Page 20 - Enjoy the South 2016
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A WHO’S WHO OF THE HOSPITALITY BUSINESS
It’s a remarkable anniversary celebrating a timeline of excellence, vision, and pioneering hospitality.
Where the Chewton Glen leads, others follow and it is this perpetual pursuit of new concepts, standards, and amenities that sets this luxury hotel aside from the rest.
From the very beginning, in 1966, when Martin and Trevor Skan bought the hotel in a suitably rundown state, there was a need to offer something different.
With no experience of the hospitality business, Martin, then 21, went to suss out the competition in a bid to make the Chewton Glen more highly appointed, different, and luxurious than any other hotel. He succeeded. He wanted en-suite bathrooms – “Why?” they asked, “all we need is a razor socket!” He was adamant and was the first to provide such ablution facilities.
He focussed on exacting standards of service and wanting to take the hotel experience a step further, he established another countrywide first in the form of a spa, where guests could relax both mind and body while absorbing the beautiful Hampshire countryside setting.
The 70s reaped rewards in terms of recognition from Relais and Chateaux, a consortium of privately owned hotels and restaurants with the aim of promoting excellence and impeccable standards. This provided
a network of the like-minded – a fertile forum where ideas, strategies, design, concepts, and personnel were discussed and deployed.
Marketing played a vital role in the successes of the 70s and Martin the marketer took the Chewton Glen to Canada and the US. The trip was highly remarkable, entertaining, and rewarding, and one can learn more about that trip in the newly published ‘An English Original’ – a stunning coffee table book cataloguing the five decades of success accompanied by beautiful images and recipes depicting the times.
The 80s saw some of the most interesting times in terms of personnel – the hotel has been a breeding ground of some of the world’s best in the business. Pierre Chevillard joined the kitchen – later to achieve a Michelin Star for
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