Asianness in Hospitality: The Case of Luxury Hotels in Bangkok, Thailand

  • Pipatpong Fakfare, D. HTM Bangkok University, Thailand
  • Suwadee Talawanich, D. HTM Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Arunotai Pongwat, D. HTM Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
  • Professor Kaye Chon, Ph.D. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong.
Keywords: Asianness, Thainess, Luxury Hotel, Custom-Centric Services, Design


This paper aims to explore the extent to which two Asian and two non-Asian luxury hotel brands operating in the business district of Bangkok, Thailand, incorporate ‘Asianness’ into their designs and their operations as part of signaling luxury. As a specific approach to design and service provision in the luxury segment of the hotel sector, Asianness relies on particular traits of Asian culture such as sincerity, love, forgiveness, balance, and attention to small details. Various qualitative research techniques were used to collect data: interviews with managers from the four hotel brands, observation at these hotels, documentation (their official websites, and netnography (an analysis of reviews on TripAdvisor). Findings indicate that the four hoteliers incorporate Asianness in various degrees and various ways in the design and style of their hotels as well as in their customized services and in the customer-centricity of their approach to luxury. The level of Asianness (and “Thainess” in one case) is more consistent in the case of Asian luxury brands. Different characteristics of Asianness are nonetheless found across the four hotel brands.