Luxury Hotels: The People You Meet

There is no shortage of reasons to love the luxury hotels that we work with. The incredible rooms are luxurious places created to predict and fulfill your every need. Each piece of furniture and item of decor is carefully chosen or specifically designed to add to the experience of the room. The restaurants on site are headed by celebrated and passionate chefs who craft incredible, memorable meals. The locations – the lush valleys, mountain hideaways, and spectacular beaches – are landscapes a person could spend a lifetime exploring.

However, the best thing about the hotels that we work with is the people that we meet. The staff who are the best in the world at what they do; the incredible chefs and wait staff, the managers, housekeepers, and florists. And, of course, the hotel guests. The celebrities and heads of state, the artists, designers, writers, and businessmen who all have incredible stories to share.

Hacienda AltaGracia in Costa Rica
Hacienda AltaGracia in Costa Rica

I love meeting other travelers. Travelers like Charles Harbison, a fashion designer who has created clothes worn by Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, who I met at a hotel in Costa Rica. Travelers like John Taylor, one of Australia’s most famous illusionists, who I met while working over a decade ago and am still in touch with today. Travelers like John Arthur Daily, the numerologist, who recommended that I start using all three of my names for my work (“Jeremy Mason McGraw”), and whose suggestions clearly resonated with me.

There are experiences that are only possible in places like the Baur au Lac in Zurich, 7132 Hotel in Vals, Milan’s Hotel Principe di Savoia, and the Hotel Eden in Rome. Years ago, I helped Gino Vannelli and Sheila E (Prince’s drummer) work around one hotel’s slow WiFi by sharing an ethernet cable I’d discreetly installed in the hotel’s lobby. We shared the cable covertly for the next few days, switching turns with a secret handshake.

Luxury Hotel Danieli in the Venice Skyline from the Venetian Lagoon
Luxury Hotel Danieli in the Venice Skyline from the Venetian Lagoon
Luxury Hotel Danieli Lobby Interior Photography
Luxury Hotel Danieli Lobby Interior Photography

I’ve seen 50 Cent arrive on a water taxi at a hotel in Venice, and I have been asked to put my equipment away at a hotel in Croatia while the Israeli Prime Minister walked down the hallway. I have stumbled across an open-air Elton John concert held outside the Colosseum in Rome, and for weeks while I was in Italy I would arrive at a hotel and be told that Nelly Furtado had just left.

Elton John at the Coliseum in Rome
Elton John at the Coliseum in Rome
Waiting for John Turturro to get on the bus at the Venetian Film Festival
Waiting for John Turturro to get on the bus at the Venetian Film Festival
The Corpse Bride at the Venetian Film Festival
The Corpse Bride at the Venetian Film Festival

Of course, it’s not just famous world leaders, musicians, entertainers, and fashion designers that stay at these incredible hotels. In Croatia, I shared an awkward boat ride with a hotel owner who had made his money as an arms dealer. Days later, I was summoned by the same hotel owner and found myself in a single engine plane with shabbily repaired bullet holes snapping photos of the city and wondering how on earth I’d found myself in this situation.

In the words of an acquaintance who works at one of these luxury hotels, “Where else in the world are you going to find a place where Elton John, Bill Gates, and Nelson Mandela have all slept on the same bed?” To add to that, where else in the world but a hotel are you going to find a place where the life of 50 Cent could intersect with an Australian illusionist, a world leader, or an American photographer.