BANGKOK-Travel Agent sat down with Deepak Ohri, CEO of Lebua
Hotels & Resorts, which in 2006 took over the management of the former site
of the StateTower
in Bangkok and
is undergoing a $28 million repositioning. The property recently reopened as
the five-star all-suites Lebua at StateTower, which is housed in the
second-tallest building in Thailand.
Dome restaurants, which are also managed by Lebua, are garnering a huge amount
of attention for their service, cuisine and stunning views of Bangkok. Lebua at StateTower
is poised to begin a $28 million re-positioning of its rooms, an initiative
Ohri referred to as "being more of a design change." He noted that
the re-positioning would not disturb day-to-day operations of the hotel.
Lebua Hotels & Resorts is building on the success of its
Bangkok property and developing two other
high-end resorts: one in New Zealand
and one in northern Thailand,
in Chiang Rai. The New
Zealand property is the former Okareka Lake
House in Rotorua. When it reopens in October, the new name will be Lodge Lake
Okareka by Lebua. The luxury five-bedroom property is on a peninsula on LakeOkareka.
"We have two kinds of high-level guests: Those who want to be seen and
those who don't want to be seen," said Ohri. "Our Bangkok
and Chiang Rai properties are for those who want to be seen, while our New Zealand
property will be for those who prefer privacy."
Even though rates have not been set, Ohri says agents can
begin booking the property. "With these kinds of clients price is not an
issue," added Ohri. Ground was just broken on the Chiang Rai property,
which is still unnamed. An opening date has yet to be set. The first phase will
consist of 40 luxury, tented villas. When asked the number of phases for the
project, Ohri replied, "That will depend on the success of the first
phase." Ohri also has his sights on London
as a possible site for a fourth Lebua property. Visit [www.lebua.com].