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Travel and hospitality

Rosewood recruits community leaders as collaborators in immersive initiative

April 23, 2021

Liu Min and Phillip Huang, two of the inaugural participants in the PlaceMakers program. Image credit: Rosewood


Hotel group Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is building a roster of tastemakers to highlight the community and cultural aspects of travel.

Through “PlaceMakers,” Rosewood is looking to serve as a “cultural concierge” and explore local destinations with immersive, curated experiences with the help of influential and authoritative community members. The PlaceMakers, who have expertise in various fields, are giving Rosewood guests unique access and perspective to their respective locales through activations and programming.

“Rosewood is not simply a hotel brand, but an architect of transformative experiences that forge a strong and eternal link between our guests and the cultures that they interact with,” said Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Los Angeles. “We are constantly seeking new ways to provide authentic experiences unique to each destination and PlaceMakers is the latest extension of this objective.

“Our properties exist to spark conversations and encounters that facilitate connections, so we’ve partnered with visionaries that provide our guests with an immersion into the destinations that we are so grateful to be a part of,” he said. “The PlaceMakers program is part of our larger brand direction to promote meaningful connections and create authentic feelings of belonging in each destination.”

Cultural guides
Rosewood’s PlaceMakers have backgrounds in art, style, food, family, sustainability and wellness. The inaugural participants represent Rosewood properties in London, Beijing and Phuket, Thailand.

“Our properties hand selected individuals with meaningful connections to their respective destinations,” Mr. Arora said. “Each PlaceMaker gives a voice to their communities and provides a purpose-driven lens to the locale.”

Sustainable clothing designer Philip Huang will have a residence at Rosewood Phuket to host “The Future of Tradition,” a weekend-long event with curated workshops from May 28 to May 31.

Guests at Rosewood Phuket can attend an indigo dyeing workshop led by PlaceMaker Philip Huang. Image credit: Rosewood

Mr. Huang, who uses plant-based natural dyes and organic fibers in his designs, will be joined by artistic collaborators to lead guests in workshops on indigo dying and repurposing plants, food and foliage into art. Participants can also attend a special “Black Tie Sarong” dinner and Sunday brunch at the property’s restaurants and learn more about Thai cuisine.

Rosewood Beijing will be collaborating with Liu Min and Ian Hylton, founders of the luxury fashion label Ms. Min. As one of their projects, the couple will be redesigning the property’s largest suite, the Beijing House.

Ms. Liu, who has seen her minimalist pieces at the Met Gala and was nominated for the LVMH Prize for young designers, will also debut the Ms. Min fall/winter 2021 collection at Rosewood Beijing. Other experiences will include intimate trunk shows and Chinese calligraphy lessons.

The founders of the wellness platform Oona Series will serve as PlaceMakers for Rosewood London. Dancer Catie Miller and holistic coach Boniface Verney-Carron will help guests improve their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing through the Rosewood Reset Experience.

Attendees can enjoy personalized spa treatments, healthy food and beverage offerings and one-on-one mindfulness, fitness and lifestyle sessions with Ms. Miller and Mr. Verney-Carron. Guests can also access Oona digital workout classes and wellness videos from their Rosewood London room or suites.

Oona will also spearhead Rosewood London’s programming for Global Wellness Day on June 12, including an outdoor barre class and wellness panel.

Rosewood is encouraging guests to explore new destinations with a local perspective

All the PlaceMakers have also curated destination guides for their respective cities, available on the Rosewood site. The guides include local recommendations for activities, food and drink as well as interviews with the PlaceMakers themselves.

The hospitality group plans to reveal more participants in the coming months, including fashion designer Johanna Ho for Rosewood Hong Kong; cookbook author and food photographer Emiko Davies for Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in Italy and mixed-media artist David Luna for Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood resort in Mexico.

Sense of place
The PlaceMakers program can also be seen as an extension of Rosewood’s emphasis on meaningful travel.

This month, Rosewood revealed a new “A Sense of Place” vignette, elaborating on the brand’s ethos of offering not a simple stay, but a unique and curated experience that is thoughtful and restorative. The short film highlights the vast range of Rosewood properties, highlighting amenities including interior design, beach access, gold-threaded pillows and more (see story).

The brand’s marketing strategy may resonate with consumers who are eager to resume travel.

According to the Global Travel Trends Report from American Express, 61 percent of travelers are planning to spend more on their 2021 trips than they normally would. Luxury accommodations have become more desirable as well, as consumers seek to balance unique experiences with privacy.

Personalized experiences are the most desirable luxury offering, as cited by 82 percent of respondents. The majority of travelers also described high cleanliness standards, 81 percent, and privacy, 79 percent, as in-demand luxury amenities (see story).

“Rosewood has always followed the guiding principle of Relationship Hospitality, meaning that true hospitality is measured by the meaningful relationships that are cultivated through connection, and we believe this will be even more important as travel demand increases and individuals look to revive their connections with the rest of the world,” Rosewood’s Mr. Arora said. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering these authentic relationships, as evident in PlaceMakers, and will continue to grow our Rosewood community to provide innovative and immersive opportunities for travelers.”