We’re counting down the days until Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous (KRSR), one of Asia’s most exclusive and super-yachting events. Held at the famous luxury resort and residence Kata Rocks, one of the the top events in the Asian yachting calendar will be a gathering of not just superyachts, but life’s other great luxuries: good company, exclusive wines, spirits, champagne and, last but not least, caviar. Starting from 6 December, there will be a 3-day-agenda filled to the brim with glamorous parties, bespoke activities and exclusive social events, guests may just be privy to the making of yachting history. Michael Nurbatlian, Marketing Director of Infinite Luxury, the mastermind behind making this gathering of superyacht lovers a recurring reality, speaks to us ahead of time about his personal experiences of yachting, the Thai yachting industry in general and most importantly, what to expect at KRSR. If you’re going, make sure you’ve got your KRSR app downloaded and ready!

How did you come into this role with KRSR?

It all started in 2016 a few months after joining Infinite Luxury and Kata Rocks, when our CEO, Richard Pope decided to launch the Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous (KRSR). It was a natural progression in my career as I’ve worked in luxury hospitality and brand marketing throughout my professional life. The KRSR started as a branding and marketing activity but soon became an incredible tool to promote Phuket and place this incredible island on the global superyacht map.

Is yachting a personal passion of yours? If so, when and where did it begin?

I have always been fascinated by yachting, sailing and leisure boats. My father was a diplomat and we travelled to a number of exotic destinations, so I had the privilege of experiencing yachting at a young age. It became a passion of mine since I was nine years old. When hospitality became a focal point in my life I never forgot yachting. I knew I wanted to be part of it when the KRSR launch opportunity came up.

This experience gave me much more insight into the superyacht industry. It also provided me the opportunity to attend some of the world’s most prestigious yacht shows and board some of the most exclusive superyachts, while meeting incredible people and decision makers. It’s been an incredible journey thus far! My passion for yachting continues to grow as our involvement in the industry increases.

Why is yachting now considered to be a serious industry for Thailand? What's has changed in years?

The private sector drove awareness in Thailand’s yachting sector for many years. Now the most important development in this luxury niche is the Thai government’s “Thailand 4.0” initiative which is driving more and more attention to this highly promising segment. The yachting business is destined to grow exponentially in the coming years with the globalization of luxury culture, demand and industry, especially when you consider emerging markets around the region.

Why do you think Phuket tends to be the location one associates with yachting in Thailand? What other locations do you recommend?

Southeast Asia in general, Thailand and Phuket in particular, offers incredible leisure and sailing destinations. Surprisingly and statistically talking, only 10% of superyacht owners have been to this part of the world. The myth that Southeast Asia lacks good marinas and support system for superyachts is simply not correct. The KRSR aims to alleviate this conception while highlighting the incredible infrastructure available in Phuket.  This includes state of the art marinas, provisioning, logistics, maintenance and engineering support, ideal for both private visits or charter operations. Seal Superyachts, one of our longtime partners, offers these services from the Indian Ocean all the way to Australia.

What do you think makes KRSR so special for guests and returning guests?

The KRSR is the most exclusive yachting event in Asia. It features glamorous parties and dinners, hosted by industry leaders from the world’s leading yachting brands, such as Benetti, Oceanco, Burgess, Royal Huisman, over its four-day schedule. The KRSR has clear goals and a solid five-year plan, which we have been exceeding year on year. Owners, in particular, enjoy this rendezvous, as it is an invitation-only event welcoming the creme de la crème.

Having said this, we won’t rest on our laurels. We work very hard to raise the bar, and continuously innovate year on year.  The ultimate aim remains to brand Phuket as a high-end yachting destination and attract more discerning guests to this region.

What will you be looking forward to the most?

We look forward to making the KRSR, year after year, a more enjoyable and memorable experience that positively promotes brand Phuket to Asia Pacific and the world.

How will the event be different this year?

This year events will again feature individual luxury lifestyle touch-points including the world’s most exclusive wines, spirits, champagne and caviar. Plus, the excellent private beach BBQ at The Surin Phuket that celebrates all of the most beautiful things in life. We are also pleased to welcome Oceanco, builder of some of the largest and most sophisticated yachts in the world today. This year we  also launched a dedicated smartphone app that allows guests to manage their invitations and programme better. It lets them connect with other guests and make the most of the rendezvous.

KRSR will be happening from 6–9 December, 2018. For more information on this event, please visit www.katarockssuperyachtrendezvous.com.

Catherine Napalai Faulder
Catherine is Bangkok born and bred and knows the angles of the city and its people very personally. You'll often catch her writing about the upsides of Thainess, the richness and diversity of Bangkok's third cultures and the true meaning of wellness.