News for the Hospitality Executive
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND – Akaryn Samui, the latest venture by Thailand hospitality pioneer Anchalika Kijkanakorn, will redefine the boutique resort experience and lift the veil on Koh Samui's best-kept secret, Hanuman Bay, when it welcomes its first guests in March.
Crafted around a new concept in hospitality, 'intuitive luxury', Akaryn Samui offers the island haven's most radiant new private pool suites and villas, design woven carefully into setting of rare natural beauty, and a seamless guest experience marked by an unobtrusive yet attentive approach to service developed over years in the industry, and now taken to a new level.
Hanuman Bay, a pristine crescent cove with a 500m powder sand beach, flanked by dramatic granite outcrops at each end, nestles between the golden bays of Cheong Mon to its north, and the bright lights of Chaweng to its south. It is just seven minutes drive from Samui International Airport yet remains largely undiscovered, even by the island's cognoscenti.
"It really is Koh Samui's best-kept secret,” said Ms Kijkanakorn. "I fell in love with it the minute I saw it, and that's when my vision for Akaryn was born. There's no other beach like it on the island. It feels so removed and private that it's hard to believe it's such a short drive to the airport.
"A unique setting requires a new approach. We are the first resort to be built at Hanuman Bay. That's why in creating Akaryn Samui, it was vital to design every detail to complement the bay's natural beauty and integrate it into the guest experience in many subtle ways, like our signature 'Outside Living – In' philosophy.
"My team and I have taken everything we've learned about boutique resorts to create a genuinely new experience. That's how the idea of 'intuitive luxury' was born. It's not just a slogan, it's a concept we absolutely believe in and our guests will appreciate. I'd definite it as luxury that doesn't need to shout, 'wow factor' in lower case, and knowing what your guests want almost before they do.
"For example, there was a huge old sea almond tree right on the bay almost at the high tide line. We have made that the heart and soul of the resort, and designed the pool and chill-out deck around it, so it's a place where people can really connect, given that the rest of the experience is so private.
"The main pool is rather special too: it's done in black lava rock, and we have found a way to simulate the shimmering effect of phosphorescence in the ocean. Part of the pool features Samui's coolest submerged bar, The Wet Bar. You'd be hard pressed to find a better place to kick back with a cocktail and soak in the sunset."
Akaryn Samui is the fourth property in Ms Kijkanakorn's Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) portfolio, following the recent launch of the 62-room, 4-star akyra Chura Samui resort at Chaweng Beach. She is also the founder and owner of the Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi and Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga resorts, and the driving force behind the Pure Blue Foundation, a marine conservation charity.
The new resort features 34 stand-alone pool suites, five of them absolute beachfront, each an expansive 80 sqm, as well as 18 gracious 100 sqm villas with 8m private pools. Akaryn Samui's design offers a radiant take on tropical modern, Asian-influenced décor and a selection of genuine antiques. Standard features include LCD large screen TV, iPod and iDock with a large movie and music library, naturally sourced amenities from AHMS's exclusive Spa IV, and 430-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
Apart from The Wet Bar, Akaryn Samui's food and beverage options include The Edge, with chic international all day dining on the waterfront, tapas with a twist at Ochos, Royal Thai cuisine complemented by the freshest seafood at The Legend, and an elegant selection of genteel brews at The Tea Salon. Other facilities and amenities include 24-hour room service, free wi-fi throughout the resort, yoga classes, an extensive book, film and music library, and Galleria, a stylish boutique.
It is also set to become the hot new ticket for Koh Samui weddings, with its unique private beach setting, romantic ambience and the AHMS team's track record in creating some of Asia's most exceptional tropical beach weddings.
"Akaryn Samui also features an evolution of our Spa IV brand, which is found in all of our resorts," Ms Kijkanakorn explained. "Here, we have added a crystal theme to each treatment room as something fresh, along with our philosophy of taking the superlatives and clichés out of the spa experience and delivering something more authentic and organic for our guests."
So little known and hidden away is Hanuman Bay that it barely registers on most maps and didn't have an official name. But some locals believe the bay's crescent shape and jagged rocks resemble the gaping mouth of the monkey god Hanuman from the Ramayana story.
Ms Kijkanakorn is well-acquainted with the Hindu epic, as it is a constant source of inspiration for bedtime stories for her two children, after whom her two Samui properties are named. "I love the idea of Hanuman watching over this magical place. It suggests mythical romance, long strolls, deep conversations and contemplation, and perhaps the odd bit of mischief. I can't wait to welcome our first guests, and let the story begin to unfold."
About Akaryn Hospitality Management Services
AHMS specialises in the management of small luxury resorts and is the management company for Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga and Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi. The hospitality group partners with owners and investors to maximise property values and returns either on a consulting basis or through a direct management agreement. AHMS launched akyra Chura Samui in 2011 on Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui and Akaryn Samui on Choeng Mon Beach in March 2012. For more information visit www.aleenta.com ; www.theakyra.com ; www.akaryn.com
The Pure Blue Foundation was set up to preserve the ocean's eco-system and ensure the reef rebuilding project is conducted in a professional and transparent manner. For more information and to discover how you can help, visit www.purebluefoundation.com
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