Last week I was invited by Virgin Hip Hotels to a cocktail do at the trendy and posh Met Bar in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Park Lane London. The event was to celebrate their partnership with the COMO Hotel group, and especially the launch of their hotel in Miami, to be followed series of other hotels around the world in rapid succession.
What did I learn at the event?
- VHip is a Virgin Holidays venture with the Hip Hotels group. These are a selection of the more up-market and trendy hotels all around the world. Vhip have elected a range of hotels from the portfolio covering the main regions that Virgin (and their partners) fly to. They have hotels to book almost everywhere except Australia, New Zealand and Canada from what I can see. They gave us a copy of the brochure to take away – it s more like a table top travel book than a regular brochure! Worth keeping to hand for future travel inspiration guide as very detailed and plush!
- VHip has 3 “Travel Gurus”. I spoke to two of them (Tara Johnson and Andrew Senior). They are travel agents with a difference and seem to be more like a “concierge” type service. They are free to use, and they will design your travel plans and do all the bookings. They also help out while you are away if any problems or issues. Talking to them they seem to be used by people to get ideas and inspiration about new places to go as much as where to stay. They are very well traveled and we spent a lot of time sharing travel stories and getting tips! It sounds like they end up becoming very attached to their clients, with a lot if repeat use by travellers looking for someone to inspire and send them and their families off on new adventures.
- COMO hotels was started by a (very) rich Singapore lady called Christina Ong. She owns them privately and it all started with one hotel in London (Halkin). She started it as there was not a hotel in the city that she felt met her needs! She made her money through fashion and design and all the hotels are very design focused. They are all very unique, so not chain like, and plush and up-market. They also focus on food and holistic spa experiences, and overall very pampering in style and approach. Got to try them!
At the event there was a draw for flights and a stay at the new Miami Como Hotel. Pity I did not win as looks like an amazing hotel and the presentation at the event had me set on going!!