Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: John M. Scott III
Occupation: President & Chief Executive Officer, Belmond Ltd.
Hometown: San Francisco
College major: I hold a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College.
Short bio: John Scott has been President and CEO of Belmond since November 2012. Belmond is a collection of 45 hotel, river cruise and luxury rail businesses delivering luxury travel experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring and authentic destinations. Mr. Scott is an experienced owner and operator of luxury hotels who previously served as President and CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, where he oversaw a portfolio of 17 ultra-luxury hotels located in seven countries. Prior to joining Rosewood Hotels in 2003, Mr. Scott served for seven years as a partner and Managing Director for the private equity real estate investment group, Maritz, Wolff & Co., having previously held senior management positions in strategic planning and business development at The Walt Disney Company and the Interpacific Group Hong Kong.
How often do you fly? I spend about 60% of my time away from London on the road, divided between long-haul trips and quick trips to Europe and North America.
How many countries have you been to? Around 30.
How many continents have you been to? All of them!
Favorite American city: San Francisco—I grew up there and always love to return for its sheer beauty, great restaurant scene and accessibility to great outdoor activities.
Favorite international city: London.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Favorite airline(s): Since moving to London two years ago, I have been a frequent flyer with British Airways. They have good business class seats and the lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 is great for enabling you to get work done before you fly.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 777.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite U.S. airport: Dallas.
Favorite international airport: London Heathrow.
Favorite hotel: Apart from Belmond’s own, I would say The Carlyle—because it is a quintessentially New York hotel experience with an exceptional sense of place.
Favorite travel credit card: BA Amex card.
Favorite island: Mallorca.
Favorite beach: Punta Maroma on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
Favorite bar: Bar “21” at New York’s “21” Club.
Favorite fruit: A kiwi—my wife is from New Zealand!
Favorite food: Salmon.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water—I drink lots of it.
Favorite travel movie(s): Sideways (all that Californian wine!).
Favorite travel show(s): The hotel junkie in me loved Richard E. Grant’s Hotel Secrets that was on Sky recently. He really got under the skin of what makes a hotel great.
Favorite travel book(s): I like to use the “Wallpaper* City Guides” when exploring a new destination.
Right now I am reading: Patrick Lencioni—”The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: For inspiration and great imagery, UltraTravel. For getting it from the consumer perspective, HotelChatter. For a great read, our new Belmond magazine.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! We relaunched belmond.com at the same time as our our brand migration to Belmond in March 2014 and I find it a great resource for planning my trips. More than just an online directory, it highlights areas of expertise that are defining features of Belmond destinations—our unique ability to curate journeys between our properties, and our expertise in tailor-made celebrations.
5 things you bring on a plane:
- A Mophie battery case to extend the life of my phone
- Movies downloaded onto my iPad
- Reading material like The Wall Street Journal or Financial Times—I confess I am somewhat old school and still like the feel of a paper
- My luggage—I always do carry-on if I can
- Music—my daughter just got me into Spotify
What do you always seem to forget? I like to run every day but do on occasion forget my running shoes. I was saved once by the young concierge at Belmond Charleston Place in South Carolina, who on hearing my predicament, called my secretary to find out which kind of shoes I usually used and my size. He went out that evening and got me a pair of my preferred Asics, so that I could run the following morning.
What do you like least about travel? Being away from my wife and three children, but they often join me on my business trips when school schedules allow.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Dress shirts from the Harrods store at Heathrow.
Favorite travel app(s): The Financial Times’ How to Spend It magazine has a great app.
Worst travel moment: I was recently traveling to Belmond La Residencia in Mallorca with several of our executive team. I elected to fly with the lost-cost airline because the flight was only two hours and the schedule was much better than the full-service alternative airline. One hour and 45 minutes into the two hour flight, the pilot announced that we had to turn back to London because of a minor mechanical issue that they didn’t have a part for in Mallorca! We were all pretty irate that the airline would not take care of their guests and land in destination (this was not a safety issue) and instead focused on their costs/economics of having to fly the part to Mallorca. This was a clear example of the difference in customer focus between no frills/low cost and standard airlines. As a result I will avoid at all low cost/no frills in the future. You get what you pay for in life! As a seasoned traveler, whose time is important, I should have known better.
What’s your dream destination? I love to heli-ski—I have done it in Canada and Alaska, but would love to try it in Europe.
Favorite travel charity: Go Campaign which give opportunities to children around the world.
Best travel tip: Sign up for Global Entry.