ONE LUXE Magazine V

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A LUXURY LIFESTYLE PUBLICATION Volume V Hotel Inspired Published By Realty ONE Group International

Editor-in-Chief, CEO & Founder


Publisher and Chief Marketing Officer


Editorial Writer


ONE LUXE Director


Chief Learning Officer


EVP Sales






to our world of extraordinary and distinctive living features From Our Editor About Hotel Inspired Room with a View The secrets to selecting the world’s best hotel art The Hotel Connection A professional network of high-end destinations Spotlight: Adrian Provost Destination: Home Luxurious new homes that feel like resorts Welcome to Hotel Real Estate Check-in time: now A CEO shared his secrets 01 03 20 34 46 56



Welcome to the hotel issue, we’re so glad to have you here. Inside this latest publication of ONE LUXE Magazine you’ll find stories that connect to the idea of hotels in some way – whether it’s finding the perfect piece of artwork for a vast Las Vegas lobby or providing, concierge-style service to clients who fly into town from faraway places around the world.

As we put this issue together, it amazed me just how similar real estate is to the hospitality industry. We’re both in the business of serving others, and we’re both focused on creating an experience that is easy, relaxing and elevated, yet warmly familiar at the same time.

After all, the best hotel is really a home away from home, and for a Realty ONE Group agent, a home isn’t just a fleeting weekend getaway or a means to a transactional end. It’s the next stop on a lifelong journey. It’s a place for sweet memories and unexpected moments. It’s a place to stay.

Enjoy the magazine,

- Kuba
ONE LUXE MAGAZINE VOLUME V | 01 Image Source: Burkhart Brothers Construction

Room with a view

If you’re leaving Las Vegas, waiting for your car to arrive in the valet line at the ARIA, you might not think about looking up. But you should.

When you do, you’ll see a gigantic floating installation – “Truisms” by Jenny Holzer – that casts strips of unexpected light onto the ceiling of the Aria Hotel North Valet station and twists around the massive driveway, a serpentine collection of words dancing between concrete ceiling beams. It’s radiant, fascinating and it’s there largely because of Michele C. Quinn, an independent fine art advisor and appraiser commissioned to enrich once-blank spaces like the Aria valet with work from the world’s most creative minds.

Quinn, whose eponymous firm Michele C. Quinn Fine Art Advisory LLC specializes in Post-war and Contemporary art, has been a gallerist and private art consultant for more than 25 years. Her company provides advisory, strategic planning, collection management and appraisal services for collectors and corporate clientele, including Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts and Station Casinos.

In the mid-2000s, Quinn proposed and developed the $40-million art program for MGM Resorts International and her signature style has helped Las Vegas progress with the kind of immersive art that’s now a distinct feature of the city. We spoke with Quinn to find out exactly how these monumental hotel projects get started and how from the millions of artwork on the planet, she’s able to identify The ONE.

Elizabeth Neel, Siege Mentality (2019) Private Collection © Elizabeth Neel

Q A&

You’ve accomplished so much in your amazing career. What’s it like working on these big art projects that millions of people will see?

Each job has its own process, so it depends on the client and what they’re looking for. As an example, for Harrah’s corporate office, they wanted to start off with a concept that fit their mission and what they stood for as a company. We wanted the art to create a sense of that strength, stability and forward-thinking approach, so when we looked at works, we selected pieces like Robert Longo’s “Wave,” which has a very forceful approach. That’s the first thing you see when you walk into corporate headquarters, so sometimes it’s about coming up with a thematic thread that goes through the collection – a connection point – and in this case, it wasn’t meant to be just purely decorative; it was about imparting their vision through the art.

Can you walk us through the selection process?

Whenever you start a project, you have to think about the functionality of the space and ultimately ask: “What is the goal?” You also have to figure out where things are going and ask: “How does this work fit in?”

We want to identify works that fit within that environment but also have a strength of their own. We’re always trying to make sure the work stands out and doesn’t get absorbed by the surroundings, especially in Las Vegas.

As long as there’s an understanding that what we’re trying to do is acquire works with quality and with intrinsic value – it opens up a wide range of possibilities. We’re really meant to create a sense of space and place and not just have art that exists on the wall. Most of these spaces in Las Vegas want to make a statement. They want something that’s memorable. Art in its finest form does just that.

How do you know when you’ve found the right –or wrong – piece for a space?

There’s so much visual competition and you have to think about all that during the process. A good example is when we were working on CityCenter, [67 acres of mixed use space in the center of the Las Vegas Strip], we looked over at least 100 pieces for that job. One was Ai Weiwei who made these big chandeliers. They’re great as sculptures inside of a gallery or museum but in Las Vegas, it’s just going to look like a chandelier. There would be no differentiating between the sculpture and the rest of space. It would just sort of fall flat.

I look at the Jenny Holzer installation at the ARIA valet. It was this dark, cavernous area and we were given the task to make an ugly space better in some way with shape and form. I proposed these great artists who do light installations. We looked at Jenny Hotzer and Leo Villareal, who did the bridges in San Francisco. He does brilliant work and he’s become known or bridges now, like his “Illuminated River” on London’s Thames River.

So, we looked at both of those artists. We had proposals from them both. Ultimately, it was a tough decision between the two but we went with Jenny Holzer. The piece is so amazing in that space and it’s such a hidden piece. It’s one of the most important pieces she’s done in a public space and because of the nature of where that location is, not everyone sees it, which is unfortunate but also a hidden surprise when you go down there and you’re wowed.

How many valet pickups make you feel that way? The work envelopes you. There’s a metal ceiling, a reflection that bounces off the top of the space and goes to the windows behind it. The light goes above you, behind you, around you, and you watch this thing and it’s mesmerizing as you go by.

That piece alone has been one of my most successful projects. There’s reflection everywhere and it becomes this immersive experience … and it was immersive before immersive was a thing.

Elizabeth Neel, Siege Mentality (2019) Private Collection © Elizabeth Neel

Where do you think art in Las Vegas is going next?

Art in Las Vegas started with Wynn and the art gallery there, which was very much four white walls and very traditional-looking. Then, Chihuly’s art blossom ceiling in the Bellagio changed the definition of art in Las Vegas. That kind of ceiling had never been done before, but it wasn’t until the 90s. The history of Las Vegas art is that it changes every decade.

Now, art has taken a step back from an economics perspective but what we’ve seen off the strip is still a sense of immersion, like Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains” just outside of Las Vegas. MGM helped bring him to Las Vegas and that kind of largescale public experience is still part of the vision, even though there hasn’t been as much new construction since CityCenter.

People also saw what happened at the Palms Casino Resort with that two-story Damien Hirst suite [which was available for guests with over $1 million in credit or for $200,000 for two nights]. It was very successful but some of the art in there was private collection that was moved out when the Palms was sold. You still have the Damien Hirst suite, it’s still a big part of the property, but now it’s being used in a commercial way.

Las Vegas art today is something that needs to be part of what hotels provide for their clientele at the top level. Even mid-level casinos and smaller ones will integrate decorative works to some extent but there hasn’t been that full immersion of art like we’ve seen at the CityCenter and maybe the Palms in a few years.

For someone who wants to get started as a collector, where should they begin?

If it’s a new house, a client will have parameters, so I’ll ask: “What are the focal points you want?”

Once we identify those, I explain that art is a personal process and you can’t think about it in the same way as you would buying your furniture. This is something you want on your wall that should have value, so working with someone like me in the beginning is very helpful because it will help you avoid a lot of very expensive mistakes. It’s difficult to understand why one piece is more valuable than another, even by the same artist. And after 30 years of doing this I just know.

It can be overwhelming to start. I’m not coming in asking you to buy 20 pieces of art. That’s not fair to anyone. For me, it’s about learning who a client is, understanding their visual taste and then trying to merge that with artwork of quality that will hopefully hold value if not increase in value over time.

So that’s one goal – valuable art – but you don’t want to get too focused on value. There’s no guarantee of value increasing but I do like to say that people research cars more than they research art. I find that unconscionable. I don’t understand spending almost the same amount of money and not putting as much thought into the buying decision.

How do you help guide people in making that “right” buying decision … if there even is one?

People often say, “Oh art is subjective.” Well it isn’t, not really. You can certainly like whatever you like. I would never say you shouldn’t like something. I’m here to explain that there’s a reason why one artist is heading in the right direction, being shown in museums and at great gallery shows, and another is not.

In this process, I like to look at the artist’s work over time and then try to buy something. It’s harder to do these days because work is selling so quickly but if I’m looking at what I call the Classic Contemporary artist from the 60s and 70s, you have to look at the history of art, then decide what resonates with you, and what is personal to you. For instance, if a client likes basketball, Jonas Wood is an amazing artist and has basketball representation in his work. If another client is a Yankees fan, Robert Rosenberg has a picture of a Yankees player in his work. Or Raymond Pettibon, who does baseball player drawings that are incredible, and they’re some of his most sought-after works.

Roy Lichtenstein, Imperfect Diptych (1988) Private Collection © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
People research cars more than they research art, I find that unconscionable.
I don’t understand spending almost the same amount of money and not putting as much thought into the buying decision.

Once you’ve identified some artists, what happens next?

I always ask: “How do I make this process enjoyable and not tedious?” Ultimately, someone gets as involved or uninvolved as they want. They can go to galleries with me or I can just send them JPEG files. It’s up to the client but I tend to think the more personal it is, the better it is. And just looking at it from a name brand association doesn’t do anything. People lose interest. The art doesn’t become part of their life and this is a lifestyle you’re creating. You can spend the rest of your life going to art fairs but again, it depends how much you want to be involved. Nine times out of 10 the people who make their way to me are people who see this as something that’s a great experience and not just decorating.

Can I match a couch? Yes. Do I look at the work in the context of the space to make sure it can fit the wall? Yes. Do I have to find things that are practical? Yes. But I also want to push the boundaries.

