I have been in Singapore for the past week for ITB Asia and Web in Travel. It has been a busy few days. It is really refreshing to be in Singapore – the mood is very upbeat and positive here at the moment.
I have been staying at Naumi Hotel on Seah Street which is right next to our office. It’s a very chic, urban retreat with a small but perfectly formed infinity pool on the rooftop. Long-staying guests are given personalised towels and pillows which is a very nice touch.
Naumi - chic retreat in Singapore’s central business district
I wanted to share an interesting issue which was raised during one of the panel discussions at Web in Travel. Imagine you run a busy hotel. Two separate guests check in to the remaining two rooms. They will pay the same rate and have the same loyalty status. One is forecast to spend $200 on food and beverage at the hotel. You discover the other regularly tweets to 10,000 followers. Who would get the room upgrade?
This is an interesting question and demonstrates the importance of delivering outstanding experiences to all guests. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter mean that guest feedback whether good or bad can be communicated to thousands within seconds. Rest assured, exemplary customer service is an important part of any stay at an SLH hotel but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the discussion point?
This week we are pleased to announce the winners of our Dream Itinerary competition.
Entrants were invited to submit their ‘dream itinerary’, selecting three hotels from the SLH portfolio in the hope of winning some fabulous prizes including a once-in-a-lifetime 14-night stay with £8000 towards travel experiences.
We had over 5,500 entries from around the world with over 2,000 photographs submitted. Finalists were selected from both a shortlist determined by votes on the dedicated site plus our panellists who went through all the entries! As you can imagine, it was quite a task but also great fun reading about your dream holidays. We had everything from wine tasting across California, wildlife tours of Africa, foodies planning to ‘eat’ their way across Asia, romantics hoping to honeymoon in private island resorts and even some itineraries which I can’t repeat on a public blog but gave me a great laugh (accompanied with equally amusing but un-publishable photos)!
As the quality of entries was so high, I decided to award some extra runners up prizes and had the great pleasure of speaking with all our winners this week.
The winner of our grand prize was Mr Peter Beor from Perth, Australia (pictured with his wife Sharyn) who described an outstanding itinerary that was top of his ‘Lotto Life’ list. Peter said this trip will be the honeymoon they never managed and we’re now looking forward to helping him plan his holiday to Baros Maldives, La Sultana Marrakech and Villa Marie, France.
Peter and Sharyn Beor, winners of the Dream Itinerary competition
Runners up prizes were awarded to Mrs Amy Thyng of Austin, USA who described a colourful beer tour of the Benelux and Mrs Lauren Wilson of Plano, USA with a tantalising food tour of Italy and France.
More about the winner of the best supporting image next week but for now I would like to say a huge thanks to all those who took part. We were very impressed with the quality of entries which made judging a near impossible task.
Look out for more SLH competitions in the future,
We currently have some excellent offers for our hotels in India and the Indian Ocean. As well as competitive rates, many hotels have included some fabulous ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences which reminded me of some of the wonderful times I’ve had in these special destinations.
India is one of those countries that gets under the skin and always leaves strong memories for anyone lucky enough to spend time there. My last visit was two years ago and I was blown away by the spectacular scenery, food and hospitality. On the ‘must-do’ list for many is Rajasthan, where you can arrive at your hotel in style on an elephant, marvel at the palaces of Jaipur, spot tigers and leopards in the national parks or escape to sands of the stunning Thar Desert. I will never forget a magical evening spent at The Raj Palace where after a day exploring the Palace of the Winds, we watched fireworks from the palatial courtyard while enjoying a sumptuous banquet.
The Raj Palace is Jaipur’s former royal residence
Another must-see country is Sri Lanka, which is a perfect touring holiday destination. Even with just a week, I can recommend a visit to the enchanting Pinnawala elephant orphanage, climbing the ancient rocky fortress of Sigiriya or a relaxing Ayurvedic spa treatment at one of our spectacular beach resorts.
For those looking for pure relaxation, our hotels in the Indian Ocean are unbeatable. As a fanatical sailor, very little can tempt me from sailing but our luxury hotels in the Maldives are the exception! Sailing around these spectacular atolls allows me to visit our hotels and all are set on picture-perfect islands, each has its own unique character. Baros Maldives and Island Hideaway Spa Resort & Marina are diver’s paradise, stylish Valassaru and Huvafen Fushi with the world’s first underwater spa, or for pure barefoot luxury we have Coco Palm Bodu Hithi, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu or Naladhu Maldives.
Our luxury hotels on the islands of the Seychelles and Mauritius also feature in our latest offers so have a look at these if they are on your holiday ‘wish-list’.
Put your feet up after an amazing ski day at Kristiania Lech, Austria
Although Autumn or Fall is only just here for most people, skiers in the know are already planning their trips. There’s so much more to a great skiing holiday than the time spent on the slopes. As word spreads about the best locations, our cosy boutique ski hotels may no longer be well kept secrets!
In Europe we have the chic resorts of Lech, Megève and St Moritz, the sophisticated Italian Dolomites or the charming local character of the Pyrenees. I have some great memories from my last ski trip to Kristiania Lech where you can even have a personal ‘ski butler’ who will suggest a daily itinerary and have all your equipment prepared each day. For the truly adventurous, it’s also the only resort in Austria where you can indulge your James Bond fantasies and heliski! And we have just added a new hotel in the world famous resort of Gstaad in Switzerland.
Over in the US, there’s plenty of options from the rustic charm of New England or the challenge of Jackson Hole. You’ll be looked after by some of the friendliest people and enjoy acres of terrain catering from the beginner to the advanced.
Whichever SLH ski hotel you select, you’re guaranteed a restful sanctuary where you can toast your progress whether you’ve finally made the black run or nurse your bruises if you’ve just survived a nursery slope.
And for ‘ski widows or widowers’ there’s plenty to entertain you with indulgent spas, designer shopping, gourmet restaurants and cosy bars to join the skiers for sundowners – all set against breathtaking mountain backdrops.
So to ensure you get the very best, don’t wait too long to book as word is out about our wonderful ski hotels!