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Akaryn boutique hotel firm plans to grow through management contracts

Anchalika Kijkanakorn

Anchalika Kijkanakorn

Owners from other nations interested in hotel deals

Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS), a boutique-hotel operator, has an ambitious plan to increase its property portfolio both domestically and regionally via management contracts and its own investment.

However, management contracts will be the first priority under its expansion plan. The company considers investing by itself a time-consuming process because it has to look for the right partners and the right locations.

Currently, the eight-year-old company operates three high-end hotel brands, Aleenta, Akaryn and Akyra. The latter two brands will be at the forefront of the network expansion via management contracts. Akyra is a chic concept brand to be located in cities in order to lure high-spending younger people.

AHMS hopes raising its profile will help drive sales growth of 15-20 per cent annually over the next few years, up from about Bt600 million in 2013.

Currently, the firm operates four small luxury properties. Three are owned by the firm, namely Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga Resort and Spa, Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi Resort and Spa, and Akaryn Samui. The fourth, Akyra Chura Samui, is operated via a management contract.

Anchalika Kijkanakorn, founder and managing director of AHMS, told The Nation it was the right time for investment, despite the prolonged political chaos in Bangkok. She believes Thailand still has a lucrative position as a destination for foreign tourists, thanks to friendly service, location, and variety of tourism products.

She said the company welcomed all kinds of investment, but expanding via management contracts was considered a good option to make its business move even faster. AHMS is looking at provinces across the nation and also regional cities.

Property owners from Malaysia and Taiwan are showing an interest in the company's hotel brands for management contracts. Regionally, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Taiwan are of interest to the company. But Myanmar needs more time because of uncertain investment regulations.

Next year, AHMS will go regional for the first time to operate Akaryn Koh Krabeay Retreat & Spa, located on Krabeay Island in Cambodia, via management contract. It is scheduled to be opened in April next year. It is 20 minutes away from Sihanoukville by speedboat. The resort will have 40 pool villas and offer exclusive service, especially anti-ageing treatments and advanced yoga, surrounded by nature.

The next project will be in Chiang Mai. Akyra Manor Chiang Mai on Nimmanhaemin Road is under construction. The seven-floor hotel will offers 29 suites and residence rooms and is scheduled to open in the third quarter of this year.

In the existing hotels, Anchalika said occupancy rates had remained good, averaging about 78-80 per cent. At Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga, the firm has spent more Bt100 million to expand its property to double pool villas and residences to 88 units. The new phase will be completed by the end of this year.

However, she expressed concern that the ongoing political turmoil in the capital city would have an impact on major tourism destinations, especially Phuket, leading to a drop in tourist numbers and occupancy rates over the next few months.

Her resorts' clients are largely from Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong. Given indications that Europe and the United States are on the path to economic recovery, that trend will help boost Thailand's tourism and her hotels as well.






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