Dusit gives sneak peek of first Japanese hotels

Pictured: rendering of Dusit Thani Kyoto.
Thai hospitality and property development company Dusit International has released details of its first two hotels in Japan.

Both set to debut in Kyoto, Asai Kyoto Shijo and Dusit Thani Kyoto will open in June and September 2023, respectively.

Milestone entries

Leveraging more than 70 years of experience in operating hotels and resorts in key destinations worldwide, Dusit Hotels and Resorts’ milestone entries in Japan promise to bring stay and dining experiences inspired by the four key pillars of ‘Dusit graciousness’.

This comprises service – aimed to be personalised and gracious, well-being – delivering wellness experiences beyond the spa, locality –  linking guests with the local community, and sustainability – social, economic and environmental.

Asai appearance

The first of the two openings, Asai Kyoto Shijo, will operate under Dusit’s lifestyle brand, Asai Hotels, which promises to link millennial-minded travellers with authentic local experiences in vibrant neighbourhoods. The new 114-key hotel is located in Shijo-Karasuma, near the famous Nishiki Market in the city’s downtown area.

Offering compact rooms that focus on the essentials – such as quality beds and powerful showers – the hotel is designed to foster meaningful interactions while celebrating the community’s artistic and cultural heritage, with some Thai touches.

Street food inspiration

Alongside a large communal hub serving as a venue for work, rest, and play, the hotel will offer a dining room inspired by the street food culture of Bangkok. Guests will find a selection of authentic Thai curries and grilled and fried snacks paired with original cocktail creations and Japanese whisky, sake, and beer. A signature dessert selection featuring favourites like mango sticky rice and coconut ice cream with a variety of toppings will also reflect the bustling streets of Bangkok.

The lifestyle hotel will also host regular collaborations with local restaurateurs and artisans, as well as sustainably sourcing produce.

Thani sanctuary

Across town, Dusit Thani Kyoto will open in September under Dusit’s flagship Dusit Thani brand. The hotel will aim to offer a luxurious stay experience in the city’s Hanganji Monzen-machi district.

Designed to be an urban sanctuary where Japanese tradition and Thai hospitality are interwoven and interpreted through a modern lens, the property takes its inspiration from the cultural heritage and architecture of the ancient capitals of Kyoto, Japan, and Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Japanese Thai fusion

Alongside 147 guestrooms set over four floors, the luxury hotel features large event spaces, a fitness centre, and a signature Devarana Wellness centre offering a fusion of ancient Thai massage therapies and traditional Japanese rituals, as well as personalised wellness treatments and activities.

Dining and drinking options will include a specialty Teppanyaki restaurant, a social club, a tea shop, and dining experiences crafted by chefs Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones from Thailand. Their latest concept, Ayatana, will be at Dusit Thani Kyoto and will comprise an ethically-sourced fine dining experience combining Thai and Japanese flavours.

Best of both

Suphajee Suthumpun, group CEO, Dusit International, said: “We are delighted to debut our unique brand of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality in the historic city of Kyoto and pay homage to the cherished bond between Thailand and Japan through our dynamic hotel offerings.

“With a deep reverence for the best that both Japan and Thailand have to offer – from culinary arts to music and design – our goal is to not only provide luxury and lifestyle accommodation, but also to contribute to the local community in a meaningful and sustainable way – just as we have done at the luxury chalet rentals we manage under Elite Havens in Niseko.”

Japanese prospects

She continued: “Dedicated to providing a comprehensive, 360-degree experience that goes above and beyond satisfying our guests and customers to deliver sustained value to all stakeholders, we will fully leverage the full range of Dusit’s interconnected businesses, including Dusit Hotels and Resorts, Dusit Hospitality Education, Dusit Foods, and Property Development. This approach will strengthen our presence and set a solid foundation for future growth in Japan. We are already exploring options to expand our hotel portfolio in vibrant cities like Fukuoka, Osaka, and Tokyo, and we will be seeking opportunities to introduce our other business units in adjacent industries too.

“Our journey in the hotel segment begins in June with the opening of the lifestyle oriented Asai Kyoto Shijo, followed by the grand opening of the luxurious Dusit Thani Kyoto in September, and we eagerly await this exciting new chapter for our hotel business.”

Positive pipeline

Dusit’s property portfolio currently spans 16 countries and comprises 48 hotels operating under Dusit Hotels and Resorts’ six brands and more than 300 Elite Havens luxury villas.

More than 60 Dusit Hotels and Resorts are in the pipeline worldwide, including Dusit Tu Hoa Palace Hanoi, bringing 207 keys to the Vietnamese capital in Q4 this year; the 152-room Dusit Princess Lipa, landing in Lipa, the Philippines in Q4 2025; and in the same quarter, the 200-key Dusit Thani Hot Spring & Wellness Resort Fuzhou, Fujian is due for delivery in Fuzhou, China.