At times like these you find out out who your friends are. I stumbled upon this photo taken in Hong Kong five years ago. I think about how carefree we were with travel at the time. How I bounced from Phuket to Hong Kong for a meeting, when just thirty days prior I’d been skiing in Switzerland. What struck me about the photo was not just the wonderful time we were having in Hong Kong, but how these very individuals have been instrumental in crafting so many travel experiences for our wonderful clients, and lifetime memories that at the time we may have taken for granted.
To my right is Aldo Melpignano, the visionary behind several Italian hotels, most notably the Borgo Egnazia. Sure the Justin Timberlake/Jessica Biel wedding may have put them on the map to the masses, but we’d already been sending clients for years to this gem on the Adriatic Coast. It’s a special place and one our favorites for clients that have made multiple trips to Italy and might be looking for a different vibe than the typical tourist stops. What impresses me so much about Aldo is innovation and after investing in a beautiful sailing yacht for Mediterranean summers he thoughtfully repositioned it to St. Barth’s this winter - talk about a grand entrance to a red carpet island.
Next to Aldo and his lovely wife, Carlos Quereda, whom I originally met at the Marbella Club in Spain. He introduced me to the locals side of Marbella and has since catapulted his hotel know-how into a definitive brand of European luxury, most recently introducing me to the SHA Wellness Clinic also in Spain. Looking to hit restart, I found SHA to be the perfect mix of medical spa meets Spanish hideaway.
SHA Wellness Clinic
And, on my left is none other than iconic hotelier, Antonio Sersale, at the helm of legendary Le Sirenuse in Positano. Antonio’s careful attention to detail as well as his well honed ability to be ahead of “what’s next” in luxury hotels, means he's usually thinking about what guests will want years before they even contemplate it. Whether it is food, wellness, or creating the next “place to Be” experience on the Amalfi Coast, such as Franco’s Bar, Antonio is a trendsetter to be reckoned with.
What all of us share is a dedication to wellness and how we can always strive to be better. That’s one of the reasons everything I’ve described, above, has an element of lifestyle enhancement if that’s what you’re looking for. And if it’s not, you won’t be disappointed sipping a glass of rose entering Gustavia on Aldo’s yacht the Imagine, grabbing a sunset view from Carlos’ Lily of the Valley in St. Tropez, or finding yourself in Le Sirenuse.