It was in Late 1988, Khun Kampi Suwanarat and particularly Thanpuying Chanut entrusted Khun Victor Sukseree to open and be the first General Manager of a new five-star Dusit hotel to be built in Hua Hin. Previous experience working for Dusit had apparently put him in pole position to undertake this extravagant investment in what was then a relatively new international Thai hospitality destination.
Hua Hin with strong historical Royal connections had long been favoured by Bangkok families seeking a gentle less commercialised respite from city life; you might say a more relaxing and refined alternative to the more flamboyant destination of Pattaya. Thus from the onset, the style and design of the hotel was to be grand and opulent. Khun Victor’s brief from Thanpuying Chanut was to run and develop the hotel as if it were his own. The hotel’s 1990 opening was a grand affair most graciously presided over by our beloved late King Bhumibol’s sister HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana.
The name of the hotel at that time was the ‘Dusit Resort and Polo Club’, hence, the reason why till this day the hotel is still fondly referred to by many people involved in the early days as ‘Dusit Polo’. Well, 30-years on, Khun Victor looks back on his time at the hotel as a labour of love with so many landmark moments that only a few may be included here. 2003 saw the grand opening of the hotel’s renowned Devarana Spa, later to be followed by the Royal Dusit Hall. With facilities and expertise to host almost any kind of hospitality related events, including two ASEAN Summits when international leaders and statesmen crossed the hotel’s impressive threshold, following in the footsteps of many royal guests, contributed to making the hotel a landmark in the history of Hua Hin in its own right.
The hotel also became the home of the Swedish Consul Office in Hua Hin upon the appointment of Khun Victor as Honorary Consul to Sweden. Khun Victor’s love of theatre both as an entertainment media and with regard to providing the ‘wow factor’ in hospitality is well known with many MICE related events coming to expect the unexpected and be delighted by the unique experiences the hotel reliably delivered. This ultimately led to their annual return as part of their organisation’s highlight of the year. Part of the spin off this had was that many very well know celebrities of stage and television have over the years generously attended and performed at the hotel’s legendary New Year Parties. Attracting up to 400 guest each year, the surprising fact is that so many of the guests knew each other, attending every year making it as much of a reunion of friends as a fitting and spectacular international celebration.
Over the years the hotel has received numerous accolades from highly respected industry recognised bodies, but Khun Victor says that it is when guests come back year after year, often staying for months at a time and tell you that the hotel is their home from home that one really feels a sense of achievement and measure of success. Khun Victor’s passion for hospitality excellence has driven him to succeed based on his ethos that there are no half-measures on the path to success. He is also driven to inspire and pass on to others what he has learned along the way, lecturing at colleges and training programmes plus radio and TV ventures that he says will continue throughout his retirement from management.
Well there have been hundreds of weddings, no doubt many conceptions also, at the hotel and life will continue as Khun Victor’s masterful baton passes to a new conductor with the brief that the show must go on. Nothing stays the same, says Khun Victor, vouching for the fact that hospitality now is very different from when he started out. The hotel will undoubtedly keep pace with new innovations and industry trends, implementing Dusit identity into the mix.
The hotel has continuously occupied almost half of Khun Victor’s life and he admits to feeling like a parent must feel when their child leaves home and ventures out into the world on their own. My interview with Khun Victor concluded with him saying that he has great expectations plus confidence that the ground work and preparation for the hotel’s future is sound and wishes his successors as rewarding an experience as he has enjoyed, fondly adding: ‘thank you Dusit Polo’.