ATI Owners Malaka and Ryan Hilton loved to see the 2016 Virtuoso International Symposium held in South Africa this spring! Just a few weeks ago, Cape Town hosted an incredible collection of the most influential people in global luxury travel – including our own Malaka and Ryan, of course.
Several weeks before the Symposium, as colleagues began finalizing pre- and post-itinerary options, the Hiltons were delighted to receive an exclusive dinner invitation…
Luke Bailes, the owner of Singita, reached out to the Hiltons with a special invitation to join him for dinner at his private residence! Malaka and Ryan happily accepted the opportunity, quickly changing their travel itinerary to a slightly earlier flight. On April 16th, the Hiltons arrived at Luke’s magnificent home in Cape Town for the exclusive dinner with just eight invited guests. The menu that night was exceptional and unique – including crocodile and the finest South African wines.
(And Luke certainly has access to the region’s absolute best wines! Recognized as one of South Africa’s most influential buyers of wine, Singita has an extensive selection of premium wines, including some of the country’s most sought-after private reserves and limited-release wines. Wines are matured under carefully managed conditions, which is why the lodges can offer the majority of their red wines at five years or older. Singita’s wine cellar is extremely renowned.)
The dinner, wines and company were exquisite and unique. Overall, the evening again demonstrated the significance of Malaka and Ryan’s personal relationships with the travel industry’s top leaders. It’s the human connection and tight network of luxury partners which provides you, ATI clients, even greater access and benefits.
That’s the bottom line: Thanks to our long-time partnerships and valued relationships, ATI provides our travelers privileged access to VIP experiences around the globe.
The Hiltons would love to provide you their personal account of the full Signita experience, but we also wanted to share additional background directly from our friends at Singita:
Singita was originally founded in 1993 with the opening of Ebony Lodge on family owned land that became part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. When Luke Bailes, owner of Singita, bought and consolidated the land from his grandfather, he set about restoring it.
In 1992, Bailes asked his old school friend, Mark Witney, if he was interested in taking time out from the city to open a new safari venture. He was. Soon after, Witney moved to the bush where he assumed multiple roles for many years – lodge manager, safari guide, maintenance man, and even relief pilot for the inter-lodge Cessna Caravan shuttle service – before employing an assistant lodge manager.
Twenty-two years later, Singita Ebony Lodge is set to reopen after an extensive reinvention, elevating the lodge to the same forward-thinking standard of innovation as the recently reopened Singita Boulders Lodge. The end result is a conscious departure from what may have been expected – or anything that has gone before. Instead, a quintessential safari aesthetic that captures the spirit and sentiment of the original while adding a youthful, relaxed charm, has been added.
Singita’s evolution from a single-lodge company to one that is now responsible for more than half a million acres of land, operating 12 lodges and camps in five wilderness regions across three African countries, has always been characterised by a pioneering spirit and a sincere desire to preserve wilderness areas for future generations. Its low-impact, high-value tourism model – fewer guests paying a premium for the privilege of experiencing vast open spaces – exists to sustain these wilderness areas and their resident wildlife, while providing an exclusive safari experience.