Amanresorts continue expanding at world’s most exotic spots
Singapore-based Indonesian legendary hotelier Adrian Zecha, the founder of the world renowned Amanresorts, aims to continue expanding his masterpiece of small luxury boutique resorts at many more exotic spots around the globe.
“Amanresorts has now turned into a global company. We are currently present in 16 countries, while six more resorts are under construction. Within the next one-and-a-half years, we will have 30 Amanresorts in up to 18 different countries,” Zecha told Bali Daily on the sidelines of the 20th anniversary celebration of the Amankila, or literally peaceful hill, a secluded 35-room seaside resort overlooking the Lombok Straits, in Karangasem regency. Amankila is among the 25 favorite hotels for the 2012 Travelers’ Choice.
The anniversary celebration on Saturday night was attended by Amanresorts worldwide management and its loyal customers and included performances of bleganjur gamelan, Balinese traditional musical instruments, and a fiery 30-minute Kecak dance showcasing part of the Ramayana story about the fight between two monkey kings, Sugriwa and Subali.
After building his first masterpiece, the Amanpuri that overlooks the Andaman Sea in Phuket, Thailand, in 1987, Zecha has now built at least 23 Amanresorts, five of which are in Indonesia, including the Amandari in Ubud; the Amanusa in Nusa Dua; the Amanjiwo in Yogyakarta and the Amanwana on Moyo island in West Nusa Tenggara.
Amanresorts has expanded widely across Asia, setting up in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, plus the latest one in Japan.
“My policy now is to continue finding more exotic spots abroad. For example, we have just completed resort construction in Brazil, which is our first in South America. We will definitely spread to more spots in Chile, Argentina and Ecuador,” said Zecha, while adding he had another ongoing plan to build his sixth Indonesian Amanresorts on Banda island in Moluccas.
When asked about the secret to his success, Zecha highlighted the importance of high-quality personal service.
“The service component, or as I call it, the software, comes at the top of our priority list. Our resorts each have less than 50 rooms. Obviously, we are able to give more personal attention to our guests, compared to those hotels with 500 rooms. I believe there’s no secret about Aman’s success,” said Zecha.
Additionally, the private luxury suite compounds promote architecture that blends with its surrounding natural scenery.
“Our architecture models always blend according to where they belong. Just like the first one in Phuket that used Thai architecture. Here in Amankila, we present authentic Balinese architecture, while the latest one that we will be opening in September in Greece, is built in the purest form of Greek architecture.”
Asked about the island’s ongoing environmental damage due to excessive accommodation development, Zecha said, “Environmentally friendly efforts can only be done by example.
“There’s nothing special about our efforts, but basically we don’t cut the trees, we try not to overconsume electricity, and we pay attention to cleanliness, as well as to saving water.”