First, Girlahead shares some hot news items. It was announced a couple of hours ago that Stephen Alden will be CEO of Raffles and Orient-Express, reporting direct to Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin. Girlahead has known Alden for years and this is one guy who really REALLY gets ‘luxury’. This promises to take the entire level of luxury hospitality even further up the ladder, and adds to the Accor luxury group exemplified by Marc Dardenne – listen to the podcast below.
It is worth watching, too, what will happen at Stoke Park, the Small Luxury Hotel of the World (SLH) golf-resort under half an hour from London’s Heathrow airport. The 350-acre estate, which comes with 49 bedrooms, a massive indoor wellness club as well as 27 holes of golf, has been bought by India’s top tycoon, Mukesh Ambani. Why? Ambani does not play golf, neither does his wife Nita – although she at least is a respected movement addict, a trained Bharatnatyam dancer, a member of the IOC committee and owner of the Mumbai Indians. Perhaps the Ambanis, whose multitude of ownerships include Hamley’s worldwide and, for India only, rights for Tiffany, plus Marks & Spencer, want to stoke up a Stoke Park luxury brand. Let us see what they do with the hotel, for a start: rooms are partly in an original James Wyatt mansion and partly in a more-practical modern block, where predominantly-brown rooms are thankfully relieved by some memorable art pieces, including the ‘Marilyn’ shown above.
Talking of art, Seattle-based glass creator Dale Chihuly has spectacular fixed art works at several Wynn resorts, including Encore at Boston Harbor. In Singapore, Girlahead adores what he has produced for Ritz-Carlton Millenia’s main floor end walls. Now, ten minutes from the hotel and more or less behind Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay will host to Chihuly’s first major garden exhibition in Asia, Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom, from 1st May to 1st August 2021. Chihuly reimagines the landscapes of Gardens by the Bay with 25 large-scale installations, plus over 80 pedestal sculptures and two-dimensional works.
Finally, today, to California. Waldorf Astoria Coastal Voyages link Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club with Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills via a three-hour Pacific cruise on a 40-foot private yacht for sweeping views of the Southern California coastline. As well as two nights in each hotel, there is Robert Trent Jones golf at Monarch Beach and La Prairie, plus Vongerichten dining, in Beverly Hills. Sounds very enticing…. And now, please, hear Marc Dardenne, here: