Luxury Hotels

Virtuoso predictions – Mandarin Oriental Prague – ILTM – The Pig Hotels

Virtuoso’s Fall Travel predictions have just been released. Here are some highlights, nearly all representing viewpoints of top-end travelers in the USA. 100 percent of 18-25-year-olds are ready to travel, while less than 50 percent of those 41 years and older are not. 79 percent of travelers would take part in a travel pod (defined as two or more households whose members have been following similar quarantine and social-distancing practices that make plans to vacation together). 76 percent of travelers want to take a beach vacation. 70 percent are traveling less than 1,500 miles from home. 66 percent are willing to fly, but they want the middle seat open. An empty middle seat now determines airline loyalty (73 percent would even pay extra for an airline ticket if it meant the middle seat next to them would remain empty). 43 percent are booking hotels two weeks or less before their stay. Looking ahead to the end of the year and holiday travel, approximately 40 percent are considering travel, having either booked already or they are waiting to see how conditions evolve and will book closer to the date – and 59 percent are willing to take an international flight (pending travel restrictions). And, once again, such favorites as the Caribbean and Mexico remain at the top of the holiday season list.


When Flavia Daudan-Caponi, Italian GM of the 99-room Mandarin Oriental Prague, was invited to be lead hotel of the inaugural Luxury Bloc she leapt at the idea, and she and the hotel are going to benefit tremendously. The hotel’s thoughtfulness and hospitality throughout Luxury Bloc was perfect. Girlahead suspects that the owners, Shanghai-based China Energy & Finance Co, now operating as CITIC, will be happy, too (they also own Mandarin :Oriental Shanghai Pudong).

Mandarin Oriental Prague is a conversion of historic buildings, including a Dominican monastery, that date back to the 14th century. Girlahead stayed in room 419, the 62sq m Lobkowicz Suite, named for the prominent local family whose amazing art collections go back over a millennium (current scion William Lobkowicz, a leaders of Prague’s arts scene, has loaned lithographs of Prague Old Town that hang on the suite 419’s walls). Coloured tassels hanging just inside the main door include a green one: put this tassel out, no linens are replaced and you are given a to-go lavender bag made by some of the 135 employees from lavender in the hotel’s or their own gardens. Toiletries are Aromatherapy. I had breakfast with Flavia Daudan-Caponi, who explained how immediately keen she was to be lead sponsor hotel of Luxury Bloc. Now it is all over she is all the more pleased to have helped it be such a success.


ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore announced yesterday that ILTM’s virtual World Tour will cover Asia Pacific 17-19 November 2020; Europe, Middle East and Africa 23-25 November 2020; The Americas 1-3 December 2020.  ILTM Cannes will take place December 2021.


Now up, live, on MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST – Robin Hutson, brains and ongoing conductor of The Pig Hotels, the quirky modern-English brand that has taken Brits, and new-look global luxury lovers, by storm. Hear what Robin Hutson has to say, (by the way these podcasts are all intentionally only 15 minutes long – we are mindful of increasing shortage of time)