BANGKOK — A German national who has held high-ranking positions with some of the world’s most recognizable luxury hotel groups has been named general manager of the flagship property for Sofitel Luxury Hotels in Southeast Asia.
In June, Oliver Schnatz assumed the lead role at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit after spending almost three years as the hotel manager of the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.
“This is an exciting opportunity because Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is in the absolute perfect location, right in the heart of the city, with a combination of amenities that appeal to both the business and leisure traveler,” said Schnatz, who helped the Siam Kempinski claim the No. 1 spot in Bangkok in revenue per available room (RevPAR) two years in a row. “What’s more, the hotel has got some profound initiatives in the works, which will only enhance the guest experience.
“Being able to oversee these projects as well as getting the opportunity to simultaneously oversee a second property in Bangkok for Accor — Mercure Sukhumvit Soi 11 — made this opening even more attractive.”
Since his first posting in Thailand in 2001 at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, the 43-year-old has also served as general manager of Sri Panwa Resort in Phuket and executive assistant manager at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.
“I love Thailand and I love the people,” said Schnatz, who was born and raised in Cologne. “I have always admired their natural friendliness and approach to life. I can’t think of a better country in which to live and work.”
Schnatz began his hospitality career in 1994 with Steigenberger Hotel near Frankfurt. Five years later, he took a job with Hotel Plaza Athenee New York as its assistant food and beverage manager.
Schnatz has also worked at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London and overseen the food and beverage departments at the Mandarin Oriental Munich and the Peninsula Hong Kong.
Schnatz’s long-term goal for the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is to make it the “first choice on Sukhumvit Road for the discerning traveler,” he said.
He would also like to see the hotel become the “living room” for locals and the top choice in Bangkok for lunch, dinner, drinks, celebrations and meetings.
“I think we’ll open ourselves up to so many more possibilities once we add the Diageo World Class Bar to our award-winning rooftop restaurant (L’Appart) and complete the skybridge, which will connect the hotel to the BTS Skytrain and the MRT underground,” said Schnatz. “I can’t wait to see the response when those projects wrap next year.”
Opened in April 2012, the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit has made a name for itself in the luxury hotel market by marrying French elegance with Thai hospitality and design.
Inspired by the art deco period, the 345-room, limestone-steel-and-glass structure extends 32 stories above Sukhumvit Road and is capped by L'Appart, a Parisian-styled eatery and lounge designed to look and feel like a lavish penthouse apartment.
A rice motif — in honor of the grain that has shaped Thailand's landscape and culture — runs throughout the property, site of the country's only Le SPA with L'Occitane.