S Hotels & Resorts, the global hospitality company from Singha Estate PCL, is celebrating the successful launch of SAii Resorts in Thailand, after guests gave their seal of approval to this upper-upscale lifestyle brand’s first two locations in the “Land of Smiles”. Since their debuts on 1st February 2021, SAii Laguna Phuket and SAii Phi Phi Island Village have both experienced strong demand, with March and April recording the highest forward bookings since the start of the global pandemic.
SAii derives from the phonetic sounds of the Thai words for “sand” and “pathway”, and these two breath-taking beachfront resorts take experience-seeking guests on a sustainable travel journey in two of Thailand’s most enticing island destinations. Targeted at “InSAiiders”, the brand’s unique term for its millennially-minded clientele, SAii strives to creates meaningful guest journeys, from “Hello” (a warm Thai welcome) to “Hub” (the social heart of the resort), “Sleep” (comforting rooms, suites and villas), “Play” (the resorts’ activities), “Treat” (creative culinary offerings), “Live” (exceptional events) and “SAii For Now” (a heartfelt farewell).
Before they opened, both resorts underwent extensive renovations that brought to life a series of innovative F&B and wellness concepts. Mr. Tomyam 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 promises a personalised approach to wellbeing, and the M.I.Y Aroma Lab lets guests mix their own organic bathroom amenities. With so many extraordinary elements and picturesque viewpoints at each resort, the opportunities for capturing Insta-friendly moments and memories are almost endless!
SAii’s environmental and sustainable ethos flows through every aspect of the brand’s operations, from energy and waste reduction to recycling, CSR and more. Underpinning this deep commitment are the popular Marine Discovery Centres; innovative and interactive hubs that support a wide range of activities, including coral propagation, breeding and release programmes for native species, eco-excursions for guests, and educational visits by local schools. Currently available at SAii Phi Phi Island Village and SAii Lagoon Maldives, and led by resident marine biologists, these ground-breaking facilities feature indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, video rooms and aquariums, presenting a fascinating window into the underwater world.
Many travellers are now seeking social distancing and fewer physical touchpoints, so SAii’s handheld concierge app enables every inSAiider to enjoy contactless interaction, including in-room requests, room service orders, excursion bookings and the ability to chat with the resort’s team of “SAillanders” 24 hours a day.
The reaction to SAii Laguna Phuket and SAii Phi Phi Island Village has been overwhelming. Not only are both resorts leading their competitors in terms of market share, but customer feedback has been almost exclusively positive. For example, TripAdvisor user Lumule, who visited SAii Laguna Phuket in February 2021, called it an “Amazing resort in the perfect location”, while Phuket Girl hailed the “helpful and friendly [staff]” and “lovely beach”. Ben A. was delighted with the resort’s “Great service, excellent food and lots of activities”. “Would definitely recommend to friends and we will be back ourselves,” they added.
SAii Phi Phi Island Village has also been receiving rave reviews. “We fell in love with everything here, from [the] view to [the] service,” said Mickey C, who stayed in February 2021. Meanwhile, Anand Roy called it a “must-stay” destination, and Piyanat T. simply said that SAii Phi Phi Island Village is “The best resort I’ve been to”.
Both resorts are currently showing TripAdvisor bubble ratings of 4.5 out of 5, and the reviews clearly show how visitors are embracing the “SAiisational” experiences. Part of the reason behind SAii’s success is how well it has resonated with the local market. As a homegrown brand, SAii has many brand elements that feel authentically Thai, such as its fun, friendly and free-spirited vibe. During the current international travel restrictions, S Hotels & Resorts has targeted the Thai and expat markets; 90% of guests at SAii Phi Phi Island Village are Thai nationals, while the local expat community has accounted for 70% of bookings at SAii Laguna Phuket.
The two sister resorts are now working on cross-selling opportunities, to maximise the benefits of these two important sectors. An attractive new website and booking engine has helped to drive more direct reservations, and next-generation revenue management, channel management and business intelligence solutions are optimising the performance of both resorts.
SAii Laguna Phuket and SAii Phi Phi Island Village are following in the footsteps of SAii Lagoon Maldives, which opened in 2019 at CROSSROADS Maldives, Singha Estate’s ground-breaking integrated resort in the Indian Ocean. This idyllic retreat has already achieved TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award in 2020, while its restaurant, Miss Olive Oyl, and Lèn Be Well spa were honoured in the 2020 World Luxury Restaurant Awards and World Luxury Spa Awards respectively. These outlets are now available at the SAii resorts in Thailand.
“We are thrilled with the response to our first two SAii resorts in Thailand. Thai residents, including expats, have really taken this homegrown brand to their hearts, and we cannot thank our customers enough for their support. This acclaim, along with the popularity of SAii Lagoon Maldives, gives us great confidence in the future. We hope that international borders will fully reopen soon, and that more international travellers will be able to experience the warm and gracious Thai hospitality that SAii specialises in. We are also seeking opportunities to expand into new and highly desirable destinations worldwide,” said Dirk De Cuyper, CEO, S Hotels & Resorts.
The launch of Thailand’s first two SAii resorts will kickstart an exciting era of expansion for S Hotels & Resorts, driven by the roll-out of SAii and its sister brand nābor (“neighbour”), an alternative collection of locally-inspired “luxury-midscale” hotels and resorts. The group currently operates 39 hotels and resorts on three continents, totalling more than 4,600 keys, but it is aiming to double this portfolio by 2025.