Nai Lert injecting B3bn into hospitality
British-standard butler school begins courses
Nai Lert Group plans to spend 3 billion baht to invest in hotels, residences and related tourism businesses over the next three years.
Naphaporn Bodiratnangkura, group managing director, said the group plans to build a tower on Wireless Road in Bangkok, consisting of a 60-room hotel and a 100-unit residence.
This project is expected to cost 2 billion baht, and construction is scheduled to start sometime in the middle of next year, finishing in 2020.
The residence will be a leasehold project on a 30-year deal.
The hotel will be priced in the luxury range.
The group also plans to build a 40-pool villa on its own plot in Hua Hin. The development cost is about 1 billion baht.
Nai Lert is also interested in entering a new segment related to the tourism industry: intensive training courses for butler services.
In addition, the group is likely to open a high-end coffee house in Bangkok and reinvest in commuter coaches or buses to serve exclusive guests in the future.
“After we sold Swissotel Nai Lert Park Bangkok in 2016, we never said that we would stop running hotel and hospitality business,” Ms Naphaporn said. “We will be moving forward with even better developments.”
In September 2016, the group sold a 15-rai plot and Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel to Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc (BDMS) for 10.1 billion baht.
BDMS is renovating the property into a wellness clinic.
“We still have a large plot of 20 rai in Bangkok,” Ms Naphaporn said. “We conducted a feasibility study and found that we should enter the luxury segment for hotel, residence, and service businesses.”
Apart from projects in Bangkok and Hua Hin, the group is considering investing in hotels or other businesses in major tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kaen and Koh Samui.
Swissotel Nai Lert Park Bangkok was operated by international hotel chains for 36 years before being sold.
“I have learned all about hotel operations and management from global hotel chains,” Ms Naphaporn said. “I will lead all management strategies for Nai Lert Group.”
Last week, Nai Lert Group launched the Nai Lert Butler project under a 50:50 collaboration with the British Butler Institute.
The Nai Lert Butler project has been created to offer hoteliers, business owners, hotel management and hospitality professionals in Thailand the opportunity to learn about butler services that meet British standards.
Gary Williams, principal of the British Butler Institute, will help coach and transfer intensive knowledge and experience to Thailand.
“Thailand’s tourism sector continues to grow, and Thais already welcome guests with their best service,” Mr Williams said. “But the industry needs to shift to another level with more efficient service.”
The first training course opened yesterday, priced at 42,000 baht per person for a seven-day course.
Nai Lert Butler plans to run four courses a year. A two-day course will be offered in the near future.
Ms Naphaporn said the group plans to launch e-butler services to offer trained butlers to corporate or private events.