Q: What's the latest on the Virgin Limited Edition front?

A: We opened Son Bunyola on Mallorca in June of last year, and it's been so well received. And we've signed Finch Hattons in Kenya, which is a beautiful, 17-suite safari camp in west Tsavo National Park. Virgin Limited Edition took that over on July 1. We're also completing restorations and making additions at Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco. As you know, there was the devastating earthquake there in September of last year. The additions include six three-bedroom riads, and the property's main building will be fully restored by the end of October.

Q: And what's new when it comes to Virgin Hotels?

A: We opened New York last year, and that's been huge for us. And then we're going to break ground this year in Denver as part of a 40-acre redevelopment, which will have Virgin Hotels as the centerpiece. It'll probably be opening in late 2026 or early 2027.

Q: You've unveiled plans to debut the Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch in August. Why is that important?

A: We've long desired to bring Virgin Hotels to the city where the Virgin brand was formed more than 50 years ago. London is home to so many Virgin companies and the hub of Virgin Atlantic, which brings hundreds of thousands of travelers to London each year. With Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch, they can have an end-to-end Virgin experience.

Q: What headwinds and tailwinds are you keeping a close eye on this year?

A: The only huge challenge is the capital markets. It's extremely difficult to refinance existing hotels and even more difficult to finance new development. Having said that, we recently refinanced all of our hotels, so we're in great shape, and we're switching gears and focusing on conversions, like [luxury safari camp] Finch Hattons.

The really great news is that travel is pretty robust in all of our markets. Business travel is back, leisure is still strong and group is very robust. This will be a record year for us on the group side. That's being led by corporate group, in particular, with the fastest-growing group segment being incentive travel. With Virgin Limited Edition, which does exclusive-use and buyouts, we're seeing everything from corporate retreats to weddings to family retreats.

Q: What's next when it comes to expansion?

A: We're very actively looking at a couple opportunities in Italy. In terms of development, we are prioritizing markets that Virgin Voyages sails to.

Q: How does Virgin Hotels benefit from being part of the larger Virgin Group?

A: It's a huge strength for Virgin Hotels to have Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Voyages, Virgin Galactic and, of course, Virgin Atlantic Holidays, which is the wholesale program associated with Virgin Atlantic. And the opening of [hotels in] New York and Vegas, which are major Virgin Atlantic routes, in the past few years is really proving the strength of the brand loyalty. Virgin Atlantic Holidays is one of our biggest, if not our single biggest, producer of room nights across all of our destinations, but especially New York and Vegas. And then we're also working collaboratively on joint marketing activities, including the launch of what we call Triple Red -- promoting Virgin Voyages, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Hotels -- earlier this year, and leveraging Virgin Red, which is our rewards program.

By Christina Jelski