- 27 Oct 2015 11:00 AM
A graduate of Airline Management from ''Nederland’s Luchtvaart College'', and having resided for 14 years in The Netherlands he speaks fluent Dutch, English as welll as Thai, and has a working knowledge of German. In his personal time Jean loves to travel, read books, and is keen on fitness, spa and wellness.
He also enjoys exploring local cultures, cuisine, and new technologies. Additionally he is an animal lover, as well as a big fan of sci-fi movies. Jean has a passion for flying and previously held a private pilot license, which allowed him to fly a single engine airplane during day time without instrument, he hopes he will get an opportunity to renew his license and fly again in future.
On 23 November 2015 he became the new General Manager of The Westin Siray Bay Resort in Phuket, at the age of 36 years, bringing with him a wealth of experience in hospitality management spanning over 10 years in Thailand.
1. Friends are in Phuket for just a few days - what must they absolutely see and do?
Old Phuket Town – a unique blend of colonial and Chinese ‘Sino-Portuguese’ architecture - less than 15 mins from The Westin via shuttle bus (which runs several times per day for a small nominal fee)
Sunset at Leam Phromthep – it's near Rawai Beach, up on the island's southernmost hill - less than 30 mins from The Westin
Nai Harn beach, this is an insiders tip, great location because it is a less touristic beach where locals go, it’s quieter than the well known places, you can buy authentic handicrafts and so on there – also less than 30 mins from The Westin
Phang Nga bay – James Bond Island is the most famous one of the various islands here, take a cruise to see the limestone cliffs jut vertically out of the emerald-green waters,
Phi Phi island – it’s really worth a day trip to see Thailand's island-superstar - this and the island hopping tour above can easily be booked via the tour desk in the hotel.
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose, and why?
Thailand, my native country… Bangkok in particular, I love that city, it really never sleeps… Every year I need to go for a winter break to cool down, each year to see a different place, I might visit Budapest sometime soon.
3. What was the most adventurous travel trip you have ever taken?
Every destination can be experienced as an adventure, in Hong Kong say to see the sights and also experience how the locals enjoy life. Also for example earlier this year I went to Mandalay in Myanmar (formerly Burma) it was the biggest shock of my life, from the way people look at you, and communicate, the food, but a fun fulfilling experience! Looking back, it’s not the place where I would return, as my interests of the sights are somewhat different.
4. What is the secret of your success?
I’m an active listener for one thing. Generally I really aim to understand people’s needs, and what they want, and then act accordingly.
5. What can’t you resist? - tell us a guilty pleasure.
A good donut, especially from Krispy Kreme - a guilty pleasure as I’m diabetic, only type 2 though fortunately.
6. What’s your favourite sport / form of exercise?
I go to the gym for fitness training 3 or 4 times per week, and cool down each time by walking for at least 40 mins on the treadmill.
7. What's the last movie you watched, and book you read?
The latest James Bond film, Spectre. The last book I read was Would You Kill The Fat Man, by David Edmond, which I highly recommend.
8. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
Jean, A Serious Man (with a good sense of humour…)
9. What has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
I went on a site visit to see the work of Child’s Dream Foundation, in Chiang Mai (www.childsdream.org). It helps children in need, regarding health, basic education, and higher education too. The children grow up well and informed, and can return their knowledge to their own villages. Now I’m an active volunteer, and recently raised USD 15,000 for this good cause.
10. What was the luckiest moment of your life so far?
I’m looking forward for that moment to come…
11. If you could trade places with anyone for a week, with whom would it be?
The President of the United States.
12. What career other than yours would you also love to pursue?
I have two actually, to be a commercial pilot and so travel a lot, and to be a psychologist and be able to see inside people’s minds.
13. In ten years from now what will you be doing?
I’ll most likely be a GM with an international hotel chain, with more responsibility all being well.
14. Where is your dream travel destination, and why?
I have many, I’ve never been to the States yet, also on my to do list is Japan, and Bhutan - the roof of the world - is a must see for me too.
15. What could you say is your personal motto?
Be curious! What you don’t know, just ask!
About The Westin in Phuket
The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa is the first Westin resort to open in Thailand. It offers a sensory-rich environment of calm and comfort to tired travelers. Located on Siray Island off Phuket’s east coast the entire resort overlooks picturesque Siray Bay and boasts a secluded beach with direct access. Siray Island is connected to the Phuket mainland via a bridge.
It is an 8-minute drive from Phuket town, 45-minute drive from Phuket International airport and a boat ride from a cluster of world renowned islands including Phi Phi, James Bond, Similan and Maya islands, renowned for their white sandy beaches, pristine waters and abundant marine life.
The resort offers 257 stylishly appointed guestrooms, suites and villas decorated in modern soothing décor and stylish furnishings. Each room enjoys breathtaking ocean views, open outdoor balconies to relax, Westin Heavenly® Bed, Heavenly Bath®, rain showers, flat-screen LCD televisions, high speed broadband and wireless Internet access throughout the resort. Several guestrooms, suites and villas have their own private plunge pools.
Travelers seeking a personal, enriching experience and healthy lifestyle will also be able to experience a range of Westin products and services including the signature Westin Heavenly® Bed, WestinWORKOUT® Gym and the first Heavenly Spa by Westin™ in Thailand.
Other facilities in the resort include 6 food and beverage outlets, 3 outdoor pools, Westin Kids Club®, a business center, 4 meeting rooms, totaling 710 square meters with all pre-function areas enjoying ocean views.
For more info visit www.westinsiraybay.com