Does the right art for a given space come to you immediately or does it sometimes take a while to know what would work where?

Because I feel like I have this visual memory bank, I can look at a space and say, “Oh this will be amazing here,” knowing who is out there and who is doing work at the scale we need.

I certainly don’t know immediately. It’s not always clear. I wish I could say there’s a magic answer but sometimes you have to go through a lot of options and proposals. It can take a couple tries. My job is to go through the millions of artists out there in the world and narrow it down to the top 3 or 5 for my clients. And then from there, let’s make a choice that makes everyone happy.

Jenny Holzer, VEGAS (2009) ARIA Fine Art Collection © Jenny Holzer/Artists Rights Society (A.R.S.), New York

Can you tell us about one of your favorite projects?

All of them are my favorite but with CityCenter, I was pinching myself in every meeting because I grew up in Las Vegas and to know that I was bringing this level of contemporary public art to the city for free meant everything to me. We don’t have a museum here so that was a lifetime achievement to work with CityCenter and create the closest thing to a museum in the city. When you grow up in a place that didn’t have access to the art we have here now it’s like, “OK, kids today can see these pieces of art.”

Another memorable one was the Yayoi Kusama project in San Francisco. We started with her sculpture and this was pre-Kusama mania. When I showed her flower to the clients they said, “We love it.”

And that company doesn’t just do plop art – they don’t like to stick something in a space and move on; they want to incorporate it into the experience of the architecture, so I was able to approach the Kusama studio through the gallery and she designed the grounds of the plaza around the sculpture. Ultimately, we made this immersive space before immersive art was really getting popular. I was super proud of that and also because it was an incredible showcase for her work. Everything just came together, and when everyone is on the same page and excited about what’s happening, those are the best kind of experiences you can ever hope to have.

Jenny Holzer, VEGAS (2009) ARIA Fine Art Collection © Jenny Holzer/Artists Rights Society (A.R.S.), New York

What type of art inspires you?

I’m constantly looking at art even if I don’t have a project. I’m just constantly looking. It’s my life. It’s my lifestyle. All my travel is for art – art fairs, art galleries. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 30 years and I love it. I certainly can’t complain. A tough day at work is that I had to see 30 galleries and that’s not the worst thing in the world!


What do you do if you’re lacking inspiration?

When I start seeing bad art after bad art – and it can happen in an art fair – I think, ‘Oh my gosh what is all of this? What am I looking at?” But my job is to look at a lot of different stuff and find the needle in the haystack. I know there’s a good piece of work somewhere, I just have to find it.

Sometimes, I’ll need to step back from the commercial side of this industry. After an art fair, I can feel a little deflated about the push push push. A great museum show,returning to the classics, usually helps. I just went to the Neue Galerie New York and it has the most incredible Gustav Klimt in exhibition in the collection. I stand in front of a great piece of art and I breathe. I feel it physically. I know it sounds cheesy but I do and that’s when I know, ‘OK there’s a reason for all of this.’

My job is to look at a lot of different stuff and find the needle in the haystack. I know there’s a good piece of work somewhere, I
have to find it.
Jaume Plensa, Paula, Rui Rui, and Laura Asia (2016-2017) Located at Encore Boston Harbor © Jaume Plensa
Photo credit: Roger Davies.

Leadership Spotlight




For Adrian Provost, his real estate story began in 2010 with a car accident and reality TV. The market had dropped, agents were jumping out of the business left and right, and Provost was stuck at home, recovering.

So, what did he do?

he watched a whole lot of “Million Dollar Listing” then decided to get his real estate and appraiser’s license, simultaneously, of course.

I love fine things, I’m a creative person from a fashion, art and music perspective, so it all just connected,” he explains. “I was sitting there after the accident and I kept thinking, ‘I would love to be involved with real estate.’”

Before launching his real estate career, Provost owned multiple apparel lines and a shoe company. “We only used the best of the best fabrics, and everything was handcrafted in Italy, made to order from start to finish,” he says.

With big dreams of selling mega-mansions and penthouse apartments, Provost thought he’d jump right into luxury real estate, but his first deal was far from high end – a $34,000 short sale where he made just a few hundred dollars profit.

“To this day, it is still the most difficult deal I’ve ever done in my life,” he says. “And I’ve worked on some sophisticated multi-family trades and complex transactions; this was literally the hardest one.”


In the end, Provost completed the deal, and focused on developing his craft, eventually getting into the luxury real estate niche that spoke to him from the very beginning. “Luxury is more than just the price point, it’s the experience,” he says, recalling his fashion lines that were devoid of any branding or logos.

“It was all about the quality of the materials that we use, so you see our product and automatically know it’s luxurious. The same thing is true of a luxury house; you go in and feel you are in a property that is luxurious. Before anyone points anything out, you just feel it.”

Provost’s extensive luxury experience fostered a network of professionals in fashion, music and entertainment, and he was able to turn those relationships into clients. “I connected the dots for them by providing a service that was always an exceptional experience,” he says. “I went from helping with mansions to helping with music studios and restaurants and everything else in between, which is how I got introduced to commercial real estate as well.”

