“I don’t want to say I will do this, I will do that. The proof of the pudding is the eating. The proof of your efforts is in the result.
A new breed of hotel managers is emerging in Thailand: younger, energetic, passionate, focused, ambitious, and Thai. Jeerasak Loturit, 36, recently appointed general manager (GM) of the newly opened GLOW Pratunam, belongs to this breed. One of few Thai general managers to gain the position in Bangkok, Jeerasak oversees the second trendy hotel in Thailand under Glow by Zinc, under the Zinc I InVision Hospitality Co., Ltd. Group. His goal as GM of the new hotel: “To make it No. 1!”
“I want people to talk about GLOW Pratunam,” Jeerasak says without batting an eyelash. “I want to make it famous.” Some might dismiss these as “plain big talk” But who are we to judge Jeerasak for aiming high? Jeerasak banks not only on some 16 years of industry experience but also on his more recent previous achievement, as hotel manager for Hansar Hotel, Bangkok. There, Jeerasak helped the hotel to earn many awards from TripAdvisor and Expedia. Of He says he was just one of the key players in the achievement and credits the entire hotel team for the honors but it was a feat he wants to duplicate for GLOW Pratunam.
“Early in my career,” he said, “I have always dreamed of becoming a good GM. I have dreamed of becoming one by the time I was 35, and did it.”
Starting as a waiter for a small Bangkok hotel, Jeerasak went on improve his skills further while studying Political Science at Ramkamhaeng University. “But I found out that I love working in hotels so I studied at the Hotel School in The Hague, Netherlands, graduating from the Department of Operations-Rooms Business. Today, his full credential includes working with five-star hotels such as Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok (2003), Swissotel at Le Concord (2004), Alila Hotel Cha-Am (2008), and Conrad Hotel Bangkok (2007). “Hansar was my first hotel manager position, and made me confident I was meant for this job. Now at GLOW Pratunam, I want to make the hotel, the team, famous as I did there,” he reiterated.
GLOW Pratunam is that hard-to missed new blue hotel in Pratunam with 169 stylish guestrooms inspired by the four seasons, a restaurant that serves breakfast as well as a range of buffet and a la carte throughout the day, two bars and an outdoor swimming pool, and a private function room with the latest in audiovisual equipment that can accommodate up to 200 persons for business or party functions. “It’s three-to-four stars in category, but our service is definitely five-star,” he says.
While it’s his avowed goal is to make the GLOW Pratunam No. 1, Jeerasak says his eyes are fixed on what’s important: “I want to make every guest happy, I want them to get great value for their money, I want them to come back and stay with us again.”
And he said he has deliberately planned his career for this. “Early in your career, you sometimes have a different idea from your bosses on how to do things. Of course, you have to respect their decisions. But from the beginning, I have told myself that once I become a leader, I will only follow what I think is right, not what I think is wrong. My career has been going according to plan, which depends not only on a good plan but on luck as well – and so far, so good.”
A driven, result-oriented guy, Jeerasak says you have to be focused on what you want to achieve. He says. “The first thing I ask myself and my team is: what do guest want, what do they need? Sometimes they are not the same. Sometimes what they want is something standard, what they need is something extra. Only when we understand both can we hope to deliver – and exceed – their expectations.” His mantra is “Go beyond guest expectations.”
He described GLOW’s service style as not too formal, cozy, and service that goes beyond five-stars. “We have better beds than home, we offer free Wi-Fi all over the hotel and it’s really free, no hidden extra cost – we offer great breakfast, great shower, and within our three room categories we offer great value, indeed. For the opening period, rate was Bt1,919, some 10-20% lower than the nearest competitor in the area, perfect for it’s target clientele, the 27-40 age group of leisure and business travelers.
He is also proud of the hotel’s location, which he says is the “best in town.” “We’re right in the heart of the shopping district, right and left of the hotel are shopping malls and markets. The hotel itself sits under a shopping mall, Shibuya 19. We have a chic lobby, engaging rooms with all the basic modcons and technology in place, and we make everything simple and uncomplicated. Truly, every single baht they spend here is value for money.
“Also, the hotel was built to be a lively, fresh alternative to other hotels in the area and if guest feedback is any indication, we are achieving our goal of creating an experience different from other hotels our size. People are beginning to talk about us; feedback is very good. In the first two weeks that we have opened, we already received rave reviews from Trip Advisor and that makes the staff and me happy.”
“I don’t want to say I will do this, I will do that. The proof of the pudding is the eating. The proof of your efforts is in the result. As expectations of guests become higher and higher, we in the hotel business have to do more – develop better products, train our staff more, make use of the latest technology, become more and more competitive by providing better service. Now the best is not enough anymore. If we say we do the best but guests still not happy we have to improve; we have to ask what more we can do to make them happy.
“Providing better service in hotels – it never ends. And I will never stop until I get the results I want: to surprise our guests with the ‘ordinary done well’ and offer the perfect combination of economy price and delightful stay.”