HOTELS

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It’s all in the design

Published April 1, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Its-all-in-the-design-30282258.html

HOTELS

Phum Baitang hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is recognised with the Design of the Year prize at the 2016 Asia Hotel Design Awards (AHDA). Courtesy of www.designhotels.com

Phum Baitang hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is recognised with the Design of the Year prize at the 2016 Asia Hotel Design Awards (AHDA). Courtesy of http://www.designhotels.com

Phum Baitang hotel also bagged the Spa & Wellness prize. Courtesy of www.phumbaitang.com

Phum Baitang hotel also bagged the Spa & Wellness prize. Courtesy of http://www.phumbaitang.com

Rosewood Beijing’s Deluxe Twin Room. Courtesy of www.rosewoodhotels.com

Rosewood Beijing’s Deluxe Twin Room. Courtesy of http://www.rosewoodhotels.com

Rosewood Beijing’s lobby is home to this calligraphic head sculpture. Courtesy of www.rosewoodhotels.com

Rosewood Beijing’s lobby is home to this calligraphic head sculpture. Courtesy of http://www.rosewoodhotels.com

Siem Reap’s Phum Baitang sweeps the prizes at the second Asia Hotel Design Awards

The nominees ranged from a hotel that blended culture and sophistication in the heart of Beijing to a luxury resort amidst lush paddy fields in Cambodia and a boutique hotel that has retained the rich heritage and history of its premises.

The 2016 edition of the Asia Hotel Design Awards (AHDA) received more than 130 entries from 60 projects in 12 different countries across Asia and the Pacific. In the end, two hotels dominated the ceremony, bagging almost all the awards between them.

The awards ceremony was held recently at Singapore’s The South Beach, a hotel by renowned French designer Philippe Starck.

Organised by Sleeper magazine, an international publication for hotel design, development and architecture, the awards marked their second edition this year.

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The coveted title of Asia Hotel Design of the Year went to Phum Baitang, a luxury resort located near Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Designed by Paris-based architecture and interior design firm AW2, Phum Baitang, or “green village”, is situated amidst three hectares of verdant gardens and paddy fields. Its 45 wooden, stilted villas are heavily influenced by traditional Cambodian design, with 25 villas designed with private terraces and the rest incorporating private plunge pools.

The AHDA also gave out the Outstanding Contribution Award, an honour which went to Adrian Zecha, Indonesian hotelier and founder of Amanresorts.

“The quality and diversity of the nominated projects is a real testament to the creativity and professionalism of the designers and architects involved, and all those who were shortlisted can be proud of their achievement,” said Matt Turner, Sleeper magazine editor-in-chief.

“The winning projects were a stunning showcase of the best hotel designs in Asia over the past 12 months. We were also honoured to be able to acknowledge Adrian Zecha’s outstanding contribution to the industry over the past five decades,” he said.

Phum Baitang also won Best Architecture under the Resort category, beating Alila Seminyak in Bali, Indonesia; The Pavilions Himalayas in Pokhara, Nepal; and The Ritz-Carlton Sawangan, also in Bali.

Meanwhile, The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney, Australia, won Best Architecture in the Urban category, beating strong contenders like Hotel Vagabond in Singapore, The South Beach also in Singapore, and The Temple House in Chengdu, China.

Designed by Australian architecture firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, The Old Clare Hotel stretches across two heritage-listed buildings, The Clare Hotel pub and the Carlton & United Breweries Administration Building.

The 62-room boutique hotel, situated along Kensington Street in the suburb of Chippendale, is the first Australian hotel from the unconventional Unlisted Collection.

The Unlisted Collection is a group of unique boutique hotel properties and restaurants in Singapore, London, Shanghai and Sydney. Its hotels are located within heritage buildings that have been restored and re-adapted for modern, contemporary concepts.

