Kristoff D’Oria di Cirie: Designing for next-generation luxury customers. TSHS -0062

Designing for next-generation luxury customers.

In this fascinating episode, we explore the changing landscape of luxury experiences with my guest Kristoff d’Oria di Cirie, Experiential Creative director and co-founder of Insogni Studio. Kristoff shares his insights on how the next generation of luxury customers value experiences over material possessions, and how brands can create meaningful and memorable experiences for their customers. Kristoff further explores the concept of sleep in hotel rooms and the lack of attention given to providing the best sleeping environment for guests. From lighting design to calming music and customizable pillow menus, he discusses how Asia has been ahead in this regard. He also emphasizes the importance of sleep for productivity and the need for further exploration in this area.

Pioneering Luxury Camps in Remote Wildernesses with Luca Franco. TSHS-060

In the world of adventure travel, there are individuals who have transformed their passion into a thriving business. One such trailblazer is Luca Franco, a true connoisseur of experiential travel, and the founder of Luxury Frontiers. In this episode, we will delve into Luca’s remarkable journey and the evolution of luxury travel. We will also explore the importance of sustainability in this industry, the challenges and opportunities it presents, and the strategic partnerships that have propelled Luxury Frontiers to success.

The Birth of Luxury Frontiers: From Passion to Business

Luca Franco has been an adventurer at heart since childhood, always seeking unique and immersive experiences. However, it was the global economic crisis of 2008-2010 that triggered a shift in consumer behavior. People began valuing memories over material possessions, giving rise to the experiential travel trend. Luca noticed the success of experiential travel concepts in Africa and decided to bring these unique experiences to North America.

Initially met with skepticism, Luka persevered and embarked on a journey to establish Luxury Frontiers. The concept of luxury tented camps in remote wildernesses, a model already successful in Africa, was met with doubt in North America. However, ten years later, Luxury Frontiers has forged partnerships with some of the biggest players in the industry and stands as a pioneer in the luxury outdoor hospitality sector.

The Evolution of Luxury Travel: From Transformational to Sustainable

Over the last two decades, luxury travel has seen a significant shift in consumer behavior. Two key events, the 2008 economic crisis and the wake-up call of the COVID-19 pandemic, have led to transformational changes in the industry. Experiential travel, sustainable practices, regenerative tourism, and a growing focus on impact awareness have become central themes.

Travelers now seek not just to accumulate experiences but also to connect with the natural world, local communities, and host properties in a more empathetic way. Luka aptly describes this transition as “empathetic travel,” where travelers want to engage in more meaningful and sensitive ways during their journeys.

Sustainability as a Guiding Principle

Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of Luxury Frontiers. It is not just a marketing buzzword but a deeply ingrained principle. The company’s approach is based on biophilic design principles and mimicking nature, creating a harmonious relationship with the environment. They respect and collaborate with landowners, ensuring that their projects are not just sustainable but regenerative, giving back to nature and local communities.

Luka emphasizes the need to move beyond superficial “greenwashing” and adopt a holistic approach that addresses every aspect of a project, from sourcing materials to food production. Nature, which has sustained itself for billions of years, holds valuable lessons for how we can ensure our practices are truly sustainable.

What Matters for Hotel Brands: Culture vs Strategy. TSHS- 059

In the competitive world of hotel brands, what truly matters – culture or strategy?

Join us in this thought-provoking video as we delve into the importance of culture and strategy for hotel brands and discuss which one truly reigns supreme.

Culture, often referred to as the heart and soul of a hotel brand, plays a vital role in shaping the guest experience. It encompasses the values, beliefs, and behaviors that define the brand’s identity and create a unique atmosphere. We explore the significance of being the guardian of the culture and the impact it has on delivering promises to both colleagues and guests.

On the other hand, strategy plays a crucial role in guiding the direction and goals of a hotel brand. It involves making calculated decisions about distribution systems, loyalty programs, and brand positioning.

We discuss the strategies employed by top hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, and Accor and how they adapt to the evolving hospitality landscape. Through engaging anecdotes, we illustrate the changing dynamics of the workforce, with a focus on the needs and expectations of the young generation.

Discover how the new generation of colleagues and customers are reshaping the industry and how hotel brands must adapt to stay relevant. We also shed light on the evolving landscape of the hotel industry, where lesser-known hotels are emerging as top contenders, surpassing traditional luxury brands.

Through real-life examples, we highlight the power of creating a truly special experience that transcends brand recognition. So, if you’re curious about what truly matters for hotel brands – culture or strategy – this video is a must-watch.

Gain insights from industry experts and gain a deeper understanding of the elements that contribute to a successful hotel brand.

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What is the AI’s Role in Modern Hospitality – Discussion with Tamina Wuerth, Founder Aivolution. TSHS-057

We are discussing with AI trailblazer Tamina Wuerth, CEO and founder of Aivolution how artificial intelligence enables next-level guest personalization. Tamina shares how AI systems capture guest preferences to curate personalized stays across properties.

We are discussing the challenges of balancing guest data collection with privacy. Tamina explains how AI can store guest details and empower staff with personalized recommendations for repeat visitors. This enables the delivery of consistent, tailored service that guests love.

