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27 Jun 2024

The Hotelier Edit: Samantha van Exter, Head of Hotels, Montcalm Collection

The Hotelier Edit: Samantha van Exter, Head of Hotels, Montcalm Collection

The Independent Hotel Show speaks to Samantha van Exter, Head of Hotels at Montcalm Collection, on cultivating an immersive, personalised, and community-oriented atmosphere for an unforgettable guest experience. 


What are the main similarities and differences of hotels within the Montcalm Collection?

As an independent family-owned hotel collection, Montcalm Collection shares a commitment to sustainability, kindness, and exceptional service, with each property reflecting its unique neighbourhood and history. All offer refined dining, inspiring art, striking architecture, and modern wellness amenities. Differences lie in their distinct settings and characteristics: Montcalm Brewery is housed in an 18th-century brewery, Montcalm Marble Arch blends Georgian charm with modern spirit, Montcalm Royal London House occupies the former mid-Century Royal Mail headquarters, and Montcalm East features contemporary design in a unique building.

Inhabit Hotels emphasise wellness and mindfulness, as B Corp hotels, while Montcalm Townhouse and Park Grand Hotels provide boutique experiences in prime locations, together offering a refined and personalised luxury experience of London. Across all we prioritise championing sustainability, nurturing our team, and making guests feel effortlessly at home.


Pictured Montcalm Royal London House bedroom

How would you describe the guest experience at Montcalm Collection hotels?

The guest experience at Montcalm Collection hotels is designed to be immersive, personalised, and community-oriented, catering to contemporary travellers’ values. Guests enjoy wellbeing-focused amenities like yoga and plant-centric nutrition, cultural immersion through local business highlights and masterclasses, and personalised services via digital tools such as hotel apps and virtual concierges. Our hotels emphasise storytelling to connect guests with the neighbourhood and heritage, engage with the community through partnerships and events, and honour tradition with modern twists. Sustainable and artisan design, curated soundscapes, and unique food offerings further enhance the experience, creating a deep sense of belonging and loyalty.

What inspires the design at each hotel? 

The design at each Montcalm Collection hotel is inspired by the rich history of its buildings and local storytelling. From our flagship property in Mayfair set to re-open in Winter 2024, Montcalm Marble Arch blends Georgian elegance with botanical themes, featuring handcrafted furnishings and personalised amenities inspired by historical figures. Our city hotel, Montcalm East, thrives on creativity with an architectural diamond design that pays tribute to op art. Around the corner, Montcalm Royal London House showcases British mid-Century style in the former Royal Mail headquarters, while Montcalm Brewery exudes the charm of its 18th-century Whitbread Brewery origins. In West London our mindful properties, Inhabit Hotels, emphasise wellness, nature, and sustainability blending Scandi, British, and Eastern elements. Montcalm Townhouse and Park Grand Hotels provide boutique stays in coveted settings. Each hotel is a destination in itself; united, they represent the complete London experience.


Pictured: Montcalm East Reception

What is Montcalm Collection's commitment to sustainability?

Montcalm Collection is committed to sustainability, recognising its role in the global tourism industry, and striving for long-term sustainable management. Our hotels focus on reducing their carbon footprint through robust environmental systems, applying circular economy principles in design, fitout, and operations, and partnering with local, sustainable suppliers. Achievements include B Corp certification for Inhabit hotels, Green Key certification for four hotels (with plans to certify more) and replacing single use plastics with reusable alternatives. We use non-toxic, biobased cleaning products, and prioritise sustainable procurement with eco-certified and local enterprises. Collaborations with social enterprises like Belu, Goldfinger, Kalinko, and initiatives like mental health programmes with Self Space, and art curation by Culture A, further highlight our dedication to sustainability and community support.

How does Montcalm Collection engage with the local communities?

Montcalm Collection engages with local communities through cultural programming and mindful partnerships. We collaborate with partners who share our values, such as hosting a ceramics masterclass with London-based artist Freya Bramble-Carter during London Craft Week. Montcalm East, serving as a creative hub, showcases London-made works curated by Culture A, reflecting the local artistic spirit. Additionally, Montcalm East’s partnership with Ravensbourne University features a photographer-in-residence programme, providing emerging artists with a studio space to develop their portfolios and offering guests opportunities to engage with the art and create their own content.


Pictured: Yoga Studio Inhale at Inhabit Queens Gardens

What role does tech play in the Collection's offering?

Technology plays a vital role at Montcalm Collection, ensuring seamless connectivity and personalised experiences for guests. Integrated tech touchpoints offer storytelling, curated playlists, running routes, local dining recommendations, and customised scents. Modern features like 3D virtual tours provide immersive previews of the hotels, while user-friendly solutions streamline operations and enhance the guest experience. This tech-savvy approach caters to contemporary travellers, ensuring each guest enjoys a highly personalised and seamless stay.

Montcalm East - Photo Studio_Mathew Shaw

Pictured: Montcalm East Photo Studio. Mathew Shaw

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