InterContinental Hotels & Resorts IHC – grandparent of the genealogical family tree that has grown, down the generations, into the mighty IHG – two days ago launched NFT art, a collection of ten artworks (is that what one calls them?) by English artist Claire Luxton, who did a pop-up suite make-over a year ago at INTERCONTINENTAL LONDON PARK LANE. For this NFT partnership, she has been inspired by the beauty of global travel: see one of her designs above. Another NFT design includes a blue and yellow macaw, representing the first InterContinental hotel, the GRAND INTERCONTINENTAL BELEM, Brazil, which operated 1949-1966. Those who successfully bid for one of the NFTs get an invitation to be an InterContinental Ambassador, which comes with Platinum Elite status in IHG’s redesigned loyalty programme – and there’s also a free one-night stay at the INTERCONTINENTAL ROME AMBASCIATORI PALACE, ROME, a 160-room conversion which opens mid-2023. On Via Veneto, the palace was built in 1900 to host ambassadors and it later became the American Embassy Library.
What else is evolving?
Based out of Johannesburg, Keith Vincent, CEO Wilderness Safaris, is dropping ‘the word safaris’ to lower association with the African bush – its portfolio is now 40 camps, variously in Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Vincent’s also already looking outside Africa, at land with spectacular scenery or ancient temples: he was incredibly impressed by Mexico possibilities and he is also targeting South America, with Asia to come. There is no reason, he says, that cities are ignored as long as the location has ample grounds. The company’s reboot, originally planned for 2020, was delayed by Covid, which has actually proved to be advantageous. There is definitely a luxury swerve away from chandeliers to nature, in all forms, and experiences, wildlife or merely ‘the wild’.
Ennismore, Accor’s lifestyle arm, is doing another pop-up. It already does summer glamping attached to its English hotels, now it goes into a winter special, in the French Alps. HOX CHALET, MORZINE, 1,000 metres up in the world-famous ski region of Portes du Soleil, is a three-level, six-bedroom luxury mountain lodge complete with barrel sauna, wine cave, hot tub and private plunge pool. A private chef will prepare dishes inspired by beloved Hoxton Hotels’ menu classics, with complimentary digestifs from GREY GOOSE. Other brands include Roberts radios and Blank toiletries. Hox Chalet runs from 25th February – 15th April 2023 in partnership with Treeline Chalets.
Watch this space for more pop-ups….