In a long career that began in Baghdad in 1983 and took him to 10 countries, Charles worked through the ranks and eventually became Managing Director of Lenotre Thailand, one of Accor Hotel Group’s finest confectionary and catering brands.
After 30 years working in many brands of the Accor Group, including Novotel, Sofitel and Mercure, Charles left the hotel chain to launch his own hospitality business.
In two years the company created two brands, The Duchess and The Zone. It also manages a small portfolio of hotels and restaurants which he is planning to expand.
Until recently, Charles was a consultant for Sindhorn Village, one of the largest hospitality developments in Bangkok, comprising luxury serviced apartments, hotels, restaurants and entertainment outlets.
In his spare time, Charles is a keen golfer with one of the most consistently low handicaps among local golfers. He was the Vice-President of the Australian Thai Chamber of Commerce from 2014 till 2018 and the driver behind the annual chamber golf tournament.
An accredited director, he holds a diploma from the Thai Institute of Directors.
As for the future, he says: “I will continue to enjoy every moment of my life together with everyone I come into contact with.”
Born: 24th Feb 1961.
Education: Diploma IOD.
Family: Two Daughters, four grandchildren.
What is your present position? CEO, Wrightman Corporation.
What does your company do? Hospitality related business.
Any other business interests? Yes. golfing and people.
First job: Waiter.
Early influences: My fascination with meeting people from different backgrounds.
How long in Thailand? 20 years.
Where did you work before Thailand? Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
What brought you here? Accor Hotel Group.
How did your hotel career progress? From a waiter all the way up to General Manager in nine different countries and then Managing Director of Lenotre Thailand with Accor.
Why did you leave the hotel company after so many years? To start my own hospitality business.
Apart from your business, what else keeps you here? Golf and all my friends.
As a longtime hotelier, what is the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in? Villa Vita in Portugal.
Any hotel you’d like to stay in? People make the difference, so any hotel that has friendly staff with a sense of humor.
Best hotel in Thailand? A hotel where the people are enjoy what they do. You can have all the expensive amenities, interior decoration, fine architecture, latest IT and all the best hardware. People make it what it is.
Will Thailand’s hotel industry eventually back from Covid19 and when is that likely to happen? Covid has changed travel forever so we may not get back to the way it used to be.
Any lessons for the hotel industry once the all-clear on the virus is called? The hotel industry will have to be better prepared for future pandemics and change the way in which business is done.
Any major setbacks or disappointments in your career? None.
How good is your address book? I am the wealthiest person on earth with the number of friends I have.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Bangkok, apart from your own? Indigo.
Any other favorite hang-out places? Chockers Australian Bistro & Bar, Soi Lan Suan..
Hobbies and exercise? Golf.
Favorite weekend destination? Amata Springs Golf and Country Club.
Is Bangkok a better place to live and visit today compared to when you first arrived? It has changed.
Can you imagine living anywhere else? No.
What’s next for you? Open a hotel management school in Bangkok and enjoy every day as a bonus to meet with people.