Luxury Hotels


Excellence could be elusive but Forbes Travel Guide FTG is determined to conquer it – even more, FTG wants to own the state of mind that can so adequately be summed up in one word, excellence (it’s obviously an enviable word as in some spheres very top people are addressed as Your Excellency).  FTG CEO Hermann Elger, on the right of the image above, recently hosted a small group at FTG’s Centre for Excellence, at the 16-room LE LOGIS hotel in Cognac. Led by director Francisco Almeida, the six-month old operation perfects culinary, mixology and general service skills, and the networking* opportunities are considerable. Le Logis is, like FTG, owned by Atlanta-based healthcare entrepreneur Jeff Arnold.

Girlahead is writing this flying to Doha. Qatar Airways is government owned but run by another His Excellency of excellence, Akbar Al-Baker – he who always sported a caramel-coloured cashmere two-piece when breakfasting at ADLON KEMPINSKI during Berlin’s annual ITB jamboree.  So what is excellent about QR’s 787? Business Class is configured one-two-one with a substantial removable screen between the two middle seats. Diptych toiletries, in a black ribbon-tied box rather than some carriers’ cheap zipped pouches, come with quality black socks and eye mask. Champagne, choice of Charles Heidsieck Brut or Taittinger Rosé, is served really chilled, in tall-stemmed glasses. There is instant WiFi, no charge.

It’s all so easy. Having easily-seen and easy-accessed sockets and other such minutiae all add up to a perception of luxury. Once a brand is known for that it cannot go wrong. Wend your way through a twisting path of duty-free concessions at Gatwick’s North Terminal and you pass three separate Tom Ford concessions.  Wow what a brand. But eyewear and men’s skincare don’t need humans who sadly can instantly, and sometimes forever, pierce the perception of a hotel or airline brand.

*Networking networking.  Hear ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher here: