Can you sum up the W brand?
The four passion points of the brand are design, fashion, music, entertainment. These are thing things that our audience are also interested in and they choose to stay with us because they want to find out what's new, what's next and we are always offering new and exciting experiences. The hotel is a destination in a destination. At the W you leave the everyday and enter the world of extraordinary. Our service promises whatever wherever, as long as it's legal!
You have over 50 W Hotels worldwide now. How does each hotel differ?
Every hotel is different through its design approach and every location is linked to the hotel but it's interpreted in a fun, playful way with a bit of intrigue. Unique design collaborations and interior designers ensure we are always innovative too. In London, we based the design on the dual personality of the British man; he wears pinstripe suit by day but he lets loose at night. We have mixed the traditional with a bit of extravaganza. In Barcelona, everything is driven by the unique seaside location of the hotel. We also hire our staff locally so we add that extra local flavour through the people who look after our guests.
Where do you look to for inspiration as creative brand leader?
Travel is the best source of inspiration – it's important to keep your eyes open as ideas can form everywhere and anywhere. The mind is like a sponge and it's able to take on new ideas when you travel.
You have had to travel the world with your job but where's your favourite city?
Besides London? London has everything you need in a favourite city because it's multicultural, active and vibrant. I love London, Hong Kong, Instanbul and New York.
What are your three essential items that you have to pack when travelling?
It's sad but I have to have my Blackberry to stay connected, my iPod which has more than 3,000 songs on it so I have a great journey of music and my last thing is my running shoes – running and exercising is a key ingredient to staying balanced and it's another great way to see cities. I love running through the little alley ways in London in the early morning when there's no one around.
Can you share any of your travelling secrets? What are the best ways to stay fresh on the plane?
I always use Elizabeth Arden lip balm and a facial cream. It's all about keeping the skin moisturised and hydrated.
In your opinion, what are the key features that make a hotel stand out?
The experience that it provides. How does it connect with the different senses? What does it offer for me to make it more than just a bedroom? What kind of people are there to help me? These are the things that I look for in a hotel.
London is getting ready to host the Royal Wedding and the 2010 Olympics. How do you think these events will impact the city?
I think the wedding and the Olympics will be great for London – the city will be packed and it's not just about that weekend or those two weeks either. Imagine what the impact will be in the future. People will always want to come here because of those events.
Visit the W London to find out more about the famous hotel group.
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