Centara Hotels ventures outside Thailand


For long, Centara Hotels have only been synonymous of hotels in Thailand. The end of 2009 witnessed however the Thai hotel company venturing outside the Kingdom to make its brand better known around the world. In less than four months time, Centara has signed managing contracts for properties in the Maldives, the Indian Himalayas and in Egypt. Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives and Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort, Centara Boutique Collection in India will be followed in April by the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Spa Sokhna on the Red Sea.

The Egyptian property is located between Suez and Zafarana, about one hour drive from Cairo. It is regarded as one of the main upcoming resort destinations in Egypt. “Our move into these three very exciting overseas markets with top quality properties and highly respected local partners is very indicative of the international growth policy for Centara Hotels & Resorts,” says Suthikiati Chirathivat, chairman of the executive board of Central Plaza Hotel Plc (Centel). “Each property enhances the Centara brand. At the same time we are very proud to be representing Thailand in these destinations, bringing the gentle touch of Thai hospitality to these destinations,” he adds.

And it seems to be just the beginning: “We have a business plan that sees us creating regional hubs that will allow us to grow in the most efficient and cost effective way,” explains Chris Bailey, Senior Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Centara Hotels & Resorts. The three regions were Centara is looking to grow is the Indian Ocean, the Middle-East and South Asia. “In the Indian Ocean, we want to add more properties in the Maldives but also be present in Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Seychelles,” he tells. More Indian destinations and most probably the UAE should be next on the list of Centara’s expansion.

Centara Hotels & Resorts currently operates 21 hotels and resorts in Thailand, and three overseas. Nut the group has set an ambitious target to manage at least 65 hotels in both local and international markets over the next five years. Centara just acquired the management of Thailand-based Astudo Hotels and Resorts, effective from April 1st. Astudo operates seven boutique resorts in Thailand with five more hotels due to open in Thailand and the Philippines.

In Thailand, Centara recently opened the Bhundhari Spa and Villa Resort in Samui, the Centara Pariya Resort in Koh Pha-Ngan, the Centara Udon Thani and its new flagship resort in Pattaya, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort. The Lost World designed hotel is dubbed to be the first five-star themed property in Thailand. This year, the hotel company will also inaugurate its Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket and the Centara Hotel & Convention Centre in Khon Kaen.