Samui Wining & Dining
Attracting MICE

Business and pleasure do go together at The Fair House Beach Resort & Hotel.


Attracting MICEOne of the great things about Samui is that there’s something for everyone. You want 5-star? We got it. Wooden huts? Those too. Shopping and restaurants? There’s everything from penny postcards to grazing for gourmets, and with most things in-between. Whether you’re on a billionaire’s budget or just keeping a practical eye on your spending, you’ll slot yourself in there somewhere.


Of course, if you head for the heart of Chaweng you can expect to pay more for everything. The real-estate is prime and the rents and fees the highest on the island. And, with the exception of a handful of remote and exclusive 5-star hideaways, everything’s top dollar on this strip. Even just heading a click or two away, north or south into the neighbouring bays, you’ll find much the same services – but far less aggressively priced.


Take Chaweng Noi, for example. It’s the next small bay to the south, beginning, literally, just a few hundred metres away from the end of Chaweng Beach Road. One big advantage here is that the main road is noticeably further away from the beach than in Chaweng. Which means that all the resorts in this area are bigger and more-expansively landscaped. There’re acres of space, many of the cottages and bungalows seem to have their own little gardens or lawns, the tropical greenery’s lush and mature and everything’s altogether grander and more relaxed. And that’s a good introduction to what you’ll come across at The Fair House Beach Resort & Hotel.


In the last several years, the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) market on Samui has begun to flourish. Samui is just about in the middle of an air-corridor that runs from Hong Kong to Singapore: even from India to Australia, as long as you don’t mind a bit of a nap en route. And enterprising businesses have taken to coming here for their conferences or exhibitions. What’s essentially needed is a well-equipped meeting room that readily lends itself to different layouts, a range of associated business services, comfortable and modern accommodation and first-class catering that ranges from buffet lunches to fine-dining. A spa and fitness centre also adds an attractive icing to the conference cake. And that’s just what you’ll find at Fair House Beach Resort.


In fact, they have one of the biggest meeting rooms on the island. It’s big enough to park a commercial jet, measuring almost 100 feet by 35 feet, and having full-height windows along one side. Outside this room, and accessed by concertina doors, is a generous reception area that can also double as table-space. Khun Siriwan Wuttikraisakul, the hotel’s Sales Executive, tells me that last September saw a Samui celebrity wedding where more than 300 guests were seated comfortably and catered for, too. Seasoned conference centres will, of course, be able to readily adapt to different seating plans and Fair House is no exception. Theatre-style seating will accommodate up to 200, a classroom layout up to 150 and if you opt for U-shaped nests then there’s easily seating for 60.


But all work and no play makes for no fun at all. And it’s undoubtedly what happens when you’re not seated at a desk that makes MICE events so popular! Even the way a humble coffee break is handled can make or break your day. One of the big bonuses here is the resort’s experienced Executive Chef – Khun Weeravit Suwantip, He’s a dab hand at group catering, as well as having established a super menu of Thai and International cuisine, with an ongoing fresh seafood speciality in the resort’s gourmet restaurant, Sea Paint. And, according to your (group) needs, he’ll architect a complete program for you, ranging from running-buffets on-site, in the reception area outside the meeting room, right through to cowboy theme-nights or seafood barbecues on the beach.


Sea Paint, in the best of island traditions, is an open-sided restaurants but with lots of attractive nooks and corners, open to the sky and overlooking the beach. It’s idyllic in the daytime; the edge of the beach is fringed with gigantic mature fruit trees, throwing everything into a deep and delightfully-dappled shade. And it’s enchanting at night, with warmly-glowing pools of concealed lighting and the sparkling blaze of the arc of Chaweng Beach as a backdrop. There’s the focal point of a central courtyard and bar and, overall, the restaurant can easily seat and cater for up to 150 people.


But business is business. And that means constant complimentary WiFi for a start, throughout the resort. Plus the inevitable digital projector that can be linked to your laptop for PowerPoint presentations. These can be showcased on the 100-inch main screen and/or relayed to one of several supplementary flat-screen TVs. There are no fewer than eight wall-mounted JBL monitor speakers and there’s an additional mobile stand-mounted system if it’s needed. The heart of the audio system is centred on a deceptively bland-looking Crown XLS 402 series power amplifier, which at a true 450 watts RMS per channel would be more than enough for most serious pop groups. This is adjusted and mixed via a DBX 111-NR 15-band equaliser and there are facilities to deploy all forms of digital storage media from plain old DVDs to USB thumb sticks and external hard-drives. Plus there’re all the usual ancillary services, too: secretarial services, translation, dictation and typing, copying and reprographics and fax.


Fair House Beach Resort and Hotel is a regular favourite for national and regional government meetings, such as the annual visit of the Surat Thani Provincial Public Health Office which usually books 30 rooms for a two-night stay. Or the 100-strong Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) from Bangkok which likes to enjoy its business alongside the pleasure of accommodating 80 employees for two or three nights. It seems that they’ve both already discovered the benefits of MICEing on a (very) reasonable budget!


Rob De Wet


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