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Exploring Ayutthaya’s charm with Centara

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BANGKOK, 23 May 2024: Home to a famous UNESCO World Heritage historical park, Ayutthaya promises an immersive and unforgettable experience for history enthusiasts, temple explorers, Instagrammers, food lovers, and cafe aficionados. Stay for an overnight or more to discover this captivating historical town with its timeless charm.

When exploring Thailand’s rich cultural heritage, the ancient city of Ayutthaya stands out as a must-visit destination. Located just 80 km north of Bangkok on the banks of a Chao Phraya River island, this historical gem is a popular day trip for many visitors. Weekenders often come here to escape Bangkok, have a family lunch, spend leisure time with friends, and capture perfect photo backdrops for their social media accounts. 

Enhancing the Ayutthaya experience, the recently opened hotel, Centara Ayutthaya, adds fresh insights and nuances for travellers exploring Ayutthaya, providing modern lifestyle comforts infused with the local charm that creates an immersive experience to enjoy even more of this captivating city.

Situated adjacent to the Central Ayutthaya Mall, Centara Ayutthaya is the first international hospitality brand to open in Ayutthaya. It offers 224 rooms and suites and function rooms catering to family occasions and business events, especially corporate meetings.

Centara Ayutthaya General Manager Sakchai Puiphunthawong emphasised: “Ayutthaya continues to have high potential as a travel and MICE destination with temples and the UNESCO-listed Historic City of Ayutthaya remaining the key tourist attractions. The timeless city of Ayutthaya continues to attract travellers, especially local weekenders, who visit to enjoy a wide range of recreational activities.

Since its launch early this year, the hotel has seen 70% domestic travellers and guests from Asia and Europe. The hotel has seen continuous month-on-month growth in both leisure and MICE segments and anticipates a more diverse international mix of the international market after the fourth quarter.”

To enhance the visitor experience through overnight stays in Ayutthaya, the Centara lifestyle touches are reflected in the interior design and blend with the city’s historical charm. Standing tall as the highest building in Ayutthaya town, the property features a rooftop infinity pool. It offers panoramic skyline views for guests as they unwind in the pool or enjoy the fitness centre’s top-rated gear that caters to serious fitness enthusiasts. At its all-day dining restaurant, guests can enjoy an afternoon tea set, showcasing delectable Thai desserts artfully presented for a taste of Thai culture.

Accommodating a diverse range of guests, the hotel even welcomes pet parents to enjoy a break in Ayutthaya with their furry companions tagging along without their pet having to comply with any weight restrictions. This pet-friendly stance means a dedicated floor with pet-friendly rooms, an indoor and outdoor pet-friendly café and restaurant, and menus crafted specifically for pets.

With three function spaces, the hotel can accommodate events ranging from board-style meetings to larger gatherings of up to 250 delegates. 

Additionally, the hotel’s co-location with the Central Ayutthaya Mall provides guests with direct access to shopping, dining, and lifestyle events on the mall’s doorstep.

Opting for an overnight stay in Ayutthaya enhances the experience beyond a day trip. With rooms featuring day beds ideal for families, an overnight stay in Ayutthaya allows relaxing and enjoying views of sunrise and sunset over the city, often missed on a day trip. Having ample time to explore the historic city’s attractions without feeling rushed, guests can fully enjoy Ayutthaya. Here are ways to enjoy this captivating destination:

Historical Treasures and Trendy Pleasures

Ayutthaya offers a perfect photo backdrop that includes historical and lifestyle options. Step into a world of colour and tradition with a traditional costume guaranteed to add a touch of magic to social media snaps. For Thais, the trend took off years ago following a popular Thai period drama, and it has been followed by tourists retracing ‘Lisa’s’ footsteps during her visit to Ayutthaya with family. A snapshot of her wearing Pha Tung, a sarong skirt in an ancient temple, received more than 11.4 million Likes on Instagram. In Ayutthaya, Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a favourite backdrop for traditional costume photography, with numerous rental shops nearby offering costumes for a few hundred baht.

Blessings Abound

With a rich history and religious heritage, Ayutthaya is home to temples that have earned enduring respect. Visitors come to Ayutthaya to admire the historical sites, pay homage to the Buddha in ancient temples and seek inner peace through meditation and wellness options. Ayutthaya remains a pilgrimage destination for the ‘Wai Pra Kao Wat,’ a journey to nine temples believed to bring luck and prosperity. Many local operators offer customised boat trips for temple tours around the island in Ayutthaya’s ancient town, where three rivers converge.

From Pedals to Three Wheels

Cycling through Ayutthaya offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the ancient city’s history. Weekenders from Bangkok can either bring their bikes on the train or conveniently rent them upon arrival. This leisurely transport mode allows a deeper exploration of the city’s historical sites and museums. Alternatively, experiencing Ayutthaya via Tuk Tuk presents another charming opportunity to delve into the local way of life. This traditional transportation adds an authentic touch to exploration, immersing travellers in Ayutthaya’s sights, sounds, and vibrant atmosphere.

Culinary Tapestry Beyond the Temples

Ayutthaya’s culinary scene is diverse and vibrant, offering everything from authentic Thai royal-style cuisine to budget-friendly boat noodles. Take the opportunity to try the fresh grilled river prawns or river fish. This menu attracts weekend visitors to Ayutthaya, making riverside restaurants lively on weekends. The destination’s wide range of culinary delights has earned it a place in the Michelin Guide, with 34 restaurants highlighted and 15 recognised under Bib Gourmand.

Café Hopping: Sip and Sightsee Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is home to various trendy cafes, each with its unique style, offering everything from local flavours to minimal chic. These cafes provide a modern twist to the historical journey. Many allow visitors to enjoy their favourite brew while taking in panoramic views of the majestic historical sites along the riverbanks. One must-try is ‘The Summer Coffee,’ an original Ayutthaya brand. Their signature drink, ‘Ayutthaya Coffee,’ is an iced coffee topped with candy floss, a popular sweet treat in Ayutthaya, offering a fun and refreshing twist. In addition to the Old Town branch, there is also a branch located at Centara Ayutthaya.

Exploring Ayutthaya’s Diverse Markets

Exploring Ayutthaya’s markets is one of the best ways to experience the local culture. From delicious food and local treats to beautiful handicrafts and the famous ‘Elephant Pants,’ there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Several options exist, such as the Ayutthaya Floating Market, where vendors sell from boats, providing a picturesque experience. The Chao Phrom Market is the main marketplace in Ayutthaya town, attracting people looking for fresh cooking ingredients, fruits, souvenirs, clothes, and various miscellaneous items. Additionally, those staying overnight in Ayutthaya can enjoy a stroll in the evening at the Ayutthaya Night Market, which is open from Friday to Sunday.

For those seeking a deeper connection with Ayutthaya’s rich heritage, an overnight stay opens doors to immersive experiences that weave together the city’s ancient past with its contemporary lifestyle spirit, promising a journey into a vibrant tapestry of culture.

For more information: www.centarahotelsresorts.com

(Source: Sawapat Pimchaichon on a field trip to Centara Ayuttaya).

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