June 7, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Ezio Attilio Indiani was appointed general manager of the Hotel Principe di Savoia Milan in July 2005. He is recognized worldwide as a leading figure in luxury hotel management and has worked at some of the most prestigious hotels in the world in the course of his 25-year career. In recognition of his management abilities, in 2002 he received the Hermes Prize as the "Best Hotel Director" in the world, the highest award given in the deluxe hotel category. He took some time to answer a few of our questions, which we can share with you below.
Five Star Alliance: How did you come to be General Manager of the hotel?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: I was appointed after the Principe di Savoia become part of the Dorchester Group and later Dorchester Collection. I have spent 25 years in luxury hotel management, previously at Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Hotel Des Bergues of Geneva, Hyde Park Hotel, Casa de Campo complex in the Dominican Republic, Hotel Eden of Rome and Grand Hotel Palazzo della Fonte of Fiuggi to name a few.
Five Star Alliance: Tell us what you feel is the most distinctive or unique feature of your hotel? What best describes the personality of the hotel?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: For sure our Presidential Suite, 500 square meters with private spa in Pompeii style, an area of 100 square meters with frescoed walls and vaulted ceiling encompassing a swimming pool (20 square meters), whirlpool, sauna and Turkish bath. Table and bed linen, cutlery, crystals and china are all custom-made for the suite. Butler service and staff available 24 hours a day. Direct check-in in the suite. Limo service from and to the airport and to downtown.
Five Star Alliance: Can you share the names of any famous guests who have stayed in the hotel, or perhaps regulars that return on a periodic basis?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: George Clooney, Leonardo di Caprio, Sharon Stone, H.R.H. Queen Rania of Jordan, President George H. W. Bush, Woody Allen, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, Donatella Versace, The Rolling Stones ... and more.
Five Star Alliance: Who are your customers and where do they come from?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: Our main customers are businessman coming from UK, USA, Japan, Russia, France, Germany and U.A.E. Also leisure travelers from these markets are increasing especially over the week end.
Five Star Alliance: What is the best thing about the hotel's location? What is your favorite thing to do in the surrounding area?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: The Hotel is located in a strategic position. Our customers can reach the city centre very easily without being in the main crowded streets of Milan and this is very important for our VIP guests who need privacy.
Five Star Alliance: Which do you consider to be the best rooms in the house? Not just the suites, but also any particular standard rooms that have great views or unusual advantages? If you were checking into a standard room at the hotel, which one would you request?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: In January 2006 we opened 48 new Deluxe Mosaic Rooms, all overlooking Piazza della Repubblica and they have been designed to appeal to all types of guests – business and leisure, men and women, locals and international. I think these kinds of rooms are very beautiful, especially the bathrooms. The design inspiration and key feature of every bathroom is the mosaic wall – a contemporary feature of classical Italian design.
Five Star Alliance: Can you mention any interesting miscellaneous trivia regarding the hotel?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: One of our VIP guests, Sylvester Stallone, asked us to buy the beautiful chandelier of our Winter Garden Bar. Obviously we couldn’t sell it but we called our designer who made a copy of the chandelier for him.
Five Star Alliance: If you were considering staying at the hotel as a guest, what would you want to know about the hotel before checking in?
Ezio Attilio Indiani: I would like to be informed about the high level services and amenities such as the free Limousine service or the Spa with swimming pool, sauna and Turkish bath. It's also very important to be told about the business centre and the high level of technology available in every room. Moreover, I would be glad to know that the Hotel offers the best concierge service in Italy, which can actually unlock the doors of Milan to every costumer, as well as one of the best restaurants, "Acanto", which is a matter of pride for all of us.
There's been a lot of buzz about the new, green luxury hotel that's planned for Bryant Park in 2010. Billed as NYC's "first environmentally-friendly five-star hotel," "1" Hotel and Residences will open in a mixed-use building on West 40th Street across from the city's beloved Bryant Park. This will be the first for the luxury, eco-friendly brand, with other hotel properties to follow in Seattle, Scottsdale, Ft. Lauderdale, Mammoth Lakes, D.C., and Paris. It will be built to LEED standards (the nationally accepted benchmark designed by the U.S. Green Building Council) which means a focus on energy efficiency, extensive use of recycled-content, and renewable energy sources (at least 50 percent). In addition, "1" Hotel at Bryant Park will donate one percent of its profits to local environmental organizations.
