What are Daniel Boulud’s favorite hotels and why?
There are few hotel companies in the world that have maintained luxury. For example, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons have no other brand than their own brand; they’re only Four Seasons, and they’re only Mandarin. And I think that gives them an opportunity to maintain very high standards. It’s very important to see the way hotels proceed with luxury, what kind of service they bring to their customer and the difference from each company and how they apply their standards of service and their standard of excellence — that is the lesson I like to learn from them. Relais & Châteaux has its own standard, but it’s much more individualistic. Members are all small — 100 rooms or fewer — and must meet the association’s criteria. It’s much more based on the owner of that particular little place. In the end, it’s all about hospitality.
Also, Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles — mostly for the caring attention of its host and owner Jeff Klein, who I think would tuck in every guest if he could.