Kata Group Resorts Thailand.
Pamuke is currently focused on building the branding and customer experience of Kata Group’s new upmarket Beyond resort portfolio.
By Percy Roxas.
It all started with just nine low-rise beach bungalows. Pamuke Achariyachai, first developed the small collection of rental properties into the beachside retreat Kata Beach Resort & Spa, now an internationally known beach resort destination at one of the most popular spots in Phuket. The resort group has grown to encompass 1,200 rooms, with resorts such as Karon Beach Resort & Spa, Phuket Orchid Resort & Spa, Kandaburi Resort & Spa, and the newly launched luxurious 4-star plus Beyond Resort Khaolak and Beyond Resort Krabi now included in its portfolio. And Pamuke – the group’s tireless chairman for 32 years now — is still “looking for new opportunities to grow the company and expand its exposure in the hospitality industry.”
Famous for being hardworking, Pamuke started working in high school. “I tried to learn as much as I can,” he shares, “and after graduating from a university in the Philippines, I became involved with agricultural business in the South of Thailand and by sheer hard work became successful.”
But Pamuke never expected to become a hotelier although he admitted to always having had “an interest in business.” In fact, he briefly worked in a bank in Bangkok. But he has never regretted being one. “I enjoy dealing with people so if I did not become a hotelier,“ he says, “I would surely be in a similar people-oriented business.”
What does he like most in this business? “The perks of welcoming and pleasing guests, both Thai and international, and being part of efforts to promote Phuket as a top holiday destination. Friendships are created, different cultures are learned and appreciated, good experiences and memories are made, and local communities developed and promoted – these are few reasons why I love my job. “
He said he started his first hotel after “a vision came to me seeing Phuket becoming a popular international destination.” Being an affable guy himself, he easily built good relations with good relations with guests and overseas travel agents and became successful. That success convinced him to open up more hotels in Phuket.
Today, Kata Group Resorts Thailand is a renowned hospitality company with a reputation for offering high-quality and affordable resort destinations in Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, and Koh Samui. With focus on large, well-appointed, popular resorts that offer something for everyone, Kata Group resorts encourage customers to return year after year to experience the most of its renowned hospitality, great food, a choice of amenities and accommodation options.
“We have a strong international following of guests seeking fun, relaxation and value,” he says. “Kata Group opened up the world-famous Thai holiday experience so that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, putting everyday luxury and excellence within the reach of a broad demography of customers who love to travel to this beautiful part of Thailand.
“Because we have made such an effort to offer something for everyone across our resort portfolio, our efforts have attracted many industry awards. Beyond Resort Khaolak recently won an award for “Best New Coastal Resort” in the 2012 World Luxury Hotel Awards – an amazing achievement. We have also received a raft of Trip Advisor “Certificate of Excellence” awards for Kata Beach Resort & Spa, Karon Beach Resort & Spa, and Kandaburi Resort & Spa,” he says.
But the biggest key to Kata Group’s success, Pamuke emphasizes, is human resources – the human element. “Your people are your business,” he says, “and you must invest in their training and development. I have a personal passion for working with dedicated and innovative people, especially when you consider that the staff is the most prominent “touch points” for guests who interact with the hospitality experience you are offering. I believe this is something we get right at all our resorts. It is a cornerstone that powers our growth.”
Pamuke is currently focused on building the branding and customer experience of Kata Group’s upmarket Beyond resort portfolio, which he describes “will be a transformation for the group, taking our product upmarket but still retaining the brand values for which we are renowned particularly in terms of delivering value for money for guests and strong brand loyalty.”
He says, “all hotels under Kata Group will be rebranded to ‘Beyond’ and ‘Romancing the beach’ is a key design philosophy for all Beyond resorts. It describes an intimate connection to the beach, determining that all accommodation units offer virtually immediate beach access for guests who stay with us.” As mentioned earlier, the group has already launched two resorts under the Beyond brand: Beyond Resort Khaolak, a couples-only leisure destination located on a seemingly endless span of pristine Pakweep Beach in Phang Nga; and Beyond Resort Krabi, designed around romancing nature and the beach, and representing closeness with nature.
Despite all his achievements as a hotelier, Pamuke considers himself first and foremost a family person. “I love being a hotelier but my family is very important to me. Firm foundations of a person starts at home so when I am not taking care of the hotels, I try to spend time with my wife, Tunyaratt, who is a senator of Phuket and chairman of the Standing Committee on Tourism of the Thai Senate; and his son, Pariyawit, who is completing his studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
But most of all, he likes to be a part a society that helps others. Pamuke is also president of Phuket FC, the provincial football team, and he attends all their matches whenever time permits. He also loves golf because “it is good time for exercise, to enjoy the serenity of nature, or catch up with friends and colleagues.”
“The local community is important to me so I support different community or city projects and lead various groups,” he says. “I’m a big believer in sharing what you receive, especially to the place where your business is established. I find it important to give something back to the community. I believe we are given gifts and blessings to share; and what we give will return to us.”