In 2015, former Morgans Hotel Group executives David Bowd and Kevin O’Shea launched Salt Hotels. The new brand was born of a vision to marry the intimate service levels of bed-and-breakfasts and local inns with the modish design of lifestyle hotels.
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Today, the portfolio consists of five boutique hotels across the Northeast, with an eye to expand to New York City, Texas, London and the Caribbean. In the meantime, Salt Hotels is already working with travel agents. Here, Founder and CEO David Bowd talks about how the brand works with travel retailers and what they need to know to sell these intimate boutique hotel experiences.
TravelPulse (TP): What makes Salt Hotels unique?
David Bowd (DB): With us, it’s personal. Both Kevin and I touch every part of the hotel design, development, operations and experiences, both employee and guest. When it comes to recruitment, we employ primarily local talent so they have the best knowledge of the neighborhood and how they can delight guests with a great local experience.
In terms of the design aspect, we focus everything on the guest experience—nothing is created because it just looks good. The beds are custom, the sheets are truly luxury, the lighting is amazing (for all scenes), the showers are powerful and the power is where you need it.
TP: What does the future hold for the company?
DB: We are very excited with how far the company has come in just a few short years and we have some very exciting hotels coming in the next few years—including London and another U.S. gateway city as well as a couple of luxury resort properties. The pace we are growing at really allows us to still be intimately involved in every part of the creation of the hotel and the culture of the entire hotel.
TP: How does Salt Hotels work with travel agents?
DB: Great timing as we have just employed a new Corporate role heading up our Travel Agent relationships who started in early September. Another great part of our expansion is the fact that it’s allowing us the opportunity to attract top talent within the industry. We have attended ILTM, LE Miami and some other trade shows where we get the opportunity to talk directly with travel agents and with our new sales team I expect that to significantly increase.