January 2015 – New Year Wishes From Hotel Essence Photography
Michelle selected six images from luxury hotels around the world to send photographic New Year greetings. These included images from the following hotels (clockwise from top left):
Frangipani flowers at Le Meridien Hotel Koh Samui, Thailand.
The colonial facade of Raffles Singapore.
In the very heart of American wine country stands one Historic hotel, The Napa River Inn, California, USA.
Newly opened, La Maison Blanche Tangiers, Morocco.
Cocktails by the pool at the Precise Hotel Resort El Rompido, Andalucia, Spain.
Kempinski Bahia Hotel spa, Marbella, Spain.
Photo shoot for La Val Hotel, Brigels, Switzerland
A great start to the year, with a very white New Year in Switzerland. This is the third hotel assignment that Michelle Chaplow and her team have carried out for Hotel La Val Mountain Spa.
Working with a hotel on a continuing basis creates a solidfoundation for photography commissions, as the photographer will gain a deeper understanding not only of the physical conditions of the location such as light and landscapes, but also the marketing goals and requirements of the team, and the style of the imagery required; in return, this historical context will result in higher-quality hotel imagery.
Hotel La Val has two completely distinct seasons – the winter ski season and the summer hiking season, which require very different visual perspectives in the hotel’s marketing collateral. Our first shoot of the year was to document all that´s new and upgraded on the property. A hotel is like a garden – it needs constant tender loving care, and La Val is continually upgrading its installations.
This is one very comfortable winter hotel, and although it was -20c outsideat times, it was so warm and cosy inside that we hardly noticed during the interior sessions. Pre-equipped with all the snow gear, we loved being outside too. Nature is amazing, especially when she covers her Swiss villages, with their church spires and tall pine trees, in pure white driven snow.
The news on the hotel grapevine, confirmed by our shot list, is that La Val has been extended –the hotel has just added two brand new luxurious duplex apartments to its collection: the Capricorn Suite and the Da Tgamin Suite. We documented the two new apartments architecturally, including lots of our signature Essence details, hot chocolate on the balconies, brandies, delectable Swiss chocolate. The balconies have views to the village of Brigels with a backdrop to the Swiss Alps – picture-postcard country.
With legendary chef Rudolf Möller heading the kitchen, food photography is always on the shot list, and on this occasion we also ventured out to the local cheese factory to obtain those wonderful geographical identifiers. Hotels that invest not only in photography of their establishment, but also their local environment, will entice new guests through their doors – and remind the old ones why they need to return.
It is a privilege for a crew to “know” the hotel first-hand from previous photo assignments and we feel proud to return.
A very enjoyable photo shoot and a great start to the year.