Centralized guest profiles and AI systems create effortless, meaningful personalization for modern travelers. Tamina provides tips for hotels to leverage AI, avoid sounding robotic, and focus messaging on seamless guest experiences.

Overall, we explore in this episode, how AI delivers personalization at scale – understanding guests to provide customized, memorable stays. Tamina gives insider perspectives on AI creating the kind of individualized experiences travelers increasingly expect.

Hotelier Learning Curve: Humility & Curiosity – Discussion with Marc Dardenne. TSHS-056

Hotelier Learning Curve: Humility & Curiosity – Discussion with Marc Dardenne

We are reflecting with my guest Marc Dardenne on our decades-long careers and sharing insights learned along the way. Starting as management trainees Marc with Hilton and me with Hyatt, we gained experience across multiple countries and cultures. Early challenges included adapting to new places, understanding cultural norms, and taking the initiative to learn. 


Key lessons covered are being curious and proactive, embracing humility, respecting local cultures, and cultivating a passion for hospitality. We emphasize the need for self-learning, adjustment, and developing skills over time.


Discussion topics also include changes in the industry, attracting young talent, and offering better career paths. Flexibility, work-life balance, training, and shaping hotel culture are noted as ways to engage the new generation. 


Overall, this candid discussion between seasoned hotel professionals provides an intriguing look at their global journeys and the evolution of the hospitality business. The humor and stories offer both wisdom and entertainment.


Stand Out in a Crowded Market – Hotel Branding Strategies. TSHS-055

Stand Out in a Crowded Market – Hotel Branding Strategies

Join me with my guest hospitality expert Marc Dardenne as he shares insider tips and anecdotes from career-launching iconic hotel brands, like Armani Hotels, The Address, and Patina Hotels. – Learn Marc’s perspective on what makes a successful brand, from identifying your market niche to crafting memorable experiences.

– Discover the intricacies of brand creation – from selecting the perfect name to instilling a vibrant culture that brings your brand identity to life.

– Gain invaluable insights on brand storytelling, designing for your target demographic, flagship properties, maintaining integrity as you expand, and avoiding common pitfalls. – Whether you’re looking to launch a new brand or strengthen an existing one, Marc imparts his wisdom on standing out in a crowded hospitality marketplace and connecting with guests through authenticity.

Why Interior branding has the incredible ability to connect brands with their guests. TSHS – 054

Why Interior branding has the incredible ability to connect brands with their guests. Discussing with Bruna Rodrigues, Founder and principal designer of INPAR Hospitality Concepts, a boutique design studio specializing in the hospitality sector. Originally from Brazil, and based in Malaga, Spain, she is passionate about helping businesses realize the full potential of their interiors.



2 Hospitality Events, 3 Takeaways with 5 Guests. TSHS -053

2 Hospitality Events, 3 Takeaways with 5 Guests

I attended IHIF ( International Hotel Investment Forum, Berlin and Eco Resort Network Event, in Montenegro. I thought it would be great to get some people who joined either or both events to share their views, in this way to give a balanced takeaway for you the listeners.

Let me introduce my guests who made this episode possible.

Dr.Willy Legrand is, Professor at the IU University of Applied Sciences in Germany, with specialization in sustainable hospitality development and management. His recent publication co-edited with Henri Kuokkanen and Jonathan Day, Critical Questions in Sustainability and Hospitality is a must-read. Contact: Website.

Robyn Woodhead, is a polar explorer who co-founded with her husband White Desert Antarctica, operating three separate luxury camps in Antarctica, and aiming to be a positive influence on the entire continent’s Climate Change legacy.  website: Email:

Maribel Esparcia Perez, is an Independent Advisor, Professor and Managing Partner of the European Sustainable Hospitality Club, Certified Change Agent by ISSP, part of the CSW63 SDG’s at UN. Contact: , website:

Tariro Madzingira is a banking professional and community builder, interested in getting underrepresented groups into nature for mental health benefits. She is building a diverse online community encouraging high-potential professionals and students to intentional breaks in the outdoors. Contact:

Chris Nader is the Co-Founder and CEO of ENVI Lodges, the first luxury ecolodge brand and management company to launch from the Middle East, with a presence in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Contact:

How to achieve a sustainable and profitable future for a hotel.

Discussion with Hylton Lipkin the General Manager for Garrya Mu Gang Chai and Homm Tu Le in Vietnam, part of The Banyan Tree Group.
Speaking about his approach to operate a hotel sustainably with a focus on People,Planet and Profit.
Hylton is passionate about Environmental Wellness and describes his approach.

Is there a real potential for generative AI in the Hotel industry?

Is there a real potential for generative AI in the Hotel industry?
Discussing with Jaynath N Kolla, Head of Strategy for a Big Tech Firm, Building the new Internet of Health. Jayanth insight on emerging tech is invaluable and will surely leave you inspired. He is sharing his views about the Technologists, what happened to their Rock Star status, and the latest trends with Generative AI shaping the future of the hotel industry, with some practical tips.