Lionel Ferrari’s hospitality career, including more than 15 years of hospitality experience in the Seychelles, stands him in good stead as he takes on the role of General Manager of Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort & Villas in Phang Nga province in Thailand. Lionel brings to his new position extensive luxury hospitality experience. He will oversee all operations for the new exclusive property that will appeal to travellers looking for a lesser-known, unusual destination and transformative experiences.
“I am delighted to be a part of this exceptional property that promises to redefine the luxury beach resort experience in Southeast Asia when it opens in April 2023,” says Lionel. “I am excited to bring my personal touches and inclusive management style to the team, motivating them to deliver an incomparable level of service and create lasting memories and a deep cultural connection for our guests.”
“There are many striking attributes that set this property apart,” says Lionel, when asked to describe the unique environment he is helping to create. “What we have here is something extraordinary and literally untouched. The island gives one a feeling of what Thailand must have been like many decades ago. I love the laidback vibe, the natural environment and the fact that the locals are still very much in touch with their art and culture. The proximity to several other beautiful islands is another distinct advantage.”
His journey with Anantara began in 2020, when as General Manager, he was tasked with the rebranding of Maia Luxury Resort and Spa to an Anantara Resort when the brand bought the iconic property, one of the most exclusive and luxurious properties in the Seychelles.
Hailing from Antibes on the French Riviera, Lionel has a master’s degree in tourism and hotel management from Université Côte d’Azur in Nice, where he graduated with honours. He is a polyglot, fluent in four languages – French, English, Italian and Spanish with conversational Portuguese (his wife is Brazilian) and Seychellois Creole also in the mix.
He started his hospitality career in 2006 as part of Maia Resorts’ pre-opening team on a 4-month internship programme. His drive to succeed, his insatiable curiosity and unshakable work ethic ensured his advancement to Front Office Manager. In 2010, he briefly joined IHG in San Salvador as Assistant F&B Manager, but a year later he returned to the Seychelles to rejoin Tsogo Sun Hotels as EAM Manager of Paradise Sun Hotel Praslin, where only three years later he was made General Manager.
Demonstrating a strong business acumen and dynamic leadership style, Lionel was appointed General Manager of Maia Luxury Resort and Spa in 2017. His rapid advancement and hands-on knowledge of different managerial levels within a luxury resort, ensure that guests experience an unparalleled level of service during their stay.
Lionel grew up in the hospitality industry – his father was an executive chef – and from an early age he was captivated by hotels. “I love having the opportunity of influencing someone’s holiday in an impactful way – giving guests unforgettable memories.”
In his leisure time, Lionel plans to enjoy all that Thailand has to offer together with his family – exploring and discovering as much as they can about the food, people, underwater life and culture.