ONYX reveals ambitious growth plans in SE Asia


ONYX Hospitality Group plans to operate more than 50 properties by 2025 and 70 properties by 2028. The hospitality company has a further 9 properties in the pipeline, with 8 of them scheduled to make their debut in 2024.

Amari Raaya Maldives, which represents the group’s subtle shift towards the premium category, welcomed its first guests in Q3 this year, and this will be followed by the eagerly anticipated Amari Colombo Sri Lanka, set to open its doors in 2024.

We spoke to Yuthachai Charanachitta, CEO, Onyx Hospitality Group, for further insight into the Southeast Asian powerhouse.

“It was indeed a deliberate choice to manage an upscale island resort such as Amari Raaya Maldives, reflecting market demands and our commitment to diversifying our portfolio. While we continue to explore opportunities in this segment, we have not ruled out the possibility of introducing a new luxury brand in the future. This expansion aligns with our vision to cater to a broader range of travellers.”

Charanachitta represents the third generation of the renowned Italthai Group, a leading conglomerate founded in 1955. The group spans two core divisions: hospitality and engineering. ONYX Hospitality Group is a key player in Southeast Asia’s thriving hospitality industry for over five decades. Its diverse portfolio covers hotels and resorts, serviced apartments and luxury residences with brands like Amari, OZO, Shama, and Oriental Residence.

“Our commitment to ‘A Tailored Approach to Hospitality’ ensures business solutions that align with local market expectations while serving our valued partners. ONYX Hospitality’s vision is to become the best medium-sized hospitality management company in Southeast Asia.”

Charanachitta explains, “Being a medium-sized entity, we possess agility and foster transparent communication, enabling swift yet well-calibrated decision-making with our partners. Moreover, we adhere to internationally recognised standards while retaining a high level of operational flexibility to adapt to market dynamics.”

While Southeast Asia remains in key focus for reaching 50 properties by 2025, the Middle East remains a possibility, but only when they find the ‘right’ partner, the CEO tells us. The Middle East, however, remains a key feeder market for ONYX properties.

“Tailoring our brand offerings for travellers in the Middle East involves understanding their specific preferences and the prevailing market dynamics.”

Crafted for the Middle East’s upscale market, Amari offers an elevated experience catering to the refined tastes of business travellers and tourists. It provides diverse experiences, from City MICE to Urban MICE and Resort stays, aligning with the varied demands of Middle Eastern guests accustomed to sophisticated accommodations and comprehensive services.

Specifically designed for travellers in the Middle East seeking simplicity without compromising quality, OZO provides well-equipped rooms at an accessible price point. Its strategic locations and modern technology integration resonate well with Middle Eastern travellers who value connectivity and immersive experiences in new destinations.

Ideal for families and longer stays, Shama’s stylish and comfortable serviced apartments cater to various lifestyles. The Shama Social Club program aligns with the Middle Eastern travellers’ desire for a sense of community and a homely environment while exploring new destinations.

With its luxurious amenities and exclusive offerings, Oriental Residence appeals to the discerning tastes of the Middle Eastern clientele. Its lavish accommodations, including serviced residences and luxury condominiums, coupled with exquisite dining options and premium event venues, align with the preferences of guests seeking upscale experiences and prestigious settings.

“Choosing the right brand for Middle Eastern travellers involves aligning these unique brand attributes with the specific preferences, expectations, and cultural inclinations prevalent in the region’s travel market,” he says.

Currently, ONYX owns 18 per cent of its portfolio, with the remaining 82 per cent under management contracts. “For property investments, strong partnerships are essential, always with a long-term perspective in mind. Whether growing with our existing partners like UMLand and SP Setia in Malaysia, JR Kyushu from Japan, Tai Hung Fai from Hong Kong, or collaborating with Panchshil Realty in India, our partner for Amari Raaya Maldives, we prioritize partnerships that align with our vision for sustainable and mutually beneficial growth.”

The rebranding of Amari Watergate Bangkok to “Amari Bangkok” (owned by ONYX) signifies not only a name change but a celebration of unity and the dynamic spirit of Bangkok, the CEO says.

“It embodies the essence of the city - a welcoming, vibrant city that never sleeps. This rebranding follows significant refurbishments to become the premier destination in the city for leisure, business, and MICE travel, including new premier rooms and suites, dining establishments, and ‘maai spa’ scheduled for 2024,” says Charanachitta.