Aman Resorts operates at 26 unique locations all over the world, portraying “peace, uniqueness and family”. It targets high net worth individuals who like to be out of their normal lifestyle and enjoy their family time relaxed and differently, away from the pressures of work. Aman Resorts are located in select tranquil locations and provide a very unique and localized experience. Such uniqueness is the key competitive advantage against other resorts, which helps it to retain a lot of its loyal repeat customers. In addition to the above uniqueness, Aman Resorts does an excellent job at creating value just by listening to its clients.
Customers like to be treated as individuals and enjoy how they are looked after, whether it’s the driver taking them to locations that would most interest them or to stocking the fridge with the customers preferred drinks. While this seems like common sense, customers will prefer to go to Aman Resorts, and pay the premium for going there, even though their rooms are simpler and more expensive than other resorts such as the Four Seasons.
The personalized service further reinforces the leading position in its competition against other resorts. Aman doesn’t have more than 40 rooms on average at each location and no two resorts are alike, even if they are in the same country, which helps Aman command a premium price and helps position itself as a premium brand. Meanwhile, Aman Resorts sustains its brand power and relies heavily on word of mouth and online marketing to its loyal clientele, aversive to traditional means of advertising and providing discounts.
However, learning more about the customer could theoretically be done by any hotel based on what data is being gathered. If a hotel chain notices that you always drink Diet Coke out of the mini fridge, for example, they can make sure that when you stay the fridge is stocked. While this would be impractical for motels and low to middle end hotels, this would certainly be beneficial for hotels and resorts in the same category as Aman such as the Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton, which could provide personalized service in addition to modern amenities.
We have listed two possible challenges to the Aman model. The first challenge is from potential customers in emerging markets. China is a huge market for Aman. In China, people used to live in a very simple and natural life. However, as the economy has exponentially grown in the last thirty years, many people have acquired an increasing amount of disposable income and are in greater need of special places for their vacation and leisure. Aman is undoubtedly a great place for them. However, the idea of simplified lifestyle may not be attractive to customers from emerging markets like China and others in the rest of Asia. That’s why some customers even complained that there wasn’t even a TV in the room or wireless internet at some Aman locations, when all the other luxury hotels in the area offer those as standard amenities for much lower room rates.
We suggest that Aman provide luxury amenities, fine dining, and technological equipment and services to Chinese customers. Currently, Aman has only one resort in Beijing, China. Aman can find more great places in the west of China, where there are great and unique views. Generally speaking, Aman can improve on some of the spartan offerings in some of its locations by providing television, internet services and other modern amenities to customers who prefer having them while staying at their resorts. It could also standardize some of the essential offerings that a majority of its customers have requested across all its resorts, to maximize loyalty and appreciation among them.
The second challenge Aman faces is from competing resorts in the area. An independant company or an existing resort can always create a new resort chain that offers similar services to Aman with regards to beautiful locations and attention to customer service and undercut Aman on price. While it may take them a while to catch up to Aman’s status, they could theoretically offer the same services in different locations.