Luxury Pesach retreat in Thailand
'There are a lot of challenges as we have to import all the kosher food, but our team has lots of experience with running Pesach retreats'
ONE of Phuket’s newest five-star beach resorts is the setting for a 2023 Pesach retreat with an international flavour being organised by Eli Feiglin, well known for his Pesach retreats in recent years in South Africa and Australia.
The Avani+ Khao Lak Resort, set on the sparkling shores of the Andaman Sea with a private beach, will host the Pesach retreat from April 5-13. The entire resort – which has 327 rooms and suites including beachfront villas, and which opened in March – will be used exclusively for the 500 guests arriving from Australia, South Africa, Israel, the United States and Asia.
Leading the services and shiurim will be Rabbi James Kennard, principal of Melbourne’s Mount Scopus Memorial College, assisted by Rabbi Aaron Max from Caulfield Shule, while Rabbi Chaim Horvits from Israel will officiate for Hebrew-speaking guests.
Feiglin has hosted successful Pesach retreats in South Africa (including Palace of the Lost City at Sun City in 2014, and in Durban in 2015 and 2016 together with Yechiel Asseraf) and in Queensland (including in Cairns in 2018, and the Gold Coast in 2017 and 2019 together with Joshua Luftig of Roquette Catering), and admits there is a lot of work in staging an event overseas.
“There are a lot of challenges as we have to import all the kosher food, but our team has lots of experience with running Pesach retreats,” Feiglin told The AJN by phone from Johannesburg, where he is currently living.
“I am working with an Israeli travel agency, Keshet Kosher Travel, which is experienced with Thailand tours, and I am liaising with a Thailand-based agency to handle all bookings from Australia.
“We are fortunate to have Chabad of Thailand helping to source a lot of our items, although we have to import a lot of other products for Pesach.”
Leisure facilities at the Avani+ Khao Lak Resort include four swimming pools, tennis courts, rock climbing walls, bicycle riding, canoeing and paddleboarding as well as relaxing on the pristine, crowd-free beach.
Families can take advantage of the kids club for children aged 3 and above with daily programs, and have fun at a water park.
“We are fortunate to have use of the entire resort for Pesach including exclusive use of the kitchens and dining rooms, so we can give everyone a great experience. Everything from the poolside ice cream stalls and hot chips stations to all the restaurants are fully kosher,” said Feiglin, who has also planned beach barbecues and Thai-themed dinners and evenings.
“One of the special bonuses to come out of our Pesach retreats is that people make great friendships.”
Feiglin said the lead-in price for accommodation in a deluxe room, full Pesach program and meals is $US5900 per couple.
“There is an option for early check-in and since Pesach ends on a Thursday night guests can also choose to extend their stay over Shabbat,” he said.
“During December there is an early-bird discount as well as discounts for group bookings.”
Khao Lak is about 75 minutes by car from Phuket International Airport and while guests organise their own flights, transfers to the resort can be arranged.
For more information contact Eli Feiglin on +61 401 554 051, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.AussiePesach.com