“Success is never final” — this is just one of the things you’ll learn from The Naka Island’s general manager Erich Friedl. He started in the industry three decades ago and has received accolades for his work in the luxury space. Today, he continues his illustrious career at the helm of The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket — a barefoot luxury resort in Phuket, Thailand’s premier destination.
In this interview, he talks about managing a world-class resort, doing business in a competitive environment, and the secrets to giving a truly exceptional luxury service.
What does The Luxury Collection brand represent?
The Luxury Collection is an ensemble of hotels and resorts — many of them centuries old — that evoke lasting, treasured memories. Each property is an expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 110 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations.
“You need to understand the psychology of praising others”
In your 30 years of working in the industry, what do you think is the most important factor in managing a world-class resort?
To be really effective in your job, you need to understand the psychology of praising others for their good work, to apply the principles of employee recognition yourself and to encourage others to initiate it in their working relationships. This will support your business results, goals and values, and which has clearly been beyond normal expectations to all our customers.
How do you stand out in Phuket’s competitive hospitality environment?
I’m extremely honoured to be the general manager of The Naka Island, a barefoot luxury resort that is admired for its natural island facilities, unique design and creative culinary, which stands out of our competitive environment. I’m working with my team to take the resort to the next level by delivering our guest service promises and strengthening our ongoing success in the domestic and international markets.
“One of the finest resort and spa destinations in Asia”
Can you tell us more about the resorts award-winning spa and restaurant?
Our resort received six awards in 2018. The annual World Luxury Awards rewarded and celebrated excellence in service within the luxury resorts from all around the world. The result of votes is from thousands of hospitality industry professionals. The award strengthens The Naka Island’s reputation which is already one of the finest resort and spa destinations in Asia, offering truly exceptional service.
How do you make you sure guests get exceptional luxury service?
To be able to meet them — let alone exceed them — you must always be innovating your offerings and updating your services in order to increase the value for your customers through their experiences and memories.
“Success is never final”
What’s the one achievement you’re most proud of?
Developing people and to be creating an environment which is constantly developing is my greatest achievement, however, success is never final.