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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Impiana looks for land to expand Phuket property

Malaysian hotel owner and operator Impiana Hotels, Resorts and Spa which in April opened its first luxury property Impiana Kata Noi Private Villas in Phuket, Thailand, is now looking at possible land acquisition to expand the property.

"We have been offered some land beside this property and we are looking at the possibility of expanding," villa manager Jeanette Kelly told Business Times in an interview at the resort recently.

"We are very positive about the market (in Phuket) as the property has been very well received," Kelly said, adding that it had received good support from the Korean honeymooners when it opened.

Kelly said that the piece of land adjacent to its villa measures about 0.6ha.

All four private villas and seven suite villas are sea facing. Built at a cost of Baht 250 million, each unit has its own infinity pool measuring 13m to 20m. Some pools are fitted with a jacuzzi and several units have a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom too.

It offers 24-hour butler service and has 38 staff for the 11 units.

The villa is expected to garner an average room rate (ARR) of Baht 17,000 and rake an average occupancy of 50 per cent in the first year of operations.

Unit sizes range from 60 sq m to 260 sq m. Depending on the size, rates range from Baht 15,000 per night to Baht 39,000 per night (except during promotions.)

"We don't want to overprice ourselves as this is our first boutique villa venture. We are testing the market. We need to build a reputation and our brand identity," Kelly said.

While the villa may not have built a name yet, the Impiana brand is recognised as the group has two other resorts in Thailand - Impiana Resort Patong, Phuket and Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi, Koh Samui.

Impiana Kata Noi is the third property in Thailand for the group.

Apart from Koreans, the resort is targeting wedding and honeymoon crowd from Europe in the June/July period.

Its target market is seasonal. The short -haul crowd from the domestic market and regional market is expected all year round.

Impiana Kata Noi is also targeting European tourists in the summer, Christmas and New Year periods. The Chinese and Russian market is another category it is eyeing.

She added that the villa is looking at holding wedding and luxury product launches.

All units, which have a different theme, are fitted with LCD TV's, stereo systems and private espresso machines.

Impiana Kata Noi also has a fully-stocked wine cellar, a cigar bar that carries limited edition cigars as well as a well equipped fitness centre.

Meanwhile, in the second year of operations, Kelly expects that it will be able to achieve an average occupancy of 60 per cent to 65 per cent.

"We hope to grow on that year-on-year and ARR will grow too." she added.

By Business Times

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