One of Provost’s trickier commercial deals was when he sold a vacant hotel property in the heart of downtown Atlanta, which had a layout that wasn’t suitable for most investors. Like the short sale that got everything started, Provost found the perfect sellers – a group of individuals who owned high-end luxury properties and commercial assets in Atlanta –and got the deal done.

Today, Provost is broker/owner of Atlanta-based Realty ONE Group Terminus. He’s also operating partner of TapMoney Mortgage, CEO of a multinational real estate investment firm, an Inman News contributor, a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council and has studied real estate at Georgia Southern University, MIT and Cornell University.

with the bespoke style of concierge-like service his brokerage provides

he says of his hard-earned journey to become a top producer. He credits a commitment to education, constant improvement and even creativity, along

“Our definition of concierge-style service comes from an extremely unique perspective because we adapt to the needs of every single individual,” he explains. “There is no blanket service we offer that will be duplicated across the board. We add value from day one, whatever that looks like for them.”

And “whatever that looks like for them” can translate into anything from booking a client’s hotel stay and providing transportation from the airport, to securing reservations at the trendiest, most how-did-youget-that-reservation restaurants in town.

“We have a lifestyle specialist at the brokerage who is a partner of mine and he is huge in the celebrity world,” Provost explains. “He throws parties at some of the best restaurants with A-list celebrities, so if a client comes to Atlanta, they know they’ll not only be taken care of but also have the opportunity to spend time around people who can expand their network in a unique and worthwhile way.”

Provost says concierge-style service at Realty ONE Group Terminus also depends on the client’s profile and specific needs. Do they want to be involved with every aspect of the process, visiting properties together and staying in the loop the entire time? Or, do they want to step in when it’s time for the transaction only, letting Provost and his team handle the rest?

“Our luxury clients are used to living a certain lifestyle and we extend that lifestyle when it comes to working with us,” Provost says. “If they’re used to doing something a certain way in Chicago that experience will be just as exceptional when they cross state lines or country lines into Atlanta, as we help them search for investment properties or luxury homes.”

Luxury is more than just the price point, it’s the experience.
“It was a long time coming but definitely rewarding across the board,”


Provost says the Atlanta market isn’t in as dire a situation as some locations around the country. “There’s so much growth still happening here and so little inventory,” he explains. “Everything coming out of the ground now is class A, super high-quality. Every new build, high rise community that’s been built in Midtown or Buckhead practically starts at $1 million or more for entry, and even rental apartments start at nearly $3,000 per month for some of the new products.”

One of the newer developments in Atlanta, The Dillon, an 18-story luxury condominium tower located on the famous Peachtree Road, is experiencing an impressive rate of contracts and plenty of momentum following the performance of The Graydon, the development group’s previous project. The Graydon, which is a similar luxury high-rise product also located on Peachtree Road has only one unit remaining, Provost says.

Demand for high-end properties is also pushing average price points ever higher. “Right now, our luxury price point in Atlanta begins around $850,000,” Provost explains.” A few years back it was in the $700,000 range. We are expanding and we don’t have enough inventory to fulfill the demand, so we have to continuously build.”

It’s not all peach pies and cobblers in Atlanta real estate; the city got hit by a few large tech companies (most recently Microsoft) scaling back their planned development projects. Halted by a difficult economic climate, these tech giants halted previously announced Atlanta-area initiatives that would’ve added jobs, created affordable housing, funded local non-profits and even helped promote children’s digital skills in public schools.

“Outside of that example, tons of companies are coming in and our office sector isn’t as horrible as you might think,” Provost explains. “A lot of older office buildings are being renovated or converted into affordable housing. As a developer myself, I’m having conversations with the city of Atlanta about certain office buildings they own and ways to create more housing.”

Like most major U.S. cities, Provost says Atlanta is feeling the impact of mortgage fluctuations that are destabilizing the market. “Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t seeing the same numbers as we did a few years ago,” Provost explains. “But I think we also aren’t seeing the same amount of activity with those numbers.”

However, Provost says, there are fewer agents working in Atlanta than this time last year, so from a per-agent standpoint, activity hasn’t decreased much.

Where is Atlanta’s real estate market heading?

“Going back to the original point about Atlanta’s impressive trajectory of expansion, when it comes to new jobs that are coming, I think we are not going to have enough supply for quite a bit of time regardless of what mortgage rates are doing,” Provost says. “We still have people who will need to be located here and that will continue to fuel demand, new construction and growth.”

In a word, up.


From the start, Provost knew he wanted to be a different kind of agent, one who was dedicated, focused and supremely ready to meet a client’s every need. The vision came from a combination of Provost’s sharply honed mindset for success and his own experiences noticing what the agents he worked with didn’t do. “When I had an agent, they just opened doors for me and helped me make bad decisions, which was the opposite of what I wanted to be,” he says. “I think the really good agents, the best of the best, the ones who are top 10% in this industry, we make it look easy, so a lot of people think, ‘Oh anybody can do this.’”

