Luxury Hotels


Yes, it’s that time of year.  Once again, back to the good old days.  December opens with International Travel Market ILTM, the flagship of the luxury travel calendar. This year there are, in town, apparently over 5,000 luxury travelists – those who plan and accommodate it rather than just doing it. Girlahead’s plane coming into Nice on Sunday seemed to be over 75% ILTM-bound.

As always, her first night was at HOTEL MARTINEZ, part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. It seems more thoughtfully gorgeous than ever – designer Pierre-Yves Rochon is a genius. The main front door has been replaced by pairs of hands-free automatic glass doors, so much more sensible and stylish. The art up the main oval staircase (grey carpet on grey marble) is, well, symbolically Dolce Vita Riviera. See above.

ILTM starts with routine.  Arrive, like those who know, on the Sunday.  People at that point have time to meet and properly greet. HOTEL CIRAGAN PALACE KEMPINSKI’s Ralph Radtke, just in from Istanbul, caught up with long-time pal Alex Schneider, CEO Asmallworld.

ILTM and the Martinez jointly held a cocktail-diner to show off the hotel’s stunning new Carita spa (relax looking out at the also-new full-length pool, heated to 28° year-round). It was good to put faces to such well-known scribbling names as Divia Thani, global Editor of Conde Nast Traveler, and Mark Ellwood, Robb Report USA.  And then Girlahead excused herself to head up to rue d’Antibes for the annual House Collective ‘at home’. Chrissie Lincoln somehow has the ability to pull in Internova’s Albert Herrera, plus John Reed, representing Bhutan’s tourism, and Marcel Thoma, singing the praises of Marrakech. And then it was bed, to prepare for the hard work that is what ILTM is all about, in business terms.