Amora Group is significantly investing in property refurbishments in Thailand and Australia, aiming to solidify its position as a five-star hospitality brand.
PHUKET, THAILAND – Family-owned Amora Group is flying the flag for independent hotel groups by ramping up hotel investments in Thailand and Australia, which are key destinations in its current portfolio. Amora Beach Resort Phuket, a flagship property first opened in 1999, is undergoing an extensive refurbishment costing THB 500 million (US$14 million). In Australia, the newly purchased Amora Hotel Brisbane is expected to receive a significant amount of investment for its refurbishment into a five-star hotel.
The group has made steady traction over the last few years with the strategic purchase and in planning the revitalization of its properties. As tourism demand returns, Amora Group is also gearing up to cement its footprint as a five-star hospitality group in Australia and Thailand, with a longer-term goal of expansion in key cities in Asia Pacific and developing Southeast Asian destinations.
“Many investors stayed away from the hospitality industry during the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But, as an owner-investor, we understood that the industry would persevere. Therefore, we took this opportunity to make our presence felt as an independent hotel group that is committed to strategic expansion in the region. The purchase of Novotel Brisbane from CDL Hospitality Trusts in 2020 and rebranding it into Amora Hotel Brisbane was one of those opportunities,” says Amornrat Siriphatrawan, Chairwoman, of Amora Group.
In Thailand, Phuket’s strong performance in tourism this year has boosted confidence in hospitality, with room occupancies hitting 80% in the first quarter of 2023, according to reported comments by Sueksit Suwannaditsakul, president of the Southern Chapter of the Thai Hotels Association. Phuket Tourist Association’s deputy president Rangsiman Kingkaew was also quoted as saying he expected more than 14 million international and domestic arrivals by end 2023, which exceeds the 14 million arrivals reported in 2019.
To meet this demand, Amora Beach Resort Phuket is slated to re-open in December this year as a five-star modern lifestyle resort that caters to the preferences of active and adventurous couples, friends and families. With the rebranding, Amora introduces a vibrant hotel product that will be distinctive in the market. Key highlights include newly built facilities such as a new-concept beach club, a wellness and fitness centre, two pools, a kids’ club, a restaurant, a beachfront event lawn, a grand ballroom and four meeting rooms.
Amora Hotels & Resorts’ Owner/Director Earp Siriphatrawan says, “The group is confident that Amora Beach Resort Phuket will offer a distinctive guest experience that honours over 20 years of tradition in hospitality and yet adapts to the future with a young and innovative approach. The pandemic brought about a shift in the mindsets of travellers, and their motivations are very different now. They seek unique and meaningful experiences that bring value to their vacations. It is not enough to just position a property as ‘five-star luxury’.
“As an independent group, each property is operated by us and remains very autonomous in their management, while adhering to guidelines. But the general managers have the flexibility to adapt protocols in such a way that they are able to provide unique, unscripted and even spontaneous service that creates memorable moments for our guests. That is what matters most. At Amora, we have many long-serving staff who are passionate about what they do, and have established a warm rapport with returning guests. This is a key factor that translates into brand loyalty and differentiation.”
Spearheading this push in Amora’s brand positioning is hospitality veteran Lars van der Most, who joined Amora Beach Resort Phuket in April as general manager. Lars has built up over 19 years of impressive accomplishments with properties under Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. His contribution as a hospitality leader and innovator has taken him to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Stockholm, and now, Phuket
“Amora welcomes Lars into the fold and we look forward to a collaborative relationship that sees not just the resort thriving, but also our valued staff members and guests, and the local community in Phuket, thriving,” says Earp. He shared that Lars stood out as an ideal candidate because of his extensive experience in launching properties; familiarity with protocols that underpin five-star property management; and a modern mindset that is progressive and adaptive.
“The owners of Amora have a clear vision of building the brand, and I am very proud to join the group in their expansion plans and to be able to lead Amora Beach Resort Phuket in its transformation into a five-star modern lifestyle resort. Additionally, Amora’s professionalism and family-oriented approach in nurturing an inclusive environment made for compelling reasons to join the group. I look forward to working with the team to enhance guest experiences and to achieve operational excellence,” says Lars.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.