Connect with us

Thai Life

Island Fever: Breath of fresh air needed for Asia’s boutique hotels

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Here in Asia, which continues to often live in the shadows of big brother western-hotel design, hotel owners and designers continue to create derivative products. The East is often transfixed on Western products, in the case of luxury concepts, not so much, but certainly in the boutique spaces.

When you look outside the “sandbox”, the new buzz-word in the industry these days – especially in Europe and the UK – is “lifestyle” (I hate this word, but I’m still in search of a better descriptor).
Certainly in Europe, there is something for everyone: The CitizenM Hotels brand started by Rattan Chadha and Michael Levie back in 2008, is now headed to Asia under a partnership with Artyzen

image

Hotels. Size does matter, and these products can push people into new social conforms.

I was sitting in a hotel conference listening to Levie not long ago. He discussed how if you examine a simple household, people don’t typically relegate themselves to their bedrooms – they congregate and interact in the living room and kitchen. And yet hoteliers and developers primarily obsess on investing in guest room designs and amenities.

Looking at Europe and beyond, there are other great concepts rolling out from brands such as BLOC Hotels, Think, Chic&Basic, Grupo Habita and more. One of my own favorites is the 25Hours hotels led by their smart 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin property.

Chains are rapidly taking more chances with their “lifestyle” approaches: take the Marriott Moxy brand with IKEA furniture, or Philippe Starck’s Mama Shelter, which has attracted the attention of Accor.

Can these brands be institutionalized, or should they be?

There is even more movement in upscale flashpacking accommodation with brands like Generator Hotels creating a whole new vibe for travellers, with a strong entertainment component.

Again, the West is a flurry of innovation, while here in the East the focus remains on either recreating western models, or those luxury pool villas with that bikini-clad girl staring into space.

So my conundrum is this: as we live in Asia, where the economic reality continues to enjoy its day in the sun, why not tap into the region’s potential and see if we can release a new hotel concept that can take the global center stage? Yes, we have luxury, but what about the bigger picture? Why not harness all this creative talent and innovation instead of shadowing concepts from elsewhere?

Looking throughout Phuket, I can count on one hand the number of “lifestyle” offerings I’d rate on par with the broader marketplace.

Gladly, there are a few, but given the onslaught of “sameness”, why can’t Asian hotel owners and designers push the envelope and capture just a small part of the excitement that is happening on the European front?

Christmas has come and gone, but my wish list has still not been fulfilled.

— Bill Barnett

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of4 mins ago

Top 5 best temples in Bangkok

Thailand21 mins ago

Good Morning Thailand | What’s happening in Pattaya, Phuket sandbox, reopening for tourism

Coronavirus (Covid-19)28 mins ago

25 vaccination sites put on hold in Bangkok

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Phuket1 hour ago

Ambulance crashes into a lightpole in Phuket

Thailand1 hour ago

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport task force cracks down on drug trafficking

ASEAN2 hours ago

Southeast Asia sees highest tally of Covid-19 infections in a single day

Chiang Rai2 hours ago

Chiang Rai: man robs a bank that’s inside a Tesco Lotus

Best of2 hours ago

Top 10 Private Villas in Thailand

Drugs3 hours ago

Over 1.5 kilos of heroin found hidden in notebooks at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,355 new cases and 17 deaths

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 Tax Firms in Thailand

Malaysia3 hours ago

Lockdown extended for another 2 weeks in Malaysia

Food3 hours ago

Top 10 Restaurant-Bars in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Low immunity levels in some, despite 2 doses of AstraZeneca, Sinovac

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Confusion, delayed appointments, and finger pointing: Thailand’s vaccine rollout in disarray

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending