News for the Hospitality Executive
|By Boonsong Kositchotethana, Bangkok Post
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
June 12, 2003 - Nai Lert Park Hotel (NLPH), the company owned by the
wealthy Sampatisiri family, has ended its 20 years of partnership, sometimes
bumpy, with the Hilton International chain and turned to the Singapore-based
Raffles International group to manage its property on Bangkok's Wireless
``Travellers know that Hilton and Conrad are in the same league and they opt for the Conrad Bangkok as it seems to provide more attractive offers in terms of modern facilities and prices,'' one hotelier noted.
The Hilton International Bangkok, meanwhile, has aged considerably, though there were some renovations in 1989.
The five-floor hotel, with 343 rooms and 37 suites, has lost some of its appeal to newer hotels nearby.
Competing five-star hotels now regard Hilton as a four-star hotel that charges five-star rates.
With the Raffles name attached, NLPH will be able to differentiate its property and refurbish its image.
The separation would reduce the number of Hilton branded hotels in Thailand to one _ the 296-room Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa.
But it will raise the profile of Raffles in Thailand, which also runs the Merchant Court Hotel at Le Concorde on Ratchadaphisek Road. Merchant Court is a second-tier brand of Raffles, which also has the Swissotel brand.
In the Asia-Pacific, Raffles has operations in Cambodia, China, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore, home of the landmark Raffles Hotel.
The NLPH change will be the second major one in the local hotel industry this year. In April, President Hotel and Tower, owned by the Srivikorn family, ended its long-standing ties with France's Le Meridien group and appointed Six Continents Hotels to run its two prime properties at Ratchaprasong intersection.
The luxury 381-room Le Royal Meridien Bangkok will become the Inter-Continental Bangkok and the adjacent Le Meridien President will become the Holiday Inn Bangkok in early 2005.
-----To see more of the Bangkok Post, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.bangkokpost.com (c) 2003, Bangkok Post, Thailand. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.
(c) 2003, Bangkok Post. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.