Connect with us


Phillipp Graf von Hardenberg takes the reins at Thanyapura

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: It takes one look at Phillipp Graf von Hardenberg’s resume to understand why he was appointed the new President and CEO of Phuket’s Thanyapura. Hailing from Germany, Mr Graf von Hardenberg wears many hats: business coach, entrepreneur, financier, educator, hotelier and if that is not enough – fundraiser and philanthropist.

He has turned around the fortunes of the first International School in Berlin, established a self-funding school that generates jobs for the underprivileged children of Phang Nga, set up Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation in Germany and played a leadership role in cementing Ritz-Carlton Hotels as a global five-star luxury brand.

“In my past I have run hotels, I’ve run companies, I’ve brought a company public to the stock market, I’ve been a chairman in a number of schools. I have also done a fair amount of charity. And I think it’s the mixture of all these experiences that I can put to work here,” he explains.

Mr Graf von Hardenberg is a founder of the public welfare Yaowawit School, an institution with close ties to Thanyapura’s Phuket International Academy. It was during one of the meetings with Thanyapura Founder Klaus Hebben that the idea of him taking over leadership of the complex came to life. Knowing Mr von Hardenberg’s background, it is not hard to understand why he got the job, but why did he decide to take it?

“When I came to Thanyapura I immediately fell in love with this place. The facilities are great, the school, the sport facilities. Whoever I meet is always amazed with what we have here,” he says. “But I think it is kind of sad that not enough people know about Thanyapura and not enough people use it.”

“My goal is to put the vision of ‘body mind and soul’ to work. And for that you need a really good structure, good organization and the right people. And we do have a lot of great people here, though some need more training,” he explains.

“We want to make sure Thanyapura is a single unit – it’s not a school, a medical center and a sports center – it’s all in one,” he adds.

It sounds like quite a challenge and Mr Graf von Hardenberg has wasted no time and flung himself into his work – starting with information gathering.

“I’m reaching out to the Thanyapura community and asking their opinion. I include dishwashers, housekeepers, trainers to learn what are our strengths and weaknesses. We ask parents of children in our school. We made a huge survey to learn more about ourselves,” he explains.

The new CEO has already come up with a few conclusions. One of them is realizing that there’s a gap between what Thanyapura is, and how it presents itself to the world.

“The message we were sending out wasn’t very clear and sometimes a bit arrogant. It sounded like we are just for the elite. We’re not. We want to cater to anyone who wants to take care of their body, mind and soul. If you want top-notch meditation classes, you can have them, you want to learn how to swim, you can do it, you want to be better at tennis, you’re welcome.”

Mr Graf von Hardenberg believes that what Thanyapura needs is not more and better facilities, but a change of spirit. And he promises to deliver it soon.

“I think that before we weren’t service minded enough. Nobody said to our guests ‘thank you for being here’. So this is where the change will be most viable – in the attitude of our staff. It’s not about building the next tennis court, spending more money – we have done quite a lot of that. It’s about the attitude and it will come from us, from the leadership. We will empower our people.”

— Maciek Klimowicz


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand1 hour ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 18,912 infections, news briefs

Drugs7 hours ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Koh Samui10 hours ago

Koh Samui unaccustomed to Covid-19, many act in dismay

Sponsored2 days ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand12 hours ago

Bangkok Airways extends flight suspension to August 11

Thailand13 hours ago

7 Jomtien Beach curfew breakers arrested

Thailand14 hours ago

Buri Ram pig stable converted into gambling den: 22 arrests follow

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand15 hours ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

Phuket15 hours ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of15 hours ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

World15 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

Best of15 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Best of16 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

CCSA considers extending restrictions in “dark red” zones for another 14 days

Thailand16 hours ago

Fake dead bodies used in Phuket protest, police plan real investigation

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8