Thailand sparked Kelly’s passion for East/West fusion design

Club people • December 2015

My Club: Kelly Hoppen

Interior designer and former Dragons’ Den star Kelly Hoppen is a regular British Airways’ traveller, applying her distinctive design style to projects all over the world. But, as the Gold Club Member tells us, her heart will always belong to Italy

Where’s the most unusual place your work has taken you?
Probably a small town in China. That’s the nature of my work: I’ll be at home and suddenly a call comes through asking me to fly somewhere I would never dream of going. But it’s incredible how the abnormal becomes very normal as soon as you start working somewhere. 

Which destination has inspired you the most?
Everywhere inspires me – my mind is always open. But the place that has stayed with me the most is Thailand. When I first went there, it was the beginning of my passion for fusing Eastern and Western design styles. Everything about the country and culture struck a chord with me.

Where do you love going back to?
If I had to choose one place it would be Italy. I could talk to you for hours about why I love it. The people, the language, the food, the smell, the tastes – I will never tire of visiting.


Which hotel would you like to make your home?
I don’t think I would – I love my home too much. What about making it someone else’s home? For that I would choose La Scalinatella (pictured above) in Capri. It has incredible views and is right on the cliff edge, looking over the most beautiful seas. It’s in a stunning building too and the light is amazing. I would take out the inside and turn it into something extraordinary.

What are your three travel essentials?
Definitely my iPhone and my music. Ben Bridgewater, who co-runs music consultancy Playlister, arranges my music for me. I like to run whenever I am away and I need music for that. Thirdly, my hair products.

Which tier of the Executive Club are you in?
I travel a lot, so I’ve managed to work my way up to Gold. But I always fly in First anyway.

What do you spend your Avios points on?
I normally give them to the kids. They get used, trust me.

Interview by Paul Joseph

This article has been tagged Opinion, Travel Tips