How does Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts cater to the luxury client looking for customized experiences and personalized services? John Vanderslice, global head for the brand, says it satisfies this market through the delivery of True Waldorf Service, which, according to the hotel company’s website, was first introduced at the flagship Waldorf Astoria New York back in 1930. “This program features highly trained personal concierges assigned to each guest who provide unparalleled, bespoke service from the moment a guest books through check-out,” he says.
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand, has a growing portfolio of 29 properties across the globe, with expansions in Amsterdam, Beijing, Jerusalem and Dubai. “The latest addition to the portfolio, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, is gorgeous and so representative of the local culture and spirit,” says Vanderslice. “For this hotel, the design approach was to create a classic contemporary interior with strong reference to location and maritime history.”
In 2013, the brand opened its first Waldorf hotel in Panama. Why Panama and not other popular Latin American countries like Brazil, Costa Rica or Colombia? According to Vanderslice, “Panama City is decidedly a more urban experience, in comparison to Colombia, Costa Rica, and Brazil, which attract more resort products.” For clients interested in the Panama property, it’s still offering its Panama Canal package to commemorate the Canal’s centennial year (for travel now through Dec. 31). The package ($380 per night) includes breakfast, complimentary WiFi, a 5-hour Panama Canal tour and visit to the Miraflores Visitor Center.
Vanderslice adds that Waldorf Astoria properties reflect their locations, but are “unified by their elegant and richly appointed interiors and culinary excellence. All of which includes world-class golf courses, Michelin-star restaurants and chefs, and award-winning spa programs.”
spas and fast cars
Aside from its luxury accommodations, fine-dining venues and personalized service, Waldorf properties also aim high with onsite spas and special programs. “Many Waldorf Astoria properties are home to the brand’s own Waldorf Astoria Spa or luxurious Guerlain Spa,” points out Vanderslice.
For instance, at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin, its Guerlain Spa offers a Beauty Revelation treatment (a 2-hour treatment at $308 pp), which includes a full facial and body analysis where guests enjoy a hydrating footbath, facial mask, and massage. In the U.S., the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort pulls from the surrounding natural environment to create treatments like the Desert Botanical Salt Scrub and the Healing Desert Clay Wrap, while the newly opened Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, offers a Fusion Experience treatment body massage using warm oil and ice bubbles.
For guests into luxe high-performance vehicles, the brand recently kick-started its Waldorf Astoria Driving Experiences program, which Vanderslice says, is “designed to appeal to discerning travelers and automotive enthusiasts. Each driving experience will begin with an introduction and tutorial by world-class Belgian race champion Didier Theys, before leading participants on an unforgettable, bespoke itinerary, rotating cars and drivers along the way.”
The selection of cars is definitely high-brow, as drivers get behind the wheel of a Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche for a 3-hour drive, which includes stops for meals. The cost is $999 per couple
(excluding accommodations) and is available now through December. Only six Waldorf Astoria properties across the U.S. are offering the program, including Waldorf Astoria Park City in Utah; The Roosevelt, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in New Orleans; and Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Florida.
Travel agents have access to Hilton HHonors points, and if the agent is located in the U.S. or Canada, or part of a network such as Virtuoso, says Vanderslice, they receive specific monetary rewards and benefits for their clients.
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts: (800) WALDORF; waldorfastoria3.hilton.com or waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/about/travel-agents.html