KARON: Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort, just south of Patong, one of hotels worst hit by the tsunami, is to re-open on August 15.
Philippe Seigle, Regional General Manager of Le Méridien Thailand Resorts, and General Manager of Le Méridien Phuket, told the Gazette that the areas that suffered the most damage were the entire beach and pool space, the ground floors of both wings including many restaurants, bars, kitchens and the hotel’s spa, and all offices and back-of-house operations in the lower areas of the hotel.
Due to the loss of the engineering plant room, boilers, chillers, generator and electrical distribution boards as well as the main gas tanks, the hotel was put out of action. All of these facilities had to be completely rebuilt.
Mr Seigle said, “The hotel’s refurbishment involved every department, including the reception areas, most of the restaurants and bars, the sports areas and facilities, Le Spa and all swimming pool areas and gardens. All of us are very excited about the hotel’s new look.”
The hotel, he said, expects 65% occupancy during the next high season.
Neither staff nor guests died in the tsunami, and Mr Seigle noted that the hotel had an existing crisis plan before the tsunami. This has now been modified in light of the tsunami experience and what was learned in the aftermath.
General information on tsunamis is available at reception, along with hotel procedures and assembly points and samples of signage marking evacuation routes.
Mr Seigle said, “We also have our own tsunami alarm system and will be implementing evacuation drills for our guests’ information and participation. Our hotel believes that good planning and training will minimize any potential injury or loss a tsunami may bring, and will help our guests feel more secure and comfortable during their stay with us.”
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