The Man, the Myth, the Legend

You can’t discuss hoteliers or boutique hotels without the name Andre Balazs coming up. One of the founding fathers of today’s boutique concept hotels, Balazs is responsible for boutique hotel brands such as  NYC’s The Standard hotels, Mercer Hotel brands and L.A’s Chateau Marmont. In the mid-80s to 2000s, Balazs was married to Katie Ford, whose parents founded the Ford Modeling Agency empire.

Origins: Balazs was born in Boston, Mass in the late 1950s. Born to Hungarian refugees who fled their country during WWII, most of his childhood was spent in Cambridge, Mass.

Schooling: After graduating from Cornell University, Balazs went on to earn a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University.

Beginnings: Balazs first worked at Biomatrix, a biotech company founded by him and his father in New Jersey. In 1990, Balazs followed his passion by switching gears and purchasing L.A.’s  Chateau Marmont, thus launching his career as an astute hotelier.   

Boutique Hotel Portfolio: Responsible for Chateau Marmont (L.A), Sunset Island (New York), the Mercer Hotel Collection (NYC – Manhattan), Chiltern Firehouse (London) and the Standard Hotel group (L.A. | Miami | NYC).

Notable Hotelier Quote: “One of the few luxuries left is travel. And the aspect of travel that is luxurious is not the movement, but the being there.” – Andre Balazs

Reason for Inspiration: Andre Balazs was a pioneer of boutique hotels. He was one of the first hoteliers to think outside the box and insisted his guests have unique experiences in unique surroundings. Merging hospitality, fashion and luxurious comfort, Balazs was able to build and cultivate some of the most iconic boutique hotel brands in the world.