Luxury Hotels


Meeting up unexpectedly with friends is such a joy.  A couple of years ago Girlahead was at Belmond’s MOUNT NELSON in Cape town and there, also, were Harriet Walter, one of England’s top thespian Dames (along with, well, Dame Judi Dench) – Harriet was with her husband, another actor, Guy Paul.

Somehow even fringe momentary involvement in the world of the stage brings to mind Noel Coward’s verse: ‘I went to a marvellous party, It was in the fresh air, And we went as we were, And we stayed as we were, Which was Hell, Poor Grace started singing at midnight, And didn’t stop singing till four, We knew the excitement was bound to begin, When Laura got blind on Dubonnet and gin, And scratched her veneer with a Cartier pin, I couldn’t have liked it more’. Recite that in a 1930s Upper Class tone and it’s truly divine.

Still on memories, yes, hotel meetings can provide fabulous flashbacks.  Sitting next to IM Pei in the gorgeous lobby that he designed at FOUR SEASONS NEW YORK (OK he was not a ‘friend’, that would be presumptuous). Running into SmartFlyer’s founder Michael Holtz – yes, a friend – in his bathrobe going for his regular swim at PARK HYATT NEW YORK. Running past the (super-affluent) crowds in RAFFLES THE PALM DUBAI only yesterday, and there was David Wilson, representative of the stunning hotel’s owner – David is himself a savvy hotelier, last in-ops job in charge of WALDORF ASTORIA a short distance from here.

Hotels are immediate memory-lanes if you can also recall the people who were there at the same time.  How can we build this into properties’ DNA?