AHL INSIDER

Chris Connors

Founder and Creative Director of OPO

Chris Connors

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“When you adventure into your inner world, life opens up in new inspiring ways. Perspectives shift, our energy shifts, and we suddenly discover the magic in the mundane around us.” Chris Connors, an Irish native that has called a number of countries home and is now based in Ibiza, knows a thing or two about adventures — both in the wild web of life out there and those inwards.

Having worked in fashion, hospitality, and the arts, Chris built a multifaceted background and a unique point of view on what it means to find our own sense of balance and peace — and he became a master in guiding people through it. “A certain beauty comes from just being with what is. These experiences create better mental states and better choices about living and contributing to the world. Life just gets better.”

Chris is full of passion and conviction for what he does. He is the founder and creative director of OPO, a startup that is disrupting the mindfulness industry and its intersection with hospitality. Powered by a unique blend of sound, vision, and meditation, the OPO app offers a pathway to long-term health and wellness. 

Using ‘portals’ that are augmented audio experiences mapped onto select locations worldwide, the app allows us to discover, explore and connect to inspiring natural and urban spaces, from city squares to ocean views, or in the comfort of our hotel rooms and homes.

“These are the journeys that really matter. So drop into the present moment, venture out and explore more of life’s great landscape.” 

We are honored to introduce Chris as A Hotel Life’s Wellness Editor. To celebrate, we sat with Chris to chat about his personal journey, the app OPO, and, of course, his favorite hotels.  

Read more below…

 

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What do you do, and how did you get here?

I’m the founder and creative director of well-tech studio OPO, a meditation teacher and writer.  

In a nutshell, what is OPO, and how is it different from other meditation apps?

OPO is actually more than a meditation app. It’s a real way to connect with the world around you and within you which can bring peak moments to your day. Our immersive experiences can be used anywhere, and our signature portals can be found around the world, from city benches to ocean views.

Why do you love what you do?

Honestly, it’s because I feel pretty aligned with my purpose to bring more peace and empowerment to people! That’s a big deal to take on. I remember saying that I wanted to live a life that I don’t need a holiday from, and most of the time, that really sits with me. There is the odd day, however, when it’s not like that! 

 

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A big part of what you do and what your app OPO offers is directly related to travel and hospitality. How do you think meditation enhances our adventures and travel experiences?

Great question! Well, the mindful traveler will simply see and experience more. When you meditate, you enhance all your senses, make better decisions, communicate better, meet more people, relax faster, and speed up the elevated experience that you really want. 

If you start your day with 15 minutes of OPO, you train your mind to focus on living in ‘relaxed action.’ That’s the optimal way to live life! Sounds easy, but it’s actually quite a lot of training to get there!

The opposite is to sit in your mind and stress about getting to the next thing and forcing yourself to have a good time. 

 

If you could choose a hotel to stay in right now, anywhere in the world, which one would it be? Why?

I’ve got my eye on the Reschio hotel in Umbria, and for a city stay, it would have to be Ett Hem in Stockholm — I love Ilse Crawford’s work. An extra one on my list is to spend some time at the Colombe d’Or in the French Riviera.

Chris Connors Insider Interview A Hotel Life
Chris Connors Insider Interview A Hotel Life

If you could give hotel guests one piece of advice for their stay — and for life — what would it be

Bring things to personalize your space. You make a room more mindful by having something of you in it. I like to bring my favorite piece of shipibo cloth. I have a little bowl and a meditation set from 3rd ritual. It sets the room up and brings continuity and grounding, as traveling regularly can be uprooting. Also, use OPO! It will shift your day. Take 15 mins out of your morning to train your mind on OPO. It will program your brain for the rest of the day and set you up for a good sleep. Lastly, read Andrew Huberman’s books, which I greatly admire. 

The most unexpected thing that ever happened to you at work (name changing allowed)?

In my early days, I was working in architecture on a retail project with a globally renowned luxury brand and an architecture firm. We had a very intense meeting in Berlin with a lot of heated exchanges so, after that, I decided to go and decompress at the hotel’s sauna… As is the norm, I went in naked. Two minutes later, I walked to the sauna of the architect that I had a strong exchange with… We had to just sit there and surrender to the moment. 

What advice would you give to someone starting their career today?

I’ve never thought of calling it a career. I think it is more of a calling. I would say listen to that call. It will define your purpose, and you will not feel like you are going to work for one day of your life. 

Ett Hem in Stockholm

What excites you the most these days?

The young generation who are taking the world into their hands, doing their inner work, having fun, and defining a new meaning of cool. 

I just ran a retreat in Tuscany with many Gen Z’s in my group, and they are like an upgrade of my generation, open and very conscious about life. Sadly they are also carrying so much anxiety and stress from the speed and uncertainty of life, but they have the tools to deal with it, which is crucial. Also, I’m excited about winter in Ibiza — it’s the best time to be on the island, in my opinion. 

If you were a hotel or destination, which one would you be and why?

That’s a nice question. Probably a private house at The Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, for its wild natural beauty, long moments of stillness, the sunsets, the conversations, and the people you meet the list goes on.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to add that I’m very happy to share my perspective with the AHL community. Looking for what raises our vibration and what brings magic to the mundane. 

Check out the OPO app on the App Store and the Google Play store.

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