Luxury Hotels

Bangkok – Hangzhou – UK

In Bangkok, The Peninsula has set aside one room of its Mei Jiang for a special experience. It sells a Mei Jiang Exclusive menu, for a maximum four people. The table is set with bespoke Vera Pure cutlery. Since the food is plant-based, the usual tank of live choose-your-own fish is now filled with choose-your-own designer seaweed. You are served, for around US$ 300 pp, inclusive of tax and service charge (or US$ 420 pp inclusive, with paired wines): Krug and snacks; Barbequed King Oyster, Char Siu, Chinese Vinegar, Cordero di Montezemolo Langhe Arneis, Piedmont Italy 2018; Seascape – shown above -Crispy Sea Lettuce, Seaweed Dumpling, Sea Grape Salad, Pazo Barrantes Albarino, Rias Baixas Spain 2016; Ginseng consommé, Winter Melon, Lotus Root, Puffed Sago; Sweet and sour Omni Meat, Rice Noodle, Phuket Pineapple, Delas Chateauneuf du Pape Haute Pierre, Rhône Valley 2017; White Asparagus, Garlic Leaves, Crispy Onion, XO Sauce; Pumpkin, Tofu, Bamboo Shoots, Porcini Soy, Yam Bean, Castello di Bolgheri Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany 2017; Wild Rice, Black Truffle, Bamboo Leaf, Taro, Spring Onion; Soy Custard, Tofu Panna Cotta, Ginger Sorbet, Black Sesame; Eight Treasure,  Syrup Jelly, Taro, Ginko, Jujubee, Rice Mochi, Coconut Foam, Schlossgut Diel Riesling Kabinett, Nahe Germany 2018; Petit Fours.  And then, dear plant-based foodie, it must be time for a nap.

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Hangzhou Kempinski GM Alex Pichel is immersing himself in high-level younger-generation local. Taobao millennials, nearly all female, were anyway using the more highly-decorated areas of his hotel for taking selfies of garments, often their own, that they were then selling online (to take necessary selfies they even infiltrated wedding functions to which they were not invited). Pichel decided to capitalise on this.  Via his brand’s Ladies In Red lobby concierges, he sells, by the hour, exclusive use of suites, restaurants between service, pool-side after closing. There is no hotel demand to include a Kempinski logo, although some shots are, says Pichel, easily recognisable, and, anyway, word-of-mouth via online retail is great marketing, for which he is paid rather than having to pay for.  (Listen to Alex Pichel’s boss, on Podcast, below)

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Another good idea, says Girlahead. UK’s BBC, through its StoryWorks Commercial Productions, is working with Walpole on Love Letters from Britain, a new series of short documentary films on innovative luxury brands. This will start screening on 5th July. Members of Walpole, which is led by CEO Helen Brocklebank, range from Dunhill and Jo Malone to such think-outside-the-box hotels as 11 Cadogan Garden, Brown’s, The Corinthia and, outside London, Chewton Glen Hampshire, Cliveden and Gleneagles. Well done everyone.

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Finally, today, listen again to Michael Henssler, who runs all of Asia for Kempinski:

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Luxury Hotels

Be different

Be different. Say in the club world. Ibiza now has an El Silencio, a partnership between the Parisian brand and ToShare restaurants, the concept led by Pharrell Williams and Imbert, the 38-year old chef taking over from Alain Ducasse at Hotel Plaza-Athenée, Paris. El Silencio Ibiza, in a cove in the east of the island, El Silencio is a beach house with four main spaces, including a main restaurant, contemporary tapas restaurant by the pool alongside a cocktail bar, a private dining room and chill out area. There will be a  cultural programme on offer including screenings, music and events, in a similar vein to Silencio’s much sought-after Paris club

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And offer a product for today in what could, in other hands, be yawn-yawn ‘old fashioned luxury’. Alain Ducasse, by the way, handles all food and drink at the unique Airelles Ch de Versailles  Le Grand Controle in Versailles, under half an hour from central Paris.  Under hotel GM Julien Révah, LOV Groupe’s conversion of Louis XVI’s money-house has resulted in 14 unique suites, designed by Christophe Tollemer. Julien Révah tells Girlahead that his highly-passionate team has been trained in Versailles history and in such suitable etiquette as greeting hotel guests with a curtsey-dip: men wear long frock-coats over floral waistcoats.

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Yes, to be with it, today, dress in a different way, either old-style updated or completely new.  Abercrombie & Fitch, led by CEO Fran Horowitz, is partnering for its new Social Tourist fashion brand with TikTok phenomena, sisters Dixie D’Amelio, 19, and Charli D’Amelio, 17, first ever to gain 100 million TikTok followers. Daughters of a would-be Connecticut Republican State Senator and his wife, the Italian-Irish-English siblings are amazing versatile, singin’ and dancin’ as well as posting. They are signed to United Talent Agency which as well as pairing them with make-up brands and now fashion, brokered a Simmons mattress line. Girlahead wonders when we will see them entering the hotel space?

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And when it comes to marketing, do not offer just another hotel video.  See this, from Red Carnation’s gorgeous Ireland resort, Ashford Castle:

 

 

 

 

 

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Luxury Hotels

Gstaad – London

The very name ‘mountain stress release’ would, suggests Girlahead, draw high-spending customers to a new hotel brand. MOUNTAIN is up-there: as The Status Seekers, the brilliant 1959 tome by Lance Packard, said, houses at the top of any slope invariably cost more than those lower down. STRESS: well, who wants that? RELEASE: great, get away from whatever. In fact ‘mountain stress release’ is a Six Senses’ concept running at The Alpina Grand, Gstaad, when it opens 2nd July, through to 15th September. Hotel GM is Tim Weiland, ex-Aman, and he must have a similarly-style-aware owner in Marcel Bach. Anyway, whenever you start it, the  five-day ‘mountain stress release’ programme includes wellness and stress consulting, and meditation, both chakra and walking –  how do you both meditate and walk?  Expect green caviar facials, and pilates, tai chi and yoga, plus hormone therapy,  and sound healing sessions. And, as refreshment, listen to Six Senses’ CEO Neil Jacobs, below.

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Some suppliers, hotels and cruise lines, over-kill when telling hoped-for buyers what is going on. The Beaumont, London, is networking very cleverly prior to its planned 1st September re-opening launch – not too many communications and every one that is sent out is personalised and worthwhile.  Hotel MD Duncan Palmer, of course, is a dapper pro and somehow is the perfect webinar foil when The Beaumont persuades such catches as Elliot Higgins, CEO of Bellingcat investigative media to appear on behalf of the hotel.  Yes, Duncan Palmer is right on the ball when it comes to marketing, via personal style – weekday commute by Continental Bentley, switching to Porsche at weekends. This reminds me of Peter French, who weekdays in Dubai has a closet of seven suits, seven pairs of equally-immaculate shoes, rotate each day to keep’em going longer. Personalities are one of the many reasons contributing to luxury differentiation.

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Finally, today, let us close with a re-listen of Six Senses’ CEO, Neil Jacobs – his style, by the way, includes maxi-cycling around his home base, Singapore, and mini-acceptance of that totally-banned word ‘old’.  Think Adrian Zecha, whose newest hotel developments should be released within three days, and think Ratan Tata and oh, so many others, and, down a generation, think Paul Jones at LUX Collective – and Neil Jacobs:

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