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January 19, 2006

Arfur Daley’s ’Otel 

Lucire Romania December 2005 coverThe group wants to extend its brand into other properties (see here) by way of or (I know there are differences between the two—I use them in lay terms). I am a sceptic because I am not sure if the Hilton is capable of its .
   In 2003, I stayed at the Hilton in a city that shall remain nameless. The service was five-star, but the rooms were three-star at best. I was given a temporary Hilton Honors card—on thin paper. My toilet has slightly better stock in a roll. ‘The second time you stay at a Hilton,’ said the concierge, ‘we’ll send you a plastic card.’
   I was in at the end of 2003 and had them credit my Hilton Honors number after staying at the Hotel Grand Marina, another three-star joint masquerading as something better. Despite calls to the Hilton in 2003 and 2004, I await my plastic card. After all, I have my one. And cards from a number of other chains.
   A five-star promise, a no-star resolution. So will people be confident after seeing the Waldorf–Astoria endorsement? For apparently it brings with it all the advantages of the Hilton Honors’ system. Pay a whole heap and get a lousy piece of paper about the size of three postage stamps with your name scribbled on it—that is meant to stop you from choosing a Hilton competitor.
   The final irony: when we photographed for Lucire (December issue in ), we could not get her a room at the Hilton. I can’t remember the resolution organized by our director Brad Batory, but I think Miss Hilton eventually stayed at the .
Nice Looking Magazine. Have you changed the cover format? One of the great problems if a magazine is selling through shops is how to maximise both a compelling cover that stands out to be grabbed up and a family look so if I've come in for Lucire, I can spot from 100 others jumbled in the same section.  
Thank you, Chris. It’s the brand that gets us out there and all editions have the same look.  
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