Trendy American hotel group planning four Thai hotels


Thailand will be the tip of the Asian spear for fashionable hotel group Standard International of the United States as the company’s CEO said it will open four hotels in Thailand as its first foray in Asia with venues to follow in Singapore,
Japan and China.

In addition, Best Western Hotels and Resorts announced it would bring its BW Signature Collection of hotels to Asia this year, with a Thai resort in Prachinburi province as its first property in that group.

Amar Lalvani, the chief executive officer of Standard International, said that “Thailand is our starting point and from here we are looking at opportunities throughout the region. Growth is much faster in Asia.”

Standard International is known for its trend-setting hotels in locations such as New York City, Miami Beach, and Austin, Texas. The company currently has 16 properties in the United States but is planning on opening as many as 20 more overseas in coming years. Aside from Thailand and Asia, the company is planning for properties in Paris, London, and Milan.

The Standard Hollywood, which is the firm’s flagship hotel, boasted Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, and Benicio del Toro among its original investors. In New York, the firm owns the Standard High Line and the Standard East Village, located in two of the hippest neighborhoods in the Big Apple.

In Thailand, Standard International is partnering with Sansiri, a local developer that has purchased a 35 percent stake in Standard International. Sansiri is recruiting other Thai investors to participate in Standard’s plans for hotels in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Phuket and Koh Samui.

Lalvani said that Thailand’s tourism industry is what led him to choose the Kingdom as the first country to invest in Asia. With 40 million tourists forecast to visit Thailand next year, the prospects for success in the Kingdom’s hotel industry are high.

Best Western has made a substantial commitment to the Thai market. Aside from its BW Signature Collection, the company also plans on introducing its Vib brand to the Kingdom later this year. The variety of brands are intended to appeal to different segments of the market in terms of price, amenities and overall style.

In total, five Best Western-branded hotels are scheduled to open in Thailand between 2019 and 2020. The new properties include the Best Western Prime Square in Chiang Mai, the Best Western Premiere Bayphere in Pattaya, the BluPhere Pattaya, BW Premier Collection on the Gulf of Thailand, the Best Western Chatuchak near Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Best Western Nada Don Muang near Bangkok’s Don Muang International Airport.