(They can’t.)

The problem, Provost says, is that when COVID hit, the market exploded and even agents who didn’t know the business at all could adopt that “make it look easy” mentality – in part because it was. Buyers were waiving all contingencies, going $20,000 over asking price without batting an eye, and homes were selling faster than agents could stick a yard sign in the front lawn.

“That really hurt a lot of agents, especially the newer ones,” Provost says. “They never learned to do business the right way from the beginning because of the market, not because of their actual capabilities.”

In addition to running Realty ONE Group Terminus, Provost teaches and coaches real estate investors, specifically with multi-family assets. “People come in thinking they will be Grant Cardone,” he says. “I tell them, ‘Dude, there is one Grant Cardone for a reason. Now that’s not to say you can’t make money – because you absolutely can – but there are certain attributes he has that a lot of people don’t possess. You may be better off investing with him as opposed to trying to be him.”

How do you become the GOAT (Greatest Agent Of All Time) ?

It always starts with gathering as much knowledge as possible, says Provost, whose philosophy is based on the belief that you must be an expert in your field to be great at whatever it is you do, which means learning new things, always.

A longtime basketball fan – he even owned an ABA pro team, the Atlanta Aliens – Provost says all you have to do is look at the examples set by superstars like Michael Jordan, the Kobe Bryant and Lebron James to realize that the reason they stand out the way they do is because they are forever students of the game.

Tom Brady, Provost says, is another example of this theory in action. “Look at where he was drafted compared to what he has done,” he explains. “He’s hands down the best quarterback of all time because he put in the work. You have to be a student of the game and you have to learn your craft.”

Provost took those words to heart. He learned about the real estate industry from professors at Georgia Southern University, MIT and Cornell. He studied every aspect of the business and then when he felt like he got something down, he studied some more.

“A lot of people think I’m in a position to kick my feet up but I couldn’t do that,” Provost says. “I want to be the best ever. I want to have the most millionaire-earning agents out of any organization that has ever existed.”

In his classes, Provost teaches agents exactly how to be students of the game and acquire as much knowledge as possible, which he says starts with making sure the brokerage they’ve joined has the resources, tools and capabilities to create the career they want.

“You can’t just rest on your laurels or do tricks,” he explains. “You have to continuously improve because things come at you every single year that make our business a little bit different. They can make real estate more difficult or they can make it easier and more efficient. You have to figure out what those things are. If you don’t, you’ll always be playing catch-up. When you do, you’ll be constantly improving your process, learning more and getting even better every day.”




Provost shares what’s hot in high-end home design

High-end features and high-end finishes that speak for themselves.


One of the biggest things we’re seeing is design inspired by art, with a lot more essentialism. The design is cleaner and minimalist but still very open and inviting. We’re seeing these high-end features and high-end finishes that speak for themselves. You walk in and you feel the quality. It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming amount of additional pieces to make you see that you’re in something that is luxury.


When I think back to my experience in fashion, it’s supposed to start with the material and the quality of the goods, then you build whatever design you want off of that. I think sometimes that gets lost in the fashion world because it is so trendy but with luxury properties, it’s so important to remember. Luxury buyers want to walk and know they’re getting luxury. They will even be satisfied with a smaller space if everything else is of quality and the layout is done properly.

Featured work by Atlanta-based creator,



Right now you see higher-end hotels are reverting from doing too much to making it very simple. You can access everything in your room from a touch screen or iPad. In homes, some of this is achieved with a layout that’s a little different and more inviting. All that makes a huge impact. It’s the little things you do to simplify while still providing guests or residents with everything they need that make sure the experience is satisfying but not overwhelming.


Curating the entire experience doesn’t just stop at the home. What is the neighborhood like? Can I go out and walk the dog and feel comfortable walking around? The neighborhood is an extension of the property. Developers say we need micro-communities in neighborhoods that are really going to activate the community. It’s why they’ll build a hotel, apartment, townhomes, and create a small community with a major component like a stadium or a mall, something that is going to be an economic driver for the area. We’re seeing communities like that pop up all over the place.

Luxury buyers want to walk in and know they’re getting luxury.

Destination: Home

Image Source: Burkhart Brothers Construction

The thing you take away after even just a few minutes talking with the Burkhart brothers is that they really, really like their job. And why wouldn’t they? Bryan and Mark Burkhart, the luxury builders and owners of Burkhart Brothers Construction are crafting breathtaking homes in Orange County’s most coveted coastal communities while literally raising the bar on luxurious living. (And by raising the bar, we mean building them, like a perfectly nostalgic highend replica of a client’s favorite college bar built right inside his home.)

The Burkhart brothers handle a portfolio of about 25 active projects at any given time. Each project highlights an impeccable attention to detail and a highly custom construction experience that transforms the finest materials into the most phenomenal homes.

