Interview: Anchalika Kijkanakorn, Managing Director Akaryn Hospitality Management

Akaryn Hospitality Management Services is a small hotels company with five boutique style properties.  Authenticity, discretion and luxury are the mantra of the company, as explained by Anchalika Kijkanakorn, Managing Director of the group.

How do you select destinations and locations?

Anchalika Kijkanakorn- I personally explore places and It is often for landscapes, areas which stand out to me. I must confess that I fear a bit very crowded places and I try to escape that. This is a main motivation when choosing a place to develop a hotel. I also believe that our guests look for a safe haven, a refined place with a sense of romance and close to nature to rejuvenate. We found for example north of Phuket a secluded area with a pristine kilometre-long beach. They are only two hotels in that area and both belong to our company. Another major factor is accessibility. Our properties -although still undiscovered- must be accessible within one hour  flight from Bangkok or another large metropolis.

How many properties do you have?

Anchalika Kijkanakorn- We currently run four properties under the Aleenta and Akyra brands: the first one is the Aleenta Hua Hin Resort and Spa. Located in Pranburi, next to Hua Hin, this is where my family settled and this is also where the brand started. I loved deeply the place, its serenity and its pristine beach. Two more properties are located in Phang Nga on Natai Beach, on the sunset side of the Andaman sea. They are just north of Phuket and a 20-minutes drive from the airport. Both Aleenta Phuket Resort and Spa and Akyra Beach Club Phuket are both an ideal venue for honeymooners with Aleenta being even awarded It was recently awarded the status of Thailand’s Best Small Green Resort. Natai Beach has also been awarded a 5-star status for cleanliness and water quality. Both are a short distance to the Blue Canyon Golf Course and Phang Nga Bay.

We also have a property the Akyra Manor in Chiang Mai, located in the old part of town. And our newest hotel is in Bangkok, in Thong Lor area, an exciting trendy district in town. It used to be the Pan Pacific Residence and we are now conducting a large refurbishment program to ive the property our distinctive boutique style which represents our brand.

Any further expansion in Thailand or abroad?

Anchalika Kijkanakorn- We have been awarded a contract management for a property in Vientiane but the hotel opening has been delayed for the time being. We actually look at Thailand’s neighbouring countries as we strongly believe that market conditions are there and that an increasing number of sophisticated travellers look at secluded intimate luxury getaway. We look at two properties to manage in Danang and Hoi An in Central Vietnam. We also look seriously at another property in Koh Samui.

How would you define the concept standing behind Akaryn?

Anchalika Kijkanakorn-Our first priority is to give and preserve the individual character of each property. Although our five hotels are standing under our two brands, branding does not mean that they should lose their own flair. Standards of service are of course set up by ourselves and should bear consistency across the five properties, we do not lose focus. Personalisation of service and style must remain. We train our staff to be sure that they deliver excellent service with personality. We want our guests to feel a sense of “intimate luxury” with us.