How is the hotel re-positioning itself in this ever-competitive marketplace with more and more five-star hotels opening in the city?

Several ways actually but I would break it up into four:

  1. Consistency and warm Thai hospitality – Key to differentiating our services from our competitors, motivating to ensure guest satisfaction.
  2. Build and deliver brand led experiences – The most important thing is to deliver guests memorable moments, which will ensure our success.
  3. Personalisation of experience – That would be my priority to take the hotel to next level; specific offerings for different communities that require them.
  4. Innovation – We will continue to evolve to ensure that we remain on top.

How would you expand the guest experience beyond the hotel?

Personal fulfilment throughout their stay here – Eat Pray Shop Experience, when staying at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, take time out to explore the history, make your wishes and light your candle at all the deities of Ratchaprasong. Our hotel overlooks the iconic Erawan Shrine, which is a place of worship for millions who have shared their deepest hopes and prayers. After visiting the Erawan Shrine, indulge in our award-winning Thai High Tea at Erawan Tea Room. Guests also receive a shopping guide map with discount vouchers for various shopping centres in the area. Our Concierge team guides the guests to connect them with the ‘Gods of Ratchaprasong district.’

What will 2019 be like for the hotel industry and for Grand Hyatt Erawan in particular?

Hotel industry will continue to expand in China; it remains a vast growth market. We are focused on offering localised products such as QR code, partnership with Chinese Mobile Application and mobile payment. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok is a prototype hotel for other properties in Asia-Pacific in ‘Nin Hao programme’, a new initiative tailor-made for Chinese guests travelling abroad at 42 Hyatt hotels around the world. Nin Hao, which means “a warm welcome with respect” in Mandarin, offers Hyatt Hotels and Resorts’ signature authentic hospitality to Chinese guests by providing the tastes and comforts of home, as well as destination-specific information to help enhance their stay.

Grand Hyatt Erawan hired a special team of Chinese speakers headed by a Chinese national. The team is responsible for all Chinese marketing including hotlines, distribution and communication. Besides that, the customised city guide in Chinese creates an unforgettable travel experience for guests. With this programme, Chinese guests will have access to a Chinese-speaking guest services officer, guestroom amenities, a television channel with Chinese programming and an in-room menu featuring Chinese comfort food. Additionally, they will have access to a 24-hour Mandarin hotline, receive assistance navigating to their destination or ask any additional questions they may have. Moreover, Hyatt hotels will be accepting Union Pay cards, the most common payment method in China.

Going into 2019, what do you identify as the biggest challenge to the traditional hospitality industry?

Bringing technology into guest experience – to meet the challenge of growing customer expectations, the hospitality industry is turning to technology. Investing in Internet of Things technology and innovations will allow hotel operators to stand out from the competition, fulfill every guest’s expectation and attract new customers. While there is no doubt technology has a huge role to play in shaping the hotels of the future, there are some things it can never completely replace ‘the human touch’. The hotel needs to remember that so as to surprise and delight guests.