Jonathan Wigley and Rupert Simoner are happy about the new joint venture. — Photo by Vienna House

The Austrian hotel group Vienna House and the Thai hotel management company Absolute Hotel Services Group (AHS) have established a joint venture with the purpose of opening new hotels of their respective brands on the European and Asian markets.

Both groups have similarly positioned hotels offering a casual and relaxed style, contemporary zeitgeist, and the culture and hospitality of their respective countries of origin. AHS manages 22 hotels in Asia, twelve of them under the award-winning brand U Hotels & Resorts. A further 13 U Hotels & Resorts are set to open soon.

Vienna House's Asian office in Bangkok, with the full support of AHS, will oversee the growth of the Vienna House brand in Asia. The plan is to complete two to three projects a year with a focus on city and resort hotels. The European office in Vienna will oversee the expansion of the brand U Hotels & Resorts in Central Europe. The focus here will be on opening additional urban resort hotels.

The joint venture between AHS and Vienna House was made possible by the recently announced shareholder change at Vienna House. The parent company of both hotel companies is BTS Group Holdings, one of Thailand's largest publicly listed companies.

"The companies complement each other perfectly," explains Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House. "We have the same guest-oriented philosophy and stand for the respective strengths of our cultures. We also share the same values, follow similar growth objectives and are moving at the same pace. It's actually a lot of fun!" says Simoner, describing the Asia-Europe connection. The first talks are already being held about projects in Bangkok and in Vietnam. Vienna House expects to conclude the first transaction this year.

Jonathan Wigley, CEO of AHS, adds: "I can't imagine a better partner than Vienna House for the expansion of U Hotels & Resorts on the European market. Both companies share the same enormous passion for the hotel business as well as a deep understanding of what it is all about: guest satisfaction and authentic hospitality. That's just what we at AHS were looking for."


AHS is one of the fastest growing hospitality management/branding companies in Asia with an ever-expanding geographic portfolio of hotels, resorts and serviced residences. AHS also has interests in the golf industry through Absolute Golf Services and is exclusive operator of the Travelodge brand in Thailand through Travelodge Thailand. Headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, with regional offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India and now Europe with more expansions planned, AHS and its brands have resonated with investors and consumers contributing value to all stakeholders. AHS Covering the luxury to economy segments through its brands U Hotels & Resorts, Eastin Grand Hotels & Resorts, Eastin Hotels. Resorts & Residences, Eastin Easy and Travelodge, AHS have developed and continue to evolve relevant hospitality solutions which work. AHS is an affiliate company of BTS Group Holding Public Company which is one of Thailand's largest public listed companies with a diverse portfolio covering mass transit, property development, construction management, media, food & beverage and services.