Posts tagged with "hospitality"

cruise illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Soneva In Aqua Experience

SONEVA INTRODUCES SAILING EXCURSIONS TO THE MALDIVES’ UNSPOILED GOIDHOO ISLAND

Four-Day Soneva in Aqua Experience Includes Surfing Uncrowded Breaks, Diving Among Shipwrecks, Spotting Marine Life and Snorkeling In Untouched Reefs

Setting sail from Soneva’s original barefoot luxury resort Soneva Fushi, the new four-day, three-night Goidhoo experience aboard the Soneva in Aqua yacht offers an ultra-luxury escape to this unspoiled island in the south of the Baa Atoll, 30 miles from Soneva Fushi. As the island of Goidhoo, which can only be reached by boat, is not often frequented by divers and surfers, it offers a rare untouched paradise full of vibrant marine life and corals.

Soneva in Aqua is a refined yacht that combines Soneva’s iconic barefoot luxury with the sense of freedom and adventure associated with a private boat charter. The 75-foot yacht sleeps a maximum of four adults and two children and has two spacious bedrooms with en-suite showers, while the master cabin has a glass-bottomed spa tub set into the floor for viewing the marine life. There is also an on-deck Jacuzzi, daybeds for lounging, dining area, bar, lounge and library. The crew consists of the captain, mechanic, head chef, wellness therapist and signature Soneva Barefoot Butler. A dive master, surf instructor, photographer and astronomer can be added on request.

Diving and snorkeling sites around Goidhoo include the Corbin, a 400-ton French ship that set sail from St. Malo in search of trade in the East, but met its end off the shores of Goidhoo in 1602. Guests are welcome to search for buried treasure and bars of silver that the ship was supposedly carrying. The Naamuli Wreck can also be explored, with remnants of an old steel ship spanning approximately 164 feet over the reef.

The entrance of Goidhoo Corner offers diverse marine life, including Napoleon fish, lobster, nurse sharks and turtles. The Rose Garden is a shallow snorkeling site that offers a spectacular display that looks like a huge underwater garden of rose-shaped coral. Protected inside a lagoon, the Inside Tilla is best explored at night when all the nocturnal marine creatures come out and the reef comes to life. The Soneva in Aqua crew have often spotted manta rays and whale sharks while anchored within the lagoon.

When it comes to surfing, the Goidhoo Pass is well known for producing some of the best waves in the Baa Atoll, with local surf competitions often being held here. Guests can also visit a local island for a cultural experience, or even join in on a soccer match with locals.

The cost of the Goidhoo four-day, three-night charter is priced at $9,900 for three nights, which includes all food and beverages for the duration. This cost excludes standard dive and surf instructor rates, which are priced at $750 and $600 per day, respectively, for two guests.

For more information about Soneva, visit this website.

ABOUT SONEVA
Soneva is a pioneering family of hospitality properties, offering holistic encounters in luxurious and inspiring environments – from world class resorts to outstanding natural locations.  Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand rebuke the traditional concept of luxury and instead promise the luxury of time, purity and solitude. Every day, guests are encouraged to discover sandy feet, inspired minds and full hearts. Combining luxury with a conscientious approach to sustainability and the environment, and proactively changing the nature of hospitality, it delivers intuitive service and meaningful experiences to the guests.

travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Tourism Trends in 2021

What’s Ahead for Travel and Tourism? 5 Trends to Look For in 2021 and Beyond

By: Stefan Read, SVP Engagement Advisory and Strategy Practice Lead at Jackman

As vaccines continue to roll out and people begin to see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, many consumers are starting to think of travel. A recent survey by CivicScience found that as of March 2021, nearly 6 in 10 US adults say they’d be willing to travel in the next five months. This is very promising, but much has changed in the past year and several aspects of consumer behavior have been permanently altered. In order to succeed in the new post-Covid world, travel and hospitality brands must understand the new and emerging trends impacting this industry. Below are the top trends and customer behaviors that we will see in 2021 and beyond as travel begins to ramp up again.

  1. Cleanliness: Unsurprisingly, travelers now say that cleanliness is their top priority when selecting hotels and flights. In November 2020, Booking declared that short-term or holiday rentals have to meet a minimum cleanliness standard by May 2021, or have their properties delisted. Airbnb and VRBO created new cleaning procedures for hosts to follow in the pandemic. Even after the pandemic ends, cleanliness will remain top of mind for travelers as the anxiety around COVID and other illnesses have now become part of our new reality. Travel and hospitality brands can do their part by communicating detailed and specific information with travelers about the cleaning procedures they have in place, and making sure the procedures can be clearly observed by guests. Hotels and property hosts should also adjust their change and refund policies to allow guests to cancel at the last minute in case of a future outbreak. Brands that prioritize the health and well-being of guests over profits will win when it comes to customer loyalty and safety.
  2. Wellness Tourism: Cleanliness goes hand in hand with wellness, and wellness tourism will keep growing over the next couple of years as people continue to seek out travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities. According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism will be worth $919 billion by 2022, representing 18 percent of all tourism globally. Brands should start to think about what services or experiences they can create or enhance that will attract these wellness travelers, such as transforming outdoor spaces to become open air yoga studios or hiring meditation or massage experts available for guests to utilize during their stay.
  3. Staying Close to Home: It’s no surprise that during the pandemic traveler preferences shifted toward the familiar. Backpacking through Europe was no longer feasible, so travelers instead opted for domestic destinations and were more thorough in their planning. A recent AirBnB survey revealed that 56 percent of consumers prefer a domestic or local destination and one in five Americans say they want their destination to be within driving distance of home. As a result, road trips will boom – in fact, 59 percent of families say they’re more likely to drive than fly on their next trip. Smaller hotels can compete with the big hotel chains by highlighting the local aspect of their experience and engaging meaningfully with the community they’re in. They might also consider banding together to help people plan fun road trips along specific routes. Travel and hospitality brands can help take some of the anxiety off of travelers by playing a more active role in the planning aspect of the guests’ travel.
  1. Traveling to Connect: The door is open for brands to play a more meaningful role in the travel plans for customers as Airbnb anticipates 2021 being the year of “meaningful travel.” It’s not the act of getting on a plane, standing in long line ups, and visiting crowded tourist attractions that people miss about travel. Rather, it’s the element of social connection – reuniting with old friends, spending time with family, and experiencing something new with loved ones. For a significant percentage of AirBnB survey respondents, their definition of meaningful travel has changed since the pandemic to become even more focused on being with loved ones. These people also say they intend to travel more after the pandemic, with nearly one in two (46%) saying they will travel more for pleasure, such as by going on vacation and to visit family. Brands should consider helping with family reunion planning and continue to be mindful of ways to bring families together while still maintaining a clean and safe environment.
  2. Eco-Tourism: Defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people and involves education,” eco-tourism is on the rise. Consumers are taking on the role of “concerned citizens” demanding responsible travel policies, and we’re seeing a shift in behavior and sentiment toward appreciating the earth and what it has to offer. Moving forward, people will be thinking more mindfully about the way they travel, why they travel, and where they go. Rather than trying to fit as many destinations as possible into one trip, many consumers will opt for longer stays, choosing to get to know the local communities, cultures, cuisines, and landscapes.

