Discovering the Masterpiece ‘criteria’ with Oetker Collection

/ New Delhi
/ Hotels
Facing the crystal blue of Lake Geneva, The Woodward is Oetker Collection’s latest addition to its lineup of luxury abodes. Hugues Miranda, Vice President– Sales, Europe, Russia, CIS & Asia Pacific of Oetker Collection, shares with India Outbound their future plans to penetrate the Indian market.
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Hugues Miranda

What is Oetker Collection’s current footprint? Are there any new cities you plan to expand to?

Oetker Collection is an exceptional portfolio of Masterpiece Hotels, Estates and Villas in Europe, the Caribbean and South America. Located in the world’s most desirable destinations, each property is a landmark and an icon of elegance, blending legendary hospitality with genuine family spirit that is unique to Oetker Collection. We have adopted a slow growth strategy and don’t aim for mass expansion as creating a true Masterpiece Hotel takes a considerable amount of time, patience and dedication and we are committed to continuing our unparalleled standards to create these one-of-a-kind properties.

The current portfolio has Le Bristol Paris, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden in Germany, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes in France, Château Saint-Martin & Spa at Vence in France, The Lanesborough in London, L’Apogée, Courchevel in France, Eden Rock at St Barths, Jumby Bay Island in Antigua, Palácio Tangará in São Paulo, The Woodward in Geneva and this summer, we will open Hotel La Palma at Capri in Italy. Additionally, we have more than 150 private villas and private residences around the globe.

Next year, we will open our 12th property and our first United States Masterpiece Hotel with The Vineta Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. We had been looking for some time to open our first hotel in the US but to find a true gem takes time. We also only open in destinations that we know our valued clientele visit and where they would like to see us so places we could explore if the right opportunities come up would be Aspen, St Tropez, New York, Tuscany and possibly Rome.

What is your social engagement in terms of CSR?

Being responsible corporate citizen is something Oetker Collection takes very seriously. It is hugely important for us to build robust connections with the communities where the hotels are located and aid in preserving the local ecosystems. We are also proud signatories to the UN Global Compact Report and have a comprehensive CSR strategy, which encompasses four pillars, protecting human rights, consuming responsibly, ensuring environmental awareness and engaging meaningfully with sustainable communities. 

Additionally, each of the hotels supports a local and an international charity and on an ongoing basis, the hotels support and work with charities and NGOs through donations, fundraising events, hotel-specific services and collaborative actions. 

How has the response from Indian tourists been?

We feel very fortunate to have loyal guests from India who mostly book suites at our hotels and we are also delighted that they choose to stay at several of our properties on their trips. This is actually something that we strive for, that guests are familiar with all our hotels. For instance, they are aware that Hotel du Cap-Eden Rock is within the same collection as Eden Rock – Saint Barths. It is important they will enjoy the same quality of experience in a Masterpiece hotel, surrounded by the most exquisite interiors and first-class options in gastronomy and spa. 

The most visited properties from the Indian market are The Lanesborough and Le Bristol Paris (Photo: The Lanesborough)

I would suggest the most visited properties from the Indian market are The Lanesborough and Le Bristol Paris. Indian guests also enjoy visiting Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden as they love to rejuvenate at the foothills of the Black Forest and the hotel also offers a world-renowned spa. Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa in picturesque Vence in the south of France is another key destination from the market. The Woodward in Geneva is also proving extremely popular with guests from India. 

What are your sustainability targets for the year?

We started the year by joining the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. The Alliance represents over 50,000 properties globally and we are united in our collective approach to be a responsible hospitality group and create a lasting positive impact for the planet and its inhabitants through collaborative action.

Overall, we are increasing our focus across the board on this topic this year, inclusive of the recent appointment of a Senior Head of Sustainability at Oetker Collection. 

A focus topic for 2023 will be to set concrete targets and define initiatives per property to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our collection. 

What are the USPs of Oetker?

All our properties have their own DNA and personalities and a distinct sense of place but they are bonded by what we call the Masterpiece ‘criteria’. This means amazing architecture, rich bespoke interiors like those you would find in the home of an affluent individual using the finest quality of materials, and excellence in service and culinary concepts. All of these elements melded with our values based in family spirit, elegance and genuine kindness is what we feel makes us unique in the luxury hospitality space.

How big is India for you?

In 2022, Indian visitors represented the number one market in Asia. We are currently seeing the same trend for 2023. We are welcoming mainly families, multigenerational trips are particularly common, couples and then we have bookings for major social events or milestone celebrations  like a wedding at Le Bristol Paris or a birthday celebration takeover of The Woodward in Geneva.  

What are your future plans and strategies to target the Indian market?

We have just returned from a visit including a gourmet journey and plan to increase our presence in the market with a higher volume of sales visits and participation in travel conferences. 

I am happy to share that we were actually one of the first luxury hospitality companies back in India after restrictions lifted, and to continue to strengthen our relationships with travel agency partners and wedding/event planners. We also look forward to participating in ILTM APAC. 

This year, the plan is to also host more press and fam trips and we have a group of editors from the region staying at multiple properties this April. We also plan to organise a series of small direct client events and will also partner with select luxury brands to create high-touch experiences together that will delight our shared audiences.  

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