Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, today announced the signing of an iconic, upper-upscale resort in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Owned by Retreat Hua Hin Company Limited, construction of the USD 23 million, 118-room Radisson Blu Resort Hua Hin will begin immediately. The resort is expected to open by the third quarter of 2012.

“Adding another resort to our growing Thai portfolio is aligned with plans to expand Radisson as a vibrant, contemporary and engaging brand in key city, resort and airport locations throughout Asia Pacific,” said Hubert Joly, Carlson president and chief executive officer at the signing ceremony in Bangkok.

“Hua Hin is Thailand's oldest and most prestigious resort destination,” added Joly. “The Radisson Blu Resort Hua Hin is our third resort destination in the country, coming after the Radisson Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach which opened in 2009 and the Radisson Resort & Spa Pattaya Bay which will open next year.”

Earlier, Carlson announced plans to increase the number of Radisson hotels in Asia Pacific to over 100 hotels by 2015. The Radisson portfolio in Asia Pacific includes eight resorts, in India (Alibaug, Goa and Mamallapuram), China (Huizhou and Sanya), Australia (Gold Coast), the South Pacific (Fiji and Tahiti), and the three new properties in Thailand. The resort development is also part of Carlson's Asia Pacific launch of Radisson Blu, the upper-upscale tier of the Radisson brand.

“Thailand is a key growth market for Carlson and we are confident that this resort will set a new benchmark in Hua Hin's hospitality sector, becoming the preferred choice for a growing number of tourists visiting the destination,” said Michael Thomas, chief executive officer and managing partner, Retreat Hua Hin Company Limited.

All guest rooms will feature a sleek, superior and contemporary design. Twenty four rooms will have direct pool and beachfront access, while another 94 rooms will have private Jacuzzi or plunge pools. Embracing cutting-edge architecture, the resort will become an icon of style and sophistication in Thailand.

Guests will enjoy a variety of dining options including a specialty restaurant, an all-day dining restaurant, a lobby lounge, and a beachfront restaurant and bar. Additional resort facilities will include a gym, spa and wellness centre, meeting and function rooms, and up to three swimming pools.

Set on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand and surrounded by pearly white sand beaches, Hua Hin is also one of the world's top golf destinations. The Radisson Blu Resort Hua Hin will be close to the domestic airport and the main highway connecting Hua Hin to Bangkok city.