Luxury Hotels

Wednesday 7th October 2020

Rainer Zietlow, shown above with a colleague, is a driver for Germany’s CHALLENGE4 team, which is currently taking a VW ID.3 electric car on a 64-day, 20,000-kilometre trip around Germany. Deutsche Hospitality is sponsoring beds-and-breads along the way (the team will stay in assorted Steigenberger and IntercityHotel properties). The journey, which runs from Oberstdorf, the southernmost point in Germany, to the country’s most northerly car park,  to the west of List on the island of Sylt, will include enroute a visit to an SOS Children’s Village in Bernburg/Saale to hand over a donation of €2,500 EUR for a housing project. The entire journey can be followed real-time on https://www.id3-deutschlandtour.com/

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Still in Europe, an increasingly-powerful hotel name is Duncan O’Rourke.  Yesterday it was announced that Accor’s COO Central Europe now continues his meteoric rise to become CEO for what is called Northern Europe, which gives him everything from Dublin through to Vladivostok apart from the areas hugging the Mediterranean’s north coast.  At the same time, his colleague Thomas Dubaere becomes CEO South America, Accor.

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Time to cross to North America. Waldorf Astoria, the original one in New York, is being re-imagined as residences and some hotel rooms. Starting this Saturday, 10th October, some 80,000 items from the old hotel are being auctioned – not, interestingly, in Manhattan or even in the New York area but north in Boston (is this where the auctioneers imagine the monied nostalgaistas are?).  Frank Kaminiski, CEO of Boston’s Kaminiski Auctions, has rented the one-million square foot Silver City Galleria mall, south of Boston, to hold “Fine Furnishings of the Historic Waldorf Astoria New York” .  He trucked over 80,000 items, large and small, chandeliers, grand pianos, 19th century French furniture as well as wall sconces and other decor from the hotel’s most storied suites, restaurants and bars, up to Boston in 88 giant trailers (just thinking of all the cataloging and organisation is enough to send Girlahead to have a doze).  Now, arm chairs and settees in the pale blue that was the favourite color of the Duchess of Windsor, who lived at the hotel with Edward VIII after he abdicated the British throne in 1936, are artfully arranged in an abandoned H&M store. Cole Porter’s dramatic suite is now ensconced in an REI Co-op outdoor store, and former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s New York City stronghold has been set up at Filene’s. Apparently auction proceeds will support renovation of the exteriors and gardens of St. Bartholomew’s Church and Community House, across the street from the Waldorf Astoria.

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Let us travel west, to Utah. Amangiri’s Restorative Sleep Retreat, scheduled for 17-20 December, 2020, offers both mental and emotional support alongside holistic spa therapies to aid a better night’s sleep. Developed with certified Sleep Specialist Dr. Micheal Breus, author of three bestselling books on the topic, you embark on a relaxing yet enlightening journey, mastering everything there is to know about the art of sleep. Following a pre-arrival assessment and one-on-one interview with Dr. Breus, you are given a genetically pre-determined sleep schedule. First up is a sleep-friendly dinner that culminates in an ‘ice-cream social’ under Amangiri’s starlit skies. Personalised schedules then may well include daily 60-minute morning yoga classes, therapeutic cold-water plunges and several informative sessions and lectures covering such topics as sleep genetics and creating the perfect sleep environment. You can learn how to enjoy caffeine and alcohol without affecting sleep; you can experience a personalised, practitioner-led wake-up routine every day and, if there IS any free time, explore the soul-soothing wilderness of Amangiri. You leave Amangiri a sleep expert, knowing all the secrets to getting a restful night.

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In Dubai, Jumeirah is also adding experiences. The  company has already launched a Portuguese beach club at Burj Al Arab, even though the hotel is sadly still shuttered.  Now Jumeirah is looking at kids’ food, another initiative that is led by the company’s culinary expert, Michael Ellis – see the video below. FoodieKIDS will be launched soon, and as build-up, now until the end of October kids under 16 staying at Jumeirah Beach Hotel eat free.