director urban operations,
Le Cheval Blanc
ceo Mantis Collection
ceo Urban Resorts Concepts
ceo The Lux Collective
president/ceo Auberge Resorts Collection
ceo Kerzner International
As with all the ‘Maisons’ in this niche Le Cheval Blanc portfolio, Paris, at 72 keys the largest in the 4-property (total 247-key) group, will offer intimacy, tremendous & authentic warmth and generosity. With a planned 400-strong team, there will be noteworthy personalisation as a result of.
This is evolving into a company with serious differences, full of physical activity, that happens to have bedrooms as well. Mantis, based in Port Elizabeth, was started 2001 and is now 50% owned, for ops, by Accor. Why Mantis? The praying mantis is found on every continent, excluding Antarctica. You can also, says Paul Gardiner, spell it out as M=man, A=and, N=nature, T=together, I=is, and S=sustainable.
This Frenchman has moved on from hotels, to pronouncements. Those who do not embrace digital – ops, distribution and marketing - will have the most challenges. Digital will improve processes and customer journeys, allowing brands to create guest desire and addiction. The industry and its leaders are behind the times here – though CitizenM’s Michael Levie and Accor’s
Sébastien Bazin are, he says, exceptions.
Less than a month into the job, he declares confidently that he will create something really special. His stamp will be service. Yes, everyone promises bespoke service but DeCocinis will take it far deeper, interpreting how to balance anticipation and personalisation with privacy, pairing ‘I know you will like this’ with ‘how do I know you will like this?’ to give what is wanted not the way we think it is wanted?
Really, the enthusiasm of this would-be chef is infectious. His conversation is peppered with such adjectives as beautiful, sensational, wonderful, all far removed from usual industry corporate-speak. Investors seem to approve, as there is no shortage of potential developments, and, with a repeat-guest rate of 9% in the Indian
Ocean and 7% in China, consumers are similarly supportive.
Based in Mill Valley CA, Auberge is a fine example of how a single hotel can become a brand. The Harmon family opened Rutherford CA Auberge du Soleil in 1985, and the Collection in 1998. The portfolio is now 19 properties, in the USA plus Anguilla, Mexico, Greece and Fiji, and its 12-
strong financed pipeline will add Costa Rica.
Zuber is now custodian of 3 brands with a total of 14 open properties. Doyen is the big-key-count experiential Atlantis, opening its 3rd resort, with its first residences, Dubai Atlantis, The Royal Resort and Residences (December 2021). Next comes One&Only, the small, ultra-luxury resorts brand named, to some initial scepticism, in 2002 One&Only currently has 11 open resorts, with the brand’s entrée to Europe, Montenegro One&Only Portonovi, opening 1st May 2021 – last year it opened both Malaysia’s One&Only Desaru Coast and Mexico’s One&Only Mandarina • And now, announced only last month, there is SIRO, standing for Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original.