Happy birthday to the storied Raffles Hotel, pride and joy of the island state of Singapore, celebrity mecca and worldwide icon. Named for Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of modern Singapore, the historic landmark hotel has been wowing well-heeled travelers since 1887. Though the hotel has been featured in books (Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham hung out here) and on the silver screen, Raffles doesn't rest on its laurels. Today, Raffles Hotel Singapore is a modern bastion of exclusivity and pampering, known for its unsurpassed service and colonial elegance. At a spot with such impressive history, it's no wonder the tourists flock. The lobby is open to tourists who want to gape at the molded ceilings, teak and marble floors, and period furnishings. But don't worry-- the hotel retains a private lobby for hotel guests only. Also on site: the Amrita spa and excellent culinary academy.
PS. A stay at Raffles isn't complete without a cocktail at Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented in 1910.
This weekend, step back in time at the splendid Chateau Mcely, just an hour outside Prague in the beautiful St. George Forest. The five-star hotel has received a lot of press for the incredible renovation project of the 17th century castle. A former ruin, the newly transformed hotel has won awards for the genius reconstruction. Dolce Vita magazine describes Mcely as "a baroque chateau reconstructed into the most luxurious boutique in Bohemia." Enjoy the exciting Designer's Weekend-- Your Home is Your Castle-- from June 8-June 10, 2007 (now's the time for a little last-minute spontaneity!) and meet the talented artist behind the masterpiece, Oto Blaha, one of the top designers in the Czech Republic. The fun-filled weekend includes a tour of the castle with the designers, a brief course in interior design with Oto Blaha (through the chateau's partnership with Prague's Design School), and individual discussions and consultations with Oto Blaha.
PS. Check out the hotel's website to see Oto's marvelous sketches and designs.
Hot off the press. Morgans Hotel Group-- which owns and manages fabulously hip properties like Delano and Shore Club in Miami, Clift in San Francisco, and Mondrian in LA and Scottsdale,-- has just released a statement about plans for an all-new Mondrian in Chitown. Expected to open in 2010, the Mondrian Chicago will be located on the existing site of the Cedar Hotel in the Gold Coast region. What's in store? 200 guest rooms (some with views of Lake Michigan), luxury amenities, restaurant, bar, cutting edge design, and a hip, energetic vibe. No doubt the hotel will be the sexiest thing around. This will bring the grand total to five Mondrian hotels (there are other properties currently in development in Vegas and Miami).
When in sunny Palm Springs, do like the pleasure-seeking LA-crowd and head to the plush Parker Palm Springs, transformed by New York designer Jonathan Adler into a fabulous and funky hot spot with lots of contemporary flair. (Despite the colorful interiors and zebra-print rugs, the Parker's exterior building still seems to date from the Rat Pack-era.) The glamorous resort du jour-- what the NYT called "a kind of dandy Betty Ford clinic for those who overdosed on the W Hotel's much-copied sleek and minimalist vibe"-- is clearly the steamiest spot in the desert, attracting the young, hip, and fashionable for weekend getaways. Formerly the Givenchy Resort and Spa (and before that era, California's first Holiday Inn!), the Parker Palm Springs features lush desert gardens, the chic Mister Parker's restaurant, fire pit, 16,500-square-foot spa, four pools, clay tennis courts, and two petanque courts.
St. Moritz's most sophisticated winter address is likewise fun in the summer sun, with oodles of seasonal activities, cultural events, and gourmet dining experiences. (Culinary events this year include August's Palace Chocolate Cult and the Soirée Bourguignonne celebrating Burgundian cuisine and wine.) Situated amidst the most breathtaking natural scenery, the hotel is a historic symbol of St. Moritz. Now is the time to book a stay at the legendary Badrutt's Palace Hotel and enjoy summer in the Swiss Alps at unbelievably low rates starting from just CHF 345 a night, a savings of up to 57 percent off rack rates. Check out the list of Special Summer Getaway Packages after the jump.
