Louis T Collection has appointed Chaivaree Chitrakorn as general manager of Mantra Samui Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand. The Thai-national, known to her team and friends as Meow, has spent most of her career with Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong and relocated to her homeland last year to join the group and assume a new position.
In this TD exclusive interview, we talk about her background in the airline industry, what she loves the most about Koh Samui and her mission as the new GM.
TD: How does it feel to be back home in Thailand?
CC: It’s great to be back home. I spent 33 years living and working in Hong Kong, a lot of which was spent with Cathay Pacific Airways. I was lucky that I was able to transfer my skills working in the airline industry to the hospitality industry and take on this role as GM in my home country.
When I left Thailand, Koh Samui was still a bit of a haven for hippies and backpackers. There wasn’t even an international airport on the island until 1989. Over the last three decades, tourism and the opportunities for locals have really flourished.
What are the qualities of Koh Samui that you love the most?
Koh Samui is a very versatile and unique place and continues to be one of the most popular destinations in the country.
“There’s no shortage of things to do here”
One key factor, that I think draws guests from all around the world, is the Thai hospitality and exceptional service offered here. For me personally, I enjoy working with a creative team who are all Thai and I like to challenge them daily to think of new and unique experiences we can pass on to our guests based on what they love about the island.
I believe Koh Samui has a good balance of everything from pristine beaches to jungle, and nightlife to culture. There’s no shortage of things to do here.
Could you tell us more about the renovations that went on at Mantra Samui Resort?
Mantra Samui Resort underwent a full renovation three years ago where Louis T Collection (our owners) transformed an ageing resort into the modern luxury retreat it is today.
The renovation cost of THB 150 million (USD 4.7m) allowed us to conduct a full renovation of the rooms with a majority focus on a total refurbishment of our Love Rooms which are now some of the most spacious guest rooms in Koh Samui.
We also demolished a tired lobby and created a stunning guest entrance that provides an excellent guest arrival experience. We also added in a new spa and made some changes to be more eco-conscious.
“We are doing things right”
What’s your mission as the new GM?
As the new GM of Mantra Samui Resort, I plan to continue to drive both the guest and staff experience whilst maximising revenue opportunities through the utilisation of our restaurant and spa.
We are delighted to have many return visitors and each time their positive comments delight us and show that we are doing things right. Making sure our staff are happy is essential in the guest experience. I have the joy of working in a beautiful resort with an amazing team of people who really make the guest experience special.