Dusit sets sights on Vietnam and Nepal

Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort and Spa

Thai hotel group Dusit International may not have the breadth of different brands that other large hospitality companies typically operate, but that’s not to say its properties suffer from a dearth of differentiation.

Over the past fortnight, Dusit has announced two new properties it expects to open between the end of 2017 and 2020, with both conceptually being about as distinct from each other as possible.

The first is the Dusit Princess Moonrise Beach Resort, set to open at the end of the year on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc. The 108-room property will overlook the island’s western Bai Truong beach about eight minutes from the airport, and will understandably be positioned as a beach-style resort with an outdoor pool, spa, and a lounge and pool bar, among other facilities.

The island itself is also known for its beaches, coral reefs and tropical foliage, with the Unesco Biosphere Reserve, Phu Quoc National Park, being a key attraction.

At the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, is the Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort and Spa, which was announced on Thursday and is currently scheduled for a 2020 opening. Operating under the group’s flagship traditional Thai-inspired Dusit Thani brand, the property will mark the group’s debut into the Nepal market.

And as its name suggests, it’s located in the heart of Nepal’s central region up in the mountains and about an hour from Kathmandu and Tribhuvan International Airport. Offering a much more boutique-style experience – the property will have just 44 guestrooms and 30 villas – the Himalayan resort will feature the group’s signature Devarana Spa concept as well as a pool and meeting facilities.

Nearby attractions will include Namo Buddha village, where visitors can see prominent pilgrimage site the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery, along with the old town of Dhulikhel – the administrative centre of Kavrepalanchok District.

“Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort and Spa brings wellness and well-being to the fore in a magnificent setting that invigorates the mind, body and soul,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, group CEO of Dusit International. “In keeping with our brand promise to uniquely deliver gracious hospitality to the world, we will do all we can to ensure our destination resort has a positive impact on the local environment and community, and we look forward to making it a huge success.”

These properties are just a few of the more than 40 hotels the company is looking to open between now and 2020 – more than doubling its current portfolio of hotels.


Dusit International: What you need to know

Dusit Thani Maldives

Founded: 1948

First hotel: Princess on New Road, Bangkok

Home base: Thailand

Brands: Dusit International currently operates four brands. Dusit Thani is arguably the group’s most prominent, focusing on the high-end with a distinctly Thai style. By contrast, the dusitD2 brand is a far more contemporary and vibrant. The Dusit Devarana brand – which as of May 2017 comprises just the Dusit Devarana Hot Springs & Spa Conghua, Guangzhou – leans more towards resort and spa offerings. Finally, the DusitPrincess is a slightly more pared-back offering that focuses on value and practicality.

Portfolio: Dusit International operates 29 properties in eight countries across its four brands, though the company is looking to more than double this by 2020. Dusit’s portfolio currently includes hotels in Thailand, China, Kenya, the US, the UAE, Egypt, Maldives and the Philippines.

Key markets: The hotel group’s home country Thailand is by far its key market, with just under half of its properties located in the country across Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Khao Yai, Korat, Krabi, Pattaya and Phuket.

That said, Dusit is looking to rapidly expand its portfolio of hotels, particularly overseas. China is undeniably where it most has its sights set at the moment, with five properties in the country (though, interestingly, none in the major cities of Beijing or Shanghai) and plenty more on the way. Among these is the Dusit Thani Wetland Park Resort Nanjing, Jiangsu, set to open its doors later this year. The group has also unveiled a number of initiatives aimed at bolstering its position in the Chinese market, notably making WeChat Pay (part of Chinese mobile messenger platform WeChat, which currently has some 800 million users) a viable payment option at all of its China and Thailand properties.

Outside of Thailand and China, the UAE is where the company has its most sizeable presence, with five properties (four in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi). The most recent of these was the dusitD2 Kenz Hotel in Dubai.

That said, Dusit continues to keep its home country as a high priority, and in 2017 alone announced plans for two new Bangkok properties – one in the city’s popular Chatuchak Market, the other the company’s first dusitD2-brand property in the city, the dusitD2 Chaengwattana.

Loyalty programme: Dusit International relaunched its Dusit Gold loyalty programme back in 2015, notably introducing the new “Instant Rewards” feature that gives members bonuses on each stay. These can range from spa credits to room upgrades, based on preference and membership level.

