More Lifestyle Hotel Brands on the Way
The new generations, both Gen Z and Millennials who seek more memorable experiences, are not only changing the way condominiums and office buildings are designed, operated and advertised, they are also affecting the way hotel operators create new brands.
These groups demand tailored offerings from the hospitality sector as well. As a result, the Thai hospitality market has seen new hotel offerings that seek to cater to this trend with “lifestyle” brands.
As they spend less time in hotel rooms and more time exploring, “millennials” are looking for a variety of unique services and facilities that will fulfill their journeys and reflect their personalities rather than spacious rooms.
Younger travelers’ need for localized experiences has been one of the key factors that fueled the growth of Airbnb and the like. Lifestyle brands are hotel operators’ way to win back customers from the home-sharing trend.
While lifestyle brands are not something new in the hotel industry, Bangkok has only welcomed a limited number of international lifestyle brands in the past. W Hotels, Aloft, Renaissance and Indigo are some lifestyle brands that have been introduced to the Bangkok hotel scene.
Next year, ASAI, a new lifestyle brand from Dusit International, will open in Chinatown and Sathorn. The brand even partnered with local coffee producers from northern Thailand to offer a taste of local coffee to its guests.
Pentahotels, while being an established brand in Europe, is expected to open its doors in 2021 at Pentahotel Ploenchit with its signature, Pentalounge, where a bar, café, lobby and reception are blended together into a single gathering space. Hotel Jen, a new brand by Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, could not be more “millennial” as it is conceptualized from a virtual hotelier persona called Jen. The 350-key hotel will be opening in Thonglor, the nightlife epicenter of Bangkok.
As competition from new supply and price-wars within the Bangkok hotel market intensify, unique propositions will be among the key factors to remain competitive in the market. With over 7,700 hotel keys already under construction and expected to come into the market by 2022 (from 47,934 keys in downtown Bangkok as of Q2 2019), lifestyle brands will be the new kids on the block that need to prove themselves.
An article written by Rathawat Kuvijitrsuwan, Associate Director at Research and Consulting, CBRE Thailand for Bangkok Post dated 30 October 2019.