Luxury Hotels

British Airways – Paris – Berlin – Marrakech – London – the Tollman family

Yesterday, Girlahead took her first flight in six months. She was on her way to Prague, for a LIVE event, Luxury Bloc. Watch this space in days to come. The British Airways crew were outstanding, customer service – thoughtfulness combined with professionalism was faultless. Much to the recipient’s surprise, the Purser checked her records in flight and presented a bottle of Champagne and a card – see it on the left. Wow. As it happens today Spaniard Luis Gallego, 52, starts as CEO of British Airways’ parent IAG. Against him are current industry headwinds. In his favour are the fact that apparently his predecessor Willie Walsh hated union boss Len McCluskey. Gallego is known to favour smaller and leaner in making British Airways great again (he has already announced a Heathrow to Barbados flight, appealing to quality-seeking leisure travellers). Good luck, Mr G.

**

Today is first chance to taste, once again, the famed salade foie gras de canard of Café de Paris – admittedly the actual pavement-set restaurant, on rue Friedland, is still being re-conceived by Pierre-Yves Rochon (who better?) but its best-selling dishes will be available lunch and dinner at host hotel InterContinental Paris Le Grand.  As hotel GM Christophe Laure says, now is the time to tell nice stories, say about foods we love, served with smiles.

**

And today is the re-opening of The Regent, Berlin. GM Claus Geisselmann is introducing a Poets’ Haven literary afternoon tea, and Champagne tastings in the eighth-floor, 140sq m Presidential Suite, overlooking Gendarmenmarkt Square. Also, as the weather turns, there will be two-hour see-the-sights of Berlin tours, in horse-drawn carriages equipped with thick blankets and mulled wine.

**

Morocco opened its borders last Thursday, which means that finally Marcel Thoma, the firepower new GM of Mandarin Oriental Marrakech can fly in. He created such magic when he was running Upper House in Hong Kong and expect him to create similar special moments in Marrakech. The 2020 luxury traveller want an amazing gym and pool coupled with nature, space and more than a bit of cheekiness (watch him build up a following of regular guests). Thoma has a local Hong Kong contact, early 30s, who is so fed up with claustrophobia that he is off to Amanzoe, €5,000 a night with private pool, but the price is irrelevant.

**

The Savoy, London, by the way, is re-opening in stages. The Savoy Grill will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 21st September, while from 24th September the hotel will reopen for Afternoon Tea in Thames Foyer and drinks and bar bites in the Beaufort Bar. Bookings for overnight stays are now open from 1st October, when the hotel’s pool and gym will also reopen. A five-part fly-on-the-wall documentary on The Savoy begins screening on 30th September, on ITV1 at 9 p.m. – the series is produced by Gordon Ramsay.

**

Having started today with customer service, Girlahead wants to return to it here, below.  Honestly, the Red Carnation/TTC video below is a highly personal snapshot of the brilliant Tollman family. Thank you Stanley and Bea, and Brett and your siblings and kids, for sharing this family memory.