Anantara Vacation Club points can now be converted to Thai Airways miles

Anantara Vacation Club

Members of shared holiday ownership programme Anantara Vacation Club can now convert their Club Points into Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Miles.

Diamond, Platinum and Royal Club Points Owners can convert at a rate of 1,000 points to 5,000 miles, with these being available to use eight weeks after conversion.

It’s the club’s aim that offering the conversion will help facilitate travel for its members to destinations where it has properties.

“Thai Airways easily connects our resorts to the rest of the world with service to dozens of destinations throughout Thailand, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Europe,” said Maurizio Bisicky, the club’s COO.

There is a catch, however, namely in the form of each conversion coming at a cost of US$50.

Anantara Vacation Club launched in 2010 and currently has a portfolio that comprises eight Club Resorts in Thailand, Indonesia, China and New Zealand.;

Avani eyes October New Zealand debut

Metropolis Avani Residences

Avani Hotels and Resorts is eyeing an October 2017 debut into the New Zealand market following its NZ$11 million (US$7.6 million) acquisition of the Metro Suites business in Auckland.

The company is planning to refurbish and rebrand the Metro Suites, which currently occupies 40 storeys and includes 370 keys, into the Metropolis Avani Residences as part of a “major room refurbishment programme”. Rooms will offer living and dining areas, along with kitchens and laundry facilities. Additional facilities will include a 22-metre heated swimming pool, spas located indoors and outdoors, a sauna, gym and a steam room.

Avani’s future debut property is located in the city’s central business district within walking distance of the waterfront precinct and close to key landmarks including Vector Arena and Sky Tower.

According to Avani’s group director, Alejandro Bernabe, the Auckland hotel market is “very strong” and the opportunity to purchase the Metro Suites in order to launch the Avani brand’s New Zealand debut “presented itself as a compelling acquisition opportunity to expand our foothold within the Asia Pacific region”.

Avani currently operates 18 hotels and resorts in 12 countries.

Minor Hotels to make South Korea debut with Avani Busan

AVANI Busan exterior at night rendering low res

South Korea is due to get its first Minor Hotels property in 2019 following the announcement of the Avani Busan, a 400-key hotel located in the retail and entertainment East Busan Tourism Complex Zoning. The opening of the hotel is set to coincide with the new Lotte World theme park – also due to open in 2019 – which along with the Lotte Mall will be located less than 250 metres from the new Avani Busan.

In addition to the hotel, 136 branded residences will also form part of the development. The Avani Busan will feature all-day dining, events spaces, and a rooftop specialty bar. Those looking for recreational activities will also be able to make use of the hotel’s gym, swimming pool and Korean-style bathhouse and spa.

According to William E. Heinecke, Minor International’s chairman and CEO, Busan is “the perfect fit for our upscale Avani brand”. He added that “South Korea is an important feeder market for Minor Hotels and we also see a lot of opportunity as an inbound market, both for this new Avani and potentially for future Minor Hotels properties as well.”

Minor Hotels currently has 156 hotels and resorts across 24 countries, with the company soon to make its Avani-brand debut in Europe with the refurbishing of the former Tivoli Jardim Lisboa Hotel into the Avani Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel on April 1. Meanwhile the group is also due to open its second Avani property in Dubai in 2019, part of a wider global expansion of its operations that the group announced in November last year.

Anantara opens new Oman resort

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara - Lagoon View Infinity Pool Villa Lounge

Following the opening of its first hotel in Oman, the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, back in November, Thai hospitality group Anantara has just opened the doors of its latest property in the Arabian Peninsula nation.

Located along a stretch of beach and a freshwater lagoon bordering the Unesco-listed Al Baleed archaeological site, the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is in close proximity to a number of cultural attractions, including the city’s frankincense-rich wadis (valleys), souks (markets) and ancient ruins. The resort has been designed to combine authentic local architecture with tropical surrounds – some 750 coconut palms and numerous water features frame the property’s walkways – and offers activities ranging from hiking and fishing to yoga.

A total of 136 guestrooms and villas are available at the resort with views of the ocean, lagoon or gardens. The resort’s 40 premier deluxe rooms feature hand-crafted furniture and textiles, while its eight one-bedroom villas and 88 one- and two-bedroom pool villas – the only such villas in Salalah to offer private swimming pools – come with separate living areas and personalised villa host services.

The Al Baleed Resort also includes an Anantara Spa combining Thai and Arabic influences. Salalah’s only hammam (Turkish bath) is part of the spa, which also offers treatments using local ingredients such as pomegranate, coconut and frankincense, and programmes ranging from weight management and detox to relaxation and revitalisation that run across three, five or seven days. A fitness centre, water sports centre, tennis court, beach volleyball court, infinity pool and a separate kids’ and teens’ club round out the resort’s leisure offerings.