Alpine Summer Feeling: Two-night package for two in a Superior room including a free upgrade upon availability, welcome amenity and flowers in room upon arrival, daily buffet breakfast, two set dinners in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), and ticket for Corviglia mountain train. From CHF 960 for double occupancy.
Simply St. Moritz: Three-night package for two in a Superior room including daily buffet breakfast, three set dinners in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), horse-drawn carriage ride into Fex Valley including transfer to Sils and back, and ticket for Corviglia mountain train. From CHF 1,820 for double occupancy.
Family Summer Indulgence: Seven-night package for two in a Superior room including daily buffet breakfast, daily set dinner in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), Palace Picnic basket, one boat trip on Lake Sils including return transfer to Sils, horse drawn carriage trip into Fex Valley including return transfer to Sils, free use of Palace Tennis courts & Tennis lessons at a 30 percent discount, complimentary childcare services at the Kids’ Club "Palazzino," additional room at a 50 percent discount on standard daily rate (bed & breakfast). From CHF 4,250 for double occupancy.
Golf Delight: Three-night package for two in a Deluxe room including welcome amenity and flowers in room upon arrival, daily buffet breakfast, Palace Golf present, 2 set dinners in Chesa Veglia or Le Restaurant (excluding drinks), 2 Green fees at golf courses Zouz Madulain or Samedan, return transfer from hotel to golf course, 1 full body massage (55 minutes) at Daniela Steiner Beauty Spa, and ticket for Corviglia mountain train. From CHF 2,340 for double occupancy.
Say bonjour to the newest thing to make waves in the south of France. Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche, the glamorous hilltop hideaway overlooking fragrant fields of lavender and wild thyme in Provence, has just announced the opening of its new spa. Framed by cypress and olive trees, the spa is an indulgent haven boasting beautiful panoramas: rolling Mediterranean valleys dotted with charming French villages. Here, guests can enjoy pampering treatments which utilize local ingredients such as Camargue sea salts, lavender buds, wild thyme and rich Provençal olive oil. (The unique treatments also use innovative products from ESPA, TERRAKÉ and LPG Solutions.) The two-level facility features 12 treatment rooms (four with private terraces), saunas, steam rooms, whirlpool baths, steam showers, and the dedicated spa café, Infusion.
Father's Day is just around the bend and Mandarin Oriental New York, Manhattan's Mobil Five-Star award-winning hotel located in the Time Warner Center, has announced some fun packages in partnership with Gotham Dream Cars. Treat Dad to a weekend of luxurious accommodations plus Dad's choice of a Dream Car Tour (customized test drives of six high-performance sports cars) or private use of a Ferrari or Lamborghini for the entire weekend. This Father's Day weekend (June 16-17), check Dad into a lavish suite above Central Park's treetops where he'll appreciate serious five-star service above the sparkling NY skyline.
Dad's Dream Car Tour package, priced from $2,075, includes one night accommodation along with Gotham Dream Cars's adrenaline-pumping Dream Car Tour, where Dad’ll have the opportunity to test-drive six exotic sports cars. The Father's Day Road Warrior Weekend package, priced from $5,750, includes two nights luxury accommodations, Dad's choice of high performance vehicles for the weekend, custom maps with suggested driving routes, and complimentary late check-out to give Dad as much driving time as possible.
The cat's out of the bag about Punta Cana, the celebrity favorite hot spot in the Dominican Republic known for its white sand beaches edged by the crystal clear Caribbean sea. Located on the eastern-most tip of the DR, the region has been quietly edging out the other Caribbean destinations as the best beach bargain. Luxury boutique hotels-- like the fabulous, all-suite Sivory Punta Cana-- are now getting some competition. Recent growth has been staggering, with new hotels including the Golf Suites in Punta Cana, Agua Resort & Spa, and the Hotel Bavaro Real Arena and Hotel VIP Real Arena, two luxury properties to be launched by the Spanish NH Hoteles chain. That's more than 1,100 rooms to be added to the market in the next two years.
Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has joined the fray. His new development venture, the 30,000 acres called Cap Cana, will be one of the largest in the Caribbean. The $2 billion project will feature four luxury hotels, three Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, a mega yacht marina with 1,000 slips, and 5,000 residential units.