And the winners are

The winners for best interior designs in various categories:

Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas

Rosewood Beijing, China by BAR Studio

Event Space (Conference, Banqueting & Meetings)

VIP Function Room at The Ritz-Carlton Macau by Hirsch Bedner Associates

Bedrooms & Bathrooms

Rosewood Beijing, China by BAR Studio

Bar

The Cigar & Cocktail Bar at Phum Baitang, Siem Reap, Cambodia by Zannier Hotels

Restaurant

Red Bowl at Rosewood Beijing, China by BAR Studio

Spa & Wellness

Phum Baitang, Siem Reap, Cambodia by Zannier Hotels

Suite

Beijing House at Rosewood Beijing, China by BAR Studio

 

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InterContinental opens in Pattaya Bay

Published March 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/InterContinental-opens-in-Pattaya-Bay-30279962.html

HOTELS

InterContinental Pattaya Resort

InterContinental Pattaya Resort

InterContinental Hotels Group, one of world’s leading hotel companies, is expanding presence in Thailand with another property in Pattaya being added into its portfolio.

In a press release, the chain said that it has signed a management agreement with Amburaya Resort to rebrand the Sheraton Pattaya Resort, the resort nestled in the Phratamak Hills south ofPattaya Bay, to InterContinental Pattaya Resort. The resort will be operating under the InterContinental brand from April 1.

A refurbishment programme will be conducted in phases throughout the first two years of operations, completing in 2018, which will focus on the guest room experience and introduce the Club InterContinental range of VIP benefits and privileges into the resort.

InterContinental currently operates three InterContinental hotels and resorts in Thailand: InterContinental Bangkok, InterContinental Hua Hin Resort and InterContinental Samui BaanTaling Ngam Resort.

InterContinental Pattaya Resort, with 156 room, is located five-minute walk from the PattayaExhibition and Convention Centre.

Thai accommodations lauded

Published February 7, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Thai-accommodations-lauded-30278057.html

HOTELS

Thanabhumi and @Box Hostel from Thailand, one of nearly 300,000 properties worldwide on Booking.com with average guest review score of eight or more out of 10, came close to perfection with scores of 9.9.

Worldwide, only 262 properties showed the score of 10. In Thailand, 3,520 properties received the score above 8.

The website features over 850,000 properties.

“Each and every award in Thailand reflects a long line of satisfied guests,” said Parichat Haehnen, Booking.com Thailand Area Manager. “And this includes all types of accommodation, from major Thai hotels to island bungalows to urban hostels and countryside retreats. The one thing all these properties have in common is that guests love them, and gave them rave reviews for service that went above and beyond expectations.”

Another property in Thailand, Baan Jaru in Chiang Rai was ranked among the top 10 “Hosts with the Most” category of properties. The award is in recognition of the property hosts who demonstrate a commitment to go the extra mile to provide the best possible guest experience.

Within these walls

Published February 6, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/Within-these-walls-30278418.html

HOTELS

Clink78, London. Photo/www.Clink78.com

Clink78, London. Photo/www.Clink78.com

Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, Amsterdam. Photo/www.lloydhotel.com

Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, Amsterdam. Photo/www.lloydhotel.com

Langholmen, Stockholm. Photo/WWW.langholmen.com

Langholmen, Stockholm. Photo/WWW.langholmen.com

Four Seasons Sultanahmet, Istalbul.

Four Seasons Sultanahmet, Istalbul.

Seven luxury prison hotels in which you’d love to serve a life sentence

In addition to bringing a ghastly colour shade into vogue, Netflix’s original series “Orange Is The New Black” has also managed to make prison life look cool. Longing for a prison-like experience like the Litchfield Penitentiary inmates? Then check out this list from Trivago.

Once correctional facilities, these buildings have been converted into luxury hotels, boasting unique architecture, comfortable rooms and fine dining. Many retain original features, making it possible to spend the night in a prison cell – with a little added comfort.

Here’s where to stay behind bars.

HET ARRESTHUIS, NETHERLANDS

Het Arresthuis is located in the quiet and picturesque Dutch town of Roermond, close to the German border. The building served as a house of detention and later a state prison until recent years, with the hotel opening in 2011. Guests can choose between comfort cells, made up of three former prison cells, and deluxe cells, which are housed in former recreation rooms.

Although the original bars still line the windows, guests will find the cells transformed to comfortable havens complete with flat screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, rain showers and dressing gowns and slippers. Staff are happy to arrange flowers, chocolate or Rituals beauty products for special occasions – a far cry from life in prison.

Visit http://www.HetArresthuis.nl.

