Starwood Hotels and Resorts recently announced the appointment of seasoned hotelier Erich Friedl as General Manager of the newest Luxury Collection property in Asia, The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa. Set in southern Thailand, just off the coast of Phuket, The Naka Island Resort is an exclusive, all-villa island hideaway; wrapped in years of cultural and natural beauty that offers an enchanting escape from the everyday.
“I’m both excited and honored to accept this new post with The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa. The Naka Island is without doubt one of Asia’s most exclusive and exotic destination resorts and I look forward to ensuring that every guest’s stay is an enriching and authentic experience of the senses, whether it be the visual delight of a truly magnificent setting, exploration of the locale or cultural immersion.”
Friedl brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience to his new position, with several of them spent in Thailand. Most recently as Hotel Manager of The Westin Kuala Lumpur and Director of Food and Beverage at The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok before that, Friedl’s initial step towards a hospitality career was a five year apprenticeship in Salzburg, before he switched gears and moved to a Swiss restaurant in Zurich. His passion for the culinary arts peaked when he joined a five star cruise liner where he explored fresh, exotic ingredients. Prior positions include posting at an international hotel in Australia, where he led his culinary team to win the ‘Most Outstanding Three Course Australian Themed Menu’ in the Salon Culinaire in Cairns; Executive Chef at the former Sheraton Sydney Airport and Executive Chef in charge of Food and Beverage at Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour.
About The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & SpaNestled among stunning beaches, lush coconut groves, with never-ending views of the emerald-green Andaman Sea and idyllic landscapes of the Phuket coastline, The Naka Island is an exclusive boutique resort on Naka Yai Island, located just off Phuket. Accessible only by private speedboat, The Naka Island is an intimate island paradise, with just 67 villas that are magnificently appointed with private plunge pools and tropical gardens, along with an incomparable spa facility, access to countless outdoor recreation opportunities, and uncompromising service. The only resort on the island, The Naka Island is a hidden Thai treasure of relaxation and privacy. The exceptionally large 450 square meter villas are designed in classic Tropical Island style, with architecture and décor reflecting the indigenous culture and island surrounds. Nestled in the tropical landscape, and some with spectacular views over Phang Nga Bay and Phuket Island, the villas feature open-air bathrooms, private plunge pools, spacious outdoor areas and Sala pavilions. All of the villas offer every modern convenience, like iPod docking systems, a comprehensive music library, and indoor sound systems. Aromatic, flavorful and healthy – Thai cuisine and other flavors of the region are celebrated in The Naka Island’s restaurants and lounge bars. The resort features Tonsai, an all-day dining restaurant in a casual, beautiful seaside setting. For the ultimate al fresco dining, enjoy My Grill, an open beachside grill house, offers the freshest seafood and juiciest steaks with a southern Thai influence. Or, enjoy a glass of wine from the extensive wine cellar in the Z Bar along with spectacular sunset views. If eating in is more your style, let The Naka Island’s experienced chefs prepare a spectacular feast for you at your villa or even a picnic on the beach. And with the largest luxury spa in the region, The Naka Island Spa focuses on the key principles of health, beauty and inner peace, with therapists that will design customized experiences for each guest.
Source = Starwood Hotels & Resorts