Bob Fabiano first joined Marriott back in 1972, and in that time he made his way up the company ranks, travelled the world, and worked in five continents. Now, in his capacity as GM of Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park we discuss MICE, guest markets and the future of the hotel.
Having opened in late 2016 as Bangkok’s biggest hotel, how happy are you with the feedback from guests and industry partners?
We have been extremely happy with all the responses we have received from MICE event organizers, corporate groups, travel agents and our individual guests and travelers. Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park has been spot on from day one; we are the only hotel in Thailand that is able to offer such a large amount of accommodations to our MICE partners and corporate groups, and at the same time provide them with enough meeting space and dining venues.
“Spot on from day one”
Obviously, this is not only about the size of the hotel; we have also been able to provide exceptional service for both business and social functions. We have hosted many large meetings and functions in our hotel since opening, servicing a wide range of industries. Despite our large scale we have also been able to personalize the experiences of our leisure guests.
Your extensive conference and banqueting space is a key focal point. What is the largest event you have handled so far?
The largest group we have handled so far in our hotel totaled more than 5,000 room nights with more than 30 function rooms occupied, all at the same time, for meetings and break outs. We have also had several more groups of 2,000 and 4,000 room nights. Not to say that we will only take care of large groups; these numbers show that we are capable of handling large scale MICE events in the hotel with our professional and event planning team.
We also take care of smaller sized groups and can offer exclusivity for every group need. We are also well known for our local catering and we have organized 1,000+ delegate functions at one time. This is not to forget to mention weddings, which make up a large percentage of our hotel’s revenue. We have organized a wide range of weddings, including local Thai, Chinese and Indian ceremonies for up to 1,000 people, including extensive functions spread over more than five days.
Our future is still looking prosperous and bright. Bangkok remains the destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) not only because of the hotel and facilities we can provide but also because of Bangkok as a destination, outstanding air-lift, the diversity of cultures and its reputation for engaging hospitality.
Marriott International as a company also recognizes the importance of this market segment. Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park has been chosen as a destination for Marriott company conferences in March this year, including the Marriott Asia Pacific Operation Leadership Summit (approximate 750 pax), Marriott Asia Pacific Finance Conference (approx. 400 pax) and Marriott Asia Pacific (except China) General Managers’ Summit (approx. 350 pax).
I believe it is very important to have brand support towards the hotel’s performance and show the world how serious we consider the MICE market here in Bangkok. With our designation as a “Marquis” hotel, it is important that we showcase our strength as a MICE expert.
F&B is also an important component. Do you think you have succeeded in promoting the hotel’s restaurants in the highly competitive local market?
I believe we have done an amazing job so far, but the sky is the limit and, as Mr Marriott says: “success is never final”. His favourite word is “more”. With this in mind, I would like to mention three of our F&B successes:
First is our Siam Tea Room – our Thai restaurant/deli which offers exceptional local Thai meals from an award-winning Thai chef together with the deli and bakery that serves beautiful pastries and bread from our renowned German Pastry Chef. Siam Tea Room has been in the top 10 of TripAdvisor’s top restaurants in Bangkok and was #1 for almost a month in 2017.
Second, is our Pagoda Chinese Restaurant, our Cantonese-style restaurant which offers traditional meals in a traditional Chinese restaurant setting. Chef Oscar and his team have done an amazing job with their menu; we have been selected as part of Thailand Tatler’s Top 50 restaurants.
And last but not least, Goji Kitchen + Bar has become the favourite buffet restaurant in town. And I mean it; we have always been in the top five rankings on TripAdvisor, including receiving the top ranking.
What are your largest guest source markets, geographically?
Geographically, the majority of our guests come from Singapore, Hong Kong, USA, Korea, China and India as well. Japan is fast becoming an important source market as well. In terms of our corporate groups, we cater to a global clientele, and our Marriott Rewards program also helps bring in individual travellers from all continents. And of course, our F&B and events cater to the local Bangkok market as well.
What developments can we expect from the hotel in the near future?
We will continue to improve our services, providing facilities that are suitable for all group sizes and travellers. But, it is also up to us to deliver the high expectations, we and our client have for us. We will focus our services and offerings much more toward luxury travellers, as we have done recently by opening the largest and most luxurious duplex penthouse suite in town, the Sky Suite. This suite offers not only luxurious accommodation, with three bedrooms, a personal rooftop garden and Whirlpool, but also offers a private and most lavish function area for the exclusive high-end events.
Throughout the hotel, we are planning many more exciting events and functions – I am very excited to see what lies ahead in 2018!