The world of travel and tourism has been forever altered by the pandemic and lockdowns. With some valuable insights into how customer behaviors and desires have changed, travel and hospitality brands can find new, creative ways to appeal to travelers. The five trends listed above are a great place to start when looking to understand the ways these industries will continue to change moving into 2021 and beyond.

safari illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Angama Mara Appoints New General Manager

Azei Lago, Opening Team Member of the Award-Winning Safari Lodge, Promoted to Lead the Team

Angama Mara is delighted to announce the appointment of Azei Lago as General Manager.

Following an exhaustive search that included hundreds of applications from around the world, including Kenya’s finest hospitality professionals, hoteliers and safari operators alike, the renowned property overlooking the Maasai Mara has chosen to promote from within and confirm one of its own as its new General Manager.

“I know that Azei will be an accomplished steward, and a nurturing, fair, yet uncompromising leader, committed to pushing the team to even greater heights,” says Nicky Fitzgerald, CEO. “I am so proud we are rewarding talent from what we call ‘The University of Angama’ and will now have a fully Kenyan hospitality team caring for our guests.”

“Azei was the stand-out candidate with the appropriate mix of hospitality excellence, fanaticism about guest delight, and a true leader with a history of building and empowering his teams,” says Steve Mitchell, Angama Mara’s co-founder. “He is well-loved, well-respected and embodies everything about the ‘Angama way’ and our values of respect, honesty, courage, joy and humanity.”

With an extensive career in the hospitality industry spanning three decades – including running several restaurants and hotels and teaching hospitality management – Azei (pronounced ah-Zay) has been with Angama since its pre-opening, joining as a camp manager and most recently serving as Operations Manager. He succeeds Shannon and Tyler Davis, who are returning to the U.S. after six years at Angama Mara.

“My DNA is about delighting guests through passionate service. One cannot deliver this alone, and fortunately, this already exists at Angama,” said Azei. “As a family grows, it needs familiar stewardship and leadership with common values, ensuring continuity while promoting growth of both the business and the people who work within it. Being in a position where I can continue to make a meaningful change within Angama and in our surrounding communities, is a fulfillment of my dreams.”

Beloved by both guests and staff, Azei can trace his generous and welcoming nature back to his upbringing. Raised in a modest Nairobi household that was always full of visitors, both short- and long-term, Azei credits his early home life for his career in taking care of guests.

For more information about Angama Mara, please visit their website.

ABOUT ANGAMA MARA

High above the Maasai Mara where some of the most romantic scenes from “Out of Africa” were filmed, Angama Mara comprises two separate and intimate camps, each encompassing 15 tented guest suites. Built on the edge of the Great Rift Valley on one of the most sought-after sites on the continent, this lodge offers heart stopping views as far as the eye can see. The lodge, helmed by industry veteran Nicky Fitzgerald (formerly of &Beyond), boasts outstanding game viewing 12 months of the year, with private access to the reserve. Inspired by the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air,’ Angama Mara floats 1,000 feet above the Maasai Mara, where, every morning, hot air balloons sail past the 30-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling glass fronts of each suite. In addition to consistently excellent game viewing, including Africa’s Big Five, guests enjoy walking safaris, garden-to-table lunches in the shamba, editing their images in the photographic studio, a fitness center, a 40-foot-long swimming pool, a curated gallery of African art, clothing and jewelry, and a sun-filled studio where local Maasai women work at beading bespoke items. Angama Mara was named #1 Safari Lodge in the World by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2018 and was named in the top ten safari lodges in Africa in the Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards 2020. Opening in 2020, Angama Safari Camp is a sole-use camp situated amidst the mega herds of the Great Migration and features the same fresh safari aesthetic as its sister camp Angama Mara. For assistance in planning a safari, the bespoke travel concierge service, Angama Safaris, is standing by to ensure smooth, seamless and safe travels around East Africa.

Azei Lago by Angama Mara for 360 Magazine

Design and cleanliness story illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 magazine

COVID GUIDANCE: The importance of TOP-DOWN CLEANING

Robin Wilson launched Robin Wilson Home in 2000 and created a conglomerate that covers eco-design, licensed products, interior design, and real estate development. Her brand has generated over $82 million in wholesale revenue from sales of cabinetry and textiles. She became the first Black woman with a line of hypoallergenic textiles sold nationwide at Bed Bath & Beyond (now in Wal-Mart), among other retailers. Her book, CLEAN DESIGN: Wellness for your Lifestyle was #1 on Amazon and focused on eco-friendly designs and hypoallergenic products for consumers.

Recently, the lifestyle expert introduced the practical aspect of Top-Down Cleaning. In this era of quarantines and lock downs, the last thing anyone wants to do is add to our work load – and a few simple tips will help you maintain a clean and healthier living space!

