ACCORHOTELS PLANS to transform the rooms at its worldwide Novotel chain to a new concept called the “N Room”, starting with its hotels in Thailand this year.
The Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit is the first trial property for the N Room concept, which offers what the company describes as “a universal ideal of more customisable design to better address local hotel and guest needs”.
The new room features an iconic bed, wider window design, a 40-inch TV, adjustable sofa, flexible use of space, new amenity layout, and more device ports.
As Novotel is a recognised brand for business and leisure travellers, accounting for 55 per cent and 45 per cent of its business respectively, guests staying in the new type of room will able to both work and rest in the same space.
Patrick Basset, chief operating officer for Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia, said Thailand was the first country to have the new-concept room, designed by a Thai architecture firm – Soda.
The initiative room will be implemented at Novotels in other countries all over the world.
Novotel is the most popular brand in AccorHotels’ portfolio in Asia-Pacific, while Thailand is one of the most dynamic markets in the region, offering more room for growth in the long term, he said.
“This year, we will open new Novotels with the new room, while some existing properties will get renovations [under the N Room concept], including our first |local Novotel at Siam Square,” he added.
The transformation cost for each new-concept room is Bt750,000. However, once the renovation work is complete, the company can increase the room rate by 15-20 per cent, thus increasing its overall average room rate, Basset explained.
The group expects that this year’s business in Thailand will grow by 9 per cent from last year’s impressive level, which was achieved despite the bomb blast at the Erawan Shrine in August.
The group operates 450 Novotel hotels and resorts in 61 countries around the world.
More than a quarter of the properties are in the Asia-Pacific region, including 16 hotels comprising 4,313 rooms in Thailand.
The chief operating officer said 42 hotels and resorts were currently in the pipeline for Asia-Pacific between now and 2019, including four hotels comprising a total of 908 rooms in Thailand. The Thai properties are: the 240-room Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20, due to open in May; the 180-room Novotel Phuket Phokeethra, scheduled to open in the third quarter; the 303-room Novotel Sriracha Marina Bay, due to open next year; and the 185-room Novotel Bangkok Nana, which is due to start operations in 2018.
Other AccorHotel brands in the pipeline for Thailand through 2019 total 17 hotels, with 4,044 rooms in total. They include eight Ibis Styles hotels, two MGallery by Sofitel properties, and a Sofitel, a Mercure and an Ibis.
Aside from Thailand, Basset said the group was now also expanding in the emerging market of Myanmar, where it already has three properties.
Six hotels with a total of 1,393 rooms are in the pipeline: the 160-room Ibis Styles Yangon Stadium, due to open this year; the 356-room Pullman Mandalay Mingalar and the 100-room MGallery Inle Lake Myat Min, both scheduled to open next year; the 200-room Ibis Styles Muse and the 268-room ibis Styles Mandalay Centre, both due to open in 2018; and the 300-room Pullman Yangon Myat Min, due to start operations in 2019.