A Chat with Chuan Suwannakarn. The Life and the Future of Baan Suwantawe Serviced Apartment and Hotel.
Many young people look at life and realise that they can gain more worth while experience by traveling and working abroad; Chuan Suwannakarn was no different. After he passed his degree in Hospitality Management at the William Angliss Institute inMelbourne, Australia, he started his working life as a Group MICE Specialist at the Shangri La Hotel in Bangkok for about two years. Only then did he decide to head back to Phuket to take over Baan Suwantawe Serviced Apartment and Hotel from his parents as general manager. Chuan is now 29 years old and exudes that kind of new generation-type energy in order to successfully run Baan Suwantawe in this changing world.
Why do you decide tocome back home?
I wanted to come back and help my dad. I was very happy working at Shangri La, and just like other young people I had a lot of fun in my work. But after having ameeting with my dad, I decided to come back to help so I went back, informed the office of my intention, and resigned six months later.
What are the origins of Baan Suwantawe?
It all started when my dad moved our air-conditioner company from Mae Luan Road to where we are now. He built Baan Suwantawe but at first he didn’t mean it to be a hotel, more a serviced apartment; a monthly rental setup. Since there were no serviced apartments with a swimming pool at that time he thought up the idea of Baan Suwantawe.
What makes Baan Suwantawe outstanding?
Our strong point is the size of the rooms. 36sqm is the room area and the balcony is another 8sqm. We have a swimming pool, indoor parking, free Wi-Fi but unfortunately we don’t serve breakfast so our large living space is our main selling point.
What’s the future direction of Baan Suwantawe?
I’d like to renovate both the design and concept to respond to new demands. We’re looking for a new concept for our place in every aspect in terms of the physical appearance and service style. Whether it’s the lobby or the rooms everything will have a clear concept but it’ll still be based on the main theme and that’s ‘a comfortable stay’. I’d like every guest to feel comfortable when they come to stay with us just as we would feel if we stay at Baan Suwantawe. This was the first intention of my parents when they built it. They put their hearts into the details. They used themselves as the standard in every little thing such as the water pressure and water temperature as well as the air-conditioning. So we stick with that principal because if we ourselves don’t feel comfortable, who will?
What about your leisure time?
I spend most of my free time insports; I like to play football and I play music sometimes but this also depends on my friends. I love watching movies at home.
How do you manage your time?
Actually, living in Phuket is much easier compared to living in Bangkok. You don’t get stuck in traffic for hours and hours like in Bangkok. If you finish work at 5 or 5.30 it’s easier to get around here. When it comes to time management, I think it all depends on individuals. Sometimes you really need to work, but you should also be flexible. When it comesto family time, you need to take thetime. I think it depends on what you value as the most important things inyour life; for me, family comes first.
I normally take one or two trips in a year. I like to travel on my own and notwith a tour agency but my girlfrienddoes. I went back to Melbourne recently; it was a good time actually. But if you ask me about short trips on weekends or holidays, I’m not that kind. I prefer to stay home. I like long trips of more than 10 days at a time better. It’s like you have a big aim in the journey so you need to prepare yourselves for it. For me, I think the fun is not the traveling but the preparation and anticipation of what you’re going to experience.
I’d say you simply need to do your best, have fun when you play, push yourself to the limit when you have to work and enjoy it. You might gettired but never give up.