Samui Wining & Dining
Attracting MICE

Hansar Samui’s great location and terrific amenities make it an excellent venue for meetings.


20The first scene is set something like this. You’re sitting around a big conference table in an air-conditioned room. There are tightly sealed rain-splattered windows on one wall, with a smoggy view across the wet concrete-and-glass cityscape outside. You can’t wait for the meeting to finish so that you can crawl your way through the stop-start traffic to the comfort of your apartment and put up your feet for a while.


The alternative script is subtly different! You’re sitting around a big conference table in a cool and breezy room with an opened wall of floor-to-ceiling glass. The view outside is of a shimmering turquoise sea, across which there’s a nearby tropical island languishing in the warm afternoon sun. You can’t wait for the meeting to finish so that you can saunter to the spa for a massage before reclining on your sea-view balcony with a book for an hour, prior to changing for dinner.


The first scenario is all too familiar: more or less a normal scheduled session for most hard-working managers. But the second script is becoming increasingly more commonplace, and most welcome it is, too. More and more companies are literally beating a ‘retreat’ to the idyllic shores of Samui where they can indulge in the advantages of work and play combined. The facilities for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions – MICE – are excellent here. And one of the most well-equipped resorts to cater for this market is the crisp and modern Hansar Samui in Bo Phut.


‘Hansar’ is one of the more-recent additions to the Samui scene, having opened its doors for the first time in July 2010. There are 74 deluxe rooms ranging from ‘Sea View’ to ‘Beach Front’, the LUXSA Spa, a gym and fitness centre, The Chill Lounge and H-Bistro restaurants, plus a business centre and the spacious and well-equipped Azure banqueting and conference room. And it’s something of a statement about the quality of the facilities and management to say that already the resort has hosted several large international gatherings in the short time that it’s been open.


A number of Samui’s top-end resorts designs have drawn heavily from traditional Thai architecture, with complex roof-styles and elaborate carved wooden decorations, but not so Hansar. The style here is bold and simple, crisp and modern, with understated tones and textures that complement the extensive use of natural fabrics and woods. And the furnishings, both in the rooms and the public areas, echo this no-frills approach, with huge day-beds, oh-so-comfortable deep sofas, soothing rocking-style chairs and scatter cushions being the order of the day.


A further advantage is its location; right on the edge of the popular and attractive beachside strip of Fisherman’s Village, just a little way away from the ring-road traffic lights in Bo Phut. Unlike many resorts which command a roadside presence, you won’t see Hansar until you’ve reached the beachfront; at which point it will be revealed in its totality as a very commanding presence indeed! The massive U-shaped design is laid-out on three sides of an equally huge lawn and touches onto the beach road with its open-fronted H-Bistro restaurant. And this was where I went to meet the resort’s genial and accommodating General Manager, Indra Budiman, to find out more about Hansar’s MICE facilities.


We can easily cater for groups of up to 90 people,” he informed me, “but that depends on what type of seating arrangement is used. We can accommodate 90 with the theatre-style seating of a lecture, for example, but that comes down to around 60-70 for the different combinations of conference or banquet seating. Last year we hosted the Asian-Pacific International meeting for Angelo Po, one of Italy’s biggest commercial kitchen equipment manufacturers. Sixty delegates turned up from as far afield as Italy, China, South East Asia and Australia. We arranged liaison and transportation and they stayed here for six days of meetings, seminars and instructional lectures and we provided a full range of business options, including fax, email, video-conferencing and photo-copying, printing, translation and secretarial services. And I was delighted to negotiate a package with them that included accommodation, meals and refreshments. The Azure room has a spacious outside balcony with stunning views and buffets can be held there, or the menu of your choice can be served in the laid-back The Chill Lounge with its panoramic seascape and comfy day-beds. I’m happy to arrange and provide whatever people need or require.” And this might be the right place to mention that, having checked on the fees and charges at Hansar, it’s probably the most-reasonably priced venue which caters to this market that I’ve come across.


In the rapidly-moving world of today’s technology, just two or three years can mean a whole new generation of high-tech advances. But Hansar is a ‘new’ resort and you won’t be struggling to try to adapt outmoded equipment. The audio system is close to state-of-the-art, with the powerful Australian AMIS 120 4-channel amplifier coupled to a matching 16-channel mixer. There are six wall-mounted Anchor Audio BBP-7500 Beacon speakers with two portable tripod-mounted JBL MRX512M monitor speakers to use as satellites if and when needed.


Today’s visual presentations can be stored on various media, from being loaded onto a simple USB memory stick to a 2 terabyte ESATA hard drive. Whatever you’ve got, Hansar can handle it, displayed either on the 3-metre screen via the NEC NC2500S digital projector and/or relayed onto 42-inch flat-screen TVs. Needless to say, WiFi broadband internet is available throughout the resort. Add sundries such as a stage lighting rig, Sony wireless microphones, huge flip-charts and whiteboards, plus clipboards and pens and stationery and the picture’s just about complete!


Indra is an experienced executive and had notched up four years’ conference-management in Cambodia prior to taking up this post. And if you are also interested team-building and motivational activities, then call him for a chat. He’s got some ingenious schemes that he’ll be delighted to watch you struggle with!


And a final, and most important, point must be mentioned at this stage, and that’s that there’s also a set of complete wedding packages ranging from accommodation to one-day buffet and dining options at Hansar.


Yes, this is a very desirable venue, whatever sort of gathering you have in mind. And it certainly beats the rainy cityscape option – any day!


Rob De Wet


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