Design as a Key Strategy for Dusit International
'Competition is fierce during a global economic slowdown, efficient design management becomes a strategic advantage’ - Dusit International’s Design Director
Bangkok - Amidst a global economic slowdown, efficient design management that reduces costs without compromising on quality, becomes a key strategy for Dusit International, a company that has a range of personalities for each of its five sub-brands; Dusit Thani, dusitD2, Dusit Devarana, Dusit Princess, and Dusit Residence.
“Each of Dusit International’s sub-brands delivers a unique experience that sets each brand apart. Dusit Thani’s design focuses on majestic extravagance and Thai elegance, whereas a new frontier in contemporary architecture and design belongs to dusitD2. Dusit Princess has a Thai contemporary relaxed and friendly atmosphere, whilst Dusit Residence design focuses on providing modern comfort and convenient facilities that are suitable for long-stay guests. Dusit Devarana’s design on the other hand embraces with serenity and tranquility as the most all-important factors,” said Ms. Neera Rachjaibun, Group Design Director at Dusit International
Today’s travellers have extremely high expectations towards hospitality, design and practical facilities, and this is the challenge that continually faces Neera, Group Design Director at Dusit International, a role that even today has seen few from the female gender venture into at such a high level.
Neera had from an early age a strong interest in design and interiors, and pursued her bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture. Realising that design is a crucial tool for a successful business, she decided to take a master’s degree in Design Management, continuing her study at the renowned Pratt Institute in the United States, a leading international centre for professional design education.
Neera said while having worked for a number of leading design companies, “None has been as exciting as Dusit International. I have to effectively manage and present the unique design element for each of the brands at Dusit International,” she added.
“There are two main aspects to my job; first there is the development of the brand then the creation of the brand image. Designers must follow this guideline to avoid mistakes and communication errors. It is essential to clearly understand the uniqueness of each brand in order to design all aspects to the correct detail. I have to completely immerse myself during the development of branding guideline to ensure the design management processes are clear and precise for designers to follow them in the future” explained Neera.
“The second aspect is hotel renovation, which creates a whole new set of challenges. Our design costs are limited, but at the same time we have to achieve a quality and build an identity that supports the brand and allows the property to flex itself in competition with others in a tough economic climate.”
dusitD2 is a fine example of a design well recognised. The brand features a perfect blend between eastern and western art & design, while offering chic and progressive facilities that are suitable for travelers who are looking for uniqueness. dusitD2 Chiang Mai was the first hotel under this brand to open. Consequently, with calculated foresight, expertise and shear effort from the whole design management team, the hotel has received extensive positive feedback from guests and the media.
Ms. Neera Rachjaibun worked alongside award-winning international architectural design firm Worldwide Partnership (dwp), based in Bangkok. When recently interviewed on the design elements of dusitD2 baraquda Pattaya, Mr. Scott Whittaker, Founder and Executive Director of dwp remarked, “our initial inspiration for this highly aesthetic and unique contemporary Hotel project, was the sea and modern lifestyle activities associated around the leisure and business activities on the water, which Pattaya is well known for worldwide. We wanted to carry this throughout the design in a new way without cliché. This included the sensuous underwater experience recreated throughout the spa area, the pronounced keel lines associated with luxury yachts inclusive of doubled - stitched upholsteries of high-fashionable comfort in the lobby areas, with dipping pools in the suite rooms, and of course the natural recreation of dusitD2’s own private beach”.
“Whilst the design interpretation may hold a certain subtlety in parts, the overall ambience and experience pervades throughout all aspects of the hotel. The cantilevered Deep Bar which was influenced by icebergs, contrasts with the executive business floor of a beachside retreat feel, which makes for a great place to work in a totally relaxed atmosphere”, enthuses Scott. “dusitD2 is now recognized as a unique brand which has evolved from Thailand to reflect a true Asian brand, which is welcomed by business and leisure travelers whom love Asian hospitality. These strong values and Brand identity can be incorporated into the design, which really separates Dusit from other brands. Our design of dusit2 baraquda pattaya has already achieved recognition as one of the top 10 design hotels in Asia, by one of Asia’s leading publications for real estate, facilities, and projects – RFP HK.”
The ongoing successes shared between the partnership of dwp and Dusit International is most apparent, as Neera agrees - “Efficiency in design is of great value and Dusit International regards as an extremely important component in measuring the success of our Hotel developments. But for us, it is regarded as a grander success when the design earns international recognition and design awards.”
Mr. Makakrai Suthadarat Creative Director, dwp
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Chutimaporn Kasemsuk (Ms.)