Check out the latest MICE Products in North Vietnam with Refine Asia

Vietnam’s North and in particular the capital Hanoi and the famous Halong Bay boast a lot of great MICE potential and  the following new products and services are a great addition to the already existing MICE portfolio of Refine Asia.

 

The newly opened Legacy Yen Tu Resort, a boutique hotel close to Ha Long Bay.

About 50 km from Ha Long bay, on the road to Hanoi, we find the Yen Tu mountain. This is the ancestral land of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism. For centuries it has been the destination for spiritual pilgrims. Since the Tran dynasty in the 13th century different pagodas, towers, and temples have been constructed. At the same time, the mountain has maintained its natural diversity. This idyllic setting is the décor for the Legacy Yen Tu resort.

The hotel has been designed following the Yen Tu region’s traditional architecture. It was built by the nearby villagers with handcrafted materials and ancient construction methods. Spending a night in one of the luxury rooms is a true testament to the rich history of this sacred place.

The Legacy Yen Tu resort is the first boutique hotel option close to the Ha Long Bay that can accommodate MICE groups. Making those long trips back to the capital after a day cruise a thing of the past.

Besides offering an upmarket overnight option close to Ha Long Bay it also has a large conference hall of 852m³. More importantly, the venue can be broken up into 5 separate meeting rooms and a dedicated foyer. The Legacy Yen Tu resort has a broad choice of trekking and adventure activities. A wellness and meditation center will be available starting from the second quarter of 2020. Altogether, it provides one of the most exceptional options for Incentives and Management meetings in Vietnam.

 

 

 

Cocktails and sightseeing, what a combination!

Looking for that conversation starter at the beginning of your event? Hop On Hop Off Vietnam offers an experience that does just that! Get on one of their well-known doubledeckers for a cocktail reception. Up to 40 participants can buckle up their seatbelts while taking in the view of the different monuments of the capital.

 

 

 

Meet Dr. Marc Rapoport and get an interactive introduction into Vietnam’s ethnic minorities

Dr. Marc Rapoport first came to Vietnam as a volunteer physician in 1969. At the time, few American doctors gave medical attention to the ethnic people of central Vietnam. During his work, he developed an interest in the local cultures and started collecting old artifacts. After gathering a vast collection of over 1000 antiquities he opened a gallery on Hang Bun street in 2001. At “54 Traditions”, Dr. Rappaport can share his passion and knowledge of the cultures of central Vietnam. Some of the activities include; a round table discussion with a woman of an ethnic minority, making traditional Batik beeswax patterns on textiles, a discussion with an active shaman from the northern mountains. Dr. Rapoport also holds private lectures in larger venues

Refine Asia – Let’s start again together!

Being a DMC in Asia, that is serving clients from all over the world, the recent COVID 19 outbreak is certainly a challenge for Refine Asia and we take it very seriously. It is a difficult time for everybody, including our valuable partners, clients and suppliers, but as a team we firmly believe in the industry, its positivity and its optimism – thus we will use the upcoming weeks wisely to prepare for a bright future!

Rember! There will be a time after and although your MICE groups might not be able to travel now, it does not mean that they have to cancel all their plans. Change the dates, rethink the arrangements and use the time to fine-tune your programs with our help!

It is our pleasure to share the latest product update and trends with you in order to enable a succesful operation in 2021!

Let’s start again!

 

Your Refine Asia Team

A Kenyan Adventure

We crafts each experience to combine big-city excitement, pure adventure, and exploration of Africa’s mystical past. Every thrill seeker’s dream combination.

You could spend a part of your stay in Nairobi and Mombasa, where our guides will show you the lesser-known markets, the best street cafes for local foods and music, and the most exciting nightlife known only to the locals. And in another world altogether, scale the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro or explore the marine life around the coast with some scuba diving.

And then travel to the islands of the Lamu Archipelago where, in stark contrast to your urban experience, you will sail the azure seas and walk through half a dozen historical, untouched islands. This expedition introduces you to the Lamu and Swahili Museums, the splendid Lamu and Siyu forts, and the local village life in Siyu and Pate. And for intrepid trekkers, African Quest Safaris have several walking holidays, through varied but always spectacular territory.

African Quest Adventure Incentives are entirely customized to each group’s particular needs. And just how much of an adrenaline rush you crave.

 

Athens Riviera Action Incentive

Both client and guests loved the full, active program on the Athens Riviera and in the centre of Athens.

Bespoke experiences were many and varied! A morning of water sports including a “duel” on XXL SUPs and an exhilarating rib boat excursion along the Athens Riviera. Guests also enjoyed lots of swim stops in secluded coves.