At the time, research done by the company indicated that guests valued recognition and free nights most, and this was reflected in the revised programme. Dusit Gold has three tiers – Premier, Executive and Elite – and no points. Free nights are offered to Executive and Elite members after 20 qualifying nights with a minimum spend of US$2,500 on room charges. The group also claims access to Executive level can be achieved in as few as five stays.

There are also certain benefits that can be enjoyed from the get go. A member’s hotline, special room rates, dining credits and complimentary amenities are available upon sign up.

Future plans: Dusit is currently eyeing a total portfolio of 69 properties in more than 20 countries by 2020 – a massive jump from its current 29 in just eight countries. These include its first property in Bangladesh – a DusitPrincess – by the end of 2017, along with a new Dusit Thani in Yangon and a dusitD2 in San Juan in the Philippines in 2019.

China and the Philippines are set to be the biggest recipients of new Dusit properties, with three currently under development in China and six in the pipeline in the Philippines.

Meanwhile upcoming country debuts include Singapore, Qatar (two properties), Oman, Australia, Vietnam, Tunisia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.

Separately, the group entered into a strategic partnership with Japan’s E-Hotel chain, Colours International in March 2017, to form a new Dusit Colours joint venture that will look to develop new properties in the country across all of its brands.


Dusit announces new Bangkok hotel at Chatuchak Market

Mixt Chatuchak Bangkok

Dusit International has announced it will open a new property in Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market – the first hotel to be located within the popular market area, known locally as Jatujak or JJ, in the north of the Thai capital.

The new property will form part of the new Mixt Chatuchak multi-purpose development about 30 minutes from Don Mueang International Airport – the smaller of the city’s two international airports – and will offer about 250 rooms.

Nontaya Apitanotai, authorised director of Dhanasansombut Development Co Ltd, which operates the development, said, “Mixt Chatuchak is the only building located directly within JJ Market, making the mixed-use project and Dusit’s new hotel a unique proposition for guests who will benefit from the large array of shops and services within our building as well as on their doorstep.”

Chatuchak Market consists of more than 8,000 stalls selling clothes and furniture, artworks, souvenirs, food and drink, and even plants and pets. Considered one of Bangkok’s top destinations, the market attracts approximately 400,000 visitors every weekend.

“JJ Market is a true Bangkok icon and we are delighted to have this opportunity to become part of its vibrant fabric,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, Dusit International’s group chief executive officer. “With several exciting developments set to open near the market within the next few years, the area will only become even more appealing, and our new hotel will be perfectly positioned to meet the needs of the young, sophisticated travellers who visit the area seeking a distinctive localised experience.”

Specific details of the property have yet to be unveiled by Dusit, including opening date and under which of its brands the new property will operate.

Dusit International currently has 29 properties across four brands located in eight countries, but has expressed its intention to more than double its footprint within the next three to four years.


Dusit hotels now accepting WeChat Pay in China and Thailand

WeChat Pay

Travellers staying at Dusit Hotels and Resorts’ Thailand and China properties can now make payments using WeChat Pay, part of Chinese mobile messenger platform WeChat.

Under the new arrangement, guests will be able to pay their hotel bills – including restaurant, spa, transactions at participating retail outlets and room fees – by scanning a QR code that will then deduct the appropriate amount from their account.

“In China’s top-tier cities, approximately 90 per cent of stores now accept WeChat Pay as a payment method and the platform’s reach is starting to expand globally,” said Lim Boon Kwee, Dusit’s COO. “Chinese tourists are high value market and increasingly significant to our business, so it’s important we do all we can to cater to their needs. By implementing WeChat Pay, our Chinese guests will now be able to benefit from favourable exchange rates and occasional exclusive promotions, so we are confident it will be a huge success.”

More than 800 million people currently use WeChat, China’s largest mobile instant messaging app. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chinese visitors now account for 27 per cent of all foreign travellers to Thailand.

To mark the launch, Dusit is offering a 40 per cent discount off regular room rates at its Thailand hotels for guests using WeChat Pay, until September 30, 2017. Meanwhile until April 23, users who pay for a room at a participating Dusit hotel using the platform will also receive 888RMB (US$129) paid to their account in the form of a lucky red packet.

dusit.com; pay.weixin.qq.com

Dusit International to manage new Bangkok business hotel

dusitD2 Chaengwattana

Dusit International has signed a management agreement to operate the company’s first D2-branded property in Bangkok.

DusitD2 Chaengwattana, an upscale business hotel, is scheduled to open in 2020 in the north of Bangkok.

Boasting a striking cantilevered design with tiered gardens, the hotel will feature 200 guest rooms and suites, a rooftop international restaurant and bar, infinity swimming pool, fitness centre and a large banqueting facility.

The property will be located within 30 minutes of Don Mueang Airport, while the Impact Arena, Exhibition and Convention Center (IMPACT) will be reachable within 15 minutes. Other nearby landmarks include Central Plaza Chaengwattana, a hub of dining, shopping and entertainment.

The Pink Line Mass Transit Monorail System is slated to open in the same year as the hotel with a station located nearby. This will link with the city’s BTS Skytrain system to offer convenient access throughout Bangkok.

“From colourful, inspiring décor, to gracious service inspired by authentic Thai values, the new hotel will provide a comfortable, stylish and convenient option for leisure and business travellers alike, and should prove especially attractive for exhibitors at the nearby convention centre,” said Dusit International’s group chief executive officer Suphajee Suthumpun.

Dusit International currently operates 29 properties around the globe, including two hotels in the city Dusit Thani Bangkok and DusitPrincess Srinakarin Bangkok. A further 51 projects are confirmed to open internationally within the next three years.


Dusit International sets its sights on Japan

Dusit International

Thai hospitality group Dusit International has entered into a strategic partnership with Colours International, operator of Japan’s E-Hotel chain, as part of a move to explore options for new hotels in flagship cities across the country.

The newly formed Dusit Colours joint venture – Dusit’s debut in Japan – will look to develop and operate Dusit-branded hotels combining Thai and Japanese hospitality, along with developing hotel management-related education in the country. Major cities, notably Kyoto, will be explored for new properties across the Dusit Thani, Dusitd2, Dusit Princess and Dusit Devarana brands.

“In the next three years we aim to broaden our portfolio to have more than 50 per cent of our operations outside of Thailand, and entering key markets such as Japan will be essential to reaching this goal,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, group CEO of Dusit International and director of the new Dusit Colours company. “[Colours International’s] local expertise and knowledge will prove invaluable as we explore projects designed to delight visitors and residents alike in Kyoto.”

Dusit International aims to expand its portfolio by around 40 new properties in 21 countries over the next three to four years. The expansion would more than double its current portfolio, which contains 29 properties.

Visitor numbers to Japan climbed by an average of 33 per cent per annum between 2011 and 2015, according to Dusit International, with the country recording its most successful January on record with close to 2.3 million international visitors.

dusit.com; colours-international.jp/en

Dusit Thani signs new Nanjing hotel

Rendering of the Dusit Thani Wetland Park Resort Nanjing

Thai hospitality group Dusit International is set to manage a new hotel in China’s Jiangsu province starting late 2017 following the signing of a management agreement announced yesterday. The Dusit Thani Wetland Park Resort Nanjing, Jiangsu will be a 110-villa and room property in the Nanjing Shangqinhuai Eco Wetland Park, located approximately 30 minutes from the city centre and 20 minutes from Nanjing International Airport.

Details of the facilities the new Dusit Thani will feature so far include a meeting room measuring 300 sqm, along with an all-day restaurant, a specialty Chinese restaurant and a rooftop garden restaurant. Leisure facilities, meanwhile, will include a Thai-inspired spa, gym, swimming pool and kids’ club.

The new Nanjing property is part of a large-scale expansion plan currently being carried out by the hotel group, which included the opening of the Dusit Princess Resort Panzhihua, Sichuan late last year.

“Dusit Thani Wetland Park Resort Nanjing, Jiangsu signifies an important milestone in Dusit’s long-term expansion plans, positioning us perfectly for further expansion within China and the region,” said Dusit International COO, Lim Boon Kwee.

Dusit has a further 18 China-based properties in the pipeline across its Dusit Thani, Dusit Devarana, Dusitd2 and Dusit Princess brands, and a total of 48 new properties worldwide currently planned worldwide. The group’s global portfolio currently numbers 25 properties with four affiliate properties.

Nanjing is the capital city of Jiangsu province and one of China’s Four Great Ancient Capitals. The city is located approximately one hour from Shanghai by high-speed train.


Dusit and Cathay Pacific begin Asia Miles partnership

Dusit Thani Maldives

Members of travel and lifestyle rewards programme Asia Miles can receive special benefits and additional points until March 31 as part of a new loyalty partnership between Dusit International and Cathay Pacific.

Up to 2,800 miles can be earned for a single stay at a Dusit property between now and the end of March. Along with best available room rates and a complimentary late check out of 4pm, existing members will earn five-times the base miles for each stay up to 2,500 miles.

Meanwhile new members who sign up to Asia Miles during the promotion period will get an additional 300 miles on their first stay at a participating Dusit property, for a total of 2,800 air miles. After the launch promotion ends, members can earn up to 500 base miles for every qualified stay.

Miles accrued can then be used to redeem free flights, upgrades, companion tickets and other lifestyle rewards from Asia Miles’ 25 member airlines, including Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

Members must use the promotion code “CXDI” when making room reservations.

dusit.com; cathaypacific.com; asiamiles.com

Myanmar to get Dusit Thani in 2019

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

A new five-star Dusit Thani hotel is set to open in Myanmar at the end of 2019 in the country’s former capital, Yangon. The Dusit Thani Yangon will be located 15 minutes from Yangon International Airport in an area earmarked by the government to become the city’s new central business district.

Being developed as a five-star corporate and MICE hotel, Dusit Thani Yangon will be located in a mixed-use development that will incorporate convention centres, offices, retail and residential units. A total of 338 rooms will be available, while in-house meeting and events facilities will include a 400-seat ballroom with adjoining conference rooms.

The hotel will also have an all-day dining restaurant, a specialty Thai restaurant and a rooftop restaurant and bar. A swimming pool, gym and spa round out the leisure options.

Dusit International’s group CEO, Suphajee Suthumpun said: “Myanmar is a fast-emerging market and we are delighted to partner with Myanmar V-Pile Group for this very special project. Being one of the first five-star corporate and MICE city hotels within Yangon’s new central business district gives us a great opportunity to showcase our unique brand of gracious Thai hospitality in one of the ASEAN Economic Community’s largely untapped markets.

“This should set us up perfectly for further expansion within the country, including key destinations such as Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake, as well as throughout Southeast Asia in general, where we already have over 20 properties in the pipeline.”

In 2015, Yangon saw an increase of 15 per cent in international arrivals over 2014, totalling 1.3 million. The Myanmar government aims to attract 7.48 million annual visitors to the country by 2020.


Dusit opens new properties in China and UAE

DusitPrincess Resort Panzhihua, Sichuan

Dusit International has expanded its presence in the Middle East and Asia with the opening of a dusitD2 in the UAE and DusitPrincess property in China. The two new hotels are part of a global expansion by the Thailand-based hospitality group.

The first of a further 20 properties in the company’s China pipeline, the DusitPrincess Resort Panzhihua, Sichuan is claimed to be the first internationally branded resort in Panzhihua city. A total of 206 rooms, including 169 villas with outdoor gardens, are available at the upper mid-scale resort.

Located approximately 30 minutes from the central business district and Bao’anying Airport, the property is situated within the city’s Puda Sunshine International Retreat eco-tourism zone, which includes leisure facilities including sports venues, a theme part and wellness. The hotel’s own facilities, meanwhile, comprise a Chinese all-day dining restaurant and an on-site medical centre offering wellness programmes and traditional Chinese medicine consultations.

Meanwhile, the new upscale dusitD2 Kenz Dubai offers 237 rooms and suites, and is adjacent to the Dubai Internet City Metro Station. Three meeting rooms and a boardroom make up the hotel’s event spaces, while a rooftop pool, spa and fitness centre comprise its leisure offerings. The property’s two restaurants offer Mediterranean all-day dining and contemporary Thai.

“China and the UAE are both key markets for us and we are delighted to bolster our presence in each location,” said Lim Boon Kwee, Dusit International’s COO. “The opening of the dusitD2 Kenz Dubai and DusitPrincess Resort Panzhihua, Sichuan greatly signals our commitment to global expansion based on market-specific needs. We are confident that both new properties will now lead the way for further developments across our entire brand portfolio.”

Dusit currently operates four properties in China and three in the UAE, with 42 further projects in the pipeline across its Dusit Devarana, Dusit Thani, dusitD2 and DusitPrincess brands.