Luxury Hotels

JK Place – Bangkok – New YORK – Cannes/Monte-Carlo

Girlahead remembers JK Place Capri for its rooms and views, its outdoor dining (sitting at a table next to Jennifer Aniston) and its flowers. The so-Italian JK Place brand is masterminded by Ori Kafri. When he was planning the first ‘international’ hotel – a conversion of the former Norwegian embassy – he stressed ITALY. GM is Riccardo Ortogni and interior designer is Michele Bonan, who not only has done all Kafri’s hotels but he is designer, too, for Casa Tua.  Launched in Miami, Casa Tua is the brain-child of Italian-born real estate guru Miky Grendene, seen above with his Brazilian-Mexican wife Letitica. Casa Tua is an addictive casual-style Italian food, drink, network concept, and Casa Tua Paris, in JK Place Paris, therefore seems a natural fit.  At least 50% of covers are non-hotel guests, and everyone appreciates the five tables in the outside courtyard of the Left Bank property (stay here and you have the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and place de la Concorde, all only seven minutes’ walk away).

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Bangkok Kempinski Riverside opens today, 1st October – gm Edward Snoeks benefits from general awareness of the Kempinski brand and the fact that the hotel’s established sibling, Bangkok Siam Kempinski has remained open throughout general closures (Kempinski president Asia Pacific Michael Henssler is in the business of ‘operating’, not closing, hotels, he says). Another plus is that locals already know Bangkok Kempinski Riverside as it has had restaurants and spa open since 1st July.

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In New York’s Meatpacking District, Dream Downtown, which re-opened 21st August, is a hotel that really knows how to sell its top suites – it has a whole range of room and suite options but its unique selling point could well be its Beach.  This is a 5,000 sq ft deck, with 800 sq ft of sand. There are chaise lounges that remind one of Côte d’Azur, and the glass-bottomed Beach looks into the hotel lobby. The Beach, which is planning on staying open, regardless of the weather, has two cabanas: it is open Tuesday to Sunday, but you must be at least 21. The 316-room hotel is run by Randy Taormina.

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Yesterday, Pierre-Louis Renou, currently boss of Barrière’s gorgeous Hotel Majestic in Cannes, had to tell his loyal team that he is leaving – he is moving east, to head Fairmont Monte-Carlo, and he will also be in charge of Accor’s luxury portfolio in Portugal, Spain, Monaco and Italy.

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‘Women in Hotels’, or WiH, appears to be an association of females working in rather than staying in hotels.  It was founded in April this year by Lissa Engle, founding MD of London-based Berkeley Capital Group, and, looking at her CV, she is obviously a non-stop entrepreneur. WiH launched its Middle East push this week during the annual Arabian Hotel Investment Conference AHIC, held virtually (Hilton’s Rudi Jagersbacher justifiably got AHIC’s Lifetime Achievement Award).

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Guess what, there are now TWO podcasts every week.  Almont Global, parent of Girlahead, is delighted to say that the weekly MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, https://anchor.fm/gostelow, this week featuring Dorchester Collection’s COO François Delahaye, is now complemented by the more-general WORLD TRAVEL ESSENTIAL WTE https://anchor.fm/agwte, the first edition of which includes staying in luxury yurts in the steppes of Mongolia.