How much further would a hotel company take that “extra mile” to satisfy discriminating guests?
Ritz-Carlton believes the limits to creating unforgettable experiences are boundless, and is putting the final touches to a new accommodation brand The Ritz-Carlton Reserve that seeks to deliver intimacy and exclusivity – the Ritz-Carlton way.
“It's like we’re taking one of our hotel club floors and putting it in a remote location,” says the chain’s president and CEO Simon Cooper, summing up the ethos of the future product. “Typically, these Reserves are going to be in hard-to-get destinations where the lift is relatively small, meaning groups aren’t the main market.”
The first Reserve will open in Asia – in Phulay Bay, Krabi by the first quarter of 2009. Other locations will be in Costa Rica, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles, and like the Thai property, mostly along a beachfront or perched on a promontory.
Cooper expects the service “to be intuitive”, and unlike in their city hotels “where it’s more aggressive,” he says.
“The assumption is that Reserve guests are trying to get away from everything,” he adds. “Here, it’s a case of you let us know when you need something.” The butler is to be the point person, rather than a team of people, taking care of visitors.
Reserves will consist of less than a hundred villas, with individual pools, and mostly low rise in design. Krabi’s lodgings measures from 50sqm to 121sqm.
Cooper was hesitant to say these resorts would not welcome child guests. “The reality of luxury travel today is that couples bring their children. With both parents working, holidays are the one time they can spend with their kids.”
For more details, go to www.ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/PhulayBay
Margie T Logarta