by Sean Hillen
Luxury, like beauty, is in the senses of the beholder.
To some, it’s simply privacy. For others, furnishings – antique furniture, fine artwork or even sparkling chandeliers adorning a lavish room. Still others consider it lies in the quality and presentation of dishes by a fine chef.
The term is even more difficult to define in the world of hospitality, where glittering marble floors, 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and impeccable service are a given.
The word dangles tantalizingly like a ripe apple at the end of a string, swinging here and there but with no specific center of gravity.
For me, having visited more than 200 of the world’s leading hotels over the last five years, it’s ‘authenticity.’ A term that often includes the artwork, the furnishings and the privacy but rises far beyond them, infusing delectable surroundings with a sense of soul.
It’s about those special moments that a property and its people imbed in your memory, the things that remain in your heart for years to come… that smooth, comforting cocktail a skilled mixologist concocted when you most needed it … that scented candle waiting for you in your room, with your favorite fragrance … that breathtaking view when you glanced out your window one morning.
That’s the sole aim of ‘Luxury Memories,’ a soon-to-be-published high-quality book: to highlight the small things that leave big memories. To investigate some of what have been described as ‘the finest hotels in the world’ in an effort to define what the term ‘luxury’ really means.
Combining my words with exclusive photographs by my colleague, Columbia, each article will highlight details reflecting the authenticity of a property and its unique contribution to the world of luxury hospitality.
Due to space constraints, a limited number of hotels will be featured in ‘Luxury Memories,’ which will be an exclusively editorial product, with no advertisements.
Some of what it contains, you’ll wholeheartedly agree with. Some you may deride as heresy. Some, I hope, will enchant you to such a degree, you’ll want to go experience the property’s virtues for yourself.
Such responses are most welcome. For they all contribute to lively debate on a particularly intriguing element of the entire hospitality industry.
If you want to be among the first to find out when the book is out for sale – and get a special exclusive discount – make sure you sign our Guest List below: