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How Asia is reinventing the resort industry

Resorts are constantly looking at ways to make customers feel more comfortable, more important, and happier. One of the major changes happening in hotels around the world is the move to transform the lobby area into an expanded living room.

 The lobby today is filled with cosy corners where guests can relax and find privacy. It’s a far cry from the sterile front desk that used to separate staff from guests.

The Movenpick Resort & Spa in Jimbaran is the perfect example of how to make this work. The overall lobby space is huge, but it is subtly divided into separate zones that allow guests to escape from the Bali heat and crowds. Yet just outside the hotel door is the Samasta Lifestyle Village, perfectly integrated into the hotel.

 That marriage of the local community with the hotel is also what guests are expecting. Travellers want to be able to walk out the door, interact with the locals, and then step back into the sanctuary of their hotel.

Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Lobby

Another trend is the need to personalise the hotel experience. The team at Centara Hotels & Resorts are rolling out a new program to promote healthy living. Hoot Holidays offers stays at Centara properties in Koh Samui, Phuket and Da Nang.

“The Staying Well program, launched by Centara, provides guests more ways to take care of their health and wellness throughout their stay,’’ Tom Thrussell, Vice-President - Brand, Marketing & Digital, Centara Hotels & Resorts said.

The Staying Well program is built around three core pillars: Live Well, Eat Well and Sleep Well.

“Live Well: Exercise benefits body and mind,” Tom says. “Staying Well’s Wellness kit offers guests everything needed for a private in-room exercise workout. The kit includes fitness accessories such as a yoga mat, Swiss ball, 4-kg kettlebell, 2-kg dumbbell pair, muscle therapy foam roller and a workout folder with a variety of easy-to-follow exercise routines, from Morning Yoga to Full Body Workouts.

 “Eat Well: Centara’s expanded menu offers nutritious selections spanning diabetic, healthy-heart, gluten-free, low sodium, reduced-calorie and vegetarian options, with easy-to-find nutrition information included in restaurant and room service menus.”

“Sleep Well: End the day with a better night’s sleep. Staying Well features an array of pillow choices, from memory foam to hypoallergenic buckwheat pillows felt by many to promote better sleep. A spa music channel provides soothing sounds. Guests can order a Rest Well kit complete with earplugs, eye mask, lavender water mister, and silky-soft pyjamas made of bamboo fibre. Wake up refreshed and ready for a new day.”

The Staying Well program is being progressively introduced at all Centara Grand-branded properties and select Centara hotels and resorts. Sunwing Bangtao has taken the “home away from home” theme to new levels – especially for new parents.

 Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

When the Sunwing Bangtao hotel in Phuket recently had a full makeover, the design team set about making the hotel more attractive to new parents. At this hotel, if you have a newborn, you will certainly want to book one of the Happy Baby studios on the ground level. The rooms come with everything you could possibly need if you are travelling with a baby. There’s a baby cot, high chair, stroller, nursing mat, baby resting chair, Bumbo baby chair, children’s crockery and cutlery, baby bathtub with a non-slip mat, plastic potty and safety locks on all the drawers.

It is this personalisation, the focus on guest experience, that is becoming more common. Some design experts say it is a reflection of how millennials expect to be treated. Whatever the demographics, there’s no doubt that putting guests first is a good thing for all travellers.

 Sunwing Bangtao Happy Baby Studio