Sleeper Sessions touches down in Phuket

For its fourth edition – and second in Asia, following a successful debut in Danang – Sleeper Sessions recently touched down in Phuket, Thailand.

Over 150 specifiers and suppliers united at Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort to network and share ideas across three days of connection, inspiration and regeneration. First up on the agenda was ‘Phuket-Fest’, a mini-festival held in the hotel beachfront grounds, that set the tone for a getaway that catered in equal parts to work and play. A striking rattan art installation by Patrick Keane of Enter Projects, created especially for the event, was unveiled as the backdrop to a welcome drinks reception and a special guest appearance by the Mayor of Phuket.

The following days were filled with a jam-packed programme organised along four key pillars: Sync, Symposia, Sustenance and Social. The Sync component provided opportunities for curated supplier and specifier meetings, while the Social element facilitated intimate and informational networking sessions amongst all attendees. 

Sleeper Sessions Phuket

The Symposia seminars meanwhile presented guests with food for thought courtesy of industry leaders across the Asia-Pacific region. Keynote speaker William Heinecke, founder of Minor International and a long-standing leading figure in the Thai hospitality scene, took to the stage to chart his path from running a resort on the beaches of Thailand to owning one of the world’s most influential hospitality companies. Representatives from the design teams of leading global hotel groups – including Hilton, Accor and Hyatt – shared their plans for the region, while Bill Barnett, founder and Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks lifted the lid on development trends, drawing on data from THP. 

‘The Asian Equation’ panel saw Joy Napata of Dusit, Bernard Johnson of Threaded Creatives and Matthew Shang, founder of his eponymous design office, discuss the latest trends in hospitality design. For the final Symposia session, Marriott veteran Michael Wang, RA/AIA now in his new role at Apara Hotel Design & Project Management Ltd. capped things off with an exploration of disruptive forces such as AI and 3D printing, before guests decamped to island hotspot Café Del Mar Phuket for a closing dinner under the stars.

Sleeper Sessions Meetings

There was also time to rest and recharge through the Sustenance breakout sessions, which saw attendees dabbling in a range of therapeutic activities, from batik painting – one of the world’s oldest textile dyeing techniques – to a guided Buddhist meditation. 

Sleeper Sessions #5 takes place from 7-9 May 2024 at Tróia Design Hotel on Portugal’s Atlantic coast.

Photography: © Jaran Kaewklam

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