Suppachai Rattanopath is a young hotelier who has two missions in mind – not just to run his hotels but to change the way destinations are perceived. With a master’s degree in hospitality from Glion University, Switzerland, and a long family history of running hotels, Suppachai is already well on the way to achieving his goals.
It always helps to be immersed in one’s chosen profession from an early age, and that’s one advantage Suppachai certainly had because his family owns the A-One Group which started out with a single Bangkok motel, and then unlocked the potential of opening a restaurant for guests. The plan was a success, and Suppachai’s father never looked back, going on to purchase a piece of land in Pattaya at just the right time – ready for the tourism boom and before prices started to climb.
“My grandfather had a very artistic mind and wanted to build a hotel in the shape of a ship, so that’s what the A- One Hotel Pattaya looks like today, while Grandma dealt with the accounting and financial side of things,” said Suppachai of the A-One expansion into Pattaya. “It used to be in high demand,” he added. “My father knew a lot of the Chinese agents so he quickly learned exactly how the business works.”
Following on from A-One Pattaya, the family then found a plot of land nearby to build another hotel, and after a year of begging the owners to sell, the development phase was underway. The result is the Mytt Beach Hotel, which aims to transform the Pattaya Beach Road scene.
Suppachai’s mission as the new hotel’s Managing Director is to make Mytt an entertainment lifestyle spot for locals as well as tourists. Unlike many traditional owners, he is closely involved in overseeing the business, which means he can choose the direction the hotel takes. That’s not to say he attempts to do everything himself – but he has become a master of delegation, with the knack of finding the right people for the job.
What’s also unusual is that Suppachai has chosen not to get involved with an international brand, and that’s something which has been passed down through the generations. “One thing that my grandparents said was never to let someone else run your own hotel because then you don’t have the control, you don’t get to make the decisions, so my grandparents never really believed in doing that,” he explained.
This does leave Mytt with a challenge, because it can be hard for smaller local brands to compete with the international brand names in creating Western luxury and service standards. Suppachai mentioned that the way he’s trying to address this issue is through building a relationship with guests. He observes that with many high-end luxury hotels, it’s all about the guest being good enough to afford the brand, whereas he believes that guests should always be welcome to come back and experience something different – a new menu, a new concert, a new concept, or new facilities to keep guests entertained. Another way in which Mytt stands out from the ordinary is in Suppachai’s vision of transforming the way Pattaya is perceived as a destination. “Pattaya is about being affordable, being available, and it’s about mass,” he pointed out. “I’m trying to get people from Bangkok to realize that you shouldn’t just come to Pattaya for the water and the beach, or some music festival – you should be able to enjoy all the different types of facilities that are being offered.”
The idea behind Mytt is to create a lifestyle destination, and that has started with the rooftop space, a consultant chef, and a shift towards an immersive experience. The buffet offers a high-end dining experience that would normally only be found in Bangkok – with lobster and Wagyu beef on offer every day and not jut as a Sunday brunch.
A passion for music has seen Suppachai insist on installing the finest sound system available, which would normally only be found at festivals or in the leading nightclubs. As he explains, “lifestyle isn’t about focusing on just one aspect. It’s about being able to put your focus and work into all five senses.” The emphasis on entertainment and quality while remaining approachable may be a unique approach in a market like Pattaya, but one which could certainly be welcome for locals and visitors alike.
“When I was young, I thought I knew everything and nothing was that difficult,” Suppachai said. “But now as I grow up, I see things differently, and I realize how much work and effort you have to put in to make something happen.”