The Statistics

Sixty million Americans – that is one in five of us – have asthma and allergies. We sneeze, sniffle, and itch. Expose us to a whiff of dust, a gust of pollen, a sniff of perfume, or an encounter with an inquisitive dog or cat, and before we know it, our airways start to close up, and we begin to cough, wheeze or struggle to breathe.

With COVID in the air, the last thing we need is an inflammatory response. So cleaning your space has never been more important. Remember that asthma and allergies cannot be cured, but they can be managed. We can reduce symptoms by avoiding the allergens that trigger them. Unfortunately, the average home is full of allergy and asthma triggers, which means the place that should be your sanctuary can be a major source of allergenic triggers.

What is Top-Down Cleaning?

Most people create twice the cleaning work by first cleaning the floor, softa, tabletop or countertop and then cleaning the lights, ceiling fan or cabinets – only to see dust drift downward.

Solution: Clean from the top-to-bottom. In fact, if you have a second level, start upstairs and then work your way downstairs. Start at the highest point and make sure you have the following tools: paper towels, microstatic dust mitt/cloth, microstatic duster/floor sweeper, HEPA vacuum and a non-toxic cleaning solution. Cleaning solutions should include: baking soda, vinegar, toothpaste and Coca Cola.

Starting at the Top

We forget that walls are one of the largest surfaces in our spaces. Use a microstatic duster cloth/mitt to rub gently along the walls starting at the ceiling line and let the dust fall. As well, make sure to swipe over light receptables, ceiling fans or chandeliers.

Surfaces

Then clean the surfaces, starting with the highest-level lamp, bookcase, window treatments, cabinet or closet shelf. Allow dust/dirt to fall. As you work you way down, you will find that you need to vacuum or wipe down surfaces.

As mentioned earlier, there are a few tricks that involve cleaning solutions that are non-toxic.

1.       Toilet Ring Solution: Pour Coca Cola into your toilet overnight, and use toilet brush in the morning and the stubborn ring will disappear (may have to be repeated dependent on the level of stain) by morning.

2.       Crayon Marks: Use toothpaste. Smear on the mark and let sit for about 20 minutes. Using light brush strokes, and the crayon should be removed, or at least diminished.

3.       Stained Baking Sheets: to make them look new, use vinegar and baking soda. Coat pan with baking soda. Pour a layer of white vinegar on top. You may see slight bubbling. Let sit for 4 hours. Use gloves and a brush in circular motion. Watch the surface start to look new.

Finish at the Floor

The last thing that you need to do in your space is clean the floor.

1.       Make sure to invest in a HEPA filter vacuum as the dust and dirt is stored in a chamber (unlike older vacuum units that sometimes-added dust back into the space), and the canister can be emptied outside.

2.       Before you clean, you might want to make sure that you remove rugs and shake them outside.

3.       Run a microstatic dust cloth over the floor before you vacuum so that you can ensure that minimal dust flies around.

One tech solution that many working from home families are investing is an electronic robot vacuum that can be programmed to work during the day in various rooms. Some floor robot vacuums have HEPA filters, and can be a great option if you have a pet and want to make sure to limit buildup of dander and hair on your floor.

[SIDE BAR] For a space that follows CLEAN DESIGN protocols, it is important to replace a few items:

1.       Change your older model vacuum to a HEPA vacuum to effectively limit dust in the space. Especially important if your home is near any location that had recent fires.

2.       Change your vinyl shower liner to a nylon shower liner to minimize mold.

3.       Review the window treatments and find options that can be laundered and are not ‘dust catchers’ or which can be easily vacuumed.

4.       Replace your pillow after 3 years if it has not been washed frequently or covered with a zippered liner.

5.       Think about using your window screens so that you can open your windows for 5 minutes daily.

SIDEBAR

Leading triggers include:

  • Dust mites in beds and pillows
  • Dander from pets
  • Mold growth in walls, bathrooms and basements
  • Pollen from outdoor trees and grasses in your hair that infiltrates your sleep space or living room sofa
  • Fumes from cooking and chemical cleaners
  • Toxic or environmentally unfriendly building materials that permeate indoor air

Remember, you can change that by using the strategies in the book, Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle (Greenleaf, 2015). Create a healthy home environment that manages indoor air quality and protect your family from dust, mold, pollen, fumes, odors, airborne toxins, chemicals and other substances. Create a home environment that nurtures good health.

According to the American Lung Association, “poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections, lung cancer…headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue” in anyone, not just those who suffer from asthma and allergies. We can all benefit from living in a more pure home environment.

More physicians are convinced that there is a link between environmental toxins, indoor air quality and allergies. Chemicals we are exposed to in our homes and offices have the power to make us sick, and we can improve our health and wellness using Clean Design principles.

Shopping for Hypoallergenic Options

The pandemic made both me and my clients realize that the CLEAN DESIGN HOME which sells our retail products is more important than ever – and that we should find non-toxic cleaning options and information for day-to-day living, especially since so many of us are working from home. I have pivoted to focus on building out the product line, and have just licensed our brand. So much information involves simple non-toxic options– the ideas are rooted in my bestselling book, Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle.

About Robin Wilson

Her design projects including the White House Fellows office, a part of President Clinton’s Harlem office, and the rustic beach cottage of Robert DeNiro – each project had a very quick turnaround and exacting standards. She was named to the Top 100 Female Founders List in 2020 by INC magazine. Her eponymous licensed brands of textiles is sold at retail and hospitality. She is also in the process of creating Design+Build projects. She is author of two award-winning books: Clean Design She is the first woman with a branded line of custom cabinetry that was sold by over 400 independent kitchen dealers nationwide (2009-2018). First featured in Oprah’s magazines and extensive media coverage since 2005. In May 2013, her furniture line, Nest Home by Robin Wilson, premiered at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. In 2014, she partnered with consumer products giant Panasonic to promote their latest line of cutting edge products for the home.She is an ambassador to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, and previously served on the board of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Michelin chef article illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

MICHELIN STAR RECIPIENTS

3 MICHELIN STARS FOR HÉLÈNE DARROZE AND 2 MICHELIN STARS FOR ANDREW WONG IN 1 NIGHT

It was an incredible evening last night in the UK as the Michelin Great Britain and Ireland 2021 restaurant recipients was announced. No less than 23 restaurants were awarded the new Michelin green star for sustainability. Additionally, 17 new one-star restaurants, 3 new two-star restaurants, and 2 new three-star restaurants were awarded –bringing the total number of Michelin recognized restaurants within the UK to 185. This has been a devastating year for hospitality in the British Isles, so these announcements were not only very welcome, but saw some very emotional responses from everyone involved.

