Thai hotel operator Centara Hotels & Resorts has announced its expansion and development plans. These are part of a strategic five-year development plan that expects to see its global portfolio grow to over 130 hotels in more than 15 countries by the end of 2022. The company has implementing several important projects to improve its business areas, from technological upgrades to new brands.
Growing its position in Thailand
Centara is significantly expanding its domestic portfolio. The group recently opened the 145-key Centara Sonrisa Residences & Suites Sriracha, on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. In a partnership with Maikhao Dream Company Limited it will open a total of three new hotels in Phuket’s Mai Khao Beach area for 2024, bringing the total to nine properties of which eight are operational. These will include Maikhao Dream Villa Resort & Spa with 22 villas -each with a private pool- in the Centara Boutique Collection, the 142-key Maikhao Hotel (now managed by Centara), and the brand new, 280-key Centra by Centara Maikhao Resort Phuket, scheduled to open in 2024. The most recent addition group is Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort & Spa Krabi - the only branded resort on Ao Nang Beach-, which opened its doors in October. COSI Pattaya Naklua Beach will start welcoming guests this November. With these new agreements and openings, the group’s Thai portfolio grows to 38 operational hotels and resorts, with many more under development.
Centara continues to expand in destinations worldwide. The group recently signed a joint venture agreement for its inaugural property in Japan. The 515-key Centara Grand Hotel Osaka is slated to open in mid-2023. At the beginning of 2019, Centara made its debut in Qatar with the launch of the 292-key Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha which it operates in partnership with Al Bandary Hotel Management LLC which will be followed by Centara Grand Hotel Doha that is scheduled to open in 2020. Centara will add two more properties in Doha as part of this partnership: The B Premiere Hotel, an 85-room property under the Centara Boutique Collection which will open early 2020, and the 167-key Centara Al Bustan Hotel Doha, which is under construction and due to open in 2021.
Southeast Asia is another key area for growth. Centara recently signed an MoU with KMA Hotels to manage six properties in Myanmar, including the 95-key Centara KMA Resort Inle Lake, which will welcome guests starting in early 2020. In Laos, the company has sealed management agreements with Asia Investment, Development & Construction (AIDC) for three new properties for a total of 216 keys, including Centara Grand and Centra by Centara hotels in Luang Prabang and COSI Vientiane Nam Phu in addition to Centara Plumeria Resort Pakse, which is scheduled to open in 2020. Finally, Centara plans significant expansion of its portfolio in Vietnam, with a goal to open at least 20 new hotels in the next five years.
Refreshing an icon and revealing new brands
Centara is also revitalising its brands and properties with fresh brand identities for the group’s upscale Centara and upper upscale Centara Grand brands. This will be complemented by a new luxury brand which will be officially launched when the Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui reopens in late 2020 following the property’s complete upgrade and repositioning. Centara has also signed an MOU with a leading medical company to create a new medical wellness brand.
The rollout of the group’s new global advertising campaign entitled “The Place to Be” is derived from the company’s unique and inimitable brand DNA of Thai Family Values and the associated values of Caring, Sharing and Belonging. These values are part and parcel of its Staying Well concept, which promotes a healthier way to travel. The three core pillars of this program are Live Well, Eat Well and Sleep Well, and it comprises among other things in-room fitness accessories, exercise routines and free group classes, and healthy restaurant menus.
Commitment to new technology
Centara is committed to applying the latest technology to all areas of its business. A new best-in-class website will offer a more intuitive, user-friendly booking flow across all devices, including advanced mobile compatibility and dynamic personalized content. In April 2020 the new digital experience will launch with Enhanced and integrated Property Management Systems (PMS), Central Reservations Systems (CRS) and Revenue Management Systems (RMS) which will enable hotels to perform to the best of their ability, driving maximum returns back to their owners. The company is midway through the rollout of this new technology architecture which comprises a combination of optimal solutions for Centara’s business model, including Opera, IDeaS and Vertical Booking by harnessing big data, Centara will also be able to personalize every stay.
Reimagining the MICE sector
At the start of 2019, Centara officially launched Meetings Redesigned, an innovative new MICE concept designed to provide a one-stop service for corporate events. This new program is built around three main elements: a “Meeting Guru” will offer a single point of contact for end-to-end event management; a partnership with Asia Ability will help promote new team-building techniques, and creative catering will deliver memorable group dining occasions.
Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld continues to raise standards in the MICE sector. Centara operates three world-class convention hotels in Bangkok, and the company aims to host at least 100,000 MICE delegates in the city this year, helping position the Thai capital as a key gateway for international events. Centara is also investing THB 650 million in fully refurbishing all 505 rooms at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld to further consolidate its status among Bangkok’s leading business and leisure destinations.
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