Kasem Phanprasitha, chief concierge at Centara Grand Hotel @ Central Plaza Ladprao, says he always tries to serve guests like they are his family.
by Earth Saiswang.
Kasem Phanprasitha, 54, is the chief concierge at the Centara Grand @ Central Plaza Ladprao. A native of Lopburi Province, he joined The Regent Bangkok on Rajadamri Road as a receptionist after finishing his bachelor’s degree.
Like all concierges, he considers his position as the hotel’s “center of information,” important and routinely does the job of a porter and doorman, as well as being a representative for limousine and airport transfers for guests. He says he treats his guests like family – “those who I love the most,” he points out.
How does he describe a typical day at work? “Standing by to offer assistance to guests with a smile,” Kasem says simply. “It requires positive thinking and taking good care of every single guest, but I think it is a great job and I love it. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
Like any other kind of job, little problems can occur at the concierge workplace, but he explains that for the most part it is fun. “Guests never forget,” he says, “they always remember you even for a small deed.” At the hotel where he previously worked, for example, there was a guest who wanted to buy a three-wheeler (tuk-tuk) to take back home to the U.S. Kasem managed to do that for him, and the guest was forever grateful. In fact, three years later the same guest came back and asked him for help to buy some spare parts for his beloved tuk-tuk.
“And one time, I wrote an informal tour plan on a small piece of paper for a guest who wanted to visit some local attractions. The following week, I found out that the guest gave that same note to a friend who also found it helpful and he passed his thanks onto me as well.”
Kasem shared with us some of the tips he gives to Centara Grand @ Central Ladprao guests:
Where to go for the best Thai food
“Suan Bua Thai Restaurant in the hotel. I always get a lot of compliments from our guests who I recommend this restaurant to. I don’t recommend places that I haven’t tried and I love the food – especially the pomelo salad, yum betel nuts and other – at this restaurant.”
Where to bring friends to chill-out
“Blue Sky Bar on the hotel’s 24th floor, where guests can enjoy a great view not only of the big city, but also of the green Chatuchak Park nearby.”
Where to shop
“Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Central Department stores, as they are both close to the hotel.”
The easiest way to get back and forth to the hotel – “BTS Chatuchak Station, MRT (Phoholyothin Station) or local taxi.”
How to avoid pimps, hecklers and scammers
“I always tell guests to be wary of any stranger who approaches them to offer something. I also hand them a hotel name card, so that they can get help right away if they need it.”
Best way to enjoy their Bangkok holiday
“I’m probably biased, but family members can just enjoy in the hotel swimming pool together, or going to the Central Ladprao department store, which is connected to the hotel. But I also recommend that guests explore places such as the amusement parks like Dream World and Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World, as well as the Grand Palace and other beautiful temples.”