For us here at Lotus London, we are delighted to announce that the incredible Hélène Darroze was awarded 3 stars for her restaurant in Mayfair, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught–just one week after her restaurant in Paris, Marsan par Hélène Darroze, was awarded 2 stars by the Michelin Guide France. Also, the truly magnificent Andrew Wong was awarded a second star for his restaurant in Pimlico, A.Wong. Chinese restaurants have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and this is the first time Michelin has recognized Chinese food at this level outside of Asia, so it was cause for a double celebration for the UK.

HÉLÈNE DARROZE HONORED WITH 5 MICHELIN STARS IN ONE WEEK

2021 is already proving an exceptional vintage for Hélène Darroze. After receiving a second star in the Michelin Guide France last week for her restaurant “Marsan” in Paris, she has now been awarded the ultimate 3 stars in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland for her London restaurant “Hélène Darroze at The Connaught”, within The Connaught Hotel.

In 2008, the legendary Connaught Hotel in prestigious Mayfair was searching for a French chef to run its kitchen and reconnect with the tradition of French cuisine. The Connaught Hotel turned to Hélène Darroze, who took up the challenge and responsibility. It was awarded its first Michelin star in 2009, six months after opening. A second star was awarded to the restaurant in 2011.

Speaking after the ceremony, Hélène said: “It is with immense emotion and honor that I receive this award. My first thoughts are with my teams, especially Kirk Whittle, my pastry accomplice for the last 17 years, Executive Chef Marco Zampese and Restaurant Manager Mirko Benzo, who have been working with me at The Connaught for over 8 years. My thoughts also go out to Paddy McKillen, co-owner of The Connaught, who has trusted me to take the reins of the gourmet restaurant since 2008. My appreciation particularly goes to the small suppliers who have helped us, especially the wonderful and emerging British producers, without whom good cooking would not be possible, and need support at this time. I am also particularly proud to receive this award alongside my friend, Chef Clare Smyth. Believe in your dreams – everything is possible, and stay true to your femininity!

Faithful to her philosophy both in Paris and London, Hélène Darroze creates a cuisine that gives pride to produce, whether sourced in her native Les Landes and the Basque Country regions where she grew up, or in the British Isles. This signature cuisine–inspired not just by her roots, but also her travels, the people she has met, and of course her strong link with the United Kingdom–is remarkably executed by Marco Zampese, assisted by a team of 15 people, and directed by Mirko Benzo and his collaborators in the prestigious dining, recently renovated by Pierre Yovanovitch.

CELEBRATIONS AS A.WONG RECEIVES COVETED SECOND MICHELIN STAR

Restaurant A.Wong was awarded a second Michelin star yesterday evening at the 2021 edition of the prestigious Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, streamed live from Paris.

This marks the first time a Chinese restaurant outside Asia has been honored in this way.

Chef Patron Andrew Wong opened A.Wong with his wife Nathalie and Restaurant Director, Chinobek in 2012. Showcasing the rich diversity of China’s food culture and its 14 international borders, the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in 2017.

Based on an intuitive expression of tradition, authenticity, and craft, Andrew garners inspiration from the work of past ancestors and present masters with equal respect. He celebrates their truest form with a fresh perspective and subtle innovation.

Andrew commented, “We are beyond delighted to have been recognized by Michelin with a second star. We have an incredible team who have supported us every day and been such an integral part of this journey. Like so many restaurants, this has been a hard and challenging year, and we’re all just looking forward to celebrating-virtually-and hopefully in person in the not-too-distant future!

Brisas Group opens new hotel in Mexico City

Brisas Group opens new hotel in Mexico City

Brisas Group – Mexico’s leading hospitality group – has recently opened its newest hotel, Galería Plaza San Jerónimo, located in the southern region of Mexico City. As part of the Galería Plaza collection, this hotel is perfectly situated near the city’s key corporate offices, shopping centers, restaurants, and the southern freeway, offering easy access to the rest of Mexico City.

“We are very excited to be opening our newest addition to theGalería Plaza collection,” said General Manager Rafael Gonzalez. “Galería Plaza San Jerónimo offers guests a contemporary design, state-of-the-art technology, and a great location that can’t be beat in Mexico City. This space is perfect for groups, events and conventions, and we’re looking forward to our guests experiencing all we have to offer.”

With a focus on attracting business and leisure travelers from around the world, Galería Plaza San Jerónimo is a modern hotel that offers its guests top-level facilities and services. The hotel features include 151 rooms and suites, a business center, gym, yoga area, roof garden with jacuzzies and a swimming lane, an executive floor, restaurant and much more.

The hotel has a variety of spaces that lend itself for events, including a conference space that can host up to 1,000 people, which has the capabilities to be sectioned into nine smaller rooms. In addition, guests will enjoy the roof garden with a bar, outdoor patio space and a terrace.

The Galería Plaza collection is dedicated to catering to both business and leisure travelers, with locations in top city-centers across Mexico. Other locations include Galería Plaza Reforma in Mexico City, Galería Plaza Irapuato and Galería Plaza Veracruz. In addition, Brisas Group is currently building additional locations including Galería Plaza Insurgentes, Galería Plaza Monterrey and Galería Plaza León, which are scheduled to open in 2021.

Brisas Group hotels reopened following closures due to the pandemic in July 2020 with new health and safety protocols to ensure guest safety. For the full list of health and safety protocols being implemented at Las Brisas and Galería Plaza properties visit their website.

