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Now for the Pullman: Maitree Narukatpichai at the Hilton Arcadia Phuket Resort and Spa

Phuket Resort Boost with 1.5b Baht Pullman by Accor

Saturday, July 24, 2010
A NEW 1.5 billion baht five-star resort is to be developed on the cape at Phuket's secluded Nai Thon beach by the family that owns the island's largest resort, the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa.

The new resort, the Pullman Phuket Arcadia Nai Thon Beach, brings a new brand to Phuket. Maitree Narukatpichai, whose family owns the Hilton and the boutique Villa Zolitude in southern Phuket, revealed details of the project yesterday.

The Hilton is also spending 200 million baht on landscaping and redevelopment to open up the sea frontage of the 195-rai landmark hotel on the beach road at Karon, a long, popular ocean destination south of Patong.

Khun Maitree said the family company held 68 rai of property at Nai Thon, which lies south of another quiet beach, Nai Yang, and is close to Phuket International Airport. Thirty rai will be used for the 281-key resort, consisting of 274 deluxe rooms and seven pool villas.

Construction is due to begin in October, with the opening scheduled for July 2012. A meeting room capable of holding 400 people will be part of the project, Khun Maitree said.

Accor, the group behind the Pullman brand, had been chosen to manage the new resort because they had been ''very successful'' in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Khun Maitree told Phuketwan. Accor operates in 90 countries and has 145,000 employees.

Khun Maitree's family also holds 180 rai at Bang Sak beach in Phang Nga, close to Khao Lak, but had put plans for a new resort there on-hold because of the economic downturn. As with the recently-announced 1.2 billion baht Kalim Resort and Spa, the Nai Thon project has financial backing from the Kasikorn Bank.

The Pullman project was approved by the Phuket Governor's special environmental committee back in November, before the hot debate began about future development of Phuket. Resort managers are now making the point that growing tourism traffic is being outpaced by resort development, leading to lower occupancy rates and destructive price-cutting.

Khun Maitree, a former president of the Phuket Tourism Association, made the pioneering move of bringing the Hilton brand to manage the family's 23-year-old resort in 2004. He says Phuket remains a good place for investment.

Occupancy rates at the 685 room Hilton were running at 80 percent in the high season and 40 percent in the low season, he said.
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Comments

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Doesn't this just go so hand in hand with the recent press announcements by the governor, and various island management figures, saying we have too many rooms, too many resorts, and too much development ??

Posted by LivinLOS on July 24, 2010 09:57

Editor Comment:

There's nothing hand-in-hand about it . . . that's the point. Private investors have every right to continue to develop Phuket and the surrounding provinces. Existing resorts have every right to moan about it. In fact, here you have a family business that is both an existing resort owner and a future developer! The governor says that the island is over-developed, but he also says that it's not within his power to stop projects. Only the (elected) Bangkok government has that kind of power. Interfering with the rights of property owners would be a huge step for any government. And if you asked six people for their view of ''sustainable'' development, you'd get six different answers. As Phuketwan has said, the Government needs a strategy to properly manage the entire 'Greater Phuket' region because Phuket will inevitably be entirely built out within 10 or 15 years. The brakes need to go on in Phang Nga and Krabi very soon, or else the entire region will eventually become a tawdry, crowded holiday experience not worth having.

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Go ahead and destroy the last remaining nice spots of this island. :-(
I am looking for a reasonable place in Isarn already.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on July 25, 2010 00:24

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If it's a Thai family that owns the island's largest resort, why then is it named "The Hilton Phuket Arcadia" Resort and Spa. Why can't they put their family's name on it?

Posted by Mike on July 25, 2010 08:32

Editor Comment:

There is no good reason why the family would put their name on the resort. The major resort brands (Marriott, Hilton, Accor etc) mostly manage resorts on behalf of the owners, all over the world. That's standard procedure. ''Joe's Phuket Resort and Spa'' doesn't have the same charm.

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Eureka! Now I know why the bath fixtures in the Hilton's standard room require a degree in engineering to operate.(If you want hot water, that is.)

Posted by Ripley on July 25, 2010 11:43


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