fatt, this will serves Cantonese food in a modern style setting. The hotel will also host a karaoke lounge called @Tune.

Amongst the leisure facilities on offer, there will be a Spa called Cenvaree with six elegant Thai pavilions where private treatments will be offered to customers and guests, and there will be a newly fitted out fitness center with a yoga studio, sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Udon Thani is located in the heart of the city’s commercial, shopping, and entertainment area, and adjoins Central Plaza, the largest shopping and entertainment center in the north-east of Thailand. The hotel is only a 20 minute drive from Udon’s International airport, the central bus terminal is within walking distance, and the train station is a 10 minute walk away.

Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s biggest operator of hotels, with 38 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in Thailand. A further 16 resorts in the Maldives, Philippines, Vietnam, Bali Indonesia, Srilanka, and Mauritius Indian Ocean, which brings the present total to 54 properties.

Udon Condos – Luxury Condominiums in Udon Thani Coming Soon

Udon’s First Condominium Project: A Home of Your Own – By Jeff Petry (Udon Thani Guide Magazine) July 2011

There’s good news for foreigners looking to buy a home in Udon Thani, Thailand: Udon Condo, Udon’s first condominium project is coming soon. When completed, foreigners will finally be able to own their own home in northeast Thailand, 100% in their name.

Given the initial excitement shown in survey results from foreigners in Thailand, this project will most likely be breaking ground before long with the building beginning to rise up over Udon soon thereafter. Space is limited, so takers are advised to get in early, once they come to market, in order to secure their special rooms with a view.

Udon Thani Condominium Project

Udon Thani Condominium Project

The development is still in the design and research stage, and are not available to purchase just yet. However, planning permission has already been approved, so the project is officially underway. The wheels are in motion, and the plans will be executed in the coming months.

Situated on over 2 rai in downtown Udon Thani between Radjapaht University and Jintakam Road, the Udon Condo project will provide a sanctuary setting in the heart of the city. This is a special piece of land, located as it is in the heart of Udon, yet designed in such a way as to be something of an urban oasis.

The residences will be secluded by design with recreation areas, swimming pool and landscaped gardens. The rear of the condo building will overlook parkland in the distance owned by Wing 23 Army.

The location provides easy and convenient access to major roadways; e.g., Khon Kaen – Bangkok Highway (route 2), central bus routes, local transportation, as well as Udon’s most vibrant shopping and entertainment areas (Central Plaza & UD Town), only a 1.9 km, 20-minute walk away.

It is also close to convenience stores, including a 7-11 and a number of restaurants. The Army Hospital is just down the road, as is Aek Udon International Hospital. Udon Thani Airport is a short drive away.

There will be 76 condos built in total during Phase 1, with a combination of studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom units for sale. Phase 2 is projected to contain approximately the same number of units, with specific types built according to initial response and Phase 1 demand.

This development is being built according to the highest standards, with safety, security, comfort, convenience, and luxury in mind. Udon is no longer the country backwater it was not so many years ago, and the developers realize that the time is right to build modern housing here, with style, purpose, convenience, and all the amenities of modern life in mind.

The condo project will provide ample and secure covered parking, high security, card-controlled doors, and built-in safes for valuables. It will be wired for phone and Internet connections, as well as Satellite TV. Multi-national individuals will feel very much at home here, without a doubt.

Rooms will have decent sized balconies that are not subject to air-conditioning exhaust, and a management company will oversee day to day operations and maintenance. In short, this will be a one-of-a-kind development in Udon.

Prices will range from approximately 850,000 Baht to over 2,000,000 Baht – extremely reasonable in comparison with similar projects in Thailand’s largest cities. You could expect to pay at least twice this for comparable rooms in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Pattaya, or Phuket; that is, if you wanted to live in any of those cities. Here, a 5-minute drive will take you into the rice fields, and onwards into the bucolic Isan countryside.

On top of all this, Udon Condo’s facilities will include a gym, a swimming pool, a mini-shopping mall – convenience stores, massage, laundry, etc. – and a proper reception and lobby area.

Quality building materials will be used throughout the building. A fire sprinkler system will be installed for personal safety. Walls will be built with Q-con blocks to protect against heat and noise. All fixtures will be of the best quality, with everything built according to code. Udon Condo plans to do things right – the first time.

Individual condominium ownership for foreigners is available. Foreigners are legally allowed to own condominium units and hold title in their own name as freehold properties. Other options include part-finance and long-term leases. There will be a low monthly maintenance and facilities fee.

For more information, please contact Udon Condo via the contact form here http://www.thailandhouseplans.com/contact-us, or check on progress and developments on the “Udon Condominiums” thread on the UdonMap Forum, www.udonmap.com/udonthaniforum.