Wentworth Mansion Owners Rick Widman and Linn Lesesne kicked off their summer with a board meeting. But really, not just any old board meeting, but for the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). Wentworth Mansion was recruited to be among the elite group of hotels in 2001; Rick began serving as Board Member of the Americas not soon after. SLH’s 520-property collection comprises the world’s grandest accommodations varying from tropical oceanfront boutique hotels, to French chateaus, to history-filled mansions in Charleston.
Singapore’s Raffles Hotel was the setting for this summer’s board meeting. Built in 1887, just one year after the Wentworth Mansion, the likes of Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling escaped to this small but breathtaking oceanfront hotel to write some of their finest works.
Rick’s notable news from the board room include: reservations across all SLH properties are up and the United States travel market are the hotels’ #1 source of reservations (that means it’s time for you to take a vacation!) Also, SLH has transitioned from a few-hundred page directory to a quarterly magazine and iPhone/iPad application for travelers to book luxury hotels by.
The app for that, is in fact what Rick and Linn used in choosing four fellow “small luxury” properties to explore along their journey to Singapore. Hotel stays in their Southeast Asian experience included:
- Hansar Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand: A fellow Conde Naste-noted hotel, rising seventeen stories above the city with an infinity pool overlooking it all
- The Luang Say Residence in Luang Prabang, Laos: Near the Mekong River, a Colonial style hotel with breathtaking gardens and huge porches
- 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai Thailand: An exquisitely restored Thai house; beautiful mahogany woodwork and what Rick and Linn call the most incredible bathroom they’ve ever seen (glass walls, in and outdoor showers, and not a claw foot-but elephant foot- tub)
- Aleenta in Phuket, Thailand: Just like a dream: personal access to an infinity pool overlooking the Adaman Sea. Rick and Linn took cooking lessons with the hotel’s Sous Chef to create a three-course Thai meal. (Might we expect them to make a guest appearance in their Circa 1886 kitchen sometime soon?)
Rick and Linn are enjoying the next few months at home in Charleston, SC, where albeit hot, summers are the best on earth. On the weekends, you can spot the duo boating down the Intercoastal Waterway, perusing the Farmer’s Market or taking in an early morning view of the beach along Sullivan’s Island by bicycle.
The Charming Inns of Charleston team is happy to have their fearless leaders back! Stay tuned for the next Summer Travelogue installment: this time, a little closer to home.