Hilton Worldwide announced the appointments of Simon McGrath as general manager and Tane Picken as director of business development for the recently-opened DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Phuket – Surin Beach, Thailand.
As general manager, McGrath will oversee day-to-day operations at the resort and drive the property’s business strategy as it establishes its brand in the region.
“Opening our first DoubleTree by Hilton property in Thailand is an exciting development for us at Hilton Worldwide as we continue to expand our presence here,” said Dirk de Cuyper, regional general manager for Thailand, Hilton Worldwide. “In a fairly competitive hospitality market such as Phuket, Simon’s extensive experience in managing and marketing both city hotels and resorts puts the property in a very solid position and I am confident that the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Phuket – Surin Beach will do well in attracting both international and domestic guests alike.”
McGrath’s career in hospitality spans over 30 years and he was most recently the director of business development with the Hilton Adelaide in Australia. In 1985, he began his career at a suburban hotel in Sydney, Australia while attending catering college. From there, he has taken on a variety of senior management positions at hotels and resorts in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.
McGrath holds a graduate certificate in Hotel Management from the University of South Australia, and has completed the General Managers Program of the Australian Graduate School of Management.
To support Hilton Worldwide’s rapid expansion in Thailand, the company has also appointed Tane Picken as director of business development for the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Phuket – Surin Beach.
Based in Bangkok, Picken is responsible for overall sales and marketing operations at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Phuket - Surin Beach, a role he also undertakes for the Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa.
Originally from South Africa, Picken has been with Hilton Worldwide since 2001, where he started as a food and beverage supervisor with the Hilton Durban in South Africa. Over the past 10 years, he has served in a variety of senior management roles at several properties within the Hilton Worldwide group. This includes being director of operations with Hilton Singapore in 2009. Prior to his new role, he was director of operations at the Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa for close to three years.Located on the west coast of Phuket island, the 250-room DoubleTree Resort by Hilton-Surin Beach officially opened on November 19, 2012. It is the first DoubleTree by Hilton property in Thailand, and is the seventh Hilton Worldwide-managed hotel in the country.