Where the Travel Experts Holiday: Juliet Howie of NH Hotel Group

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Juliet Howie

Juliet Howie of NH Hotels

 Juliet Howie is Commercial Director of the Global sales Force within the NH Hotels group having been with them for the last thirteen years.

What do you like to do on holiday?

I always love visiting Spain as it has perfect weather, lovely people, great culture offering amazing food, beautiful beaches and shops. Spain has come a long way since the traditional Spanish fare of paella and with leading chef’s like Paco Roncero (La Terraza del Casino – Casino de Madrid, 2 Michelin stars), Óscar Velasco (Santceloni – Hesperia Madrid, 2 Michelin stars) and David Muñoz (DiverXO – NH Collection Eurobuilding, 3 Michelin stars) is now home to some amazing restaurants and lifestyle hotels. In addition the design culture has really taken off and if you are buying just a small leather wallet or a dress for a ball the choice of individual and multi brands (Zara) is huge and much cheaper than the UK.

Where did you last travel?

Ibiza – glorious beaches, and super chic – something for everyone!!

Do you know where you’re going next?

Next big holiday will be to San Sebastian for a few days and then off exploring the wine caves of Rioja in the Basque country and into the mountains.

Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?

I spent a few days in Toledo, during one very cold, wet and dark January in the UK and the first thing that impressed when I arrived by the super-fast train from Madrid was how sunny and clear the sky was and it was great to sit outside on the top of the hillside by the ancient town enjoying some sunny rays and people watching. Also, from my room of the hotel Hesperia Toledo I could see the Alcázar. It was an extraordinary experience! In addition you can spend hours walking around the little lanes and getting lost amongst very ancient buildings.

Which destination do you wish to travel to but haven’t been there yet?

Chile is big on my radar as the beaches and scenery look amazing and some of the wildlife you can see there both off and on shore. In addition to the fabulous wine they make.

What would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides but which you’ve seen?

Main square, Bogota (Picture by Anna Maria Espsäter)

Main square, Bogota (Picture by Anna Maria Espsäter)

Bogota Columbia is very unique with amazing culture and history surrounded by terrific scenery. There are lovely local people and plenty of places to shop and eat, after a day sightseeing.

How do you plan a vacation? (guidebooks/website/agents/friends etc)

I read a lot of reviews and visit websites in addition to specialist features on places that I am interested in.

In which of the hotels that you’ve been based did you find the most appealing?

The NH Collection Eurobuilding in Madrid. It’s a huge hotel with a great location, however all the staff remember who you are and offer a very personable service. It also has the most amazing Metropolitan Spa for guests to use and fabulous Nespresso coffee machines in rooms, high-tech televisions and professional hairdryers, among other services.

What do you look for in a hotel and why?

I think that the most important things are the location and the rooms. I always want to stay in a big room, in room facilities (good toiletries) with good reviews, with comfortable beds, quality showers and high speed WiFi. And if the hotel offers other services such as gym or spa, it would be perfect! I am looking for a home from home with a touch of glamour.

Which hotel has most excited you and why?

red room Nhow

the interior of a “red” room in the Nhow. Berlin

The nhow in Berlin – a unique design hotel, with a great location by the river and bright pink or blue rooms with very state-of-the-art designs in the rooms but still very comfortable. The hotel was decorated by the prestigious designer Karim Rashid. Also, the hotel hosts two professional recording studios on the roof and provides an “instrument room service”, should I feel like recording a new album (just joking!)

What does NH Hotel Group offer that sets it apart from other hotel chains?

Being an international company with Spanish heritage it opens the door for a very fresh approach to hotel stays. We take each hotel as a very personable experience for our guests and look into very small details such as the very basics, i.e. comfortable beds, good lighting, maximum quality showers or premium amenities and we take it to the next level of making the guest stay a unique and personal visit by recognising them and understanding why they are staying with us – whether it’s to attend a conference, visit a relative or have a short city break – and delivering expectations. Our aim is whenever anyone contemplates a trip to a city for an overnight stay or meeting, for business or pleasure, they will always ask themselves: “Is there an NH hotel at my destination?”

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