Thursday, February 19, 2009


Saving the Hotel Industry—With Models!

Travel Blog • Alexander Basek • 02.19.09 | 1:13 PM ET

It’s not all Singapore Slings over at Raffles HQ. Nope, they’re also quite proud to have made the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. That’s Raffles Canouan Island behind Bar Refaeli. (OK, it took me a little while to get my eyes off the foreground. Apologies). The hotel is also offering a package simulating the experience the models had, complete with a tour of the property where the shoots took place. Without the models on hand, it doesn’t have quite the same luster, but it’s still an interesting concept.

But is “Bar Refaeli writhed here” reason enough to visit a hotel? Unless you’re a creepy, creepy person, it is not. As nice as Canouan is—that is to say, nice enough to host a of bevy models—Raffles’ get says more about the Swimsuit Issue than anything else. It’s very hard for hotels, especially high-end hotels, to break through these days when the news is mostly bad and super deluxe amenities all start to sound the same. Having a supermodel or two in your back pocket can’t hurt, especially when Americans still stop and pay attention to SI’s annual fleshfest even as the rest of the magazine industry plummets. The lesson here? Make the Swimsuit Issue twice yearly, to save the hotel industry.