Jesson + Company is thrilled to welcome our newest client – the legendary Kempinski Hotels. Three members of our team come out of the hospitality industry – we all worked together at Four Seasons Hotels. More recently, we helped to open the new TRUMP International Hotel & Tower Toronto. The hotel industry really gets into your blood. And Kempinski is about as good as it gets! One of the oldest hotel companies in the world, it isn’t that well known in North America as it has no presence here. But Kempinski operates some of the world’s great hotels – The Adlon (Berlin); Emirates Palace (Abu Dhabi); Vier Jahreszeiten (Munich); The Stafford (London); Çırağan Palace (Istanbul); The Baltschug (Moscow); and The Grand Hotel (Geneva) to name just a few.
Still the love affair with hotels is not unique to those who have worked in the industry. Some vestiges of our primordial past as hunters and gatherers must linger in our collective DNA because most people cite the ability to travel as a critical motivator. And close on, comes our love of the hotel experience – the escape from our routines to a world of endless possibility. Chaucer used an inn as a site of chance encounter for some of his greatest characters and indeed, in my own travels I have met some intriguing people.
I will never forget being seated beside Monty Berman in the dining room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. His company had costumed some of the biggest names in movies and included the wardrobe for most of the Bond films, The African Queen, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Cleopatra, Gandhi and Chariots of Fire to name a few. I am sure the waiters thought a very naughty assignation was being planned as we lingered over coffee, but in reality the debonair octogenarian was regaling me with stories of endless fascination.
Peppered among reminiscences about his great friend Richard Burton, were family recollections about his children and grandchildren. I made a friend for life and was deeply saddened by his passing in 2006 at the age of 93. For years after that first brief meeting, I would receive a note or postcard updating me on news about his fascinating life and I still miss seeing that familiar scrawl in my letter box.
I have been privileged in my life to stay in some of the world’s great hotels as a consequence of my work. But nothing makes me prouder than this most recent win. Our company shares the confidence of many global brands – Lufthansa, Glenfiddich, Porsche Design to name a few. And now we welcome another fabulous world-class company – Kempinski Hotels. Who knows what ghosts we will encounter in their lobbies and grand ballrooms!