Luxury Hotels

Seychelles – Rioja – New York

A Colombian crafts designer, Mercedes Salazar (above) has written The Luxury Collection: North Island. This Seychelles-focussed book is apparently inspired by the country’s bold colours and diverse wildlife, from Aldabra giant turtles, parrots and white-tailed tropicbirds to exotic landscapes, fruits, and flowers.  North Island, with 11 keys, is one of the smallest of the 118 properties worldwide in The Luxury Collection, whose just-appointed Global Brand Leader is Philipp Weghmann. Speaking – in front of a virtual backcloth of the Frank Gehry-designed Marques de Riscal in Rioja – to Girlahead yesterday he spoke enthusiastically of the advantages to developers of talking pre-design stage to come up with unique hotels, possibly franchised, that still enjoy all support of the Marriott umbrella.  Weghmann, incidentally, reports to Marriott’s luxury brands boss, Chris Gabldon: hear him again, below, on Podcast.

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At the vital Peter Bates/Jack Ezon virtual round-table hosted in New York 13th July, American Express’ Global SVP B2B Marketing Clayton Ruebensaal III, formerly Ritz-Carlton, stressed that everybody is in this together (he notices, interestingly, that, regardless, employers are increasing treating team members as if guests). Skift President Carolyn Kremins said she sees luxury gaining most new-travel traction – up 23% on 2019 figures – but, across the board, she notices the word ‘sustainability’ evolving to ‘re-generation’, travel+purpose, and there are longer stays, with more spend. As always, Chris Cahill’s eagle-eyed perspective honed in. This will be a decade of chaos.

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But calm always shows at some luxury hotels, says Girlahead.  Take The Beaumont, London, whose MD, Duncan Palmer, is personally leading unusual and super-effective marketing ahead of its full re-opening first days of September.  In partnership with Daunt Books, The Beaumont hosts easy-access free webinars Girlahead lapped every word of an earlier Bellingcat session.  Last night’s theme was fashion writer Alexandra Schulmann reading from her new book on items of clothing.  She described challenges of choosing a T-shirt (tee-shirt or whatever but, says Girlahead, contrarily this most ubiquitous item of body covering, evolved from Union Suits, onesie undergarments worn by US sailors at the end of the 19th century, and later, top only, sold commercially by P.J. Hanes Knitting). Thank you, The Beaumont, for providing a cultural-historical lighthouse rising above the swell of others ‘we’re re-opening..’ template messages.

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And, finally, over to Chris Gabaldon: