Thavorn Phuket Hotels & Phuket Resorts | Luxury Hotel Group, Thailand

Who are We?

We are Phuket’s first family owned and operated full-service phuket hotels company. Having our history traced back to the early 1950’s with our founder’s dream, which was to make Phuket into an international tourist destination with the creation of Phuket’s first full-service hotel. Having fulfilled that dream, our company now aims to create hotels that provide an escape for mind, body and spirit with simple luxury that draws on nature’s elegance.

Building a Better Phuket, One Generation at a Time

The story of Thavorn Hospitality began in the 1950s with the conceptualization of the Thavorn Hotels, Phuket’s first full-service hotel, equipped with restaurants, room service, laundry, and professionally trained staff. Before the Thavorn Hotels, Phuket only had bed and breakfast-styled hotels, incapable of delivering professional international standard hotel service. Mr. Tilok Thavornwongwongse, the founder, wanted to upgrade the level of guest experience in Phuket hotels and, at the same time, find new income sources for the primitive island, which at the time earned most income from rubber plantations and Tin mining. The venture was very ambitious and daunting for local developers at the time. Little did Mr. Tilok know that the Thavorn Hotel would inspire other Phuket developers to take the first serious step into the service industry. Today, the Thavorn Hotel, which has become one of the island’s most significant heritage sites, still serves as a testament to the founder’s desire for better hotels guest experience in Phuket.

More than a decade later, Thavorn Hospitality led another significant transformation of Phuket once again in the phuket resorts space, this time by Mr. Charearn Thavornwongwongse. Resort development was a very innovative and unfamiliar concept in Phuket, and even Thailand at the time. Through his travels, Mr. Charearn became inspired by beautiful resort destinations across the globe, namely Bali and Hawaii, whose income are vastly derived from resorts. He believed the same developments could eventually happen in Phuket. This led him to handpick and acquire large amounts of seaside land to develop the first wave of world-class resorts. It was a painstaking and dangerous process as these lands were not accessible by roads at the time. One had to use long tail boats to access the different beaches.

Unlike many developers, Mr. Charearn’s business practice to resort development was way ahead of his time. He wanted to build “real” resort. In his definition, a “real” resort is one whose purpose is to connect people to the splendor of the nature, not intrude upon it. The construction of the group’s first two resorts, Thavorn Palm Beach and Thavorn Beach Village & Spa in 1984, is a clear manifestation of this belief. Both resorts feature unobtrusive low-rise architecture where most land is dedicated to natural green areas. This approach proved to be unpopular among modern developers who viewed Mr. Charearn’s excessive dedication to green areas as being sub-optimal for profit maximization. Nonetheless, Thavorn Hospitality remains ever committed to Mr. Charearn’s “real” resort development approach until this very day.

Fast forward to today, Phuket rose to become one of the most popular phuket resorts destinations in the world. However, with popularity came a variety of problems such as destructive development, environment degradation, crime, and corruption. Thavorn Hospitality-now led by Mr. Lert Thavornwongwongse believed it had to steer Phuket onto the path of non-destructive and fruitful development. For this to happen, he wanted to make Thavorn Hospitality a source of inspiration for a better Phuket. The goal is to become the source of inspiration for people and businesses to develop Phuket in positive, thoughtful, innovative, and sustainable ways. Mr. Lert believed that a business could represent much more than just “selling stuff”. He believed any businesses, well positioned, could become powerful tools for inspiring change; positive, thoughtful, innovative and sustainable change.

Generations of Owners

First Generation

Ong Sim Pai
Ong Sim Pai1st Generation
Mr. Ong Sim Pai was the first ancestor of the Thavornwongwongse family to have settled in Thailand from China. Although not a prominent influencer to the family business, he was the one who raised our 1st founder, Mr. Tilok from an early age. Mr. Ong Sim Pai spent most of his life as a poor man and supported his family through selling coffee in a small coffee stand. He is highly respected by Mr. Tilok, who named a street in Phuket town after his father when he got into the real estate business.

Second Generation

Tilok Thavornwongwongse
Tilok Thavornwongwongse2nd Generation Owner
Mr. Tilok was the first in the Thavornwongwongse family to bring the family business into the hospitality industry. He was born right before WWII and spent his childhood in Penang. When he came back to Phuket after the war, he got into the tin mining business, and soon became one of Southern Thailand’s most prominent tin miners. He used his income from tin mining to start his first hotel business in 1954, the Thavorn Hotel, which today has become Phuket’s historical landmark.

Third Generation

Charearn Thavornwongwongse
Charearn Thavornwongwongse3rd Generation Owner
Mr. Charearn is a son of Mr. Tilok. He was among the first in the family who had the benefit of studying abroad. After his return from education in the United States, he brought back with him the idea of building luxury resorts in Phuket. Today, the company owns two very prominent resorts in Phuket’s most prime beachfront locations.

Forth Generation

Lert Thavornwongwongse
Lert Thavornwongwongse4th Generation Owner
Mr. Lert was the first of the family’s 4th Generation to manage the family business. Having graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administrations, one of the world’s most prestigious hospitality programs, he used his talents and skills to enhance the family business competitiveness in Phuket’s now-saturated hotel landscape.

Our Projects

THE THAVORN HOTEL

Phuket’s very first full-service hotel. Now a legend and a historical landmark.

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THAVORN BEACH VILLAGE RESORT & SPA

Phuket’s Premier Private Beach Resort near Kamala and Patong Beach.

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THAVORN PALM BEACH RESORT

Prime Beachfront Resort on Phuket’s most sought after Karon Beach.

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