“The current climate is obviously not ideal"

Right now might not seem the ideal time for the launch of a new Bangkok hotel, but Nicholas Clayton, Capella Hotel Group CEO, remains cheerfully undeterred. “The current climate is obviously not ideal in terms of international travel,” he admits, “but we are excited to launch the hotel and showcase Capella Bangkok's distinctive offerings to our domestic guests.”

His optimism may be well-founded. The Chao Phraya riverfront property was originally set to open last year, so the postponement has provided ample time for staff to prepare to make an impression, and the facilities are certainly not lacking. Dining will be a strength, with specialty options including Côte by three-Michelin-starred Chef Mauro Colagrec, while emphasis will also be placed upon the exceptional Auriga wellness treatments that incorporate Thai healing elements.

“Our Capella Bangkok pre-opening team have been actively marketing the property over the last eighteen months,” explained Nicholas. “Their efforts have stimulated a substantial number of site inspections of the property and inquiries about our catering and events space, so there are strong indications that the community is aware and are anxiously awaiting the opening.”

Augmenting the typical luxury expected by travelers, Capella Bangkok has sought to make the most of the local surroundings through the profiling of unique local experiences. “International travelers can look forward to enriching urban resort programming, such as exploring the many highlights

between Charoenkrung and Charoennakorn roads by bicycle and boat on our Capella Curates, ‘One Road, Two Wheels’,” he said, adding that in the current situation, “We have to adapt our core product offering in wellness, dining, and catering to attract the interest of our local audience.”

One important advantage for Capella Bangkok with Thailand’s borders closed is that foreign visitors are not the only intended guests. “Our hotels are not exclusively accommodating international travelers,” Nicholas pointed out. “Capella guests love to celebrate life, they share a curiosity about the world around them, and they seek connection and shared experiences with the people  they meet during their travels, so at Capella Bangkok, our colleagues are curating experiences in and around the hotel that will delight and surprise domestic guests. For instance, guests can enjoy a traditional performance of Hanuman, the monkey god, dancing through Phra Nakhon to the Courtyard in the evenings.”

One thing that will not be changing despite the current challenges is Capella’s commitment to luxury. “Luxury is all about offering the highest level of personalized service to our guests,” noted Nicholas. “We have to be attentive hosts, customizing requests even before guests have a chance to ask. Though there may be slight changes in the delivery of service to facilitate safe distancing, the fundamentals have not changed. Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues is the most important thing for us at Capella Hotels and Resorts — whether it’s for a new hotel opening or daily operations at our current properties.”

Responding to the long-term trend of increased interest from both foreign and domestic travelers in Bangkok’s riverfront area, Capella Bangkok meets a clear market need, and is sure to be a success during the post-pandemic recovery. Until then, locals have a chance to make the most of a unique property before the crowds arrive.