• Image about Horst Schulze

He's the former president of Ritz-Carlton. He's just launched his own posh hotel company. And now he's telling us why he thinks his hotels are going to outluxe all the competition.
Meet Horst Schulze.


Photographs by Sean McCormick.

 

When was the last time you made a hotel reservation and were asked, "How can we make your stay as wonderful as possible?" If all goes according to plan, that's exactly what will happen when you call a Capella Hotel to book a room.

Perhaps you'd like to in-line skate in Central Park at midnight? No problem; they'll arrange it - and send Security along with you.

Do you go absolutely mad for moules marinière? They'll make it for you - and teach you the recipe, if you wish.

Want to visit Roman ruins, see cave paintings, or tour a banana plantation? They'll charter a plane. Have the urge to dine in the kitchen­ of a Michelin three-star restaurant? They'll call the chef.

And what if you don't know what you want? "We'll give you a list of ideas," says Horst Schulze, Capella's founder, president, and CEO.

With fewer than 100 rooms at each property, Capella Hotels & Resorts - named for the alpha star of the constellation Auriga - will offer a level of personalized service that few hotels in the world can match, says Schulze. "The staff will operate as if they had a sixth sense," he proclaims. "From the driver waiting at the airport to the greeting - like you're arriving at a friend's estate - to every element of your stay and departure … [like] giving each guest the kind of pillow he wants. You can't do that in a 300- or 400-room hotel."

Schulze says that Capella will stand out, even in the rarefied world of superluxe lodging. And while a six-star rating doesn't exist, that seems to be exactly what he's shooting for. All Capella hotels will have spas, boutique shopping, and gourmet restaurants; some will have golf courses and/or marinas. Two of the five Capella hotels currently under construction will anchor larger developments that include sole- and fractional-ownership homes and apartments.

But if you can't afford to stay at a Capella hotel, where room rates will likely match existing suite rates at five-star hotels in the same region, you can still experience lodging Schulze-style: He's also creating a second "brand," a company called Solís Hotels & Resorts, designed to appeal to the traditional four- and five-star-hotel guest. Priced "just below the closest competition," Solís (pronounced so-LEES) will target the same customers as upscale chains such as Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and Fairmont.

Think of it as one brand for the haves … and another for the have-mores.