As global brand leader for W Hotels Worldwide, Anthony Ingham travels two days out of three, from Moscow to Doha to Bellevue and all points in between. Here, in our first edition of Road Warrior, we dig into the nuts and bolts of his travel routine — from his latest in-air reading material (not Dan Brown) to his top choice for travel luggage and his favorite airport sushi (notable if you're flying through Atlanta).
What kind of luggage do you use? How happy with it are you?
I use Tumi and Rimowa luggage when I travel. Both offer sleek styles and durable builds, which are musts for business travel. I pack the smallest possible case I can for the time I’m traveling. For me to check, there has to be an extraordinary need.
What's your home airport? What's the best thing, and worst, thing about it?
LaGuardia is my home airport, which is great for the proximity. The worst thing about it is the renovations — it can take me longer to get through to my gate than for me to travel from my place all the way to JFK.
What's your most frequent destination airport?
I don’t have a most frequent destination airport, as I travel all over the world. W now has more than 50 properties spread across the globe, so I have a lot of ground to cover. I do appreciate the airport in Doha — it is an extraordinary piece of architecture. I also love Hong Kong’s airport, although having to get from Gate 1 to Gate 70 can feel like an Olympic test.
What's your favorite airport, and why?
Madrid Barajas Airport is one of my favorites. It has an undulating roof and feels very Spanish, vibrant and full of life. We have a W opening there, in Madrid, in 2019. When I’m in Atlanta visiting any of the three W hotels in the area, there is a restaurant called One Flew South I always stop at — really great sushi.
What airport do you hate to travel through, and why?
Moscow and Saint Petersburg airports are particularly chaotic. It’s always such a fight to get through. There are nearly always intolerable lines, so when traveling to either, you have to arrive about three hours early.
How many days a month are you on the road?
About 20 days of the month is average for me.
With which airlines do you have preferred status?
I have preferred status with Delta, American and United.
Are you PreCheck? TSAPre? What's your best hack for getting through immigration/customs?
I have both PreCheck and Clear, which is amazing. I only recently could do Global Entry, and I love it. When you travel as much as I do, any way to cut down on wait time is well worth it.
How do you spend your time on a plane? Reading? Working? Napping?
Working. My philosophy is sleep when you’re dead, so I never sleep on a plane. I either have to get all my work done on my flight or do it when I arrive. When I get to my destination, wherever that may be, I prefer to spend my time talking with general managers and hotel associates, checking out the competition, trying out bars and restaurants, and doing what our consumers do — explore. I don’t want email to get in the way of experiencing a place to the fullest — that’s the real purpose for traveling after all. So, I work from take-off to landing. I find planes a really easy place to focus. I’m always getting told off as we are landing to close my laptop.
Aisle or window?
Depends on the flight — I prefer window if I’m flying business class, aisle if economy.
What's the last thing you read on an airplane?
The last thing I read on a flight was a consumer trend report on the changing behavior of millennial luxury consumers in China.
What's a must-pack that perhaps many people don't think of?
I always pack an eye mask and an arm band for my iPhone. The armband isn’t part of my everyday look, but it is great to have if you want to listen to music while you’re on the go or working out.
What's your favorite W and why?
Genuinely, there isn’t one. I have different favorites for different things. I love W Shanghai — The Bund because I don’t think the city has ever seen such a vibrant opening. W Verbier, on the other hand, was the first ever ski hotel we built and I worked closely with our team to curate the design and concept. It has really reinvented what a ski hotel could be. I love W Barcelona because it’s an example of build it and they will come. The hotel’s location was a no man’s land, tucked away at the end of a beach, before W arrived on the scene, and it became a hot destination in the city. And I love W Bellevue because it is such a quirky mashup of its lakeside and tech-centric surroundings.