Hajo von Keller originates from Munich, Germany and decided to move to Thailand in 1996 to develop the sporting goods business for families, initially opening an office with a warehouse in Bangkok, and later a Sport Shop in Phuket Town.
At this stage, he did not plan to stay in Thailand exceedingly long, however the business was growing amazingly fast, and the team grew to around 25 staff, so the option to leave was diminishing monthly. Due to the Asian crisis in 1997, he decided to consolidate the business, moved to Phuket to leave the, at this time depressed city of Bangkok, and started to work on the “resort idea”. Completely new to the hospitality industry, he was studying possibilities carefully, contacting several experienced hoteliers, as he believed to have found an interesting market niche: A Boutique Resort with lots of space, comfortable but not snobbish, different from the classic “square building” hotels. It took 6 months to find the land in Rawai, 3 months to convince the bank and 18 months to build the Mangosteen Resort, which opened in March 2003.
The resort is more a hobby and a lifestyle, rather than a means of work for him, as he enjoys every minute of it. Hajo honestly didn’t want to work alone, so he has his wife Rose to help him, which is sharing the same passion as him.
Rose von Keller has been born in the northern town of Chiang Rai but grew up mostly in Bangkok. Rose has been studying at the St. Theresa Secretarial School and Hotel business from Vittyanukorn University, graduated from UTCC (University of Thai Chamber of Commerce) and worked in famous hotels like The Mandarin Oriental in Koh Samui, as the Secretary to the General Manager.
She moved to Phuket in 1994 and worked as a Personal Assistant to the General Manager at Colony’s Hotel in Kamala to then, in 1997 join a leading publishing company, as an Office- and Sales Manager for an 8-year period.
Her experience in organization, her skills in human resources, and her ability to negotiate the best deals for the company have been essential for its success. Charming and always in good mood, she is a great motivator for the whole team and, of course, her children, who are studying Hospitality to make sure the resort remains family managed even after the current owners one day leave their positions.
In 2018, she received the official “Spa Manager” Certificate by the Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok. Her knowledge about Nutrition, Spa treatments, products, equipment, and hygiene from the Spa Manager course has come off extremely useful for the daily operation of the Mangosteen Ayurveda Spa. Together with our inhouse Ayurveda Doctor she has created the new Ayurveda Food Menu and Super Drinks for the Mangosteen Restaurant.