Sabine Lamberts first joined Santiburi Koh Samui as GM in December of last year, since that time the French hotelier has headed up a bunch of changes to help take the resort from “good to great”.
With that in mind I set out to discover what makes the effervescent travel pro tick.
TD: When you arrived on Koh Samui last year, you had an important task ahead of you. You must have been anxious about the responsibility, how did you cope?
SL: I am passionate about harmonizing innovative tendencies with existing values and I am inspired by artful, energetic and witty people. Taking calculated risks and a bit of craziness is part of my personality as it flavours life and triggers progression and success.
Wow, that’s a powerful answer. Can you outline some of the changes you have brought in?
Along with constant improvement efforts in our daily operations, we planned alluring projects in partnership with specific organizations to enthuse our guests; we are talking about art, fashion or music events, or CSR projects supporting local communities and mother earth.
Singha Hotels & Resorts (SHR) presents strong values and matches perfectly with my ideals; it is a very ethical company that treats people with the utmost respect, driven by innovations and fun, we are developing exciting entrepreneurial projects, and are an extremely proactive actor in sustainability. Working for a company like SHR is vastly inspiring and a real motivational factor!
I heard you made quite a splash with your ideas for your team’s appearance, can you tell me more?
As a metamorphosis needs to be driven from the inside out, I decided to work with the Thai fashion designer Kai Ukas, to create fashionable uniforms for our associates to accentuate the new Santiburi look and to make our associates feel special, mindful of the wheel of change and proud ambassadors of the Santiburi lifestyle.
You have put a lot of thought into it.
I love it! The Santiburi management team is dressed in black white with a twist in design between classic and witty. Black standing for decisiveness, power and confidence and white blends in softness, kindness & empathy, underlining the Asian principle of Yin & Yang: keeping life in balance.
Special touches are the red loafers and a matching reddish belt for our gentlemen – evoking vivacity, excitement and fun. The fabrics are light and soft. They are of highest quality, allowing a perfect flow and are chosen to suit Koh Samui’s hot climate.
You mentioned the Santiburi lifestyle, what exactly is that?
Twisting the traditional Thai style with chic contemporary touches. This started with our 19 newly built contemporaneously designed Grand Reserve Pool Villas launched in May 2018. Along with those our ideas expanded to innovative fun well-being concepts covering food and beverage, spa and the resort’s entire activity program.
We offer water sports – sailing, paddle boards, Hobie Cat or windsurfing, just to name a few – as well as fishing, beach yoga, Pilates, badminton or open-air massages at the beach. If you look for further sport activities, look out for our sports centre where tennis, football, fitness or Thai boxing are on program. We also offer guided early morning market tours or mountain bike tours throughout Mae Nam to discover the region.
If you’re looking for an exceptional dining venue our Beach House Restaurant is a must-visit. Choose between sitting on the deck or a feet-in-the-sand experience with DJ, Saxophone or other live entertainment. It is an amazing littoral setting in a uniquely relaxed yet stylish ambiance. The Beach House has regularly exciting theme nights on offer, tantalizing buffets, great music, fire shows, artistic dancers, laser performances, cabaret and others.
What about a meetings and events?
We have a meeting package which includes use of our complimentary meeting room and comes with a message board, personal function host and technician throughout the meeting, as well as audio and visual equipment.
Anything for kids?
Santiburi is a family friendly hotel, children are well cared for and they relish our Junior Camp and take advantage of our creative activities.
At Santiburi every Wednesday is Thai culture day where we dress our little guests up in traditional clothes for a photo shoot, teach Thai dancing and engage in fun Thai games; Takraw demonstrations at the beach are part of the program and Thai cooking classes for families are on option, too. Every Thursday parents can plan an evening off.
The Junior Camp remains open until 10pm and we will take care of your little ones until you are back. Kids’ dining, movie night or other activities are on schedule.