Hajo von Keller, German National, grown up in Munich (Bavaria) moved to Thailand in 1996 to develop the families sporting goods business, initially opening an office with warehouse in Bangkok and later a Sport Shop in Phuket Town. At this stage, he did not plan to stay in Thailand very long, however the business was growing very 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.
In the meantime the resort is more a hobby, a lifestyle, rather than work for him, enjoying every minute of it. But honestly, he would not like to work alone! Luckily, he has his wife Rose, sharing the same passion!