Phuket Banyan Tree Opens in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands

 By: Rebecca JK
Phuket, Thailand: Phuket's award winning Banyan Tree Spa has opened its first branch in Singapore, on the 55th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Although Banyan Tree Holdings is a Singaporean company headed by founder and chairman, Ho Kwon Ping, this is the firm's first venture on home soil.

"We are bringing the best of the Banyan Tree Spa experience to our home ground and proud to have the stunning location of Marina Bay Sands to plant our first flag. We aim to make Singapore proud by opening the city's first ever Banyan Tree Spa at the height of nearly two hundred metres in the sky, and welcome Singaporeans to visit this spectacular spa.

"This opening is a key milestone in the history of Banyan Tree. We are confident that our presence will elevate the standards of spa services in Singapore to another level, and exceed our clients' expectations," Ho Kwon Ping commented.

Banyan Tree history dates back to 1984 when Ho Kwon Ping first had his vision of building a luxury resort in Bang Tao on the northwest coast of Phuket.

At that time large scale tin mining had devastated most of the landscape in Phuket.

In fact, the area surrounding Bangtao Beach was so badly polluted experts said it was impossible for anything to grow. And in 1977 a United Nations Development Plan survey team classified the area as "too environmentally damaged to have any development potential."

However, Ping was undeterred. He bought the one thousand acre disused Bangtao tin mine and the surrounding land. It was polluted, dotted with craters and littered with rusting machinery. Observers at the time said it looked more like a moonscape than a tropical island paradise.

Ping stuck to his task and invested US$200 million. The waste land was levelled, the mining craters were turned into lagoons and the whole area was replanted with fruit, palm and Casuarina trees.

Laguna Phuket opened in 1987. Its first hotel was the 254 room Dusit Thanni Laguna Phuket.

In 1994 Ping opened the first Banyan Tree Spa at Laguna Phuket. The concept was to provide Asia with its first luxury oriental spa.

There are now sixty four Banyan Tree Spa's in twenty six different countries.

The chain also has plans to open a further eighteen Banyan Tree Spa's by 2014 in Vietnam, Spain, Portugal, China, India, Greece, Morocco, Oman and Montenegro.

Today, Laguna Phuket has a total of seven five-star hotels; Banyan Tree Phuket; Angsana Laguna Phuket; Dusit Thanni Laguna Phuket; Laguna Beach Resort; Best Western Allamanda Laguna Phuket; Laguna Holiday Club Resort; and Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas.

Marina Bay Sands officially opened on the 23rd June 2010.

Since its opening the casino alone has attracted around 25,000 visitors a day.

The integrated resort was developed by Las Vegas Sands. It houses a casino, a 2,561 room hotel, a 1,300,000 square foot exhibition centre, an 800,000 square foot shopping centre, an art and science museum, two theatres, seven celebrity chef restaurants, two floating pavilions, an ice skating rink and now a Banyan Tree Spa.
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