When hotels enhance their whole experience offerings everyone benefits, say Alex Uddin, Founder and Owner of London-based Tide & Vine, a member of Virtuoso. He’s shown above. Yes, that’s right, he’s up Everest. He made it to the top. It was a three-month exercise, training and being away from the comfort zone that is everyday life. There was a lot of time to think, to reflect on life in general and on his life. And the whole operation gave him a resilience he was not sure he had before. Mountaineering takes you back to nature, outside yourself.
He’s such a friendly, and authentic, person, What interests you, he asks? Art, perhaps? He will explore amazing art finds. The same for culinary – he has lots of chefs on his client list, for whom he digs out amazing treasures when they travel.
Some of his clients, who are based all over the world, want to test themselves, just as he did. How can they best spend their time? Interestingly, when he started his company ten years ago the client base was predominantly male, but now that is changing and females, he admits, are more likely to have done their homework. They are the ones who tend to say what does this do to me.
Which brings us back to hotels and experiences. Bring not only art but fashion into the entire hotel universe, Alex Uddin suggests. This is something Girlahead has been urging for years. Want art? HOTEL DE L’EUROPE, Amsterdam, for years had Rembrandts but they were copies and, congratulations, they have been removed. One of the private mansions for high rollers at MGM GRAND in Las Vegas was able to boast about a genuine Picasso in the guest washroom but (a) what a waste and (b) it was so tiny that it might have been discreetly ‘removed’, for a better life. THE LONDONER, in that city, invites locals to come in and ‘do’ art, have drawing lessons.
Experiences can go on forever. You can ski down slopes inside (KEMPINSKI MALL DUBAI), you can ski-in ski-out, and clamber up climbing walls, at numerous reputable establishments in many lands. But kudos to Alex Uddin for forgoing a proper bed and all that goes with it during that marathon climb up Everest.
From one extreme to the other, let’s listen to David Morgan-Hewitt, hotelier to The Queen: