Today Travel Daily chats with, Christopher E. Stafford, Chief Operating Officer of 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts – a new Thailand-based luxury boutique hotel company…
Q) Can you tell us about 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts’ expansion plans in Thailand?
137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts are currently developing the 137 Pillars Suites & Residences, to open early 2017 with 34 suites and 179 residences. The brand is also about to commence construction at the end of 2016 on our Kata Project 137 Pillars Estates, to open mid-2019. In the interim we are also planning to launch a new upscale brand for the market in 2018 with likely first project in the Phang Nga area. Additionally the 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts will be entering the management contracting business where we have like-minded owners who are serious about the luxury boutique market.
Q) Will the new properties reflect the same heritage style as the original Chiang Mai hotel?
The new property in Bangkok will be a contemporary 32-storey tower on Soi Sukhumvit 39 in the heart of the luxury shopping area bounded by the Emquartier and the Emporium shopping malls. The project however, will retain elements of the brand history from Chiang Mai with each 137 Pillars luxury boutique project including a Jack Bain’s Bar & Cigar Divan as well as our Louis Leonowens Club for our suite guests and loyal patrons.
Q) What can guests expect from the new properties, and how will they stand out in the crowded Bangkok and Phuket markets?
Key features of our new luxury boutique projects will include a focus of butler service, great concierge, in-suite private dining rooms, our personal shopper services, and 30 bespoke services available to our guests.
Our key focus is practising the art of hospitality and passionately curating experiences to guest needs. The 137 Pillars Estate Phuket will have 51 pool suites (all eight-metre pools) and 15 luxury villas all with great views to the Andaman Sea. Our properties will feature wireless limousines and local personal phones on arrival – all 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts have full personal butler service. We are a dedicated luxury boutique brand with an intention to compete with all major hotels suites/villas in Bangkok and Phuket. Our competitive advantage is inherent in our hotels truly giving our guests a sense of place and privacy not easily available in big city hotels.
Q) What are the key target markets for 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts, in terms of guest source markets and business mix?
For our target mix in Bangkok we have a Japan focus due to our location in the heart of the Japanese enclave in Bangkok – we will however focus on all key luxury markets – near market philosophy including Hong Kong, Singapore, China and South Korea/ Taiwan in addition to Japan. Key long-haul markets are USA, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. For Phuket we will tend to focus on luxury leisure from near markets of China and South Asia/Australia, with a high season focus on Europe/USA.
Q) Would you consider launching the brand outside Thailand in future, and if so, which markets would you look at?
We are currently looking at opportunities in Southeast Asia for management deals of luxury boutiques, with additional potential also in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.