Raising standards

Maybe there’s something in the air, but it would seem that many of the biggest names in the international boutique and lifestyle hotel sector are getting a little restless.

After last week’s announcements that both Niki Leondakis and Grace Leo have moved on to pastures new, this weekend it has been revealed that André Balazs, the founder of the Standard Hotels brand, is to  stand down as company chairman to concentrate on new projects.

Balazs has always had a great knack for creating hotels where people from all walks of life want to be seen. He moves in celebrity circles, and properties such as the Standard High Line and  Chiltern Firehouse have been hugely successful in creating a media buzz which has seen them dubbed the hottest tickets in their respective towns.

Intriguingly, Balazs now says that one of his plans is to move in to the “ultra-luxury” hotel space, saying that “the lack of uniqueness in the luxury sector is lamentable. I think we changed the affordable category. I think the luxury market is crying for exactly that.”

Whether you class Standard properties as falling in to the affordable category or not, Balazs’ future endeavours will be sure to generate huge amounts of coverage and celebrity endorsement – nothing he does is likely to slip under the radar!

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