Since my last blog I’ve spent some time in London and traveled to Israel on a trip with Pastor Hagee and Glenn Beck. In Jerusalem, we stayed at the Inbal Hotel, which overlooks Liberty Bell Park and is within walking distance to the Old City. The city is as busy as ever. The new Waldorf-Astoria is almost ready: they’re preserving the historical building’s façade and updating the interior to get ready for a January opening. In Tel Aviv, the Hilton is up to scratch with good service and all operations running smoothly.

In London I stayed at the Athenaeum, always a favorite of mine.  It’s a wonderful hotel with a great location on Piccadilly opposite Green Park. Families will enjoy its walkable location and 2-bedroom apartments next door. Plus, they’ve just introduced a new airport car service available to their guests who fly business or first class and want the red carpet treatment on their way to or from Heathrow. Our FROSCH amenities add a lot to the experience, especially the buffet breakfast and the minibars full of complementary ice cream, bottled water, and sodas.

Also in London’s Mayfair neighborhood, I like 45 Park Lane, the newest member of the Dorchester Collection. Its restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, CUT, is not to be missed. The rooms are exceptionally well done, and the dedicated host on each floor makes everything special.

South America is becoming a choice destination these days, with many hotels undergoing renovations and tour operators tweaking their product to appeal to a broader range of travelers including the luxury market as well as families. I’m looking forward to a trip to Quito and the Galapagos to check out some new hotels, including Casa Gangotena and Mashpi Lodge, a brand-new (opening in November) hotel hidden in a biodiversity reserve.

I’ll also be heading to Kenya and Tanzania next month and will let you all know about the new hotels, including the Hogmead in Nairobi, a hip new hotel which is adjacent to a giraffe sanctuary. Keep an eye out for my next blog!

by Richard Leibman, Chairman