Getting the most out of the best luxury vacation destinations is no longer just about spending the most money—it’s about getting the most value out of the money you spend. Prior to the recession, most people on luxury vacations parted with a lot of money to stay at hotels that offered a variety of conveniences and facilities that the vacationers never got to use.
These included access to chauffeur services with fancy cars, highly specialized concierge services, round-the-clock concierge desk and room service, multiple restaurants, etc. These days, luxury hotels are focusing on setting themselves apart by providing high-value offerings—supervised kids’ clubs, free snacks from the lounge or mini bar, and so on.
When looking for luxury hotels, find out what high-value amenities and perks are offered and pick a hotel offering what you find most useful. You’ll be surprised to find a luxury hotel that may not be among the most well-known, but offers great amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and free breakfast among other extras.
There was a time when vacationers had to adapt their needs to what the hotels and resorts considered to be luxury. Those days are long gone. Now, it’s the hotels that strive to conform to the needs of customers and adjust to the customers’ ideas of luxury. The luxury hotels and resorts are interested in knowing what you want from your stay, which means you need to know what you want.
Rather than go for a hotel that offers a basic luxury experience, identify one that provides facilities that cater to your specific needs. For example, in some hotels, each room has a designated butler who ensures that the vacationer’s experience is unique.
This is because for some guests at the hotel, luxury means endless snacks from the lounge and a free mini bar in the room. For others, luxury is having a coffeemaker in the room so that they don’t have to go downstairs for coffee in the morning.
There has been a decline in brand loyalty over recent years. Luxury hotel brands have been compelled to work extra hard to attract and retain customers. As a result, the brands are continually enhancing their loyalty programs. Such programs can even earn you benefits such as discounts and, in some cases, a free stay.
From the aesthetic standpoint, luxury is no longer about living in a Victorian palace. These days, savvy travelers are on the lookout for an authentic experience. They have a higher appreciation for local cultures and natural materials than for marble and gilt among other similar elements.
Authentic luxury hotels bring the surrounding culture inside, making it possible for guests to interact with it. Luxury has transcended the notion that your coffee has to be served by a uniformed white-gloved gentleman—it just needs to taste great and arrive on your table quickly. The hotel employees should also be authentic in their recommendations.
Alfredo P. Jones writes for a travel website and has plans of publishing a book that covers his years of travel experiences, from fine dining to cruising to enjoying hotels and resorts across the globe. When he’s not traveling and writing, he enjoys pottery.