Having been born into a diplomatic family, M.L. Laksasubha Kridakon spent her early years traveling the world as a result of her father’s foreign postings. Despite spending time in cities like Paris, Buenos Aires, Canberra, Budapest and Prague, every now and again the family would take her back to spend summer holidays in Hua Hin, Thailand and after so many year, it was there in Hua Hin that she finally decided to build her own beach house - ‘Baanlaksasubha Resort Hua Hin’. This land was then gifted to her by her father M.R. Suttiswat Kridakon, the grandson of H.R.H. Prince Nares Vorraridh Kridakon, who was the son of King Rama IV.
As a small hotel owner, how do you make the most of your resources to make your resort stand at par with international brands?
It may be difficult for a small stand-alone property to compete with the big chain hotels without offering a very different experience. Establishing Laksasubha was an opportunity to provide that difference and to develop a concept based on my own experiences and style. I designed the decorations, room concepts, bar/restaurant concepts, menus and even the staff uniforms. My previous business involvement included the First Steps International Preschool and the Krystalina house of exclusive crystals from Czech Republic.
My style and concepts reflect a balance between the East and the West. This reflects my own life experiences and my pride in being Thai. However I have also been able to experience and absorb other cultures during my stays in many different countries. This has enabled me to develop an intuition and an understanding of the preferences of guests from different countries and how they may best enjoy certain features and the culture of the ‘Land of Smiles’.
A special ‘niche’ resort is not for everyone but certainly Laksasubha has established a special place within the hospitality scene of Hua Hin as our return guests demonstrate with many returning five or more times.
How have you seen the Hua Hin hotel market change over the past 10 years? And what's the future for the Hua Hin Market?
Marketing trends for tourism in Hua Hin have changed with more diversified travellers reaching this destination rather than simply being a ‘retirement’ market.
Hua Hin now has many infrastructure developments including superb health care facilities, shopping malls and transportation. Travel options now include ferries, international flights and new rail transport will soon be available. This means that Hua Hin is opening up to both international and other Thai regions.
New marketing trends are related to an increased family emphasis as well as addressing the needs of golfers and Chinese, Indian, Europeans and Australian travellers who are discovering the charms of the Royal town of Hua Hin.
My main market is the truly loyal guests who return every year.
Hua Hin now attracts more millennials with many choices of beachfront restaurants, clubs and entertainment. Bangkokians remain as frequent visitors; especially during holiday periods.
Having lived abroad as an ambassador's daughter who has seen the world, how do you apply those experiences to your work and your resort?
My resort concepts have developed from experiences gained from living in different countries and merging these cultures. Experiencing different types of hospitality services has made me more aware of our guests needs from different parts of the world.
For example, these influences have been applied to my style of decorating to the type of menus. The rooms reflect my own previous home in Canberra; light and airy with areas for guests to relax with huge terraces in white colours blending with Thai furniture from Chiang Mai. The colour schemes, starting from the front office, combine a truly northern Thai style with the blue & white of the French Riviera to the black & white cool European loft mood. These colour themes flow throughout the resort to the beachside restaurant and bar.
Our foods and drinks are influenced by my Latin American roots mixed with international and local Thai flavours.
What's the most important skill / qualification a small hotel owner needs to have?
Being the owner requires me to always be in tune with the needs of our guests, so we must be versed in the most recent technology and staff management trends.
I need to demonstrate skills that allow me to turn things around within a short period of time with limited resources. To achieve this I need to be informed about hospitality news and developments, networking with my colleagues to learn the different angles, problems and solutions that occur in our business.
I am a passionate hands-on owner operator with historic ties to Hua Hin and our resort. I have a strong belief in my work and our product. This means that the Laksasubha is in a position which cannot be matched by resorts modeled on international brands that may have a less personal approach to the business of assuring complete guest satisfaction.