I spent my last night in Bangkok with the absolutely incredible Siam Hotel.
I flew into Bangkok from Danang. I had a really busy and productive 2 days there, and saw so much in a short time. Yes, the resort is changing fast, with so many new hotels going up, or extensions to existing properties. It is interesting for me to note some hotels want a good mix of nationalities and do not want to be dominated by one country. Others want the easy short term option. For example, China is the dominant leader of arrivals into most countries now. This can also apply in Europe, but is particularly noticeable within South East Asia, where they are number one into most countries by a long way. There are some hotels going up in Danang that seem to be built only with the Chinese market in mind.
Just as with every nationality, they have mass tourism who enjoy the follow the flag mentality and are rather cautious about travelling in anything less than a group of at least 50! But at the top end, they have a really interesting 10%. I am not being patronising when I say extremely well educated (usually overseas), fluent in several languages, very tec savy with the most up to date gadgets. They are immaculately dressed for every occasion and deliberately choose a hotel with status where they are in the minority. They don’t see the attraction in staying in the same place as literally thousands of others. They want individuality and prestige, and are prepared to pay for it.
So when hotels chase the Chinese numbers, they have to take into account they are likely to lose any European, American or Australian business, as well as Korean, Japanese and even Singaporean, who consider themselves to be a cut above most others. This is as well as the lucrative top end of the Chinese market who simply do not want to be seen with the masses.
Frankly this is no different to the top end British, French, German, Russian etc – they all crave exclusivity. Just on this – something I did notice in both Thailand and Vietnam were the big numbers of Spanish speaking clients, mainly from Central and South America. Indeed, with two upscale hotels in northern Thailand, Mexico were the number two in arrivals.
“I am rather proud of my reputation of being hard to please, but WOW, The Siam Hotel is truly amazing.”
A great spa, superb water front restaurant in a traditional teak house, infinity pool… and it just goes on and on. Staff who seem to blend into the background, yet are able to anticipate your needs before you ask.
The Siam Hotel is not cheap, but frankly it shouldn’t be – this is for special occasions, not run of the mill. Bangkok has many great hotels: Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula and Sukhothai come to mind. In terms of individuality, The Siam is in a class of its own. For some the location might not appeal, as you are 25 minutes out from the main shopping and entertainment areas. However, this is one of best for visiting The Grand Palace and Wat Po. For me, the location is actually part of the total appeal.
I Loved it from the moment I arrived until the time I departed in a rather smart 6 series BMW. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself to confirm this was all real.
Call me if you want any more info, but don’t expect a monotone response. This place is special.
DK – Chic Locations