Name: John T.A. Vanderslice
Title: Global head, luxury and lifestyle brands
Company, city: Hilton Worldwide; McLean, Va.
Number of employees: 25,000-plus
Recent project: Waldorf Astoria is adding 13 new hotels in more great places, including Berlin, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, Beijing and Panama. Conrad Hotels & Resorts is adding 15 new properties to its portfolio, including the highly anticipated Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa, Conrad Dubai, Conrad Algarve and Conrad Seoul.
First job: Painting dorm rooms at Fairfield University
Little-known fact about you: My middle initials, T.A., stand for Thomas Aquinas; I share this middle name with my brothers, father and son.
Essential business philosophy: Plan your work, work your plan.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Stay innovative. While all luxury hotels pride themselves in great service, we take it one step further. We’ve launched True Waldorf Service across all 22 Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, which ensures personalized service from the moment guests book their trip to the time they depart. Each guest is offered a personal concierge who remains the guest’s main contact before, during and at the end of the stay. With our upcoming Conrad amenities offering, we will be the first hotel brand to offer guests a choice of three amenity lines.
Yardstick of success: I always say success is the sum of details well executed.
As a Traveler
What is the most important item you take when traveling?
My G-Shock watch goes with me everywhere. It’s solar powered and updates automatically when I enter new time zones.
How you spend your time on board: Work, sleep, movies. In that order.
Favorite restaurant in the world: My favorite is 32 East in Delray Beach, Fla. Its James Beard Award-winning executive chef, Nick Morfogen, only cooks with the freshest ingredients and sources everything locally.
Favorite destination: Rome. From its history to its restaurants, it’s a spectacular city to visit.
About Your Brand
What can travelers expect from Hilton’s luxury brands?
Conrad Hotels & Resorts is Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand for today’s modern, sophisticated traveler. By focusing on the individual, Conrad offers guests a world of style, service and connection in gateway cities and exclusive leisure destinations around the world. Across five continents, in key cities and the most sought-after resort destinations, Conrad delivers the greatest luxury of all — “The Luxury of Being Yourself.” Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand of landmark hotels, each representing worldly sophistication and unparalleled guest service.
What makes Hilton luxury brands’ guestrooms unique?
Each Conrad is a dynamic reflection of its city and culture. Waldorf Astoria guestrooms should feel “Better than Home,” where residential comforts and effortless technology dovetail to provide a memorable experience.
What is the most challenging aspect of launching new properties?
The most challenging aspect is finding the right property for the right brand. Whether executing new builds or converting existing hotels, the location, the look, the surroundings have to be right. A few great examples include acquiring the award-winning Waldorf Astoria Chicago and our plans to convert The Caledonian in Edinburgh to a Waldorf Astoria. For Conrad, we just opened Conrad New York, a 463-suite luxury hotel in Battery Park City in lower Manhattan, bringing our signature Conrad style to the heart of New York City.
With more companies around the world becoming more environmentally friendly, American Airlines recently announced it committed to set a science-based target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This move will sharpen the company’s strategy for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and aligns its path with the global imperative of limiting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.
As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.
For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.
Now is the time to get out of the house, soak in the sun and try something new. From bread making to learning the latest TikTok dance, Americans picked up new hobbies since the COVID-19 pandemic. As travel gets busier, keep the momentum going with paddle boarding that can travel with you anywhere in the world.
You probably didn’t know you needed to visit the Dominican Republic until you learned about the new, beautiful, modern, all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.