After several years of narrow misses, InterContinental Bangkok was recognised at 2010 World Travel Awards for the first time as “Thailand’s Leading Hotel”. BTN talks to General Manager, Markus Platzer.
BTN: What do you think changed in 2010 to allow you to claim the award?
MP: The consistent delivery of IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) focussing on our brand promises: great people, great values and great ways of working. Our vision is to be Thailand’s leading hotel, and we know that means delivering hotels that are well run and consistently preferred by our guests. To make our vision a reality we need to put the guest right at the heart of everything we do. So whether we work in hotels, corporate or reservation offices, we’ve all got a part to play delivering Great Hotels Guest Love.
BTN: What is it that separates you from your competitors in the country?
MP: Firstly our ability to service guests from all walks of life: whether the business traveller, conference delegates or for those enjoining a Thai holiday. Secondly offering our guests a unique enriching experience with Brand concepts such as “In the know”, “Concierge program” and the soon to be launched “IC meeting” and “IC Wedding”
BTN: Have there been any developments are the property over the past 12 months to help you win the award?
MP: We underwent a major beautification in 2009 however we do have an ongoing maintenance programme to ensure all aspects of the property remain at the highest standard, including the installation of Sharp 48” LED in all guest rooms to making sure guests enjoy good experience.
We have also the implemented HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and are proud of the accomplishment as few hotels receive this certification. As carried out by SGS – the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company – HACCP assessment ensures effective food management systems and thereby the safety of all foodstuffs. Indeed organizations that achieve HACCP accreditation must demonstrate food handling and hygiene practices to the very highest standards. The certifications validate IHG’s commitment to food safety at every stage, from product source to cuisine on the plate.
BTN: How about the coming year; are there any investments or developments on the horizon for the InterContinental Bangkok?
MP: The launch of IC Meeting and IC Wedding program. InterContinental Meetings is a customised meetings program which combines enhanced web-based technology and professionally-trained dedicated events teams. This program was developed and launched as a result of listening closely to the needs of meeting planners, so we are naturally excited that it’s been so well received by our hotels and our clients. We are working closely with the regional brand teams to assist hotels with the adoption of this program, and look forward to having this program ready by the end of this year.
BTN: Tell me about the market in Bangkok, and Thailand more generally at the moment. Is the travel sector recovering well following the unrest seen last year?
MP: We have seen positive signs that the market in Bangkok has recovered with consistent occupancies. However we always have to be developing new business opportunities searching for new markets.
BTN: What is the typical InterContinental Bangkok guest? Are you principally aimed at the business market, or do you take more a leisure angle?
MP: Due to the size and location of the hotel, we have been successor in capturing the business and leisure travellers. Our extensive meeting facilities mean that the MICE business is very important.
BTN: What facilities can you offer to the MICE sector?
MP: InterContinental Meetings and Convention Centre has 22 function rooms including a Grand Ballroom and Boardrooms. Technical capabilities include category 6 infrastructure, LED Intelligent Lighting system, video streaming and recording throughout the hotel, a unique Events Café, and full secretarial services.
BTN: How about the spa, I believe that is important to your offering?
MP: Spa InterContinental on 36th floor is a unique, “in the know” urban spa destination where every element is customized to spa experience whether to recharge, rejuvenate, or relax. With breathtaking views of Bangkok, nice and friendly in the midst of the hotel’s cosmopolitan feel, the comfort nine treatment rooms with glass wall for guest to get jaw- dropping view of the city. Spa InterContinental offers the natural products, combines internationally renowned treatments whilst honoring the traditions and culture of Thailand to bring an enriching experience. This urban escape fuses blissful tranquility with inspiring techniques and treatment range. The Spa’s best treatment, called In Asia Therapeutic, combines traditional Thai massage and Western deep-pressure techniques which is very good for people who have intense shoulder or back pain.
BTN: What do you consider to be your key asset at InterContinental Bangkok?
BTN: Talk us through your membership of InterContinental as a brand. What advantages does being part of such a prestigious chain confer on the property?
MP: Distribution network of 4,000 hotels around the world.
InterContinental Bangkok has been nominated for “Thailand’s Leading Hotel” at the World Travel Awards 2011 Asia & Australasia, which takes place at Dusit Thani Bangkok, Thailand on 29 September.