Jonas Sjöstedt, Area General Manager, Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya
- 23 Oct 2018 6:00 AM
1. What surprised you most when you first came to live in Pattaya?
That Pattaya is a City with a beach destination. The area in and around it is very large, and is still growing. If you go outside the City you can find many top quality Golf Courses, Family/Adventure Parks, a great Water Park, temples, a floating market, even a winery, and much more. It’s a destination for everyone!
2. Friends are in town for just a few days - what must they absolutely see and do?
A boat trip to Koh Lan island is a must! The floating market, Nong Nuch Garden (Royal botanic Garden), and a sunset walk by Pattaya Beach Road. A visit on one of the many Seafood restaurants in Na Jomtien is one of my personal favourites!
3. What is your favourite Thai food / word?
There so many fantastic dishes. Tom Yam Goong is my favorite soup, Moo Ping (pork on a stick), sticky rice and Nam Jim Jew (spicy sauce) with Som Tum salad (Papaya salad) is one of the best value for money meals in the world if you ask me!
4. What do you miss most from home?
Family, friends...and my Swedish football team Malmö FF. Luckily they qualify to play in Europe almost every year, so it easy to follow them on TV, but the atmosphere at Malmö Stadium is world class and so I miss that!
5. What is the secret of your success?
I've always had a great passion for what I do, and I'm a good example that you can work your way up the positions to the top. I have been with the Centara Family for 13 years, and had the opportunity to manage six hotels so far for them so far. It is wonderful to see the development and growth in different locations, and connection made with people I have worked with, all like a big family.
6. What career other than yours would you also love to pursue?
A Stand-Up Comedian, as I love to entertain.
7. Where did you spend your last vacation?
In my hometown of Malmö in Sweden with my Fiancé (now wife), we also visited Amsterdam for a weekend.
8. Where is your dream holiday destination?
9. What would you say is your personal motto?
Changes gives opportunities.
10. When you dine in a restaurant, what else do you look at besides the menu?
Service, presentation of food, hygiene, design of the place, and if they have any signature dishes. I love to experience new places.
11. What are the most challenging issues you are facing in your current job?
We have many brands within Centara Hotels & Resorts, many ’one of a kind’ 5 star hotels. Such as Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, one of flag ship properties in Pattaya - the first and unique hotel with the Lost World theme concept. It has a huge water park, on the beach, nine restaurants, club lounges, kid clubs...
Sometimes we have guest who has stayed in a Centara Grand and then comes to our 3 and 4 star hotels with same expectations, managing their stay experience is a definitely challenge for us. Because one of Centara’s main strengths is in offering wonderful family experience. We are very committed to service excellence, so the question is how to deliver it in the environment of 3-4 start hotels at our best.
12. What is the best compliment you've ever received?
"We will only stay wherever you work” (said my mama...hehehe)
13. When you must choose, do you do the things right, or do you do the right things?
The right things.
14. At work what puts a smile on your face?
Happy guests, happy colleagues, and a high GOP!
15. What hidden gems does Pattaya have to offer discerning travellers?
There is a wine distillery by The Silver Lake, with an amazing view and nature. It almost reminds about Toscana Valley. A great half day trip where the guest can also pay a small amount for a round trip and wine tasting.
16. What attracted you to working with Centara hotels?
Centara Hotels & Resorts are is Thailand biggest hotel chain and it is Thai owned. With 39 hotels open and around 40 on project there is many great opportunities and I am very grateful to work and represent the Centara Family. There is certainly always something exciting happening.
17. What’s your favourite Thai drink?
Namenao soda, which is soda water in a glass full with ice and fresh squeezed lime
18. What was the most interesting travel trip you have ever taken?
I was recently invited for the Centara Roadshow in China with stop in WuHan, Shanghai and Guangzhou. An amazing 9 day trip to places I never been to before! Guangzhou especially as I really loved the food there (dim sum).
19. You are now responsible for 5 quality hotels in Pattaya, how do you relax?
A great day off includes Beach walk with my dogs, 2 hours Foot massage, Fresh seafood and good wine with my lovely wife and friends.
20. What’s the last book you read, and movie you watched?
Last book was “They called me God – by Stefan Schwarz – a Living legend Swedish football player from my home town and team Malmo FF.
Last movie was Jumanji, really funny comedy with Kevin Hart
21. Who do you admire the most, and why?
Many, but there are 2 women in my life that always deliver. My mother who is a constant support. My wife who is working full time, study for doctor degree and taking care of me, the house and our Chihuahua.
22. What do you like best and least about living in Pattaya?
Best is that we live in a City with a beach, where we can drive 20 min to come to beach and local seafood restaurants, and 20 minutes to a super exclusive shopping centre, with fine dine and movie theatre. Pattaya offers everything for everyone. We have no speed train to BKK, but we have been informed that the Government has approved it and could be ready within 5 years.
23. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
Jonas – Too Cool for School.
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