Hilton Hotel Resort & Spa is undergoing a 500-million baht guest room refurbishment to ensure it stays ahead in an increasingly competitive industry.
The refurbishment, which involves redecorating the beachfront hotel’s 296 rooms, is part of multibillion-baht rolling renovation programme, which includes technology upgrade, that is due to finish in 2018, said general manager Denis Richter.
The hotel is owned by SET-listed Saha Union Plc.
“The big hotel renovation scheme is to serve changing tourist demand as the Hua Hin hotel industry gets both more competitive and exciting, with new hotels and condominiums popping up,” Mr Richter said.
Following the tech-upgrade, guests will be able to check-in, select a room and check-out online, all via the hotel’s mobile app or website. There is also the possibility that guests will be able to use their smartphones as room keys.
The US hotel chain has been on the cutting edge of hotel modernisation, with digital check-in and other technology upgrades set to be available next year at most of its hotels worldwide.
Hua Hin has long been an established resort destination for both local and foreign tourists.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working to promote the destination among Thais, while the Pacific Asia Travel Association is pushing Hua Hin among the conference, convention and exhibition markets.
The beach resort has further developed with new man-made tourist attractions such as water parks, golf courses and big shopping malls.
Mr Richter said better infrastructure linking it with other destinations, especially Pattaya, could further drive tourism in Hua Hin. Increased flight frequency and a high-speed train to Hua Hin are expected in the coming years.
“If we can have more flights to Hua Hin, it will create a nice flow and boost accessibility for tourists. The future seaside [ferry service] between Hua Hin and Pattaya will also create new and interesting tourism routes,” he added.
Mr Richter said the tourism industry had fully recovered and will continue to grow this year.
Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa did well last year with occupancy rates in line with the industry average. The Thai Hotel Association said the average hotel occupancy rate in Hua Hin was 60-70% in the first quarter.
This prompted Hilton Worldwide to develop a few more hotels in Thailand. It now manages eight properties in the country under the Hilton, Double Tree and Conrad labels.
The hotel chain aims to double its hotel portfolio in Asia-Pacific over the next five years, up from 150 hotels as of March 31. Currently, 269 new hotels are under development in the region.