To book a stay at a Brisas Group property, please visit theirwebsite where you will find information on each of the different properties.

About Grupo BRISAS

Grupo BRISAS is a Mexican company founded in 2001 with three flagship brands: Las Brisas, with hotels Las Brisas Acapulco, Las Brisas Ixtapa, Las Brisas Huatulco, Hacienda Jurica and Las Hadas by Brisas, the Galería Plaza hotels with Galería Plaza Reforma, Galería Plaza Veracruz, and Galeria Plaza Irapuato, and NIZUC Resort & Spa. Grupo BRISAS operates hotels and resorts in the main cities of the Mexican Republic, with rooms and suites that have luxury services and facilities for contemporary travelers. Brisas Group remains at the forefront with clever expansion plans in the future. The Galeria Plaza brand is rapidly expanding and plans to open new locations in the near future in Mexico City, Monterrey and Leon.

Facebook: @GpoBrisas

Twitter: @GpoBrisas

Instagram: @GpoBrisas

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Hotel

YOTELPAD × Park City

The first-ever YOTELPAD today announced it will open Dec. 17, 2020 in Park City, Utah. Having expanded its affordable luxury brand to the YOTELPAD experience, London-based hotel group, YOTEL has deliberately established its first YOTELPAD in a market that attracts today’s adventurous travelers, weekend commuters and traveling workers.

“Park City is the ideal setting for YOTELPAD’s first venue in the world,” said Brandon Tyler, general manager of YOTELPAD Park City. “It exemplifies the contemporary style of a modern hotel with the persona of today’s mountain resort enthusiast, including both winter skiers and year-round outdoors lovers.”

With 144 PADs (YOTEL speak for condominiums), YOTELPAD Park City is located at the base of Park City Mountain in Canyons Village. Equipped with self-service check-in stations, the fully tech-equipped hotel allows guests to access Grab+Go meals and drinks, a 24/7 gym with the latest Technogym equipment, ski valets, a fireside lounge and more.

“This hotel experience infuses modern international designs for indoors, outdoors and spaces in between, such as by the pool, around the fireplace and in the games room,” said Tyler. “Guests can relax in the hot tub, unwind by the pool and soak in Park City’s beautiful valley views from our deck.”

Innovative designs for various-sized PADs include Italian furniture that transforms into multiple uses in the same room space. European-inspired floorplans optimize every inch of the PAD, which can accommodate four to seven guests, to make it the perfect mountain base for adventure seekers.

“Built with creative forethought, these PADs and amenities offer incredible options for guests,” he said. “Intelligently designed PADs allow guests to enjoy the benefits of their stay without added expenses.”

Selling PADS for full ownership, YOTELPAD, which is 85 percent sold, also allows PAD owners to submit their residences into its nightly rental program.

“Owners who want to rent their PADs will instantly be listed in YOTEL’s worldwide network for guests seeking new experiences in an environment with modern design,” said Tyler.

YOTEL’s rapid global expansion is fueled from a well-calibrated combination of contemporary design and sociable amenities in popular locations. The tech-forward brand has built a strong following for its hassle-free solutions, with travelers seeking out hotels in cities and airports from San Francisco to Europe to Singapore.

Operating 17 hotels in eight countries, YOTEL recently opened YOTEL London, YOTEL Glasgow and YOTEL Washington, D.C. 

“The YOTEL and YOTELPAD concepts are trending, with 13 more YOTELs under development globally and three YOTELPADs being built in Miami, Geneva and Dubai,” he said.

To provide mountain resort expertise, YOTEL has partnered with Benchmark, a global hospitality leader, to spearhead day-to-day operations of YOTELPAD Park City. Since acquiring Gemstone Hotels & Resorts in 2016, Benchmark has built a strong Park City presence and manages a portfolio of more than 70 unique projects across three continents, including ski properties in Park City, Vail, Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole.

Known for novel design and amenities in great locations, YOTEL enlisted Replay to create four-season resort destinations where guests can play longer and more often.

A national resort development leader, Replay designs destination resorts so year-round guests can play longer, smarter and more frequently. Leading Park City’s Canyons Village masterplan design, Replay’s visionary team was part of the inspiration behind Whistler Blackcomb, consistently ranked as a top world destination. 

Disrupting the world of hospitality through people, technology and design, YOTEL creates extraordinary experiences and a sense of fun and value in sought-after venues around the world.

For more information, visit yotelpadparkcity.com or yotel.com.

Hotel illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Healing Through Hospitality

By Shannon Suess

There has been a lot of speculation in every industry about how today’s reality will affect tomorrow’s possibilities. In June, The New Yorker released an in-depth exploration of what the future of architecture could look like, with the roots of modernist design having grown from the sterile lines and quiet colors of Tuberculosis-era sanatoriums in days past. It paints a future full of pandemic-inspired changes, but the truth is, the evolution is already deep underway, even if we don’t realize or acknowledge it.

When it comes to the idea of traveling—of spending an extended period of time, for business or pleasure, in a hosted space outside our own homes—our psyches have subconsciously rewritten what is most important in order for us to not only feel comfortable with but actually enjoy our experience. 

For the hospitality industry, the emotional, physical, and psychological toll of a global pandemic will likely underpin travel trends that were already on the rise: biophilic designs rooted in nature, experiences rich in culture, and environments that promote both physical and mental health and wellness. But for brands looking at what’s next, there are numerous pieces of the puzzle that must come together to make guests truly feel comfortable with traveling once more.

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY TO RESILIENCE

Adopting the mentality of “one day at a time”, the ability to change and adapt spaces to fit present-day climates will be critical. With venturing outside of our own regions likely to remain difficult for the foreseeable future, travelers will instead seek out unique local destinations. They’ll gravitate toward dramatic hospitality spaces that can flex or change quickly in scale; the ability to easily flow from a multi-purpose, spacious area to a personal, private sanctuary will be paramount. 

