Luxury Hotels


Girlahead thinks lovingly of all the experiences she has had at InterContinentals around the world. In Sydney, look out of the top floor Club lounge windows of INTERCONTINENTAL SYDNEY, down to the harbour, with its criss-cross of ferries’ wakes. There straight ahead of you is Sydney Opera House. There to your 10 o’clock is Sydney Harbour Bridge, where you have the (essential) reservation for BridgeClimb. Over and out, with a photo to prove it. In Hungary, while you work out at in the first floor gym of INTERCONTINENTAL BUDAPEST, look across the Danube – so alive with touristic river cruising – and up to Pest. In San Francisco, again look down, from the 19th floor Top Of The Mark at MARK HOPKINS INTERCONTINENTAL – look down California Street, thinking ahead to a couple of downs-and-ups that justify this second croissant.

Ah, the croissants in Café de la Paix, the locals’ regular that is part of INTERCONTINENTAL PARIS LE GRAND – where the myriad of experiences could include waking up in suite 5118 (up 20 private stairs from 5119, where your family members are staying, both suites offering you-feel-you-can-touch close-ups of the gilded roof statues of Opera Garnier). In France’s second city, Lyon, the unique experience is the integral super-professional, world-beating fresh produce market, integral with INTERCONTINENTAL LYON HOTEL DIEU. And, to come, what will be the first experience of INTERCONTINENTAL CANNES THE CARLTON once it awakes from its three-year refurbishment sleep next year?

Girlahead could go on for ever. But let’s look at experiences today. London is in a cloud of flowers. Chelsea Flower Show is just finishing and there is general excitement about a special three-day Bank Holiday for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (which will lower the UK’s appalling productivity level even further, but still). Until mid-July, INTERCONTINENTAL LONDON, plus INTERCONTINENTAL NEW YORK BARCLAY and INTERCONTINENTAL DUBAI FESTIVAL CITY will all be offering a Claire Luxton Experience. Who’s she?

See her, above. She’s obviously a creative genius with an all-senses approach, and good business sense. Since graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2014 her clients have included Hendrick’s gin, for whom she themed three lighthouses. For these three hotels she has temporarily themed suites with bespoke artwork and soft furnishings. Oversized Great Purple Emperor and Emerald Swallowtail-inspired butterflies hang from ceilings to represent InterContinental hotels in Japan and Southeast Asia, respectively. There is more. Want to wallow in the bath tub? A special ‘soundscape’ comes with aroma and flowers around. Forget yellow plastic ducks. A Claire Luxton Experience comes with boat orchids, said to represent the over-50 InterContinental hotels throughout China. Girlahead is in ageless mode and obviously this brand is too.

Hear InterContinental Hotels Group’s Kenneth Macpherson, here: