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.
Experience the best of Italy with the new 10-day City and Coast Getaway. Travelers begin their trip with a luxury stay at Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese before moving onto Abruzzo’s Castello Di Semivicoli.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
Vacations providing travelers with opportunities to improve their mental and physical wellbeing continues to rise in demand as more and more hotels and resorts create offerings centered around wellbeing. ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, a resort boasting programming paying homage to Hawai’i’s rich culture and heritage, recently debuted a variety of new offerings focused on cultural experiences and holistic wellness.
Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Summerlin, Las Vegas, recently announced plans to completely transform its dining space, entertainment offerings and gaming experiences with new additions. Currently underway, new concepts like the famed Thai restaurant Lotus of Siam and the new Greek restaurant Naxos Taverna will soon join the resort.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
Scenic Group launched its Second Guest Sail Free offer on a variety of ocean and river cruises on both the Scenic and Emerald Cruises lines. This new offer applies to all Europe and Asia river cruise departures through June 30, 2023.