As pent-up demand for journey continues to construct, St. Regis Resorts & Resorts is preparing. The luxurious model will almost double its resort portfolio by 2024, unveiling 9 new properties in locations that embody Bermuda, Aruba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Marrakech.
The corporate is evolving to satisfy the wants of right this moment’s traveler with the assistance of George Fleck, who joined St. Regis in September as its vp and world model chief. Fleck oversees the model’s almost 50 motels and resorts all through the world, main all efforts round service, design and advertising. Born in Germany, Fleck started his profession with mother or father firm Marriott Worldwide in 2016, after spending almost 15 years with Starwood Resorts & Resorts.
Forbes Journey Information caught up with Fleck whereas he was at The St. Regis Bermuda Resort to assist the brand new property put together for its Might debut. He shared what to anticipate on the Bermuda lodge, some adjustments in retailer for the model’s future and the enduring St. Regis motels everybody ought to go to.
Has the pandemic prompted any long-term adjustments throughout the St. Regis model?
The pandemic has actually challenged the hospitality trade world wide to mirror on what comes subsequent for our friends, as we have now seen their wants and wishes shift. Whereas there are some short-term changes we’re making at St. Regis to make sure our friends really feel as secure and comfy as attainable, we stay keenly centered on the long run by means of continued model evolution and world development.
This previous yr has reminded us all the worth of significant journey experiences and simply how a lot we love exploring new locations. We’re excited to welcome friends again to our motels world wide and stay deeply obsessed with delivering on our model promise to assist them “Reside Beautiful.”
In that spirit, a lot of our motels and resorts have carried out modern visitor experiences, such because the Yurt Village at The St. Regis Deer Valley, or in a glamorous tackle Toronto’s famed candy deal with the king’s cake, The St. Regis Toronto’s pastry chef Gerald Tan created the queen’s cake [a 14-layer lemon cake with blueberry and lavender buttercream] to go. We hope that we will proceed to encourage optimism as all of us start to journey once more.
How do you see luxurious service evolving on account of these occasions?
Whereas it’s nonetheless too early to foretell the lasting impression of those occasions on luxurious service, we do assume there are some adjustments which might be right here to remain. Personalization and a way of workmanship have develop into much more essential, with luxurious vacationers wanting extra unique and intimate experiences on property, together with meals and beverage and spa remedies.
Moreover, the pandemic has accelerated using digital and cellular platforms, so we anticipate expertise will proceed to play an more and more essential function in how we talk and interact with our friends — creating significant content material which speaks to our friends’ ardour for extremely genuine and immersive experiences.
What’s your imaginative and prescient for the model?
Having labored in hospitality for greater than 20 years and having had such admiration for St. Regis, the chance to guide such a celebrated model has been a real honor. Once I first joined the model, I spent a substantial amount of time immersing myself in our wealthy legacy and speaking with our leaders and hosts world wide. With a glamorous historical past courting again greater than a century, St. Regis is actually a crown jewel in Marriott Worldwide’s model portfolio.
My imaginative and prescient is to set us on the trail of evolution from iconic hospitality model to a real world luxurious icon. We’ve an thrilling pipeline of openings which might be set to assist us obtain this imaginative and prescient, together with benchmarks to additional elevate the visitor expertise.
By way of our refined design, signature butler service with a contemporary lens, and our beloved traditions just like the Bloody Mary, St. Regis is completely positioned to hitch the best echelon of the world’s most emblematic manufacturers within the luxurious class. The long run has by no means been brighter for St. Regis.
Will these traditions — butler service, Bloody Marys and night rituals that usually characteristic a novel a champagne sabering — change?
These rituals characterize the very basis of the St. Regis model, serving as a means for us to honor our legacy, courting again to 1904 with the opening of The St. Regis New York by John Jacob Astor IV. Nevertheless it’s extra essential than ever earlier than to modernize these traditions to make sure they continue to be related for right this moment’s luxurious traveler.
For instance, each St. Regis property has its personal model of the Bloody Mary, a cocktail first invented at The St. Regis New York’s famed King Cole Bar in 1934. Whereas we nonetheless serve up the basic “Purple Snapper,” we encourage our bartenders globally to create a model impressed by every distinctive vacation spot. Later this yr, we plan to rejoice this custom with a brand-new e-book which highlights our recipes from world wide.
