IT was in late 1988 that Victor Sukseree was entrusted to oversee the opening and become the first General Manager of a new five-star Dusit hotel in Hua Hin. Previous experience working for Dusit had apparently put him in pole position to undertake this project 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; and a more refined alternative to Pattaya. From the onset, the style and design of the hotel was to be grand and opulent. Victor’s brief from Dusit owner Thanpuying Chanut was to run and develop the hotel as if it were his own.
The hotel’s 1990 opening was a grand affair presided over by the late King Bhumibol’s sister, HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana. The name of the hotel atthat time was the ‘Dusit Resort and Polo Club’, explaining why till this day the hotel is still often referred to as ‘Dusit Polo’.
Today, three decades on, 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, 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, with Victor appointed as Honorary Consul to Sweden.
Over the years the hotel has received numerous accolades from industry figures, but for Victor it’s when guests come back year after year, often staying for months at a time, that he feels a sense of achievement and measure of success.
He also likes to pass on what he has learned along the way, lecturing at colleges and training programmes, together with radio and TV ventures that he says will continue throughout his retirement from management.
The hotel has hosted hundreds of weddings, probably a number of conceptions over the years too, and life at the Dusit will continue as Victor’s baton passes to a new conductor with the brief that the show must go on.
Nothing stays the same, says 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 parents must feel when their child leaves home and ventures out into the world on his or her own.
Victor says he has great expectations and confidence that the hotel’s future is sound and wishes his successors as rewarding an experience as he has enjoyed.