Thursday, 16 May 2013

Travelling to posh hotels independently

There was a piece on the Yahoo home page today entitled: Luxury hotels worth splurging on, and it took me back to when I first graduated and did a stint on The Independent travel desk in 2005. I was there to gain some experience, and had only got my foot through the door by sending an email of complaint to the then assistant editor. For some reason he really appreciated that and offered me a placement. It was chaos. It was heady. And I loved it. Even if it did result in me almost crapping myself at times down to the sheer fear of getting something wrong. The bottom line (no pun intended), is that it was amazing fun. Oh and I also had some articles printed, one of them being a hotels special. I interviewed Claus Sendlinger, CEO of Design Hotels, and, Ian Schrager, of Studio54,  Delano and Gramercy Park Hotel fame. Here are my favourite quotes from each of them regarding what they did, and still do best: Luxury hotels worth splurging on.


Claus Sendlinger, CEO of Design Hotels, on what hotel he particularly likes, and why? Amanjiwo, Amanrtsort at Borobudur, Central Java, Indonesia - because of the way the architecture is integrated into the natural surroundings and how the setting of the property overlooks the valley with the Borobudur Temple rising above it. Time has a slow motion feel to it here. It is the most peaceful place on earth I have been and maybe the best experience I have ever had staying in a hotel.

Ian Schrager, Hotelier, on what makes a great hotel? A hotel should lift your spirits when you stay there. Every fact and detail is important. Visuals are only a small part of it. The sum of all the parts added together result in creating certain magic, and it is that magic that is the most important element that a hotel can strive to accomplish. Therefore, I would say it is the overall visceral experience.