MADE BY MEMBERS • February 2022
He may be the George Clooney of hotel hospitality, but the most impressive thing about Michael Bonsor has to be his Gold Member-worthy travels. The dapper managing director of Rosewood London sits down with The Club to talk doing business in First, sharing an elevator with Piers Morgan and what Rosewood is up to next
Tell us about your Executive Club journey
I’ve been a Member of the Executive Club for many years, and Gold, I believe, for the last seven. I remember that golden moment when the card arrived in the mail – I was very happy to make it and then thought, well, I better start booking some flights!
Favourite thing about flying with us?
The recognition from the staff, whether it’s Terry at JFK or the team at Heathrow – you guys know who you are! It’s the people that make the difference, and when you’re Gold you can really see and feel those extra touches. The oneworld® network is also a major bonus and means I can connect to most destinations and collect Tier Points and Avios from the whole trip.
Any tips for those looking to make Gold?
Be clever with your trips: if you have time, stop over en route to your destination and you can easily start earning double Tier Points, sometimes at no extra cost. For instance, when flying to Los Angeles, I’ll likely stopover in New York – earning twice the points. In addition, take advantage of partner airlines for overseas domestic flights. I’m on American Airlines as much as I am on British Airways and earning points across both.
New York’s Upper East Side
Which route can we find you on the most?
It has to be London to New York. I used to live in Manhattan and, as a result, we have many friends in the city, plus I travel there on business, too – easily six or seven times a year. We’re also blessed to have our glamorous sister hotel there – The Carlyle on the Upper East Side. At no other hotel could I say I shared a very small elevator with Tom Ford and Piers Morgan (we all left the hotel at the same time to catch the British Airways flight back to London!).
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Aisle or window seat?
Window, daydreaming into the clouds.
Which is your favourite cabin, and why?
It has to be First. It’s always a treat and I never take it for granted, from the peace and quiet of the Concorde Room and the exceptional Concorde team, to the personal service on board. It starts, and indeed ends, any trip perfectly. I have also made some of my best connections while on board and have even ended up meeting some of our best clients in this cabin.
Best advice for a stress-free in-flight experience?
Where possible, I try to fly long haul on a weekend so that there is less email traffic and I don’t have to be glued to my phone on Wi-Fi while on board, or have to attend any urgent meetings once I land. Choosing the right seat is, of course, vital, as my time on board is often my only moment of solitude and reflection before I hit the ground running again!
Any top sleeping tips?
For almost guaranteed sleep on board, I can recommend Dreem Distillery CBD Night Drops – the best sleep hands down!
What are your three carry-on essentials?
I’ll always pack a dark suit and overnight essentials in my cabin bag, as I am normally off the flight and straight into a meeting. Otherwise, it’s my Apple AirPods Max headphones and SkinCeuticals hyaluronic serum.
What does a day in your life look like?
I can be welcoming guests and meeting with clients in the morning, deciding on a new advertising campaign before lunch, interviewing potential new team members in the afternoon and speaking with the press, setting multi-million-pound budgets and reviewing the business performance – all in a day’s work! And, typically, things don’t end there, as there are always clients to entertain and dinners to attend.
Anything Rosewood fans should look out for this year?
We have 35 new openings on the way, so many things! Most recently, we opened Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid, Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth and then Rosewood São Paulo – which are all truly stunning. In the summer we’ll have Rosewood Vienna set in the most beautiful historic building in the heart of the city, plus there’s a new members’ club called Carlyle & Co, with the first club already open in Hong Kong and more locations to be announced!
Which is your favourite hotel in the world, and why?
The Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, so chic – all of the Parisian style with a modernity that makes it edgy and cool. I love the intimate courtyards, the super sexy Les Ambassadeurs bar and its fantastic spa.
Upstairs at Langan’s Brasserie (photograph by Cristian Barnett)
Favourite London hangouts?
The reincarnation of the infamous Langan’s Brasserie and the (invitation-only) jewel box of a club that is Upstairs at Langan’s (pictured above). Louie on West Street is still burning hot since its opening (sit in the first floor restaurant and head upstairs later for cocktails) and, of course, Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London for some late-night negronis and live music.
Favourite leisure destination?
Recently, Mexico. Stay a week on both coasts. Cabo, on the Pacific with breathtaking desert landscapes and endless beaches, is a hotspot for the LA crowd – you’ll want to book at Las Ventanas al Paraíso. Meanwhile the east coast, especially the town of Playa del Carmen, has a totally different vibe. Stay in Mayakoba, where there is a fabulous Rosewood hotel and take a boat to the boho escape of Isla Holbox, which is fast becoming the next destination to be seen in.
Top of your travel bucket list?
Japan, for sure. I have had a few missed opportunities to be there and now more than ever I am really missing the region. I once saw images of a friend’s trip a few years ago of the cherry blossom in Yoshino – truly spectacular.
How do you collect and spend your Avios?
I collect in any way I can – unfortunately/fortunately my British Airways American Express Credit Card gets quite a workout each month! And I’ve just splurged some Avios on a Reward Flight to the Maldives. Hoping I’ll be on board very soon!
To find out more about what benefits await you at Gold, click here