#humansofyachting – Michael Nurbatlian

Michael Nurbatlian

Michael Nurbatlian, marketing director behind December’s Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous – recalls what it was like the first time he stepped on a superyacht and explains why Phang Nga Bay is the perfect undiscovered superyacht destination in Thailand.


“I’ve worked in five star luxury hospitality for most of my career. But it’s not until you step on a proper superyacht that you understand what ultimate luxury is. My first time was at the Monaco Yacht Show. I clambered aboard one of the larger boats, 200ft or so – I won’t say which – and what stood out most was the attention to detail. The detail of the craftsmanship, the design, every single element from the technology powering the boat to the interior furnishing was so intimately and perfectly chosen it was mind-blowing. And then there’s the attention to detail paid by the crew to the guests – it’s beyond the five star hotel treatment, it’s something truly special.

It’s not just the boats though, it’s the experience of travelling on a superyacht and, for me, the freedom of it. The Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous is an opportunity to see some of the most iconic superyachts here in Phuket and the region and to truly get an idea of what I mean by that freedom. Phuket, Thailand and South East Asia are incredible sailing destinations but statistically less than 10% of superyacht owners come to this part of the world. Of course it’s easy to do the more recognised destinations of the Caribbean and the Med, but why not discover somewhere new? Thailand is a magnificent destination for yachting – not just because of the scenery but also because of the amazing Thai people, their hospitality and of course the food. People don’t know but we have the infrastructure and marinas to handle both the biggest yachts and the smaller ones. Then there’s what you can see and do.

“I hadn’t ‘done’ Thailand and the waters around Phuket until I’d done it on a superyacht. I was lucky enough to be invited on a fantastic yacht and we sailed to Phang Nga Bay, the area made famous by the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. It’s full of hundreds of the most stunning islands many of which commercial boats don’t visit because they have no tourist shops or restaurants. Finding an almost virgin island on the yacht, swimming to the beach, dining with a view, all are things that few get the privilege of ever doing or seeing and it’s is something out of this world. It was a humbling experience of the geography, the land and the water – and I’ve never felt more connected to nature.”


The Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous is an invite-only luxury event bringing villa owners, superyacht owners, UHNWIs and international media together for a series of gatherings, social events and experiences. It takes place at Kata Rocks on Phuket from 8-10 December 2017.

Ramsay Short
Ramsay Short
Ramsay Short writes for numerous publications from Conde Nast Traveller to the Financial Times Magazine, London's Daily Telegraph to the International Herald Tribune.