The 161-room beachside hotel is the first Hyatt Place hotel in Southeast Asia, and features the Hyatt Place brand’s all-inclusive pricing, stylish design, casual atmosphere, practical amenities, hotel-wide free Wi-Fi and 24-hour food offerings.
At the helm of the Hyatt Place is General Manager Ivan Berthelot, although French by birth he grew up in Hong Kong before moving to Switzerland to obtain his Bachelor of Business Administration, Hospitality Management at the Glion Institute. After cutting his teeth in the hotel industry in Hong Kong and Mexico he decided to go back to study for his MBA at Essec Business School Paris. Since moving into managerial positions he has gained seven years of experience in Thailand as GM at ibis Samui Bophut and most recently ibis Styles Krabi Ao Nang.
The Place brand has traditionally been focused on business travellers in urban, airport and suburban locations. So it seems the choice of Mr Berthelot, with his extensive experience in resort locations, is aimed at steering the brand into increasing its share of the mid-range holiday traveller market in Southeast Asia.
“They [Hyatt] realised that Thailand is a strong market, so of course to develop the brand in Asia, Phuket is a top priority,” said Mr Berthelot.
“We need to see what fits with the resort location here, so we will work on our standards and offerings and adjust them to test the demand.”
Mr Berthelot also mentioned the possibility of developing a rooftop F&B outlet and 24-hour room service to cater to the resort’s holiday making clientele.
“Due to our location on the hill, we definitely want to showcase the view, rooftops are very hot in the market, so in our location it would definitely make sense,” he said, while noting that it was still early days in the hotel’s evolution.
Other concessions to the hotel’s hillside beach front location include all rooms having balconies, taking advantage of the panoramic views of Patong Bay. There are also 10 Specialty rooms, which adjoin the existing Ocean View rooms, expanding the space available for guests and taking full advantage of the views from the corner of the building.
“Normally we don’t have balconies for our Hyatt Place rooms, but because this is a beach resort we have a balcony on every room,” added Mr Berthelot.
The hotel is centred around the Gallery – an open plan space featuring a dining area, large shared tables and couches to encourage socialising and computer room.
The all-inclusive pricing aims to take the annoyance of paying for unexpected extras out of the guest experience. The room price includes a daily hot breakfast, an outdoor infinity-edged pool with wading area and extended opening hours from 6am to 10pm, and a 24-hour StayFit Gym featuring cardio equipment with LCD touchscreens and free earbud headphones.
Hyatt Place Phuket, Patong joins three Hyatt-branded hotels currently open in Thailand, including Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Hyatt Regency Hua Hin and Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort. Additionally, there are three hotels under development in Thailand, including Park Hyatt Bangkok, which is expected to open in early 2017, Hyatt Regency Bangkok, Sukhumvit and Hyatt Place Bangkok, Sukhumvit.
Mr Berthelot said there are plans to open one of the brand’s flagship Park Hyatt hotels in Phuket’s up-and-coming Siray Bay area next year.