Luxury Hotels

Montage – Florida – Oetker – Cartagena

Starting tomorrow, 8th September, Montage Academy – above – opens its doors. Unlike Jack Ezon’s equally-brilliant Embark World Academy (which provides virtual tuition in students’ homes), Montage Academy is based on real-live classes in some of the brand’s hotels. Think ballrooms transformed to supervised study halls, with lessons beamed in by tutors associated with Princeton. Classes run Monday to Friday, serious study combined with such necesssary extracurricular skills as art, cooking, hiking and yoga. Age levels are Kindergarten through to 12th grade. The only proviso is that students must be staying in-house, with parent, parents or other adults (for one week tuition, therefore, add $725 per child to your hotel bill).

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has unveiled a $13-million Visit Florida campaign – he and the President/CEO of Visit Florida, Dana Young, are aware that visitor numbers were down 60% April through June 2020, which is not good since 1.5 million jobs are involved in tourism in Florida and in 2019, alone, tourism accounted for some $91 billion sales.  One of the most active of Florida’s gorgeous luxury hotels is Miami Beach’s arts-centric The Betsy. Its busy cultural happenings programmes includes tonight, and every Monday at 8 p.m., Zen and the Art of Overtown. Featured are ten jazz musicians, streamed virtually and, appearing live, three poets, and four scholars. Some events will be carried live into patron’s homes via Zoom and Facebook Live while poets and scholars will appear live.

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What else is happening today? Well, Simon Neggers crosses the Atlantic to Europe to become Oetker Collection’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Communications. Neggers, now based in Paris, oversees global strategy for Oetker Collection’s Masterpiece Hotels and Estates.

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In Cartagena, Colombia, Santa Clara Sofitel has two private villas on Barú to rent for private buy-outs – of course, says Sofitel GM Nicolas Pesty, both villas have excellent connectivity, and both come with breakfast, and available foodservice any time . Eight-person Villa Pierino is designed by Colombian architect Alberto Burckhardt. It comes with a private pool, a tropical garden, a terrace, an interior dining room, an entertainment area, an interior lounge, plus three kayaks. Villa Los Cocos is also eight person: it too has  private pool, an indoor dining room, an indoor lounge, and a viewpoint with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.

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Will mega-planners in future always include enough private villas to satisfy today and tomorrow’s demand for exclusivity?  Listen to WATG President/CEO Anthony Mallows on MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST.  If you missed his words of wisdom, send your email to yaro@almontglobal.com to gain quick access to all episodes of the 15-minute podcasts.

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