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- 3 May 2011
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Luxury Hospitality Brand Essentials: Purpose & Provenance


The dining room at Alain Ducasse du Plaza Athénée

Theodore DL Durham, managing director of The Ortelius Group, examines the six essential elements of a luxury hospitality brand, in the first of a three-part series

Luxury hospitality brand options, choices and selections for business and leisure travellers are multiplying at an unprecedented pace on an international level, placing a renewed emphasis on delivery and differentiation. But how does the international luxury hospitality brand remain compelling, distinctive and relevant as the individual brand itself grows while simultaneously entering new markets that present guests, clients and customers with ever increasing viable options?

As the number of luxury hospitality branded hotels, resorts, serviced residence, spa, dining and entertainment experiences continues on a trend of rapid development, expansion and growth on an international level, how does the brand enhance its delivery, differentiation and sustainability?

The answer to these questions exists to a high degree within the luxury hospitality essential elements. Luxury hospitality essential elements are not branding or marketing buzzwords, but rather, are the genuine and fundamental components on which the products and services of the brand are predicated, developed and evolved that enable the brand to deliver compelling, distinctive and relevant products, services and experiences.

Today, irrespective of the guest, client or customer profile, be it business or leisure, frequent or occasional traveller, consumer awareness and expectation is high across all luxury hospitality sectors and growing increasingly more sophisticated, discerning and value conscious throughout our globally connected world. Today’s real-time travellers are seeking genuine, inspiring and rewarding luxury hospitality product, service and experience delivery.

After all, it is the brand delivery which makes the ultimate contribution towards differentiation and sustainability. To fully appreciate the essential elements of product, service and experience, we explore several examples within leading international luxury hospitality brands.


Gilt Bar at the Palace Hotel New York, a Dorchester Collection hotel


The raison d’être, the reason for existence and the fundamental basis for the product, service or brand creation. Purpose is one of the most important essential elements as it drives the brand vision and links to all other attributes of the luxury hospitality brand

The Dorchester Collection is a sterling example of a luxury hospitality brand that retains focus on the essential element of purpose, which is, to be recognised as an ultimate luxury hotel experience within individual prestigious hotels in highly prestigious locations. This purpose is well reflected in nearly all aspects the collection delivery, from iconic hotels in historic, landmark locations to luxurious guestroom and public area environments supported by impeccable guest service credentials.

Befitting its namesake, the collection is comprised of extraordinary hotels including the Hotel Bel-Air Los Angeles, The Dorchester London, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris, Le Maurice Paris and the Hotel Principe di Savoia Milan, each a masterpiece of period hotel architecture, interior design, heritage and tradition. Within the collection, the essential element of purpose has produced dazzling innovation in the exclusive dining experience.

 Purpose is often relatively easy to articulate, it is rather much more difficult to fulfill 

The acclaimed master chef de cuisine Alain Ducasse oversees and guides every detail in his spectacular eponymous venues at the Dorchester London and the Plaza Athénée Paris, garnering Michelin three-star recognition in each. Meanwhile, fellow master chef Yannick Alléno creates the phenomenal modern French cuisine of Restaurant Le Maurice, a stunning Philippe Starck designed jewel and a third Michelin three-star restaurant venue within the impressive collection.

Vision, experience, ingenuity and careful planning enables the Dorchester Collection to successfully infuse these and other contemporary design, product and service innovation elements within these traditional hotel environments. And a conservative approach to brand growth and expansion ensures that the Dorchester Collection may continue to retain a leading position as a prestige luxury hospitality brand on an international level.


L’Atelier du Joёl Robuchon, Taiwan


The origin of the product, service or brand which in turn imparts or implies unique attributes and characteristics of quality, culture, heritage, tradition and authenticity. Similar to luxury retail brands, luxury hospitality brands also benefit from provenance and the characteristics inherent and associated with their origins. But unlike the vast majority of luxury retail brands, luxury hospitality brands may also benefit considerably from the essential element of provenance reflective of their destinations and locations as well.

Joёl Robuchon is an excellent example of a luxury hospitality brand which has enhanced the essential element of provenance. The famed and respected Michelin-starred chef de cuisine and restaurateur has maintained traditional culinary convictions while combining a genius for culinary innovation with unique interpretations and variations of classic and modern French cuisine.

 Provenance is often overlooked by luxury hospitality brands, and yet, provenance may enable the creation of one of the brands key strengths 

His distinctive dishes are composed of flavors, aromas, textures and aesthetic artistry that captivate the senses and stimulate the emotions. The international location menu creations reflect a natural culinary evolution that retain and enhance the quality, culture, heritage and authenticity of his native provenance while masterfully integrating indigenous local ingredients, flavors and subtleties into each Joёl Robuchon, L’Atelier, La Cuisine and La Table dining location experience.

The essential element of provenance is also captured in the sublime quality of the rich yet contemporary and comfortable interior designs, materials, table settings and colour palette selections that immerse patrons in New York, London, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo in a decidedly French inspired mise en scene.

By maintaining and enhancing the essential element of provenance combined with exceptional culinary talent and vision, Joёl Robuchon has achieved a leading international prestige luxury hospitality brand position.

This is the first in a three part series examining the essential elements of successful luxury hospitality brands. In our next edition, Theordore will examine Characteristics & Culture, followed by Principles & Passion.


The Ortelius Group is a luxury hospitality consultancy firm providing development, concept, branding and strategic services to luxury hotel, resort, serviced residence, spa, dining and entertainment groups and business partners.