The ride ended with a great surprise; a stylish picnic on the beach of an uninhabited island. A beach volleyball competition at a luxury beach club followed. Then, a relaxing afternoon of pampering and a bicycle ride through the historical landmarks made for an unusual way to enjoy the sights.

Dinner on a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the Acropolis and the antiquities of Thissio was the ultimate grand finale! Guests left Greece energized and raving over the experience.

prosecco welcome

people swimming

 

 

 

WHERE TO FIND PARADISE APPLES & GINGERBREAD HEARTS

 

Did you know that Christmas markets date back to late medieval times? Sales fairs and markets – often one-day markets – were held to give townspeople the opportunity to stock up on meat and winter needs at the beginning of the cold season. Only later in the 14th century, it was customary to allow artisans such as toy makers, basket weavers or confectioners to set up stalls for the trifles that children were given for Christmas. Even the tradition to offer stalls with roasted chestnuts, nuts and almonds goes back to the Middle Ages. December or St. Nicholas’ markets they were called. In Munich for instance one of those markets was first mentioned in history in 1310!

Today – more than 700 years later – these wonderful, magical markets are found all over Germany and welcome visitors from around the world from the end of November until the end of December. The figures on the number of markets vary a little, but it is estimated that there are about 3000 different ones.

In cities like Berlin alone there are – would you believe it – about 90 different markets for every taste, every age group, with or without carousel and music, even for dogs there is a special one! And the greatest idea of all – when it is cold and snowing and maybe even dark already in the late afternoon – take a horse-drawn carriage,  wrap yourself in warm blankets, drink some hot & tasty mulled wine and ride from market to market. A truly unforgettable experience!

 

Christmas Market Season this year starts on November 25th, 2019 … don’t miss it!

Uganda’s Mubare Gorilla Group got a New baby

You can never read about world gorillas and fail to hear about the incredible Ugandan Gorillas, Uganda holds more than half of the world’s gorilla population. the ever increasing number has been made possible through the different wildlife conservation programs run in the area of Bwindi.

Well today we are celebrating the birth of a new born baby Gorilla in the Mubare group found in Buhoma, Both Mother Businza and baby are in good shape according to Uganda Wildlife Authority. (UWA).

Gorilla birth patterns are not so different from humans, female gorillas are pregnant for nine months and usually give birth to only one infant at a time. Newborn gorillas weigh about 4 lbs. (1.8 kg). From the time they’re about 4 months to 2 or 3 years old, At around 7 to 10 years, the young gorilla become mature enough to have its own offspring. At this point, the gorilla leaves its mother’s group to find a mate.

The Mubare Mountain Gorilla Group was the first to be habituated within Uganda. The group was named after the forested Mubare Hills. In 1991 the Uganda Wildlife Authority started the habituation process to ensure that they are free to be tracked by tourist. The group started receiving visitors after two years. Following the patterns of loss of lives during fights and other members joining other groups reducing the group number from over 18 members to about 5 in 2009.

This group lost its first dominant silver back in 2013, Ruhondeza was attached by a wild un habituated gorilla group that ended up taking away some females from the group. The frustrated Ruhondeza quit leadership of the group and took refuge in the nearby community forest where he was found dead. He was buried at the UWA headquarters in Buhoma.

After the death of Ruhondeza, his successor took on the mantle of growing and expanding the group the group has grown to over 9 members since 2013.

Uganda is free to travel all year round, and the country is much cost effective when it comes to tracking as Uganda has maintained a low gorilla permit price rate compared to her sister countries of Rwanda and DRC.

www.ugandasafarichapter.com

Blood Lions “Born To Live Wild” Pledge

We believe that tourism companies are the natural partners of conservation initiatives and earlier this year Blood Lions, together with The Travel Corporation, it’s TreadRight Foundation and Cullinan Holdings announced an important partnership.

The international award-winning film Blood Lions® brought the realities of predator breeding, canned hunting and a variety of other exploitative activities involving lions and other predators to the world’s attention. The film’s powerful visual narrative, and the subsequent global “Born To Live Wild” Tourism Campaign and Pledge, provide a compelling call to action to stop all exploitative wildlife interactive tourism practices, which include cub bottle feeding and petting, walking with lions and posing with wildlife for “selfies”.

The group have endorsed the Blood Lions global “Born To Live Wild” Tourism Campaign by adding our logos as signatories to the Pledge, thus committing to aligning our company policies and continually promoting responsible and ethical wildlife practices.

Grosvenor Tours is a division of Cullinan Holdings and a proud member of, and contributes to, the TreadRight Foundation.

Should you wish to join this global campaign in its fight you can email Blood Lions at info@bloodlions.org and form part of the solution with us!

