Avani appoints general managers in Thailand


As Thailand’s borders reopen, Avani welcomes new, familiar faces to lead the brand’s portfolio in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Phuket and the next destination – Khao Lak.

Naowarat Arunkong joins Anantara Hua Hin Resort and Avani + Hua Hin Resort as cluster general manager.

Naowarat Arunkong joined Minor Hotels in 1999 and got her first General Manager position at Anantara Hua Hin Resort in 2011. Arunkong moved to Bangkok in 2013 to take on the role of General Manager of Anantara Sathorn Bangkok Hotel and the ‘Oaks Bangkok Sathorn. In 2016, with the opening of Avani’s first property in Khon Kaen, she was appointed CEO of the cluster, overseeing the Anantara Sathorn Bangkok Hotel, the Oaks Bangkok Sathorn and the Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Center. . Most recently, she was the cluster general manager for Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Center and oversaw the opening of Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok.

Sandra Watermann appointed cluster general manager at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas and Avani + Mai Khao Phuket Suites & Villas

Sandra Watermann brings over 25 years of hospitality experience and a proven track record of successful pre-openings to her new role. Having started in the industry in her native Germany, she has since worked in the US, UK, Maldives and South East Asia. Prior to joining Minor Hotels, Sandra led the pre-opening of Rosewood Phuket as a hotel manager and, prior to that, the pre-opening of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Samui as a hotel manager. Between 2008 and 2015, she worked at Amanpuri Hotel Phuket, first as Food and Beverage Manager, then as Deputy Executive Director and Hotel Manager, before taking on the role of Manager general at Amankila Bali Indonesia. In her new cluster role, Sandra will manage two luxury properties on the Thai island of Phuket.

Chidchanok Pasinpong is the new general manager of the Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok hotel

With nearly two decades of hospitality experience in Thailand, Chidchanok Pasinpong began her food and beverage career at Banyan Tree Bangkok in 2004. She remained with the company until 2011, period during from which she held various management positions in food and beverage, including an Assistant position in AVP Food & Beverage for Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts. In 2011, she joined SO / Bangkok as Food and Beverage Manager and was promoted to Food and Beverage Manager in 2013. Prior to joining Minor Hotels, she was General Manager of SO / Sofitel Hua Hin. Of Thai nationality, Chidchanok holds a Bachelor of Arts from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and a Masters from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland.

Darren darwin appointed general manager of the next Avani + Khao Lak Resort

British national, Darren Darwin, joins Avani + Khao Lak Resort as the beachfront property prepares for opening slated for 2022. Darren has over 30 years of experience in the luxury hotel industry and is No stranger to Minor Hotels since arriving in 2014 after opening the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman as General Manager, recognized as one of the best luxury resorts in the world. He then moved to Sri Lanka to supervise Anantara and Avani Kalutara as the cluster general manager. Darren holds an MBA from the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland as well as degrees in Executive Leadership, Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University in the United States.


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