The fountain of youth has never been found, yet the way to live over a hundred years old might not be so out of reach anymore. Last January, Royal Cliff organized a memorable 100th birthday celebration for one of its regular staying guest, Mr. Franz Johan Ackermann who was delighted to share with us his secret to living a long, healthy and happy life.
“The secret to my good health at 100 years is due to being happy. Other main contributors include having a good diet as I normally eat Mediterranean cuisine, being constantly surrounded by friends as well as loved ones and travelling. Royal Cliff plays a big part as I am always happy when I am here,” said the multi-lingual businessman from Lugano, Switzerland, who has been a guest at the hotel for 34 consecutive years! “There is no other property that has the perfect location and ambiance as the Royal Cliff.”
It was probably fate which led Mr. Ackermann to the Royal Cliff Hotels Group. In 1982, when he was still the Director of the Lugano International Association of Travel and Tourism professionals, during a Skal Congress in Manila, he met the General Manager of the property at that time, Mr. Alois X. Fassbind, who invited him to come and discover the distinctiveness of Pattaya city as well as experience the Royal Cliff hospitality. Soon after, his long-lasting love affair with the property began.
Mr. Ackermann is Royal Cliff’s oldest and longest staying guest with over 1,600 room nights. After the holiday season each year, for the past 34 years, he always comes to Thailand with his entire family and stays in the same hotel on the same floor and in the exact same room.
“Everything has always been perfect with my hotel experience. For 34 years, I have never experienced any issues or negative incidents in the hotel. I find it remarkable that everyone knows my name here as well as my likes and preferences. It makes me feel truly valued and appreciated as a guest.”
His most memorable moments at the Royal Cliff include rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. He was ecstatic to have had the opportunity to meet with royalty, celebrities and high profile personalities in the course of his stays at one of the first luxury hotel in Pattaya.
“One time, while I was having dinner at La Ronde – Pool Sensation, I was pleasantly surprised that on that same night, the King of Cambodia was also there with some of his entourage. I have also had the pleasure of seeing the beautiful Empress Farah Pahlavi (Diba), the third wife of the Shah of Iran in that same place.”
Royal Cliff will always have a special place in his heart as it represents a place where he has met new people, acquaintances and friends from all around the world. He fondly remembers the fun and meaningful parties organized by the hotel for its returning and regular guests where he met and bonded with wonderful people who have stayed in touch with him over the years.
A proponent of an active lifestyle and an avid sportsman, Mr. Ackermann loves the fact that he never runs out of things to do in the city of Pattaya and in the hotel. At his age, he still goes to the gym, takes pleasure in his breakfast, enjoys the beach, shops in the city or experiences the different attractions in the area.
After seeing and experiencing the changes that Royal Cliff has undergone throughout the years, he believes that it has still maintained the essence of its legendary hospitality which is providing the best services and facilities that exceed expectations.
“I have seen the resort constantly improve and develop itself throughout the years. My favourite facility is still Fitz Club – Racquets, Health & Fitness for its state of the art facilities. Even before and until now, Royal Cliff’s 11 restaurants especially Rossini – The Godfather’s Favourite has also maintained its exceptional quality and consistency when it comes to its food and service.”
Celebrating his 100th birthday in Thailand and at the Royal Cliff Hotels Group was an important milestone for both him and the hotel. Mr. Ackermann was elated with the surprise party organized by the Royal Cliff team at La Ronde- Pool Sensation. Well-wishers led by Mrs. Panga Vathanakul, Managing Director of Royal Cliff Hotels Group and Mr. Antonello Passa, General Manager of Royal Cliff Hotels Group surrounded the birthday celebrant and gave him a celebration to remember.
“I would like to show my wholehearted appreciation to the management of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group who made me feel like royalty on my 100th birthday. The party was beautiful and just perfect. I am grateful to Mr. Antonello Passa and his team who, without fail, organizes these special parties for me every year. I truly appreciate the presence of Mrs. Panga Vathanakul, who really took the time from her busy schedule to join in the celebration. Because of its customized service and hospitality, all these years, Royal Cliff has truly made my stays so memorable.”
Royal Cliff’s tradition of hospitality constantly values regular and returning guests whose holidays and experiences have been part of its continuing history. With his vast experience, numerous travels and relentless spirit emanating from his entire being, Mr. Franz Johan Ackermann epitomizes a kind heart and a congenial personality. As one of Royal Cliff’s valued guests, he remains and always will be a part of the Royal Cliff legacy.