February 29 2008: 2:36 PM EST
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Beauty sleeper

Wolfgang Hültner, 58, CEO - the Americas, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

By Ellen Florian Kratz, Fortune writer

(FORTUNE Magazine) -- Wolfgang Hültner, 58, CEO - the Americas, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Wolfgang Hültner believes in traveling well. "It's worth it," he says. "I couldn't do my job as well if it wasn't for that." Of course it doesn't hurt that Hültner always has a place to crash at one of the 21 luxe Mandarin Oriental outposts around the world. (He's also overseeing new developments in Boston, Mexico, and four other locations.) We checked in with Hültner over drinks at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City.


FAVORITE WAY TO FLY: Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. On Cathay Pacific, I like the cotton Shanghai Tang pajamas.

PHONE GARB: Even though I want to wear shorts and flip-flops like others in first class, I can't do that. I represent my company 24 hours a day. I usually wear a Ferragamo, Hugo Boss, or Zegna blazer.

PREFERRED LUGGAGE: A Tumi wheeled duffel in orange, so I can always find it.

PACKING PROFILE: I take everything. Two big suitcases. I bring suits, golf shirts, black tie, tennis clothes, a tennis racket & But I don't bring my own golf clubs. I rent. I always ask for Callaway or Ping.

BEST NON-MANDARIN HOTELS: The Bristol in Paris. In London the Ritz. Every time I go to other hotel companies, I watch and learn.

TIPS ON TIPPING: If you leave $5 or $10 on the bed for the housekeeper, it is very appreciated. You'd be surprised how few people do that.

SPOTTING A STANDOUT HOTEL: How well kept are the public bathrooms? That's a calling card for a hotel. The other is room service, something hotels don't make a lot of money on. Top hotels do it well, even though it's not a moneymaker.

GOOD EATS IN NEW YORK: I like Daniel. Also Jean Georges. And Café Gray here in the Time Warner Center. In Hong Kong, the Mandarin Grill. It was designed by Terence Conran, who did Quaglino's in London. To me eating is an experience. It's not just about the food.

SHOPPING FIX: Ascot Chang. It's the best shirtmaker in the world, period. I get all of mine made in Hong Kong. For $100 you get a good Egyptian-cloth shirt.

BIZ LUNCH: Silks in San Francisco. I order the Asian chicken salad, won ton soup, and spring rolls. And I always sit at a booth for privacy.  To top of page

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