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Central Festival Samui Opens for Business

Central Festival Koh Samui Thailand

Central Group have opened another Central shopping centre, this time on Samui Island; a firm indicator that the island continues to move its profile toward the middle and high end traveller. This is borne out by the growth in mid and high end hotel occupancy figures on Samui over the last two or three years.

Central Group, a listed family business, founded in 1947 was in 2012 worth approximately 5.6 billion US dollars and demonstrates an overall turnover that has continued to see steady growth from approximately 100 billion Baht in 2008. The company give the impression that they definitely know what they are doing.

I have been to Central department store (Central Chit Lom) several times over the last few years. After the sad arson event of 2010, Central came back strong with a beautifully designed new glass fascia. The interior didn’t disappoint either.

I visited Central Samui this morning for its opening. There was naturally a buzz in the air accompanying the throng of Thai and foreign visitors as we reacquainted ourselves with one of our favourite activities in a open airy brand new environment. And naturally the group didn’t disappoint on its opening. Pomp and pageant at every turn as various establishments sort to open with flare and style marketing their opening in various ways, mostly using ‘pretties’ (pretties are marketable young ladies who add spectacle to an event) as they are known, to my knowledge, exclusively in Thailand, talking up their brand to a backdrop of music and photography as well as good visual stimulation.

On this occasion I didn’t explore the whole of the complex, large as it is, but settled on walking down one avenue finally stopping for a drink and snack at Starbucks. Starbucks have pulled out the stops and  designed a good looking store, albeit with the somewhat generic Starbucks look for the most part. Still, it had some original design features such as the lovely picture windows and an unusually high ceiling, though given it shopping mall location, maybe the latter isn’t the case.

My almond croissant went down a treat perfectly complimented by English Breakfast tea and I whiled away an hour or two getting my teeth into a new book.