Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Kijkanakorn

Anchalika Kijkanakorn

Managing Director, Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS)

Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) As owner and operator of two hugely successful luxury resorts in Thailand, leading Thai businesswoman, Anchalika Kijkanakorn, has fulfilled the first part of her dream of building an intimate retreat concept in her homeland. The dreams continue in 2011 with the expansion of the Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) which will bring Ms. Kijkanakorn's unique outlook towards resort management in Asia to a wider audience as the group embarks on a strategic expansion. After distinguished academic and business management careers in the United States and Europe, Ms. Kijkanakorn's passion for Asia and specifically Thailand saw her return “home) in 2003 to transform a family beachfront holiday villa into the award-winning Aleenta Resort and Spa Hua Hin-Pranburi, opening in 2005. The resort was quickly recognized for its superb individualism and style and was voted one of the world's best resorts by legendary Conde Nast Traveler US magazine during its first year of operations. Enthused by her success and encouraged by her peers to further expand the Aleenta concept, Ms. Kijkanakorn launched the Aleenta Resort and Spa Phuket-Phang Nga on pristine Natai Beach in 2006, which was voted into the top 10 A List by Luxury Travel magazine. Ms. Kijkanakorn believes now is the time for her management company to expand the brand with the launch of two sister brands under the AHMS umbrella - akyra and Akaryn. Both of these brands will open their first resort on the idyllic island resort of Koh Samui this year. Ms. Kijkanakorn's gift for launching and developing companies and dynamic business acumen stems from both her international education - she holds a BA in Marketing from University of Texas and an MBA in International Business from the University of South Carolina - and from her diverse career. She has held various leadership roles specializing in audit, consulting, mergers and acquisitions, and financial control, managing teams across Asia, Europe and the Unites States. The first eight years of her illustrious career were spent with global financial giants GE Capital Financial Services in London, England, before moving to Cologne, Germany to take up a key role for Honeywell Home and Building Control Services. The busy mother of two young children has however found time to launch the Pure Blue Foundation - a charity close to her heart - dedicated to rebuilding damaged reef ecosystems in Phuket's Phang Nga area, following her proclamation the natural environment will be safeguarded wherever AHMS are built or operated A keen linguist, Ms. Kijkanakorn speaks fluent Thai, English, conversational French and basic Cantonese. This linguistic knowledge has undoubtedly contributed to one of the many reasons she has been elected for her second term onto the board of directors of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a prestigious international organization with membership spanning over 400 privately owned luxury hotels across the world.

Ms. Kijkanakorn can be contacted at 66-2-514-8112 or anchalika@ahmshotels.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.