+ Horst Schulze
Veteran hotelier Horst Schulze, the president and CEO of West Paces Hotel Group, tells JENNIFER CHEN what makes up the ideal hotel for him
Published on Sep 21, 2010
My favorite place? That’s kind of difficult because when you travel as I do, more than 200 days a year, your favorite place becomes home. But offhand, there are two spots that I love: one is Bali, and of course, the Ayana resort [managed by West Paces]. It’s totally private, and, on the other hand, it offers a lot of activities. The word “ayana” in Sanskrit means “place of refuge,” and that’s what it is. When you travel, and there’s so much stress in your life, that’s what you look for: a retreat.
At the same time, you have to be allowed to connect to other people: it’s not just a hideaway, but also a place of connection. I like connecting to the culture of the place where I am, and Bali has a wealth of culture, tradition and history. It’s got plenty of local color—unique artistic and cultural traditions—but it’s also very global at the same time.
Closer to home, I like Mexico and, in particular, the Capella Pedregal [also managed by West Paces]—for similar reasons. It’s got culture and an exotic history. It’s fulfilling—it’s not just a good beach. And it’s a place where you can really connect with other people. You always need a buzz: say you’re at a restaurant and there’s only one table with people besides your own. You’ll probably notice that the people at that table tend to whisper because they feel shy—there’s not enough people to create a sense of belonging.
I’ve met some wonderful people during my stays in these two places. Once when I was in Bali, I met a couple and it turned out that they came from my hometown in Germany. I’m traveling there and we’re planning to meet up again. These experiences add spice to a vacation. You expand as a human being when you meet others.