Flexibility of this caliber will give way to opportunities for new, hybrid spaces, allowing hotels and resorts to consolidate, reimagine, and deeply personalize their offerings. Simultaneously, guests will have the opportunity to discover new experiences at various intervals during the day: Bars offering breakfast service for takeaway in the mornings gives way to an open-concept lounge or coworking space in the afternoon. By rotating “dual purpose” spaces, hosts naturally reduce footprints and create a natural time to clean and sanitize spaces.

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY TO ELEVATE SAFETY

Technology integration into hospitality experiences is a fickle thing: With how swiftly electronics evolve, expensive hardware upgrades can often be out of date within months of being implemented. Entering a room filled with aging technology can be a visually stark reminder of just how many people have touched those devices. Instead of letting technology hinder our relaxing experience, how can we use it to subtly support guests in feeling comfortable and safe?

The all-inclusive ticket to enabling this experience could be the one device many can’t live without. Subsequently, it’s one that we’re familiar with, comfortable with, and most importantly, feel safe using: our smartphones. The integration of subtle push notifications—for example, confirmation of your room’s scheduled daily cleaning, when housekeeping is actively there, and when they’ve vacated the space—have the opportunity to set and continuously keep a guest’s mind at ease.

Concurrently, granting visitors a familiar “no-contact” medium through which requests can be made—empowering a more comfortable experience—opens up a world of possibilities. Guests could use their phones to order room service, request additional towels, reserve a socially distant seat by the pool, at the bar, or in a coworking pod. The list goes on and on.  And, the more guests utilize these digital services, the more in-depth their digital profile becomes, making loyalty programs more enticing through a safe yet personalized touch.

There is a double-edged sword here, though: designers cannot rely too heavily on technology as a substitute for, or complete replacement of, social interaction. Humans crave physical connection with one another, and hospitality experiences will still need to provide the option for us to embark on that journey if we so choose.

IMPERFECTION IS PERFECTION

It’s no surprise that, as we’ve found ourselves trapped indoors the past few months, our bodies are inherently drawn to the idea of becoming reacquainted with nature; not just for the fresh air and sunshine, but for the fundamental healing properties that simply being closer to nature provides us. 

By employing the concept of biophilic design, we focus on natural over synthetic as an overarching theme, tapping into the psychosocial wellbeing that humanity is currently craving the world over. Natural color palettes that seamlessly transition outdoor experiences inside create a continued sense of calm while indoors. The addition of plants throughout both cleans the air and provokes a sense of relaxation. Removing clutter to reveal clean lines, white space, and invoke a “less is luxury” mindset. Interior design is witnessing a return to these authentic, raw, and “imperfect” materials—ones where the hand of the maker is visible, they aid us in feeling more grounded, and reinforce a sense of place.

The question that hosts must ask themselves as they look toward the future, “How can I design my experience offering to reduce anxiety and make guests feel more naturally at ease?” Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a guide, we have the opportunity to comfort guests holistically. The key to a reassured, tranquil mindset isn’t to simply coat everything in copper; designers will need to thoughtfully expand and go deeper to offer a sense of security and comfort beyond what’s on the surface.

A MULTIFACETED FOOD & BEVERAGE UPGRADE

One of the things we miss the most, undisputedly, is the ability to dine out and spend time with friends and family. We don’t just crave the energy and social activity, we long for the semblance of normalcy tied to the experience itself. 

While the industry has taken a hit to their traditional dine-in offerings, consumers are demanding more than ever before from the F&B industry: meal and cocktail kits, picnic baskets for outdoor excursions, easy curbside pickup, reliable room service, rapid and safe home delivery. 

There is ample opportunity to adapt existing room service and F&B experiences, which are anticipated to see not only a resurgence but a higher demand for gourmet-level quality. And, with a renewed focus on safety and convenience, offering grab-and-go contactless options in restaurants or lobbies that can digitally be charged to one’s room opens up new avenues for revenue and differentiation.

With an added focus on finding space outside of personal rooms that guests still feel safe in, how can restaurants take advantage of a rise in take-out by enabling positive, memorable moments? Establishing outdoor spaces that guests can retreat to for picnics or morning coffee in solitude; remodeling rooms to better allow for comfortable dining during a night in; hosts have the opportunity to allow guests to write their own stories defined by their comfort levels, and designers have the chance to enable that journey.

THE ROAD AHEAD

As brands and venues that offer hospitality experiences look toward the future, it won’t be about creating a compromised version of what we’ve known to be normal in the past, but cleverly designing and strategically implementing layers to more easily adapt for the unknowns that lie before us. 

Over the past century, the desire for machine-made perfection was palpable. Today, as we strive to become closer with nature in a primal effort to heal our bodies and minds, hosts that embrace the perfect imperfection of raw edges, materials, and palettes—as well as provide variable spaces both indoors and outside—can help guests maintain a fundamental sense of safety and comfort as they embark on their journeys.

People will not feel comfortable traveling unless they feel safe. Those who create hyper-personalized, dynamic, memorable spaces that guests can not only escape to, but ones where they can wholeheartedly focus on physical and mental rejuvenation, will come out on top. After all, isn’t that what vacation is for?

SHANNON SUESS is an award-winning interiors and hospitality designer who has dedicated over 25 years of her career to crafting world-class destinations. Working with clients around the globe, she seamlessly fuses interiors, exteriors, and the spaces in between to create memorable venues that harmonize local culture and brand. Shannon thrives on finding unique solutions to programming barriers and solving complex architectural challenges with holistic design.

An agile problem-solver dedicated to cultivating meaningful partnerships in order to bring out the best in projects, Shannon is often inspired by the music, art, and local traditions she encounters during her travels. She consistently fuses cutting-edge trends with timeless designs to sculpt extraordinary, one-of-a-kind experiences for hotels, residential, casinos, wineries, and everything in between.

