Lifestyle in Thailand had a chance to talk with Mr.David Ippersiel, General Manager of Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach for his vision to manage the brand new hotel in the North of Phuket Island.
Please give us a brief background of yourself, your childhood, your family and your overall experience in hospitality and your current role as GM at Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach.
- I was born in Belgium and was fortunate enough to live abroad at a very young age. Spending most of my younger life in hotels before moving to our actual homes in and around Asia, I would mingle with the associates and spend countless hours back of house. I knew from there on that I wanted to be in the hotel industry. I was fortunate to be able to join the Hotel School of Lausanne, Switzerland with higher studies in Hotel and Restaurant Management (with honors) and a Diploma in Marketing, Food and Beverage, Finance and Engineering and form there on I had the opportunity to join various 5 star international hotel chains around the world. I have 24-year experience in hospitality and most of these professional years, I have spent in Asia where I worked for Banyan Tree back in the 90’s, Indigo Pearl, here in Phuket until I left in 2013 to take on the General Manager role at the Renaissance Tlemcen in Algeria. I am glad to be back on the island for the 3rd time, opening this fantastic property, the Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang.
In your opinion, what is “the heart of the matter” (core value) of running and managing hospitality business?
Resorts in Phuket are more or less all the same. Providing guests with well-appointed rooms, great food and beverage venues, pool and beach facilities. I personally think that where we can make the difference is on the “art” of hosting which our associates live by, to deliver this sophisticated and warmly authentic services to our guests. In addition, the key to our success will be based on the selection of our “Associates” (employees) and the training we provide, enhancing our believes and core values of the “art” of hosting
The profile of our customers are changing and we need to adapt to their needs on a constant basis. They are now connected on social media sites and their feedback delivers countless impressions from people around the globe. Our margins of error are getting smaller and smaller and we need to stay focus on delivering the best possible journey of experience to our brilliant travelers.
What is your goal in personal and professional life?
- Working in the hospitality industry is very time consuming, you never manage your time but your associates and your guests do that for you. To succeed you need passion but also experience in the industry which you can only learn by living it day by day. Marriott International as a company promotes “work-life-balance” and therefore, my goal in the next couple of years, is achieving that, integrating both my personal and work life seamlessly.
What will be the main factor driving your hotel to become one of the top ranking hotel in Phuket?
- If we focus and we take care of our associates, we can then expect them to do the same for our guests. Happy associates means happy guests. Our associates will be able to look after our guests the best possible way, delivering a unique service, a brilliant experience and making sure that all of our guests have seamlessly unforgettable experience . If we are consistent in doing so, guests can only want one thing, and that is to come back for more.
What will be your advice to the young Executives who dream to become a General Manager?
- Be patient, take the time to understand and experience the differences of each department in a hotel, be ready to compromise a lot, stay flexible on the locations and appreciate the opportunities which leads you to explore the world. But the most important thing is to be passionate about your job!