Thailand-based hospitality Tolani officially launches

Selected X2 properties have been renamed Tolani

published : 11 Feb 2023 at 15:05
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Recently, Thailand-based Tolani Hotels held an official launch to reveal its 2023 plans and introduced Steve Lockhart as the CEO. Tolani is a clever portmanteau between “to” and “lani”, the latter of which is Hawaiian for “heaven” or “paradise”. The company founders and partners have been responsible for a number of well-known properties, including those under the X2 (cross-to) and Away brands.

Tolani Hotels founder Kaewjai Phaoenchoke, who’s also the chief executive officer at Thairung Partners Group, recalled the beginning of her hotelier journey with all-villa X2 Kui Buri, which became an award-winning property designed by noted architect Duangrit Bunnag. Her mother nicknamed it “Flinstone” due to its stone-and-minimalist aesthetic. She and her husband Anthony McDonald are also credited as being pioneers in introducing the boutique hotel concept to Thailand. 

Tolani Resort Kui Buri.

As you may have guessed, X2 Kui Buri has been renamed Tolani Resort Kui Buri while some other former X2 and Away properties have also adopted Tolani as their first names. They are Tolani Resort Koh Kood, Tolani Resort & Spa Koh Samui, Tolani Nimman Villa Chiang Mai, Tolani Northgate Villa Chiang Mai, Tolani Southgate Villa Chiangmai and Tolani Le Bayburi Villas Pranburi.

Sawaddi Patong by Tolani.

Moreover, there are “by Tolani” properties, which is a co-brand option where Tolani works with existing property owners. They are Limon Villa Khao Yai by Tolani, Sawaddi Patong by Tolani, The Sea Koh Samui Resort & Residences by Tolani and Theorie Hotel Sukhumvit by Tolani. New Don Mueng, Chaweng and Pattaya properties are in the development pipeline and are expected to launch this year under a new concept and brand. 

What unites these current and upcoming 14 properties is the concept of “Yindeesamer” or “always welcome”, a promise that guests will feel truly welcomed. Lockhart has been with the company since its launch in July last year. Prior to Tolani, he worked closely with McDonald at BHMAsia, serving as GM at a number of X2 properties, and has 20 years in the hospitality sector under his belt.  

Food-wise, Tolani is in the good hands of French chef Alexandre Demard, who serves as corporate executive chef. With 19 years of experience and stints at Michelin-starred restaurants in France, he came to Thailand in 2017 to head Oxygen restaurant as part of the opening team of X2 Chiang Mai Riverside Resort.

In this current role, he will oversee F&B operations for the entire group, including restaurant concepts, menu development and service training. Judging by the delicious canapes served at the launch, you can expect Thai-inspired food with creative twists.  

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