CPP-LUXURY.COM has recently interviewed exclusively luxury hospitality veteran Thomas Kochs with a career of over 20 years in the sector. Kochs is currently the General Manager of Corinthia London.
How has your hotel performed in 2017 and what are your expectations for 2018?
We had another positive year in 2017 with revenue up by around 10%. We expect to see a similar level growth in 2018. We continue to develop new audiences attracting guests from the Asia-Pacific region. This year we have continued to grow our market share versus our peer competitors. We are pleased that revenue continues to grow with strong contribution from the spa as well as from the retail room segment. Supply growth for the sector is expected to cause occupancy declines across our peer group in London; however, Corinthia’s Average Daily Rate (ADR) is expected to compensate for potential occupancy losses, so we are forecasting a rise in revenue per available room (RevPAR) at Corinthia London
We are excited about 2018, with new product offerings across all segments – rooms, Food & Beverage, spa and events.
What is the positioning of Corinthia London? Which is your comp set?
We are proud that Corinthia Hotel London is seen as one of the leading Five Star hotels in the capital as such we compete with the top ten luxury hotels in London.
Which are the competitive advantages of The Corinthia versus your competition?
We have some of the most magnificent Penthouses in London with terraces boasting views across the city’s unique skyline. Our spa, ESPA Life, is the biggest in the UK and one of the largest spas in Europe. Whilst some may see our location, outside Mayfair, as a disadvantage we believe we are perfectly positioned at the cultural heart of London; not just from a geographical standpoint but in terms of culture, history which combine create a very special atmosphere and therefore guest experience.
As well as the physical characteristics of the hotel, we are also innovating in areas of the cultural offering we provide; in June we will launch a year-long “Artist In Residence with The Future Laboratory”, the forward-thinking firm that ensures businesses are inspired and fit for the future. Their crystal-ball-gazing will cloak Corinthia Hotel London for 12 months with a series of theatre-like events, talks, installations, briefings, dinners and activities to answer the question of how a life in luxury and a hotel’s service offering will change over the next 20 years.
What is the ratio of guests? – corporate versus leisure? Are there any particular nationalities?
It varies from year to year, but we tend to see an even split between corporate and leisure guests. Our guests are predominantly from North America, followed by the UK, GCC regions and then Asia.
One of the biggest assets of your property is the SPA. Tell us more about the latest development.
ESPA Life, Corinthia’s flagship spa, was designed with a clear focus on creating a tactile experience across four floors. Since its inception, ESPA has continued to innovate: in January, the Strength & Resilience treatment was launched to customer acclaim and in July we are excited to be unveiling a range of new TriActive products and facial treatments promoting skin recovery and rejuvenation.
Last September, Stephen Price, of state-of-the-art Chelsea wellness consultancy SP & Co. and David Higgins, trainer to Hollywood’s elite and Godfather of Reformer Pilates as Founder of Bootcamp Pilates and Ten Health, joined ESPA Life in a dynamic partnership to bring a revolutionary new hybrid fitness concept “BodySPace” to the hotel. Through BodySPace we are able bring fitness, nutrition and wellness expertise from world-class specialists including famed naturopath Benjamin Brown, leading nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik and James Mutkin, leading expert in Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
You are launching a new restaurant. What motivated you? Tell us more about the menu and the concept?
In February we announced that the renowned British Michelin-starred Chef Tom Kerridge will be opening his first London restaurant at the hotel in September. Taking inspiration from Kerridge’s Michelin-starred pub The Coach, and The Butcher’s Tap, as well as his first venture, the two Michelin-starred The Hand and Flowers, the menu will be inspired by quality British cooking that is modern and exciting. It is important to us, Corinthia Hotel London, to be an integral part of London and its culture, and for our guests from London and the rest of the world to experience the best of British cooking and hospitality. When we met Tom, we knew he was the perfect partner to open a restaurant together with. We admire his approach to food, restaurants and his spirit of hospitality. I am confident that together we will create an incredible dining experience. This summer we will announce an exciting partnership with two creative and talented individuals who will bring something engaging, new and fun and to our cocktail bar Bassoon – as well as an appealing, wine-focused project in the Northall Bar.
You are known for your seven impressive penthouses. Are there any plans for new penthouses or suites?
We continually renew and refresh to maintain our exacting standards and in response to guest feedback. We will unveil eleven new ‘Garden’ and ‘London’ suites mid-June 2018, which will offer guests a wider range of luxurious suites to choose from when staying with us. These new suites are the first product enhancement at the property since its opening seven years ago. We service a discerning traveller who wants something exceptional alongside the most up to-date technology. Having become known for our fabulous River and Penthouse suites since we opened we wanted to continue to strengthen our position and present a new product in the market. We are a hotel that never stands still and continually upgrades our product to suit our guests’ evolving tastes and needs.
The London Suite is inspired by a day in the capital; the light, fresh interior pays homage to modern living, with contemporary amenities and state-of-the-art facilities. The 105m² dual aspect suite has been designed with privacy in mind – and for guests wishing to entertain there are doorways to each functional space and the option of two further adjoining bedrooms. The Garden Suite is designed with a nod to the quintessential British garden and overlooks a beautifully landscaped courtyard. The botanical colour scheme and texture runs throughout the 67m² suite encouraging guests to relax as the doors open directly into a living area with a feature fireplace and the main seating area which sweeps around it.
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