Your hotels are not always in 'traditional' hotel locations (Bethnal Green, Little India...) what makes you pick the locations?
I like locations and neighbourhoods with a good local buzz and also with interesting histories. Authenticity is very important to me and I don't like being in sanitized touristy places. This applies whether it's me doing the travelling or if I am locating for my own hotels.
Explain the dentist's chairs?
How important is food /the hotel restaurant to the mix?
Well personally speaking I love my food and so from that point of view I'm always interested in the food/restaurant part of the business! I also feel that it's important because it gives our hotels a certain edge in having a strong and thriving restaurant. Our hotels are small boutique properties with limited room numbers. We can never rely on in house guests to fill the restaurants and we don't even try. Instead we try to make the restaurants strong enough to thrive independently and nearly all our customers are locals. I am very proud of this fact
Actually most of them are antique barber chairs but for me they have a similar purpose. I like utilitarian things and I especially love old barber and dentist chairs because they are so obviously strong and over engineered things. To make a chair out of cast iron and enamel! I think those chairs will be around and being sat on long, long after I am gone. They've been around for many decades and I like to think they have many interesting stories to tell.
Apart from your own, what are your favourite hotels/resorts? (and why)
I love this little hotel called the Post Ranch Inn on the Big Sur in California. It's on a beautiful cliff overlooking the ocean and surrounded by the most beautiful national parks. My wife and I have been twice and love going there to relax and go hiking in the surrounding hills and parks. I have been to many hotels and resorts and none of them are perfect but as a location there is little to beat the Post Ranch.
What is your favourite city to visit?
Either London or New York I guess. I am an urban guy! I also love Dublin and Copenhagen.
What is your best overseas restaurant experience?
I love Barrafina in London! Been one of my favourite little eating spot for years.