Luxury Hotels


Christophe Laure is a triathlete and that’s all he can talk about some Mondays when he is back at his day-job. This highly professional and experienced hotelier heads INTERCONTINENTAL PARIS LE GRAND (and he oversees several other IHG-managed properties as well). Somehow, perhaps while managing the last laps of a triathalon’s swim, his creative mind has helped dream up enhancements for his 1862-vintage, Qatar-owned flagship. Turn what was a first-floor meeting room, later a fitness centre, into the epitomal Parisian club lounge, with food and dining stylishly separated from the eyes of meeters and relaxers. Nobody having conversations about matters of state wants to spy the open mouth of anybody about to consume a real French croissant.

It’s always a memory when hoteliers share their sporting prowess. Rosewood’s western-US hero, also MD of ROSEWOOD SAND HILL, Philip Meyer, leads groups of near-professional cyclists most weekends as he powers his Colnago around northern California. In England, Jonathan Raggett, MD of Red Carnation, and Andrew Stembridge, CEO of Iconic Luxury Hotels, are also long distance cyclists, both raising large sums for charity.

Andrew Harrison, GM of FOUR SEASONS HAMPSHIRE, is a fanatical mountaineer, with Kilimanjaro and, it seems, much of the Himalayas under his professional belt. Nomadic hotelier Jason Friedman appears perpetually to be climbing yet another Asian height. Based in Hong kong, Mandarin Oriental hotel Group’s head of talent Amanda Hyndman, an essential jogger, always has The Peak if she needs yet more challenges.

Gone are the days when hoteliers eschewed the need for exercise. Today they know the value of consuming calories….