At the heart of The Standard’s success is its adept navigation of shifting consumer preferences, particularly the burgeoning demand from bleisure travelers seeking unique and unconventional experiences. The brand has carved its niche by embracing innovative lifestyle hospitality concepts, a move that resonates exceptionally well within the region.

Brand TD has spoken with Boripat Louichareon, the astute Managing Director for Asia at The Standard, who emerges as a key figure steering the brand’s trajectory in the ever-evolving landscape of hospitality. With a profound understanding of the industry’s dynamics, Boripat shares invaluable insights into the metamorphosis of the hospitality sector in Asia over the years.

Brand TD (TD): As the Managing Director of Standard Asia, could you share some insights on the evolution of the hospitality industry in the region over the years?

Boripat Louichareon (BL): The region is known for and has always been at the forefront of traditional hospitality. However, with the evolving preferences of bleisure travellers seeking a blend of business and leisure, there’s a rising demand for distinctive and unconventional experiences. This shift has spurred the emergence of innovative lifestyle hospitality concepts, and our brand and offerings have been exceptionally well-received within the region as a response to this trend.

TD: The Standard brand has maintained its independence while many competitors have been acquired or merged into larger hotel companies. What factors do you think have contributed to the brand’s success in remaining entrepreneurial, creative, nimble, and culturally connected?

BL: It’s embedded in our Culture. Each day, we’re driven by the pursuit of wowing and delighting our guests, what we could do outside the box, what we could do to turn hospitality upside down – much like our logo symbolizes.

TD: The Standard is known for its focus on creativity and culture. How does the brand incorporate these aspects into its properties, and how do they enhance the guest experience?

BL: Our brand embraces several lifestyle pillars – art, music, fashion, design, culinary & nightlife, wellness, etc. – integrating them seamlessly into the guest journey. Let’s take art, for instance. Beyond traditional mediums like paintings and sculptures by renowned and emerging artists, we go the extra mile to surprise and delight our guests. Imagine a series of hidden sculptures waiting to be discovered throughout our properties, walls and pool decks adorned with stunning murals by world-renowned artists, and even collaborations with our in-house artists to reimagine staff uniforms. These are just a few examples of how we infuse art into every corner, creating an immersive experience that goes beyond the expected.

TD: With a track record of excelling in financial and operational performance, what strategies or approaches has The Standard implemented to ensure the success of its properties?

BL: Absolutely, getting the basics right is essential. But beyond that, we aim to create memorable experience for each of our guests – whether through the “hardware”—the design, space, and materials—or the “software”—the music, ambiance, and impeccable service. It’s about combining these elements harmoniously to create moments that linger in our guests’ memories long after they’ve departed.

TD: The hospitality industry in Asia is highly competitive. How does The Standard differentiate itself from other hotels and resorts in the region?

BL: We really take pride in our customization approach in each project. While guests can sense The Standard’s distinctive DNA across our properties, we ensure that no two locations are identical. Our team dedicates their hearts and souls to tailoring each property to perfectly align with its locale. This obviously takes a lot more time and effort, but it allows us to deliver truly differentiated and exciting products.

TD: What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities that The Standard faces in the Asian market compared to other regions?

BL: Our brand has enjoyed significant brand recognition and a loyal following in the US for numerous years. However, we acknowledge that in this region, our brand awareness might be limited, and many guests are just discovering us. The good news is that this is changing rapidly as we introduce numerous exciting projects across the region. As we continue to expand and unveil these new ventures, we’re witnessing a swift evolution in our brand awareness and engagement within the region. Stay tuned for The StandardX, a new breed of Standard hotels and see you at the world’s first The StandardX hotel opening in Melbourne’s Fitzroy in February 2024.

TD: Looking ahead, what are the brand’s aspirations for further growth and expansion in Asia, and how does it plan to maintain its core values while pursuing these goals?

BL: Our vision is to establish a presence in all the vital destinations worldwide, spanning established and emerging markets, encompassing both urban hubs and resort locales. Our commitment remains steadfast in customizing each product along our lifestyle pillars. This ensures that we consistently deliver genuine lifestyle hotels and unparalleled experiences, tailored to the distinct essence of each destination, for our valued guests.

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