Phuket’s Trisara is a unique resort. Guests have included royalty, sports stars, politicians and showbiz stars. It is a fully Thai-owned project, with no international investment. This is perhaps why it is so different and why it attracts such guests to experience the best that Thailand can offer.
We met with Kittisak Pattamasaevi, VP of Sales & Marketing of Trisara’s owners, Montara Hospitality and asked him to tell us Trisara’s secrets.
When did the hotel open?
Eleven years ago, right before the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
What was the vision behind the project?
My father Narong Pattamasaevi, Chairman of Montar Hospitality and two friends designed and created Trisara. There was Mom Tri M.L. Tridosyuth Devakula with his expertise in architecture, and Anthony Lark who was general manager of Amanpuri for many years, plus the financial expertise of my father. All of this was essential. It was a trio of people with fine business acumen.
Why was the name Trisara chosen?
Trisara means “Garden in the Third Heaven”. The name is reflected in the landscape of Trisara, with its surrounding gardens. It’s a perfect environment. Some of the villas have 360-degree views. It seems like they are floating in heaven, looking out across beautiful gardens. I think the name fits perfectly.
Can you tell me more about the architect?
As I mentioned earlier the master plan came from Mom Tri. I would say the most distinctive element is the rooflines at Trisara. They are unique yet typically Thai. They are simple and elegant, and Thai-inspired.
How many people are there in your team? And what makes Trisara stand out from the rest? There are about 400 staff in the resort with around 100 guest on average. This four-to-one ratio allows us to deliver personalized, tailored service to our guests.
Each villa has an ocean view. They are all pool villas and at least 10 meters apart from each other. It’s very luxurious and very private. I think such things really make a difference.
Do you have a symbol of luck?
I think the number 3 is our lucky symbol. Everything that comes in threes is complete, and lucky for me. Like a family, for example, that usually starts with three people. Or take the Montara tree: the leaves [Montara’s logo] come in threes. So for me the number 3 is definitely a symbol of luck in my life.
Trisara is very green. How was this achieved?
Right from the beginning we respected nature, so when we built the resort we removed all the existing trees and took them to our tree nursery in the middle of the island. After construction was complete, we put them back. Even in the cafeteria you can still see a big old tree right in the middle.
In addition, we use reusable glass bottles [for drinking water], not plastic, and we collect rain water to use on our gardens.
What is the Trisara Academy?
The Academy is about education. There we train and evaluate our staff in order to continually raise standards within the company. We also offer courses for expatriates who can come and join us on a regular base. And we have special events with outside lecturers, sometimes combined with a dinner or a cocktail party.
How do guests get to know about Trisara?
Mostly it’s by word of mouth from our own guests, from travel agents and so on. Now, of course, we have Tripadvisor and online videos, but word of mouth is the most important promotional tool a luxury resort like Trisara can have. We also have a lot of repeat guests.
What kind of celebrities have stayed at the resort?
We have had a variety of celebrities. [Footballer] David Silva, [tennis player] Maria Sharapova, [actor] Kevin Bacon, [model] Kate Moss and [US presidential hopeful] Hillary Clinton are just a few I can mention.
Why did you decide to manage Trisara yourselves rather than getting an international chain to do it? We had a pure vision, with each and every unit representing the perfect villa experience. Having 39 hotel villas at least 10 meters apart from each other was the main reason we decided that being independent was better.
What is your perfect day?
I like kayaking or snorkeling on the sea. Also, I love to read. Unfortunately, when I am in Phuket, I don’t get much free time.
What is your favorite food?
I really like the local yellow egg noodles. But in general my favorite cuisine is Japanese.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Ralph Lauren is an example. He’s not too loud yet he’s colorful at the same time.
Your favorite movie star?
George Clooney seems like a good guy all round. Not much gossip – I like that.
What kind of music do you like?
I love jazz the most, particularly Buddy Rich, who was a famous drummer – very fast, an amazing drummer for jazz. Jazz is not strictly structured. There’s room for improvisation and the drummer gives it direction. That’s why I like jazz.
What do you value most in terms of people skills?
Honesty, definitely. That’s the most important for me.
If you had to live on a desert island what’s the one thing would you take with you? My phone – haha – it’s very important for me to be connected.
What is the girl of your dreams like?
Someone who is honest about herself – no pretending or putting on an act – that’s the thing I find most attractive about a girl.
Do you have a life credo?
Maximizing your potential and giving it your best in every way. You should always try to do your best in everything you do. That’s the most important thing.