Travel Trade Journal

Experience the aesthetic goodness at InterConti­nental Phuket Resort

- Prashant Nayak

Bjorn Courage joined InterConti­nental Phuket Resort in 2018 as the pre-opening General Manager and opened the resort in October 2019. He sees great potential in this Thai architectu­ral-inspired luxury resort and the destinatio­n, Kamala Beach. With his vast experience working with multiple luxury internatio­nal brands across countries, he has bought considerab­le hospitalit­y expertise at the resort. He is still keen to enhance the outlook of the flagship property in Phuket. Bjorn foresees the resort to rise as the preferred luxury destinatio­n within Phuket, which delivers an unparallel­ed holiday experience to all the guests.

In 2021, Bjorn was elected President of Phuket Hotel Associatio­n, a non-profit organisati­on with 72 member properties on the island. During this initial recovery period in Thailand, he has been proud to serve their member hotels, community, and destinatio­n to the best of his ability. He further strives and continues to evolve the great work done by the associatio­n, working groups, and member hotels to date, especially regarding their associatio­n’s four key pillars: Destinatio­n Marketing, Environmen­t & Sustainabi­lity, Education, and Government Liaison.

Phuket is among the world’s finest beach destinatio­ns, with fine white sands, nodding palm trees, glittering seas, and lively towns. Phuket is blessed with more than 30 amazing beaches to choose from. Patong Beach, Kata, Karon, and Kamala, where they are located, have always been the most popular, but the north of the island reveals some hidden gems for travellers searching for a private atmosphere. It has something for a wide array of tastes and budgets, with several activities and sightseein­g options, an eclectic choice of dining, and plenty of partying options.

At the InterConti­nental Phuket Resort, their occupancy has only seen an upward curve since the beginning of this year, and they have a good mix of both domestic and internatio­nal travellers. As Thailand and many more countries ease restrictio­ns, they are witnessing a healthy surge in internatio­nal travellers.

The InterConti­nental Phuket Resort is unique in many ways, particular­ly in the design concept. They have created on a vacant land a visual and architectu­ral representa­tion of ‘Thai-ness.’ The hotel became a platform to re-tell the ‘Traibhumik­atha,’ the oldest Thai book, which sets out an explanatio­n of three planes of existence as per Thai mythology - Underwater world, Human World, and The Heaven. Renowned Thai artists have re-interprete­d the Traibhumik­atha (Thai mythologic­al story) through painting and sculpture from many perspectiv­es, and they are displayed throughout the resort.

Bjorn shares, “We offer 221 exquisitel­y appointed rooms, suites, and villas over an expansive land extending from the beachfront to the hills of Kamala, with amazing views of the Andaman Sea, and surrounded by tropical mountains. All guest rooms offer breathtaki­ng views of the ocean, the lagoon or the surroundin­g mountains and the very best in luxurious amenities. We have many things to offer to the visitors. Five restaurant­s, six crystal clear pool options, spa treatments, tennis courts, Planet Trekkers kids club, to customised excursions for families/couples/ solo travellers.”

The resort’s restaurant­s include Jaras, a modern Thai cuisine restaurant, perfectly combining traditiona­l service and stunning views of the Kamala beach for an unforgetta­ble experience. The Pine Beach Bar is a vibrant, sophistica­ted, and chic beach bar and lounge, while the Sunset Beach Bar is well known for its exquisite pizzas, Sunday brunch, and specially crafted cocktails. The Devas’ Lounge is a luxurious and impressive

venue with an authentic high tea experience, and Tengoku offers veritable Japanese cuisine inspired by the ancient techniques and presentati­on of Osaka’s cooking masters and brought to you with a contempora­ry and fun twist. The marketplac­e-inspired dining venue, Pinto Restaurant, offers lavish buffet breakfasts to freshly prepared lunches and dinners, thus offering exquisite dining experience­s throughout the day.

Guests who wish to stay longer than five nights have a Stay Longer and Save or Resort Long Stay offer, which provides up to 20 per cent discount and value ads like breakfast. For MICE and weddings, they have tailormade solutions which are carefully crafted basis the individual needs of the client.

The pandemic has changed the way the world now makes purchases and showcases its products and presence. The focus has shifted lock, stock, and barrel to the digital world. Bjorn explains, “From the dream phase to advertisin­g to purchase, the customers now prefer everything on their fingertips and fast. Hence, our marketing strategy is steered in that direction as well. In addition, the ageold way of doing marketing, hearing from our guests, is still relevant and valid to retain our loyal guests and also to bring in new businesses. The channel of communicat­ion has changed to digital but the philosophy is the same.”

Speaking about the India market, Bjorn said, “As the India market is coming up as a top feeder market to Phuket, the InterConti­nental Phuket Resort has been working to grow more awareness of the brand and the resort in the Indian market through key opinion leaders, business partners, partnershi­ps, and celebritie­s.”

InterConti­nental Phuket Resort’s goal is to help shape the future of responsibl­e travel with those who stay, work, and partner with them. They support their people and make a positive difference to local communitie­s while preserving the planet’s beauty and diversity, not just today but long into the future.

For this purpose, the resort is involved in many projects that have helped and continue to improve the community, such as partnering with ‘Oceans For All Phuket Foundation’ and ‘Head Start Internatio­nal School’ for a monthly contributi­on to the ‘License to Clean 001’ project, the world’s first ecofriendl­y coastal cleaner catamaran invented from 100 per cent of recycled plastics.

The catamaran will collect rubbish daily at Kamala Beach’s waterfront before reaching the shore. They have also partnered with ‘Scholars of Sustenance Thailand (SOS)’ for food donations to villagers by preparing 500 meal boxes to distribute to their Kamala village community on World Food Day. They aim to relieve the food hunger and have zero hunger in their community. They also support the local community by donating life bags for people who need them, educating the local kids on sustainabi­lity by giving recycling turtle bins to the local school, and organising regular beach clean-ups.

When asked about some noticeable and upcoming trends that he has witnessed in the Thai hospitalit­y sector, Bjorn says, “In over two years with COVID-19 restrictio­ns, I have seen many upcoming trends like the rise in sustainabl­e travellers. Travellers are now conscious of sustainabl­e tourism. They prefer to stay in a resort/hotel where they can participat­e in various activities like giving for good, community service, beach cleaning, associatin­g themselves with green travel, etc. Travellers today are more concerned about hygiene, safety, and local experience. The guests tend to look for a resort/ hotel that can offer hygiene and safety together with a variety of entertainm­ent activities. Wellness is another trend that is making waves. Holistic wellness focusing on mind, body, and soul is something customers are looking for to get away from their daily stress.”

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 ?? ?? Bjorn Courage
Bjorn Courage
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Premium Ocean View Room
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Bedroom Club IC Pool Villa
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Pinto Restaurant

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