The Power List x A Season of Luxury | Paula Fitzherbert, Group Director Of Communications , Maybourne Hotel Group
It’s the final day of A Season of Luxury – and also our last Power List profile of the year. To celebrate, we hand over to the legendary Paula Fitzherbert, Director of Communications at the iconic Maybourne Hotel Group, who discusses the hotels’ heritage, the magic of Christmas, and ‘surprising and delighting’ guests with ants in Claridge’s ballroom…
The Power List
How do you use the DNA of your brand to tell new and exciting stories?
The heritage and history of our brands – Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley – are of course incredibly important to us, and part of what appeals to so many of our guests. Having said that, we are determined not to live in our past and in fact pride ourselves in being forward thinking; creativity runs through our DNA, which is why our hotels are as popular and relevant today as they were when they were built. Everyone has their own story of an experience at one of our hotels, and we have recently been working with our archivist to pull out some of the wonderful anecdotes and stories from our distinguished history. We are also working with the National Portrait Gallery on their Cecil Beaton ‘Bright Young Things’ exhibition for spring 2020, which celebrates the past but is also so now. We believe in having fun with our past, while highlighting the wit and charm that shines through.
How do you continue to use storytelling to surprise and delight customers?
Storytelling is at the heart of everything we stand for. From the designers we commission (Andre Fu from the Upper House in Hong Kong at The Berkeley) and the culinary visionaries we collaborate with (Rene Redzepi from the two-Michelin-star Noma serving ants in Claridge’s Ballroom), to star architects (Tadao Ando’s water fountain at The Connaught), our projects with fashions gods (Christian Louboutin bringing a train to Claridge’s lobby) and the world’s greatest artists (Damien Hirst bringing his whole installation for the Venice Biennale to Claridge’s), we set out to create new exciting ‘moments’ across the hotels – while of course never losing sight of the true old school art of hospitality.
A Season of Luxury
All I want for Christmas is…
Please make it a white one! It feels like such a long time ago that we had a magical White Christmas
How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
Because I work in hotels it feels as though we have been celebrating since November with the launch of Claridge’s Christmas Tree… it’s a full on Loubi Express train experience with Christian Louboutin this year. On Christmas Day I shall be with my family by the fire with a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
Your favourite Christmas tradition?
My dear friend Kally Ellis from McQueens Flowers has traditionally give me a giant bunch of red berries and Eucalyptus. As soon as they arrive I feel like Christmas is in the house.
Favourite festive film or song?
Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea.
Best place to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere?
I would have to say one of our hotel’s, which are always magical: the Choir singing at Claridge’s, the Snowfall lighting installation outside The Berkeley, and the The Connaught ballerinas on the famous staircase capture the Christmas spirit perfectly!