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The player

American hospitality pioneer André Balazs is vaunted for his smart, sophisticated and sexy hotels. He tells Christopher Kanal what keeps luxury special and reveals his plans following the opening of his latest hotel, The Standard New York.

Oitavos: uncluttered luxury

The Champalimaud family’s vision of a spacious luxury hotel set in stunning sand dunes on makes a bold design statement. Pureza Champalimaud explains to Rebecca Burgess how the cutting-edge creation of the Oitavos came about.

Are we getting the best of PMS?

The property management system: an essential tool that is functional, user-friendly and always fit for purpose. Or is it? Lausanne Hotel School conducted a focus group and a survey among key players in the hospitality industry, and discovered that the perception of the PMS and its usability is very different.

Hospitality: moving from crisis to new growth

How can the hospitality industry turn setbacks to its advantage and transform obstacles into opportunities? This and other hot topics were addressed at the EHMA’s 38th annual general meeting in St Petersburg, Russia. EHMA president Peter Bierwirth relays the evening’s highlights.

Philip Treacy’s head for interiors

Iconic hat designer Philip Treacy OBE has long been the darling of the fashion elite, royalty, aristocracy and A list. Born in Ireland, he attended the National College of Art and Design in Dublin before moving to London to attend the prestigious Royal College of Art. He has worked with the world’s leading designers and created many of the hats at the recent royal wedding. In 2005, he designed the interiors of the g Hotel in Galway. Now he is ready to design another. Interview by Sasha Kanal.

The Middle Eastern comeback

As the global hospitality market emerged from the economic crisis last year, the Middle East led the way. Despite the current waves of political instability that are set to rock the region in the short term, Deloitte’s Alex Kyriakidis, Rob O’Hanlon and Nick van Marken believe that continuing infrastructure and investment should safeguard long-term growth.

A sixth sense for sustainable profits

Hospitality businesses are employing environmentally friendly initiatives in order to earn eco credentials. But these not at the expense of guests’ comfort or indulgence. Six Senses chairman and CEO Sonu Shivdasani and Claus Sendlinger, founder of Design Hotels, tell Andrea Ashfield why luxury and sustainability make the perfect match.

Rising tide of hotel investment

With the economic recovery underway, occupancy and transactions are slowly increasing within the European hotel sector. Andrea Ashfield talks to Mark Wynne Smith of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and Michels and Taylor’s Hugh Taylor about the ebb and flow of investor confidence.

Morocco’s riad renaissance

Recent events in Morocco have shaken Marrakech’s thriving hospitality industry. But a number of high-end hotel groups are still planning to open up properties in the city this year. Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the Four Seasons’ Holger Frehde and La Mamounia general manager Didier Picquot tell Rhian Owen why industry forecasters remain optimistic regarding the city’s future as a luxury destination.

Rezidor’s loyal following

Loyalty schemes are used to create customer satisfaction and boost business benefits. Olivier Jacquin, senior vice-president of sales, marketing and distribution at Rezidor, talks to Andrea Ashfield about the company’s revamped points-based Club Carlson loyalty programme and its plans for 2011.