Mr. Torgrim Viken, Former Resident Manager, AVANI Pattaya Resort & Spa

  • 1 Jul 2018 8:32 AM
Mr. Torgrim Viken, Former Resident Manager, AVANI Pattaya Resort & Spa
Norwegian Hotelier with hotel experience in Europe, Middle East & Asia. He has done re-branding, pre-opening, hotel opening and predominately resort and large scale operations.

1. How do you feel about your current assignment in Pattaya?
Very happy here in Pattaya and very proud of our renovated new hotel and for some excellent achievements over the past months after rebranding.

2. How long have you been an expat, and where also have you lived abroad?
I have lived abroad for the past 13 years. In Switzerland for 5 years, UK 1 year, Qatar 1 year and Thailand 7 years now.

3. When you first arrived, what surprised you most about Thailand?
In 2010. The genuine hospitality, friendliness and willingness to learn new things.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose, and why?
London, UK. Love the diversity of the city and the possibilities to be outside in the parks are great.

5. Friends are in Pattaya for just a few days - what must they absolutely see and do?
Nong Nuch Gardens - Botanical Gardens it is approx 20 minute drive from the hotel and the Sanctuary of Truth – they are still building it (not renovating as lot of people thnk) are defiantly two must do things in Pattaya.

6. What was the most adventurous travel trip you have ever taken?
I climbed to The Tiger Nest monastery in Bhutan. Fantastic experience!

7. What has been the biggest achievement in your life so far?
I have two beautiful kids go to kindergarten at international school with international teachers, a fantastic wife and that I travelled to 69 countries so far.

8. What is the secret of your success?
Hard work and open mind.

9. What’s your favourite sport / form of exercise?
I love to watch football and my favourite team is Spurs. Next season I will have a season ticket, but not sure how many matches I will be able to attend.

10. What can’t you resist in Pattaya - tell us a guilty pleasure.
The Indian food at Ali Baba is second to none – I visit at least once a week!

11. What's the last movie you watched, and book you read?
Movie: Logan
Book: The Entrepreneur: 25 Golden Rules for the Global Business Manager By William Heinecke.

12. What has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
My dad – he is a travel agent – still in Norway who always has encouraged me to try new things in life and never be afraid of accepting a challenge.

13. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about in Thailand?
We work closely with an orphanage (Baang Jing Teai Orphanige here in Pattaya and I love going there to help out and also see the joy in the eyes of the kids when I come there. When refurbished the hotel, we gave them duvets, pillows, umbrellas, bedding and even beds so it helping them is an ongoing activity. We also took part in the Annual Bicycle race – sponsored the lunch for them and all the participants.

14. What was the luckiest moment here so far?
Must be the day my son was born in Trang Province.

15. If you could trade places with anyone for a week, with whom would it be?
My Mum, who is a professor at our local university teaching Norwegian language to foreigners – very rewarding!

16. What career other than yours would you also love to pursue?
I love travelling so being an airline pilot would be a dream.

17. In ten years from now what will you be doing?
Hopefully I will be a General Manager in one of our Minor properties.

18. Where is your dream retirement location, and why?
The slow life in Krabi really appeals to me.

19. Where you are going to spend your next holiday?
Next holiday back to Norway to visit family.

20. What could you say is your personal motto?
Life is a journey, not a destination.


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