With imagination, passion and an anything-goes attitude, the team installs giant fish tanks in living rooms, endless-view infinity pools in backyards, and custom glass shower doors so crystal clear, you wouldn’t even know they existed. The homes they create are more than resort-like properties, they’re exclusive destinations, no passport or packing required.


Resort-style Living

Is resort-style living a big trend right now in the new construction world?

BRYAN BURKHART: It’s funny you ask that. We just had a design meeting with a client about his new house in Laguna Beach and the one thing he wants is for us to make it feel like a resort.

MARK BURKHART: A lot of our clients find something in a resort then say, “Hey, let’s do this.” But I’d like to think almost every one of the products we build in the $5-10 million range, as far as the finished home goes, are even more impressive than a resort.

Images Source: Burkhart Brothers Construction

What specifically are some of the resort-style features your clients are requesting in these luxury new construction projects?

BRYAN: A lot of movie theaters, smart home appliances for the kitchen and bathroom, indoor/outdoor living spaces, large custom walk-in closets, swimming pools with a baja shelf and built-in lounge chairs for relaxing in the pool, fountains and water features, spas, black onyx countertops, back-lit bars, floating shelves, surround-sound systems … all the things that separate a great resort from a bad one. It’s really about the details and those high-end finishes people want today. For instance, instead of a shower having traditional tile, we’re doing solid slabs of marble on the walls, and we’ll build curbless showers where you don’t step over anything to get into the shower. The glass we use on all of our houses is called Starphire®, which is clearer than regular glass. If you look at the old Coke bottles back in the 1960s, the glass was green because of the iron they used to make those bottles, but now there are special pro-

cesses that can remove the iron from the glass so it’s as clear as possible. We use Starphire® glass for features like custom shower doors made from that super clear glass, metal and steel. These resort-style bathrooms also have rain showerheads, floating vanities with rolled up towels underneath, floor heaters and of course, large standalone tubs.

MARK: A high-end bar is another popular one. We’re doing a lot of bars with wine dispensers where you can have, let’s say, five bottles of wine and at the push of a button the wine is perfectly poured into your glass then sealed and protected. Also, it’s not specifically a resort feature but I’ve been surprised by how many dog washing stations we’ve built lately. Effectively, they’re a large countertop with a washer and dryer on both sides, almost like a luxurious salon, with straps to hold in the dog, blow dryers and clippers. You can spend as much as $10,000 to $25,000 on a quality dog washing station today.

Why do you think these resort-style amenities are so popular right now?

BRYAN: Our clients travel a lot for work and vacation. Half the time I can’t reach a client if I need them because they’re in India or England or at a ski resort in Park City. With all the travel, they get used to that standard and want to experience it at home, every single day from the minute they wake up in the morning.

MARK: We’re currently building 25 homes right now and I’d say about 95% of those projects are absolutely resort-style quality or better. Everything is bigger and better today, with a higher standard of living. You can see it in backyard pools.

They used to cost around $50,000 but now we’re building pools that are $120,000 or more, with infinity edges where you can look over and it seems like the pool falls off into the view. But I think the resort trend itself goes back to COVID when people were stuck in their houses for so long, unable to travel to hotels, and they wanted to really be in love with where they lived.

BRYAN: Mark’s right. COVID changed everything. We thought it might kill high-end construction but it has completely reinvented the wheel. Instead of people wanting to get away, they’re learning how to spend time with their families at home, laying by an awesome pool or making pizza together in a custom outdoor pizza oven.

ONE LUXE MAGAZINE VOLUME V | 39 Images Source: Burkhart Brothers Construction

Luxury is how your home makes you feel.

What makes a house a luxury home?

BRYAN: How it makes you feel. Period. When people take a relaxing bath in their oversized tub or watch TV on a giant screen by a fire pit or listen to music and the sound is all around them, it makes them feel like they’re on vacation. That’s luxury. Luxury is how your home makes you feel.

MARK: I think when you consider staying at a resort, you ask yourself: ‘What is the experience they’re providing?’ And you’re really asking, ‘How will this place make me feel?’ It may not be one specific thing you can point to that creates the feeling. All the finishes, everything has to blend in a way where you don’t necessarily notice one thing, you notice everything in succession, all at the same time.

For anyone reading this who wants to have a resort-style home but doesn’t know where to start, what would you recommend?

BRYAN: It’s very specific to the client but I can tell you what the key parts are: the powder room because when guests come over it’s one of the first impressions of the house they get; the primary suite because that determines your quality of life from the first minute you wake up in the morning; and for me, I’m a chef, so it’s also about having a great kitchen. Those are the basic components but like I said, it depends on the client. If you don’t care about cooking, maybe a basic kitchen works and then you might want to think about the backyard, primary suite and powder room as the best places to get started.

MARK: I’d also say, go hire a really good designer so everything blends well together. If one thing is out of whack, the whole thing is out of whack. It’s like a band with a terrible drummer. Who cares how good the rest of them are if they can’t keep a beat? Or if you’re cooking a meal and one ingredient is off, the whole dish won’t taste right. For these types of homes, everything should come together seamlessly.

