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Anchalika Kijkanakorn (Akaryn Hotel Group): Akaryn is looking at Vietnam and other countries outside Thailand

We had the opportunity to meet with the Managing Director & Founder of Akaryn Hotel Group, Mrs Anchalika Kijkanakorn in Bangkok at the Hotel Managment Thailand Summit. She talked to TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific about independent boutique and international chain hotels. She also talked to us about the future plans of Akaryn Hotel Group and some of the key trends they see in hospitality in Thailand and Southeast Asia over the next three years.

We are with Mrs Anchalika Kijkanakorn – Managing Director & Founder of Akaryn Hotel Group at the Hotel Management Thailand Summit in Bangkok. In the video interview below Mrs Anchalika Kijkanakorn replies to the following questions:

  1. TravelDailyNews: What do you think are the key differences between independent boutique and international chain hotels?
  2. TDN: What are some of the key criteria owners consider when closing between the two?
  3. TDN: You manage a number of brands – including akyra which is located in Chiang Mai and recently opened in Thonglor and Phuket as a beach club. Please tell us about the brand and these two new properties
  4. TDN: The Aleenta brand was where you started, growing your families beachfront those into Thailand’s first barefoot luxury resort in 2004 in Pranburi and then in Phuket two years later. How is this brand evolved over the years and are there any additions planned for it in the future?
  5. TDN: What’s next for Akaryn Hotel Group? Will you be growing further outside of Thailand?
  6. TDN: In terms of digital media – how important is this to your customers and development?
  7. TDN: What are some of the key trends you see in hospitality in Thailand and Southeast Asia over the next three years?

Anchalika Kijkanakorn is the Managing Director and Founder of AKARYN Hotel Group (AHG), Thailand’s award-winning boutique hotel owner and operator, and the recent Chairman of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), a post she was elected to for three consecutive years, the first Asian and the first woman to hold the position. She still sits on the Board of Directors of SLH, where she has been for the last 10 years.

AHG pioneered barefoot luxury hospitality experiences in Thailand through the exclusive all-villa and loft-style beachfront resorts Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi and Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga, before launching the akyra brand through adults-only akyra Chura Samui and art-inspired all-suite concept akyra Manor Chiang Mai.

Under Anchalika’s leadership, AHG developed the Ayurah wellness brand, a medical and holistic health concept, as well as the Italics restaurant brand, a standalone Italian-inspired dining experience with outlets open in Bangkok and at akyra Manor Chiang Mai. The Italics restaurants in Bangkok and Chiang Mai have both won Thailand Tatler Top Table Awards, whereas the Italics Chiang Mai is consistently ranked on TripAdvisor as Top 3 Tables in the area.

In 2016, AHG launched akyra Thonglor Bangkok, an all-suites luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the stylish Thonglor neighbourhood as well as opened its first epicurean beach club, the akyra Beach Club Phuket where sun meets style, cool tunes, good vibes and always great people.

In Q3 2017, AHG will expand outside of Thailand, opening The President by AKARYN Vientiane Laos, a 30 all-suite colonial hotel located in an exclusive area next to the parliament building, the country’s most revered temple and overlooking the Mekong River. The AKARYN Vientiane is poised to be the centre of the social and culinary scene in the country’s capital with seven food and beverage outlets planned including a Mediterranean room, Laotian inspired fine dining, French bakery and chocolaterie amongst its offerings.

The latest property AHG has signed up will be to develop an all-pool villa luxury Aleenta resort in the UNESCO Heritage City of Hoi An, Vietnam, with the opening planned in 2019.

Anchalika has been recognized for her marine environment and local community work with school children, two causes close to her heart, through the Pure Blue Foundation she founded in 2006, highlighted by her inclusion in Forbes Asia’s list of Asia’s leading 40 philanthropists in 2015.

Before entering the hospitality industry, Anchalika spent 10 years with GE Capital in various leadership roles in the finance sector, managing teams across Asia, Europe and the United States. She has two young sons and is based in Bangkok.
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