Matching wellness experiences with the best in hospitality
Kijkanakorn is managing director Thailand-based Akaryn Hotel Group.
Each property in the Akarn Hotel Group shares similar personality traits with its founder and managing director Anchalika Kijkanakorn: personable, inspiring, and unique. She speaks with Robb Report about her upcoming projects and her take on how quickly the spa industry has transformed in five years.
When I decided to retire from my early career in finance, I wanted to do something that I love. What I love is to travel, exploring and developing something inspirational, something close to my heart that answers my needs and wants. But I realize now that when you do something you love, the trick is to excel at it, so it doesn’t feel like work.
I have also been working with recovering youth addicts from broken families, helping them find new vocations. It has been rewarding. I have also worked with local communities in areas where our resorts are located. I believe in community involvement as it makes us local and it goes both ways. This ensures long-term sustainability of both the community and the resorts.
Each of our projects is unique, and that’s what makes my job fun. I get excited by something different and special to the destination. You will not find the same hotel within the group. While the DNA is the same, each hotel has its own individual identity. Look at the President by Akaryn Vientiane Laos, it’s one-of-a kind, sandwiched between two of the country’s landmarks, in an iconic building with an outdoor amphitheatre. Where do you find another property like that? And we make it more standout by the service offerings. I’m truly excited by it. Also, we are launching the Akyra Beach Club Phuket in the third quarter of this year, which is going to redefine the beach hotel experience.
I believe that travel is an extension of how we define ourselves, who we are, and our life preferences. We change the way we travel because our preferences in life changes and what’s important to us changes. As we get older, as we learn how to live happily longer; health and wellness becomes an integral part to our lifestyle, and this fits with how we travel.
The notion of a spa expands beyond the realm of relaxation with Ayurah Wellness. It encompasses beauty from inside out. Cleansing and detoxification is part of it. But mindfulness is an even bigger part. You can close your eyes and try to relax, but if your mind still wanders, it is just your body that achieves relaxation. And there is so much more to you than just the body.
Our company answers our guests’ needs and those needs change all the time. Ayurah Wellness at Aleenta Phuket will feature state- of-the art beauty programs, focusing on nutrition along with world-class facial and beauty products. There will also be yoga and mindfulness retreats with renowned masters. The Ayurah Wellness Farm will also soon launch at Aleenta Hua Hin during the third quarter of this year. It’s a standalone property not far from the resort. The distance gives us more space to offer organic, homeopathic and sustainable products, as well as treatments procured directly from the farm.