Image Source: Burkhart Brothers Construction

When people take a relaxing bath in their oversized tub or watch TV on a giant screen by a fire pit or listen to music and teh sound is all around them, it makes them feel like they’re on vacation. That’s luxury. Luxury is how your home makes you feel.

To learn more about Burkhart Brothers Construction, visit

Any fun current projects you can share with us?

BRYAN: We’re working on a project on the cliffs in Laguna Beach that’s four stories tall with the bottom story being an infinity pool overlooking the ocean. When you see it, it looks like the pool is falling off the cliff.

MARK: Clients are also putting anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 into outdoor kitchens that are as nice as any indoor kitchen, so we just did one with a TV that pops down from the ceiling with all these incredible, high-end appliances.

Can you talk about some of the most luxurious projects you’ve ever built?

BRYAN: One of the most luxurious projects was also one of our most fun projects. Our client went to school at Clemson and he would go to this bar there called The Esso Club, which is Clemson’s original sports bar. So one room in the house – it was about 20 feet by 20 feet – we turned that into his Esso Bar West. It was such an elaborate project and in the end, it looked exactly like the bar.

MARK: Yes, it turned into this very cool, high-end bar. I’d say it was even nicer than some of the bars we have in Newport Beach!

Beyond resort-style living, are there other building trends you want to highlight?

BRYAN: Above and beyond the resort is the introduction of smart home technology that’s creating a more connected, comfortable way of living. From their phones, people can start their spa so it’s warm when they get home or heat their pool or turn on the AC. We have a program you can talk into and tell it exactly what to do. You can say, “Hey I’m cooking.” And it’ll adjust the lights for the theme. You can say, “Hey, I’m having a disco,” and the lights will turn the room into a disco. We did that Esso Bar West project 10 or 12 years ago and it just was the beginning of smart home technology but you could still control everything in that room remotely; there wasn’t a single switch. Today, it’s even better than that. Lighting is another trend that’s critical in luxury homes. We’re doing under cabinet lights, under counter lights. Even luxury toilets are trending. The new toilets we install in every single project costs upwards of $6,000 and they’re completely electric with heated seats.

MARK: The use of water is big too – fountains and features. We just installed a 300 gallon fish tank that allows you to see through from one room to another.

All these incredible details come together to create a home that’s honestly better than any resort I know.
When we meet, we change the world.
- Associated Luxury Hotels International



Jennifer Shafer, regional vice president, West, with Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) knows a lot about hospitality. The ALHI executive works with a team of almost 80 sales professionals in 26 offices across North America and Europe to connect the event and travel industries with luxury hotels and resorts around the globe. So when Shafer talks about the ins and outs of luxury hotel life, we listen.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do and what a typical workday looks like?

Associated Luxury Hotels International is a membersonly Global Sales Organization dedicated to serving the meeting and event marketplace for more than 35 years. Representing over 250 global hotels and resorts, cruise lines, and destination management companies, we connect our meeting planning clients to our portfolio of luxury hotels for their meetings and conferences.

The exciting thing about working in hospitality is that truly, no day is ever the same.
From a site visit at a luxury hotel in the morning, to a networking event or afternoon sales call, the job is diverse and full of connection.
Jennifer SHAFER

When you connect a client to a certain location, what specifically do you look for in the hotel to ensure it’s a good fit?

To best serve our clients, we listen intently to each person and program’s individual needs to understand exactly what luxury means for them. Because luxury is not a universal definition, once we understand what is important, we curate options from within our collection to meet their needs. We provide the ultimate in luxury service, acting as a venue sourcing concierge. For example, if the focus of the program is to find a Forbes 5 Star restaurant or if the program requires the luxury of extensive ballroom space, we can tailor recommendations accordingly.

What’s your favorite aspect of the job?

Introducing meeting planners who become close friends and watching a successful conference or program blossom from the connection.

Ritz Carlton Residence Developer: Catalfumo Companies

In your opinion, what makes a hotel “luxury”?

As Neen James, one of our Strategic Consulting Services consultants would say: “Luxury is a mindset.” She discovered in the research the most common descriptors of luxury are high quality, longlasting, authentic, indulgent, unique, and exclusive. Therefore, the concept of how luxurious a hotel might feel will vary widely across the spectrum. The research shows those who are “reluctant and removed” might find simple amenities quite luxurious, while a “luxury lover” who indulges in luxurious experiences frequently will appreciate the exclusive opportunities or behind the scenes, invitation-only experiences a hotel can provide. You can learn more about Neen’s research on our blog at

Are there any trending cities right now for meetings and conferences?

Hawai’i remains top of mind for many different types of programs, from board retreats to large sales incentives. ALHI is proud to represent a lovely collection of Hawaiian properties!

How would you describe a “luxury experience” as it relates to a meeting or conference?

A luxury experience can truly be all things. It may be as simple as an employee remembering your name, the quality of linens used, the signature scent of the property, an excellent meal with great service, an over-the-top entertainment experience, or a thoughtfully delivered turn-down amenity. Our hotels and resorts are experts in these luxury touches, and they truly elevate an ordinary experience to the extraordinary.

