What was intended to be a retirement home for this hotelier’s father is now one of Thailand’s most luxurious resorts
Pimalai is two hours from Krabi Airport and requires a private car and speedboat ride, all arranged by the resort.
Despite being the owner’s daughter, Tiyaphorn has never received special treatment. “When I had to work here as a receptionist during the school holidays, I couldn’t eat the food at the hotel; I had to eat in the canteen,” she shared, laughing. It was never her intention to join the family business. “Getting into a family business means you will never have normal family dinners. They would always revolve around the work,” she argued.
But fate had other plans. Tiyaphorn worked in accounting before leaving the company to pursue her Masters in Marketing and Management. Upon graduation, the resort needed someone to manage the accounting and finance departments, and Tiyaphorn agreed to accept the position. When her sister became pregnant and decided to focus on raising her children, she also took over the sales and marketing department. “And once you’re in the business, you can’t get out,” she joked.
Despite her initial hesitation, Tiyaphorn slipped easily into her role as Pimalai’s owner representative nine years later. What she loves most about her job, to her own surprise, is meeting people from all over the world. “I’m an introvert and I used to think I just wanted to be in my own corner and do my calculations and budgets,” she said. Plus the staff at Pimalai, some of whom have been with the resort since it opened They’ve always felt like family.
Tiyaphorn now spends half her time at the resort and the other half in her Bangkok office. While in Pimalai, she starts the day with breakfast at Seven Seas. “The restaurant faces the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. Sometimes I stay a little longer after breakfast and get on with my work,” she said of the view.