How has luxury hospitality changed in the past years, considering the ongoing disruption of Airbnb and many top global destinations which feature a confusing positing of hotels based on stars. What is your view?
JLN: The luxury hospitality has dramatically changed over the last decade, and guests have changed their views on how to choose a hotel. They do not follow the trend of the previous generation where the recognition given by the brand, or with the affiliation of Leading Hotels, Relais & Châteaux was the main factor in selecting a hotel in a destination.
Fewer luxury hotel groups achieve consistency throughout their chains – both service and product. What is your view on ownership & operation versus an asset light approach?
JLN: This has always been a battle between luxury hotel groups with the ones who only manage what they own with a few exceptions based on the location (One&Only, Dorchester Group and Aman Resorts); and the other luxury hotel brands within the Marriott Portfolio or Accor Group where the hotels are built and owned by investors or operators and managed them for a yearly fee.
When planning a new luxury hotel / resort, what is the best approach towards identifying relevance and positioning?
What is the ideal approach of a new property towards F&B? How do you perceive investing in a celebrity Michelin starred Chef? To what extent guests are increasingly seeking an affordable F&B offering when it comes to a venue within a hotel or a resort?
Is the inclusion of ‘local flavours’ still a must in wellness / Spas and dining?
CIP: Despite the growing educational market focusing on luxury hospitality, young hoteliers are still facing negative perception, a job in hospitality being often considered as unworthy.
JLN: There is always a distinction to be made between true service and servitude. To be at the service of others is one of the most beautiful things that a human being can do. In our industry, we are lucky to create dreams, to make every guest’s dreams come true during their stay in our hotels and resorts – creating unforgettable memories that they can share with their families and friends. The chances of moving up quickly are still high in this industry; I was very fortunate to be the General Manager of One&Only Le Saint Géran Mauritius at the age of 29, leading a team of 650 colleagues. To be given an opportunity to work in such breathtaking and luxury environment is undoubtedly an exceptional experience for any young hotelier.
Tell us more about your current projects and the possible anticipation of future projects / novelties?
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