There’s another new hotel brand for “Millennial-minded” travelers on the horizon. Dusit International, a Thailand-based hotel and property development company, reports that it is introducing ASAI Hotels, a new hotel brand for “curious, Milllennial-minded travelers” aimed at offering local experiences in cities and resort destinations worldwide.
The new brand is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2019 with its first hotel in Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market. Each property will be designed to reflect the culture and heritage of its location through collaborations with local artisans, Dusit said.
In terms of amenities, the hotels will have compact rooms of approximately 160 square feet, with a contemporary design and high pressure rain showers. A large mixed-use space will include a work space, a leisure area and a restaurant concept curated by local chefs who champion sustainability.
The upcoming Bangkok hotel will be the only hotel to be located in Chatuchak Market, Dusit said. It will have an eatery developed by Bangkok-based chefs and restaurateurs, Jarrett Wrisley and Paolo Vitaletti, whose own restaurants, Soul Food Mahanakorn and Appia, take a sustainable approach to cooking. Their menu at ASAI Chatuchak will highlight produce from Thailand’s Royal Projects.
Each ASAI hotel worldwide will leverage technology to streamline the booking and stay experience, Dusit said, with amenities like self check-in kiosks, online guides that link guests with authentic local experiences and lesser-known, but Instagram-worthy, attractions, and partnerships with select local online start-ups, such as TakeMeTour in Thailand, to offer personalized excursions. Staff at each property will also be hired for their knowledge of the local neighborhood.
After ASAI Chatuchak, plans call for five more hotels, including three in Cebu, Philippines (in Lapu-Lapu, Oslob, and the city centre); one hotel in Yangon, Myanmar (in the historic Yankin Township); and a second hotel in Bangkok (in the stylish Sathorn district). All are expected to open throughout 2019.
ASAI Hotels’ management team hopes to secure over 10 properties in the pipeline by the end of the year across Southeast Asia and Japan. This includes owned and joint venture properties as well as properties under hotel management agreements. Australia, Europe and Central America are also on the radar for potential projects, Dusit said.
The move marks the latest Millennial-targeted travel brand to make its debut. A growing lineup of hotel brands aimed at Millennial travelers includes Virgin Hotels; the Vib and Glo brands from Best Western International; Marriott’s Moxy Hotels; IHG’s Even Hotels; Hilton’s Canopy by Hilton and Curio, A Collection by Hilton brands; Red Lion Hotels Corporation’s Hotel RL; and Hard Rock’s Reverb.
In the cruise space, U by Uniworld made its debut this year. In a similar “Millennial-minded” approach, it went from being targeted exclusively to Millennial-age travelers when it was first announced to adults of all ages back in March. On the oceans, Virgin Voyages is set to launch in two years with an adults-only product, as well as the hip, offbeat vibe the Virgin branding is known for.