BANGKOK -- After years of delays, Thailand is finally getting its first Park Hyatt Hotel this week.
The luxury hotel brand of the Hyatt Group will open its doors on May 12. The hotel occupies the top 20 or so floors of Central Embassy, a luxury shopping mall in Bangkok opened May 2014.
Initially, the opening of Park Hyatt Bangkok was meant to follow that of Central Embassy at the end of 2014. But the project was delayed by nearly three years due to design issues, Michael Golden, managing director of Park Hyatt Bangkok said. He added that the hotel has 10 room types with 57 different layouts, compared with five to six room types in an average hotel.
He denied that the delay was caused by the May 2014 military coup and years of sluggish economic growth that followed.
The much-awaited opening will still only be a "soft launch" with just 65 of the total 222 rooms available in the first week. "We are already pretty much selling out what we have on offer," said Golden. The Penthouse Bar & Grill on the 34th to 36th floors are still under construction, but the entire hotel is expected to be fully running by the end of this year.
Special rates for the rooms per night begin at 7,000 baht ($203). Golden said that those rates are the lowest offered at any Park Hyatt hotel in the world given the intense competition in the Thai market.
Indeed, Bangkok is known for its crowded hotel market with numerous brands vying for tens of millions of tourists that visit the country every year. Hyatt Group also has a Grand Hyatt just several hundred meters away from the new Park Hyatt.
Park Hyatt will be competing in the high-end five-star market, Golden said, which would include the 140-year-old Mandarin Oriental operated by Hong Kong-based Jardine Matheson Holdings located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Room rates will be set at 9,000-10,000 baht once Thailand enters peak tourism season toward the end of the year. Occupancy rate for the hotel is expected at 45% for the first year. This is on average with other Park Hyatt hotels for the initial period, Golden said.
The completion of the Park Hyatt, the third in Southeast Asia following ones in Ho Chin Minh City in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia, will bring in more traffic to Central Embassy too.
"We are now complete with Park Hyatt as the crown jewel," Barom Bhicharnchitr, managing director of Central Embassy, said. "People can enjoy breakfast here, go shopping, eat lunch, get entertained at our cinema, go up to the bar and stay at Park Hyatt for the night. We will become a one-stop destination."
The mall expects to draw 30,000 visitors a day by the end of the year. When it opened in May 2014, it had targeted daily traffic of 50,000 to 60,000.