Pendry West Hollywood, West Hollywood, 360 MAGAZINE, preferred hotels

20 IN 20

Preferred Hotels & Resorts Announces 20 Exciting Independent Hotel Openings Taking Place In The New Year

Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand announces 20 new launches across the globe in 2020. From glitzy West Hollywood to historically palatial Stockholm, and from the winelands of Northern California to the undiscovered beaches of Tuscany, each of these new city hotels, beach resorts, and countryside retreats extends luxury independent hospitality at its finest, presenting travelers with an inspiring gateway to an authentic discovery of their chosen destination, wherever their journeys take them next.

BEST FOR A TOUCH OF HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR

Pendry West Hollywood (West Hollywood, California, USA) – Launching summer 2020

Located on the iconic Sunset Strip, Pendry West Hollywood is one of the most anticipated developments in the creative heart of Los Angeles. The ‘new luxury’ hotel – set in an eye-catching glass fronted building with interiors designed by the acclaimed Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to evoke Californian glamour – comprises 149 guestrooms, including 37 suites and 40 additional residences. For the property’s signature restaurant and food and beverage outlets, Wolfgang Puck has created an unparalleled culinary experience inspired by the artistic energy of the surrounding area. Other stand-out features include a spectacular rooftop pool and bar adorned with chic cabanas; Spa Pendry a tranquil sanctuary offering personalized wellness treatments; curated public art collections showcasing local talent; bowling alley; and screening room. More information on Pendry West Hollywood, including rates, will be available soon via www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR AN EXPERIENTIAL FOODIE BREAK

The Sense Experience Resort (Tuscany, Italy) – Launching March 2020

Located off the tranquil western central coast of Italy, bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea, The Sense Experience Resort is an eco-retreat made up of 12,000 acres of natural park and pine forest with a private beach in Tuscany’s Maremma region. Inspired by the five senses, the resort offers 112 guestrooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and Italian-designed fabrics and furnishings, with many boasting views of Elba Island and the historic Torre Mozza. Guests are taken on a sensory culinary journey through dishes rooted in Tuscan experiences at Eatè restaurant; rotating street food menus for quick eats and picnics at onsite food truck L’Apino; and barefoot seven-course suppers on the beach under the stars. Other highlights include an outdoor pool with swim-up bar, complimentary bicycle rentals, cooking courses, yoga and Pilates, and a wealth of adventure activities, including deep-sea fishing, island trips by boat, and vineyard tours. Rates at The Sense Experience Resort start from US$130 per night. For more information or to book, visit www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR HISTORICAL URBAN ELEGANCE

Villa Dagmar (Stockholm, Sweden) – Launching April 2020

Named after Dagmar Bergsten – a trailblazing woman and member of the owner’s family who enjoyed travel, art, and culinary trips to the Mediterranean in the early 1900s – Villa Dagmar is an intimate luxury hotel located in the exclusive Stockholm neighborhood of Östermalmstorg, close to City Hall, The Swedish History Museum, and Stureplan Square. The late 19th century Art Nouveau building extends 70 guestrooms and suites, some with balconies overlooking the inner courtyard and orangery, as well as an organic food store, concept store selling hand-picked designer pieces, spa, flower shop, and signature restaurant serving Mediterranean-fusion cuisine by Michelin-starred Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson. Guests can also enjoy effortless trips to the renowned market hall Östermalmshallen, which is connected to the hotel. Rates at Villa Dagmar start from US$331 per night. For more information or to book, visit www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR A REFINED WINE COUNTRY RETREAT

Montage Healdsburg (Healdsburg, California, USA) – Launching October 2020

The newest launch from Montage Hotels & Resorts, Montage Healdsburg is a transformative hideaway nestled in the hills of Sonoma County, offering travelers a convenient and luxurious base to explore the destination’s celebrated wineries and farm-to-table restaurants. Designed with sustainability in mind, each of the 130 bungalow-style guestrooms and suites are in historic groves and comprise understated contemporary furnishings crafted with local stone, wood, and copper, along with private outdoor spaces that make up a third of each lodging including fire pits, private outdoor showers, and plush daybeds. Guests can experience two fine dining restaurants, treatments at Spa Montage, and a host of activities across the 258-acre resort such as winery tours, cooking classes, outdoor musical performances, 250 miles of hiking and biking trails, archery, and the bee apiary. More information on Montage Healdsburg, including rates, will be available soon via www.preferredhotels.com.

BEST FOR AN OCEANFRONT WELLNESS GETAWAY

Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa (Singer Island, Florida, USA) – Launching June 2020

Comprising more than seven acres of oceanfront in Palm Beach County’s Singer Island, Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa is a luxury coastal getaway created for guests to unplug and recharge. The wellness resort combines Eastern wellbeing philosophies and western technology through The Five Pillars of Wellness – its partnership with ESPA and the Himalayan Institute that connects mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, relaxation, and sleep across its four-story spa, meditation gardens, four farm-to-table restaurants, tranquility pools, outdoor Patanjali yoga classes, and sleep specialist services. The 153 guestrooms and 34 grand luxury wellness suites include terraces with uninterrupted ocean views featuring circadian rhythm lighting and freestanding bathtubs where guests can enjoy a personalized aromatherapy bath, compliments of a Bath Concierge.More information on Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa, including rates, will be available soon via www.preferredhotels.com.

ADDITIONAL 2020 OPENINGS INCLUDE:

AMERICAS

·         Greystone Miami Beach (Miami Beach, Florida, USA) – relaunching February 2020: Steps from the white sand beach, the historic 1930s hotel embraces Miami’s energy with Art Deco glamour across 91 guestrooms, a stunning rooftop pool, and a whiskey and dark spirits lounge.

·         Hotel Maverick (Grand Junction, Colorado, USA) – launching April 2020: Located steps from Colorado Mesa University, Hotel Maverick will be the first luxury hotel in the area at 45,000 square feet offering 60 guestrooms, two restaurants, and bar.

·         The Liberty Trust Hotel (Roanoke, Virginia, USA) – launching April 2020: Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and originally opened in 1910 as a bank and office building, The Liberty Trust Hotel will launch after a full refurbishment to offer 50 guestrooms and suites.

