Pioneering luxury Thai resort, Pimalai Resort & Spa is forging ahead with recovery plans despite the recent closure of Koh Lanta island in the southern Thai province of Krabi until April 30.
These are not easy times across the world and certainly for the hospitality industry in Thailand blessed with booming inbound arrivals from across the world for the past decade. But for Pimalai, the key is to stay positive, take care of the team and use this time to create new horizons a property which opened almost 20 years ago. It is something very much in Pimalai’s DNA.
“The vision of Pimalai has always been far-sighted,” said Pimalai Resort & Spa general manager, Patrice Landrein, a seasoned hotelier whose former employers include The Savoy in London and the Ritz in Paris. “It is, for this reason, we do not panic, but think carefully, take care of our people and consider the future.”
“When we first opened a lot of people thought we were a little mad, to be honest given the former remoteness of the destination. But look at how the world has changed. We came here to create a private, service-driven, nature-inspired experience. This is now more relevant than ever before – and we will continue to move forward with our philosophy and prepare for guests when they travel again,” he added.
Pimalai has started full renovations of 20 of its hillside ocean-view villas with private pools that sit at the top of soaring indigenous Ton Yang trees that are as high as 80-metres tall from the ground up and over 100 years old. The design concept is by Thailand’s P49 and offers bright, modern interiors inspired by marine colours, contours and movement. The resort is also conceptualising the first wedding chapel on the island with appointed designers Habita, whose work includes projects for Six Senses and Soneva, set to confirm designs next month.
To continue to connect with customers and inspire future travel, Pimalai has launched online yoga classes for guests at home to keep in shape and in touch, given by Heart, the yoga master featured the resort’s annual yoga festival, Zenergy. These online classes take place three to four times per week and can be founded on Heart’s Instagram channel (@heartmaher).
Staff training has increased in all departments with regular English classes, folk-design tutorials for unique decorations across the resort and music performance teaching to maintain spirits as well as minds. The resort continues to provide three meals a day for staff, despite the temporary closure of the resort.
A full deep-cleaning and maintenance programme is in progress across all 300 rai (120 acres) of the resort including accommodation, public areas, restaurants, spa and gardens. Alternative energy programmes, composting and organic growing are all in full swing.
Just before closing, Pimalai’s Trip Advisor rating was number one and guest satisfaction reports were strong, a key reason why the resort remains confident of a quick bounce back.
“The loyalty of our guests and the comments we have been receiving has been nothing but outstanding. It has been a true inspiration and encouraged us to make sure the resort is better than ever for when they return,” said Mr. Landrein. “Like all in the hospitality industry we are under pressure due to our temporary closure, but we are positive and we will come back strong. We are Pimalai.”