Eye on Travel

Radio Guest List–Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California–March 2, 2019

Locations in this article:  Los Angeles, CA

This week, Eye on Travel broadcasts from the Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Joining the show are some of the living legends in the travel and hospitality business (and Forbes five-star winners). Peter Borer, Chief Operating Officer of Peninsula Hotels, on his company’s historic win — each of the 10 Peninsula hotels around the world have received a five-star Forbes rating — the first that any hotel group has accomplished. Sheila Johnson, Co-Founder of BET and the owner of the Salamander Resorts on her personal quest for five stars, the struggle to build new hotels, and the disconnect between luxury hotels and…dress codes. Horst Schulze, the Co-Founder of Ritz Carlton, speaks about the history of luxury and how to maintain the standards. Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, reveals the changing metrics of hotel inspections, the 900 rigorous standards behind them, and the real world of undercover hotel inspectors. And Richard Bangs, explorer and the father of modern adventure travel, reports on his recent trip to…Lebanon and why it’s once again — and perhaps surprisingly — become a must-see destination. There’s all this and more as Eye on Travel broadcasts from the Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit in Beverly Hills.


Click here  to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. E-mail him at peter@petergreenberg.com, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).


Mr. Horst Schulze, Author, Chairman and CEO at Capella Hotels and Resorts, Solis Hotels and Resorts, and Co-Founder of Ritz-Carlton, joins the program to talk about the definition of a five-star hotel and the motto that was a determining factor to setting Ritz-Carlton apart. He also discusses the impact his trailblazing work in hospitality has had, who’s following in his footsteps and the individualization that leads to a great hotel.


Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, reveals the changing metrics of hotel inspections and the 900 rigorous standards as well as the world of undercover Forbes hotel inspectors. Filip then breaks down the factors that encompass receiving a five-star rating and how to help hotels succeed. The number of five-star hotel and resorts has grown since last year, but he clears up one common misconception: five-star ratings are not for sale.


Peter Borer, Chief Operating Officer at The Peninsula Hotels, talks about the historic recognition his hotels have just received. Every Peninsula hotel around the world is now a five-star hotel. Peter talks about receiving the accolade and the hard work behind the honorable rating. He argues that the true meaning of luxury is feeling a connection to a person or a brand and for guests to have a choice.


Sheila Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts and Co-Founder of BET, discusses how she went from violinist, to founding a television network, to starting a hospitality business with a five-star hotel and everything in between. She dives into the struggles, the hotel design (and achieving what she wanted) and the importance of the travel industry in local communities. Sheila then talks about dress codes and reveals some of her biggest pet peeves.


Paul Berry, Vice President of Hotel Operations at Aria Resort and Casino, covers the evolution of “luxury” hotels in Las Vegas–from casinos with rooms to luxury resorts with casinos. He addresses that experiences have taken precedence over gambling and talks of a time where the casinos controlled the best, most important rooms at a hotel. And on the topic of rooms, Paul dives into room design and how it has become a significant part of the Las Vegas experience. Then, he reveals its impressive return rate and why he attributes it to a culture of excellence.


Patrick Smith, Airline Pilot, Author & Founder of Ask the Pilot, talks about achievements in aviation, including the Concord’s supersonic flight and what that could mean for cross country and cross Atlantic flights. Although the military is working on stealth fighters, don’t expect to see stealth commercial airlines anytime soon. Then, he breaks down the short-lived A380, which there are only 240 in existence — thanks to its difficulty to land on runways even at the major airports. Now, many of these behemoth planes have been pulled out of service and parked in deserts.


Richard Bangs, Author and Television Travel Personality, discusses his recent trip to Lebanon and why it’s a must-see destination, including its food that has spread across the world. He then talks about his time traveling around Egypt and how most people need to get out of Cairo and into other destinations. A short distance from Cairo, you’ll find Alexandria, which also offers ancient ruins and a new world-renowned library. If you’re going to Egypt, don’t miss the GEM — this new museum has been built at the cost of $2 billion. The museum is working on restoring artifacts that haven’t been seen before, and for $200 you can go behind-the-scenes to see the restorations. What we’ve seen so far of Ancient Egypt is only about 4% of what was found.