This week, Travel Daily Asia chats with Adrian Ee, the newly-appointed general manager of the Marriott Executive Apartments Sathorn Vista, Bangkok…
Q) Congratulations on your recent appointment as GM of Marriott Executive Apartments Sathorn Vista, Bangkok. What do you expect to bring to the hotel, and what is your management style?
Thank you very much, it’s exciting and wonderful to be in a vibrant yet intriguing city like Bangkok. My goal is to consolidate further the business outlook for the property. With the rapport and relationship I have in dealing with major corporate clients in KL, which are similar to some of the clients we have here in MEA Sathorn Vista, I hope to strengthen our brand further and offer a superior product to our potential clients. My management style is mainly a hands-on approach, having previously been in operational roles. I like to feel connected and supportive to our guests and employees, building the relationship and in turn earning their trust and respect.
Q) This is your first GM role in Thailand; how does the market differ from your previous postings in Malaysia and Brunei?
The market is similar in general for most SEA countries. But for this property we have long stays on a yearly and monthly basis, whereas the market for KL is predominantly corporate short stays during weekdays and leisure during the weekends. In Malaysia the Middle East market is more dominant during the Middle East summer period due to the Islamic similarities, which offer more adaptability. In Brunei, it is mostly corporate with dealings in the finance and oil & gas sectors.
Q) And how does managing a serviced apartment property differ from running a standard hotel?
We see our guests and their families more frequently in a serviced apartment as they stay with us for very long periods. Looking after them differs in that we typically manage their “home” and “lives”, to a certain extent. Sometimes the beauty of it is seeing their kids grow up over the years and being able to be a part of it.
Q) How is the serviced apartment market faring in Thailand at present, and are the key trends you’re noticing?
The number of expats in Bangkok has continuously increased, but occupancy rate has not reflected that growth. Many expats are moving to high-end apartments or condominiums along Sukhumvit Road due to lower rents and this has created intense competition everywhere.
Q) What changes or developments can we expect to see at Marriott Executive Apartments Sathorn Vista in 2016?
There is a plan for some soft refurbishment, mainly in the rooms, in order to stay competitive and attractive to our guests. We will also launch a few F&B promotions throughout the year catering predominantly to the local market as well as the immediate vicinity clientele. As we are strategically located for the business clientele in the vicinity, a far superior product and competitive rates will aim further to attract more clients to stay with us.