·         Hotel Effie Sandestin (Sandestin, Florida, USA) – launching June 2020: On 2,400 acres of Florida’s Emerald Coast, the hotel integrates coastal charm with Southern hospitality across 250 guestrooms and 19 suites with views of Choctawhatchee Bay and championship golf courses.

·         Brenton Hotel (Newport, Rhode Island, USA) – launching June 2020: Located on the waterfront, Brenton Hotel pays homage to the area’s public buildings and their history through its architecture and features 57 sunlit guestrooms and suites with expansive views.

·         The Lake House on Canandaigua (Canandaigua, New York, USA) – launching summer 2020: Situated on picturesque Canandaigua Lake, the property offers lakeside luxury across 125 guestrooms, a dedicated events barn, signature restaurant, and destination spa and wellness center.

EUROPE

·         Iberostar Grand Fontana di Trevi (Rome, Italy) – launching March 2020: Just 200 feet from Trevi Fountain, Iberostar Grand Fontana di Trevi extends 19th century Art Deco design elements across 67 guestrooms, two signature restaurants, and a spectacular rooftop terrace with skyline views.

·         Villa Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark) – launching April 2020: A historic grand post office turned luxury hotel located next to Tivoli Gardens, Villa Copenhagen highlights conscious, approachable luxury across 390 guestrooms and suites – including a luxurious Earth Suite made solely from sustainable materials – as well as stunning interior gardens and dining outlets.

·         The Guardsman (London, United Kingdom) – launching April 2020: On London’s exclusive Buckingham Gate with 53 unique guestrooms and six exclusive residences, The Guardsman offers the atmosphere, discretion, and personal service associated with a private members’ club.

·         The Diaoyutai Mansion Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany) – launching July 2020: The first European hotel by the Diaoyutai MGM Hospitality hotel group combines traditional Asian design with international flair across 250 guestrooms and suites, steps from Frankfurt’s top attractions.

·         Pestana Douro, Riverside Hotel and Conference Centre (Porto, Portugal) – launching May 2020: The newest hotel from Pestana Hotels & Resorts will offer 165 guestrooms and suites, along with meeting and event spaces, on the shores of the Douro River.

·         The Londoner (London, United Kingdom) – launching July 2020: Located in Leicester Square, The Londoner is the world’s first super boutique hotel, boasting six subterranean levels and 350 guestrooms including 35 suites, in addition to showcasing the energy of London’s West End through unique design, innovative social spaces, and distinctive restaurants.

ASIA

·         Alma Resort (Cam Ranh, Vietnam) – launching February 2020: Situated on one of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches, Alma Resort offers innovative design across nearly 600 apartments and villas, each featuring a waterfront view.

·         The Chedi Mumbai (Mumbai, India) – launching March 2020: Located in the heart of India’s commercial capital, The Chedi Mumbai is a serene and stylish oasis with 316 guestrooms and suites offering views of Powai Lake or the city skyline.

·         CONNECT BUSAN (Busan, South Korea) – launching May 2020: With 216 guestrooms and suites, each with private balconies and sweeping views of Busan Harbor or Yongdusan Park, CONNECT BUSAN is a respite for leisure and business travelers in South Korea’s historic area.

Whether on the go for business or leisure, travelers who visit these new hotels, along with more than 700 other member hotels from the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, can access exclusive member rates and earn reward points with the I Prefer Hotel Rewards program. Free to join, the program extends points redeemable towards free nights and other on-property expenditures, elite status, and other complimentary benefits to guests. Bookings can be made online at PreferredHotels.com or on the I Prefer mobile app, available on Android and iOS.

For more information on these hotels or any of the properties represented within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, please visit www.PreferredHotels.com.

About Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 750 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. Through its five global collections, Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travelers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their life and style preferences for each occasion. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The I Prefer™ Hotel Rewards program, Preferred Residences℠, Preferred Pride℠, and Preferred Golf™ offer valuable benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.

Seven Master Sommeliers

The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas ™ is proud to welcome seven members to the organization: Nick Davis, Medium Plus, Seattle, WA; Mariya Kovacheva, Pernod Ricard, West Palm Beach, FL; Justin Moore, Vetri Cucina, Las Vegas, NV; Vincent Morrow, ONE65, San Francisco, CA; Joshua Orr, Broadbent Selections, San Diego, CA; Jeremy Shanker, Michael Mina, San Francisco, CA; and Jill Zimorski, Champagne Specialist Representing Moet Hennessy Champagne Portfolio, Chicago, IL.

Recently 150 individuals from 22 states and Canada attempted the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination proctored by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. The seven noted above, successfully displayed mastery and met the qualification to be awarded the title Master Sommelier. The results were announced at the Krug Reception on September 11th at the Four Seasons Resort in St. Louis, Missouri. “The examinations are an opportunity for our candidates to shine as they demonstrate their mastery of our beverage service industry,” said Devon Broglie, MS, Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. “It is inspiring to see their dedication to rigorous study and preparation on display during the examination days.”

Following the celebration of our new members, Broglie reflected on the challenges facing the organization and thanked the Examination Committee for its tireless work to provide a rigorous, exacting and fair examination consistent with the Court’s peerless Master Sommelier credential. “We have made great strides to become a stronger organization over the past year,” Broglie said. “We have improved the security of our examinations, strengthened our ethical principles, and we continue our commitment to leading the industry with integrity as we celebrate new Master Sommeliers and mentor all those still striving to attain the goal.”

The Master Sommelier Diploma is the highest distinction a professional can attain in the beverage service industry. The Master Sommelier Diploma Examination consists of three sections: a verbal theory examination, a wine assessment exercise using the Deductive Tasting Method, and a practical component that focuses on hospitality, beverage service, salesmanship, and overall business acumen. Candidates must receive passing scores in each section to earn the highly coveted Master Sommelier title.

“The Master Sommelier Diploma Examination is extremely demanding.  We applaud the efforts of all candidates who sat this fair and rigorous examination,” Broglie said. “Today we celebrate the success of these seven new Master Sommeliers and continue our commitment to mentor all candidates on their path to success as we chart the course for current and future Master Sommeliers worldwide.”