Our readers say: Regent’s unrealised potential; still paradise in Sihanoukville’s islands

IHG taps Regent’s unrealised potential

With Steven Pan letting go of a majority stake in Regent Hotels & Resorts to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), will the new joint venture finally make a bigger Regent a reality? Readers weigh in:

Robert Williams, partner, head of hotels & hospitality Asia-Pacific, Withersworldwide, Singapore

IHG has wanted the right luxury and resort-capable brand for some time, and Regent fits nicely into its brand stack. Looks like maximising the positioning of Gaw Capital’s billion dollar Hong Kong asset and refurbishment was a major driver here too. IHG has its mojo back, and we expect to see more strategic M&As from them.


Just read the article on Regent, very good summary and to the point. Regent had bad luck as none of the last three owners put serious money and in particular a strong team. Our Taiwanese friend was the worse in terms of setting up a strong team.

Personally I believe that a motivated and well-compensated team can get new deals. Must invest in people first. Same message goes for many other hotel groups, Asians in particular.

Andrew Wood, president, Skal Bangkok

I believe there’s a lot of unrealised potential with Regent. IHG in my opinion is a good fit. Win-win if IHG can position it as a super luxury brand, but they have to be careful not to ‘confuse’ the market. IHG is a very good product and has a loyal customer base. I’m sure IHG knows what it is doing and has plans afoot.

Bill Barnett, managing director, C9 Hotelworks

Regent remains a work in progress and believes the brand under IHG will go forward. Look at how Waldorf Astoria has been spurred by Hilton, etc, so I think (Regent)’s not failed but good potential. New World made a strong buy of Rosewood and it’s become a global brand so think fundamentally this is a very good deal.

Don’t paint Sihanoukville with a broad brush

Our recent story about Sihanoukville received quite a few comments on the state of tourism in the Cambodian beach destination:

Luzi Matzig, chairman, Asian Trails Group

Thank you for the April 5 article in TTG which, I believe, has a totally misleading headline, giving a wrong impression on trends by European visitors booking beach holidays in Cambodia.

While I fully agree that Europeans are now less interested staying on Sihanoukville’s mainland beaches due to pollution, heavy building activity etc., there is a very much a growing trend for overseas visitors to Cambodia to now visit Sihanoukville’s many islands and stay at new resorts like the Royal Sands Koh Rong, the upcoming Alila and Six Senses Resorts, etc.

All these islands belong to Sihanoukville Province so saying Sihanoukville falls “off radar” for Europeans is a misnomer and not up to TTG’s usually high standards of reporting. Thank you.

Disappointed tourist

Well done Cambodia, you sold out to the Chinese and screwed your own people… many lost homes, jobs and businesses. After visiting last week and talking to the locals it is saddening to hear and see the mess that has become ShmuckVille.

Ex Expat

It won’t be long before the authorities realise that the Chinese have already spent their money there building hotels and roads and since they only spend their tourist dollars with Chinese business (unlike Europeans) then they no longer are required to be there.

More to the Philippines than just Boracay

In response to our story on When beautiful turns ugly‘, a reader opined that there remains pockets of beauty in the Philippines, and why more action is needed:

Mark-Anthony Villaflor

My wife and I own a boutique glamping site in El Nido, Palawan. We are looking to help change the narrative of our own tourism hotspot, with the recently US$10,000 grant received from the UNEP and the ESTEL Magazine (Eco-Sustainable Tourism EL Nido) print magazine we produce.

We’re into permaculture, self-sustainable waste and water management practices, education for our guests and climate resiliency. We believe there is a lot light to be shed from all the tourism disaster news we keep receiving.

Thank you for your article.

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