From mastering guest experience, to fighting the COVID-19 crisis, to finding big opportunities for positive change, The Sayla Hotel has seen it all as a guesthouse in Chiang Mai.

For more than 15 years, all tourists who visit Chiang Mai must have walked past ‘Baan Sayla’, a local guesthouse located at the beginning of Soi Nimman 5. The property is about the size of a commercial building with 3 booths, 14 rooms and a common bathroom, managed by Khun Rong and his family. Focusing on warmth, friendliness and attention to service details, it is well known among both Thai and foreign customers who regularly visit.

Entering the modern world

Little Hotelier spoke to Khun Kloy Pornpun Sartkhum, Hotel Manager, about the property’s adaptation during the COVID-19 period, which led to the transformation from a guesthouse to a small modern-designed hotel.

“Baan Sayla in the past was a family heritage. We wanted to modernise and take it to the next level. During COVID, we quickly decided to renovate. Rebranded as The Sayla Hotel, we opened in November 2022, while still maintaining our warm service standards and beautiful architecture,” he explained.

Although The Sayla Hotel currently offers only 9 rooms, there are various components that add charm and create a lovely neighbourly atmosphere. Whether it’s a cute library, beautifully designed Ronnie’s Bar, and a coffee and pastry partner located in front of the hotel. Whoever walks by wants to visit and enjoy a sense of community.

From writing on notebooks to professional room management using precise technology

“We always see good reviews from travellers who visit,” said Khun Kloy. “Guests always mention the friendly owner because we manage everything with heart and effort. In the past, we worked a lot in the ‘old school’ style, doing everything manually. There would be a pile of notebooks that we used each month to record where the bookings came from. However even after 7-8 rounds of re-checking, human errors would still occur frequently.”

“Originally, we thought that having a small number of rooms would allow us to go without a technology system,” he explained. “Now that the property is a hotel we want to improve work efficiency. A friend who has worked in a hotel in Chiang Mai for a long time introduced me to Little Hotelier.”

“Although we are not very tech-savvy, we found Little Hotelier to be an easy-to-learn solution,” he continued. “And there are many things that match what we are looking for, such as emailing customers automatically, issuing invoices, which is quite convenient, and we can complete everything in one place.”

Number of staff is not a hindrance to running a small accommodation

Wanting to work closely with customers as well as taking care of daily tasks, Khun Kloy places great importance on time management.

“Now, I’m the person who takes care of all bookings and revenue. With Little Hotelier, we don’t have to record in the notebook anymore. In addition, being able to see bookings on the Mobile App helps solve problems on-site as well. Even though we are not at the hotel, we can provide a service anytime, anywhere,” he said.

“To this day, we feel even more at ease that we have technology to help manage the property because we know it can help us sell and manage it around the clock.”

Thank you The Sayla Hotel and keep up the great work!

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