TO DISCUSS YOUR PROJECT OR LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICES:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Breath Of Fresh Air Needed For Asia's Boutique Hotels

Category: , Posted:05 Mar 2015 | 06:00 am

Here in Asia, which continues to often live in the shadows of big brother western-hotel design, hotel owners and designers continue to create derivative products. The East is often transfixed on Western products, in the case of luxury concepts, not so much, but certainly in the boutique spaces.
When you look outside the "sandbox", the new buzz-word in the industry these days – especially in Europe and the UK – is "lifestyle" (I hate this word, but I'm still in search of a better descriptor).
Certainly in Europe, there is something for everyone: The CitizenM Hotels brand started by Rattan Chadha and Michael Levie back in 2008, is now headed to Asia under a partnership with Artyzen
Hotels. Size does matter, and these products can push people into new social conforms.
I was sitting in a hotel conference listening to Levie not long ago. He discussed how if you examine a simple household, people don't typically relegate themselves to their bedrooms – they congregate and interact in the living room and kitchen. And yet hoteliers and developers primarily obsess on investing in guest room designs and amenities.
Looking at Europe and beyond, there are other great concepts rolling out from brands such as BLOC Hotels, Think, Chic&Basic, Grupo Habita and more. One of my own favorites is the 25Hours hotels led by their smart 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin property.
Chains are rapidly taking more chances with their "lifestyle" approaches: take the Marriott Moxy brand with IKEA furniture, or Philippe Starck's Mama Shelter, which has attracted the attention of Accor.
Can these brands be institutionalized, or should they be?
There is even more movement in upscale flashpacking accommodation with brands like Generator Hotels creating a whole new vibe for travellers, with a strong entertainment component.
Again, the West is a flurry of innovation, while here in the East the focus remains on either recreating western models, or those luxury pool villas with that bikini-clad girl staring into space.
So my conundrum is this: as we live in Asia, where the economic reality continues to enjoy its day in the sun, why not tap into the region's potential and see if we can release a new hotel concept that can take the global center stage? Yes, we have luxury, but what about the bigger picture? Why not harness all this creative talent and innovation instead of shadowing concepts from elsewhere?
Looking throughout Phuket, I can count on one hand the number of "lifestyle" offerings I'd rate on par with the broader marketplace.
Gladly, there are a few, but given the onslaught of "sameness", why can't Asian hotel owners and designers push the envelope and capture just a small part of the excitement that is happening on the European front?
Christmas has come and gone, but my wish list has still not been fulfilled.

Other News

Read more

PHIST 2021 – Sustainable Asia RE-defined Coming 28 October

Category: Hotels, Posted:11 Oct 2021 | 09:11 am The fourth annual Asian-based sustainability-focused learning event PHIST 2021 will take place in a dynamic virtual setting on 28th October. Organized in Phuket, Thailand with speakers from across the region. PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism) has established itself as a leading forum in Asia for sustainable tourism, environmental education for hotels as well […]
Read more

Lonely Planet. Ultimate Vacation Homes. More Phuket Meds

Category: Tourism, Posted:07 Oct 2021 | 21:02 pm It’s Friday and we have a trio of video insights for you. Listen to an intriguing talk with Joe Cummings who is behind the first Lonely Planet Thailand guidebooks. Hear seven short real estate talks on the latest trends. And then, how is Thanyapura looking to expand their medical footprint across Phuket. Right here. Right […]
Read more

Two Neil’s For Six Senses

Category: Hotels, Posted:03 Oct 2021 | 17:35 pm Veteran Asia-Pacific hotelier Neil Palmer has been named Chief Operating Officer of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. Palmer is best known as a stalwart executive at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Meanwhile, Neil Jacobs continues in his role as Chief Executive Officer. Former Six Senses COO Guy Heywood has moved to boutique chain Habitas Hotels.