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 April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.