New York City’s skyline sparkled with a new gem as the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA) East Coast Chapter hosted an exclusive networking event at the newly opened Virgin Hotel on Broadway. The evening was a testament to the power of connection, collaboration, and the enduring allure of luxury hospitality.
The event was a who’s who of the industry’s finest, with the likes of Anna Domingo, Founder, PADZZLE and Co-chair of the East Coast Chapter, and Barak Hirschowitz, President of ILHA, gracing the occasion. Other esteemed attendees included Sharon Hirschoitz, Global Head of Media and Communications, ILHA and board members Mathew Evins, Evins PR, Michael Brod, Canoe Place Inn & Cottages, Chris King, Salamander Resorts, Siva Selvan, Long & Foster Real Estate, Joe Yi, Frontier Development & Hospitality Group, and Brett Hochberg, Raffles Hotels & Resorts.
The Virgin Hotels New York City, our gracious host for the evening, offered an exclusive look into their stunning new property. Miles Dieudonne, the Catering Manager, led site inspection tours, showcasing the hotel’s exquisite design and unparalleled amenities. The breathtaking views of New York City at night and photo opportunities with the iconic, lit Virgin sign added to the evening’s charm.
The event kicked off with a warm welcome from ILHA President, Barak Hirschowitz, who shared updates on the association’s latest projects and the origins of the East Coast Chapter. Hirschowitz also highlighted the upcoming luxury hospitality conference at the Eden Roc Miami Beach, set to take place in December.
Douglas Carillo, Chief Marketing Officer, offered insights into the Virgin Hotel’s latest projects and the development of their New York property. His presentation underscored the Virgin brand’s commitment to innovation and luxury in the hospitality industry.
The evening was elevated further by the delicious and unique signature cocktails, inspired by our generous sponsors, Cristina Illa of Disset Chocolate and Saura Fabra-Jaques of Girona Coffee. These decadent drinks, a chocolate martini and an espresso martini, were a fitting tribute to the luxury and indulgence that define the ILHA.
We extend our gratitude to Anna Domingo, Founder of Padzzle, and Amy Zocchi, Senior Manager, Public Relations, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and the board members of the ILHA East Coast Chapter for their tireless efforts in making this event a success. A special thanks to Evins PR for their support and Anneliese Forlenza for managing the check-in desk.
The evening was not just about business, but also about appreciating the beauty of our surroundings and the company of fellow industry leaders. Key hoteliers in attendance included Brent Brady, Director of Finance, Aman, Christina Zimmer, Senior Vice President Design, Highgate, Patricia Shih, Vice President, HVS, Zach Demuth, Global Head of Hotels Research, JLL, Marissa Hoppe, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Sanctuary Hotel New York, and Greg Habeeb, President, World Hotels.
Our sponsors, Girona Coffee and Disset Chocolate, both brought a touch of their unique heritage to the event. Girona Coffee, showed its collection of finest worldwide coffee capsules, especially designed for luxury hotels, while Disset Chocolate showcased artisanal world class chocolates, created exclusively by chocolatier Ursula XVII as amenities to luxury hotel guests.
In the end, the ILHA East Coast Chapter event was more than just a networking opportunity—it was a celebration of luxury hospitality and the professionals who make it possible. We look forward to inviting you to our next event and, until then, we raise a toast to the enduring spirit of luxury and hospitality.