#CatchOnCurates: Travel in Style with Simon Rawlings of David Collins Studio

HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL

#CatchOnCurates: Travel in Style with Simon Rawlings of David Collins Studio

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Since 1985, Simon Rawlings and his team at David Collins Studio have designed some of the world’s most celebrated restaurants, bars, retail spaces and residences. Simon was in Bangkok this week to launch the Studio’s latest project, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, in the city’s iconic MahaNakhon building. Working on projects across the globe, Simon travels a lot and draws inspiration from the places he visits. We ask the on-the-go globetrotter for some inside travel tips.

1. Aside from your passport, what item do you always carry when you travel? I have a mini Rimowa, which was the amenity on Thai airways. It’s stuffed full of cables, adaptors, pointers, any last-minute accessory I may need during a presentation. It goes everywhere with me when I travel on business!

2. What do you wish more people would do when they travel? Be aware of their surroundings. Efficient travel is often hindered by being stuck behind people hogging or holding up escalators and generally not noticing other people around them.

3. What do you wish more hotels would get right? Basic things – designing for daylight, creating mood lighting and providing power sockets – are still not done correctly. Also, I still have not found one hotel anywhere in the world with proper, well-made coffee.

4. What was your most memorable journey? Shortly after I first met [my wife] Joanna, she had a holiday booked to visit family in Barbados. I recklessly used all my air miles to join her for a weekend. It was so worthwhile— lots of fun, and extremely memorable.

5. Who’s your ideal travel companion? My wife and son; they make travel a joy.

6. If you ran an airline, what would you introduce or change? I would completely reinvent the airport lounge experience; they are all really disappointing. The quality, design and vision need a new approach. Not since Virgin at Heathrow, many years ago, has we seen something really unique. Qatar in Doha and Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong have made a good impression, but there is still a long way to go.

If only all the food was as good as Neil Perry is doing in LAX Qantas lounge; they have a self-service juicer at the One World lounge – I love this touch. Gyms would also be great.

7. What frustrates you when travelling? Airplane cleanliness leaves a lot to be desired and not all flights serve espresso. I also question the unnecessary announcements that are made hours before landing. Why?

8. What’s a little-known secret about traveling in comfort? Slip on shoes and fresh underwear when you land. I always change clothes to sleep, and it’s lovely to get dressed with fresh twirl, socks and boxers.

9. The best remedy for jet lag is… I don’t suffer from jet lag. I just switch to the new zone and never nap.

Paul Calder

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