We’re additionally within the strategy of evolving our signature butler service to make the distinctive function of the butler a extra highly effective piece of the St. Regis visitor expertise. The notion of impeccable service was of the utmost significance to the Astor household, and we proceed to search for new and modern methods to modernize this pillar for our friends right this moment.
Is Bermuda is your first post-lockdown journey?
Becoming a member of the extraordinary workforce at The St. Regis Bermuda Resort as they put together to open will mark my very first enterprise journey since 2020. It feels great to be again on the highway, personally coaching and interacting with our unimaginable St. Regis hosts. This opening marks a historic second for the model, and I’m thrilled to have the privilege to be a part of it.
What are your favourite elements of The St. Regis Bermuda Resort?
Before everything, the situation! It actually represents the best tackle — with the resort spanning Achilles Bay within the historic city of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage Website with sweeping views of St. Catherine’s Seashore and Fort St. Catherine.
The property’s design can also be distinctive, drawing inspiration from the native geography and Bermudian traditions. The stone formations across the resort are integrated within the interiors by means of texture and patterns whereas Bermuda’s colourful island trend and prints are translated by means of using saturated colours and geometry all through the property. I really like that it looks like you’re experiencing the island by means of the glamorous St. Regis lens — a very enchanted escape.
This resort can also be going to be a haven for leisure seekers. Apart from two beautiful swimming pools that provide loads of alternatives to calm down, the resort contains the historic 5 Forts golf course and also will boast a on line casino outfitted with a salon privé for an ultra-glamorous night time out.
What different St. Regis openings are you wanting ahead to?
I’m significantly excited for the opening of The St. Regis Chicago, which is slated to debut on the finish of 2021. The property was designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang, and is beautiful architecturally. It’s actually the brand new finest tackle within the Windy Metropolis and shall be a skyline-defining icon. We’re thrilled to be opening our doorways on this vibrant vacation spot.
The St. Regis Kanai Resort in Riviera Maya is one other property that I’m significantly enthusiastic about, marking our third lodge in Mexico and situated throughout the lush mangrove forests of the Riviera Maya. The resort has an sudden and avant-garde design that affords each visitor room a shocking view of the encompassing crystal-clear waters.
What are some must-visit St. Regis properties?
All of our Homes of Astor are so particular, bringing to life their locations in essentially the most glamorous of how. However I have to begin with our flagship lodge. The St. Regis New York is the place our story begins and stays one of many grande dames of the posh hospitality trade. I like to recommend ordering a Purple Snapper, the unique Bloody Mary, within the lodge’s famed King Cole Bar earlier than stepping out onto the nook of Fifth Avenue for a day of buying or a night on Broadway as the town reopens.
The St. Regis Cairo can also be on the high of my checklist! This lodge opened earlier this yr on this enchanted vacation spot, and I can’t wait to go to in particular person. The lodge is only a brief distance away from the Nile, the Khan el-Khalili bazaar and the pyramids, and incorporates the wonders of Cairo with arabesque lanterns, latticework-covered home windows and reflecting swimming pools.
What’s your favourite a part of a St. Regis keep?
My favourite a part of staying with St. Regis begins with our hosts, who provide real heat and impeccable service in every of motels world wide, and particularly our St. Regis butler service, which actually units the expertise aside.
After all, I additionally take the time to get pleasure from our beloved rituals — there’s nothing higher than sipping a Bloody Mary poolside at one in all our glamorous resorts or having fun with glass of champagne freshly sabered by a St. Regis butler on this planet’s most coveted locations. Whether or not in Aspen, Mallorca, Venice or Hong Kong, understanding that these experiences await tremendously evokes me.
The place are you excited to go to as soon as journey absolutely opens up?
Italy is my completely favourite nation in Europe to go to, and I’ve so many fond journey recollections of Rome and Florence, particularly.
With two spectacular St. Regis motels in these iconic cities, which actually embody our model’s promise to dwell beautiful, in addition to our glamorous lodge in Venice, it’s a vacation spot I’m very a lot longing to return to as soon as European locations open up this summer time and past.