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Atlantan and former president of The Ritz-Carlton has no time for resting on his laurels. He’s too busy with his six-star Capella Hotel Group.

Horst Schulze helms Atlanta-based Capella Hotel Group.

Horst Schulze left his home in Germany’s Mosel region at the ripe age of 14 to start his hotel career. Now, as a young 60-something, Schulze has only just begun as president of Atlanta-based Capella Hotel Group.

It’s a company he started almost immediately after retiring as president of The Ritz-Carlton, a position he held for 18 years. When asked about his inspiration for jumping right back in the game, Schulze explains, “I just had to do it, because the moment you step out of where you were, you know what you did wrong. I had to create Capella to take luxury to the next level.” 

With a recent opening of the Capella Washington D.C. and a current coterie of five global properties from Mexico to Germany to Singapore, and three more on deck (Bangkok, Riviera Maya and Niseko, Japan), Schulze’s got his hands full, delivering his vision of premium luxury experiences. Boasting a raft of awards and traveler kudos, Capella properties reflect a brilliantly reimagined hotel experience that emphasizes personal choice and unrivaled luxury.

It’s apropos that Schulze decided to base this luxury company in the hospitable, gracious city he’s come to love. Due to his intense travel schedule, Schulze cherishes time at home in Atlanta. “We live on the Chattahoochee [River]. Sometimes I go home early and canoe and fish. It’s so special here; I am 15 minutes from the office and still enjoy a nice home with acreage.”

True to his passion, he cites excellence as his favorite word. “Excellence makes you happy and fulfills you,” he says. “I have seen a dishwasher who comes to work to be excellent. Pleasure is fleeting; excellence is about creating happiness in your life.”

Schulze’s Hots
Technology (all kinds, from iPad check-in to bedside technology), individualized attention, no check-in/check-out times

Schulze’s Nots
Formality, add-on charges in the room for a Coke or Wi-Fi, over-design (chandeliers and glass elevators don’t mean excellence anymore)