Morgan's at the desert - La Quinta Resort and Club
Great luxury real estate personal and company branding is all about telling a great story that engages your target market, establishing trust by building credibility and sparks word-of-mouth advertising. High net worth consumers are interested in knowing about your history, your roots; they want to know about your provenance. Here is a story within a story, within a story about personal and company branding that exemplifies the added value of provenance.
Recently, we had the privilege of staying at one of the most storied California hotels, La Quinta Resort & Club, the longest running resort in the Palm Springs area. It originally opened in 1926 as a quiet hideaway for the Hollywood elite – including film legends Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Frank Capra and Clark Gable; and today is a host to a number of other celebrities. During our stay many of the world’s top tennis celebrities were there for the ATP Tournament, which took place in the adjacent town of Indian Wells.
When we booked our stay we had the choice between La Quinta Resort & Club and the Hyatt Indian Wells Resort & Spa. Both have golf courses, a spa, and a signature restaurant. Both are in the same price range. The Hyatt, a multi-story building with a giant pool, has a very contemporary, austere design. In our opinion, it lacks charm, warmth and character. La Quinta Resort is a legendary getaway with unattached Mediterranean style haciendas (no more than two stories). It has 41 individual smaller pools, each with hot pools with water jets, this, in addition to a large pool adjacent to the spa and tennis stadium.
Although, La Quinta Resort & Club retains its own brand identity, it is one of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, now a sub-brand of Hilton Hotels. The original Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York was the first hotel to offer room service, which changed the industry completely. It was also influential in advancing the status of women, who were admitted singly without escorts. Can you get the sense of La Quinta’s provenance and the added value that a heritage brand can provide?
People can have provenance, too. And, that is one reason why personal branding is so important. As a luxury real estate marketing professional, you must clearly let your target market know what you stand for so they can quickly assess if you are a match to their personal values.
During our stay, we dined at the signature restaurants of both La Quinta Resort and Club (Morgan’s in the desert) and at the Hyatt Resort and Spa (Lantana). The food at both restaurants was excellent. But, Morgan’s, (magnificently remodeled to reflect its history), offered a remarkable dining experience with exceptional service and a menu that was masterminded by a celebrity chef.
Chef Jimmy Schmidt is a one-man-brand who has his own provenance. In 1977 he became executive chef and executive general manager of the London Chop House in Detroit, where he became one of the first chefs to win Cook’s magazine’s 50 Leaders in American Food and Wine Awards (which was later renamed the James Beard Awards). He then moved to Denver in 1985 to open his first Rattlesnake Club, for which he was nominated for the James Beard “Best Chef Southwest” and “Best New Restaurant” Awards.
Chef Schmidt is one of the pioneers of “Farm-to-Table” dining. He sources the best local products to create deliciously simple, rustic and healthful dishes at Morgan’s. We enjoyed his Pistachio Crusted Rack of Colorado Lamb immensely.
The history, the physical setting, the architecture, the celebrity chef, the service and the ambiance all contribute to the personal and company branding stories of La Quinta Resort & Club. Watch for Part 7 of this article series where we showcase two market-leading luxury real estate professionals in Santa Barbara who have established their unique provenance as part of their personal brand story.
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