Luxury Hotels


Wellness is permeating travel – even Heathrow is on the bandwagon (see, above, a new corner of the ‘tech’ duty-free store, airside in Terminal 5). Girlahead was enroute to Berlin for the new-look International Hotel Investment Forum IHIF.  One of the over-2,000 delegates is Ingo Schweder, Founder of GOCO Hospitality, which has its own-branded spaces and also, anonymously, doing forward-planning and back-end support for others’ properties. Ingo Schweder’s current projects include a water-centric resort in Bøde, Norway.  No, it’s not a spa, he stresses. The word ‘spa’ is dead, we move on to identifying and enhancing your state of well-being. Use technology to analyse, set your goal and use human and tech support to achieve that goal.

So wellness is well, good and better than ever, and wellness lifestyle is less strict, and might allow alcohol – a wellness resort is more regimented. Interestingly, to GOCO biological age is irrelevant today. It’s a state of mind. Interestingly, too, even wellness is on the cusp of a labour shortage, at least of skilled professsionals. Ingo Schweder has a full-time chef preparing dishes to order at GOCO’s head office in Bangkok.

Ingo Schweder is near-vegetarian, which means he might have gone hungry last night. Girlahead arrived in Berlin  just in time for Servotel’s memorable ‘old-fashioned dinner party’. Sixteen people, some longtime friends, squeezed around a rectangular wood table, lit tall-candle candelabra, ancient books on walls’ shelves around, in a three-floor house that, deliberately, still oozes its East Berlin heritage. Set menu, which included Tsar salmon, lobster, fillet – okay, you could do veggie pasta – semi-liquid chocolate cake and cheese. Equally good was the networking, hearing about latest design and gaming trends, and 10,000sq m villas coming up. In Saudi Arabia, not surprising. Only one speech, and even that was too long-winded.

Wellness should make people happy, and HAPPINESS, and confidence and optimism are immediate buzzwords here at IHIF. Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt, spoke about the rush of travellers coming back and his new partner, Alejandro Reynal, CEO Apple Leisure Group, sees business at some resorts 20% over 2019.   Hyatt had been looking at Apple Leisure’s concept for some years. un It started courting in 2018, achieved the union end of 2021 and now there are massive opportunities for all-inclusive in Europe, especially at luxury level, going on to Asia-Pacific later. Mark Hoplamazian also shared plans for Hyatt’s wellness brand, Miraval. There are three Miraval properties in North America and it is adding mini ‘pop-ups’, to add on to MICE programmes (and there are three mainstream Miravals being developed in Europe).  Commendably, both leaders are actively concerned about all aspects of wellness of their colleagues, team members.

Here is one senior team player, hear him here