LANTA ISLAND, 18 April 2018: Pimalai Resort & Spa says it is raising the bar for high-end gastronomy tourism on Lanta island, through a visit from a Michelin star celebrity chef.
It hosted the visit of a former Michelin three-star restaurant chef to inspire a newly created three-course dinner menu that will be served at the resort’s signature restaurant for one year.
The themed three-course dinner ‘A Taste of Paradise’ is based on a special menu curated by celebrity chef, Bruno Menard and inspired by the chef’s impressions of his visit to the island.
Pimalai Resort & Spa, general manager, Franck de Lestapis, said that in the long-term, the resort’s ambition was to gain global food certification from the Michelin Guide.
“We are now starting to venture into high gastronomy. It is not a one-step process. Every year from now on, we aim to invite one or two Michelin starred chefs to come and experience Pimalai and Koh Lanta.
“We want them to be inspired and create beautiful meals for our guests. We also target travellers who want to experience great food. The idea behind this campaign is that we want to raise the bar for our dining venue. Eventually, the vision is to gain a Michelin Star for our restaurant.”
The themed dinner ‘A Taste of Paradise’ has its foundation in French cuisine, while delivering local touches though ingredients many of them sourced in the resort’s herb garden on Lanta island.
Chef Menard said: “The special menu was inspired by the peaceful island, relaxing atmosphere and Thai culture. I try to put all of these inspirations together. It is still my style of cooking, but with some twists and turns in the dishes.”
Last year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand announced its partnership with the Michelin Guide and launched the first edition of the Bangkok Michelin Star restaurants guide to promote the country’s profile as the international gastronomic destination.
The guide will ultimately expand to cover editions for other destinations beyond Bangkok.
Commenting on the chef’s visit to Lanta island, Tourism Authority of Thailand Krabi Office director, Apichai Aranying said: “Krabi province has a vision to be a world-class destination and the priority is to expand the airport, ferry piers, roads and rail links to facilitate travellers.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports estimated that Krabi province welcomed 6,057,377 visitors in 2017, or a 4.4% increase from 5,803,836 visitors in 2016. The ministry projected that tourism revenue in Krabi province increased by 9.7% from Bt88,394 million in 2016 to Bt96,973 million in 2017.
Top international tourist markets identified at Krabi airport by Thailand’s Immigration Bureau in 2016 included China (601,594 visits), Malaysia (107,296), Singapore (39,707), Sweden (23,144), and Finland (18,304).
Meanwhile, according to statistics released by the National Statistical Office, Krabi has 856 tourist accommodation units. This includes 466 units in Amphoe Mueang Krabi with 280 units in Tambon Ao Nang. In Amphoe Koh Lanta, there are 250 tourist accommodation units, of which 75 are located on Koh Lanta Yai.
Pimalai Resort & Spa is an upscale resort on Lanta Yai island. The resort features 121 rooms, including suites and villas with private pools, on a property of 100 acres with a 900-metre beach front.