You probably don't know the name Anchalika Kijkanakorn—but you've definitely felt the impact she's made on Thailand's hospitality industry. The hardworking yet humble founder of Akaryn Hotel Group started her career by renovating her family's beachside residence into a luxurious yet laid-back retreat; the Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi, which was hailed as Thailand's first ever boutique resort.
Never one to do what everyone else is doing, Anchalika's business has blazed the trail for countless innovative concepts. Just last month, she opened Akyra Tas Sukhumvit Bangkok, the first single-use plastic-free hotel in Asia.
We caught up with Anchalika at the iconic Captain's Bar at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong to find out how she travels.
I was skiing in Courchevel, France.
I’m going to London for work.
What do you love most about travelling?
Discovering new things, seeing new places and just having that time to enjoy with my family.
Most memorable travel experience?
Getting lost in central Asia alone, 20 years ago. This is when there five states governed by the Soviet Union, during the time it was all kind of falling apart. At the time, you had to be invited to go, and a friend was working for the French embassy and invited me. I thought, if I don’t go now, I probably won’t get another opportunity. So I went.
It was an interesting place to be alone in. They’d never really seen a foreigner and I’d never seen anywhere like it. They were looking at me and I was looking at everything… it was all so foreign.