Raffles Supplants Hilton Group As Bangkok Hotel Manager

BANGKOK— Singapores Raffles Holdings Ltd. signed a 15-year contract June 13 with Nai Lert Park Hotel Co. to take over management of a luxury hotel here owned by the Thai firm and currently under management by Hilton Group PLC. The 338-room hotel will become the 38th property under management by Raffles when the new contract takes effect in January 2004, said Jennie Chua, chairman/chief executive of Raffles International, according to a Dow Jones Business report. Nai Lert Park Hotel Chairman Prakit Pradiprasen reportedly indicated the end of the 20-year tenure of the propertys management by Hilton was agreed on amicable terms with the U.K.-based group. Thai media had reported earlier the Thai firm had decided not to renew the contract expiring at the end of this year because Hilton recently opened another hotel under the Conrad brand just down the street, according to the report. Chua said the talks on the new contract had started over three months ago, but she refused to give any financial details regarding the deal or investments needed to rebrand and refresh the property, according to Dow Jones Business. Known as the Hilton Bangkok, the hotel will be operated under the new name of “Nai Lert Park, Bangkok, A Raffles International Hotel” and target mainly business travelers and diplomats, Chua said. SOURCE: Dow Jones Business