10 minutes with: Philippe Zuber

The president and chief operating officer of One&Only on the ultimate luxury travel experience.

Philippe Zuber is the president and chief operating officer of One&Only (All photos: One&Only)

Options: What are the latest, ultra-luxury travel trends today?
Philippe Zuber: In this industry, we see a lot of trends that come and go, but we know our guests want to experience a deeper connection, not only with their travel companions but also with the local communities at the destinations in which they stay.

They are increasingly driven by emotion and connection. People are also conscious about health and wellness. They want to know that when they travel, they can maintain a healthy lifestyle, whether it be their fitness regime, nutrition or overall well-being, which is something we respect and understand. People want to have access to a leading nutritionist or trainer, practise morning yoga, improve mindfulness or simply rejuvenate with an expert spa treatment.

One&Only Reethi Rah is an award-winning resort in the Maldives 

What will One&Only and the Chenot Group offer travellers that they cannot find elsewhere?
One&Only is working with the Chenot Group to create bespoke programmes and experiences that touch on multiple areas of our guests’ stay, including tailored nutritional menus, fitness schedules, targeted spa treatments, stress-relieving activities and more. We will be introducing two different wellness approaches — the Espace Chenot and the One&Only Spa by Chenot, created exclusively for us.

The latter is a unique concept where vitality and energy are the main focus while science-driven Chenot diagnostics and treatments are customised for each guest and are bespoke to the location. Espace Chenot focuses on a more scientific and medical concept created using the revolutionary Chenot Method to detox and reset the body through check-ups, a holistic detox, fitness schedules as well as targeted spa treatments.


With so many travel brands offering new options, how will your company stay on top of the business?
We are very fortunate to have loyal guests with whom we have great relationships and who we talk to regularly. We pride ourselves on understanding the ultra-luxury traveller and what they are looking for. This is also why our people are so very important. They are interacting with our guests on a daily basis and ensure that their needs are being met and, most importantly, exceeded.

It is true intuitive service and we pride ourselves on being able to deliver that. We listen to our guests and, hence, evolved our brand in 2017 with the introduction of nature, urban and private homes. It was feedback from our guests that made us decide to expand our portfolio.



Where the city delivers that tropical feeling… Photo credit: @doriantop

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Will there ever be limits to what people want to see, do, try or experience?
No, I don’t think there will ever be a limit, but I do believe the speed at which technology is evolving can be overwhelming, and this is where I see a limit. People want a seamless experience and, most importantly, ease of travel. But they don’t want to feel that technology has taken over the important human element that makes us all love being in the hospitality industry! Connection and community are key.

How would you define luxury and what do you look for when you travel?
For me, luxury is the ability to explore a destination with my family, to immerse myself in the location and the local culture, but also choice. Luxury is personal and needs to come from the heart, and this is something that I know we offer at One&Only — the guest is at the centre of everything we do!


This article first appeared on June 3, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia. ​


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