FOUR SEASONS SULTANAHMET, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Four Seasons Sultanahmet is housed in a century-old neoclassical Turkish prison in Istanbul’s Old City, with the 6th century Haghia Sophia and the 17th century Blue Mosque a few steps away. Views of these landmarks are best enjoyed from the A’YA Rooftop lounge, which specialises in wines from different regions of Turkey and traditional Turkish snacks.

Today, the inner courtyard houses a lush garden and alfresco dining area. The spacious rooms and suites bear little resemblance to the former prison cells, boasting private bars, large plasma televisions and marble bathrooms complete with deep soaking tubs.

Visit http://www.FourSeasons.com/istanbul

LANGHOLMEN, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Like many parts of Stockholm, Langholmen is situated on an island, incorporating a hotel, hostel, conference centre, restaurant and prison museum. The prison, which operated between 1725 and 1975, was one of the largest in Sweden, housing over 500 cells. Guests can visit the museum to see how former inmates used to live, or alternatively check into one of the hotel rooms – which are housed in former prison cells.

Featuring flat-screen televisions and other amenities, rooms vary from single cells, double cells, family cells and even romantic cells, featuring sparkling wine, chocolate, dressing gowns and slippers.

Visit http://Langholmen.com/en

THE LIBERTY, BOSTON, UNITED STATES

The ironically named Liberty is housed in the former Charles Street Jail, constructed in 1851 and formerly housing inmates such as Malcolm X and World War II prisoners of war. Today, this architectural gem has been redesigned to house a luxury hotel with 298 rooms and suites and six different bars and restaurants.

Those wishing to see the original prison should head to Clink restaurant, where guests can sit in parts of the original cells while enjoying modern American cuisine.

Visit http://www.libertyhotel.com

LLOYD HOTEL & CULTURAL EMBASSY, AMSTERDAM, |NETHERLANDS

Not only is Lloyd Hotel located in a former prison, but it’s also the world’s first one-to-five star design hotel. This means the rooms range in comfort and price, from cosy one-star rooms to deluxe five-star suites, featuring grand pianos, swings, hammocks, milk bottle chandeliers and much more. Each room is unique, created using the inspiration of over 50 designers and artists, making the hotel an icon of Dutch design.

Visit http://www.LloydHotel.com

BEST WESTERN PREMIER |KATAJANOKKA, HELSINKI, FINLAND

Best Western Katajanokka was previously the Helsinki Country Prison, serving pre-trial criminals from Southern Finland between 1837 and 2002. Extensive renovations includes taking sets of two or three cells to create spacious and comfortable four-star hotel rooms, ranging from queen rooms to junior suites, accessible by the original prison corridor. Restaurant Jailbird has a prison theme, complete with exposed brick walls, barred windows and medieval-style chairs

CVisit http://www.bwkatajanokka.fi

CLINK78, LONDON, BRITAIN

Not technically a luxury hotel, but certainly a “posh hostel”, Clink78 is located in a 200 year-old courthouse. The Clerkenwell Magistrates’ Court previously housed The Clash, who were fined for shooting expensive racing pigeons and inspired the name of the hostel’s late-night bar: Clashbar. The former courtrooms now serve as a TV and film lounge and a computer room, complete with the judge’s podium and witness and usher stands.

Guests can also choose to sleep in one of the original prison cells, which accommodate one or two people in bunk beds. Original features such as the heavy metal door, barred windows and steel toilet (no longer in use) remain, but the cells have been refurbished to add colour, warmth and humour.

Visit http://www.ClinkHostels.com/london/clink78.

 

From sweet dream to potential nightmare

Published January 28, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/travel/From-sweet-dream-to-potential-nightmare-30277838.html

HOTELS

Jason Lee, chairman of JL Asia, which manages Kam Leng Hotel in Jalan Besar Rd and The Porcelain Hotel in Mosque St.

Jason Lee, chairman of JL Asia, which manages Kam Leng Hotel in Jalan Besar Rd and The Porcelain Hotel in Mosque St.

Singapore’s boutique hotels face trying times

It’s been a dream over the last few years for boutique hotels in the city state, thanks to events like the F1 Grand Prix and other tourist lures, but challenges are lining up on all sides and forcing owners to make some tough decisions.

Some might need to seek growth opportunities abroad while running a tight ship here.

