An interview with Mr. Tomonari Tai,
Executive Assistant Manager at The Sukhothai Shanghai
The Retreat spa at The Sukhothai Shanghai offers a tranquil getaway from city life. With a logo of a water drop inlaid by a lotus, it represents inner beauty and rebirth, whereas the water element symbolises purity and rhythms of life. A luxury wellness hotel brand from Thailand, The Sukhothai Shanghai, with its The Retreat spa, attracts many to come in the city of Shanghai. Mr. Tomonari Tai, the Executive Assistant Manager at The Sukhothai Shanghai is Japanese with over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has worked for various luxury hotels under the brands of Hilton, Sofitel, Shangri-La and Ritz-Carlton. Later he joined The Sukhothai Shanghai. Under his leadership, the team members, including the spa associates at The Retreat manage to bring many unforgettable experiences to the guests. SpaChina invited him to share more of The Sukhothai Hotels & Resorts and The Retreat with us.
Please introduce The Sukhothai Bangkok and The Sukhothai Shanghai to us. Why is The Sukhothai Shanghai so popular?
The Sukhothai Bangkok is named after Sukhothai, the first capital of Siam. The hotel’s elaborate temple pagoda constructions and elegant lotus pond illustrate the splendid legacy of the Siamese dynasty. Internationally acclaimed designers Kerry Hill and Edward Tuttle selected stone, metal and wood to create an elegant white pavilion that recalled the glorious heyday of this historic capital. Combining traditional Thai charm with modern simplicity, the hotel is an enchanting escape in the heart of Bangkok and has been receiving guests with a warm and attentive Thai hospitality for many years. Many say there are few cities in the world that are as steadfast in their cultural traditions and yet as open to embrace the future as Bangkok. Sukhothai is an amalgamation of tradition and the future.
The Sukhothai Shanghai is based on the same brand DNA and services. It is in line with The Sukhothai Bangkok in terms of the landscape at the main entrance and interior decorative elements. In other aspects, however, The Sukhothai Shanghai represents a distinctively fashionable style, with more emphasis on contemporary modern design. Artworks are exhibited in different areas of the hotel, highlighting the trendy style while creating a cozy atmosphere, making the hotel A Place Apart in the busy city of Shanghai.
The Sukhothai Shanghai draws on some of the concepts of Thai-based Southeast Asian style and blends them into the interior design as well as the food and beverage and spa services, without solely emphasizing the distincive Thai style. As a result, when guests come to The Sukhothai Shanghai, they are reminded of this Thai brand by the details, yet they can also enjoy a different and exclusive experience. Today’s Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, are no longer looking for standardized things, so we deliberately incorporates more personalized and localized features. I believe this is an important reason why The Sukhothai Shanghai is loved and recognized by many Chinese consumers, even though it has been open for less than four years.
Is there any Thai-related treatment at The Retreat? What are the guests’ feedback?
Thai Massage with Herbal Compress is our most popular Thai-inspired treatment at The Retreat. The treatment lasts 90 minutes with the price of 1,880 RMB. Before launching the treatment, we sent one of our colleagues to The Sukhothai Bangkok. She spent almost a month there learning from the local colleagues. After she returned, we together adapted the treatment to make it more suitable for people who suffer from the humid weather and the stressful pace of life in Shanghai. During the treatment, we firstly use the warm steam of the herbs to open up the pores of the body, followed by a manual massage. Throughout the session, about 6 Thai herbal compress are used, to relax the body and mind, remove dampness and regulate the circulation of qi and blood. This treatment is especially popular and always in short supply in summer.
What is the essence of Thai wellness and Thai services?
Thai services pay special attention to details. The gentle and friendly attitudes of the staff, the personalized and attentive services are particularly applauded by Chinese consumers. Many guests trust the quality of spa services delivered by Thai brands. In the post-pandemic era in particular, due to the travel restrictions, domestic hotels or spas featuring Thai services will be surely sought after by many. The Thai-style spas use a variety of herbs, essential oils and other forces of nature to help customers relax completely physically and mentally, and achieve an internal and external balance. I believe that more and more consumers will be impressed by it.
Are there any new stylish Thai wellness trends or programs that can be shared with us?
The wellness programs below are quite popular in Thailand nowadays.
- Detoxifying program with specialist highly skilled to suggest and organize food for clients and also Detoxifying program with colon therapy.
- Focuses on organic food and product in addition to focusing on the consumer’s good health, another important purpose to reduce pollution to nature.
- Use Beauty products for facial together with high quality machine to get immediate results after first treatment.
- Sounds therapy with outdoor meditation or meditation in certain indoor spaces before treatment.
To target the trends mentioned above, we have updated our spa offerings at Spa Botanica at The Sukhothai Bangkok. Firstly, after the Thai Herbal Indulgence, our signature detoxifying treatment, we serve detox drink made from celery, green apple and beetroot to our guests. Also, our welcome drink – Saro tea (lotus tea) and the spa products we use – Harnn are both organic. In addition, we integrate the sound therapy into Jasmine Purifying Ritual and play the chimes and music inspired by the five-element after the treatment.
The magazine’s cover image is photographed by wearekinkin, http://www.instagram.com/wearekinkin/