S Hotels & Resorts Public Company Limited, the flagship hospitality arm of Singha Estate PCL, is gearing up for a defining year in 2021, as it completes a series of milestone rebrands, smart refurbishments and expansion projects that keeps the company firmly on track to reach its targets.These objectives are aligned with six goals S Hotels & Resorts is committed to from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals initiative through actions concerning sustainable consumption, marine debris pollution, low carbon, children knowledge and conservation programme, green procurement and local sourcing, local gastronomy and human rights.
At the heart of S Hotels & Resorts’ growth strategy are its new lifestyle brands: SAii, a fun and free-spirited upper-upscale concept for experience-seeking travellers, and nābor, an all-new “luxury-midscale” brand designed for smart explorers with digitally-driven lives. With at least six new and repositioned properties scheduled to be added in the next 12 months, 2021 will play a pivotal role in the company’s five-year development strategy, through which it plans to double its global portfolio from 39 hotels totalling 4,647 rooms today, to 82 properties with 9,000 keys by 2025.
SAii, which derives from the Thai word for “sand”, was first unveiled in 2019 with the opening of SAii Lagoon Maldives, the idyllic island resort at CROSSROADS Maldives, Singha Estate’s ground-breaking integrated destination in the Indian Ocean. S Hotels & Resorts is excited to announce the next two SAii resorts in Thailand in the first quarter of 2021.
SAii Laguna Phuket is nestled in the heart of Thailand’s premier resort community, Laguna Phuket, located directly on the beach. Under the SAii brand, guests can look forward to enhanced facilities, including a new event hall, a reimagined seafront restaurant, an improved beach bar and more. With its bright and spacious rooms and suites, many of which overlook Bangtao Beach and the Andaman Sea, plus plenty of cultural, culinary and family activities, including one of Phuket’s longest water slides, this resort is perfect for light-hearted couples, families and groups of friends, as well as one-of-a-kind events and weddings.
SAii Phi Phi Island Village is an enchanting, eco-friendly retreat nestled in 70 acres of beautiful beachfront land on Thailand’s Koh Phi Phi Don. Currently known as Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, it will undergo an extensive refurbishment and repositioning before reopening under the SAii brand. The resort’s inviting lobby, freeform pool, soothing spa and sea-facing restaurants are among the elements being upgraded, along with its premium room category, the Hillside Pool Villas, which overlook the sea. Like its sister property in the Maldives, SAii Phi Phi Island Village encourages eco-conscious travellers to preserve the environment with offshore excursions and regular activities at its onsite Marine Discovery Centre.
Both new SAii resorts will showcase innovative wellness and F&B concepts, including Mr Tomyam, Miss Olive Oyl and Lèn Be Well. Mr Tomyam, which made its debut at SAii Lagoon Maldives, focuses on Thai-inspired dishes with live kitchens and alfresco seating; while Miss Olive Oyl, is a vibrant Mediterranean-style seafood grill and bar. Lèn Be Well meanwhile, promises a personalised approach to wellbeing through five core pillars: Romance, Relax, Culture, Adventure and Family. Blending bespoke leisure activities, body treatments, gastronomic offerings and more, this customised concept is already delighting guests at Santiburi Koh Samui, which will focus on health and wellness. Guests can expect an enhanced selection of spa journeys, immersive excursions and culinary specials such as floating breakfast in the pool villas.
New for 2021, S Hotels & Resorts is excited to unveil nābor (pronounced “neighbour”), an alternative collection of locally-inspired “luxury-midscale” resorts and hotels. nābor encourages millennial-minded travellers to get “out there” and discover their destination whether it is for nature lovers, beach seekers and urbanites. The aim is to reveal the authentic vibe of each locale. nābor will make its debut in April 2021 with its first property in Bophut, Koh Samui, a beautiful and hot instagrammable beachfront retreat in the northeast corner of Thailand’s “Coconut Island”.
Like all future nābor hotels, this repositioned resort will put the guest in control of their stay, with an integrated digital platform to enhance guests’ experience, booking and journey during their stay. Curious explorers will be able to get under the skin of their destination with insightful online “nāborhood” guides and activities that can be pre-booked by mobile. Guests will be invited to mix their own bathroom amenities in the M.I.Y Aroma Lab workshop, or purchase pre-mixed scents from the M.I.Y vending machine to take home as a fragrant reminder of their vacation. In total, S Hotels & Resorts plans to open six nābor hotels and resorts in 2021, with other potential destinations likely to include major Thai tourism centres and key leisure markets in Asia.
“2021 will be a pivotal year for S Hotels & Resorts, as we accelerate the expansion of our lifestyle brands,” said Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Executive Officer, S Hotels & Resorts. “Extensive upgrades to our resorts in Thailand have laid the foundations for our rebrandings, and we are very excited to be introducing our original concepts to stunning locations across Asia. Luxury is no longer defined by unnecessary bells and whistles; today’s savvy travellers demand seamless stays, immersive experiences and the ability to uncover the essence of their locale. With SAii and nābor, we will create deeply personal journeys in a choice of highly-desirable destinations. We look forward to bringing our intuitive and inviting brands to all guests next year and beyond.”
At present, S Hotels & Resorts’ global collection comprises 39 hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the UK – totalling 4,647 keys. The company is aiming to double its portfolio over the next five years, driven by a mix of mergers and acquisitions, resort purchases and hotel management agreements, and focusing on the roll-out of SAii and nābor hotels across in Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
Despite the global downturn, 2020 has been a successful year for S Hotels & Resorts as it won a series of major awards for the quality of its hotels and its environmental efforts. These include a corporate award for Green Leadership in the Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards, Santiburi Koh Samui signing UNESCO’s Sustainable Tourism Pledge and Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort who won the Marine and Nature category for its Marine Discovery Centre out of over 600 Thai tourism businesses nominated in the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 12th annual Responsible Thailand Awards in the UK, recognising Thailand’s champions of sustainable tourism.
Santiburi Koh Samui, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives also achieved TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, while Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives were honoured in the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards. Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives both featured in the World Luxury Hotel Awards, and SAii Lagoon Maldives was a winner in the World MICE Awards.