Boutique group 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts to expand beyond Thailand

font-size:11.0pt">Thailand-based, boutique hotel group 137 Pillars has announced plans to expand internationally by opening a new property in Bagan, Myanmar, in early 2020. A new hotel in Phuket will follow suite later in the year. 


They will mark the third and fourth properties for the brand, which currently has a 30-suite hotel in Chiang Mai and a 34-suite property in Bangkok.


The Bagan development is set to house 42 suites, with a Temple Viewing platform overlooking the stupas.


“It will also have a four-treatment room spa, a 35-metre pool, Land Rover limos and full Butler service, alongside its own private hot air balloon,” said the group’s chief operating officer Christopher Stafford. 


He said $60m was being invested in the Phuket development, which has been in the planning for five years. The new boutique will boast 16 villas and 51 suites alongside a ‘selfie studio’ and an open-air rainforest spa with “an almost Gaudi-esque design”, and 10 treatment rooms in the trees.


Personalisation, cultural experiences and a boutique feel are set to remain at the core of the new properties.


“People are craving a more personal market and hospitality is at the heart of our brand – getting the right people, the personalities, the training,” said Stafford.


“In a world that’s becoming increasingly commoditised, that’s really important. We’ve always focused on smaller properties and we will never design a hotel with guest rooms - all of our hotels are suite and villa only.”


He said that Europe and the UK trade would be a key target market for the new properties - with trade sales currently accounting for around 20-30% of the group’s business - adding that Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were all potential markets for further expansion in the future.

“We’re also in talks with the Cook Islands. These are all destinations that are still high on the dream level. They’re not on everybody’s map yet, and that is what we’re looking

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