Name: Brian Povinelli
Title: Senior vice president, global brand leader, Westin and Le Méridien
Company, city: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Stamford, Conn.
Number of employees: 188,000
Recent project: Rolling out the new Westin visual identity; we asked ourselves how we communicate the Westin message and how we can bring the wellness concept to life visually.
First job: Advertising intern in Cleveland at W.B. Doner
Little-known fact about you: I’ve jumped out of an airplane.
Essential business philosophy: Keep it simple. There’s so much contending for our attention in everyday life, and there’s no time or energy to be too clever or too tricky. Build on simple initiatives.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Act like you always have a target on your back. Get outside of the building and the industry, especially in leadership positions. Don’t get complacent; look beyond your brand.
Yardstick of success: Ask yourself: Who wants to work for us? Are people coming to our brands? Are we a brand people aspire to? Do people want to be part of what we are doing?
Brian Povinelli as a Traveler
What is the most important item you take when traveling? Workout gear, and my kids always give me a stuffed animal to take pictures with in my destination.
How do you spend your time on board? On international flights I sleep so I am ready to hit the ground running.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Right now, Tapas 24 Barcelona — it’s tiny and packed but unique, as everyone talks and is friendly.
What is your favorite destination in the world? This changes, but Marrakech was like a trip back in time 50 years. Everything felt and looked different.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Tell our readers about Westin’s new global initiatives. Westin focuses on wellness, and our goal was to bring our six pillars — Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Play Well and Work Well — to life. We introduced a new sleep balm amenity which launched in June. Kept next to the bed, the essential oils are placed on pulse points for a better night of rest. Our robust kids and family program includes a new, healthy children’s menu. Gyms are open 24 hours, and we offer gear-lending programs and running concierges.
What’s in store for Le Méridien this year? We acquired Le Méridien in 2005; and while the 125 properties in the portfolio were great, there was no tie between them. We looked at where the hotels sat in the upper upscale category. Today we have 105 hotels, where mid-century modern design merges with a sense of the locale to define the brand. The hotels focus on culture and cuisine, and the lobby becomes a hub where people want to spend time. Art is predominant throughout.
What other changes and initiatives can travelers expect from Starwood? We have 50 Westin hotels in the pipeline in locations throughout Asia, India and North America, with 30 Le Méridien hotels to come in Asia and North America.
Obviously, things will change with the recent news of the merger with Marriott, but there will be a true strength of brands behind this purchase. It will take time, but the individual personalities of the brands will survive. In fact, each will have an even stronger audience to appeal to. The merger will provide even more resources and opportunities to grow more quickly, given the Marriott development engine.
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.
Five Tips to Help Minimize Potential Travel Problems
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.
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.
Known as one of the best airports in the world and voted Best Airport in the Middle East by Global Traveler readers, Hamad International Airport aims to set new standards for the airport industry that exceed the expectations of travelers through its facility.
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.