By Kristin Mariano On Oct 24, 2022
Aira Hotel, a 4-star hotel in Bangkok with 255 keys, reopened in July and offers an eclectic vibe of Thai splendour like no other.
Conveniently located on one of Bangkok’s most famous sois (‘streets’ in Thai), Sukhumvit 11, is in the heart of it all and offers our guests an immersive Thai cultural experience.
Kingston Hotels Group owns seven properties located in prime locations in the world-famous Sukhumvit district. Each of the distinct hotels caters to business, leisure and family traveller’s from around the world — whether they’re seeking a weekend retreat, base for exploration or long-stay options — and are conveniently located within walking distance of major public transport links, fine-dining restaurants and some of the world’s best street food, as well as action-packed entertainment and retail districts.
Kingston Hotels Group brands include Valia Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 24, Aira Hotel, Eleven Hotel, Grand President Hotel and Solitaire Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 11, Royal President and Kingston Suites in Sukhumvit Soi 15.
TD spoke with Suravee Singhlukha, Director of Kingston Hotels Group, about the rebranding of some of the Kingston properties, and Noppamassiri Ruanpech, General Manager of Aira Hotel Bangkok, about the unique selling points of the new hotel.
Travel Daily (TD): What is the rationale on the rebranding some of your properties?
Suravee Singhlukha (SS): Kingston Hotels Group was formed in November 2011 and since then our properties have always been a brand well-known to tourists for our product, service and location. Some of our properties were definitely facing some wear and tear issues and Covid was the perfect time for us to re-invest in these properties with complete renovations i.e. when we decided to rebrand these properties based on the new interior designs, have a particular concept which the guests can connect to and raise the service standards standing true to the new brand of the property.
TD: What brand developments and enhancements are in the pipeline for Kingston Hotels Group?
SS: Grand President Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 11 consisted of three different towers so we decided to divide these towers in three separate hotel brands, tower 3 was renovated and opened in December 2019 as Eleven Hotel Bangkok, tower 2 was renovated and re-branded as “Aira Hotel Bangkok” which we just opened on 1st July 2022. Tower 1 was soft refurbished and was still kept as “Grand President” because of its legacy.
The next hotel opening which we are completely looking forward to is the “Valia Hotel” previously known as “President Park” in Sukhumvit Soi 24 due to open soon in November 2022. We are bringing a sophisticated five-star brand that is distinctive to its neighbours in Soi 24, offering more in the way of relaxed cultural elements, without compromising on modern comforts and quality.
We have other new developments one being the complete renovation of the iconic hotel Royal President in Sukhumvit Soi 15 which we have currently closed and parallelly we have another new development in Sukhumvit Soi 11 next to our current Solitaire Hotel Bangkok which will both be new brands and targeted to open by end of 2023.
TD: With the unprecedented regrowth of such a high-profile company, what are your silver linings today?
SS: I think the biggest silver lining today for the hospitality industry, in general, was to see the impact of Covid reduced and borders opening up. With the end of all restrictions announced and tourists more open to visiting Thailand we as a group are seeing some healthy numbers in terms of occupancy. Awaiting more borders and lesser stringent rules for countries like Hongkong and opening up of China will definitely help the hospitality industry in Thailand two-fold and numbers could come back to pre-covid levels.
Noppamassiri Ruanpech assumed the role of general manager of Aira Hotel Bangkok. Having over 20 years of work experience in hospitality, she gained a deeper knowledge of maintaining the best standards in service as well as being open-minded and flexible in terms of working closely with senior management and stakeholders.
TD: Can you share the brand position and concept of Aira Hotel?
Noppamassiri Ruanpech (NR): The hotel’s interior concept is influenced by the Rattanakosin era. It provides a direct reference to the heart of the capital, home to the Royal Palace and Wat Pho. The Rattanakosin era also saw the birth of a new architectural style in the 1800s, that began to meld European colonial influences with traditional Thai designs. The result is a unique blend of styles with a rich cross-cultural heritage.
Our brand is distinctively Thai, shown through a modern and cosmopolitan lens. Worldly finesse nods to the global sophistication of our brand. It also refers to the historic inspiration derived from the Rattanakosin era, where European and Thai cultural influences merged into a new style of Thai architecture. Our modern oasis provides guests with their contemporary creature comforts while offering respite from the buzzing surroundings of Soi 11 and Asoke-Nana.
TD: What are the unique selling points of Aira Hotel?
NR: Aira is the new brand under Kingston Hotels Group and our USP is a clear and differentiating concept among the neighbors in Sukhumvit Soi 11. History and culture have been overlooked in the race to be more modern, more international, more cosmopolitan which we made sure we stay true and it is felt right away as you enter the lobby. Definitely location is the key with Soi 11 getting a new uplift with new bars and restaurants opening up. Our Jacuzzi Corner has gained so much popularity within the local as well as international markets as we now define it to be a must have picture on your #gram.
TD: What are the travel trends you are seeing in the coming months of years? How do you plan to capitalize on them?
NR: After 2 years of Covid Pandemic and many restrictions on travelling it has made people miss on traveling. Since the country opened, we could see that the number of tourists is growing every month and tourism is recovering sooner than expected. I think Thailand is still the best destination for all travelers as you get luxury service and hotels at affordable prices. So as for AIRA HOTEL BANGKOK we have committed to provide our guests with the most comfortable stay and deliver the highest hotel standard, with regular trainings we want to ensure that during the coming high season months, our team is ready in all aspects to create a memorable experience for our guests.