A gal needs a shot of adrenalin from time to time (while this one was meeting her boss and colleague, Isadore Sharp, here in Cannes, Four Seasons’ Katie Taylor was breaking ground for the company’s new Orlando hotel).
Here, driving round Istanbul’s Grand Prix track could be just the ticket – even if it was only in a simulator. Fairmont, on behalf of its FRHI family, had invited a few close friends to a Chateau ‘five minutes away’.
Why is it that five minutes has become, in English parlance, the equivalent of Arabic boukra, tomorrow, namely anytime.
The bus did have to do a complicated U-ey (u-turn), but we arrived at this castle, walked the cobbled courtyard, talked the talk in a babble of hundreds of voices resonating in a barrel-vaulted hall the size of two tennis courts.
My simulated track was Istanbul, which somehow designer Herman Tilke put wrong way round, anti-clockwise. I think I drove clockwise as I had the most spectacular smash since ‘flying’ in a Delta simulator in Atlanta when I landed in the employee courtyard.
As the crash proceeded, the music played on, in the form of lycra-clad violinists. Recovery was aided by much-needed bites of foie gras on Poilâne bread…
And then another intimate party, at the Martinez. GM Richard Schilling was preparing for 2,800, but afterwards he swore there were over 3,000 at his luxury hotel soirée. The Taittinger flowed from the central cascade of glasses, three Italian chefs cooked, numerous people sang and jived, and the buzz played on….
Next morning, up before dawn, finish newsletter for ILTM. Visit a miniscule few of the 1,200-plus exhibitors. The Leading stand is the biggest, with over 80 participating hotels (and yet Leading boss Ted Teng says he had a waitlist of 30).
At the Small Luxury Hotels of the World stand, each participating hotel has an electric socket by its desk. Should be industry regulation.
At Jumeirah’s stand, Executive Chairman Gerald Lawless announced the Grand Hotel Via Veneto will be Jumeirah. At Amanresorts’ stand, AMan in Bhutan John Reed wore national costume, the knee-length gho coat.
Need to escape, girl, time for lunch. Le Cave, on Boulevard de la République is such a favourite of connoisseur Italian Marcel Levy (boss of The Eden, Rome) that he has eaten there three times in two days.
Austrian-German foodlover Ed Steiner (boss of One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos) is at the next table. A salad results in a wow presentation, then it is back to work.