LaSalle Investment Management has appointed InterContinental Hotels Group to manage the first Crowne Plaza Hotel in Phuket, formerly known as Karon Villa & Royal Wing Phuket. The resort, to be known as Crowne Plaza Karon Beach Phuket, is set to capture the meetings market in Thailand when it opens in December 2004.Ê “The appointment of InterContinental Hotels Group by LaSalle Investment Management is timely as the new Crowne Plaza Karon Beach Phuket will capture the burgeoning MICE and leisure markets. This latest development is in line with the Group’s strategy to establish its premium business hotel brand, Crowne Plaza, in popular leisure destinations to target the meetings segment, as they are increasingly becoming the choice destinations for meeting planners,” said A. Patrick Imbardelli, Managing Director, InterContinental Hotels Group Asia Pacific.Ê
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the meetings industry is a major component of the government’s plan to make Thailand the Tourism Capital of Asia by 2006. In addition, Thailand is expecting a surge of visitors next year and a growth of no less than 25 percent, with an influx of 12 million foreign tourists by 2010. One of the factors contributing to the growth would be increased access to provincial destinations.
The owner, LaSalle Investment Management, has commenced a US$20 million refurbishment of the resort and retained the Who’s Who of Asian resort designers, including Bensley Design Studios for landscaping, P49 Interior Design, Tandem Architects and Hawaiian-based Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo. “We view Phuket as Asia’s premier resort destination and our substantial refurbishment programme demonstrates our confidence in this market”, said Andrew Heithersay, National Director, LaSalle Investment Management.
“Upon opening in December-2004, Crowne Plaza Phuket will be a first-class beach-front resort with outstanding accommodation and facilities for the MICE and family leisure markets”, added Mr Heithersay.
Crowne Plaza Phuket is the seventh addition to the InterContinental Hotels Group’s brand portfolio in Thailand. The 150 villas and 210 rooms resort is the first Crowne Plaza branded hotel in Phuket. In Thailand, it is the second Crowne Plaza branded hotel following the development of Crowne Plaza Sukhumvit Bangkok, which is scheduled for opening in January 2006.
“International, regional and domestic business travellers travelling to Thailand will now have the option of the attractive city location and a luxury seaside retreat with these latest Crowne Plaze developments in Bangkok and Phuket respectively,” added Mr Imbardelli.
Crowne Plaza Phuket will boast one of the largest meeting facilities available in Phuket with a fully staffed business centre, seven meeting and boardroom facilities, as well as a grand ballroom which seats 750 guests.
For dining pleasures, Crowne Plaza Phuket presents three restaurants, including a new signature beachfront restaurant capturing the spectacular sunsets of Karon Beach. In addition, the hotel offers a luxurious new spa centre with 12 treatmentÊ rooms and a variety of beauty treamtments including facial, massage, manicure as well as pedicure.
Not forgetting the younger guests, Crowne Plaza Karon Beach Phuket will feature one of the largest Kids’ Clubs in Phuket with fun-filled activities and amenities catering to three different age groups from one through to 16 year olds.
Situated on the beach-front at Karon Beach, the second largest of Phuket’s principal beaches, the expansive 20-acre Crowne Plaza Phuket is within walking distance to Phuket’s most popular shopping, dining and entertainment districts and an hour’s drive from the airport.