Patrick Both is now the driving force as General Manager at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel. Both brings 21 years of international hotel experience to Thailand, with five years already spent as a member of the Anantara family in the Maldives, Vietnam, and most recently in Abu Dhabi. The German-born hotelier has worked in various positions for groups such as Hilton, Intercontinental, and Langham Hotels in Germany, England, and China.
Luxvisor Executive Editor Roger Hohl interviewed Patrick Both exclusively about his new challenge:
Joys and frustrations of the week: What are you currently happy about and what is currently bothering you?
Long meetings frustrate me, while I always look forward to a jog in Lumpini Park, 10 minutes from the hotel.
You have been in your new position for a few days. What challenges are there currently or in the first weeks to overcome?
When taking over a hotel, you need to win over the existing team. You need to learn their weaknesses and strengths and balance them out. As a hotel is always very personnel-intensive, it is always important to have the right person in the right job.
What sets your hotel apart from the other 816 in Bangkok?
The hotel is often referred to as the Grand Dame of Bangkok as it has been in existence for 33 years and has had many famous personalities as guests. Anantara Siam is especially known for its lobby, where the high society of Bangkok meets for afternoon tea, and one often meets some celebrity or another.
The hotel also has excellent restaurants, with Biscotti being recently recognized as the best Italian restaurant in Bangkok by Tatler. Culinary-wise, we are considered a stronghold, and our Sunday Champagne Brunch is one of the best in Bangkok.
Also worth mentioning are the 700 square meters of silk paintings used in the lobby, which make the hotel unique. We are also the only hotel that is so centrally located and has a resort feel with our very generous pool.
Is running a hotel in Asian countries different from Europe? If so, where is the difference?
The hotel business is similar to Europe, but you have to adjust to the cultural differences between Thailand and Germany. This is particularly challenging in terms of managing employees.
Where is the hotel currently positioned economically, and where do you want to strategically go in the future?
We had a very good first quarter in 2016. In the future, we will focus on bringing weddings, as well as meeting and event groups, to the hotel.
In what price range is the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel located?
The Anantara Siam starts at EUR 170 per night.
What is the majority of your clientele made up of? Business travelers or tourists?
It’s evenly split, with 50% business travelers and 50% tourists.
Which hotel in the world do you particularly appreciate (privately)?
One of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in was Prestonfield in Scotland, which I can only recommend alongside Anantara Siam.
You have lived and worked in many different places around the world, from the UAE to the Maldives, China to Vietnam, and now Thailand. Where did you like it best, and why?
Bangkok is certainly one of the most exciting cities I have ever worked in. The city’s versatility is exceptional, and whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in Bangkok.
You have had an impressive career and have earned various awards. What advice do you have for young, up-and-coming hotel management professionals for their career? What is important?
Anyone who wants to succeed in the hotel industry must accept that private and professional life cannot be separated. There is no work-life balance, and hard work and long working days are unavoidable. It is crucial to have fun at work.
Person Patrick Both
- Age: 39
- Place of Birth: Mainz (Germany)
- Education: Hotel clerk and studied hotel management in Heidelberg (Germany)
- Hobbies: Gym and Restaurants
- Martial Status: Married, one daugther