American Marketer

Events / Causes

Four Seasons joins three properties in one-night-only culinary event

July 24, 2012


Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand, is holding a one-night culinary showcase that allows consumers north of the World Gourmet Festival at the brand’s Bangkok property to take part in an authentic Japanese meal by a chef from a California hotel.

On Sept. 6, the Chiang Mai hotel is inviting guests to a dinner by its Westlake Village, CA, property restaurant chef Masa Shimakawa, with a part of each meal ticket will be donated to the AIDS Project. The event will be held in the middle of the 13th annual World Gourmet Festival Sept. 3-9 at Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, which will result in cross-promotion of the properties.

"By bringing this World Gourmet Festival culinary event to the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, the resort is aiming to attract luxury consumers seeking unique culinary experiences on a global level," said Taylor Rains, account coordinator at Rawle Murdy Associates Inc., Charleston, SC.

"In doing so, Four Seasons, as a whole, demonstrates the strength of its offerings and its commitment to satisfying the taste of the most discerning of luxury consumers," he said. "Food can be an effective way of luring a luxury consumer.

"However, even more effective is an experience with a purpose and that is precisely what Four Seasons has here."

Mr. Rains is not affiliated with Four Seasons, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai was not available for comment before press deadline.

Festive fare
Two of Four Seasons’ Thailand properties and its hotel in Westlake Village, CA, are coming together to raise awareness for the World Gourmet Festival and offer an exclusive meal priced at $94.54 per person.

The dining event is for one night at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and the hotel is encouraging consumers to book a reservation early, likely via email.

Chef Shimakawa

Chef Shimakawa from the on-property Onyx restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village is creating a menu of traditional Japanese fare paired with wines. This is the first time that he is cooking at the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.

To mirror the efforts of the World Gourmet Festival, $15.76 from each meal ticket will be donated to the Save a Child's Life initiative from the AIDS Project, which is backed by Princess Soamsawali of Thailand in partnership with Thai Red Cross.

In addition, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is offering a package for out-of-town guests who would like to attend the dinner event. The World Gourmet package includes a one-night stay, daily breakfast and two tickets to the dinner.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is likely reaching out to its consumer list about this one-time event via email, just as the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok did regarding its annual festival via an email newsletter.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

Favored by foodies
Quite a few luxury hotels are enticing foot traffic from affluent consumers via culinary-themed events.

For example, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Luxury Collection brand brought a partner New Delhi, India, property restaurant to its London hotel as a limited-time pop-up joint that proved to be popular with locals by maxing out on reservations before opening (see story).

In addition, InterContinental Hong Kong hosted its first Sake and Umami seven-course meal in May for $346 a seat. Consumers learned the philosophy of umami and how the pairing of fresh ingredients and sake enhance the new primary taste (see story).

Also, Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane hotel in London hosted a meal with on-site restaurant owner Wolfgang Puck and invited its consumer list to book a spot at the one-night event via email (see story).

Culinary events are a way for luxury brands to distinguish their properties, especially the cultural traits.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai could attract affluent consumers who are looking for a localized version of the World Gourmet Festival.

The Four Seasons brand might also cross-promote its Bangkok and Westlake Village, CA, properties if guests have an enjoyable experience at the dinner event.

Meanwhile, one-time-only or limited-time events can spark an instant reaction from affluent consumers who will book immediately to be sure that they get in on the exclusive dining experience.

Just as the Luxury Collection did with its pop-up restaurant, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai might achieve a slew of bookings.

"In addition to drawing in consumers looking for a unique cultural and culinary experience, this campaign also serves to support the overall Four Seasons identity," Mr. Rains said. "The brand is a global powerhouse that is equally committed to both the community and its loyal patrons.

"This campaign is a unique cultural experience, something that Four Seasons as a brand consistently seeks to offer its guests," he said. "Also, it has its basis in a charitable cause that demonstrates the brand’s commitment to the local communities that house its properties."

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York