The FINANCIAL — Set between southern Thailand’s mainland and Phuket Island lies Phang Nga Bay, a scenic bay replete with limestone cliffs, mangrove forests and pristine islands. On March 29, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced a signing agreement with Soraya Development Company Limited to develop the InterContinental Yao Yai Resort, bringing true luxury to Phang Nga Bay’s largest island.
Set to open early 2020, the new-built 170-key InterContinental Yao Yai Resort will be ideal for discerning travellers seeking a quiet and pristine getaway. Situated half an hour from Phuket and Krabi airport as well as Phuket and Krabi private piers, guests can look forward to smooth arrivals and departures, complemented by spectacular views of Bird-Nest Island and Phang Nga Island located 700 metres from private resort-front beach, according to IHG.
Offering a range of accommodation options for different needs, travellers will be able to choose from four main room categories. The first will consist of 72-square metre ocean view rooms with a panoramic view suite on the top floor, complete with a plunge pool, while families can opt for a room or suite in one of three family-designated buildings featuring water slides, pool access and the brand signature Planet Trekkers Programme, which allows families to explore the world together and cultivate a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Travellers seeking a more exclusive experience can opt for the tropical villas — 18 one-bedroom units situated on the lagoon and creeks — or the beachfront pool villas, encompassing 10 one-bedroom, one two-bedroom, and one three-bedroom units that boast unblocked ocean views across a kilometre of beach length.
Rajit Sukumaran, Chief Development Officer, Asia Middle East Africa, IHG commented: “Together with our trusted partner, Soraya Development Company Limited, we are delighted to bring our world-class InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand to Koh Yao Yai. We are expanding our luxury footprint to give affluent travellers a new destination to explore and unwind. As one of Thailand’s most popular areas, Phang Nga Bay attracts over five million visitors annually and this number is expected to rise substantially, thanks to continuous infrastructural development. Phang Nga Bay is blessed with its own array of natural attractions from limestone cliffs and rock formations, as well as mangrove forests and small deserted islands in a relaxed setting, whilst still easily accessible from Phuket and Krabi, another travellers’ favourite.”
Along with three restaurant and bar outlets, a gym, pool, spa and resort centre, the hotel will offer unique features including the Water Facilities Centre, high-end transfer to and from the hotel, as well as luxurious meeting facilities and intimate wedding arrangements. Special occasions can also be arranged at the private sandbank during low tide periods.
This marks Soraya Development Company Limited’s third property with IHG, bolstering its current portfolio which includes Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach and Holiday Inn Express Krabi Ao Nang. The company has plans to grow its hospitality portfolio in partnership with IHG in Thailand.
Khun Sornkom Kitprasan, President, Soraya Development Company Limited said: “With our success in bringing two IHG hotels to Thailand, we are excited to work with IHG once again to bring luxury travel experiences to the up-and-coming Koh Yao Yai at Phang Nga Bay. The island is gaining increasing popularity amongst discerning travellers who seek a more exclusive experience, and we are confident that the InterContinental brand’s premium offerings, combined with the hotel’s stellar location, will be well-received when we open our doors in 2020.”
IHG has 24 hotels open in Thailand across five brands – InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Hotel Indigo, with a further 13 hotels opening in the next three to five years.
Across Asia, Middle East and Africa, there are 72 InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, representing over a third of a total 194 of the brand’s properties globally, with 23 in the development pipeline set to open in the coming three to five years.