Recently we interviewed our general manager at X2 Kuri Buri Khun Supakit to find out a bit more about him and the running of a 5 star luxury resort.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career path that lead you to become General Manager at X2 Kui Buri?
In answering that question, let me briefly introduce myself. I have been in the hotel & resort industry since 2006, when I was a Sales Manager at The Library in Koh Samui. From there, I have moved up through the ranks of management into some larger and often more prestigious hotels, including a management posting at the 262 room Centara Grand Beach Resort in Phuket.
After just two years at Centara Grand I was offered the opportunity to join with Astudo Group and run their flagship resort X2 Kui Buri, an offer I simply could not refuse. Today, not only am I GM of Kui Buri but also GM of several other properties run by the same group, those at Away Koh Kood and X2 Chiang Mai.
2. Other than X2 (of course) what is your favorite place to go when on Koh Samui?
I used to spend the free time I got in a peaceful place like Bakubung, a coffee shop in Bophut. The life of a GM can be quite full on, so on the occasion I may need to unwind and go a bit crazy you may find me enjoying a little bit of party time in some of the boutique bars of Chaweng. I also especially enjoy Ark bar (beach bar). I have been going here since it was just a hut with few sun loungers’ right through to now with its full-scaled DJ booth and swimming pools.
3. What is the main challenge of working and running such a unique 5 star beach front resort like X2?
There are of course many challenges of running such a unique high design resort. One of the main ones is the recruitment of high quality, highly specialised/focused service staff & department heads. The X2 theme is of course for service staff to offer a 5 star service, but crucially also to make those 5 star services more informal, less intrusive….a balance that is not so easy to strike. Often this requires us to hire less experienced staff and train them specifically to the ways of X2.
4. Some would say you have a dream job, working and living in paradise. But is this YOUR ‘Dream’ job?
Yes. My dream job would be to do exactly what I am doing but to do it with better balance toward my free time, which most of the time is not an easy thing to do. In the past I have tried to take my free time as one normally should, but I found then that emails and unanswered calls would only create more problems for the working week ahead. Therefore, my dream job is something that is quite literally unreachable, although this does not mean I cannot reach it. I am now developing my right hand man so to speak, for each of the properties I run; some one that will be able to run the property on their own without running to me at the slightest hint of an issue. If I can achieve this, I can achieve my dream job.
5. It’s easy to say you work in paradise, so where do you go for a holiday?
My favorite place to go for holiday is on the beach. However, I always go to the secluded beach bungalow type of property, and I tend to go on a whim without any forward planning, kind of mystery tour, ‘stick a pin in a map’ kind of thing. I also like to try to get this unplanned trip to be something that is very close to nature. I never expose myself as a GM whilst on my holiday as it could ruin my trip as people could perhaps take my presence the wrong way. When on holiday, I want to really be on holiday.
6. Have you ever been star struck while serving celebrity guest?
I would have to say no, because every one of my guest is treated as VIP & in a very neutral way. I’m working in a beach resort where people come to relax and want to be unofficial. Therefore, my reaction to the celebrity arrival is very neutral. I try not to draw attention to them or to make them feel uncomfortable, but moreover to make them feel like a normal guest, totally at ease. Celebrities need their holidays as much as we do…maybe more.
7. What does a high level GM do on those rare ‘time off’ moments?
My hobby now is to stay at home, taking care of the garden and of course being with friends and families. I enjoy those more intimate moments of quality; therapeutic relaxing moments.
8. If you didn’t work in a Thailand resort, where in the world would you want to work?
Personally I do not want to work abroad as I would like to take care of my mother and family; the center point in the life of Thai people. However, if I really had to choose, I would want to remain working in Asia where it may takes only couple of hour’s flight to get back in Thailand.
Feel free to ask Khun Supakit your own questions in the comments below and we’ll ask him them for you.