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Femke Beekers

GM of BEST WESTERN Allamanda Laguna Phuket

December 2013

How long have you been with BEST WESTERN Allamanda Laguna Phuket? What’s your position?
I re-joined BEST WESTERN Allamanda Laguna Phuket in March this year as the General Manager. I used to work here as the Hotel Manager running the operations under a GM. The owners asked me to return as GM this time. We've always stayed in touch and it's nice to work with them again.

Where were you living and working before?
I was Villa Manager at Impiana Private Villas in Kata Noi and BYD Lofts in Patong. I've always lived in Kamala, which now is closer to work…

Where are you from?
I'm from Holland, but I've been in Thailand for 13 years now.

What’s special / different about BEST WESTERN Allamanda Laguna Phuket?
We're both a resort and serviced apartments – unique for our space, facilities and staff. We have many staff members who've worked with us for a long time, recognising the guests, knowing what they like during their stay, offering a home-away-from-home service. Our guests love the property for this as well as the location within the Laguna resort area, offering inter-resort facilities and inter-resort charges. A unique system.

Tell us something about your role in the business?
I'm in charge of all departments, ensuring our guests enjoy the best possible stay with us and that the team runs most efficiently.

What are the main challenges?
Keeping the standards high, being located amongst so many of the top hotels in Phuket.

…and the biggest difficulties?
To stay on top with more and more competition on the island.

What is your main target market?
Australian, Russian, Chinese and European tourists.

What do you like most about what you do now?
I love the guest contact and working with my team to improve our property and services even further.

And what do you like least…?
There is no least. We have a wonderful property and a wonderful team!

What do you hope / expect to achieve within the next 3-5 years?
We hope to still be one of the favourite places in Phuket, with many guests returning for the service given by my team.

What do you see as your biggest successes to date?
Opening eyes, teaching my team to think out of the box and implementing new operating procedures and methods.

To what extent did the 2009 global financial mess affect your business?
We miss a percentage of our European guests…

Are you involved in any CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes?
Yes, certainly. We're part of the Bangtao Green Club, focusing on beach cleaning and recycling programmes. We support Soi Dog, offering highly reduced rates for their volunteers staying with us, as well as donations and providing spoiled sheets and blankets. It's a great foundation helping so many. We also support children foundations on the island, such as Baan Holland. We invite the children for a day of activities at the pool or we visit them with equipment, donations, toys and meals. We're about to launch a WE CARE room, that guests can book on our website. A percentage of the room rate will go to these three foundations.

Please give us an overview of your typical day ‘at work’?
I check urgent emails first, check the reports and tasks assigned for the day, then meet with my management team for a morning briefing to discuss the daily operation, then walk to the lobby and restaurant to meet guests and suppliers.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I'm a social leader. I'm close to my team members and work on the floor with them where needed. We even share the office.

What is your over-riding ambition at this stage in your life?
I enjoy my work and personal life and would like to continue doing so in good health.

For further information about BEST WESTERN Allamanda Laguna Phuket.
++66 76 362 700.
www.allamandaphuket.com

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