Building a better Phuket, one generation at a time
Ong Sim Pai
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.
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.
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. 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. He initiated the development of two very prominent resorts in Phuket’s most prime beachfront locations.
Lert, Pat, and John Thavornwongwongse
The three children of Mr. Charearn are the family's 4th generation to manage the family business. With degrees from Cornell University & Columbia University and work experiences in hotel administration, marketing, real estate, and data analytics, this 4th Generation has enhanced the company's competitiveness in Phuket’s now-saturated hotel landscape. Their combined efforts have also pushed diversification of the company’s portfolio into restaurants, cafes, spas, wedding venues, museums, coral conservation centers, and multifamily & retail real estate throughout Thailand.