Lebua Hotels and Resorts try to redefine luxury accommodation in Thailand
From the turn of the 20th century on, luxury has continued to change in regards to hotels. Starting with private baths, guestrooms eventually grew to include televisions, room service and celebrity chefs. These days, however, a small Thai hotel group is redefining the name of luxury, from sensational views to amazing extras that have created an entirely new and extravagant experience.
For more than 100 years hotel luxury has continued to evolve, adding in more and more features that guests consider luxuries in order to generate new business. The trend began in the early 1900s when guestrooms began to include private baths to the late 1960s when the Westin began 24-hour room service. The 1980s brought boutique style hotels to the forefront while celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck lent their name to hotel dining.
A recently published article by Forbes, written by contributor Doug Gollan, outlines how certain hotels are rising to the desires of travellers with “memorable experiences” such as in the early 2000s when Deepak Ohri first opened al fresco dining and drinks on the very top of a Bangkok skyscraper. While there were similar ideas, the article points out they lacked the same flair, leading Lebua Hotels and Resorts to further drive the global trend. It’s written that the Four Seasons in Mumbai offers a nearly identical choice with the AER Lounge.
President of Expedia Lodging Partner Services Cyril Ranque explains:
“Most of the time hotels struggle to build an F&B product that is attractive to guests and the local community.”
However, that’s hardly noted as the case for Ohri as the Lebua restaurants commonly generate $200 to $300 per diner in Bangkok, a city known for its inexpensive dining and hotel rooms.
The article goes on to explain that Ohri’s vision included converting unused space in the Sky Bar to a champagne bar. While it cost just $100,000 to construct, it generates four times that each month in sales. There’s also the addition of an Enchanting Tree that holds champagne flutes. It’s written that Ohri sells more bottles of $2,000 Blanc de Blancs in this one location than is sold in all of Singapore.
CEO of Evolution Capital Sanjay Singh adds:
“What he has done for his owners is remarkable. When he came, the building was a shell, and he has turned it into a destination that attracts visitors from around the world who come to Bangkok because of what he’s created.”
Ohri’s vision has also extended to Mezzaluna, where he hosted 40 wealthy world travellers in 2007 for a $30,000 per plate star-worthy dinner, generating large media coverage for Thailand’s emerging luxury. Criticized by some for the extravagant meal, Ohri defended it as spurring possible future investment in Thailand, while also raising money to help local charities.
It’s also explained that the building Ohri transformed, the abandoned State Tower, was changed into an all-suite hotel, adding in luxuries like nicer furnishings, bedding and better housekeeping, things that “guests notice and value”. He saved money by cutting back on lights and gadgets that aren’t necessarily missed. With a focus on hospitality, Ohri’s goal is to make stays memorable and a true experience, from the moment guests touch down at the airport to the warm greeting they receive when they disembark the elevator for the top floor dining.
Another way that Ohri is setting himself apart is how he is working together with online booking companies, something many hotels have tried to distance themselves. As revenues grow, Lebua Hotels & Resorts now manages three resorts in India, a Frankfurt restaurant, a New Zealand lodge and the two hotels found in State Tower. There are also plans for a possible skyscraper with rooftop dining and drinks in Hong Kong, plus open fine dining in London and Philadelphia.
As well, Ohri has forged a new way of doing things; from his open-door management policy to a policy of bypassing the old supply chains, going directly to farmers for produce. Now listed as one of Southeast Asia’s top hotels, even featured in a major Hollywood movie, Ohri continues to gain new attention and publicity for his creations as other luxury hotels take notice of the small things adding up to an entire experience, from the silver champagne cups to the breath-taking Bangkok views.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Thailand Browse all
Make your trip to Phuket one to remember at romantic and secluded Rawai beach
- Perfect for families or couples searching for their own slice of paradise
- Free shuttle services to Ya Nui beach, Nai Harn beach and Kata beach
- Free upgrade to Deluxe Pool View
Treat your family to an adventure with memories that will last a life time on the island of Phuket
- Perfect holiday spot the whole family
- Idyllic beachfront dining opportunity
- Dream location on one of Phuket's most popular beaches
Make memories that will last a life time on the tropical island of Phuket with this beautiful beach-side resort
- Family friendly resort with an impressive pool side restaurant and food to match
- Free transfers and one free dinner
- Next to popular Karon beach and within easy reach of lively Patong
Ideal for families and couples, the coastal area of Krabi has plenty on offer to help you explore the south of Thailand
- Free yoga classes and the indulgent Kanda spa
- Beachfront location perfect for a romantic break for couples
- Enjoy intimate beachfront dining or take a Thai cooking class
Soak in the vitamin D on Phuket’s sun-kissed coastline with a stay the Rawai Palm Beach Resort, a matter of steps from...
Located on the popular island of Phuket and in the heart of the buzzing Karon resort is the charming Phuket Orchid...
The Leaf on the Sands boast a great location both near to the centre of Khao Lak and just five minutes stroll from the...
A stylish new hotel with families in mind, the Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien makes an ideal base to explore all...
Discover the vibrant city of Bangkok with a stay at the Century Park Hotel. Offering an ideal location close to the...
Experience the sights and sounds of Thailand's 'City of Angels' with a stay at the centrally located Narai Hotel....