Globetrotter: Rob Wood

Portrait of Rob Wood, founder of Music Concierge

Interview: Haris Stavridis // Portrait: Lorna Milburn // Additional images: Grand Hotel Tremezzo

I consider myself a sonic traveller who goes across the borders of music genres and eras.

Even though I visit lots of amazing places, it's always good to come back to Peckham Rye in East Dulwich in South East London. It's the centre of my home universe.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

When it comes to packing, I need quick access to my my Orlebar Brown shorts, Mac, power leads, and my Sennheiser MM 450-X travel headphones. Good cans are crucial in my line of work!

Sitting between Nile Rodgers and Brian Eno on a flight would be really interesting.

Arriving late in the day is key when you are dealing with jet lag. Then catch up on email, take a power swim, order room service and go to bed. You will be raring to go the next day.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo Pool

I like The Upper House in Hong Kong for its sheer design. The Connaught in London for its sheer class. Dormy House in Cotswolds for escaping from it all. Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como for its views and romance. And Cocoa Island in Maldives for a bit more romance.

As a hotel guest, I’m rather easy to please as long as there is a good swimming pool, the “Do not disturb” sign is respected, and there’s a healthy amount of salmon pink rosé from Provence in stock.

My own hotel would definitely have an amazing sound system, probably designed by the lovely Colleen Murphy from Classic Album Sundays. Music by Music Concierge of course. Light installations by The Light Surgeons. The bar would be by the brilliant The Gorgeous Group. The restaurant by Jeremy King. And the GM would be Davide Bertilaccio pinched from The Norfolk in Nairobi.

One place I never want to see again is the interrogation room at Miami airport. Don't ask, it’s a long story…

Shanghai is the most underrated destination in the world. The older parts, such as the French Concession, are fascinating and a lot of fun. Let’s hope it remains that way.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo Como

I always shop till I drop when I go to the Agnès B boutique in Paris. also can't stop shopping in New York, Manchester, and San Francisco because they have exceedingly great record shops. But there’s also plenty of good vinyl to be found in the back streets of London, Antwerp, Bergen, Reykjavík, Mumbai, and Bangkok.

The most breath-taking scenery is in the Himalayas in Bhutan. I was lucky enough to be there to consult with COMO’s Uma Paro hotel. I needed to immerse myself in the local music culture. They kindly drove me through the mountains to find the country’s one music shop, and then took me to my own private live traditional dance show in a chicken shack on the side of a mountain. Utterly magical for me and the resident poultry.

One of the best travel secrets in the UK is Folkestone on the Kent coast. It has a fishing harbour, beaches, views of France, splendid Victorian architecture, and a really cool creative quarter.

If you want to find some really good music on your travels, begin by looking in junk shops or market stalls. Then go and support a really good independent record shop that was recommended by a music fan, not the hotel concierge. Walk in and ask to listen to exactly the music that everyone else is not buying. There you will find the hidden gems.

For the Globetrotter column, I'd like to recommend Adam Brown of Orlebar Brown and Robbie Bargh, creative director of The Gorgeous Group.

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