Hospitality consultant HARIS STAVRIDIS from Globe and Trotter

#Unique concept: Hotel Baccarat in New York

A lot of brands want to expand into the ‘lifestyle’ realm, to focus on experiences and to be more things to more people. It’s not easy and not everybody can do it.
I had the pleasure to visit New York recently and was immensely taken aback by Hotel Baccarat. ‘Bienvenue à New York’… It’s not just the scale of luxury, where everything is so ‘grand’ in a very positively imposing way. The interiors, the smell, the ambiance, the service, every little detail seems to have been thought through so thoroughly and in a way that takes the brand even further. What I initially thought was going to be stuffy, the buttoned-down experience was one of the nicest hotel experiences I’ve had in a while. The music, the people with their superb professionalism (and their sense of humour), everything was so well executed that when I left I was already looking forward to returning to. Well done!

#Unique brand: Brunello Cucinelli

The world of fashion used to be my world for many years. It can really open up your horizons but it can also be such an unforgiving, relentless industry where the moment you lose your creativity or energy you’re out of the game.
Fast fashion has also become such a plague, everything is so disposable and temporary. And then you have people such as Brunello Cucinelli, who go totally against the rules. He started with nothing, has rebuilt an entire Italian village that is thriving thanks to his vision. Things move slow and beautiful, he forbids employees to stay at work late or even send emails after a certain hour. And at the same time, his clothes are so, so beautiful, elegant and timeless. When everyone is like “go, go, go!”, Brunello and his remarkable brand is a living proof that fashion can be both highly desirable, profitable, respectful and with a conscious.

#Unique guest experience: The Treehouse of Ekies All Senses Resort

Even though I’m not being very subjective as it’s a hotel I look after (it’s actually my oldest and fondest client), there’s something really magical about this place that makes the experience I’m describing below so unique.

The whole concept of Ekies is based on a personal story: the owner, Alexandra Eftathiadou spent her summer holidays there as a child. When her family found out that the building was going to be demolished, they stepped in, bought it and over the years and through hard work transformed it into the beautiful resort it is today. A lot of what makes the hotel so special is that ‘childhood’ magical touch that’s prevalent in all its aspects.

Adding to this ‘back to childhood’ concept is the Treehouse, a gourmet restaurant that takes favourite elements from our childhood (who hasn’t fantasised about living in a treehouse as a child or has at least not created something like a fortress made of pillows?), creating a truly beautiful ‘comfort zone’, while its award-winning chef Dimitris Pamporis creates dishes that are playful, imaginative and of course, super tasty.

For me, the older we get, the harder it is to find ‘safe’, careless spots in our everyday lives, happy places where we can just be and enjoy the moment. Always connected and always disrupted by ‘noise’, we have forgotten all the small things that used to make us really happy: being close to nature, gazing at the stars with the calming songs of cicadas as our soundtrack, devouring on fruits we picked up ourselves from the nearby trees. The Treehouse is one of those rare exceptions that takes me back to childhood in the most relaxing and delicious way, and this is one of the most precious experiences one can enjoy.