A meal with … a dessert with Richard Pope!

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A meal with … a dessert with Richard Pope!

The annual Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous held last December was a somewhat different take on the huge international luxury event we expected. The fact that this has happened is a resounding endorsement of the optimism and brilliance of the man behind the event itself and the luxurious Kata Rocks Resort… Richard Pope.

Dinner by the sea at Kata Rocks.

I had dinner with Richard a few years ago for this column and the resulting article appeared on February 1, 2019. The world we now inhabit has been unrecognizable from the heyday of glittering hedonism at the Kata Rocks 4th Anniversary Pool Party and Superyacht Rendezvous in 2018 when we last had dinner together.

So I thought it would be fascinating to catch up with Richard and conduct the first follow-up article in this series, to get his take on what happened in the intervening years, and where we’re going from here. ‘here.

“Kata Rocks is a quintessential vision of tropical perfection with beautiful, luxurious white villas standing on a magnificent rocky promontory overlooking the Andaman Sea. Every facet of Kata Rocks exudes elegance and sophistication, ”I wrote in my 2019 post.

And despite the ravages of COVID-19, Kata Rocks is still the sparkling White Camelot located on its beautiful hill. However, when we were seated, Richard made an interesting point about the upkeep of such a beautiful resort.

“The rate of degradation and degradation of buildings and materials in this part of the world is much higher than elsewhere, like Notting Hill in London, where I started in real estate development,” he said.

“The salty environment and extremes of heat and humidity, monsoon rains, termites and other invaders mean that we must wage a continuous war to keep everything intact. This has been possible for us, as we have been operating throughout 2020 and the lockdown, with several residents staying here including myself. But for many properties around the Andaman, the costs to refurbish to operational standards will be enormous. “

In my 2019 post, I also wrote: “A Procession of Supermodels with their Following of Photographers, Stylists and Paparazzi Make the Pilgrimage to Kata Rocks…” Again, I’m happy to report that Richard maintained his enviable record of attracting beautiful people to grace his resort’s sparkling pool side. It may seem like a slightly offhand observation, but I think it is indicative of the enthusiasm, optimism and energy of Richard and his team, especially during a pandemic.

Even organizing this event in such difficult times, requires enormous optimism, and attracting the crowd of beautiful people who were clearly having fun, is an endorsement of Kata Rock’s courageous attitude.

The Rendezvous last December was limited by the difficulties of international travel and the entry of boats into Thai waters, so a smaller local armada of boats participated this year.

“I see this year’s event as a great opportunity to take some fabulous footage of Kata Rocks, the Andaman yachting environment and the Rendezvous itself and then broadcast it to the media, so that the audience for the 2021 event, who will be very eager to travel again, will come back in droves, ”said Richard.

The latest Rendezvous event also saw the inaugural Kata Rocks Poker Run on December 12th. Departing from the resort, participating speedboats circled the island, picking up a playing card at each of the five designated checkpoints, before returning to Kata Rocks for drinks, burgers and the awards ceremony. .

It was an extremely enjoyable event and also provides a fitting metaphor for the situation tourism entrepreneurs find themselves in. Granted, Richard holds a number of Kata Rocks aces in his hand, such as stunning resort design and reputation; an ideal geographical location and catchment area; a solid and experienced team; the inherent attractions of Thai culture and people, as well as its own creativity and optimism that I have already highlighted.

The Great Unknown is the fifth final map – how and when will we recover from the devastation of COVID-19 on the Andaman inbound travel scene?

Only time will tell if this fifth map is set to go out with the Phuket Sandbox model launch on July 1, although I can’t think of a more user-friendly place than Kata Rocks to play this waiting game. .

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