11 July 2024

Having survived, somewhat bruised, the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years, a boutique Thai-style hotel in Chiang Mai has reinvented itself by becoming a retreat for both humans and their pets, hoping that this concept will give the hotel a new lease of life amidst cut-throat competition.

Litapathra Panthalert, aka “Praew”, the daughter of the owner of the Pha-Thai boutique hotel in Chiang Mai’s Khu Muang area, told Thai PBS in a recent interview that, like many other hotels in Chiang Mai and elsewhere, her hotel was closed and all the staff were laid off during the pandemic.

Now, as Thailand enters a post-pandemic era, she said that the hotel has resumed operation, but with a new concept, intended to blend with the lifestyle of the new generation who tend to remain single and keep pets as companions.

32-year-old Praew, who was born and grew up in Chiang Mai, said she has studied the lifestyles of young people and found that many do not want to have children, due to economic and social issues, and that they tend to keep pets as companions.

She said that she has about ten cats and dogs herself and, when she travels, she wants to take some of them with her.

As the concept of a “pet friendly” hotel poses a real challenge, she said that she has created a Facebook page to advertise her reinvented hotel.

She added that, although the hotel is pet friendly, there are certain rules with which customers will have to comply, such as the pets not being allowed on beds. Though, she admits that some customers do ignore the rule, because they do find animal hairs on the bed sheets.

After the reopening of the hotel, she said that the response has been positive so far, as more guests continue to check in, adding that the majority of the guests are foreigners.