Luxury Hotels


Madelijn Vervoord, above, is RVP and GM of INTERCONTINENTAL LYON – HOTEL DIEU and, as such, she has to dress the part (she may be Dutch by birth but after over a quarter-century in France she has inhaled the chic savoir-faire of, say, a Brigitte, Macron rather than Bardot).  Hotel bosses have to dress better than their teams, which is sometimes difficult in France. They must also at least live up to the sartorial elegance of customers, known as ‘guests’.  In Europe this is especially a challenge in the so-called golden triangles of Milan and Paris, and Monte-Carlo.

And it’s tough on females. Unlike the late Queen, who always carried a handbag, female GMs have no receptacle for bits and pieces. They seem, as compensation, to be prepared to put one hand out of action, at least temporarily. This OOA hand holds personal device and necessary keycard or whatever, plus, perhaps, a small paper pad and writing implement, and sometimes eyewear. Ideal followers of this exercise should benchmark, in Asia, with Amanda Hyndman at MANDARIN ORIENTAL HONG KONG. In France, study Dorchester Collection’s Franka Holtmann at LE MEURICE, Paris, as well as Madeljn Vervoord. In Vienna, do not miss Monique Dekker at PARK HYATT VIENNA, and in UK we have Dale McPhee at CALEDONIAN WALDORF ASTORIA EDINBURGH and another Hiltonia, Beverly Magee at CONRAD ST JAMES LONDON (which fields another contender, Anne Golden at PAN PACIFIC LONDON). In the USA, we have Rike Erdbrink at PARK HYATT CHICAGO and Marlene Poynder at New York’s THE CARLYLE, A ROSEWOOD HOTEL.

It is an omnipresent challenge. Designers and manufacturers do not automatically build pockets into women’s clothes for fear of eye-sore bumps as a result. One answer would be an elegant body-bag, worn diagonally across the body.  And now we come to shoes. Why do not distaff bosses bite the bullet and buy, and wear, obviously-designer sneakers? Throw the heels and resulting bunions in favour of comfort and up-to-the-minute.

Some say that Gen-Z could well be the most important generation ever for luxury travel. Put that to one side for the moment. What is proven, by global audience research company GWI, is that 33% of youngsters use social media to see what’s trending — more than any other generation. This has resulted in a new crop of social media fashion critics on TikTok. To keep beyond up-to-date, look at some of these: “Fashion Roadman”  Odunayo Ojo;  Mandy Lee (@oldloserinbrooklyn); Alexandra Hildreth (@guyfierisuperfan); Rian Phin (@thatadult), Andrea Cheong (@andreacheong_) and Osama Chabbi (@osamachabbi).

You heard it all here, from Girlahead. Have a great rest of the day, and listen to someone who’s always up to the minute: