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Santiburi Koh Samui names new General Manager

Santiburi Koh Samui names new General Manager
Written by Harry S. Johnson

Santiburi Koh Samui, the high-end, experience-driven beachfront retreat on Samui’s north shore, has appointed Mr. Alexandre Frenkel as its new General Manager, effective 1st August 2020.

A highly-skilled Swiss hotelier with almost three decades of experience, Alexandre has worked with leading hotels and resorts in five countries. He also has a deep knowledge of the Thai hotel sector, having spent the last 16 years living and working in the Kingdom.

It was destiny that Alexandre would become a hospitality expert; he was born and raised in his family’s 24-room hotel in the countryside near Geneva, in his native Switzerland. Having learned about the industry from an early age, he attended the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and graduated with a Diploma in Hotel & Restaurant Management. This formative time in his life also coincided with Alexandre’s first exposure to Thai culture, when he served an internship at the former Phi Phi Palm Beach Resort in 1990.

The early stages of Alexandre’s professional career were spent with Hilton, as he worked his way up from being a Reservation Sales Agent to Front Office Manager, and culminating with the senior positions of Director of Operations and Director of Business Development at Hilton Beijing. He then moved back to Thailand with Amari/Onyx Hospitality Group, achieving his first General Manager’s role in 2006. He has since managed some of Bangkok’s leading properties, including Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel.

During his career, Alexandre has taken part in a takeover, a rebranding, two renovations, and the opening of two different spas. He is an active member of SKAL International, the Swiss-Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Swiss Society Bangkok, and speaks six languages: English, Thai, French, German, Italian and Japanese.

Alexandre now brings his lifetime of talent and expertise to Santiburi Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s most renowned resorts. Nestled in 23 acres of tropical foliage on Samui’s north coast, with a 300-metre-long stretch of pristine sandy beach, this seafront sanctuary features a collection of spacious suites and pool villas, five culinary venues, and extensive sport and leisure facilities. These include a 50-metre long swimming pool, a fully-equipped Sports Centre, floodlit tennis court, Water Sports Centre, Panya & Yim’s Junior Camp and Lèn Spa. Santiburi Samui Country Club and golf course is a short distance away. Santiburi recently introduced The Reserve, its exclusive “resort within a resort” concept comprising 19 luxurious Grand Reserve Pool Villas.

These exceptional attributes and amenities helped Santiburi to achieve TripAdvisor’s “Best of the Best” award for 2020, which puts it in the top 1% of hotels and resorts worldwide.

“I am delighted to join Santiburi, a legendary resort that pioneered the concept of Thai luxury hospitality in Koh Samui and where nature and privacy have always played a major role in its success. Having been involved with Thailand’s hotel sector for approximately two decades, I have been very impressed by how this famous family resort has continued to reinvent itself and stay at the leading edge of innovation, most recently with the launch of The Reserve and Lèn, its unique programme of activities and excursions. I look forward to leading Santiburi into an exciting new era,” said Alexandre Frenkel, Santiburi’s new General Manager.

Santiburi is now welcoming guests back to Koh Samui and delivering exclusive experiences, all in line with the “new normal” of safe and socially distant travel. The resort has introduced a wide range of precautionary health and hygiene measures, and has been certified by the Thai Ministry of Public Health and awarded the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certificate by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Alexandre to Santiburi and S Hotels & Resorts. Hotel management is not only a job; it is a vocation that requires many special attributes, including passion, intuition and dedication. Alexandre combines all of these qualities with in-depth local knowledge, following almost 20 years spent living and working in Thailand. With a proven track record, I can think of no better person to lead this iconic resort. These are challenging times for global travel, but I have complete confidence in our team to continue creating unrivalled guest experiences, now and in the future,” said Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Executive Officer, S Hotels & Resorts.