Lunar New Year is undoubtedly Asia’s most famous cultural tradition. A number of fascinating opportunities exist to show how countries celebrate it, through unique destinations and cultural differences.
Note: Any pitch needs to make clear that trips should only be undertaken by strictly adhering to government and local rules and regulations on reasons to travel, quarantine, distancing and more.
1. Food, glorious food:
While Lunar New Year is not all about the food, it’s definitely a critical part of celebrations! Across the region, our properties show different takes on dishes which reflect local culture and history. Together they make for a really interesting story showing Asia’s cultural diversity.
Look at this recent NBC story as an example: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/chinese-tibetan-all-most-delicious-lunar-new-year-dishes-explained-n1122431
Lunar New Year in Korea is called Seollal and food is critical. JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul offers ‘to-go’ sets comprising dishes such as Bulgogi, Galbijjim, Borigulbi, Japchae, assorted Korean pancakes, parboiled octopus and three colours of Namuls, the beloved spinach-based side dishes. They make for the perfect way to enjoy premium Korean traditional cuisine and ritual food offerings without the stress of preparation.
W Kuala Lumpur serves up ‘ox-traordinary’ special feasts as Yen Cantonese Restaurant also offers home delivery for those who prefer to stay indoors this year. For the all-important ‘prosperity toss’ dish known as Yee sang or Yusheng, the W offers multiple versions, including a decadent one with caviar, gold flakes, truffle oil and abalone! Otherwise steamed Shanghai fortune dumplings and a treasure-filled hotpot dish called poon choy are also popular local treats.
At JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Executive Chef Jayson Tang at the newly MICHELIN starred Man Ho serves up auspicious specialities that bring blessings of good luck such as Yusheng Abalone (symbolising prosperity), braised dried oysters with black moss (representing good wealth and fortune), braised oxtail in sweet and sour sauce (representing luck) and pan-fried Hokkaido scallop with sea urchin in lobster sauce (expressing auspiciousness).
Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queens Park Hotel offers “Golden Duck”, Executive Chinese Chef, Oscar Pun’s exclusive take on Peking duck that is stuffed with abalone rice and “eight treasures”. Then for dessert, diners can enjoy two flavours of “Nian Gao”, the traditional Chinese New Year cake: chilled mango pudding or herbal black jelly.
Finally, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel presents a treasure trove of Lunar New Year celebratory delicacies specially curated by Executive Chinese Chef Brian Wong. The star of the show is the Wan Hao Eight Treasures Imperial Pot with Bird’s Nest featuring 10-Head Australian Abalone, Fish Maw, Dace Fish, Bean Curd, Live Prawns, Pork Tendons, Chicken and Japanese Shiitake Mushroom.
2. Chinatowns are calling:
All Asian capitals have significant Chinatowns, from Bangkok to Singapore to Jakarta. There’s obviously no better place to experience Lunar New Year, with the different traditions and experiences in cities across Asia.
For example, Thailand has the world’s largest overseas Chinese population, with up to 40 percent of the population having Chinese ancestry. Bangkok’s massive Yaowarat Chinatown is home to unique festivities and a vibrant experience for visitors, so Bangkok Marriott The Surawongse is perfectly located to get in on the action.
The St. Regis Singapore is a short hop from Singapore’s Chinatown where historic temples and hip bars sit side-by-side. A blend of old and new, it reflects Singapore’s multi-ethnic culture and also promises colourful lion dances, firecrackers and other traditional New Year experiences.
Jakarta’s Chinatown is known as Glodok, a place where Chinese merchants first settled hundreds of years ago and today is a vibrant cultural centre – and also one of the city’s best places to go shopping. It sits just a thirty minute drive from JW Marriott Jakarta, a five star luxury property that sits next to The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan.
What matters more than anything at New Year is the coming together of families, in multiple generations. Some of the best ways to get away with your nearest and dearest includes programming made with little ones in mind. Family travel for reunions is easier and more enjoyable than ever with family programming such as Ritz Kids, St. Regis Family Tradition, Family by JW and M Passport for children to have fun alongside their parents and grandparents, for an unforgettable Lunar New Year:
Ritz Kids Night Safari – Bringing the great outdoors inside, Ritz Kids Night Safari lets kids embark on an in-room evening camping adventure in the comfort of a hotel room or suite. Tapping into a child’s inquisitiveness, creative spirit, and thirst for new adventures, the Ritz Kids Night Safari programme at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong includes a “Fly High Dream High” Junior Aviator Programme featuring flight simulator experience above the clouds for an unforgettable holiday experience.
St. Regis Family Traditions – Celebrating the art of play, this signature program sets the stage for guests to explore their destination and cultivate their passions through engaging activities and thoughtful experiences tailored to younger guests and their families. At The St. Regis Bali, that could mean kids yoga or a Balinese dance revealing the rich culture and history of Bali.
Family by JW – Whether a child is a budding foodie, an abstract finger painter or just loves to play, JW Marriott offers enriching experiences designed to bring parents and kids together for fun-filled creative adventures. Family by JW at JW Marriott Hotel Seoul includes a thoughtfully curated tepee tent set up with educational toys such as the hit Magformers Minibots Kitchen set, colouring kit and custom-made JW Marriott Hotel Seoul puzzle to leave the whole family feeling inspired and connected throughout their journey.
M Passport – M Passport is designed to encourage children to explore new destinations, ignite sensory stimulations and broaden perspectives. Kids can enjoy activities on property and receive a stamp in their “M Passport” when completed. Each stamp in the M Passport can then be redeemed for a reward on-property. At Hua Hin Marriott Resort and Spa, kids get to put on a white apron and be a chef for a day by joining the Junior Chef Cooking Class. Not only can kids enjoy some brilliant activities and experiences, they also feel a sense of achievement after completing the passport and get some healthy and fun rewards.