Monday, December 09, 2019

Unicorn Hospitality spreading its reach

Nov 13. 2019
Yann Gouriou, founder and chief executive of Unicorn Hospitality
Yann Gouriou, founder and chief executive of Unicorn Hospitality
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By THE NATION

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Thai hotel-management company Unicorn Hospitality is planning a significant expansion, aiming to triple its portfolio from four to 12 hotels and resorts by early 2021.

Unicorn currently has the 89-room Silver Palm Bangkok, 48-room Zazz Urban Bangkok, the Cove Phi Phi beachfront resort and Zazz Urban Ho Chi Minh.

Last month it opened the 53-room Daraya Boutique Hotel in Bangkok, and Villa De Pranakorn is coming in mid-December with 47 elegant rooms and suites on Mahachai Road in the old part of the capital.

The 44-key Hangout by Kly Phuket will also start welcoming guests in December on Patong Beach.

The Chandler, an Artisan Hotel, with 55 rooms, will open next year in scenic Pranburi, overlooking Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, while the 80-room Hotel Casa 17 will launch in mid-March in historic Bangkok Noi.

Coming also in the second quarter of 2020 is Unicorn’s largest project to date, Live by Kly, with 373 rooms and residences at Kamala on Phuket’s west coast.

In early 2021, Unicorn will make its debut in the Maldives with Zazz Escapes Maldives Resort, a luxury tented camp featuring water safaris and other enticing activities both above and beneath the sea.

Yann Gouriou, founder and chief executive of Unicorn Hospitality, said the company’s growth is being driven by “an increasing appetite among hotel owners – especially in Asia – to move away from the large international chains and work with a local hospitality provider who understands their culture and can more accurately help them deliver their vision”.

Customers are also seeking more intimate experiences that reflect the essence of their destination, he said.

“For many Asian hoteliers, partnerships with big chains can be fraught with difficulty. Management contracts are often extremely rigid, making ‘divorces’ almost impossible or very expensive. Many owners we’ve spoken to complain that their relationships lack the personal warmth and intuition that a boutique or smaller operator can provide. Moreover, guests feel that these ‘cookie cutter’ brands don’t have a strong connection with their locale.

“Big chains compensate for this by promising extensive global sales and distribution, but with more direct channels available than ever before, independent and small-chain hotels can now compete on a more equal footing. Unicorn Hospitality enables Asian hoteliers to enjoy professional and fully bespoke management services, and importantly, retain a product that matches their original vision and demonstrates a unique charm and personality,” Yann added.

Unicorn Hospitality currently operates six distinct brands – Unicorn Hotels & Resorts, Kly Hotels & Resorts, Hangout by Kly, Live by Kly, Zazz Hotels and the Unchained Collection.

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