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VOICE OF LUXURY


VOICE LUXURY Ů


Frank Marrenbach chief executive,


Oetker Collection


As the luxury collection celebrates the reopening of one of its properties, Erica Bush finds out how important the trade is to the brand


Q. Overall, how have sales been in 2019? Globally, it has been a pretty strong year. Paris [Le Bristol] has seen some challenging times for about two years, but it’s back. Competition is strong but the demand is there, so that’s reassuring. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc [in Antibes, France] has had another excellent year and our ski property, L’Apogée Courchevel, has had a very good season. We have one hotel open in the Caribbean, Jumby Bay, which has been a great addition to the collection. It’s a beautiful private island and a very strong business. Eden Rock in St Barths will reopen this month after two years (following the devastation of hurricane Irma). It’s not a renovation; I would describe it more as a rebuild because we have looked at everything. São Paulo had nice growth over 2018 but it’s not where we want it to be, nor is the Brazilian economy. But when you sum it all up, 2019 has been a good year for Oetker Collection.


Q. What do you look for in a destination when opening a hotel? There’s an old hotelier saying: location, location, location. It’s not enough to have a pretty hotel in London. You have to be in the right micro-location because sometimes a mile


or two to the left or right makes a significant impact on your ADR (average daily rate). Then we look at architecture. Can we provide a luxurious experience? Does the building have a hidden layer that we feel is special? Furthermore, we look at who’s going to be our partner and if they’re in alignment with us and other potential partners. Alignment in terms of willingness to invest in a property that stands out in all physical aspects; alignment in getting the best team; and alignment on the view that great things are not built overnight, so you have to have a little patience.


Q. How important is the UK market to Oetker Collection? The UK has been one of the most important feeder markets in the travel industry for a long time and I don’t think


ª


aspiretravelclub.co.uk


NOVEMBER 2019 ASPIRE 101


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