Interview with Aaron Gjellstad, By Andrew Coutts

Has Luxury Frontiers identified specific geographies in Portugal to consider implementing your concept?

Aaron Gjellstad  | Director of Operations  LUXURY FRONTIERS

Aaron Gjellstad | Director of Operations


LF, in the past, has had tremendous success in sub-Saharan Africa and we are primarily focusing on the exportation of this this expertise and success to the Americas. However, with past projects in Tuscany and Mallorca, and one on the way in Normandy, there is definitely interest and room for growth in Europe. Generally, many of our latest clients are developing in successful, trending destinations with much growth potential, such as Papagayo Peninsula in Costa Rica or Tulum outside Cancun, Mexico. With Algarve’s recent hype and numerous draws to nature, we find that it too is ripe for small resort development.

 Is it the case that Luxury Frontiers invests in new lodging projects?

 Right now, our focus is to become the world’s most renowned luxury experiential resort designers and developers for hotel owners and brands. As we become the leader in this industry, a case can be made that our work can naturally lead to co-investment opportunities for future projects.


What are the critical success factors for your sites? 

Aside from the owner having all full ownership rights and other legal formalities, the site can then be assessed as to what makes it attractive for small eco-resort development. It is ideal if the site has a story that can draw in guests—albeit nature, history, culture, etc. It is also helpful if the site allows for its hospitality operator to curate the guest experience from the moment the guest arrives off their plane, 4x4 vehicle, boat, or in some cases, horse. Added features that truly enhance the leisure aspect of the site could include vistas and vantage points, nearby water features such as streams or waterfalls, and natural and unspoilt vegetation between standalone guest rooms that allows for not only environmental immersion, but also privacy and noise reduction.


What are the key characteristics of your business model? 

What sets us apart is that we are a full-service design and development firm, with services spanning from concept development to project management and operations support. Also, our services are geared to upmarket segments, from upscale to ultra-luxury. And last, our focus is on experiential lodging offerings. All three of these factors enable us to be first-movers in this sector globally, as we hope to continue to blaze a trail and provide the latest design and development concepts in eco-resorts.