Each month we chat to a different luxury travel expert, this month it is the turn of André De Mello a filmmaker and content creator based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Read on to find out more about André his film making business MelloMedia and some of his favourite luxury hotel experiences.
My name is André and I am a filmmaker and content creator based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I left Brazil as a teenager and and went to school in New York City where I lived most of my adult life.
I’ve also lived in Los Angeles and Rome. Today I run my production company MelloMedia and produce television and branded content for various brands and luxury hotels.
Your Instagram profile is really popular and we love following your stories tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the luxury sector?
In the past few years in Brazil, I have produced and directed a television series called “Hotéis Incríveis”(which translates to Amazing Hotels in Portuguese). While working on the series for Brazilian network giant Globosat I had the opportunity to curate and visit over 100 of the best hotels in the world in more than 20 countries. I have also produced and directed a series called Best Winter Resorts where I was able to visit some amazing ski resorts and luxury hotels.
You have stayed at some beautiful hotels, what do you look for in a luxury hotel/resort?
I look for a beautiful location first and foremost and also for places that have an interesting design/ architectural history. I also look for an atmosphere that is peaceful and calm. When I arrive at a hotel I can usually tell a lot about the place right away from the energy of the place and from the staff during the check in process. Harmony, integration and balance between local setting/culture and interior design/F&B offerings are also very important. But, THE most important thing is the way I am treated as a guest from check in until check out which always leaves a long lasting impression on the overall experience.
Tell us about some of your most memorable hotel experiences?
One of the most memorable was at Hotel Des Bergues in Geneva, Switzerland. The hotel sits in a stunning location, it has beautifully decorated suites with breathtaking lake views and has a wonderful rooftop restaurant and an incredible spa. But, what was memorable was the treatment we received from our host and how the entire staff seemed to know my name. I remember we had a coffee with our gracious host and I made a comment on how much I enjoyed the chocolate chip cookie that came with my latte. Minutes later I went to my room and there it was – a generous tray of those delicious cookies.
That could even be expected by a more seasoned luxury expert, but – Over a year later, I agreed to meet with our same host at Geneva airport (I was just passing through this time) to quickly give him a hard drive with copies of some photos and images I had shot at the hotel. To my total surprise he handed me a huge bag with a box of the same cookies I loved so much. That was over one year later. This is a small example of how treatment really is everything and it absolutely what we take form the experience.
Our host was Pedro Deakin who is now the general manager at the Four Seasons George V in Paris.
Hotel Villa Honegg in Ennetburgen near Zurich is also one of my favorite places. I love the history, the attention to detail and caring staff and the sophisticated yet warm atmosphere. One memorable moment for me is when the general manager Peter Durrer was the one who brought me my dinner entree at the table. That to me is such a special touch and shows great commitment to service and that no job is too big or small when it comes to making sure your guests are comfortable.
Which place have you not yet visited that is high on your travel to do list and why?
I’ve never been to Hawaii and every time I see photos I am impressed but the beauty of those islands so I’m excited to visit later this year. I love nature and I think being able to have direct contact with untouched and well preserved nature is becoming more and more of a luxury each day.
What is the single best piece of advice you have ever been given and why?
To treat others as you want to be treated.
Follow André on his Instagram