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Your Service is Our Greatest Souvenir
Ginny Petrovek

Chief Enthusiast

Canopy by Hilton Portland Waterfront

Portland, Maine

As Ginny shows me the retail wall in the lobby, she’s also sharing the stories behind each product. Her excitement for someone else’s ideas and art reminds me of something my grandmother always used to say: “You can tell the mark of a good person by how they celebrate the success of another.”

I wasn’t given a hotel tour to fulfill a duty. The details of the hotel, like the retail wall, aren’t there to simply fill space. There’s a personalization and passion that is evident in every nook and cranny. Every anecdote passed on by Ginny.
Prior to taking my daughter to Hawaii for the first time, I gushed to her all of my knowledge and love for the island where I once lived. Alex, 9 at the time, had her own agenda: making leis, dancing hula and learning more about “saving the reefs.”
Mac Kee France

Director of Guest Experiences

Four Seasons Resort Nevis

Nevis, West Indies

Mac Kee France was a part of the welcoming crew who met my water taxi at the Four Seasons Resort pier in Nevis. He is a stylish man who would probably tell you his best accessory is his shoes but it only took a moment for me to realize it was actually his smile that was most recognizable.

“He’s basically the mayor of Nevis,” Mac Kee’s colleague told me.
In 2016, it was announced that the palace had been sold and would be turned into a hotel. Laci bácsi dreamed of working there and, in 2019, while it was under construction, he saw an ad for jobs at the castle. With the possibility of his dream coming true, he became nervous. He thought that maybe at 61, he was too old. “You don’t see too many older waiters. Who would want me?” he says, explaining his apprehension.
Larry and Bunny

Innkeepers

The Great Bear Inn

West Glacier, Montana

We were tired and cold, and our map was leading us in circles around the park. When we finally found some campers, our car bottomed out trying to make it down the rough road. It was getting dark when we pulled up to what was, potentially, a place to camp –– but it didn’t feel right. I knew that if we stayed there I wouldn’t sleep that night, instead I’d be listening for footsteps or howls.
Jason Bass

Director of Culture and Impact

Hotel Revival

Baltimore, Maryland

“There are a lot of things out there that you can do that give you a sense of purpose,” Bass says. “But this one went somehow beyond that. It really felt like you’re making an impact immediately. Because you see it immediately. People who are hungry could come and grab food. Everyone was so grateful and appreciative and kind.”
Jimmy and Noreen

Innkeepers

County Kerry, Ireland

The bed-and-breakfast, built by proprietor Jimmy Bruic, opened for business in 1997. It is painted bright pink; one guest likened the shade to Pepto Bismol, and Jimmy’s wife Noreen jokes that it may be visible from the moon. In any event, it is impossible to miss, a beacon for hikers and other visitors to the area, which, Jimmy says, is the point of the pink.
“I wholeheartedly believe that art has an inextricable link to place and culture,” Adia says. “It can be another touchpoint for insight into a new place. Art in particular, be it historical or contemporary, is such a beautiful catalyst for conversation and expansive thinking. Reading a history book or travel guide is one way to immerse yourself in a new place or culture, but seeing the art of that place is something more—something profound.”
A day of cycling the valleys of Cappadocia, Turkey, had wiped us out and we’d decided to make camp early in one of the region’s many caves. The region is renowned for its beautiful canyons and wonderful rock formations, known as fairy chimneys. Especially at sunrise and sunset, the natural colors and ambiance of the region is truly unbelievable. This cave stood out to us as a wonderful overture into the natural world.
I was told there was only one way to get to the legendary Chimaera on Mount Olympos: Taxi. And an expensive ride at that …

Until a few years ago, I used to live in Turkey and took the opportunity to travel extensively around the country. One of my favorite destinations was Antalya.
In December of 2019, I returned to Mexico for the sixth time that year. You might say I was on a journey toward “living my best life.” Craving excitement and adventure in La Paz off the coast of Baja, my early morning endeavors no longer involved teaching in a classroom but becoming a student myself. After wiggling into my wetsuit, alongside a small group of girls doing the same, we hopped into a boat with exhilaration and trepidation for what was to come.
When my parents celebrated 30 years of marriage a few years ago, I wanted to gift them something special. An avid traveler and advocate of the “experiences rather than things” mentality, I decided to book them a few nights at a nice hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, where they had honeymooned three decades prior.
Before I even checked in at Lotte Hotel Seattle, the city’s newest luxury property from Korea’s largest hotel group, marketing manager Garam Kim reached out via email to welcome me. Sometimes these emails can seem perfunctory, but Garam’s struck me as remarkably genuine. When I arrived, she seemingly teleported to the lobby from her office to greet me with a chic bonhomie so radiant that I could feel her smile even behind her mask.
When I first started visiting the country of Georgia, I would have nights when I would cry myself to sleep because there were just so many stray dogs on the streets of Tbilisi.

But meeting pillars of the Tbilisi hospitality industry, Lida Vardania and Mamuka Maisuradze, gave me hope. In fact, what sold me on Georgia was the generosity of the people I met along the way. Perhaps that’s why I have been traveling to Georgia six times a year …