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STORIES Founder, Tonya Kidd-Beggs caught up with Tanya Rose, Founder of Mason Rose to chat all things luxury travel, worldwide PR & digital influencing.

At STORIES we love hearing other people’s stories, can you share with us a little a bit about YOUR story?
My journey into the luxury travel industry began after school, when I lived in Paris for 5 years. There, I worked for Peter de Savary on the opening of St James Club Hotel. Upon returning to London, I was lucky enough to get a job at the Savoy group of hotels, where I worked for seven years as Head of Sales and Marketing. My working life was surrounded by a bounty of luxury, celebrity, and glamour and I could not help but fall in love with the world I was inhabiting. Later on, in 1993, I set up Mason Rose with my best friend.

Where did your passion for luxury travel begin?
I was lucky enough to grow up in Gstaad where the Palace hotel was my teenage playground. I was Dancing at Green Go on a nightly basis during the school holidays and it was great fun rubbing shoulders with Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Sellers, Roger Moore and Omar Sheriff. Naturally, moving in such a glamorous world ignited my passion for luxury travel.
How did you start your career as a leading travel specialist and communications expert?
I travelled to Paris after Gordonston to perfect my French with a view to go to Lausanne hotel management school the following year. Sadly, my father died during this time so I had to get a job in a hotel. Having worked in every department from chambermaid, reception and restaurant hostess, I ended up as Head of Sales and Marketing at The St James Club and had the most wonderful 5 years in Paris.

Tell us about Mason Rose?
My best friend Sarah Mason and I set up Mason Rose in 1993. Having been Head of Sales and Marketing at the Savoy Group, I had forged many meaningful connections in the hospitality world. When I approached the Bel Air in LA, the Carlyle in New York, the Bristol in Paris, and the Palace Hotel in Gstaad and The Baur Au Lac in Zurich to ask if they would like to be clients of a new agency, they all leapt at the opportunity. It is our 30th anniversary this year and we can proudly say that we represent fifty of the most prestigious luxury hotel brands around the globe. Our USP is that we have a 360 degrees approach, which attends to the hotels’ sales, marketing, and PR requirements.

What are your top tips as a successful CEO & Founder?
The most important thing in running a business is doing something that you love so it doesn’t feel like work. I also believe that surrounding yourself with a wonderful team is crucial for creating a successful work environment. I am lucky to have a fabulous Managing Director Maria Pajares who is totally different from me and we split our roles very evenly. She always say that I am the spritz and she is the spreadsheet. She has worked with me for 15 years so I think we must be doing something right!

How important is a digital influencer in today’s market?
Probably the most important shift in PR in the hospitality realm is the rise of the digital influencer. We are currently creating a digital department at Mason Rose which concentrates on social influencers, marketing partnerships and creating content around those two areas. We are approached daily by a plethora of influencers, and it is our priority that we match the hotels that we represent to a suitable influencer.

Where is your favourite top 3 luxury destinations? Where is your favourite UK luxury stays?
South of France, Saint Paul de Vance. I spend the whole of August at La Colombe d’Or.
Sardinia - Forte Village is the ideal destination for a family holiday. Annually, we go there with my family & step- children and grandchildren. There are always between fifteen - twenty of us in total.
Lake Constance - At the Beginning of each year, I spent two weeks fasting on Lake Constance at Buchinger Wilhlemi.

When thinking of my favourite U.K destinations,
The Cotswolds immediately comes to mind. I would choose Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire any day, from queen Carole Bamford’s Daylesford Organic and her pubs and to Soho Farmhouse. I also adore the entire Farncombe Estate, comprising Dormy House, The Fish and Foxhill Manor and also there's the delightful Barnsley House which used to be Rosemary Verey’s private home and is now a wonderful hotel with a village pub near Bibury.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in PR & Luxury Travel?
I give the same advice to anyone who comes to me for tips on travel and PR. Do something you love so it doesn’t feel like work. Also to ensure that you enjoy travelling, meeting people and write well. I would rather employ someone with the right attitude than experience as you can’t teach someone to have a good attitude and be helpful and willing but you can teach PR skills.

Do you have one travel tip you swear by?
It’s not about the hotel/ resort you’re going to but also about the coffee shop around the corner. Get under the skin of the destination and find out where the locals go.
Coming soon… Travel Secrets The Podcast: where the locals go. I will be me sharing my travel tips with celebrities and my well- travelled friends. Watch this space.

Do you have a favourite scent that takes you to your most favoured destination?
My name is Rose, so, of course , the pure scent of a rose has always been my favourite and transports me to Grasse in the south of France where I spend the summer every year.  I have now been wearing STORIES Nº.02 since lockdown when I was fortunate enough to be gifted some by the lovely Tonya, before that I wore the same perfume since I was 15 so that is saying something!

What are you top 5 beauty travel essentials?
  • I swear by the Brazilian hair treatment before I go abroad because I have very frizzy hair and it tames the curls in the heat.
  • A spray tan by the Little City Spa who come to my house to do it, so I go on holiday tan and come back pale.
  • I adore the Trinny London stacks of makeup because they are small and easy to pack and the products themselves give you a natural glow.
  • Dr Barbara Sturm Summer Kit - keeps my skin hydrated during the hotter season.
  • Lancaster sun cream and Tan Maximiser that I’ve been using for years - haven’t found a better sun-care product.
Mason Rose | Sales, PR, Digital, Partnerships - hotel, travel, luxury lifestyle

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