In the highly competitive hotel world, with brand loyalty and segmentation key words in today’s market place, offering premium customers a premium product is not something to gamble with, it has to be right, nay perfect.
It’s good to see a hotel taking its lounge facility seriously, ensuring it maintains firmly anchored as a top quality premium guest experience. In many hotels it’s become a tick box affair. The new Club InterContinental lounge in Hua Hin is far from that. It works to deliver a sense of occasion. It’s about making guests happy and feeling spoiled and everything is included in the room price. Avoiding that ‘nickel and dime’ experience.
With an investment of THB 13.5m (US$ 375k) the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, has certainly managed to do that, with architectural design by Space Architects, interiors by P49 and six months in the making, the brand-new elegant lounge offers Club guests a superb space to call their own.
Moving the classic Club InterContinental lounge from the main building to it’s prime beachfront location has certainly lifted the Club to another level of luxury.
Cutting-edge privileges create a top club lounge experience, extending the resort’s reputation worldwide. Adding to a long list of reasons why discerning guests will want to visit Hua Hin again and again.
The new Club provides panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand. It’s colonial architecture is cleverly focused on creating the best environment possible for relaxation and carefree enjoyment.
The beach front retreat is open 24/7 and guests receive personalised butler service with unpacking and packing services available. Guests benefits include an evening cocktail and snack service (5-7pm) and all day non alcoholic beverages and light refreshments.
[Alternative venue choices for your evening cocktail include the new Azure Bar, or for families with children, at Lee La Bar.]
Add to this private check in and check out, pressing of 2 items during your stay and complimentary local phone calls. There are also two options for breakfast – à la carte at the Club lounge, or buffet-styled American breakfast at Felicita & Pirom restaurant from 6:30-10.30am.
I enjoyed a superb afternoon tea which is served from 3-5pm daily. It was a real sense of occasion with fine bone china and tiered silverware.
For the energetic the Club also offers a one hour workout per stay for yoga class or Thai boxing class with a professional personal trainer.
Accommodations at Club InterContinental are also special. They offer superb locations, great views and complete privacy — the hotel hand-picks the very best accommodation for Club InterContinental guests and creates top quality living spaces in the resort. Set in their own private wing or just steps from the ocean, their exclusive collection of guestrooms and villas provide peace and seclusion, including high quality amenities such as a gourmet illy brand coffee maker, an unlimited supply of fine TWG teas, high thread-count cool bed linen and super comfortable bathrobes and slippers. Luxurious bliss.
HOTEL MARKET SEGMENTATION
So why invest in a lounge? Simply it’s all about market segmentation. It’s a component that allows you to target and market to a variety of guests with different behaviour, with services and facilities that matches their needs.
Of course all guests have basic needs, which are important.
Market segmentation helps a hotel to identify the purpose of the trip, either business or leisure. For instance the needs of a family on vacation to those of a businessman are very different. As are those between individual and group business. Price does not decide market segmentation.
Choosing a well recognised brand takes some of the guess work out of choosing the right hotel for the right occasion. How? The charts below helps explain that brands work hard to understand guests needs and that all segments are not the same. Consistency of product and service delivery are paramount.
Understanding guest needs will therefore make them feel special and want them to return to the hotel and the brand.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly focussing on guest expectations and needs will lead to greater success at matching those expectations and therefore satisfaction.
It’s been a busy time for the hotel. During my visit I was privy to the opening of the new lounge AND the new stunning Azure bar.
Taking full advantage of InterContinental Hua Hin Resort’s location, the Azure Bar has gone through a complete and fresh design costing THB 17m (US$ 475k).
Hip and cool with white cushioned sofas and white ‘sails’ cocooned in soft blue light. It’s a place not to be missed. Distinctive and luxurious, it’s a destination for relaxation and enjoyment for anyone visiting Hua Hin. Azure Bar’s modern design elements, state-of-the-art lighting, and picturesque views of the shimmering moonlight over the sea make a wonderful night feel like it lasts forever.
With a 180˚ocean view it is quickly becoming the best and hippest outdoor bar in Hua Hin. Guests can sip amazing cocktails. A great place for sundowners and later watching the moonlight shimmer over the Gulf of Thailand.
The cool blue atmosphere reflects the magical moon-lit mood of refreshing coolness whilst the gentle beat of classic sounds remains inviting and warm. The great music adds to the feel-good factor, it’s a perfect place to unwind.
About the author:
Andrew J Wood has been a resident of Thailand for two decades.
A lecturer, writer and former hotel General Manager, Andrew is a Director of Worldwide Destinations Asia Co Ltd, and past President of Skal International Thailand.