Boutique Hotels & Resorts International today announced the opening of regional offices in the Middle East and Asia. From the group’s new headquarters at Miami Beach’s famous Lincoln Road, its Chairman and CEO, Martin H. Buehler, signaled a new approach when expanding into territories “where our Western corporate culture and strategy can only succeed when paired with a complete understanding and respect for regional traditions and the different ways of doing business that only local executives and staff can provide.” The regional Boutique operations in the Middle East and in Asia will be in charge of providing the member services to the hotels in their areas, of promoting all worldwide Boutique hotels in the affluent local markets, and they will act as the lead office for Boutique’s ongoing development efforts in their regions.
“This high service oriented role of Boutique’s three new regional offices requires that their executives have an intimate knowledge of the region and industry recognition gained with previous hospitality leadership roles in their parts of the world”, said Buehler.Ê The three new offices are located in Beirut for the Middle East, in Bangkok for South East Asia, and in Tokyo for Japan.Ê “Based at Boutique’s office in Beirut, our newly appointed regional Vice-President, Mr. Elie Saheb, brings extensive sales, marketing and development experience to our Middle East operation. Elie holds an M.B.A. from San Francisco State University and has been a Regional President Middle East and Africa for multinational hospitality corporations. He has been equally successful with general management assignments with independent properties in the region and in Europe.” Boutique already has a 6 -property Middle East presence through Coral International Hotels, Resorts and Spas, and expects to add some ten additional genuine boutique hotels and resorts in the area within the next few months.
Responsible for operations in South East Asia, Richard Cheung, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, joins Boutique after a highly successful entrepreneurial leadership career in North America, Indo-China, China and South East Asia. “In Asia for the past 25 years, Richard, a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Hotel & Restaurant Management, has managed and developed a variety of prominent hospitality products for international as well as local corporations. As Boutique’s President Asia & Pacific, Richard and his staff are based in Bangkok and he will also oversee the opening of our Tokyo office.” Existing Boutique member hotels in Mr. Cheung’s region include the Baan Yin Dee Boutique Resort gem near Phuket, and the extravagant Les Suites DaAn in Taipei’s business district.
Some 2,650 miles away at the NBTA Convention in San Diego, Boutique’s Executive Vice-President, John Sears, announced the promotion of Said Nefil to Senior Vice-President Distribution. Since Nefil joined Boutique in 2004, his extensive experience in distribution marketing has generated numerous Boutique hotels to as much as triple their individual hotel bookings from internet channels.
“Said is noted as an industry authority in reservation channels and we are extremely fortunate to have him with Boutique Hotels & Resorts International. Over the next few weeks, Said will announce to our member hotels a number of enhancements and unique opportunities that we expect to substantially increase electronic booking volumes at hotels that will heed his advice”, said Sears. “And we will introduce to the industry, the travel planners, and the public the four new hotels that we added in the past four weeks: The Tsitouras Collection Hotel on the island ofÊ Santorini, Greece; the Forum Park Hotel in Bangkok; The Hippodrome Hotel in the center of Mexico City and its sister hotel, the Monterrey beachfront Hippodrome Hotel.” Sears also announced the appointment of Mr. Pongtop Sakunasing as Vice-President Marketing and Mr. Thirathad Dejkarnchanasilp as Vice-President Business Development, both for the Asia Pacific Region.