Destination: Shaadi. A brand-new section to explore wedding venues in Thailand.
By Shradha Aswani
Hosting an Indian wedding is no piece of cake. While you’ll still have to deal with the guest list that exceeds the total number of people you’ve ever met in your life, the never ending tug-of-war between the bride and groom’s side, or the fashion parade you must inevitably be a part of, we decided to make venue-hunting easy for the community.
With this brand-new column, we’re bringing you the diverse variety of wedding venues available in Thailand that can host the most special day of your life. For this issue, we take you to the Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand.
Situated by the Kok River, the luxury property provides you with plenty of lavish yet tranquil spaces to realise the holy bond of matrimony in peace. With a perfect balance of accessibility to the city and refuge from its hustle, the resort offers a range of amenities to personalise your wedding. Its traditional Lanna architecture, designed by Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo, warm Thai hospitality, and well-appointed venues make its
setting ideal for intimate ceremonies, as well as elaborate celebrations.
Masala spoke to Rahul Pawa and Sumedha Pawa, a couple who recently tied the knot at the property; and Sumedha’s father, Sudeep Sehgal, who catered the wedding; to hear their take.
RAHUL AND SUMEDHA PAWA
Why did you choose Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand for your wedding?
We wanted a destination that is not the beach, and hasn’t been done before. When we went to visit the hotel, we fell in love with their 120-year-old majestic rain trees and were really excited to have the wedding under them.
Were you happy with the experience?
We loved working with the Le Méridien team. They were extremely flexible and accommodating of all our requests. The team were also incredibly enthusiastic to host an Indian wedding, and went the extra mile for us.
What tips would you like to share with other couples who might be considering it as an option?
Have open and constant dialogue with the hotel team to outline your expectations, so that everyone is always on the same page. Make a few visits to the hotel during the planning phase as a lot of things are more easily done in person/on site.
Owner, Red Catering Bangkok
What was your experience of catering at the property? Were you able to create the Indian food experience that is possible in Bangkok?
The experience was good. The key Indian ingredients were sourced from Bangkok, but it was easy to get fresh produce from Chiang Rai. We were able to execute the exact look and taste as we do in Bangkok.
How did the hotel complement and support you as an outside caterer during the wedding?
Le Méridien was exceptionally cooperative and hands on, and they went out of their way in making everything go smoothly.
What were the challenges? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was that it was a new location that was untapped. However, we overcame this hurdle easily since Chiang Rai, like any other big town in Thailand, had everything easily available.
We also spoke to Sitaporn Jesadavisut, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand, to get the inside scoop on the property.
What are the most important aspects of the hotel that you would like to highlight specifically for Indian weddings?
The most important aspects about Le Meridien Chiang Rai’s event spaces are its various outdoor and indoor function venues, providing panoramic views of beautiful natural surroundings. Moreover, the exclusivity of
the resort and lovely weather has made the property incomparable with any other destinations.
What would you say are unique things about the resort that make it suited for these events?
It’s located 10 minutes away from Mae Fah Luang – Chiang Rai International Airport, and there are multiple flights from Bangkok in a day, making it effortless for international and local guests to travel to Chiang Rai. Apart from our convenient location, the destination offers a variety of local attractions within 10 to 30 minutes away, where the guests can discover Chiang Rai’s beautiful culture during their short trip.
Indian weddings can be hard to manage, considering their scale and diversity. Tell us about your experience in hosting them alongside the catering and décor options you offer. How do you support clients who might want to bring in external vendors for these services?
The resort is well experienced with Indian weddings, with attention to detail and flexibility being the key to our winning approach. We work closely with the bride, the groom, and their families to understand what they are looking for. In the spirit of staying true to the nature of Indian weddings, we spend time knowing the
guests that are important, provide a variety of menus, and world-class services. We partner with external vendors, including caterers, decorators, and wedding planners, and work alongside them to make sure the bride and groom’s most important occasion is well-organised. Our aim is to be a preferred and exclusive Indian wedding destination, with client satisfaction at the centre.
Why Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand
- An expansive property with an aesthetic river view to enhance the event experience
- Nearly 21,000 square feet of indoor event space and ample outdoor venues to host functions under the sky
- 159 guestrooms and suites available for complete buy-out to easily accommodate all your guests
- Exciting in-house activities for guests, including a spa, an outdoor pool, a fitness centre and a kids’ club
- Close to the city’s most compelling attractions, and minutes away from the airport