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Phuket gets Crowne Plaza
Raini Hamdi, Singapore

Raini Hamdi, Singapore  
(20th May 2004)

INTERCONTINENTAL Hotels Group (IHG) will manage the former Karon Villa & Royal Wing Phuket, which is undergoing a US$20 million renovation, effective December.

The deal was signed on May 19, a day before the annual Hotel Investment Conference in Singapore organised by Jones Lang LaSalle, between IHG and LaSalle Investment Management, the real estate investment manager which is a member of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The move is timely for IHG, which has repositioned Crowne Plaza as a premium business hotel brand geared for meetings and incentives in popular leisure destinations.

Crowne Plaza Karon Beach Phuket will boast one of the largest meeting facilities on the island with a fully-staffed business centre, seven meeting and boardroom facilities and a grand ballroom which seats 750 guests. It will also offer the Crowne Plaza Meeting Success programme which includes services such as a dedicated meetings director and a two-hour response to all meeting enquiries.

IHG managing director Mr Patrick Imbardelli said popular leisure destinations were increasing the choice for meeting planners. The hotel will also target the family leisure market although it is geared towards meetings.

Top Asian resort designers, including Bensley Design Studios for landscaping, P49 Interior Design, Tandem Architects and Hawaiian-based Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo, are reworking the resort, which will have 150 villas and 210 rooms. LaSalle Investment Management national director, Mr Andrew Heithersay, said: “We view Phuket as Asia's premier resort destination and our substantial refurbishment programme demonstrates our confidence in this market.”

A Crowne Plaza Sukhumvit Bangkok is also scheduled to open in January 2006.

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