Once again general managers and executives of Pattaya hotels gathered together at a colleague’s establishment, eagerly anticipating what the host would come up with to make for a thrilling evening of fine dining accompanied by exquisite wines and most important of all warm friendship.
On this occasion Clinton Lovell, the brand new GM of the resort, did his utmost to welcome his guests and make it an extra special occasion.
Rungthip Suksrikarn (centre) VP of Sunbeam Hotel enjoys a laugh with friends as Chatchawal Supachayanont (left) GM Dusit Thani Pattaya enjoys a drink with Prayuth Thamdhum, GM Montien Hotel Pattaya.
On arrival guests received a personal passport replete with photograph and visas. When we queried him wondering if that entitled us to travel to Japan, Clinton put our mind at ease by saying, “No, not exactly, but this passport is a very special one. This is your personal passport to happiness at the various fun outlets in the resort.”
A toast to friendship. (l-r) Michael Ganster (GM Dusit d2baraquda Pattaya), Alex Chakrabarti, (GM Mercure Hotel Pattaya), Thomas Koh (RM Garden Cliff Resort & Spa) and Michael Procher (GM Amari Nova Suites).
Clinton spared no costs in impressing his guests right from the start, serving oyster and caviar during the cocktail reception which was complemented by the Louis Roederer Brut Premier. This really put us in the right frame of mind and had our taste buds tingling.
As host of the GM Gang, Clinton got an opportunity to speak about his establishment. He said, “It’s a pleasure to be in the GM gang. This is not a small hotel and there so many things going on here. Being pivotal in the network of GMs is important and it’s a pleasure to host the dinner.
The new generation hoteliers get together, (l-r) Nijjaporn Marprasert (GM Siam Bayview Hotel), Yuwathida Jeerapat (MD Hotel J & JP Villa), Somkhit Tonsaiphet (GM The Zign Hotel), Sanpech Supabowornsthian (GM Long Beach Garden Hotel & Spa).
“As for other activities in our hotel, we have a happy hour every Friday and Saturday, from 4 until 9 p.m. and which we call the Pullman Chic Happy Hour. We organize a lot of fun activities and sexy entertainment such as wet t-shirt contests. A must see for all those who are still young at heart.
“We also have very popular buffets on Fridays and Saturdays, with a lot of our regulars coming to that. The big one is of course our monthly parties which we call the G session, which means Glamorous girls and Gulping beers.”
Peter Malhotra (MD Pattaya Mail) and Craig Ryan (GM Holiday Inn Pattaya) seem to be amused by the on-goings.
Asked what is so unique about the Pullman, Clinton’s eyes lit up and he exclaimed, “Pullman is different to the other hotels because we have a different attitude. We believe in having fun, fun and more fun.”
The gang leader Chatchawal Supachayanont, GM of the Dusit Thani Pattaya expressed his feelings through PMTV saying, “Six or seven years ago we started having the GM Gang dinners. I have lived and worked in Pattaya for 20 years, and have seen many changes in the hotel industry, especially the turnover of general managers. I thought that it was necessary to keep the old and young GMs together in a group so that we can become friends with each other and assist each other when needed, not only for the good of our own establishments but also for the hospitality business as a whole.
Yuwathida Jeerapat and Thomas Koh snuggle up to Harald Feurstein (GM Hilton Pattaya).
“I am so proud that we can gather all our friends together month after month. Each and every one of our gang members loves this informal fraternity because it is like having an extended family and a home away from home.”
Asked about the current situation in Thailand now that elections were held and Thailand has a new government, Chatchawal said, “Thais and foreigners feel very relaxed now that Thailand has a new government. They have much more confidence in the political situation. I am confident that Thailand will be peaceful and there won’t be any more demonstrations. This message of peace and unity is being heard around the world and we can say with confidence that we are back to the good old days.
Clinton Lovell (left) (GM Pullman Pattaya Aisawan) presents Tony Malhotra (Asst. MD Pattaya Mail) with his very own Sunset Lounge passport.
“Foreigners come to Thailand because they love the country, our culture, our people who are always smiling, and the delicious Thai food. Thailand is a dream destination for people around the world.”
As the guests took their respective seats at the dining table Clinton announced, “Tonight we are serving a 6 course dinner and each course has a matching wine. As I am the new kid on the block and hail from New Zealand, our menu tonight will have a Kiwi flair exquisitely prepared by our executive chefs.”
And a ‘middle earth’ culinary adventure it was. Still on the same wine, we started with the seared scallop wrapped with ham and mango dip. This was followed by the foie gras with lobster berry jam and the parsley veloute with smoked salmon, served with the French Domaine Veceron Sancerre Blanc 2010.
There was no respite for the connoisseurs of fine dining as we imbibed on the spicy and energetic Louis Michel Chablis 2009 while taking pleasure in the slow cooked snow fish with squid ink and seaweed sauce.
After a short pause with the mango sherbet flavoured with kiwi, we were drawn into the depths of culinary pleasure as the Pina colada lamb with summer tian and red sauce was served for us to feast on. This was accompanied by Clinton’s favourite choice of the finest Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2008 from the well known ‘Martinborough’ livery in New Zealand.
The banquet ended with the Chilean Echeverria Sauvignon Blanc late harvest as guests marveled and enjoyed the exquisitely crafted chocolate mousse trilogy.
To cap off one of the most memorable GM Gang dinners, guests mingled on the Sunset Lounge terrace, savouring a Havana and sipping cognacs, while gazing across the moonlit waters of Pattaya bay, thinking to themselves, “What a wonderful life!”