But it’s not all gloom – some operators in heritage sites such as Chinatown still enjoy healthy occupancy rates. Overall, however, the mood is sombre. Rising costs, a tighter labour market, a strong Singapore dollar and a growing supply of hotel rooms are fanning major headwinds for the hospitality sector.

There were 10,530 hotel rooms being built or planned for development island-wide as at the third quarter of last year, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.

JL Asia, which manages Kam Leng Hotel in Jalan Besar and The Porcelain Hotel in Mosque Street, is looking beyond Singapore for growth over the next two years.

The company, which also runs Hotel Soleil near Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, wants to expand in Malaysia, and penetrate the new markets of Thailand and Japan.

“It is not easy to find a new site in Singapore. Prices of properties have moved forward since 2010, and it is also getting expensive to lease,” says chairman Jason Lee.

He said the investment cost was about S$300,000 (Bt7.5 million) per room based on an average room size of 13 square metres when JL Asia entered the market in 2010. The figure has probably gone up to S$800,000 because of pricier materials and land.

JL Asia set up The Porcelain, which has 138 rooms, about five years ago and the 70-room Kam Leng about 18 months later.

Both had occupancy rates of about 90 per cent last year, on a par with 2014, but room rates fell about 5 to 10 per cent last year because of rising competition and the slower market, Lee adds.

Room rates average S$100 to S$180 for Kam Leng and S$130 to S$230 for The Porcelain.

Lee says more needs to be done to attract visitors, given the challenging outlook and stiff competition for international tourists.

“The casinos have been around for over five years now; the F1 race has been here several years. So there is a need to think of new ideas – maybe more high-profile events or new attractions.”

Hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng also expects some pressure on room rates, “which probably peaked two to three years ago”.

He was one of the first movers in the heritage boutique hotel segment here – he opened Hotel 1929 in Keong Saik Road in 2003. He has since sold the hotel, but continues to manage it as well as other signature inns – the New Majestic in Bukit Pasoh Road and Wanderlust in Little India – under Unlisted Collection, where he is a director. He said the three hotels here had “done okay”, with average occupancy rates of around 80 per cent despite there being more players in the market.

Unlisted Collection, which also runs hotels in London, Shanghai and Sydney, is unlikely to embark on new investment ventures in the next 12 months. It recently opened The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney.

But hospitality chain Hotel Clover plans to open one hotel here this year, plus one each in Bangkok and Shanghai. The home-grown brand has four hotels in Singapore with a total of 214 rooms.

Group vice-chairman Lee Soon Tai says it will be more active in seeking growth in China and Thailand, and it is also considering Indonesia and Myanmar. He is excited about its project in Shanghai, not far from the upcoming Disneyland.

“There is a slowdown, but there is a huge local market – that’s why we are going in,” he says, remaining optimistic despite the slowing Chinese economy.

Hotel Clover’s outlets in Singapore – located in North Bridge Road, Jalan Sultan, Hong Kong Street and South Bridge Road – have an average occupancy rate of about 80 per cent and average room rates of S$180 to S$200.

Dr Lee says the company is looking at new business ideas and might set up a “maternity home” – a confinement centre for new mothers who, according to some traditional beliefs, need to stay indoors for a month and have special dietary requirements.

The three boutique hotel operators told The Straits Times that staying nimble and keeping operations lean would be key to weathering the tough times. Initiatives could include outsourcing certain functions such as laundry and having employees take on multiple roles.

“Being boutique hotels, we are more flexible. We can make decisions and change policies easily, unlike the big boys,” Dr Lee notes.

Another way to boost productivity is to harness technology. However, the costs involved are usually higher for boutique hotels, as many software packages and systems are designed for large hotels, Loh says.

“You could have remote monitoring of the premises instead of having security guards running around everywhere, or software for rostering of your staff,” he says.

For JL Asia and Hotel Clover, having their hotels located in areas where there are plenty of food and entertainment options means they do not need to provide large restaurants or elaborate banquet services, which helps keep staff headcount down.

Heritage hotels also attract local visitors, which helps support occupancy rates. About 20 per cent of the guests at Kam Leng Hotel, for example, are Singaporeans.

Loh says: “I feel there is that resilience in our industry, but we don’t take anything for granted. Who knows what’s around the corner?”

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