Centara Hotels & Resorts reports that is has a strategy of fast expansion in Pattaya, Thailand, with three properties currently open and another four in the development phase.
“Our association with Pattaya goes back a long time, as we for many years owned and operated the Central Wong Amat Beach Resort, in North Pattaya,” said chairman of the executive board, Central Plaza Hotel Public Company Limited, Suthikiati Chirathivat.
“When we decided to close that hotel and redevelop the site as the Centara
Grand Mirage, we were very much aware that with our theme hotel concept we were attempting something that had never been done before in Pattaya, or indeed in Thailand.
“Centara Grand Mirage opened in late 2009, and its success has been nothing short of spectacular. This has been immensely encouraging, and we now regard Pattaya as being one of the key regions for our growth strategy.”
Centara Hotels & Resorts’
concept behind Centara Grand Mirage was to create a destination hotel, built to a Lost World theme and based around a water park that stretches down to the hotel’s frontage at Wong Amat Beach.
The hotel has 555 rooms, reportedly making it one of Pattaya’s largest, with facilities including a ballroom, a number of meeting rooms and a spa village. According to general manager, Centara Grand Mirage, Andre Brulhart, occupancy levels during the high season run close to 90 per cent.
“The strongest of our overseas markets are the UK and Europe, Russia and North Asia,” commented Brulhart. “However, our domestic market is also strong, with the number of Thai guests equal to our largest overseas markets. They come here because the hotel has become so well known throughout Thailand for its dramatic Lost World theme, we are family-friendly with our rooms and our facilities, we are one of the less-than half a dozen Pattaya hotels that has its own beach frontage, and we are of course less than two hours by road from Bangkok.”
Commenting on the fast progress of the new properties, Chirathivat said that this was down to close cooperation with two local developers – Nova Group and Tulip Group, who are developing six properties at present.
“The six properties range across four of Centara’s five brands, and so we can say that this really is a strategic growth pattern.”
The first of the new properties to open was Nova Hotel & Spa Pattaya, in October 2011, closely followed by Centara Pattaya Hotel in December the same year for the first phase, which is expected to open in full in July 2012. The hotels are within walking distance of each other on a large parcel of land near to the junction of Pattaya Sai Song and Pattaya Klang Road, a location where Nova is developing several hotels and residences.
General manager of both properties, Austin Robinson, said that the Centara Pattaya has enjoyed immediate success, running at a high occupancy through a combination of Thai guests and overseas tour groups. The hotel, with its second phase having opened in April, has 152 rooms and suites.
“This is a Centara core brand four-star property,” said Robinson. “It is ideal for couples and for families, being within a few minutes of the beach by hotel buggy, and surrounded by some of Pattaya’s best known entertainment and shopping venues.
The newly opened Nova is part of the Centara Boutique Collection which has 79 rooms. Although too new to have a recorded occupancy level, Robinson stated that he is confident it will enjoy a similar level of business to the Centara Hotel.
“One of our Unique Selling Points at Nova is the Spa
Cenvaree, which is on five levels of the hotel and offers a range of Dead Sea water and mud treatments that are unique to Pattaya,” he said. “Our early feedback from the markets is that this will be a destination spa, and will drive much of our demand.”
Centara’s developments with the Tulip Group include two Centara Grand properties, a five-star hotel brand. The first of the two, Centara Grand Pratamnak, is expected to open in the second half of 2012. The second hotel is located in Na Jomtien, which is currently largely undeveloped, but is expected to become a popular high-end area in the near future. The group is constructing three towers which will be named Centara Grand Residence Na Jomtien, which will include the 200-room Centara Grand Pattaya, with the other two towers branded as Centara Grand Residence containing 283 privately-owned apartment units.