News for the Hospitality Executive
Debbie Chee Appointed Director of Sales and Marketing
at the Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa in Vietnam
NHA TRANG, Vietnam (9 March 2009) — Debbie Chee knows a thing or two about destination development – a task she’s identified as her foremost priority now that she’s taken over as the Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa’s new director of sales and marketing.
“In real estate, the mantra is location, location, location,” said Chee. “For me now in Nha Trang, it’s destination, destination, destination.”
Unlike so many other sun-kissed Southeast Asian strands, Nha Trang is more than a pretty beach. Indeed, the 507 square kilometer bay has been recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful (www.world-bays.com). But for Chee, it is Nha Trang’s compelling cultural assets that elevate the destination.
“There’s so much more than the beach to celebrate here,” said Chee. “The beach and the bay, and the mountains that surround us here make for great natural rewards. But as I begin to talk about our new hotel, I find myself talking about so much more.”
Like the Po Nagar towers, an eighth century Cham temple complex that ranks as one of Vietnam’s premier Cham sites. Or the Oceanographic Institute, a holdover from the colonial era where natural history exhibits range from an 18-meter skeleton of a humpbacked whale to 8,000 pickled specimens of sea creatures. Or the Alexandre Yersin Museum, a wonderfully organized tribute to a colonial doctor, scientist and explorer who lived in Nha Trang for 30 years until his death in 1943.
After Vietnam initiated its economic renovation (doi moi) in the late 1980s, Nha Trang was the first seaside destination to enjoy widespread appeal among early travelers to Vietnam. The destination was later eclipsed by Mui Ne and China Beach, but the development of the 30-story Sheraton Nha Trang has sparked a renewal of interest in the dean of Vietnamese beach towns.
When the Sheraton opens in August, the hotel will rank as the first internationally renown 5-star hotel to open on the beach in Vietnam.
“Like most emerging destinations, Nha Trang generates a really attractive vibe, a vibe that’s likely to beat a lot stronger when the Sheraton opens,” said Chee. “I imagine that this is what Phuket felt like 25 years ago.”
Prior to Chee’s stint at Le Meridien in Khao Lak, she logged more than six years, working for upscale properties in Ho Chi Minh City, first as an assistant director of sales and later as a director of sales and marketing.
In that time, she bore witness to a phenomenal level of growth in Saigon, a phenomenon that Sheraton is anxious to stimulate – albeit at a lower level – in Nha Trang.
“All these incremental changes along the way are exciting to see,” she said. “That’s always a large part of the appeal to an emerging destination.”
With towers in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the Nha Trang hotel stands as the Sheraton’s third property in Vietnam. Its eight categories of accommodation range from deluxe rooms to 70 square-meter executive suites and a single, stunning 182-square-meter presidential suite. Its food-and-beverage outlets include Feast, a 180-seat international buffet; Steam n’ Spice, an upmarket, 102-seat dim sum and noodle restaurant (a first for Nha Trang); the Wine Bar and a deli.
For business and leisure travelers alike, the hotel’s full-service spa offers nine treatment rooms, as well as separate locker rooms for men and women, each with steam, sauna and whirlpool. The 21-meter lap pool on the hotel’s 6th floor provides an infinity effect, blending with the bay of Nha Trang beyond. On either side of the main pool, deck chairs sit in the shallow waters of a reflection pool, tempting guests who want to be both in and out of the water simultaneously.
The main pool will be complemented by a children’s pool. And a state-of-the-art health club is shaping up as Nha Trang’s most ambitious fitness center by far.
Given the proximity to Ho Chi Minh City by air (45 minutes), the hotel anticipates robust business traffic. The Sheraton’s nine meetings rooms — including a ballroom and an equally large function room — open up to 1,600 square meters. The Executive Club Lounge will offer spectacular ocean views.
Upon opening, Sheraton will be rolling out its Link@Sheraton environment, a lobby lounge space that provides comfortable work stations, free Wi-Fi access and Internet-enabled computer stations to guests. The new café concept also provides ready access to plasma televisions, daily newspapers and a variety of food and beverages. The product debuted at Sheraton hotels worldwide in September.
About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Helping guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 75 countries around the world, Sheraton is revitalizing its iconic brand while continuing its aggressive international expansion by adding 54 hotels and 20,000 guestrooms by 2009. Sheraton Hotels is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
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|Also See:||Sheraton Readies the 30-story 281 room Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa; Nha Trang Bay Emerging as Major Beach Resort with International Appeal / December 2008|