Hilton enters Phuket market
PHUKET: Hilton International has finally made an entry into the Phuket market after negotiating a contract to manage the Panwaburi Resort and Spa at Cape Panwa. The resort, which will undergo a US$7-million (292-million-baht) refurbishment, paid for by its owners, is expected to reopen in October as the Conrad Phuket Resort and Spa. Conrad is Hilton’s top-of-the-line five-star brand. Methee Tanmanatragul, Director of the Panwaburi Resort, told the Gazette that the renovation of the 79 existing villas this year would be followed by construction of 31 more premium villas, to be completed in 2004. About 50 new jobs will be created with the makeover and rebranding, he added. The upgrade from four stars to five would be accompanied by improved standards and service and would result in a doubling of the regular room rate to 8,000 baht a night, he said. The resort’s owner, Panwaburi Co, is also building a new four-star hotel on Nam Mao Beach in Krabi, which will also be managed by Hilton. About 700 million baht will be spent on the Hilton Krabi Resort and Spa, which will consist of 200 to 230 rooms and 30 villas on about 50 rai of land. It will be completed in 2005. The two contracts are part of a major push by Hilton International to expand in Thailand. It recently ended a management contract for what was, for 20 years, the Hilton International Bangkok, and announced that it was close to agreeing contracts for the management of two new hotels in the capital.
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