HotelsBanyan Tree, Pullman, Onyx and Aquarius' new tourism projects parallel global travel shift to private, cosier retreats.

Beach days ahead as Thailand ramps up seaside openings

Banyan Tree Krabi marks the group’s fourth Banyan Tree resort in Thailand.
Banyan Tree Krabi marks the group’s fourth Banyan Tree resort in Thailand.

Krabi welcomes first luxury resort in 11 years

Banyan Tree Krabi's opening on 24 October marks the Thai province's first luxury property opening in over a decade. A 45-minute drive from Krabi International Airport, the 72-key hideaway at Tubkaek Beach is owned by Thailand-based Asset World Corporation (AWC), and managed by Banyan Tree Group.

Nature loving guests will appreciate the resort's address surrounded by a national park, which mean all three beachfront pool villas, 10 beachfront pool villas and 59 pool suites receive sunset views over the Andaman Sea. Even the smallest deluxe pool suite comes in at a spacious 99sqm, fitted with a double bed, private terrace, plunge pool and jet pool.

For large groups looking for privacy or multi-generational family vacations, the seven-bedroom 1,335sqm presidential villa is it. Sitting directly in front of the beach, the villa can be combined with the two adjoining two-bedroom beachfront villas, transforming it into a seven-bedroom hideout of saltwater pools, canals, and expansive terraces.

Facilities include two restaurants, a beach bar, kids club, fitness centre, rainforest themed spa, and a meeting centre. For an experiential night out, plan a dinner at Saffron, and ask for any of the three 'Bird’s Nest' tables perched among the trees around the restaurant. The sunset wedding deck is another venue, fitting eight comfortably.

Events planners looking for a venue entry with a bang will like the lobby's circular water feature which cascades into a cavernous meeting room area below.

Banyan Tree Krabi marks the group’s fourth Banyan Tree resort in Thailand, following Banyan Tree Phuket, Banyan Tree Bangkok and Banyan Tree Samui.

The Gems Mining Pool Villas Pattaya
The Gems Mining Pool Villas Pattaya

New gems mining-inspired resort shines in Pattaya

Slated for opening later this month on 14 November, The Gems Mining Pool Villas Pattaya offers 78 keys split into five spacious room types, inspired by the African gems mining trade.

Entry room Topaz Jacuzzi for instance starts at 93sqm and is fitted with an oversized jacuzzi tub, bathroom with rain shower and balcony. The Sapphire two-bedroom pool villa at 140sqm comes with a private pool, two en-suite bedrooms, living area and balcony, great for small groups of families and friends.

Business groups may book the 200-pax Miner Meeting Room, or for something cosier, pick the Explorer Meeting Room which fits approximately 60 guests, or the Tram Restaurant & Wine Cellar.

Both Bangkok Suvarnnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport are about an hour's drive away, thanks to easy access to the Bangkok-Pattaya Motorway.

Ratanakorn Asset has appointed Onyx Hospitality Group as the management company for three new developments in Pattaya.
Ratanakorn Asset has appointed Onyx Hospitality Group as the management company for three new developments in Pattaya.

Onyx brings new Yoo's to Pattaya

Thai real estate company Ratanakorn Asset has appointed Onyx Hospitality Group as the management company for three new developments in Pattaya: the world’s first Yoo Beach Club on Na Jomtien Beach, Asia-Pacific's first Yoo2 Hotel, and Southeast Asia’s first Shama Hub property.

The Yoo Beach Club and the Yoo2 Hotel will take design cues from Yoo Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality arm of the Yoo Group—a design-led company founded by legendary designer Philippe Starck and property entrepreneur John Hitchcox. In addition, Yoo2 and Shama Hub will be built as a dual-branded hotel tower along Pattaya’s Wongamat Beach, each offering distinct experiences.

The Yoo Beach Club will be adjacent to the 400-key Amari Jomtien Pattaya, and when both open in 2024 on Wongamat Beach, will together form part of a mixed-use beachfront development comprising a community retail mall and events space.

Branded as an upscale lifestyle hotel that highlights local influences from DJs to artists and craft-makers, the 100-key Yoo2 Pattaya will also cater social media driven elements such as a sky lobby, rooftop pool bar, daily DJ sets, nail bars, meetings spaces with elevated views, and guided morning runs as a new way to experience the neighbourhood.

Shama Hub Pattaya will be a 250-key studio-living concept property pushing the co-working space lifestyle, paired with grab-and-go services, bar area, and flexible modular apartments that can be reimagined for work, play, dine and sleep arrangements.

Pullman Khao Lak
Pullman Khao Lak

Art, culture and nature-centric offering for Pullman Khao Lak

Pullman Khao Lak will open on 1 December, embracing Takua Pa district's history while doing a deep dive into the native craft, culture and nature roots of the Phang Nga province where the 253-room and villa resort is situated.

Room types are split into six beachfront villas with private pools, eight rooms for people with special needs, 50 family suites, two presidential suites and 170 deluxe rooms. For dining, the all-day dining restaurant offers southern Thai fares, and a beachfront club with pool—which doubles as an event venue, on top of the resort's 260sqm ballroom and two 63sqm breakout rooms.

Those looking for relaxation will enjoy the Hammam beauty bath experience at the spa, Chinese qi gong morning rituals at the beach, cycling trails around the area's verdant greenery, or Bang Muang Beach right at the resort's doors. Nearby, Khao Sok National Park is about a 30-minute ride away, offering evergreen forests, a lake, diverse wildlife, and ample trekking or elevated routes for cycling.

The 200-key Chedi Aquarius Koh Chang will be managed by General Hotel Management
The 200-key Chedi Aquarius Koh Chang will be managed by General Hotel Management

AQI's Southeast Asia expansion plans kicks off in Koh Chang

As part of an aggressive expansion plan in Southeast Asia, Aquarius International Hospitality Development (AQI) has announced its first project, the Aquarius Residences & Resort, Koh Chang.

Situated on the southern tip of Koh Chang, the 200-key Chedi Aquarius Koh Chang, managed by General Hotel Management, will offer two restaurants, a rooftop bar, spa, infinity pool with bar, and meetings facilities. Guests have the added option of boat transfers to AQ Privilege Beach Club & Residences, Koh Man Nai, a private island housing four presidential suite villas, a private marina, beach club, infinity pool and water sports activities.

For longer stays, there's the 23 pool villas and 99 low-rise condominiums residences, including penthouse units with private rooftop gardens. The residences will additionally offer 10 restaurants, coffee shops and retail outlets, a kid’s club and a supermarket. Opening will roll out in three phases from 2022.

AQI's US$250 million five-year plan will cover luxury resorts, residences, yacht charters, restaurants, premium gourmet and dining stores and bespoke online travel booking and membership services—with the ultimate goal of developing a luxury travel ecosystem.

“We are delighted to open sales for our first prestigious project in Koh Chang. At AQI, we firmly believe in the long-term vitality of the Asian travel and tourism industry, especially at the top-end, and at the heart of this prosperity is Thailand, which benefits from excellent accessibility, global visitor appeal and incredible natural assets,” said Nixon Chung, COO of AQI.

The Thai island is connected to the mainland by both road and sea, or via direct domestic flights to Trat Airport. Koh Chang's tourism profile will shoot higher when the new high-speed railway line along Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor reaches Trat in 2023.

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