HOTELS interview: Dusit CEO expands on North American plans

Bangkok-based Dusit International recently announced plans to expand into the United States with its dusitD2 brand via a 136-key, heritage-listed property in Pasadena, California scheduled to open by the third quarter next year.

HOTELS recently asked Dusit CEO Chanin Donavanik to expand on the company’s plans for the Pasadena hotel and broader North American expansion.

HOTELS: Please elaborate on some of the renovations that will take place at the Pasadena property.

Donavanik: The proposed development in the first phase involves restoring the Hotel Constance and renovating it into an upscale boutique hotel under the dusitD2 brand while maintaining and preserving it as a historic landmark of Pasadena. Details of the subsequent second phase will be soon announced.  

HOTELS: Why debut in North America with the dusitD2 brand?

Donavanik: We have taken location, scale and size, facilities and design into consideration, and we decided that the dusitD2 brand will be an excellent fit for Pasadena. A dusitD2 location needs to be a proven destination for business or leisure, and the hotel should be located within walking distance to key attractions. Pasadena is a unique city and known for its historic architecture and the restored craftsman-style homes and unique small businesses, as well as being home to many scientific and cultural institutions. The hotel site is in an excellent location and will take advantage of the surrounding commercial, financial and entertainment precincts. We believe that our stylish dusitD2 brand and the warmth of Thai hospitality will quickly make dusitD2 Pasadena the place to be and pave the way for Dusit’s future expansion into this region.

HOTELS: What are Dusit’s plans for further expansion in North America, either with dusitD2 or other brands? What are some key markets you’re targeting, and on what timeline?

Donavanik: We plan to introduce Dusit Thani, dusitD2 and Dusit Princess Hotels and Resorts in other cities in the United States. Dusit International’s U.S. expansion plan is targeting the major international gateway cities with a particular emphasis on New York. Dusit is taking a selective approach to ensure that the chosen projects are a proper fit for Dusit branding, the market condition and the strategic and financial objectives of Dusit and our investment partners. Dusit’s U.S. development team is currently considering a number of opportunities and hopes to have further announcements by the end of the year.

HOTELS: How will the dusitD2 product in North America compare with other locations worldwide?

Donavanik: We currently operate two hotels under the dusitD2 brand including dusitD2 Chiang Mai and dusitD2 Baraquda Pattaya and plan to introduce a dusitD2 hotel in New Delhi in 2012.

In all locations dusitD2 hotels and resorts are uniquely similar in terms of design and style. dusitD2 is the new generation of Dusit hospitality offering contemporary Thai interiors with wonderful service surprises. The dusitD2 hotels and resorts collection targets the new generation of business and leisure travelers who are young at heart, successful and confident, and seek an experience that is fresh, international and connected.

Chanin Donavanik
Chanin Donavanik