Suite Home Escape London Book presentation speech!

London, November 2017 Suite Home Escape Book presentation speech :

‘Dearest friends, thank you very much for being here today.

Before I touch on how this book will help a very important segment of society, I would first like to talk about how travel can be inspirational and enlightening.

In parallel, escaping our daily lives and traveling to amazing places always touches something within us. Beyond leisure and relaxation, it can lead to new ideas and to life-changing decisions.  I find that travel gives us all a global view on our lives: it frees us from the fussy details of everyday and lets us experience the bigger picture.

Yet there’s much more to travel than personal gain. I’ve always embraced the idea that luxury hospitality can be an important channel for giving back to the community people and environment.

In this vein, the objective of Suite Home Escape is to take us to wondrous places and to transform every visit into a journey of both personal growth and social responsibility. The book features hotels that distinguish themselves not only by documenting beautiful and very special destinations, but also by highlighting their authenticity, sustainability and cultural heritage.

From tree houses in Africa and waterside properties in Asia to the boutique hotels of Europe, every hotel in this eclectic collection has inspired me in one way or another. After every trip, I used to write down everything new that I had seen, heard, learned or thought.

Each description is accompanied by short phrases, which I have called “room for thought” and which invite the visitor to escape – if only mentally – from the routine of everyday life. It helps every discerning traveler to become a true citizen of the world and to develop his or her own philosophy that continues to grow even after their return, in particular by giving each person more room to think.

The word room in English doesn’t only imply a physical space but also an opportunity to escape from the ordinary and the usual. We give ourselves room to relax, strategize, philosophize or cultivate new habits.

In this sense a hotel room can be both a space to enjoy but also a new starting point as a space to grow, whether emotionally, mentally or spiritually. With more room to think we can strengthen personal goals, cultivate relationships, spur creativity and build experiences. My “rooms for thought” are all about that.

For years, the rooms of my family’s hotel in Athens, the St. George Lycabettus, have very much been a source of inspiration for me. As hospitality evolved and CSR became an indispensable part of the industry, the property has literally and figuratively given me room to think about how the travel industry can and must give back to society.

We took pride in converting this long-standing Athenian landmark into an artistic, cultural, gastronomic and luxury-led property that also espouses a philosophy of sustainability and environmental awareness. Today, and in honor of our hotel’s 40th anniversary, we’re donating all the proceeds of Suite Home Escape to Elpida Youth, one of Greece’s most notable charities that supports children with cancer.

I chose Elpida Youth to be part of our Corporate Social Responsibility because it excels in providing emotional support and psychological wellbeing to help children and their families better manage the disease and its treatment. Elpida Youth’s activities in Greece include therapeutic summer camps for the children and operation of the Elpida Guesthouse whose purpose is to help and host children with cancer and their families. By the way, over the last 20 years, Elpida has strongly contributed to developing cancer treatments, achieving a success rate of 80%!

These initiatives are indeed excellent examples of standing behind vulnerable groups in Greece.

As you all know Greece is currently going through many challenges, yet its economic crisis is proving to be an opportunity that is opening new doors. The tourism sector and its ongoing support for society is a vehicle that can lead us out of the crisis. This requires a vision, long-term plan, hard work, consistency and ethics. Above all it requires synergies.

Social support and volunteering have both proven to be noteworthy antidotes to the crisis. I have seen my fellow Greeks work fervently and effectively in supporting the less fortunate.

I hope that Suite Home Escape will do small its part in offering support to those who need it during these times. I hope you travel to many of the wonderful places in Suite Home Escape and that they will enlighten you as they did me.’

With gratitude, T.

