The company will open the 134-key lifestyle resort, Wafaifo Resort Hoi An, in Q1 2024 as part of a strategic plan that includes a new mall, a hospitality asset management service, and other tourism-related projects.
Hoi An headquarters
The new firm is based in Hoi An. Its name, Wafaifo, derives ‘wa’ from water, and ‘faifo’ from the historical name of Hoi An.
Van der Hoeven and Krantz will work to establish the Wafaifo brand, its flagship urban resort in Hoi An, and extend awareness of the area’s attractions to an international audience. They will be supported by deputy MD Uyen Ngo, who brings experience as the owner of a number of resorts in central Vietnam.
van der Hoeven has held senior executive roles at Raffles, Six Senses, Minor and Peninsula Hotels. He said: “We see a gap in the market for Wafaifo Resort Hoi An to establish itself as a proud and uniquely Vietnamese hospitality experience. We will also be drawing from a deep well of hotel industry understanding from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.
“The Wafaifo Resort Hoi An will be our showcase property. It will offer a modern Vietnamese aesthetic and mind-blowing gastronomic and spa experiences for international and domestic travellers.”
The new brand will include a division called Wafaifo Optimisers, which aims to help hospitality clients launch new projects in the region and enhance operational efficiencies and profits.
Krantz added: “With the rebound in the travel sector, the timing is right for the launch of Wafaifo as a consolidated tourism concern. Our analysis shows that we can expect to see very strong tourism and investment growth in Vietnam and the Indochina region over the next five or so years.”