S Hotels and Resorts PCL, the global hospitality company from Singha Estate PCL, has announced the appointment of Mr. Bart Callens as the new Cluster General Manager of SAii Phi Phi Island Village and SAii Laguna Phuket, its two free-spirited, five-star resorts in southern Thailand.
A highly respected hotelier from Belgium, Bart has more than 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. This stellar career has spanned four continents – Europe, North America, Africa and Asia – and included roles with some of the world’s leading hotel brands. He is also a food & beverage expert, having led the culinary teams in many major hotels and resorts around the globe, and even enjoyed a successful year on a Cunard cruise liner.
A significant part of Bart’s professional life has been spent with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), with whom he rose from the position of Restaurant Manager at InterContinental Mayfair in London in 2000 to become Director of Food & Beverage at InterContinental New Orleans in the USA from 2005-07. Following productive spells with Langham Place Hotel Mongkok in Hong Kong and Kerzner Group’s prestigious Mazagan Beach Resort in Morocco, he returned to IHG in 2011 to become Resident Manager of Crowne Plaza West Hanoi, Vietnam.
This marked the start of a successful stay in Southeast Asia that has now lasted more than a decade. Having moved to Thailand in 2014, he served as General Manager of Holiday Inn Sukhumvit, Bangkok, and most recently as IHG’s Area General Manager for Southern Thailand. In this role, he oversaw five resorts under three brands – Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza – while also serving as GM of Holiday Inn Resort Phuket.
This impressive résumé makes Bart the perfect person to lead SAii Resorts’ beachfront luxury lifestyle properties in Koh Phi Phi and Phuket, which have become popular with couples and families alike since they were successfully refurbished, repositioned and reopened in Q1 2021. He commenced his new position on 1st February 2022.
The flagship of the SAii Resorts’ portfolio, SAii Phi Phi Island Village is set in 70 acres of lush tropical gardens with a long sandy beach. With its rustic-chic bungalows, suites and villas, extensive leisure facilities, Lèn Forest Spa, beachfront dining venues and plenty of opportunities for exploration, including island excursions and diving trips, this immersive resort is ideal for experience-seeking travellers. The onsite Marine Discovery Centre also serves as an education and conservation hub for the entire region.
SAii Laguna Phuket, which is surrounded by tranquil lagoons on Phuket’s sunset coast, overlooking Bangtao Beach, is the ultimate destination for activity-seeking guests. All ages can unwind in huge swimming pools, enjoy water sports on the lagoons, play tennis, squash, archery and more. There is also a kids’ club, fitness centre, club lounge, diverse dining options including SAii’s unique brand concepts, Mr. Tomyam and Miss Olive Oyl, and guests can visit the vibrant Friday night market at Boat Avenue.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Bart Callens to the S Hotels & Resorts family. With a lifetime of top-level experience in the worldwide hospitality industry, he has a proven track record of raising hotel performance, motivating his teams and exceeding guest expectations. Bart is also highly knowledgeable about the Thai tourism industry, having managed international hotels in the Kingdom for the last eight years. I am confident that his skills will elevate our two exceptional SAii Resorts to new levels of excellence,” said Dirk De Cuyper, CEO, S Hotels & Resorts.