For more than a quarter century, Karma Group has been providing outstanding travel, lifestyle and leisure experiences to discerning clients around the world, maintaining a loyal base of owners, members, guests and indeed staff – all of them coming together to create a brand that’s dedicated to delivering incredible experiences in the world’s most desirable destinations – whilst also always making sure to give back to the places and communities where we work with a range of charitable and philanthropic activities.
Karma Group is celebrated around the world for unique, standout destination products such as Karma Beach, Karma Spa facilities and our rock and roll hotel in the heart of London’s Soho, Karma Sanctum, with sister property in the Berkshire countryside. These are the kinds of venues that attract celebrities, rock stars and sporting icons and which have their own draw and brand identity within the Group itself. This emphasis on hedonism, high design and laid back luxury elevates the Karma Experience – it’s about celebrating the better things in life – and making them much more readily available to our members and guests!
Tireless Karma Group Chairman John Spence and his management team have driven the expansion of the Group with unswerving vision and laser focus on both growth and quality. More than a mere collection of resorts, Karma Group espouses a lifestyle built around its core principles – one that hundreds of thousands of members and guests participate in each year. John himself has been the recipient of numerous awards thanks to his visionary leadership and entrepreneurial instincts – including the singular honor of receiving a second Honorary YALE Fellowship, using his prodigious skills in hospitality to help train the next generation of sustainable resort designers and entrepreneurs.
Karma Group has always felt like a global family and this has proven particularly relevant over the last 12 months or so, as the travel and hospitality industries – and indeed the world – have confronted an unprecedented crisis in the shape of the global Covid19 pandemic. This, however, has not impacted the energy and intensity with which the Group carries out its many activities. Below is a brief summary of some of the key milestones and achievements that have characterized the year.
In response to the restrictions on travel, we quickly expanded our membership benefits making it possible for our members and owners to access the entire range of our resorts without restriction, regardless of product owned. Not only that, but we brought four exciting new products into the global portfolio of Karma Group resorts, adding two new properties in India as well as one in Indonesia and another in the UK. The thinking here was to provide our members, owners and clients with exciting and much needed domestic tourism options. At the same time, these properties are set to become valuable new additions for many years to come for both domestic and international visitors.
Across all our products – including Karma Nomad (a new campervan / caravan-based initiative) and Karma Kasa (escapes particularly suited to domestic tourists, though not exclusively), we have extended the validity of entitlement rights ensuring that members are reassured that by paying their ongoing membership related fees, they will be able take full advantage of all membership benefits as more extensive travel opportunities become available.
We have also turned crisis into opportunity, by using the enforced ‘stay at home’ edict to greatly enhance our digital sales operations. In the past, Karma Group has been extremely successful with a direct, in-person sales approach. We’re now employing a range of technologies in support of remote sales programmes, whilst providing extensive support and training to our sales teams to help them adapt. These include the launch of a brand new digital communications platform called Karma Community which provides a quick and easy way for all Karma Group staff, members, owners to connect.
This has been helped by the establishment of the introduction of a new regionally specific suite of products and packages that provide the opportunity for clients to purchase shorter term, lower price point ‘taster’ packages that give them a first-hand insight into what it’s like to experience Karma, with the option of course to extend.
Karma Group’s flagship products include our mixed use properties – and in spite of the cycle of lockdowns around the world, many of these award-winning resorts have continued to see excellent occupancy levels during periods when they have been operational – from Karma Bavaria in Germany to St. Martin’s in England’s Isles of Scilly to Rottnest Island in Western Australia. Karma Kandara, the group’s flagship resort, has also proven resilient despite Indonesia and Bali being largely closed to international travel. Stunning Tudor residence Karma Salford Hall – our newest acquisition in the famous Cotswolds region of the UK – and it’s already proving popular, with extremely high demand for the Spring and Summer months.
Additional products that have come online this year include our new Karma Discovery Membership, which gives clients the opportunity to essentially prepay for three years of incredible travel, leisure and lifestyle experiences at greatly reduced rates, giving them the opportunity to experience the Karma lifestyle – and having done so, hopefully go on to commit to longer term membership that provides access to additional, higher level products and services as an incentive. Meanwhile, Karma Club is a flexible new way for clients to get an initial introduction to the benefits of Karma Group membership without making a long term commitment. Karma Club offers a wide range of services, offers and benefits and is already proving a great new way for people to make an initial connection with the brand.
Karma Group’s Member Services teams in Bali, India, Singapore, Australia & the UK have been fully operational throughout to assist members and owners with bookings, membership related queries and above all making sure that members feel fully supported through these challenging times – efforts that have proven extremely successful in seeing our staff, owners, members and guests successfully weather the storm with a sense of solidarity.
All of us at Karma Group (more than 2500 staff worldwide!) have actively used this period to evolve and develop opportunities not only with regards to expansion, product development and sales programs, but we have put a lot of energy into enriching our existing member / owner / client relationships, with all Karma staff going above and beyond to ensure they aren’t impacted too badly.
At the same time, we’ve worked hard to support our staff, with vaccination drives not only for staff but also their families and the wider community. We are actively supporting aid to India and will be offering 500 free holidays to frontline medical staff as things gradually open up.
Karma Group is the largest shared ownership company in Asia in private hands – and it continues to expand its reach, even in the midst of a global pandemic. That’s testament to the fact that Karma Group has always regarded its staff, owners, members, guests and clients as an extended family. The ongoing sense of community and caring has enabled the Group to see the positives in a very difficult situation – and we look to the coming months with great optimism.
Karma Group continues to achieve success – even through the most difficult year that the modern hospitality industry has ever faced – maintaining standards of excellence across the company’s properties, reflected by consistently high ratings for our resorts on online user-led review sites. This expansion and consistency owes as much to the sense of community and cohesion that exists between different departments within the Karma Group – and between staff and customers too – as it does to the customer facing services.
The wellbeing of Karma Group staff is as important to the company as that of members and guests who visit our resorts, restaurants, beach clubs and spas around the world and the Group has made sure to look after them through the pandemic, including with vaccination drives. Many of the company’s staff members have been with the company for decades – and we regard them as part of a global family.
In short, Karma Group continues to set an example in its business practice, the way it treats its staff and members and the kinds of experiences it creates. Calling ourselves a global family is not mere hyperbole – the way that Karma Group has been able to ride out the crises of 2020 is a clear reflection of the social cohesion at the heart of the Group and the strength of both the company and the brand.