Dusit International, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, has introduced ASAI Hotels, a distinctive new brand designed to link curious, millennial-minded travellers with authentic local experiences in vibrant cities and resort destinations worldwide.
The brand was officially launched on 3 April 2018 with the ASAI Experience, a stylish launch party held at popular Bangkok art hub, Warehouse 30, where over 300 guests comprising media, hoteliers, restaurateurs, designers and local artisans experienced first-hand the brand’s unique approach to hospitality and its signature brand promise – Live Local.
The event started with speeches by Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International, and Mr Siradej Donavanik, Managing Director, Asai Holdings Co., Ltd., Dusit International, who introduced the brand’s sustainable, community-focused concept and explained how each property will be designed to reflect the culture and heritage of its location through collaborations with local artisans.
Four of ASAI’s collaborators in Thailand then took to the stage to reveal more about the brand. This included Ms Natapa Sriyuksiri, Creative Director, ASAI Hotels, who talked about the brand’s design and focus on thoughtful essentials; Mr Ayu Chuepa, Co-Founder / Owner, Akha Ama Coffee, who talked about the brand’s strong community links; Mr Pranitan Phornprapha, Founder and CEO, Wonderfruit Festival, and Executive Vice President & COO, Bangkok Komatsu Sales Co, Ltd., who explained the importance of sustainability in hospitality; and Jarrett Wrisley, food journalist and owner of Soul Food Mahanakorn, who talked about the food concept for ASAI Chatuchak.
Guests were then invited to a second area where they could immerse themselves in the ASAI experience, including a virtual reality room where users could explore a digital representation of a typical ASAI guest room.
Highlighting the brand’s community focus, a workshop station hosted by local artists gave guests the opportunity to create their own hand-painted tote bags; cocktails and canapés featured indigenous ingredients; and popular local DJ Jay Montonn spun an eclectic mix of Thai-inspired tunes. Each guest received a Thai triangle pillow as a parting gift.
ASAI hotels is set to officially launch in Q1 2019 with its first hotel in Bangkok’s renowned Chatuchak Market. In line with the four key pillars of the brand – Thoughtful Essentials, Common Areas, Locally Inspired and Connected Community – each hotel will feature compact rooms (approximately 15 sq m), whose contemporary design will emphasize key features like superior quality beds and high pressure rain showers. A large mixed-use space, meanwhile, will include a cosy and efficient work space, a leisure area, and a restaurant concept curated by local chefs who champion sustainability.
Each ASAI hotel worldwide will leverage technology to streamline the booking and stay experience. This includes the implementation of self check-in kiosks, and exclusive online guides that link guests with authentic local experiences and lesser-known, but Instagram-worthy, attractions. ASAI will also link with selected local online start-ups, such as TakeMeTour in Thailand, to offer personalised excursions.
Alongside ASAI Chatuchak, five more properties are already confirmed in the pipeline. This includes three ASAI Hotels in Cebu, Philippines (in Lapu-Lapu, Oslob, and the city centre); one hotel in Yangon, Myanmar (in the historic Yankin Township); and a second hotel in Bangkok (in the stylish Sathorn district). All are expected to open throughout 2019.
“Inspired by community, and driven by sustainability, ASAI is an exciting new concept for Dusit that will leverage the company’s 70 years of hospitality heritage to deliver a new kind of stay experience in vibrant neighbourhoods worldwide,” said Mr Siradej Donavanik, Managing Director of Asai Holdings Co., Ltd., Dusit International. “The brand has been carefully crafted to meet the needs of millennial-minded travellers who seek authentic local experiences, and who appreciate value and quality for money.
“ASAI is not budget travel – this is an affordable lifestyle brand offering something new, different and bespoke. Our collaborations with local artisans in each destination will ensure each stay is unique, memorable, and definitely worthy of our slogan – Live Local. And everywhere we set foot we will always ensure we have a positive impact.”