The first thing I do when I walk into a hotel is go straight to the room and open the window. We want hotels with great locations and views that aren’t obstructed, whether that view is of the sea or the mountains. I don’t want our guests to be across from a loud restaurant or busy highway, but in quiet and secluded locations. It should be like a dream. I don’t want people to travel all this way and think they have a better view at home.
The view comes first—that’s sight. But a good hotel should engage all of your senses. How does it smell? Not many people are as tuned in with their senses as I am, and it can be good and bad. I think I might have been a dog in my past life. I smell and touch and listen everywhere I go. Do you want to hear cars, horns, alarms, and sirens? No. You want to hear the waves or the birds or the cowbells. When you can wake up and hear the waterwheels and the Mincio River outside your window at Il Borghetto in Verona, it’s magic.
And then there’s a sixth sense. Whether it’s a castle in Loire or seaside hotel in Mallorca or a villa in Tuscany—it should make you feel special and lucky. It’s a feeling you can’t describe, and it can only be discovered by visiting all of these places and experiencing it for yourself. That’s why we visit every on-tour hotel before we build our partnerships.