Joining our very first property and décor Luxe Living supplement – included in the July issue – are sister-and-brother duo Pimyada “Pearl” and Jiraphat “Petch” Vilailuck, who share with Prestige how generational values and teamwork shaped not only soon-to-be-launched S47 residences, but also their family’s legacy.
The siblings are the third generation of a top-level business family, and are the eldest of four children. Their parents, Thananan and Petcharat, and their parents’ families are known for helming telecommunications giant Samart, and for managing hospitality chain S-Hotel Group.
For these two young business leaders, it’s clear that official titles, and the prestige associated with them, are not as important as the work being done. And there has been much work involved the past few months, especially with their latest project, luxury duplex residences S47, which is slated to be unveiled in August. Prestige talks with the siblings and gets the inside story.
Their alchemical blend is perfect for S47’s novel concept
The duo’s yin and yang synergy, as well as their educational backgrounds, made them perfect for S47’s novel concept: a blend of five-star hospitality excellence, and the quality and privacy of a personal residence.
“I’m more of the design side, as well as marketing,” Pearl says. “He’s the hospitality side.”
As a young woman in Bangkok, Pearl has always been admired for her style and fashion. She earned a BS in Architecture at Chulalongkorn University’s International Programme of Design and Architecture and a Master’s in Design Management from Parsons School of Design in New York City. In addition, she coordinated PR efforts and more at luxury behemoth LVMH during an internship.
In contrast, Petch grew up mostly abroad. After a few years at the International School of Bangkok, he attended The King’s School, a boarding school in Sydney. He then went on to earn a Bachelor’s in Hospitality at The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. When the pandemic broke out, he was a year into his Master’s in Hospitality Management at New York University.
Humility and hard work are part of their DNA
Growing up, Petch and Pearl’s family was in the business of love motels, or “curtain motels.” The two even recall fondly playing around in the construction site of Peep Inn Ratchada as kids. “My friends loved coming over to play with us there,” says Petch, laughing.
Over the years, the business has transformed from lower-end motels into business hotels and residences. Now, they run S Box Sukhumvit, S31, S Ratchada, S15, S33, S Ram and of course, S47. But it was only possible because they have a work ethic that was as integral to the family as their DNA.
There is a weekly high-level family meeting that the clan are always invited to join. Together, they discuss as a family what needs to be done, who is able to fit in, and how to execute the next step in their businesses. For S47, Pearl and Petch gladly receive input from their more senior and experienced relatives. Their Line group, Pearl says, is peppered with ideas for the project.
S47 was designed to honour the home concept of real-life living
Originally a home, S47 was at first slated to be transformed into a preparatory school. As central Bangkok rapidly developed, gyms and yoga studios, international and gourmet supermarkets, award-winning restaurants, and even international schools appeared, all within a stone’s throw or a short drive. Dog parks, onsens, wellness centers, and globally-respected hospitals like Samitivej also popped up a few hundred metres away. Rain Hill, where artisanal coffee, wines, and a variety of restaurants can be enjoyed, is a few minutes’ walk away. Further down Sukhumvit main road are top shopping destinations Emporium and EmQuartier. For convenience, BTS Phromphong and BTS Thonglor are also within walking distance.
Luckily, Sukhumvit 47, which culminates in a small cul-de-sac, remained serene and chiefly residential during this urban development stage. Its neighbors are mainly low-rise homes or, at the end of the soi, expansive older condominiums that offer huge living spaces in an increasingly cramped city. By 2017, the neighborhood had grown to offer a lavish array of lifestyle options. A proper school would likely require more area, so the family wisely decided to create a residential space that catered to real-life living. Because the plot held a special place in the family, they moved away from creating an overly commercial building. “If we wanted to maximise profit, we could have created smaller layouts and more units,” says Petch. Instead, S47 was designed to honor the concept of family, community and home.
Building a place full of peace-of-mind hospitality was their very first priority
The residences, they reasoned, ought to be private, secure and familiar, and always provide peace-of-mind. “Hospitality means making people feel welcome and making someone feel right at home,” says Petch. Most of the residences are duplexes, which boast 5.3-metre ceilings, full-length windows and gorgeous chandeliers to match. Sepia-tinted mirrors subtly ornament vertical surfaces, adding natural light in every corner. They range from approximately 65-180 square metres.
A BTicino video door entry screen allows residents to greet visitors. Inside, open-floor kitchens are furnished with Franke hardware and top appliances. The bathrooms feature an accent wall of imported English forest marble. In addition, each residence is equipped with a separate maid’s quarters and bathroom, as well as ample hidden storage spaces.
The layouts are just as thoughtful and conducive to family life. The upper-level bedrooms have floor-to-ceiling glass walls (with drapes) opening inwards towards the airy and tall foyer, lending a courtyard-style, social atmosphere. If needed, S47 allows residents to transform the rooms and alter the layout as needed. It is a home, first and foremost, say the duo, and that means catering to the residents.
Their plans for the future are peppered with ‘life-must-go-on’ philosophy
Though both are travellers, Pearl and Petch say the pandemic and the past two years have changed them and society.
Even Petch, an avid golfer and traveller admits, “it’ll be harder to get people to leave the house!” He will be heading back to New York to finish his Master’s, while helping uncle Sarun manage S Group, developing a new jazz bar concept, a wine business called Wine Gallery, and golf company Easygolf from afar.
Pearl hopes to prove herself with a riverside activities hub and boutique hotel and will stay put for the foreseeable future. “Covid has changed a lot of things… I’m happy to have all the family in one place, spending time together,” she says. “For me, family is home.”
Read the full interview in the Luxe Living 2021 of July issue of Prestige Thailand.
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Photographer: Jittarat Juntasiriku
Photographer’s Assistant: Prajak Sunthonthai
Stylist: Panchanitch Rattanawilai
Makeup Artist: Nontalee Wongpeng
Hair Stylist: Kitphisuth Kanchanakawinphong
Editorial Coordinator: Kanyaphat Somwong
Location: S47 Sukhumvit