SLH has a dedicated team of Mystery Inspectors, who travel to all of our hotels to live the SLH experience. With each trip, they go through an extensive check-list and report back on the quality of each hotel, so that we can make sure each and every SLH stay is unforgettable. We caught up with one of them to shed some light on the mind of a luxury guru.
this month's mystery inspector
Our mystery inspectors can't be named, as they are the secret agents of SLH. But we can tell you more about them to give you an idea of the type of traveller they are...
Occupation: Brand Consultant for a top international agency, travelling extensively for work and pleasure
Interests: Walking, drawing, horse riding, dining out, luxury hotels and discovering new cities
Where is your favourite place to escape the chaos of everyday life?
For me, Île de Ré just off La Rochelle is the perfect place – it’s a calm, bike-friendly haven of endless Atlantic beaches, amazing seafood, and tranquil villages. Just the place to escape and re-charge for a few days or a few weeks!
What is the most unique, remarkable thing you’ve experienced travelling?
Without doubt, being in touching - and swimming - distance of a whale and her calf, and then a pod of inquisitive dolphins, in Mauritius. While staying at the Heritage le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort in Bel Ombre, our butler recommended a guide who took just the two of us out in his boat. It was a truly personalised experience, and to be able to swim with dolphins in the wild was magical.
Which country do you most want to explore?
I'd love to go to Japan because I am fascinated by how it holds on to its sense of identity and culture in a world that is becoming ever more homogeneous. For example, the fact they have a separate alphabet to use when describing things that have come from outside Japan demonstrates they have such an intrinsic and powerful sense of what it means to be 'Japanese'. To be able to immerse myself in a country that is so different from the Western one I live in with so many unique quirks would be to truly open my mind to something new.
As a mystery inspector experiencing a hotel, what is most important to you and why?
The more I have travelled as an inspector, the more I have come to value personal interactions and connections. Every SLH hotel is beautiful it its own way, but what makes somewhere truly stand out is the exceptional staff who go out of their way to make you feel welcome, and pass on ‘must-see/must-do’ experiences and stories, the kind of knowledge you could only get from a local.
Which destination never goes out of style?
For me, the South of France. As Coco Chanel herself said - “fashions fade, only style remains the same”. It practices a timeless style of 'art de vivre', one that you cannot help but fall in love with. It’s a lifestyle that effortlessly combines high culture with beach life, and stunningly beautiful coastlines with rural interior Provence.
What travels do you have planned for 2017?
Being true to my word, I am going to the South of France and I can't wait! In addition to visiting my usual spots of Juan les Pins and Nice, I’ll be exploring Corsica for the first time, which is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. I’ll also be heading to Oslo and Stockholm, Venice, New York and Paris.
What makes SLH “in the know” and how does the brand fit into today’s market?
SLH is perfectly placed to fit into today’s travel market. The idea of ‘small luxury’ is what it’s all about – distinctive, unique, customised, hand-picked hotels that take pride in their individuality. With the freedom to continually add quality hotels to the brand, SLH can keep ahead of travellers’ needs and continue to offer exciting destinations in terms of location and experiences – the two things that will be the watch word for all discerning travellers.