Notes from a seasoned incentive traveler: ROOMS The Royal Orchid Sheraton--Four stars. We had spacious, well-appointed Tower rooms. Amenities: above average. With 900 employees, service was efficient, with speedy room service. The hotel had two pools, a swim-up bar, tennis courts, and exercise room. A bridge connected to The River Center for shopping. A good Bangkok choice.
The Westin Chiang Mai--Three stars. Adequate. The Westin's great central location gave shoppers access to the famous night bazaar.
FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT--Excellent. Given the size of the group, it couldn't have been better. The response was enthusiastic from nearly all those attending.
TOURS AND GUIDES--Less highly rated. Not all tour guides were able to answer questions and provide coherent narratives. English proficiency could have been better. Traffic was not well tolerated by many. Traffic delays often cut into the amount of free time available. We always seemed to be rushing back from some side trip or shopping foray to dress for dinner. There was not a lot of time to relax, even though both hotels had pools and other recreational facilities.
Excellent service by Traverse City, Mich.-based Viktor Weyand Travel Service (VWTS). Pre-trip communication was comprehensive. Trip deviations, upgrades, and itinerary changes were handled expertly. A total of 1,500 people attended this trip, divided into ten groups. Beginning November 9, 150 people left for Bangkok every two days until the cycle was complete. The last group left Thailand on December 10. Nine people in the VWTS office worked full time for more than a year to organize the trips. Six freelancers worked in Thailand along with the Thai travel-service agency--MM