Mondrian London: An iconic nautical style hotel






Mondrian London at Sea Containers is not just another luxury hotel in the British Metropolis. It has been created at the iconic Sea Containers House, a former office block building.
The hotel, located between the Oxo Tower and Blackfriars Bridge, has 359 guestrooms and suites. Guests will immediately be drawn to the giant, copper clad wall inspired by the hull of a ship, running from outside the building, through to the lobby and on to the river side of the hotel. Experience underwater tranquility and specialized treatments at aqua Bathhouse & Spa, taste delicious food made with local ingredients at Sea Containers restaurant, where outdoor seating along the river walk is also available, and sample innovative cocktails from Mr Lyan at Dandelyan with its iconic green marble bar and dramatic views of the Thames.
The most glamorous among its spaces is the rooftop bar, Rumpus Room, with its glass box structure and outdoor terrace, featuring panoramic views over London. Uniquely reflecting the urban feel of the Southbank neighborhood, Mondrian London is within walking distance from world-famous landmarks, such as Tate Modern, Royal Festival Hall, the National and Globe theatres, as well as Borough Market and the London Eye.
Sea Containers restaurant, inspired by the golden age of transatlantic travel and the bounty of local fresh produce, combines the best of England and America, creating a restaurant that is refined in its offering, yet youthful and casual in its experience. Dandelyan Bar is a journey of discovery where new tastes and unexpected combinations can be experienced and enjoyed in an interior designed by Tom Dixon. The Den lounge, situated between Sea Containers Restaurant and Dandelyan Bar, is the perfect place to sip a cup of tea, enjoy a game of backgammon or share a bottle of wine with friends. Rumpus Room is the rooftop bar & lounge at Mondrian London inspired the bohemian lifestyle of the 1920s socialites the Bright Young Things. One of the most extraordinary cults of youth and frivolity in history, the Bright Young Things were a voracious pleasure-seeking band of bohemian party-givers and blue-blooded socialites who romped through the newspaper columns in 1920s London. Rumpus Room brings back this era, a time when a party was more than a party, it was a lifestyle, an experience, a flash in time, that was gone before you knew it happened.
Besides the panoramic view to the river, Mondrian London has another unique feature to offer, a renowned 56-seat cinema on the studio level. Working with Curzon, Mondrian London screens a range of new releases, classic matinées and family favorites in a luxury cinema from Friday evenings through Sunday, completed with state-of-the-art projection and sound systems.
Designer Tom Dixon said about this project: “Our proposal was really about trying to find the best of America and the best of Britain and applying them in one space. The more we developed that narrative, the more fun we had, and it justified the idea of an American hotel in London. Our challenge was to find a way of giving it a broad appeal while also creating a boutique hotel”.

With Gratitude, T.

London Edition: A state of the art theatrical boutique hotel

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When talking about art, entertainment and history, London is the best travel destination. Walking a 10-minute distance from Piccadilly Circus and Theatreland, in the heart of Fitzrovia district, you’ll find yourself standing in front of one of the – five circa 1835 – Georgian townhouses. This spectacular renovated building is now the establishment of London Edition Hotel. Located at this historically bohemian area of Greater London, London Edition Hotel is a state-of-the-art hotel, preserving the fine attitude of the landmark building and blending the past with the present in a unique way. As Sorenson says “This is a hotel for people who want more than just bed and breakfast—this hotel has depth”.

