Written By: Chris Austin, Vice President of Global Leisure and Luxury Sales, Starwood Hotel and Resorts
Today, Starwood is the leader in luxury hospitality. We are the leader in innovation. We represent iconic and amazing brands in more than 100 countries around the globe. When you, as a travel professional, select a Starwood property for your customers, you are selling the best in hospitality.
Within our incredible portfolio of brands we are always adding, innovating, and setting standards for our industry and creating amazing experiences for your customers and our guests.
This month I thought it might be good to share a few of our newest gems with all of you. I wanted to focus specifically on our iconic St. Regis brand. Combining classic sophistication with a modern sensibility, St. Regis is committed to delivering exceptional experiences at over 35 luxury hotels and resorts in the best addresses around the world. Since the opening of the first St. Regis hotel in New York City over a century ago by John Jacob Astor IV, the brand has remained committed to an uncompromising level of bespoke and anticipatory service for all of its guests, delivered flawlessly by signature St. Regis Butler Service. Starwood’s ultra-luxury brand is set to expand its legacy to 50 hotels by 2020.
As a travel professional, you are challenged to know the world and know what’s new and what’s next. Just as an example, we added two properties in Malaysia this year and I thought I might highlight these amazing new St. Regis properties for you to share with your most discerning global travelers!
Introducing the St. Regis Langkawi, Malaysia
Tucked away in an exclusive enclave in its own tranquil, private cove on Langkawi’s southern tip, The St. Regis Langkawi is fringed by a 600-meter private white sand beach overlooking the emerald green waters of a 100,000 square meter natural salt, private swimming lagoon, and integrates with the shimmering Andaman Sea. From the moment of arrival, guests are immersed into a dreamlike atmosphere. Blue lights, cooling mists, and a dramatic garden oasis are wrapped in lush ferns and surrounded by villas with azure tiled plunge pools and airy cabanas.
One incredibly unique opportunity at the St. Regis Langkawi are the Nature Walks. Beginning on our beautifully appointed resort grounds, your guests can learn the meaningful history behind The St. Regis and the powerful symbolism of the beringin tree. Our expert guide will reveal fascinating facts about our poolside date trees and our exquisite garden, including anecdotes about the durian, the “King of Fruits.”
As the walk wends toward and along our pristine beachfront, guests will hear the mythical history of Langkawi, the significance of its name, and the archipelago’s geological evolution in the past 250 million years. Then, delving into the lush tropical rainforest, our guide will touch on the cultural heritage, biodiversity, and medicinal aspects of this rich ecosystem as well as the importance of mangrove trees to the island’s coastal areas.
Following an overview of the fishes native to the Andaman Sea, our engaging naturalist will also share information about UNESCO Global Geopark Langkawi, such as the various bird species found on the island and their migration patterns. As the walk concludes, your guide will highlight the abundant species of butterflies and monkeys native to these vibrant surroundings.
Introducing the St. Regis Kuala Lumpur
Set against one of the most prominent and romantic neighborhoods in the city, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur boasts magnificent vistas of Malaysia’s bustling capital including Kuala Lumpur’s largest park, the Lake Gardens, as well as the National Museum and Houses of Parliament. Inspired by a luxurious Manhattan apartment, with interiors and architecture by G.A. Design, the hotel features a timeless design scheme created with historical context and a sense of opulence. The exquisite art collection includes masterpieces such as a monumental 11.5 foot horse sculpture by Fernando Botero; Grace Thunders, a specially commissioned diptych of two 16 foot hand-etched leather murals by Mark Evans depicting a powerful polo charge; and a three-dimensional Birds and Butterflies artwork by Barnaby Hosking.
The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur houses 208 gracefully appointed accommodations, each with a walk-in wardrobe. Starting at 678 square feet, the guestrooms are the largest in the city, and suites, starting from 1,485 square feet, are also unmatched in size. The Royal Suite, spanning 4,000 square feet, offers private elevator access, an outdoor terrace with panoramic skyline views, a show kitchen, separate his-and-hers walk-in wardrobes as well as an en-suite massage room and gym.
Further enhancing the experience, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur offers the brand signature St. Regis Butler Service which presents discreet, personalized, and anticipatory attention, including complimentary daily pressing, unpacking and packing, and in-room morning coffee and tea service.
The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur features six distinct restaurant and bar venues including Taka by Sushi Saito, the first restaurant to open outside Tokyo by three Michelin-starred chef Takashi Saito. Ginza Tenkuni offers Edo-style tempura created the same way since the original restaurant opened its doors in 1885. The BrasBeyond rare culture and compelling surroundings, our sixth floor offers guests a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. Along with the holistic 1,100-square-meter Iridium Spa, it houses a fitness center, yoga studio, and outdoor rooftop pool.
The hotel’s singular private art collection comprises specially commissioned works, including a monumental horse sculpture by Fernando Botero, leather murals by Mark Evans, and a three-dimensional Birds and Butterflies work by Barnaby Hosking, inspired by the leafy enclaves of the Lake Gardens. Moreover, each work is carefully positioned throughout the hotel to align with its respective area and our staff is happy to provide informal tours. A local docent is available by appointment for aficionado tours and private events.
SPG® Pro Reminder
As an SPG Pro you would always be in the know, and we would communicate our new openings and opportunities for your customers on a regular basis.
I invite you to take a quick video tour of our SPG Pro website to see how to get started and where you can access STARPRO rates for your personal travel and ProLearning, our online library of training modules.
We are also in the business of motivating you, our partners in the travel professional community. You must always remember we have the award winning BEST consumer and B-to-B loyalty program–SPG® Pro. We are constantly recognized by you and your peers as best in sales and service, best overall chain, best brands, best individual properties.
In fact, it is award season in the industry these days. If you see us on the ballot, we would always love your support. Remember to VOTE Starwood and vote for our loyalty program, our training program, our brands and our individual resorts.