The COMO Group may be a Singapore-based lifestyle company, but the presence of its COMO Hotels & Resorts brand is being strongly felt in the United States and Caribbean. Its two properties in the regions, COMO Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos and COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, consistently turn heads in the industry with their cool, clean aesthetic and wellness-centered ethos.
But one of the brand’s most recent headlines has nothing to do with décor or dynamic workouts, yet it has everything to do with a front-office decision. In November, Tapa Tibble was named the COMO Group’s managing director of the Americas, meaning he’ll oversee operations at the two aforementioned addresses and help spearhead future projects in the sector.
A Canadian-born New Zealander who studied at Cornell University and, most recently, served as the regional director of Europe for Aman Resorts, Tibble brings a world of experience to the position. We recently caught up with him to chat about his new role with COMO and the changing mindsets of international travelers.
You left your last position as regional director of Europe for Aman Resorts to join the COMO team in the Caribbean. In what ways are these markets the most different?
In terms of history and culture, my former home of Montenegro and my new home in Turks and Caicos could not be more different. Both have amazing natural beauty but offer entirely different experiences.
Year-round accessibility and climate weighs heavily in favor of the Turks and Caicos Islands with daily flights from the United States, Canada and Great Britain and endless beaches of powder white sand and azure sea. For feet-in-the-sand luxury, wellness and personal connection, there is no better place in the region than COMO Parrot Cay.
What was it about this opportunity that made it impossible to resist?
I have been blessed throughout my career to work in amazing destinations alongside amazing people, and I have had the opportunity to connect with, and positively influence, local communities. I have had the pleasure of sharing these places and journeys along the way with not only my young family, but with guests from across the globe.
Joining COMO is a natural progression to continue on my journey and to further expand horizons with the support of visionary leaders.
Travelers have a lot of high-end hotel options in Turks and Caicos and other places where COMO properties are. What makes the brand stand out among the competition?
First and foremost, COMO Parrot Cay is the premier private island resort in Turks and Caicos. Boarding a boat or a plane destined for a windswept private island is a feeling like no other. It is a combination of isolation, excitement and release due to the realization that one is truly on a path to somewhere you can forget about everyday life for a while. Providing guests with an opportunity to switch off and reconnect with those that mean most to them is a true privilege.
You’ve been a part of the hospitality industry for more than 25 years. What are some of the most profound ways that travelers have changed over the past decade or so?
Luxury travelers have always found importance in quality of life: design; genuine service; cuisine; and wellness.
The glaring difference now is that travelers are looking for rare experiences that they can share with their children and families that can help to educate the next generation in how to tread lightly, ensuring not to forget how precious culture, our environment and time really are.