Having grown up in the Caribbean and Nigeria, Hall has a real tropical-meets-urban flair. She spent the first few years of her life in Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, where her father had a practice. The family then moved to Nigeria for six years, before she and her three brothers enrolled in a British boarding school. She then joined her parents in St. Lucia for the final years of her secondary education. “My father lived in the tropics for about forty years, and I never once saw him wear a pair of shorts or sandals,” Hall recalls fondly. “He was impeccable in his style. He ingrained a certain amount of etiquette in all of us.”
After a year of college back in England, she became a management trainee at Harrods, where she ultimately worked for five years as sales manager in menswear. “It was the best training one could ever start off with in life,” she says. “It was like being in the army. I was awarded several bottles of champagne by Mohammed Al Fayed for my high levels of customer service. I even approached him about holding the first of what became many charity balls. I had weekly meetings with Al Fayed, and he would sit with his feet up on a stool and say, ‘Okay, Melanie, what do you want from me today?’ And then say to his secretary, ‘Give Melanie my Harrods account number. She needs to shop for auction prizes at my expense.’”
In 1992, at age 25, Hall became Polo Ralph Lauren’s Head of Visual Merchandising in the United Kingdom. She then moved to House of Fraser, where she was Head of Visual for Men’s and Children’s Wear. “Life was good,” says Hall. And it would get better. In 1996 she moved to Hong Kong to become Calvin Klein's Head of Creative for Asia-Pacific, while living in a fantastic studio apartment in the infamous Lan Kwai Fong party district. A couple of years later, she moved to Jakarta to get engaged to her boyfriend, banker Stewart Hall. She also started her own interior design company, working closely with several of the country’s top architects to outfit homes and businesses with her own custom-designed furniture.
Just as her store-opening role in the fashion industry led her to start her own business, so too did interior design and extensive travel inspire her to get into the hotel business with her husband, who serves as CEO. “I couldn’t help it! It found me!” says Hall. “We saw such a clear gap in the market for providing holidays for jet-setting lunatics, singles, and couples, with or without kids. And with my love of design and Stewart’s business and finance expertise, combined with the fact that both of us have lived in scores of different countries between us, it all just slotted into place.”