One-on-One With CHI Hotels & Resorts Managing Director and CEO Tony Potter

Travel Agent had the opportunity to meet with Tony Potter, CEO and managing director of CHI Hotels & Resorts (the operating company for Corinthia Hotels), and to talk with him about where the company is heading in the wake of the new London hotel.

“We’ve signed some business in New York this week,” he said, but would not elaborate on what kind of Gotham hotel Corinthia might make—or where in the city it might be. Beyond New York, Potter said that the brand was looking to develop a property in Paris much in the way the London hotel came into being.

That hotel, which opened several months ago, is finally fully complete now that the last 10 suites have debuted. “We’re being very delicate, very precise,” he said in regards to each step of the Corinthia London’s growth. “There are some operating challenges,” he acknowledged. “We’re in a great location, but people don’t understand that.” To that end, he laughed, he often tells people that the hotel is “next door to the Savoy”—and indeed, the two properties are a very short walk apart.

New properties are also in the works in Sicily—a golf hotel in Taormina and a partnership with Wyndham in Catonia. (Potter hopes to bring more business to Malta, the brand’s home base, via neighboring Sicily.)

Notably, Corinthia has been able to find some unexpected success thanks to the Arab Spring (which has extended well into fall). New rooms have been added to the brand’s Tripoli hotel, which has been housing journalists covering the political drama in Libya. Potter believes that once the journalists depart and the new government is solidly in place (and the no-fly zone is lifted), the hotel will attract plenty of leisure travelers once again.

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