Luxury Hotels

Today’s musings

American Express knows how to do things well. It invited 130 top Russian clients – ages roughly 45-60 – for a Moskva cruise. 3.5 hours and they could not disembark. MAIN SPONSOR WAS JETEX, which provided a massive cake topped by a private jet – and everyone at the event received a $2,000 discount on the next Jetex experience. Guests wined, from Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame on, and dined, and were entertained by Maldivian dancers and hotels’ presentations (Caesars Dubai was best, says the proverbial fly on the wall). WHOEVER CREATED THIS EXPERIENCE DESERVES A MEDAL. Girlahead hopes the medal-maker can make another, too: apparently American Express plans a similar event in England.

From his Paris office, Accor’s Chief Creative Officer, Jean-Guilheme Lamberti, pontificates. He wants to GO BACK TO FAIRMONT’S ORIGINS and to express the awe and enchantment that one feels when entering a Fairmont (‘brands are never as strong as when they are true to their original vision’, he says). Fairmont’s current EXPERIENCE THE GRANDEST OF FEELINGS global brand campaign pays tribute to tangible echoes of FAIRMONT origins. Five iconic hotels feature include New York’s THE PLAZA, A Fairmont Managed Hotel. Girlahead thinks of The Plaza because of its history, its forever association with Eloise, and, today, the fact it is one of the leading pet-aware hotels – see the image, above.  Partly this is because hotel MD George Cozonis is inseparable from his Central Park four-legged exercise companion, Cleopatra. Septuagenarian Susan Sarandon, both a Fairmont Ambassador and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, brings out in this campaign how HOTELS’ MIGHTY ARCHITECTURE MEETS AWE-INSPIRING NATURE in an effortlessly artistic parallel, say The Plaza and that park.

The Fuerstmann family, Alan and son Michael, have always been just ahead of the luxury curve. Last week they opened their latest FUN BRAND, The Pendry Manhattan West in Hudson Yards (GM Ash Bhasin). FOOD IS BY ANOTHER FATHER AND SON, Alan and Michael Stillman. There’s a so-trendy Eastern-Med, designer AvroKo, and a bar with abstract art by Chanel-store artist Nancy Lorenz • In LONDON, The Ritz, owned by the brother-in-law of the Emir of Qatar, follows the lead of Admiralty Arch, the future Waldorf Astoria (and Claridge’s, also ultimately Qatari owned) in announcing a BIG DIG. The planned five-floor basement will include carparking for ten cars – wow, will the Qataris only lodge their extended-wheelbase marques, two per floor?

Girlahead is game for anything, including climbing far underground to see Admiralty Arch’s dig, but A LONELY SINGLE UNIT POD IS NOT ON THAT LIST.  Bentley designer Jag Virdle has produced an Earth Pod on the 80-acre Red Kite Estate in Wales’ Cambrian Mountains. Estate owners David and Anjana Devoy have made sure you have USB ports, a fridge, and an outdoor pool BUT YOU SHARE THAT OUTDOORS WITH PIGS AND PONIES •