What motivated you to work with Luxury Frontiers?
Before entering the hospitality industry, I began my career working in banking in New York City. It was during my finance years that I became infatuated with international travel and was particularly intrigued by the luxury hospitality market in Africa. Looking to meld finance with my new passion, I decided to pursue a career in luxury resort development in emerging markets, starting with an MBA at Lausanne. Fueled and inspired after 4 years of working in operations and consulting owners of luxury resorts in Africa, I was able to join these various sets of expertise at Luxury Frontiers to develop luxury eco resorts worldwide.
Luxury Frontiers appears to be at the forefront of luxury traveller tourism and sustainability. Please comment.
We definitely strive to lead the sustainability-focused transformation of the hospitality industry through every development project we engage in. From concept development to ongoing operations support, Luxury Frontiers strategizes with ownership and operations on how a project can employ cutting-edge technology and practices wherever possible for both efficient operations and maintaining as light a footprint as possible on the environment. Our solutions span from responsibly sourced and sustainable building materials to leave-no-trace activities programming and renewable energy systems.
Which of the Luxury Frontiers projects do you consider to have added substantial value to the investor and the community?
I had a front-row seat to the operations and performance of one of our projects, Abu Camp in Botswana, where I served as General Manager for nearly 3 years. This property has yielded tremendous value both to its owner (the late businessman and philanthropist Paul Allen) and the greater conservation community. With only 6 suites, a truly one-of-a-kind design completed by Luxury Frontiers in 2011, and a high-touch service offering delivered by Wilderness Safaris, Abu Camp has garnered the highest double room rate in sub-Saharan Africa of USD 6000 per night and an average occupancy of 70%. More impressive than this, the hospitality operations cover the expenses of the camp’s elephant sanctuary for rescued and orphaned elephants, and Abu Camp still remains profitable. Abu Camp is a shining example of low-volume, high-yield hospitality products performing well while doing good.
As Portugal achieves greater global visibility, what potential do you see for Luxury Frontiers in Portugal?
While Portugal has been seeing a strengthening tourism market, it is has already begun embracing hospitality concepts which create an ideal foundation for Luxury Frontiers projects: experiential, nature-based, activity-oriented, eco-friendly, mindful, and wellness concepts. Luxury Frontiers’ unique architecture—such as tented and treetop suites—celebrate these movements. And by using alternative building methods and materials, we are able to offer true flexibility in design, allowing our clients’ projects to perfectly complement the lifestyle they are looking to build or expand upon. Owners and operators looking to diversify their hotels with additional alternative room inventory can benefit the most from Luxury Frontiers’ design and experiential planning: investors are able to leverage existing operations, marketing, and infrastructure, meaning incremental revenues and a faster investment payback. It is a very compelling case especially here in Algarve with its unprecedented growth, so we are eager to see what happens.