armchair traveler diaries Armchair Traveler Diaries: Aaron Kaupp’s Dispatch from London

Armchair Traveler Diaries: Aaron Kaupp’s Dispatch from London

The regional vice president and general manager of Carlton Tower Jumeirah – a classic property in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood, currently being restored by the Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts group and set to open this autumn – is dreaming of sunny destinations and carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with him everywhere he goes. 

What is life like for you right now?
I’m currently at home in London, and life is challenging like in every other country. We’re all just waiting to get some kind of normalcy back, which includes being able to see family.
Where are you working these days?
In order to stay sane, I try to split my week between working alone out of the office, which is a temporary office adjacent to the under-construction hotel (the good thing is I have magnificent views of Cadogan Gardens and Sloan Street) and working from home.

What’s your typical day like now?
Honestly, it’s just as busy as before the pandemic. I’m still focused on the re-opening of the iconic Carlton Tower, but now I’m dealing with the new challenges that come with today’s world, and deciding on how we will operate once we can open.

Springtime in London’s Hyde Park. 
Springtime in London’s Hyde Park. 
Photo by Vladislav Zolotov/Getty Images
What do you do to stay sane?
I love going on long walks in Hyde Park or Battersea Park at the end of my day – obviously gloved and masked up and making sure I always have my bottle of hand sanitizer with me.

What are you watching, reading, listening to?
I haven’t had much time on my hands. However, I did start re-reading Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze as a reminder of what our industry was like and what I hope it will be again. This book reminds me of why I became such a passionate hotelier. I binge-watched The Last Dance, which is actually very motivating in these times, with its message to never give up!

What travel plans have you put on hold for the pandemic?
Unfortunately, I had to cancel trips to Amsterdam, Germany, and sunny Mykonos.

Where do you want to go when travel is possible again?
I’d love to go somewhere sunny to take my mind off of everything, relax, and stay positive. I’ll leave the destination choice up to my Virtuoso advisor!

The part of your hotel you most like to show travelers.
Well, we were supposed to be opening the hotel this summer, but it will now be this autumn. So, I guess you could say what I most want to show travelers is simply EVERYTHING!

A favorite travel memory that’s top of mind right now?
Sitting on a plane!

Your best feel-good moment since all this started?
Having good friends and being in contact with them has made all the difference. Despite the situation, our friendships have become even deeper.