Luxury comes in many languages
Relais & Chateaux, the global partnership of individually owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants, has launched four new Asian-language websites to further strengthen the group's appeal within the region. They are in Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and Indian.
Stephane Junca, director of Relais & Chateaux Asia-Pacific, says the group chose to develop dedicated websites for the Indian, Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian markets, as the countries have high potential for growth.
'These four countries have high potential but we have never tapped [them] before. So we felt it was about time we talk to them, in their language, and make them understand what Relais & Chateaux is all about,' he says. 'We want to be closer to them, as we now have seven members and many possible candidates in India, five members in Thailand and six members each in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok, Singapore, New Delhi, and Mumbai are all large cities with populations that travel all around the world.'
The latest Relais & Chateaux Indian properties featured on local-language sites include the historic Ahilya Fort in Maheshwar, overlooking the holy Narmada River, site of a sacred water festival. The luxury tented camp of the Serai in Jaisalmer, in northern India's Rajasthan state, is another recent addition.
In Indonesia, the Villa Mathis, located about 10 minutes from Seminyak on the island of Bali, stands out for its artistic design and light-filled, airy rooms, while in Thailand, Supanniga Home in the northeastern province of Isaan is a peaceful and tranquil boutique hideaway set among orchards of fruit trees.
The chic urban villa retreat, Villa Samadhi, is Malaysia's most recent addition to the Relais & Chateaux collection. Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the villas feature a comfortable and contemporary Asian-inspired design.
The new websites list local contacts that can help Asian guests arrange their trips through the relevant office in their own language.
As the websites were launched only in the past few weeks, Junca says it is too early to have a sense of customer traffic on the sites.
The group also has a Chinese website -www.relaischateaux.cn- but it is still being completed. Junca says it will be running shortly, once the simplified Chinese printed guide is published next month.
'Once that is published, we will have all the material to complete the website,' he says.
Relais & Chateaux already has French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese websites, and a Portuguese version for Brazil is being developed. Junca says they are also looking into having Russian and Arab sites.
Established in France in 1954, Relais & Chateaux now has 500 fine hotels and gourmet restaurants in 60 countries in its portfolio.