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The beach below Baan Krating Phuket, one of Phuket's hidden delights

Phuket Secrets of the Vast Amari Expanse

Thursday, February 3, 2011
AS WELL AS a two-billion baht condo development in Patong, the Amari group also plans to expand the Baan Krating brand on Phuket and in Khao Lak.

Baan Krating on Phuket is tucked away behind the Royal Phuket Yacht Club at Nai Harn beach, and so protected from the outside world that visitors actually have to drive through and under the large resort's buildings to access the cape beyond.

Quirky and bizarrely Phuket it certainly is, the legacy of a historic property dispute followed by a compromise solution. Beyond the Royal Phuket Yacht Club is Ao Sane beach, one of Phuket's alternative delights, and beyond Ao Sane is Baan Krating.

Once the Amari condos are developed in Patong at the Amari Coral Beach Phuket Resort, Amari CEO and President Yuttachai Charanachitta has plans for the eco-friendly bungalows at Baan Krating Phuket and for the hillside-hugging Baan Krating Khao Lak Resort.

One of the ideas that may bear fruit and emphasise the away-from-it all nature of the Baan Krating site on Phuket is a low-rise boutique resort, with boat-only access.

The Baan Krating resort rolls down to a secluded beach, which together with neighboring Ao Sane makes this forgotten cape a must-see for visitors who want to escape the crowds, and perfect perhaps for VIP bungalows.

Amari, now a branch of the parent Onyx Hospitality Group, has its sights set on branded resort management internationally, with the potential for Phuket to become the base for future expansion.

A look at the Amari real estate holdings shows why. Not only is there room to spend two billion baht on condos at Patong's southern edge, but Amari also owns the land on which the Club Med Phuket stands at Kata, and adjoining property, totalling about 100 rai.

There's no sugestion that the long-term lease is about to end anytime soon but the prospects for a second-generation resort where Club Med has stood for 30 years overlooking Kata beach would be an eco-architect's dream.

Elsewhere, Amari also has extensive holdings alongside Le Meridien Khao Lak Resort, where a villa development now in construction may well lead the way ahead.

The existing Baan Krating Khao Lak Resort also takes in the town's best-known scenic restaurant, the Muanlai, high on a clifftop, with fabulous views across the Khao Lak coast.

More land? Yes, there's also a large Amari holding in Krabi. Little wonder then that Amari's plans stretch almost as far towards the horizon as the view from the restaurant.


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