PHUKET, 30 October 2015: The Nai Haan, a remake of the former Royal Phuket Yacht Club, has moved forward its opening date to 28 December, in time to catch New Year bookings.
The resort’s general manager, Frank Grassmann, confirmed a THB10,000 a night rate for the peak season until 16 January, when the original opening rate of THB8,000 will apply.
Attending ITB Asia, earlier this month, he said the handover of the hotel had been brought forward allowing it to accept bookings for New Year.
The property closed for 18 months, after a Singaporean investment fund bought the property and stripped the building back to its shell.
“Rooms are still a spacious 40 sq m with balconies of the same dimensions,” Grassman told TTR Weekly, noting every room “has a stunning view of the beach and cape beyond”.
The iconic Royal Phuket Yacht Club, one of the first beach hotels to open on this tourist island, and the home base for the prestigious King’s Cup Regatta for decades.
Grassmann believes the panoramic views over Nai Harn Beach will draw back visitors who visited the resort in the past.
Being the only five-star resort at a location that was named the best beach in Thailand by TripAdvisor is a strong plus point.
“This is perhaps Phuket’s most prestigious location,” Grassmann said.
The property also has the advantage of being the only hotel on Phuket island in the prestigious marketing and booking system Leading Hotels of the World.
A German national, Grassmann, was most recently general manager of Soneva Kiri, on Kood island off the coast of Trat province.
He now heads a resort property that opened in 1986 and
welcomed high-profile guests including Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Henrik of Denmark, former French president Jacques Chirac, the late actor Sir Peter Ustinov, late dance legend Rudolf Nureyev, US actor Forest Whitaker and Roger Moore.
He estimates the property will close its first year with an occupancy of around 57% and a USD200 average room rate.
Sales will concentrate on Europe for the traditional peak season that extends from November through to March.
Beyond that there are plans to tap Asian markets and Australia ,while attracting wealthy Bangkok residents many of whom would have stayed at the property in the past.
“It ticks a lot of boxes in local market, spacious rooms, great views… Nai Haan is a quiet beach, it takes visitors back to a Phuket of 15 years ago,” he noted.
“There is a market for those who want an original Phuket experience.”
There are plans to create a wine culture and add a signature activity at sunset to welcome guests.
A helicopter ride will be on offer for a fast transfer to the resort. It will overcome the downside of being a considerable distance (40km) from the airport.
The resort is about as far as you can go south from a busy airport and the tacky night life scene of west coast Patong bay.
“We are looking at ways to turn the commute into a positive,” the GM explained.
If time is the essence, the resort will offer a helicopter option from the airport to Nai Haan’s football pitch near the beach.
At the other end of the time scale, visitors can board a 42-foot yacht, near the airport, for a luxury two-hour sail that ends at the hotel’s jetty.