What is your full name and age? My name is Bertrand Margerie, and I am 48 for a few more months.
What is your current Job Position? I have the privilege to lead the team of Putahracsa Hua Hin, where I act as General Manager.
How long have you lived in Hua Hin or been coming to Hua Hin? I first came to Hua Hin 20 years ago, and only returned to settle down here 2 months ago.
What did you know about Hua Hin before you moved here? What my backpacker memories kept reminding me: a nice little beachfront town, with a relaxing atmosphere and a truly genuine and friendly local population. At that time, most was happening between the railway station and the seafront. As I walked the streets around soi 61, I could find the soi and the guesthouse where I used to stay, that had quite some uplift since then.
What do you like most about your profession? There is no routine. From the time that you deal all-day long with people (guests or colleagues), every interaction is unique. As you engage with them, you always leave richer in experience in the evening than you had arrived in the morning.
What do you like least about your profession? Surely paperwork and office work, unfortunately the more you grow in this industry, the more administrative tasks you have. That’s the back side of the coin. It also takes probably a little too much of one’s life so I often call it a part-time job: 12 hours-a-day.
What do you like most about Hua Hin? Its peaceful and provincial atmosphere during the week, and its busy and buzzing pace over the weekends. It is like living in a different city. This reminds me of Cannes, on the French Riviera, becoming overnight a totally different city comes the time, every year, of the Film Festival.
What is your favorite restaurant and why? (please don’t promote your own restaurants). I like to go with my family and friends who visit to Raruek Hua Hin, at the junction of Naeb Kaehat Road and soi 51. Don’t look for the English name, it is only written in Thai. The place is easily recognizable thanks to the lighthouse planted at one of its accesses. It is a mix of street food restaurants and more established outlets, one of them offering quite an interesting selection of wines. It is a very open place, yet safe for the kids to run around. On top of one of the restaurants is a well-done little museum on Hua Hin. Altogether a place that carries the image of the city.
What do you like to do in your free time and why? Having only returned to the city after so many years, I have so much to discover. I like to go to Cha-Am for a lazy afternoon on the beach sun loungers. Cicada Market is also a favorite destination. I recently went to Pa-la’u waterfall and fell in love with the place. The water was so refreshing on that steaming day! We even had the visit of a group of naughty red-faced monkeys, thankfully they only managed in stealing the dirty diaper of my son, while my shorts with the car keys were just next by. Phew!
What would you recommend to new-comers to do in Hua Hin and why? Take your time. There is a relaxed flair in the city that does not push you to live at a fast and furious pace. As you will most probably fall in love with the city and sign-up for many years of living here, you will have plenty of time to discover it and its surroundings.
Tell us a surprising fact that the public might not know about you? I have no academic education nor degree in this industry. I applied in a 5-star hotel at the age of 19, got hired and learned from scratch. But I soon became passionate. Without passion, you cannot make it in this industry.
What is the most outlandish thing you have ever done and why? Traveling half of the world -or nearly- for literally just a few hours to see very special people in my life. Unannounced, of course, as this adds to the drama of the moment. But I wonder if this is so outlandish. Maybe not that much when you live on the other side of the planet.