Luxury Hotels


Right, first day proper of ILTM Cannes. The town is invaded by a deluge of around 5,000 networkers, back in the routine they followed annually until Covid came. Girlahead started the day with a first-class breakfast in the soft blue and white restaurant of HOTEL MARTINEZ. This is another Pierre-Yves Rochon masterpiece. Lunch was a closed door function along at Barriére’s MAJESTIC.  After that came a wow-wow hard hat tour of THE CARLTON CANNES, to re-open March 2023 as a Regent. Designer Tristan Auer’s opening up of the main lobby and installation of such wicked details as four outrageous baby-pink Murano chandelier shows his easily-identifiable style (above, preparing for the tour with, centre, Jane Mackie, and Melanie Brandman).

The first general gathering is Monday’s Forum, a toned down version scheduled for an hour but a 15-minute start delay and a chatty Frenchman, Limoges-born Fred Sirieix, put paid to that. Saudi Arabia bought the introductory video slot. Sicilian wines sponsored the after-drinks. Best presentation was ILTM global portfolio director Alison Gilmore sharing luxury travel data with Sangeeta Naik, New York-based Global Head, Strategic Partnerships and Marketing, American Express Travel. Their research summary, based on commissioned data from Altiant, concentrated on three things.  What is notable? Flying less and longer – experiences over goods – must see what is new – wellness – tech- health and safety. What is slowing?  Need for privacy – local and regional trips – social media influencers – quick-jumps from location to location – active/busy breaks – familiar places. What is growing? Family or other group travel – revenge travel – use of trave advisors – planning well in advance – amount spent on travel – sustainable-eco travel. See more of Altiant’s findings in a couple of days’ time.

Dinner was a sensational communications affair, hosted by Perowne International at Plage Goeland. Julia Perowne and her team took over the whole of the down-on-the-sand restaurant. The 120-strong guest list was a who’s who of luxury hoteliers, geographically from Scotland (GLENEAGLES’ Conor O’Leary) through to Bali (NIHI SUMBA’S James McBride), plus a delicate sprinkling of media. There was a short state-of-the-industry address which subtly included the importance of communication, as evidenced by Balenciaga’s bondage teddy bears this last week. The menu was clever, with choice of appetizer, then seabass and dessert.

There was just time to pop in to A Tout France’s meet-the-palaces at the Majestic’s beach, and to join Virtuoso’s get-travel-advisors-dancing event at the Casino. Sadly, Asmallworld’s secret party had to remain hidden, for this year.