A legend makes its comeback: After closing at the end of 2017, the legendary Raffles Singapore is back. Accor managed a sensitive three-phased restoration to create new suite categories among the total 115 guest rooms, as well as lifestyle and dining experiences amid the distinctive architecture and heritage of what for decades has been considered the center of Singapore society. There is not quite anything like being greeted by the Sikh doormen and imagining the history made by its famed residents while walking through the public spaces. Welcome back to one of the few remaining great 19th-century hotels. —Jeff Weinstein
Once more unto the breach(es): Last week, consumer credit reporting giant Equifax settled a lawsuit with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission – to the tune of US$700 million – after a hacker exposed the data of about 147 million customers in 2017. Just a couple of days ago, a Seattle woman was accused of compromising the data of more than 100 million U.S. and Canadian customers of Capital One; sites like Tech Crunch say the breach may have spread beyond the bank. The phrase “one of the biggest data breaches ever” is getting a lot of use lately. I still think about HITEC in June, where data security wasn’t as big a focus of discussion as I would have expected, particularly so soon after the Starwood-Marriott situation. I assume that an enormous amount of work is happening quietly by smart people at hotel companies and tech organizations. But I am still puzzled as to why this issue isn’t getting more chatter and discussion within the industry. What am I missing?—Barbara Bohn
Trends driving wellness boom: The Global Wellness Institute has launched a series of white papers called “Understanding Wellness,” reinforcing with data the major force that the US$4.2 trillion market it has become and how it will evolve in the future. In fact, it is sad to consider some of the trends driving the boom: The world’s population is growing sicker, lonelier and older; the environmental crisis is also a health crisis; health systems are failing to keep up while the economic burden rises. The good news is that consumer values are changing fast, moving toward a lifestyle of wellness that is fundamentally shifting consumer behaviors and consumption patterns.—J.W.