The Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard hoteliers gang dinner shifted into high gear last month when at the kind invitation of GM Michael Procher they gathered for an evening of fellowship in the sprawling poolside gardens of the Nova Platinum Hotel.
Guests were in for a special treat as two vintners were also present, each bringing with them a large supply of their exquisite wines. Graham Cranswick introduced an excellent selection of Barossa wines from Australia and Elliott Awin proudly presented his Kintu wines from Chile.
Another good evening was enjoyed by all. (Front row) Sascha Kunze (Manager Nova Platinum), Natsathida Thanatulsutanant (Manager Amari Nova Suites Pattaya), Jan Jeerapat (MD Hotel J, Pattaya), Chatchawal Supachayanont (GM Dusit Thani Pattaya), Rungthip Suksrikarn (VP Sunbeam Hotels), Nijjaporn Marprasert (Siam Bayview Hotel, Pattaya), Jeerasak Jeerapat (Business Development, Hotel J Pattaya), Sanpech Supabowornsthian (GM of Long Beach Garden Hotel & Spa). (2nd row) Tony Malhotra (Asst. MD Pattaya Mail), Anuchit Saeng-on (Product Manager, Italthai), Graham Cranswick (Cranswick Wines), Michael Procher (GM of Nova Suites, Nova Platinum & Nova Gold). (Back row) Nicholas LeRat, Philippe Delaloye, Alex Chakrabarti (GM Mercure Pattaya), Elliott Awin (Kintu Wines), Andre Brulhart (GM Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort), Michael Delargy (GM Sheraton Pattaya), Peter Malhotra (MD Pattaya Mail) and Aloysius Michael (RM Dusit Thani Pattaya).
Chatchawal Supachayanont, GM of the Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya and the leader of the pack said, “Tonight is a special night. Our host Michael Procher has outdone himself. We sincerely thank you for your support of our GM gang.”
He went on to say, “These monthly dinners help to bond the friendships of hoteliers in the same line of business. Each one working very hard in their respective establishments for the benefit of the business and private communities as a whole. We are like one big happy family. We meet in friendship, no business discussions, and just spending time getting to know each other better and strengthening our friendships.”
Aloysius Michael, resident manager of the Dusit Thani Pattaya said, “I have only been here a short while and I have a lot to learn. I have been to Pattaya before but now that I live and work here, I have learned to appreciate and love this city. I am going to do my level best to help put Pattaya on the world tourist map and bring back as many visitors to Pattaya as I possibly can.”
Graham Cranswick, owner of Cranswick wines said, “Pattaya is a wonderful location. One of the challenges is to put Pattaya on the map and make people in Australia and around the world realize that Pattaya is already Thailand’s number one holiday destination.
“Pattaya has a fantastic range of hotels, anything from backpackers’ lodges to an abundance of 5-star properties. I am absolutely amazed that every time I come here, there is another 5 star hotel opened. I understand that you are all running at a very high occupancy rate, well done!
“For us vintners, we think that the biggest hindrance to our business here is the wine tax… 400 percent! This has got to be the highest tax country in the world, which restricts the sales of wines. Foreigners are used to drinking wine and are absolutely shocked by the high prices here. We want everyone to be able to afford to drink wine. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine with their food. Remember when you’re offering house wine, the cheapest wine you offer is the most important wine you offer, because it’s the first glass that a new wine drinker will try, and if they don’t like it because the quality is not very good, they’ll go back to drinking cognac, coke or other brands of their favorite spirits. So let’s give them a fantastic glass of the cheapest wine we’ve got and next time they’ll buy a bottle.”
As usual there were the old faces, but at this function some new faces were also present.
Sanpech Supabowornsthian of the Zign Hotel is no newcomer to Pattaya. He said, “I was born right here in Pattaya and have been in the hotel for 22 years. I’m happy that hoteliers get together on a regular basis, so that we can discuss the hospitality business and explore ways of cooperating and helping each other for the benefit of our industry as a whole.”
He said, “The biggest worry that we have is the political situation in Thailand. We are hoping that after the elections, the situation will return to normal and that we can again proudly boast Thailand to be the ‘Land of a Thousand Smiles’ which will attract the tourists and businesses back to our shores.”
Michael Procher thanked his guests for attending, saying, “I’m very happy to have our friends here today. These past two years the Nova Platinum has changed so much for the better. It’s all because of teamwork. Our staff has worked very hard to raise the quality of our property and services.
“This year we are planning to organize the biggest and most authentic Oktoberfest right here on our property. We will try to encompass as much as we can to emulate the world famous festival held in Munich every year. We will bring in the works, Bavarian music, Frauleins in traditional Dirndls and men wearing Leder Hosen playing Alpine games of sawing lumber, driving nails into planks of wood and best of all drinking umpteen barrels of delicious German beer.”
The next GM dinner will be held at the Dusit Thani Hotel Pattaya in July.