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Published on : Friday, May 29, 2015
Held at The Montcalm Marble Arch, the event began on the other side of London with a hotel tour taking in South Place Hotel, The Hoxton and the M by Montcalm – where delegates enjoyed a cocktail reception and a speed business card swap.
The Summit kicked off on day two with a welcome from host Piers Brown who set the scene with some thought-provoking statistics, including that the US boutique and lifestyle hotel sector is predicted to grow by at least five per cent per annum until 2019, and that he expects the European market to show similar growth.
Piers then interviewed motorsports supremo David Richards – former world rally champion, Formula 1 team boss and now boutique hotel owner. Richards set out his philosophy for his Idle Rocks and St Mawes hotels in Cornwall: “They have to be a reflection of us – small boutique hotels need to be true to the owners and their values. The biggest challenge we have faced has been getting the right staff. We wanted to employ local staff, and to attract the best people to the property we have needed to show ambition.”
Moving from Cornwall to Sweden, but retaining a nautical feel was the next session, a case study of two adjacent but very different hotels in Umea, Sweden, presented by Erik Nissen Johansen of design firm Stylt Trampoli. Nissen warned of the dangers of pandering to trends when designing hotel interiors, promoting the use of a building or an area’s history to tell a story that would never be out of date.