Destination Shaadi: The Urban Hitch
By Shradha Aswani
A colleague of mine recently got engaged, and her first reaction was: “Oh God! I now have a wedding to plan.” Despite her love for her husband-to-be, I can see that she’s already overwhelmed by the nerves of starting a new chapter of her life and the magnitude of planning for her big day, which even a year’s notice seems too short for. To her aid, and to everyone else’s, we have a great venue suggestion for those looking to tie the knot in the city.
The Grand Richmond Hotel, Bangkok in Nonthaburi recently revamped itself as a stylish convention hotel, and is all set to open its doors to full-sized Indian weddings. Developed by the award-winning Richmond
Group, the hotel’s proximity to Bang Krasor station on the Purple MRT Line and Don Mueang International Airport in Northern Bangkok allows visitors and event participants to easily access all of Bangkok’s top attractions, eateries, and shopping centers.
Apart from its luxurious interiors that are a treat for the camera, the space is replete with a host of amenities including a spa, an indoor swimming pool, and an ensemble of executive lounges. The hotel takes its responsibility to the environment seriously, and has a range of sustainable practices in place to ensure minimal impact on the planet, starting with hiring local team members from Nonthaburi to reduce the carbon footprint that arises from a workforce that has to commute from far away.
What sets the Grand Richmond Hotel apart?
1. 28 function rooms in varying sizes and formats, fit to host small, medium, large or extra-large weddings.
2. 774 guest bedrooms, in four different categories, available for complete buyout with prior reservation.
3. A massive 35-storey property suitable for gatherings of 14 to 1400.
4. A dedicated wedding team to work out customised wedding packages along with possible all-inclusive service options, encompassing photography, décor, catering, and more.
5. Expert in-house chefs experienced with scrumptious Indian, Thai, Chinese, and Italian fusion cuisine.
MASALA’S WEDDING FIX
Event spaces in the Grand Richmond Hotel best suited for Indian ceremonies:
1. The Ruen Tipawan room with its outdoor pavilion lawn is perfectly suited to station the mandap for the pheras and host intimate haldi or mehendi ceremonies that must be held out in the open. The room accommodates 60 to 180 people.
2. The Diamond Grand Ballroom with its soaring height of 8 metres, its 4K LED screens and high-quality speakers, and its grandeur that makes you gasp, forms the perfect setting for an entertaining and enjoyable sangeet night, and an elegant reception that will surely include half the town, if not all of it. The room accommodates 600 to 1200 people.
3. The Grand Pearl room, located on the hotel’s top floor, is ideal for your engagement party, or for a hopping after-party vibe, with its floor-to-ceiling windows that bring in the cityscape. The room accommodates 70 to 170 people.
Masala spoke to Nutt Chua, the Director of Weddings at the Grand Richmond Hotel, to learn about the venue’s many offerings and what makes it a glittering addition to Bangkok’s wedding landscape.
Even though the Grand Richmond Hotel has not hosted Indian weddings in its Bangkok premises so far, you recently organised a familiarisation trip for the Thai-Indian community to get to know your offerings. What led you to explore this market?
It’s the potential that we offer: our hotel provides an excellent space for the Thai-Indian community to hold their wedding functions here, with our giant ballrooms and other massive event spaces. We also have an efficient team to support clients, and they all have extensive experience of hosting Thai weddings. We truly believe that all weddings are the same, because the couple getting married is looking to make their day special, with a fairy-tale ending that leads to a happily ever after; and our teams can help execute that well.
What would you say are your USPs when it comes to hosting Indian celebrations in your hotel?
I think our flexibility is our biggest strength. We are willing to negotiate terms that are convenient to the hosts and chalk out a plan that best works for the kind of wedding they have imagined. Apart from that, our variety of function rooms provides an array of options for couples to choose from.
Which spaces within the hotel would you say are suited for Indian wedding functions?
I think the Richmond Grand Ballroom located on the sixth floor will be to the Indian community’s liking since there is no limit for what time events have to end, and it can accommodate up to 1400 guests. Its
9-metre-high ceiling and area of about 1260 square meters provides you with the space to be as creative with the event and décor as you would like.
We also spoke to Biren Parikh, the founder of Magic Holidays and a renowned event planner in the community, about what he considers the biggest advantages of hosting Indian wedding celebrations at the Grand Richmond Hotel.
What attributes, according to you, set this venue apart from others in the city?
The hotel took the opportunity to renovate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has expanded enormously. Their ballrooms are amazing and they have a lot of function rooms, so the range they offer is incredible. It is especially good for residents who live in Bangkok and want to have a wedding locally.
Do you find the teams equipped to manage an Indian wedding?
I think the management is extremely positive about taking an Indian wedding on, and are completely ready for it. It is just about who will get the leverage from hosting the first one here and benefit from the hotel’s excitement to serve the Thai-Indian community.