Luxury travel isn’t the same today as it used to be. Years ago, luxury travel was synonymous with swanky 5-star hotels, high thread count sheets, and Michelin-starred restaurants. And though those things still play a role in luxury travel, it has evolved to encompass a wholistic meaning. Learn more about what luxury travel means today below.
Luxury Travel is Unique to You
What your neighbor considers luxury may not be the same for you. Luxury travel means determining what makes you excited about a trip and then creating an itinerary that incorporates your preferences and needs.
Take accommodations…while some travelers choose the crème de la crème hotels, others prefer finding their home-away-from-home in a private apartment or villa. And even if both travelers want a 5-star hotel, one may like a contemporary, modern aesthetic while the other loves a more classic, traditional design.
Or even guides…your neighbor, an architect, may have a guide that specializes in architecture and can explain the history behind the iconic buildings. On the other hand, you are a self-proclaimed foodie, so while you see the same sites you also stop in charming markets and cafes to taste the local fare.
Some trips are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you will remember forever, like an African safari, an expedition to the Galapagos, or an adventure to see polar bears. These trips on their own are a luxury, whether they include plush accommodations or not. They allow you to immerse yourself in a destination and see something totally different from your life at home. Even in more popular destinations, your local guide can take you out of the tourist areas and into local spots where you can really get to know the city.
The Human Touch
At a time where so many aspects of our lives are automated, nothing beats the human touch. From being greeted by name and with a smile at your hotel to making a new friend in your local guide, connection is part of our nature. Technology may be ever-present (though some hotels offer a digital detox), but it is there to enhance the human experience – not replace it. Having an in-room iPad or local cell phone makes communication seamless, but what makes or breaks it is the person on the other end helping you with your request.
Luxury Travel is a Mix
Luxury travel is a mix of high and low experiences. One day you might tour the city with a private guide and driver and go behind-the-scenes at top sites. The next day, you may explore on your own and visit the charming neighborhoods and quaint cafes you saw during your tour. You determine how you want your trip structured.
Luxury Travel is Personalized
There’s nothing like arriving to your hotel room and finding a special amenity waiting for you, especially if that amenity has your favorite beverages (Diet Coke and Champagne) and favorite snack (M&Ms and fresh fruit). The new luxury travel is not a one-size-fits-all deal, but rather a bespoke experience with personal touches. At Brownell, we will work with our partners to ensure you have your favorite snack, a car with enough space for your husband and son’s 6+ foot frames, or a photo of your family by your bedside.
Authenticity is a big trend in travel as whole. People don’t want to have a white-washed experience of a destination but rather see it and experience like locals. Many top hotels are tapping into their concierge’s extensive knowledge to create experiences that showcase the true destination. A guest may be able to visit the local market with the chef and then learn to cook a gourmet meal at the hotel. Or a running enthusiast can leave the treadmill behind and join one of the hotel staff on a run through the neighborhood.