Amy at the Centara Grand Pratumnak
by Kevin Cain
One of the delights of writing this column is getting the opportunity to meet fascinating people who help make Pattaya tick. Nearly all the people that I have had the pleasure to interview I have never met before and each time have come away from the meeting enriched and enlightened.The one thing they all have in common is that Pattaya is a more beautiful place for their dedication and love of the city.
This month I made my way down to Pratumnak on a mission to meet up with a young lady named Amy who works at the Centara Grand. I must admit I had never been to this hotel before and was very impressed with the airy Lobby and the underwater-world theme, including a resident shark tank. Wandering around in confusion as to where my interviewee might be found, I was bought out of my daze by a very glamorous lady, immaculately dressed all in black, calling my name.This was my first ever meeting with the delectable Amy and within minutes she was looking after me. She ushered me to a chair promptly plumped up the cushions and ordered a cold beverage for me. In fact it is clear that Amy likes to takes great care of both her guests and visitors. Although she is the Social Marketing Director for the Centara Grand you could easily be forgiven for thinking that she has doubled up as housekeeper, receptionist, waitress or any other member of staff at the ready to look after a needy journalist.
So it was that I sat down to the job at hand which was to ask Amy's questions for this article and usually on these sort of occasions it is normally my job to put my interviewee at ease and put any tummy “butterfly flutterings” well and truly to bed. However for some reason the roles seemed to be reversed as it was Amy that was determined to ensure I had everything I needed and was as comfortable as possible.
Amy was born in southern Thailand and she explained that she learnt her superb English at school as she was growing up there and then later at college. She humbly explained that she was not as bright as her sisters and had to struggle hard at her studies, I dismissed this comment instantly as modesty on her part as it was obvious that I was having a conversation with a very erudite lady..Amy then moved to Bangkok to attend university for four years carrying on for a further two to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Relations and after hearing this I firmly put her prior comment in the waste disposal ! After university a job opportunity came around to work in Dubai in the hotel industry with Sofitel and she took to the work diligently and with enthusiasm.A further five years were spent back in Bangkok again in the hotel industry and in 2009 she found herself for the first time of her life in Pattaya. Immediately the city had a big effect on her and the formation of a love affair between Amy and Pattaya started.
She joined the Amari Orchid as the Social Director and at the Mantra Amy's fame for relationship building and scrupulous care was becoming well known throughout the industry. It is Amy's attention to detail that is one of her best attributes, she makes every person she meets believe she is there just to serve them.
“I am deeply attached to my job, as it gives me an opportunity to give back love and appreciation” Amy proffered, as she believes that Pattaya and the people who work and live there have given her so much.
In 2013 she was invited to join the management team at the brand new Centara Grand in Pratumnak and so she moved from the Amari as a favour to a friend who desperately needed her expert services at this plush,exciting new hotel where she greets each new visitor with the gracious ease of an elegant hostess welcoming you to into her home. As Amy has a demeanor which is particularly unusual, she is a highly professional person but manages to carry out her duties in such a natural way that she uncomplicates situations and puts everyone instantly at their ease.This friendly efficiency also drives her private life where her work with the Rotary club and Chaine des Rotisseurs is all about putting something back into the community. The latter is devoted to elevate the dining and drinking experience within Pattaya by establishing better standards for everyone.
Amongst a general attitude of pessimism it is extremely refreshing to hear Amy’s optimistic views and her belief that Pattaya is full of beautiful people (both inside and out) She is also a firm believer in promulgating circles, to develop networks in order that more and more people can have a chance to meet. She understands the need to bring foreigners and Thais closer together and to have a better understanding of each other’s cultures. Amy is certainly a lady on a mission to do as much as she can to help and improve her adopted home of Pattaya which she believes has given her so much in her life.
As I looked up from my writing, I notice that my drink had been replenished and cushions freshly plumped. This I now knew is typical Amy, the comfort and love towards looking after her charges is always paramount.Asking what job she would like if she were ever to leave the hotel trade, her response did not startle me one iota. “If I ever did leave the Centara and the Hotel Industry, I would like to be a kindergarten teacher.”
Amy is a remarkable lady, and well worthy of a place as a Pattaya Personality. Her love and devotion to her work is purely based on serving her community, to make Pattaya a better, happier and more loving place. In this world of doom-mongers and cynics we need the Amys of Pattaya to stand up and be counted.So as I hailed a taxi after departing the Centara, I could not help but feel slightly smug with myself. It was a feeling that I was in some way special and loved, and I knew who had imparted this feeling as I hopped on to the back of the motor bike with a broad grin on my face.