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Kalim Bay guests await the arrival of the beach club

Langham Place Kalim Targets Young and Hip

Saturday, August 16, 2008
KALIM'S future as the most trendy destination on Phuket was given fresh impetus on August 15 with confirmation that the Langham Place Miora Resort and Spa will be opening in 2010.

Andrew Jessop, Vice President, Thailand, of Langham Hotels International, revealed details about the project in a media conference at the Royal Phuket City Hotel.

Langham Place is described as a ''young, modern, vibrant brand'' and the 78 private pool villas and penthouses in the Kalim resort are being created with those characteristics in mind.

Particular attention is being paid to innovations that will set the style as sophisticated, cool, chic. The design is expected to be very today, or perhaps even tomorrow.

Kalim hip will be the tone, and visual excitement and entertainment will be high on the activities agenda.

Extremely large screens will be part of the entertainment centre in each five-star villa, together with a separate screening room.

From arrival, a DJ will pump out music in the lobby. Boring it is not likely to be. Music, menus and decor will change four times a year.

Langham Place will be close to Patong, but not part of it, and more sophisticated. ''What we would like to believe is that the party will really start when guests get back to the resort,'' Mr Jessop said.

A rooftop firepit bar and lounge are coming, along with an all-organic restaurant as one of the food and drink options within the resort.

Other brands will be paying close attention to the Langham Place beach club, to be erected on land close to the bay to complement the hillside resort with its balconies, pools and $400US a night bay vistas.

''We think it's the perfect place for a Langham Place,'' Mr Jessop said.

''This will be our second property in Thailand. We took over the first property in Koh Lanta on January 1.

''We said our target was five hotels in five years in Thailand. This is the second. We believe we are on track.''

Time magazine described Langham as ''an art gallery masquerading as a hotel.'' So local artists from school age to professionals will be commissioned to create artwork for the resort. An educational scholarship is also likely.

A cantilevered swimming pool will be hanging off the hill in the cutting-edge design by Clint Nagata of Blink, Bangkok. The Chuan Spa will offer traditional Chinese medicine.

Mr Jessop expects the Langham Place to attract 70 percent of guests from the regional market, upwardly mobile young people who will quickly organise a group of friends to fly to Phuket for a few days of fun in the sun.

Early results from the 185-room Langham Place Eco Resort and Spa in Koh Lanta were considered to be heartening despite the tightening market.

The Krabi resort, in jungle and sea retreat style, is aimed at the family market.

By contrast, the Kalim resort will be ''for grownup people to meet somewhere and play.''

The branding arrangement comes under a 15-year management contract, with Langham looking to establish itself quickly.

''We are in negotiations for 12 other projects in Thailand,'' Mr Jessop said.

At least one other Phuket resorts may soon carry the Langham brand. Another announcement is expected in October or November.

Meanwhile, Kalim is coming.

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Interesting. I went to the Koh Lanta resort two weeks ago to assess it on behalf of several UK tour operators and, frankly, considered it to be at best, very poor value for money, and at worst, unsafe.

Posted by Ginger on August 18, 2008 22:07


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