What brought Orly Elbaz to Thailand 17 years ago was Suvarnabhumi airport. Most of us arrived in Thailand through this airport, but Orly arrived here because of this
When and how did you start your involvement in the travel and hotels industry?
In the days we moved to Thailand, we had an opportunity to invest in real estate; one property grew to another, and step by step we developed residential projects and hotels in Pattaya. We now own 4 hotels in Pattaya: Centara Grand Phratamnak, Amari Residences, Centara Azure and Centra Avenue, which is the first kosher hotel in SE Asia and caters to the religious Jewish community who travel to Thailand.
Although I am not involved now with the hotels (we hire management companies to run them), over the years, I was helping promote our Pattaya hotels, gained experience in travelling and developed a deep knowledge of the Thai culture. Therefore many Israeli travellers who either knew me in
You travel quite a lot. Where have you travelled to recently?
In the past few years, since my children have grown (I have two children over 20 and one
I’ve heard you are very much into Bollywood dance..what got you hooked on that?
Since I remember myself as a young child – I was dancing. When we relocated to India, I was introduced to the Bollywood world, which derived from the Indian cinema. The Indian dance combines leg moves in complicated rhythms, requires a flexible body and a musical ear. It is lively and has colourful and decorated outfits. I was exposed in India to all this cultural beauty that I hadn’t seen before. When we moved to Thailand, I met in Nichada Thani another woman who had moved to Thailand after living as an expat in India, she was a Bollywood dance instructor, who had a deep familiarity with the Indian culture and dance. She opened a dance group in our community, and I joined. The dance group now includes expat women from all around the world, we are often invited to perform in various events, and this experience always gives me a ‘high’ feeling.
You have recently become a grandma yet still have a teen at home. Tell us about your motherhood and grandmotherhood experiences. What kind of Mom you are? What kind of grandma?
Yes, I raise a teenager – my sweet Noi; and I’ve earned the title of Grandma this year. When my daughter Nathalie gave birth, I felt as if I had given birth myself – it was endless happiness. As a
You always have the perfect look, no one can catch you without the right outfit/makeup/hairstyle, not to mention – your body shape doesn’t look as if it changed over the years. Your Instagram photos look as if they were taken from a fashion catalogue (and you know how to pose). I’m pretty sure no one believes you have a grandchild. How do you do that? What are your secrets?
Thanks for the compliment! I try my best to maintain
Tell me a little about your own childhood. What type of child
I was a happy child. Although a single child to divorced parents, my parents always took well care of me as much as they could, and haven’t missed anything from me. I grew up in Tel Aviv, I was socially active, active in sports, the Scouts, and of course – dance. I’m still in touch with my classmates with whom I grew up with. All these years we maintained a good friendship. It is not easy to live abroad and keep close relationships with your childhood friends, and I find it so valuable.
Who are you? Who is Orly that not everyone knows?
There is probably no Orly that not everyone knows, as I am an open book, quite direct, say things as they are, the good and the bad. I believe in my truth. At the end of the day, I am a mother, a wife, and work as everyone else and I love life.
What drives you?
I have a motivation for achieving and experiencing new things, for trying and daring. When there is
Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
On Tel Aviv beach, surrounded by my husband, children and grandchildren.
Your top tip to inspire other expats women in a foreign city?
Go out and participate in community events. Let your voice be heard. Believe in yourself and in your capabilities. Try new things, and above all – enjoy the experience!”