SAii, which derives from the Thai word for “sand”, was first unveiled in 2019 at SAii Lagoon Maldives, the island resort at CROSSROADS Maldives, Singha Estate’s integrated destination in the Indian Ocean. Now, S Hotels & Resorts is celebrating the launch of its next SAii resort, nestled on the shores of Thailand’s serene southern islands.
SAii Laguna Phuket has undergone an extensive renovation including the creation of a new events hall, a seafront restaurant and an enhanced beachfront bar to integrate SAii wellness and culinary brand signatures. An integral part of Laguna Phuket, the world-class integrated resort at Bang Tao Bay, overlooking the Andaman Sea, the retreat is perfectly suited to light-hearted couples, families, groups of friends, and one-of-a-kind weddings and events.
The new SAii resort in Thailand will attract "InSAiiders" – the brand’s term for experience-seeking explorers who value personal freedom, authentic encounters, and a sense of discovery. “These millennially-minded guests are tech-savvy, but also have a desire to look beyond the screen and engage in new adventures,” explained a release announcing the opening.
With SAii, the guest journey follows a series of intuitive touchpoints, from “Hello”, a warm Thai welcome, to “Hub”, the social heart of the resort where guests can mix their own bedroom amenities in the M.I.Y Aroma Lab, and “Sleep”, the comforting guest room concepts. “Play” reflects each resort’s activities on land and at sea, including sustainable enterprises, “Treat” showcases its culinary offerings, and “Live” helps to deliver exceptional weddings and events, before "SAii For Now" provides a heartfelt goodbye, the release added.
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.
S Hotels & Resorts late last year announced the next two SAii resorts in Thailand in the first quarter of 2021: SAii Laguna Phuket and SAii Phi Phi Island Village.
SAii Phi Phi Island Village is an eco-friendly retreat nestled on 70 acres of beachfront land on 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 lobby, freeform pool, 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 is to provide 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, the customised concept is already offered to 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 expected to unveil nābor (pronounced “neighbour”), an alternative collection of locally-inspired “luxury-midscale” resorts and hotels, in April 2021 with its first property in Bophut, Koh Samui.
“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,” he added.
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 the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions.
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.