Archive for the ‘Tahiti’ tag

Guest Q&A: Joey Jalleo, Standard International, talks Met Ball, Bora Bora and Burberry

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Joey Jalleo Photo by Jerome Jakubiec


For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Joey Jalleo, VP of Culture and Communication for Standard International, the parent company for The Standard Hotels in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. Joey has been with The Standard for six years and following being part of the team that launched NY’s hottest hotel property, The Standard, High Line and its storied nightclubs, the Boom Boom Room and Le Bain, he now oversees all PR, programming, digital initiatives, special projects and culture for all five Standard-branded properties in the US. Joey joined after ten years working in PR/events for some of the world’s biggest luxury consumer brands. He brings his understanding of the events and media business, as well a passion for art, fashion, entertainment and design to his job every day, to ensure that his properties continue to be some of the most popular and highly-regarded in the world.

We caught Joey, bright eyed and bushy tailed, the morning after their annual Met Ball After Party at the Top of the Standard (aka The Boom Boom Room) in NYC.  


Thanks for joining us today Joey!  We know that last night, you hosted one of the most popular events of the year on the NYC social calendar – the “unofficial” after party for the storied Met Ball. How did this begin and how did it go this year? 

In May of 2010, I asked André [Balazs] if we could open the Boom Boom Room on a Monday night (a night we are normally closed) so that we could throw an informal after-party to the Met Gala uptown.  It’s NYC’s star-studded event of the year, but for us, it was meant to be casual…nothing too over-the-top; like a house party.  I reached out to our fashion designer and society friends, and invited a few of them down to the property post gala.  Before I knew what was happening, word had spread and the room was filled with all the uptown attendees who trekked from the Upper East Side to the Meatpacking District. That night was incredible and everyone had an amazing time and felt part of something special. That night laid the foundation for what was to be a momentous annual tradition for The Standard.

2015 was no exception. 

MKTG did the research and learned (although Joey wouldn’t confirm, being the consummate professional that he is) that the following celebs attended the after party until the wee hours at The Top of the Standard: Katy Perry and John Mayer, Leonardo diCaprio, Bradley Cooper, P Diddy, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba, Allison Williams, Robert Pattinson and his fiancée FKA twigs, Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Chase Crawford, Jennifer Connelly, Elizabeth Banks, Naomi Campbell, Matt Bomer, Mickey Rourke, Kate Mara, Emily Blunt, Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima, Joshua Jackson, and of course, Standard founder, Andre Balazs and many others, including DJ Samantha Ronson who kept people dancing all night.

STANDARD NYCViews from The Standard High Line NYC

You attend a ton of events around the world. Where have you been most recently and what about the event do you remember most?

I love how digital has been woven into events, especially when it is done well. While in Los Angeles a couple of weeks back, I was very fortunate to be invited to Burberry’s London in Los Angeles fashion show and party. It was truly spectacular. They took over Griffith Observatory. Everyone was in attendance…the Beckham Family, Elton John, Cara Delevingne, Rose Byrne, Kate Beckinsale, Mila Kunis, Ryan Seacrest and Anna Wintour to name a few. Jourdan Dunn opened the show. Naomi Campbell closed. They flew in ten real guards from Buckingham Palace (First Battalion Grenadier Guards to be exact) to walk the runway post-show. As they got to the end of the catwalk, the massive Burberry walls opened up to reveal the after-party on top of the hill overlooking Los Angeles.  SPECTACULAR!!

Burberry-the-show-6-Vogue-17Apr15-pr_bAs the Grenadier Guards’ drums beat, the models and guests file out onto the lawn for the party.

Have you experienced something at an event recently, technology or programming-wise that blew your mind? Where was it and what was it?

At the same aforementioned Burberry event, they had the guards perform a “show” while an extensive video projected across the building’s facade featuring digitally reproduced guards parading across the building. Also, their invitation for the show and party arrived in video form. Impressive.

You’re quite the jet setter. What’s been the best trip/city place or places and why? 

I am grateful for all of the amazing places I get to see as part of my job, and I travel quite often but mostly to our properties in LA and Miami, or to London. But a few weeks back, I traveled with my family to French Polynesia. Wow. We were there for ten days and started our trip on a small island an hour out from Tahiti call Huahine. The crystalline waters, the perfect weather, the fresh food. All incredible. Then we spent four days on a catamaran with a captain and chef where we toured the islands of Raiatea and Taha’a. The only way to end the trip was with two days in Bora Bora in over-the-water bungalows.  The lagoons were our private swimming pools, and I finally understood what heaven on earth meant.

What’s your personal mantra or quote you live by and why? 

“Leap and the net will appear” because you can never take out an insurance policy on a risk with real return.

paddle boarding JJ Joey’s last day in Bora Bora

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The Moorea, The Merrier

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Jason Tahiti

When I started telling people we were going to Tahiti, “That sounds amazing – where is that?” was a common response. Full disclosure, I needed a geography lesson too. So … Tahiti is the largest of 130 French Polynesian islands and sits right in the middle of the Pacific, eight hours SW of Los Angeles and 6 hours from New Zealand. The islands were formed by volcanic activity, so they very much resembled Hawaii – with excellent beaches and tall, sharp peaks and rain forest inland. My wife Michelle and I planned three days on the island of Moorea and three on neighboring Tahiti.

When we arrived in Moorea, we were welcomed by Johnny, and during the 30-minute ride to our hotel, we quickly learned that you can call Johnny for everything.  Snorkeling, skydiving, RTVs, jet skis, restaurants – anything.   The island has one road that circles the island for the 17,000 people who live there, so it’s no surprise that a person like Johnny would know everyone.

Coral reefs protect the island from waves, creating a lagoon of calm water right up to the beach with amazing ocean views. Looking out and seeing nothing but water makes you realize that you really are in the middle of the Pacific – flash back to LOST. If you ever find yourself here, I recommend watching as many sunsets as you can, they are simply amazing.

Our first activity was the highlight of the trip: the Dolphin Center at the Intercontinental.  We booked 30 minutes with a trainer and were excited to get up close with a dolphin. The trainer took the first 10 minutes showing us what dolphins can do, including a jump right above our heads.  We then swam, one at a time, next to the dolphin with our hand on her dorsal fin. He blew the whistle and the dolphin dove six feet under the water with us in tow for about 100 feet to another trainer. We were lucky enough to do this twice. It was a bucket list item that Michelle and I happily got to cross off.

We hopped a ferry to spend the next three nights on Tahiti, in the town of Pape’ete.  The resort overlooked Moorea, about 11 miles off shore with a sunset that provided a surreal view each night. Tahiti is much bigger than Moorea, but like all the islands, most people live within a mile of the water, leaving the interior untouched and full of rainforest. During our jeep tour and our hike into the interior, it was mostly sunny along the coast but the clouds would just sit in the middle of the island and like clockwork, start to gently rain in the late afternoon. Along our adventure, there were plenty of waterfalls off the cliffs and plenty of green with low lying clouds.

Each night a dozen food trucks (Roulottes) gather in the center of town near the ferry docks. They set out tables and serve excellent street food, probably the best meal we had on our trip.  After skimming menus, we settled for Chinese at one truck then jumped to another to get a crepe for dessert.

We wrapped up an amazing trip with the cliché coconut drinks by the pool before our flight home (couldn’t leave the island without it). Looking back, there are so many fantastic pictures to share and so much more to tell. The trip was an amazing experience that I probably wouldn’t have had if not for MKTG Rewards. Thank you to everyone at MKTG INC, I couldn’t be more grateful.

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Written by Jason Calabrese
Jason Calabrese

January 24th, 2014 at 8:07 am