F&B options at the resort include an all-day international dining restaurant, a Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant, and a Mediterranean-style beach bar. Events for up to 120 guests can also be held at the property’s boardroom and ballroom.

The opening of the two properties is part of a worldwide expansion by Anantara’s parent company The Minor Hotel Group, which aims to see the company have 230 active properties by 2021 across its Anantara, Tivoli, Avani, Oaks and Per Aquum brands.

Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel opens

AVANI Riverside Bangkok

Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel has opened for business.

The hotel is located along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya riverside and includes 248 guestrooms, all of which face the river. The accommodations feature neutral décor with an emphasis on the use of natural materials and high-tech amenities, including black out curtains, rain showers, dedicated workstations with free wifi and media docking stations.

Meanwhile, the Avani River View Junio Suite is nearly twice the size of the standard River View Room, and includes a bathtub set beside a full-length river view window. Meanwhile, the two-bedroom suites offer an open plan lounge and dining room, along with a kitchen and laundry area.

Guests can choose from a number of F&B outlets, including drinks at The Long Bar, all-day dining at Skyline and deli snacks at The Pantry.

Facilities include a fitness centre, rooftop swimming pool, and Avani Spa where guests can choose from a number of treatments. The highlight here is the hotel’s signature touch treatment – a oil massage coupled with facial and stretching techniques that is designed to energise, balance and refresh the skin.

The hotel is also home to a number of meeting areas. The multi-purpose events complex on the tenth floor offers over 4,500 sqm of flexible space, including the Grand Riverside Ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,500 guests. There are also 11 smaller meeting rooms, a pre-function space and an outdoor terrace.

“We are excited to add the first purpose-designed Avani hotel to the brand’s portfolio. Avani appeals to millennial minded travellers and Avani Riverside Bangkok effortlessly taps into their needs by offering affordability, a good night’s sleep, free wifi, communal social spaces and imaginative F&B experiences,” said Dillip Rajakarier, chief executive officer of Minor Hotels.

For more information, visit

Clement Huang

Minor Hotel Group plans Tivoli expansion

Tivoli Lisboa has been acquired by Minor Hotel Group

Minor Hotel Group has revealed details of its plans for the recently acquired Tivoli Hotels and Resorts brand to Business Traveller.

The Thai-based group, which counts Anantara, Avani and Per Aquum among its portfolio, announced the completion of the Tivoli purchase earlier this month (see news February 2). Numbering some 14 properties in Portugal and Brazil, the acquisition marks Minor’s first foray into Europe and South America.

Dillip Rajakarier, chief executive of Minor Hotel Group, said: “We’d like to take Tivoli outside Portugal and South America as we feel there is huge demand for it.” The plan was to launch properties in Africa, Asia and the Middle East “to make it a truly global brand”, he said.

At the same time, some of the existing Tivoli hotels will be converted into Minor’s other brands. “We’ve now created a base in Europe and South America and we’ll look to expand,” Rajakarier said, citing Spain, Germany and London as future destinations for the group. “We’ll leverage that platform to become a multi-brand platform in Europe.”

The group now has 145 properties in 22 countries and Rajakarier said the target was to reach 215 by 2020. Upcoming openings include the Avani Riverside Bangkok, launching on April 1, and two Anantara properties in Oman in the summer.

Michelle Harbi

Avani Riverside joins Anantara on Bangkok’s waterfront

AVANI Atrium Bangkok Exterior (916x543)

The Bangkok-based Minor Hotel Group which has the Avanai, Anantara and Per Aquum hotel brands is preparing for the opening of its 14th Avani property on Bangkok’s waterfront.

The 251-room hotel, which will open next to the Anantara Riverside (formerly the Marriott Bangkok, though rebranded and renovated), will be the first new-build Avani property and will be a showcase for the fast-expanding brand according to Michael Marshall, chief commercial officer at Minor Hotel Group.

Avani river-view king room

The hotel has been designed so that all rooms have been located on the 12th floor and upwards, giving river views.

It also has huge meeting and conferencing facilities – 4,500sqm in total – including a grand ballroom capable of hosting 1500 for cocktail or 750 for a banquet. Together with the sister Anantara property next door, and with plans to link the two properties by bridge, it allows for the two hotels to offer up to 650 bedrooms to host delegates and attendees for large functions.

For more on Bangkok’s river front developments, see River Renaissance.

For more information, visit

Tom Otley