Luxury Hotels


Some events stay in the memory forever – see Bob van den Oord at The Langham party in an earlier ILTM AAsia Pacific. Now let us switch to Hong Kong, still sadly practically closed down. It’s normally awash with international gallerists for Art Basel Hong Kong, but this year’s event, running until Sunday (29th May) is devoid of cultural globalists. The art is there – 130 galleries from around the world – but all viewing and buying is virtual (who wants to fly into Hong Kong and have a week of government-imposed quarantine?).

Events are, generally, back with a bang. Some are brain-demanding. Girlahead has to struggle to make sense of Hospitality & commercial real estate: How nature trends hospitality & amenity issues”, one of the subjects covered at MIPIM 2022 in Cannes. One of the speakers, Six Senses’ Neil Jacobs, said science proves the benefits of bringing landscape or biophilic design into interior spaces too, and the impact that has on our health, on breathing, and all aspects of wellness. So that also plays a huge part in our design process

Girlahead’s professional buddy and colleague Richard Barnes feels Six Senses is the only hospitality company that has dedicated sustainability teams on each property. plus a full-time corporate permaculture specialist. Neil Jacobs says that even though most Six Senses resorts are located outside cities, when it comes to biodiversity any hotel is a kind of a mini-town in itself. In other words, a resort is perhaps a great case study for how a town should work. Oman’s SIX SENSES ZIGHBY BAY, has its own farm producing goat’s cheese, eggs, and camel’s milk – and bees have been introduced to provide local honey for guests. Like all properties, it bottles its own still and sparkling drinking water.

In an urban environment it is generally necessary to ‘go vertical’. Neil Jacobs says Six Senses’ New York property is crowned by a large rooftop. “The developers assumed we would want to put a pool on the rooftop overlooking the Hudson and New York skyline. But we said, no, actually, we don’t. What we’d like to do is just some urban farming and hydroponics so that we can go upward as well. And hence we will be growing some of the food, the herbs, and the botanicals that we need for the restaurant and bar. Our shared areas and guestrooms will also be alive with plants, you’ll feel the difference in the air quality. It’s very important that we can bring a curated approach to landscaping and bring it inside”.

And of course the two global events that top hoteliers are waiting for are ILTM Asia Pacific, back in Singapore, 5-8 September, and the ILTM mother-ship, in Cannes, 5-8 December. See you there!

This week’s MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST is a chat with the boss of Baglioni. Hear him here: