The ongoing success of both the original Twinpalms Resort on Surin Beach and its recently opened new property, Club Yamu on Phuket’s peaceful east coast owe a great deal to their savvy GM Olivier Gibaud. Being somewhat renowned for NOT talking to the media, we felt privileged in recently spending some quality time with him.
How goes the current year for your businesses?
We have now multiple businesses but our main focus is the original Twinpalms which is about to celebrate its seventh anniversary,
that said we recently-opened Club Yamu as well as Andaman Cruises and the Bake and Flame restaurant outlets. All are doing exceptionally well this year and we project growing occupancy and income over the next season. We are finding that both the internet and the strength of currencies and economic fundamentals are key drivers of our businesses. Well over fifty percent of bookings
come via the internet these days, both directly and through agents, and of course currency strength is a great arbiter of geographic catchment for us. We see many more Australians as well as Swiss, Germans and French guests, Brits have never been in great number at Twinpalms Phuket and are reducing in numbers because of their preference for more traditional Thai styles of accommodation.
How do you differentiate your two resorts?
The original Twinpalms Phuket has built its success by offering ‘affordable luxury’ to holliday makers and timestressed couples and singles. The property features an open tropical modern environment which is design with modern, contemporary and style in mind. It’s all about hedonism and relaxation. Club Yamu by contrast is family and children-focused with apartments having a minimum of two bedrooms with superb indoor space of 200sq meters each. Here we offer all sorts of activity and diversions for families with children and all the support and staff backup needed to make family stays happy and stress-free. So the two resorts appeal to totally
different target groups, with totally different personal agendas.
Catch Beach Club and your Sunday Brunches in Oriental Spon seem to be an important part of the Twinpalms
mystique, is that deliberate?
Catch Beach club offers a unique beach environment right on possibly Phuket’s most beautiful beach and so is a tremendous draw card for us and it generates a lot of positive feedback from satisfied guests. The Tuesday’s and Friday night barbeques are a terrific social scene and are doing very well. Likewise we have been able to establish Oriental Spoon’s Sunday brunches as THE place to see and be seen when you are visiting Phuket or if you live on the island. We see these regular, socially focused, events as fantastic opportunities to drive the appeal of our brands and so we have been at pains to make them successful. We are about to introduce a new dining concept at Catch Beach Club with various food-stall type outlets offering a broad range of dishes to our guests. And
we probably shouldn’t forget to mention our annual anniversary parties which are hailed as the island’s best bashes on yearly
basis. Our seventh birthday party is coming up on Friday September 24th and we hope to make it better than ever!
Who are your most difficult customers?
Strangely and fortunately enough we don’t have difficult customer however, often our ‘repeat visitors’ are the hardest to please. It seems that just like that magical first date with a beautiful woman, the second time around can never quite live up to the memory of the first time. Maybe that’s just human nature, but as a result, and as we are always happy to see previous visitors coming back to stay with us, we have to go out of our way to please them with new experiences