Spa Business issue 2 2021

Page 12


by Katie Barnes, editor


If you love what you do, there’s no need for retirement Adrian Zecha global hotelier


here’s perhaps no one who’s influenced the hospitality market in Asia as much as Adrian Zecha. The Indonesian-born businessman has developed more than 100 luxury hotels around the world. He’s been a key figure for brands such as Regent, one of the first high-end chains in Asia which was sold to Four Seasons and is now owned by IHG; and Rafael, which was acquired by Mandarin Oriental. He’s possibly most well known in the wellness arena as the founder of Aman resorts, the boutique resort chain which has always placed an emphasis on location and spa despite having smaller properties. Zecha launched the iconic brand in Phuket in December 1987 and by the time he left the company in 2014, it had properties in 22 countries. “Amanpuri [the first property in Phuket] is 33 years old now,” he says. “It’s still relevant today and its success has been amazing.” Things went quiet for Zecha after Aman. He took a couple of years to take stock and think about his next move. Now 88

12 issue 2 2021

Zecha, now 88, has developed more than 100 luxury hotels around the world