avatar for Mark Ellwood

Mark Ellwood

British-born, New York–based Mark Ellwood has lived out of a suitcase for most of his adult life. Mark writes regularly about luxury, including cocktail culture, for the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Departures and Condé Nast Traveler, where he is a contributing editor.

He has interviewed the world’s oldest supermodel (she’s 75 and counting), trekked to a $10bn art island in rural Japan that looked like a Bond villain’s lair (he brought his own white cat) spent a weekend in an all-psychic town (and yes, they did know he was coming, because he called)

Favorite assignments have included misbehaving in the nightclubs of Maputo in Mozambique with Europe’s twentysomething jetset, watching the cowboy poets of Wyoming rap by the campfire, and spending a weekend trawling through the menswear stores of Tokyo trying to find something large enough to fit.

Mark is also the author of Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World, which explores our culture’s snowballing obsession with deals and discounts, from Prada to Primark.

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, July 23

12:30pm CDT

No Reservations - Hotel Bars Old and New
When you think of the Golden Age of the Cocktail, many of the names of the bars we revere are not so much bars as bars within hotels - the American Bar, the Old Waldorf Astoria, the Caribe Hilton, and many more. Even the renaissance of the cocktail was fueled in large part by bars like the Met in London, and the trend spread around the globe fueled by a jet set of cocktail lovers and the bartenders who served them. The 21st Century traveler wanted the same standard of drinks, and service, whether they were in San Francisco or Sydney or Seoul, and top bartenders were recruited from cocktail capitals to bring that standard to far flung fields. But the Hotel Bar is both consistent and continually evolving. What makes a great Hotel Bar, and a great Hotel Bartender?  Our well travelled panel of hotel insiders and regular guests - Josh Wagner of the Edition Group, Erik Lorincz of the Savoy Hotel, Chris Lowder of Charles H in Seoul, travel writer Mark Ellwood, together with bar industry veterans Simon Ford and Jacob Briars - will take you on a journey through time and place. From the early hotel bars where Willard and Thomas plied their trade, to the Gilded Age, the Golden Age, the Jet Age and beyond, learn how the Hotel Bar took the Cocktail across America and around the world.  We will explore what makes a great hotel bar, go behind the scenes to explore the constraints and challenges of bringing great cocktails to life in a Hotel environment, and explore how the Hotel Bar is evolving to serve a new generation of travelers, and what that means for young bartenders who aspire to work in this incredible part of the industry, and learn the secrets of successful hotel management. We will explore how hotel operators like the Ace are making the bar the central part of the hotel experience, and how some bar owners are taking the logical next step, and opening hotels themselves. And we'll reveal the Hotel Bars we think set the standard today and in years to come.


Twitter Feed