Luxury Hotels


There’s a restaurant in Dubai IFC called Caviar Kaspia which has linen napkins embroidered with their names for regular guests. This not only encourages those napkin ‘owners’ to come back again and again to order yet more Beluga but lets all concerned know that this is a luxury place.

There’s a hotel in southern England, SUMMER LODGE, which has solid-silver bird sculptures on dinner tables, sculpted in Patric Mavros’ studio back in his native Harare. That’s luxury – as are the floral Minton plates by the cheeses on the breakfast buffet (the rest of the china is by William Edwards, another luxury brand, also used; by British Airways, First Class of course).

Luxury is such a myriad of details. At Belmond’s MOUNT NELSON, above Cape Town, it’s looking out of your window at immaculate rolling gardens with over 100 types of trees, including palms planted for a visit by The Prince of Wales in 1924. The area is studded with sculptures displayed by Everard Read. Look out of your window at HOTEL DU CAP-EDEN ROC, Oetker Collection’s Antibes beauty, built 1870 by Figaro founder Auguste de Villemessant as Villa Soleil, a writers’ retreat. They looked out to get, presumably, inspiration: today look far down a grassy slope to the Grill, and the Mediterranean.

At THE CARLYLE, Rosewood, in New York City, the multitude of luxury memories include arguably The Big Apple’s best mini bagels, with lox of course, that form part of a VIP welcome. At MANDARIN ORIENTAL MADRID, a welcome might include a framed photo of you, the guest, superimposed on a magazine cover. This hotel, by the way, is keeping its divine garden restaurant open all winter long.  That’s luxury.

As it happens, Mandarin Oriental Madrid was site last week of a really impactful luxury event. A top team from Almont Global, led by directors Richard Barnes and Yuriy Horovvy, led a think-tank on how to raise Madrid’s impact as a luxury destination. How can the city attract more UHNWIs and raise average spend? What do these valuable visitors want? Speakers included Barton Consulting’s Winston Chesterfield, who truly understands today’s affluents. There were also significant suggestions from Chris Fradin, Forbes Travel Guide, on customer service, and Juliet Kinsman on sustainability. Sponsor was Turismo Madrid. See the photo above of some of the day’s participants.  And watch Madrid lead the charge of taking luxury UP.