Many years ago, I was on assignment for another magazine, following
hunter-gatherers around Borneo, eating whatever they shot or threw down from
trees. After a week of sleeping in jungle lean-tos, removing leeches, and
slipping in mud, I was definitely not a sight for sore eyes.
Before I even had a chance to change (not that I had any clean clothes left), I flew straight from my jungle base to Kuala Lumpur, where I had
reserved a room at the Ritz-Carlton. With my clothes and backpack covered in
mud and rain, I couldn’t blame the
cab driver’s raised eyebrow when I
told him my destination. I fully expected to have to show my reservation
confirmation—and possibly beg—just to get in the door. Amazingly, no one
blinked an eye. The white glove-clad bellhop hoisted my mud-caked pack onto his
cart, and the check-in staff even offered me a seat on their fancy furniture.
That experience has always stayed with me, which makes the
hotel company’s new platform—“Let us stay with you”—seem pretty spot-on. (Of course, you
have to first stay with them for them to stay with you, but we like a good
The platform comes with an HD video that includes some great
scenic footage, and has its world media premiere today exclusively on
Rich Beattie is Travel + Leisure’s Executive Digital Editor.