What is your full name and age?
My name is Jean-Matthieu Beroujon, but since it can be difficult to pronounce for non-French speakers, I am used to being called by my nickname, Matt. I just turned 40 years old in December.
What is your current Job Position?
I am currently the General Manager of Amari Hua Hin, part of Onyx Hospitality, a leading Asia-Pacific hotel management company, offering a range of hotels, resorts, serviced apartments and spa brands consisting of the established Amari collection of full-service hotels, leading serviced apartment provider Shama, the midscale OZO brand, the design-led YOO Collection and Yoo2, and Breeze Spa – a fresh new take on Asian wellness.
How long have you lived in Hua Hin or been coming to Hua Hin?
I arrived in Hua Hin in January of this year. While I have lived in Bangkok and Koh Lanta, this is actually my first time in Hua Hin.
What did you know about Hua Hin before you moved here?
I knew Hua Hin from its golf course reputation as well as for being a preferred summer destination of the Royal Family, making it a more upscale and relaxing resort destination than other similar seaside areas in Thailand.
What do you like most about your profession?
As a teenager in my hometown of Lyon in France, I had a dream to travel around the world and visit iconic places in large cities like New York, Bangkok and Tokyo and also tropical islands in the Caribbean, Bora Bora in French Polynesia and exotic destinations in Southeast Asia. The hospitality business allowed me to follow this dream and to work in over 14 countries. I enjoyed learning about the various people and cultures that I encountered.
What do you like least about your profession?
Hospitality is a great industry but it is also a demanding one, which never stops, and it can sometimes be difficult to find the right balance between work and private life. Holidays like Christmas or New Year are less about family and friends, for most hoteliers, and more about full occupancy, revenue, gala dinners and guest satisfaction.
What do you like most about Hua Hin?
I like Hua Hin because it offers a nice environment for a good work life balance as well as its proximity to Bangkok, but also having its own shopping malls, international hospitals, plenty of restaurants and lots of activities to do.
What is your favorite restaurant and why? (please don’t promote
your own restaurants)
As I am still quite new in town, I haven’t had the opportunity to experience too many restaurants. My craving for different kinds of food is great and, therefore, I enjoy experiencing many types of cuisine on a regular basis. For a restaurant to become my favorite, quality of food has to be matched by quality of service and the friendliness of the team.
What do you like to do in your free time and why?
I am a nature enthusiast and like going for walks in parks or mountains, away from civilization. I also enjoy discovering new things, visiting new places and trying new activities. Kite surfing seems to be fun and is on my list. I also like cooking and trying new recipes.
What would you recommend to newcomers to do in Hua Hin and why?
I would recommend they explore all of Hua Hin because it has a lot to offer from family waterparks to international golf courses and watersports facilities and, of course, great food, particularly the fresh seafood.
Tell us a surprising fact that the public might not know about you?
A few years ago, I became overweight from too many hours working in the kitchen and not enough time exercising. I decided to start running, which, at first, I could only do for short distances. However, one of my colleagues challenged me to run with him a half marathon, which was an amazing experience, not only physically but also mentally. I now run regularly and join at least two half marathons per year.
What is the most outlandish thing you have ever done and why?
It is a difficult question to answer since I have had so many different and unique experiences as a result of my travels. The most memorable involved dealing with nature and animals, from diving with sharks in the Bora Bora Lagoon in French Polynesia to having dinner in the jungle of Laos with local villagers of the Kamu tribe and, finally, riding on the back of an elephant in Koh Lanta.