In April 2015, Peninsula Hotels opened their first hotel in Europe, Peninsula Paris. The new hotel which is housed within a completely reconstructed heritage building with 200 keys (including 34 suites) on Avenue Kleber is majority owned by Qatar’s Katara Hospitality with 30% retained by Peninsula Hotels. This was the very first time in the history of Peninsula Hotels where the group would not fully own and operate a property. The agreement between the two companies is a joint venture, not a third party management contract whereby Peninsula would operate the property.
Before Paris, CPP (Oliver Petcu) reviewed the Peninsula Hotels in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, obviously with sky high expectations for the Paris opening. Before the opening, Peninsula flooded news on how most of the staff of Peninsula Paris will be hired 6 months in advance and they would train abroad at other Peninsula Hotels. At the time of the stay in June 2015, we have found out that no staff trained abroad at other properties and of approx 600 staff only 3 worked previously for a Peninsula property.
The well balanced and constructive review could not be ”tolerated” by the company’s COO who sent CPP a revolted menacing email Obviously, Peninsula does not know how to process constructive feedback and they were expecting nothing but a glowing review. Ever since, CPP has no longer had the opportunity to return to Peninsula Paris to evaluate a possible progress or review any other Peninsula Hotel. Sadly, since opening, Peninsula Paris has been failing to rank among the top 5 luxury hotels in Paris, with a constant high staff turnover and an unappealing F&B offering.
But what has Peninsula Hotels learned from the Peninsula Paris ‘experiment’? In both London and Paris, the Peninsula Hotels boast spectacular locations, each with luxury serviced residences and a luxury shopping arcade – a larger one in Istanbul. But what about the staff being trained at other Peninsula Hotels? – unfortunately not. At both properties, less than 3% of staff previously worked for a Peninsula which is crucial to understand what makes Peninsula a luxury institution in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The company fully owns the property in London, so there will be less friction with partners / owners – which is not the case in Istanbul. Peninsula does not have a controlling stake, with two local partner companies. Both hotels will feature the already ‘standard’ interior design of the high-tech rooms and suites, the difference will most likely be in the Spas and the F&B. The views of The Bosphorus and the vibes of Galata Port are breathtaking.
Peninsula London faces fierce competition from similarly positioned luxury hotels such as Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, The Dorchester (soon to complete major renovations), The Savoy and a hugely anticipated Raffles London at The OWO, while in Istanbul, direct competitors Raffles Istanbul, Shangri-La Istanbul and Four Seasons Istanbul are weaker, featuring dated / tired product.
Nevertheless, there is a major positive change in branding and communications – while in 2015, Peninsula ran ads in magazines such as Vanity Fair alluding that ‘luxury is finally coming to Paris’, the approach of the new properties has been much more discreet and low-key. Although, mention must be made that one of the General Managers of the two properties is a slowly but surely becoming a social media ‘celebrity’
For all our media fellows, especially those from specialist media – do not approach any of the two hotels for a media stay to review the properties, unless you are prepared to write only but a glowing review, no matter the experience! While, they may excel at luxury hospitality, Peninsula Hotels do not understand the critical importance of humility and being humble.
More from ANALYSIS
The fashion industry’s outlook has never been so uncertain.The new challenges in a post-covid climate directly impact consumer confidence, as …
The global luxury market is projected to reach €1.5 trillion in 2023, an 8-10% growth over 2022, setting a new …