A historical neighborhood once walked by personas like Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw, Fitzrovia nowadays hosts the best in art, design, shopping and food and drink in London. London Edition’s design and architecture create a very balanced, yet powerful, synthesis of old and new, where the past meets the present in pure harmony. Ian Schrager is the brain-father of this establishment, known as the great hotelier who invented the boutique-hotel idea. With the help of Marriott International they are responsible for the outstanding result of 10 Berners Street. The building maintains a pure Belle Époque atmosphere of grandeur, while with its latest restoration in 2010 – by Yabu Pushelberg firm – achieves a grounded feel.
The first thing that catches your eye in the interior is the lobby, which is constructed as a theater in natural shades of brown; a Schrager’s idea, who said “This is my best work”. The restored stucco ceiling with the two bronze chandeliers, along with the stained-glass windows and the marble floors are the best parts of the interior design; Trunk Archive’s photographs on the walls and portraits by photographer Hendrik Kerstens also grab the attention. The furnishing varies from formal wood to rustic, with Christian Liaigre’s black metal pieces playing their part.
London Edition Hotel numbers 173 rooms and suites, all of them individually decorated with wood as a main element and elegant white marble in the bathrooms. The neutral color palette on the walls and furnishing creates a cozy and minimal-chic atmosphere in the spacious bedrooms. The rooms’ contemporary decoration includes a great range of king sized beds and sofas, along with armchairs and slipper chairs, with George Smith’s signature, matching faux-fur throws and other linens, like silk rugs on the floor, that add a unique feeling of warmth and intimacy. It’s like a home far from home, as one would say. Modern walnut desks and tables, along with the provided i-Pads and laptops, help guests to stay connected with the outside business world. Hendrik Kerstens’ framed photographs decorate the walls. Bathrooms are all made of white marble by Le Labo’s modern designs.
Penthouse and Loft Suite are the best two choices of accommodation one can make. Their oversized Londong-viewing terraces are furnished with cast iron bistro tables and chairs, thus creating the perfect scenery. Loft Suite’s special feature is the open plan sitting area and the multiple windows – even in the bathroom – offering an extraordinary view of the city. Penthouse, with its separate living and dining areas and its walk-in spacious wardrobe, is like an apartment encompassed in a hotel. Just step outside at its landscaped terrace and enjoy a 360 degree view through London.

Room tip: What’s your favorite newspaper? London Edition Hotel’s staff, always at your disposal, will deliver it to your door on a daily basis.

As for food and drink, London Edition houses Berners Tavern, Punch Room and of course the famous Lobby Bar. Executive Chef Jason Atherton plays the leading role at Berners Tavern restaurant. From breakfast and lunch to fish and chips, Berners Tavern serves a great deal of contemporary dishes, blended with traditional British cuisine; Orkney scallop Carpaccio served with avocado, radish, jalapeño and lime and chargrilled quail served with Alsace bacon, smoked tomato jam are just two shining examples of Berners’ heavenly gastronomic menu. Punch Room is a hot-spot especially known for its extravagant cocktails; one of its cocktail-experts suggests the Punch Bowl – its main ingredients are jasmine tea and oak moss. Last but not least, is the astonish Lobby Bar, masterminded by Davide Segat and decorated with a mix of unique pieces, combining iconic British and modernized European style. In a theatrical dramatic atmosphere, Lobby Bar is focused on the cocktails. When asked about its theatre-lobby creation, Ian Schrager said that “The lobby has evolved. It’s now multiple venues for work and play—a new kind of gathering place.” Try the Elderflower Power Sour and the Hoax Martini from the cocktail list.

When it comes to events, London Edition’s specialists best know how to coordinate one. Private dining-room with 14 seats, Studio 1 Boardroom with 12 seats, Studio 2 Banquet with 40 seats and Studio 2 Hollow Square with 24 seats are all available for guests, providing great audio and visual services, along with laptops, i-Pads, fax machines and multilingual secretarial staff. A great mention needs to be made about the Basement Event Space, which is maybe the best way to celebrate a special occasion in London. Basement includes a reception for 220 guests, a banquet for 60, a theatre hall with 70 seats and a conference/boardroom for 30 guests. Patrick Woodruff’s unique design lends a touch of individuality to each room, creating a modern enlightening atmosphere. A DJ system and state-of-the-art audio and visual services are available, along with high-speed Wi-Fi access, throughout the hotel telephone conferencing.

London is best known for art and design. Edition Hotels recently announced a partnership with Sedition, offering an extraordinary experience by collecting art in digital format. Mat’s Collishaw art work, a dynamic lobby installation with works of famous British and international artists, like Jacco Olivier and Jenny Holzer, was created to be presented especially for London Edition’s opening.

Is there a best way to feel Art rather than living through it? Just a visit to London Edition Hotel will show you there isn’t.

With Gratitude, T.