Why Panama Is the Place to Go in 2019

Panama takes its parties seriously, and 2019 could mark the country’s most evolved fiesta yet. Panama City—the oldest continuously occupied European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas—is turning 500. Ancient walls, glassy skyscrapers, and a mix of African, Native Panamanian, and Spanish cultures have all played a part in forming the frenetic “Miami of Central America.” Lately, however, Panama has become more focused on preserving its treasures. Head to the historic quarter of Casco Viejo and you’ll find innovative restaurants built inside restored colonial buildings. Meanwhile, on remote islands where hiking trails are peppered with Pre-Columbian era pottery and protected wildlife, new eco-resorts are finally putting Panama on the map for sustainable tourism.

For most, a visit to the isthmus country begins with a quick stop in the capital city before jetting off to nature. Learn the greeting “que sopa” (local slang for what’s up?) and you’ll have no problem making friends. While you’re there, check the big one off your list: the Panama Canal, a maritime trading conduit that was controlled by the U.S. for over a century before being turned over to Panama in 1999. Over the past 20 years, Panama has come into its own more than ever before. Cultural progress is most visible in Casco Viejo, the city’s old town, which has transformed into a stylish hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage Site rolled into one.

“When we opened on this street, you wouldn’t walk here at night,” says chef Felipe Milanes, owner of Tomillo Panama, a restaurant housed in the shell of an 1855 railroad office. “Right when we opened, all the buildings around us were sold. There are two that are almost finished and three restaurants that opened up the block. All of this happened in two and a half years.”

Meander over to The Strangers Club, a bar by Steve Schneider and five other bartenders from New York City’s Employees Only, and you’ll find retro-inspired interiors in line with Casco’s other atmospheric spots including fine dining restaurant Donde José, healthy eatery Mahalo and hole-in-the-wall diner Fonda Lo Que Hay.

“Building codes in Casco Viejo are tightly managed, supporting the vision that this unique part of the city maintains its colonial roots,” says Rob Harper, a Panama resident and the co-owner of Namu Travel Group. “They want the architecture to look as close to its original version as possible.”

Succeeding at this, at least in terms of its restored neoclassical façade, is The American Trade Hotel (a collaboration between Atelier Ace and Conservatorio, one of the property developers focused on revitalizing the neighborhood). Step inside the building—historically considered to be Panama’s first modern skyscraper—and you’ll find the city’s fashionable set dining under macramé wall hangings by Los Angeles-based artist Tanya Aguiñiga.

By night, the rooftop of the Tantalo Hotel becomes a low-key hangout amidst interiors designed by artisans using upcycled materials. Its sister restaurant, Caliope, is one of the area’s first farm-to-table restaurants. Despite its proximity to Costa Rica, Panama has been slow to embrace environmental sustainability. But with new eco-properties opening near the protected Gulf of Chiriquí National Marine Park, this too is changing.

Leading the charge is eco-luxury resort Isla Palenque, which opened in 2018 with eight new design-forward beachfront villas set on a 400-acre jungle-swathed island where monkeys outnumber humans. Its golden ratio allows for top-notch wildlife viewings on the hiking trails, plus plenty of private beach time. As the first Panama resort to join the Cayuga Collection, a group of luxury sustainable lodges in Latin America, Isla Palenque is aiming to improve environmental awareness in the region (not an easy task in a country with limited recycling programs) one papaya-leaf drinking straw at a time. For now, the Gulf of Chiriquí is accessible to those willing to make the journey (COPA Airlines offers daily one-hour flights from Panama City to the town of David), but it likely won’t always remain a secret. A few miles away, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge, a solar-powered resort by billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon, is set to open in January 2019.

“This area of Panama gets very few visitors so it really feels pristine, new and undiscovered,” says Hans Pfister, co-founder and president of the Cayuga Collection. “There is huge potential in the area but hopefully the growth will be sustainable.”

Wild and untouched, the Gulf of Chiriquí incites a feeling of discovery, its golden sand beaches and jungle paths offering a more bucolic lookout than that from a rooftop party in the capital. But no matter where you are in modern Panama—500 years in the making—what’s old is new again.

Best in Travel 2019 TOP Countries – Lonely Planet

4. Panama

Welcome to the crossroads of the Americas. In Panama, north meets south in a fiesta of tropical biodiversity, celebrated at the world-class BioMuseo. East meets West through expanding world trade, with the world’s biggest cargo ships travelling the recently revamped Panama Canal. Darling Panama packs so many treasures into one small country – from white-sand beaches to tropical rainforests, misty highlands and indigenous culture – it is shocking that it’s somehow still under the radar. In 2019, Panama City pledges to party like never before, marking its 500-year history with one raucous jubilee that you won’t want to miss. ¡Viva Panama!

 

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel/countries