Surf ho­tels and other news

Condé Nast Traveller Middle East - - Contents -

The vice pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions at Al­manac Ho­tels on which Euro­pean cities should be on your radar and Vi­enna’s time­less

yet trendy ap­peal

What do we have to look for­ward to from Al­manac? Open­ing our first prop­erty in 2018, in Barcelona, was a mile­stone for Al­manac. We’re now fo­cused on in­tro­duc­ing an ad­di­tional three ho­tels in Vi­enna, Bu­da­pest and Prague in 2019-20. Two more prop­er­ties in Prague and Za­greb will be added to the port­fo­lio af­ter their ren­o­va­tions are com­pleted in 2020-21.

What put these des­ti­na­tions on your radar? To­day’s trav­ellers are look­ing to go beyond the ob­vi­ous, not only in the way they ex­pe­ri­ence travel but also in the des­ti­na­tions they choose. Vi­enna, Bu­da­pest, Prague and Za­greb are rarely the first choices for trav­ellers vis­it­ing Europe, and when they are, many fo­cus only on the his­tory of the city and over­look the strong cul­tural changes that these cities are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. We want to of­fer our guests an im­mer­sion in his­tory while par­tic­i­pat­ing in the city’s cur­rent story.

What makes Vi­enna so of-the-mo­ment? Vi­enna is a city of con­trasts. Hon­our­ing his­tory and tra­di­tions con­tin­ues to be a way of life, but a creative young view is de­vel­op­ing in par­al­lel and adapt­ing this to cur­rent trends: The MU­SE­UM­SQUARTIER fo­cused on con­tem­po­rary arts; the Life Ball, a mod­ern take on tra­di­tional opera balls; in­de­pen­dent stores but with a mod­ern twist. This has all be­gun at­tract­ing a more creative and in­ter­na­tional crowd, with an in­flux of start-ups and in­cu­ba­tors.

Where in the world has most left an im­pres­sion on you? Saipan in the North­ern Mar­i­ana Is­lands was in­ter­est­ing. It’s a small is­land in the mid­dle of the Pa­cific Ocean and is a cul­tural melt­ing pot. But it’s the is­land’s set­ting that makes it spe­cial: play­ing golf on cliffs over­look­ing the Pa­cific next to the Mar­i­ana Trench and div­ing along un­der­wa­ter walls were in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ences.

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