Valor Hospitality has been raising the bar on guest experience, investing, owning and operating hotels worldwide that have a unique story to tell, from luxury safari lodges in Africa to the recent acquisition of the Kimpton hotel The Rouge in DC. Euan McGlashan has led the way.
What was your vision when you created Valor Hospitality Partners with Steve Cesinger in 2012?
It started as wanting to create the most highly respected white label / bespoke, full service and results driven management company in the country, with the best associates at both corporate and hotel level. Incredible culture was our foundation and in our DNA.
You have since expanded into Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Can you tell us about your strategy behind this?
I’m a Brit and ran a luxury hotel company based in the UK and Europe. I always wanted to get back to the UK / European market with our new Valor business model because I knew it didn’t exist. We very soon realized the same could be said for Asia. Africa was very different because I spent 11 years of my life in Capetown and my two best friends were there and at the peak of their hospitality careers. We began a separate company together called PMR and then realized we could create Valor Africa and Middle East. Now we are truly global and growing all the platforms quickly.
I believe you have also recently acquired a Kimpton boutique hotel in the United States. Are you able to tell us about it?
We love the direction the Kimpton brand has taken in the last few years and have watched it carefully. Given our incredible global relationship with IHG, we were excited to eventually get one in our portfolio. We bought The Rouge which is a very old Kimpton but in a highly desirable location on DuPont Circle in DC. We are going to do a major renovation and add a rooftop bar. When we come back to market, it will be an incredible asset.
Your portfolio of hotels runs across distressed property turnarounds, new builds, and rebranding projects. What factors determine a viable opportunity for you?
Great question and no short answer. However, if keeping short I’d say – location & market dynamics, great owner, strong investment appetite by owner, commerciality & investment horizon outlook, our ability to effect change and to leave a legacy….of excellence of course! If we are buying, we determine by the same set of rules as we would for a client. Great investment opportunity where we believe we can add significant value.
How important is a strong F&B program in a luxury hotel?
Critical. Most of our competitors miss it. We have an F&B Co. within Valor. All operated by ex F&B professionals. Not hotel F&B but what I call ‘High Street Retail’. You HAVE TO create F&B that draws outside guests inside and that then grabs guest capture. It has to be operated by pros who know and work in High Street Retail because they have a far better sense of service, speed, consistency, commerciality and creating menus and wine / drinks lists that guests want!