The New General Manager of Marriott Executive Apartments Sukhumvit Park, Bangkok
When did you choose to focus your career in the hospitality industry?
When I was 14, I was interning as a dishwasher and kitchen helper in a small restaurant. It wasn’t fancy, but I enjoyed working with people, and appreciated that every job required practice and experience to do it right. I have also learned that whatever you do, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant the task, you need to do it with care and passion. That was where it all began for me.
The hospitality business is all about people, the associates and guests, and it is amazing how much can be accomplished when you are nice and treat one another with respect.
The possibilities in the industry are endless and you can try out different areas throughout your career.
What is your perspective of Thailand’s hospitality industry and its future five years from now?
Thailand’s hospitality industry continues to grow and is only going to become more competitive in the future. With all the new hotels, the focus on getting the basics right is everything. In the end, what matters most is our caring associates, clean rooms, comfortable beds and healthy food.
Of course, it helps to have great facilities to offer like an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, golf chipping practice, badminton and squash facilities like we do at the Marriott Executive Apartments Sukhumvit Park.
Have you worked elsewhere in Thailand before?
W Bangkok was my first experience working in Thailand. My wife and I were both working in New York where we met, and as my wife is originally from Bangkok, and I had never been to Thailand before, I thought that it was going to be a great adventure. I truly fell in love with Thailand, its amazing people and culture.
What is the most memorable, albeit funny or quirky moments in Thailand for you?
This must be about the food. I learned early on that the definition of the level of spiciness is very different, and that when my Thai colleagues would tell me that the food is only a little bit spicy or not at all spicy, that I probably still cannot eat it without turning red.
What does your average day at work look like?
I have a very strict schedule. I like to manage my time carefully so that I can spend as much time as possible with our guests and associates and focus my energy on what matters most. I always tend to arrive early and enjoy walking the public areas of the hotel first to see that everything is in order, and then meet our guests at breakfast next. I usually go over my schedule the day prior to make sure that I can make the most out of my day. The leadership team then meets every morning, and once that’s done, I always like to walk the floors and check some of our rooms. Every day is different, but I always try to meet as many of our guests upon arrival and be around the lobby during peak periods.
As the new General Manager of Marriott Executive Apartments Sukhumvit Park, what is your vision for the venue five years from now?
The hotel is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and I am impressed to see how well the team kept the condition and maintenance of this wonderful product. The hotel offers great facilities and spacious apartments fully equipped to be a home away from home for anyone looking to enjoy Bangkok whether it is for an extended period of time or just a couple of days.
In the future, I see this property continue to be a destination where our guests can live, not just stay and bask in our personalised and caring service while continuing to provide first class facilities.
What has been implemented in terms of changes at Marriott Executive Apartments Sukhumvit Park since you joined?
I only joined three weeks ago, so my priority is to get to know the associates who have been here for many years. I believe it’s really important at first to have an appreciation for all that has been accomplished in the past, before coming in and try to change things only for the sake of changing—that’s never a prudent thing to do.
The property is currently ranked number 10 out of all hotels in Bangkok on TripAdvisor, so the first thing I did was thanking our associates for all their passion and care.
Have the hotel restaurants/kitchens taken any initiative in promoting the ongoing sustainability and health/wellness
Sustainability and health/wellness is part of every decision we make. Moving away from single use plastic towards sustainable options is not only in trend, but the right thing to do.
Our breakfast spread offers a great variety of healthy options, and we’re offering many dishes focused on delivering a more health-centreed diet.
Our hotel has great recreation facilities and I think that these wellness options are really unique for hotels in Bangkok.
What can the public and travellers (or diners) expect from Marriott Executive Apartments Sukhumvit Park?
We will continue to delight our guests while getting the basics of a luxury hotel experience right at every turn. We’ll focus on continuing to surprise our guests with inspiring promotions and we already have a lot lined up over the upcoming months, so stay tuned.