How can any type of business elevate their services to luxury if that’s the niche they’d like to serve?

The first aspect of elevating service offerings is to holistically define your customer. What does luxury mean to your customers?

Based on this, you can align your messages and service offerings to attract them. Then, create a strategy and elevate your services. You might consider all five senses and how your guests or clients will appreciate those luxury touches. For example, when a real estate agent closes on a house, they may send charcuterie and champagne as a “welcome home” gift to their clients. However, some of their clients might prefer a yoga mat and meditation journal if the agent noticed their client was more focused on wellness. The research showed that people considered experiences more important than things. Sometimes thoughtfulness is more important than expensiveness in luxury gifting.

ONE LUXE MAGAZINE VOLUME V | 51 • Specializg  Luxury Events • Elevated Company Meetings • Unique Corporate Experiences • & More Let’s c

Welcome to Hotel Real Estate


Because this is the hotel issue, we asked Realty ONE Group ONE LUXE agents around the world how they think running a real estate business is similar to operating a luxury hotel. Here’s what they had to say:

Consistency & Keeping the Team Happy

I worked in the fitness center at the Ritz when I was in high school. I hated it. I had to go into a walk-in freezer at 5 a.m. (anyone who lives in the Northeast knows this is the last thing you want to do on a winter morning) to grab fresh, cold apples. Plus, my immediate supervisor wasn’t exactly a charmer. What I learned is that if your people are happy, they provide exceptional service. The other thing I learned was that you have to be available even if you can’t help with what the client needs immediately. The extra step and consistency is key – like fresh, cold apples every morning, even on a cold winter day.

Concierge -Style Service for a Relaxing Move

The “gotta have” and “wanna have” list covers both partners, the kids and the pets. We review each home with respect to this list. You locate their local top 10 restaurants, shopping and more. Each home is measured against this. I have the vendors call the client with plans to paint and improve, and the vendor already knows what the “need” is for the space before they call. Pictures are also provided to the vendor. The client chases nothing. There is a full three days of food and beverage stocked in the home at move-in, after they’ve completed a survey of their favorite food, snacks and beverages, and we use color coded “dots” for each space so the movers know exactly where everything goes. Clients get about 400 different dots when they are moving, so coming into the space is smooth. And, of course, the home is professionally cleaned prior to the move-in. The home has its own website (login required) with the floor plan, and it lists local amenities, referrals, related websites or apps and more. We even program the vehicles to the garage doors and gates.


Going Above and Beyond

When you work in real estate – like at a luxury hotel – you are in the relationship business, entrusted to exceed expectations.


A Commitment to Excellence

The biggest differentiator between a real estate agent and a real estate professional is one’s steadfast commitment to excellence in all things. Becoming a real estate agent is rather simple, but distinguishing yourself as a real estate professional requires grit, determination, commitment, impeccable communication skills, education, and hard work. Running a real estate business is not for the faint of heart! However, I believe there are many parallels between running a five-star luxury hotel and maintaining a successful real estate business.

First and foremost, client satisfaction and retention must remain a focal point of daily tasks and operation; without this, a real estate business will flop. Secondly, and just as important, an unwavering commitment to excellence in communication, follow-up, attention to detail, negotiation, and availability is a must. Third and finally, having the wherewithal to "go the extra mile" is imperative.

When I take on a new client, either seller or buyer, I set the stage early. I inform my client that should they proceed to hire me, I'll be working hard for a five-star review. I remind my clients throughout the process that when all is said and done, I want nothing more than our experience together to be memorable and worth referring/recommending to friends and family.

An Exceptional Experience

The world of hospitality is applicable to ONE LUXE because like luxury hotels, we deliver a personalized service. We want our client to feel at home, open up and explain their needs. We do this by creating a memorable experience inside and outside of our office. I organize airport pick-ups and make bookings for lunch and dinner to cater to clients’ needs just like a concierge. After two or three days, they accept me almost like a family member and during this process I can discover their exact needs and deliver a carefully selected product for them.

Itsvan Pasku, Realty ONE Group Spain, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain

Service Catered to Clients’ Needs

We are only as good as our client's feedback! If we resolve problems and show them that how they feel matters, they'll become our clients for life! We need positive reviews just like a luxury hotel. Other people's opinions of our services affect our business, so we must go the extra mile to ensure our clients see our value and worth!

Ersula HayGood, Realty ONE Group Elements - Columbus, Columbus, OH


High Standards and an Extraordinary Reputation


Running a real estate business and a luxury hotel share several similarities, particularly in terms of providing exceptional service and creating a memorable experience for clients and guests. Both businesses focus on customer service, attention to detail, the creation of memorable experiences, relationship-building, reputation and branding, high standards and quality control.

- Ximena Villarreal, Realty ONE Group Estates, Pembroke Pines, FL

We hope you had a ONEderful stay.

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