Name: Ayo Akinsete
Title: Managing director/vice president of operations
Company, city: Dream Hollywood; Los Angeles, California
Number of employees: 250
Recent project: Dream Hollywood
First job: Football player for West Ham United in the U.K.
Little-known fact about you: I love music; sometimes people call me a jukebox. I DJ as a hobby.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? With recent findings about the impact of industries on the environment and the volatility in weather trends, I think we will see hotel companies truly establish their commitment to eco-friendly, sustainable methods of operating and building hotels. Companies will revisit the building materials and become more discerning about the amount of plastic used on property, finding options that don’t compromise the guest experience. Luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
Best career advice you’ve received: If you make a mistake, quickly own it and apologize.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Work harder than everyone, do the right thing and do the job you want to get before getting that job. Lastly, watch your peers and learn from their mistakes. This has always served me well.
Ayo Akinsete as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: When I traveled to Positano with my wife this summer, surreal beauty surrounded us everywhere. Wander the narrow roads in this colorful vertical village lined with bougainvillea and lemon trees, and almost anywhere you stand you see the Tyrrhenian Sea. And I must mention the incredible food and Aperol spritzes.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Email the hotel directly for any needs; email the general manager if you can get the information. Typically, the best hotels try to be as accommodating as possible. We are here to serve, so why not reach out?
Best advice for business travelers: Get Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, and email your preferences. If you travel to the same city frequently, find a hotel you love and stay loyal. They will typically take great care of you: upgrades, early check-in, late check-out. If something goes wrong during your stay, speak with the GM. If you come to L.A., stay at Dream Hollywood.
About Dream Hollywood
Tell our readers about the philosophy of Dream Hotel Group. Selling hotel beds is secondary to what Dream really does. We sell an immersive experience that creates amazing memories for guests to share with other people. The onus is on us to give them a story worth telling. If we execute on part one, then the rooms sell as by-product. There are so many well-designed hotels, but many lack soul. Our staffs give our hotels a soul and personality; guests want to feel special and welcomed, something only great staff can provide. Our management serves our employees as well as our guests. If management prioritizes taking care of its employees, it becomes second nature to take good care of guests.
What can premium travelers expect from the hotel group in 2019? Dream Nashville opened in February in the city’s historic Printers Alley. Beautifully designed by architects Meyer Davis Studio and developed by 4PANT LLC in partnership with Dream Hotel Group, Dream Nashville represents a driving force in the ongoing restoration and revitalization of downtown Nashville. The 168-room hotel features 21 suites and six experiential dining and nightlife venues, offering extensive programming for both hotel guests and locals.
Dream Hotel Group includes a number of brands. Tell us about each. Dream Hotel Group believes forward-thinking design, service and guest experiences should be available across all market segments.
Dream Hotels, our upper-upscale lifestyle brand, offers individually curated properties whose designs are informed by their locales through world-renowned architects and interior designers. The stay experience is well-suited to the discerning traveler who seeks comfort in a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Time Hotels caters to a clientele looking for progressively designed spaces and forward-thinking dining options in centrally located cities. Boutique in ethos regardless of room count, Time Hotels delivers an evolved space between luxury and lifestyle, a streamlined approach to the upper-upscale segment.
The Chatwal offers bespoke experiences, impeccable world-class interiors, serene wellness components, the finest haute cuisine and wines, and a deep understanding of local cultures to provide highly personalized and distinguished 5-star luxury hospitality in the world’s most desired locales.
Unscripted is a new hospitality concept for the progressive, creative traveler, focusing on smaller, secondary cities and emerging markets worldwide. Powered by a philosophy that travel should be an adventure and not a routine, Unscripted adapts to each location, offering beautifully designed, highly activated spaces that meet the needs of both its guests and its home cities.
Once you’ve boarded Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur, it is immediately apparent this recently launched cruise ship delivers what the name promises. Jewel box opulence dominates in most of the public areas, while quiet luxury teamed with clever function defines the cabins (save for the individually decorated top-tier suites). The ship, designed by internationally acclaimed Studio DADO and constructed by Ancona, Italy, ship builder Fincantieri, holds up to 746 guests and is serviced by a staff of 548 for optimal passenger-to-staff service.
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.
The St. Regis San Francisco recently debuted a Lunar New Year-themed The Art of Tea to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Available for only a few more days, through Feb. 25, the afternoon menu boasts Asian-inspired sweet and savory items, a selection of tea and a complimentary welcome toast with Champgane Lallier R.018.
One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection
In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.
Keep New Year’s resolutions going with a stay at The Westin Tempe. The hotel recently launched a wellness stay offer in partnership with Lululemon. The limited-time Lululemon In-Room Fitness Experience includes accommodations in a guestroom equipped with a Lululemon-branded yoga mat and yoga block.