Red Carnation Hotels is a luxury collection of accommodations ranging from medieval estates to boutique hotels. // © 2014 Red Carnation Hotels
Feature image (above): An aerial shot of Ashford Castle, Red Carnation Hotels’ most recent acquisition that is located in Ireland. // © 2014 Red Carnation Hotels
Founded by Beatrice and Stanley Tollman in 1984, Red Carnation Hotels (RCH) is a luxury collection of award-winning four- and five-star boutique hotels, with locations in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Africa and Florida. The family-owned chain is composed of 16 hotels, ranging from medieval estates to modern boutique hotels.
According to Terry Holmes, executive director of RCH, each hotel has its own distinct character, which managers are given the freedom to mold. One of the few common denominators, however, is the outstanding style of service found at each location.
“We offer very personalized service,” said Holmes. “Before the guest arrives, they are sent a guest preference form, covering which type of pillow, which type of welcome drink, whether they would like a yoga mat in their room and even what their favorite color is, so they can be accommodated in the appropriate room or suite.”
Holmes also noted that the amazing locations of RCH enable valuable partnerships with local attractions, such as the British Museum, Royal Albert Hall and Historic Royal Palaces. The concierges in London are well-connected and can arrange reservations at top restaurants and shows in the city.
The specialized service of RCH also makes it an ideal option for traveling families. When checking in, children can sign in at the reception along with their parents, giving them a sense of importance and involvement during their stay. Families will find bathrobes, cookies and sweets waiting for them in their rooms (many of which are conjoined). Children are also invited to interact with the staff by visiting the kitchen and baking with the chefs.
As a family-run company, RCH demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility through its close affiliation with The TreadRight Foundation. The nonprofit sustainable tourism organization, established by parent company The Travel Corporation, is dedicated to ensuring the conversation of each hotel location.
“The Red Carnation hotels are located in spectacular places, and it is important that these remain that way,” said Holmes.
A “Green Team” has also been instated in each of the hotels to investigate and contribute to tackling environmental issues, including recycling initiatives and utilization of local food suppliers. Last year, RCH’s Hotel 41 in London saw the unveiling of the Living Wall. The wall is an approximately 3,800-square-foot expanse of ferns and herbaceous plants, designed to capture rainwater from building’s roof and reduce urban flooding.
Most recently, RCH acquired Ashford Castle in Ireland — a 13th-century castle-turned-hotel and former residence of the Guinness family (who are noted for producing Guinness beer). The prestigious property was refurbished by Beatrice Tollman, president of RCH, and her interior design team, just in time for the castle’s 75th anniversary this year.
Combining luxury and service with family-owned charm, Red Carnation Hotels boasts a celebrated selection of intimate and timeless boutique hotels. For the discerning traveler, a stay at any of its exceptional locations is sure to impress.