Luxury Hotels

LONDON – 2

Today is Saturday, Girlahead’s traditional food day. Well, if food is good at a company event showing off to the media, the whole event is much more worthwhile.  That’s what happened two nights ago, when Aman CCO Anna Nash hosted a cocktail shindig for London-based media and a few select travel advisors.

The venue was The Pavilion Club, a private members’ club in an early 19th century classical-style three-floor building immediately to the east of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. Pavilion Club was the idea of  Jon Hunt, somewhat-controversial former boss of Foxton’s and all three (or is it four?) Pavilion Clubs are run by him and his daughter Emma. This one has interiors re-designed by Russell Sage, and it has food by Tom Kerridge, star of Corinthia London.

The gem of the building is the top floor, which has a divine summer terrace cantilevered out towards Hyde Park behind. The live music was out there, on the terrace.

Anna Nash welcomed everybody, spoke about this being Aman’s 36th year, and 2024 looks like being Aman’s best year ever.. The first JANU has opened, in Tokyo – watch this space, guys and girls. Whereas Aman is about privacy, JANU stresses social connections and there is a JANU pipeline of 12, which includes Dubai, scheduled for 2027.  Always evolving, Aman has gone into fashion and furnishings and on the wellness front Maria Sharapova, Wellness Ambassador, will host the first retreat shortly.  And boats, or do we call them ships or yachts or what? Anyway, the first keel of Aman At Sea will be laid next month.

There were stand-up tables and GMs who had flown in from wherever explained their hotels. Theo Cromhout, new GM of the Amankora complex in Bhutan, gets about 25% repeat guests. Bart Fusco, waiting for the rebuilding of Aman Rosa Alpina in the Dolomites to be finished, explained it will be open winter, and summer, with only a total of three months’ break – he’ll have an Italian grill and an Asian shabu-shabu.

Servers glided deftly between groups as they silently kept glasses topped up. The eats were tremendous, tiny-bite smoked salmon sandwiches, bigger-bite mushroom parfait balls, smallest-ever burrata nestling in suitably-sized china cups. The music, live of course, played on. You wanted to stay for much longer – oh if only there was an Aman, or a JANU, here in London to move on to, to while yet more time away….. Come that day.