Samui Wining & Dining
A Day in The Life of …

Just what does Khun Marieam’s job as a restaurant hostess at Fair House Villas & Spa actually entail?

p16As a major tourist destination, Samui is, by its very success, also a major employment centre. Tens of thousands of people from all over Thailand now call the island home and more continue to flock here as the island prospers. And, for most of them, inter-acting with guests from all over the world is very much a part of their everyday life. I recently caught up with Khun Marieam, a restaurant hostess at Fair House Villas & Spa, in Maenam, to find out what a typical day is like for her.

JP: First of all, tell us a little about your background?

KM: I was born and brought up in Bangkok and after school I had a number of jobs before starting my own laundry business. And then a few years ago I decided I wanted a change in direction in my life and a change of scenery as well.

 

JP: Is that when you first came to Samui?

KM: Yes, I obviously knew about the island and was aware that it was a very popular tourist destination but I’d never visited before. I looked around and found out as much information as I could about the resorts and restaurants on the island, and liked what I heard about the Fair House Beach Resort in Chaweng Noi. It was a family-owned and -run hotel that had been open for many years and the staff there spoke very highly about it. I worked there for nearly a year before returning to Bangkok for a short time and when I came back to Samui I applied to its sister hotel, Fair House Villas & Spa in Maenam, as they had an opening in the restaurant. And I’ve been here for more than two years now.

 

JP: Tell us something about the resort and the restaurant.

KM: We have 76 suites and villas in seven different categories. And we are right on the far end of Maenam beach. The Bre-Eze restaurant overlooks the beach beside the pool and we serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, all-day snacks, cater for special events and room service meals. There’s regular live entertainment and traditional Thai dance shows depending on the season. In addition, we have a huge garden with eight gardeners growing dozens of different fruits, vegetables and herbs that we use every day in the restaurant and in our Pandanus Spa. We strive to be wholly organic and we even have our own hydroponic garden so we can ensure fresh salad leaves every single day, regardless of the season or the weather.

 

JP: Fair House is very much involved with the island’s Green Project; how does that involve you and your colleagues?

KM: There’s a separate area for re-cycling and at least 90% of all waste at the resort is re-cycled. Cooked vegetables go to a local farm to feed the pigs, unused raw vegetables are used on-site as compost mixed with egg shells and everything from cans and bottles to cardboard and plastics all have separate bins. Re-cycling is an intrinsic part of the staff training programme, as important as product knowledge and customer service. And for me, personally, it’s something that I’m very interested in; there will be people here long after us. I wouldn’t like to think that I stood by and did nothing to ensure that the island’s natural environment survived intact.

 

JP: What’s a typical day like for you?

KM: I come in at 1:30 pm and stay until the last guest leaves in the evening. We have one day off a week which changes depending on what’s going on. Usually, we’ll have a team briefing so that we’re all aware of who’s staying with us, the number of restaurant reservations we have, any special events (like a barbecue on the beach), or menu changes for that evening and any other news about the resort in general. I’ll then make sure the cutlery and glasses are all spotless for dinner service, set up any private tables on the beach (they’re very popular with honeymoon couples), and get everything we need ready for room service requests. We also have quite a number of weddings at the resort and we prepare for that well in advance. Lots of people come down for the happy hours, 5-6:00 pm at the pool bar and 6:30-7:30 pm in the restaurant bar. I’ll have a chat with the guests and bring them some menus over to look at. And then it’s really a matter of taking the orders, getting the food to the tables in a timely manner and then clearing down at the end of the night.

 

JP: What would you recommend to guests from the dinner menu?

KM: For a taste of Thailand, I’d suggest the thard thong to start with. It’s a selection of Thai appetizers that really stimulate your palate. I’d then select either the kang kiew wan (Thai green curry) or the pad Thai koong sod hor khai (Thai fried noodles with fresh prawns). Our international dishes are also popular and I’d suggest the seafood thermidor or the Italian risotto. And if you are going to have a dessert recommend either the volcano chocolate cake with crème Anglaise or the chilled tapioca with cantaloupe and young coconut. It’s a light and refreshing way to end your meal.

 

JP: Finally, Khun Marieam, how do you like to relax away from work?

KM: I like the peace and quiet of Samui, especially compared to Bangkok. And, as we are surrounded by a beautiful natural environment, I love exploring places off the beaten track. Otherwise I’ll just chill-out with friends and maybe do a little cooking, but only for very small parties. I wouldn’t want to have to cook for our guests in the resort restaurant – that wouldn’t be relaxing at all!

 


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