Following on the most successful Pattaya hotels ‘GM Gang’ fellowship dinner held in December last year at the Holiday Inn, managers and executives of hotels in Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard once again flocked together at the beck and call of veteran hotelier and the ‘informal’ master of the group Chatchawal Supachayanont, GM of the Dusit Thani Pattaya, for the first ‘GM Gang’ dinner of the year.
The event was held on February 24, hosted by Harald Feurstein, the ‘new blood’ GM of the Hilton Pattaya.
Word must have gotten out of the success of December’s gathering, as the number of GMs more than doubled this time, bringing together 22 of Pattaya’s top hoteliers.
Thomas Koh (RM Garden Cliff Resort), Alex Chakrabarti (GM Mercure Hotel) and Somkhit Tonsaiphet (GM Zign Hotel) enjoy a pre dinner cocktail.
The Hilton, a new addition to Pattaya’s hotel scene, towering above the Central Pattaya Festival, overlooking the splendid Pattaya Bay, must have heightened the curiosity amongst the hoteliers so much that they wanted to see for themselves what all the buzz was about.
And impressed were they. Harald put on a show that literally took everyone’s breath away.
Cocktails were held at the drift lounge on the 16th floor overlooking the scenic Pattaya Beach. Old friends met again and new comers were warmly welcomed into the fold.
It was good to see Alex Chakrabarti back in town, taking over the helm as GM of the Mercure Hotel Pattaya from Nicolas LeRat, and Aloysius Michael, who recently joined Dusit Thani Pattaya as resident manager.
Chatchawal, in his inimitable style of warmth and cordiality, said a few words of welcome and out of the blue announced that one amongst the group had just celebrated his birthday, and that it would be remiss of the ‘gang’ if they did not also give their birthday wishes to this person.
The birthday boy was none other than Pratheep ‘Peter’ Malhotra, MD of the Pattaya Mail who, for the past three and half decades, has been a resident of Pattaya. Throughout the years Peter has worked very closely with the hotel and hospitality industry and has accompanied the Pattaya promotion group of hoteliers, including City Hall and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), on their various promotional trips domestically and abroad.
This special bondage prompted Chatchawal to declare Peter an honorary member of the gang.
Harald was quick off the mark and marched in with an extravagant birthday cake and a huge gift basket of goodies. To top it off Peter was cajoled by two sexy Latin dancers to show off his Indo-Latino moves.
Chatchawal Supachayanont said this gathering of hotel managers and administrators creates a new dimension of mutual economic strength in the hotel and service businesses. He believes that similar gatherings are not commonly seen in other major tourist destinations, such as Phuket or Chiang Mai.
In an interview with Pattaya Mail, Chatchawal said, “The GM Gang has been meeting regularly in friendship for over 6 years. Every month a different hotel or venue offers to host the networking party.
“Hoteliers meet to discuss the hospitality business in general and work together to help improve marketing strategies for not only their own establishments, but for Pattaya as a whole.
“We have seen some good times and some bad times, but I believe that now the political situation in the country has stabilized. The second half of last year and this year Pattaya is seeing a boom in business.
“Pattaya can now claim once again to be the most attractive destination compared to all the others in Thailand. Travel to and from Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi International Airport is convenient and safe.
“Unlike other destinations that can offer only a limited variety of attractions, either for pleasure or business, Pattaya is the number one choice for pleasure, entertainment, commerce and more especially the growing Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) market.
“These meetings create a strong friendship amongst the vital personalities in the business, ensuring that as a team we will maintain Pattaya as the top destination comparable to the best in the world.”
Michael Procher (GM of Nova Suites, Nova Platinum & Nova Gold) meets with Aloysius Michael (RM Dusit Thani Pattaya).
Poodis Poramapojn (Director of finance, Hilton Pattaya), Andre Brulhart (GM Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya) and Philippe Delaloye (GM Pullman Pattaya Aisawan) pose for a photograph.
Peter Malhotra (Pattaya Mail), Aloysius Michael (RM Dusit Thani Pattaya), Peta Ruiter (Director Business Development Hilton Pattaya) and Rene Pisters (GM Thai Garden Resort) get acquainted.
Peter seems moved as Chatchawal Supachayanont, GM Dusit Thani Pattaya and friends wish him a happy birthday.
Harald Feurstein, GM of the Hilton Pattaya presents a gift to Peter as Chatchawal happily looks on.
Old friends meet (L to R) Nijjaporn Marprasert (GM Siam Bayview Hotel), Natthasith Wijitwikrom (Assistant MD Mountain Beach Hotel), Rungthip Suksrikarn (VP Sunbeam Hotels), Michael Ganster (GM Dusit D2 Baraquda Pattaya) and Sanpech Supabowornsthian (GM of Long Beach Garden Hotel & Spa).
Happy faces during dinner (seated L to R) Somkhit Tonsaiphet (GM Zign Hotel), Rungthip Suksrikarn (VP Sunbeam Hotels), Chatchawal Supachayanont (GM Dusit Thani Pattaya), Sanpech Supabowornsthian (GM of Long Beach Garden Hotel & Spa), Bundarik Kusolvitya (MD The City Hotel Sriracha), Alisa Phanthusak (Asst. MD Woodlands Resort), Natthasith Wijitwikrom (Assistant MD Mountain Beach Hotel), and Nijjaporn Marprasert (GM Siam Bayview Hotel). (Standing L to R) Michael Ganster (GM Dusit D2 Baraquda Pattaya), Andre Brulhart (GM Centara Mirage Resort), Rene Pisters (GM Thai Garden Resort), Harald Feurstein (GM Hilton Pattaya), Michael Procher (GM of Nova Suites, Nova Platinum & Nova Gold), Philippe Delaloye (GM Pullman Pattaya Aisawan) and Prayuth Thamdhum (GM Montien Hotel Pattaya).