he luxury hospitality industry is in the midst of a major shift. While the concept of luxury still symbolizes exclusivity, it has also become increasingly global, digital, individualized and experiential especially when it comes to hotels. There are now more luxury options than ever before, as well as a growing number of consumers with varied interests and needs. How do we choose?
Scarcity was once one of the defining features of luxury. A few decades ago travel was a perk not many could indulge in. Now, that scarcity has shifted to abundance as the digital age has made travel more accessible. With that, creativity, innovation, and more sustainable practices are more important than ever to create a clear distinction in the luxury market. Travelers today want substance over style.
In comes “new luxury”. The term new luxury navigates the vocabularies of those who believe that experience is more highly valued than consumption. This new way to travel focuses on the places and experiences that have become a part of our curios DNA. They are the places we never forget and constantly come up in conversation; places that spark curiosity, deep cultural exchange, and hold authenticity in high regards.
While cost is no longer the leading indicator of luxury, travelers are ever more inclined to explore the definition of luxury and invest time and effort searching for experiences that will simply blow their minds. The hospitality industry has taken strides to keep up with this shift and hotels all over the world are redefining and reshaping to accommodate to the needs of more adventurous, experiential travelers.
Sextantio Della Civita Della Grotte
For an out of the ordinary Italian getaway, Sextantio le Grotte dela Civita satisfies even the most unusual demands of an adventurer looking for authenticity. Located 5 hours from Rome’s airport, Sextantio is a full commitment that also gives utter joy in return. Here, caves serve as the backdrop instead of statues and monuments, and alleyways descending down into a canyon leave you wondering if you’ve wandered too far. For those with an appreciation for history, Sextantio transports you to an era of simple beauty, where the luxury lies in the small details.
Awasi Patagonia offers an experience unlike any other. Located in a secluded and private reserve, the collection of independent villas offers total privacy and stunning views of the forest, lakes, and National Park. Each villa is allocated its own guide and vehicle, allowing guests to explore at their own pace. With a restaurant and villas inspired by Patagonian shelters, Awasi is high on authenticity while providing the utmost privacy and freedom to guests.
Dar Ahlam is the epitome of an exceptional experience. From unparalleled cultural immersion to the utmost elevated service and setting, this hotel inspires the adventures you normally only dream about. Dramatically set between the Atlas Mountains and Morocco’s stretch of the Sahara desert, the Dar Ahlam hotel is a renovated 19th-century Kasbah re-imagined by a Parisian. There, a different setting is seen at every turn. From hundred year old palm trees to private tents in the desert, Dar Ahlam is truly unforgettable.
This stunning hotel consists of 1,185 acres of tranquil, unspoiled Uruguayan countryside. The stunning 360 degree views sloping down to the Atlantic coupled with the impressive but subtle buildings that adorn the landscape are just a few of the reasons why this place is the ultimate luxury redefined. Like traditional Uruguayan ranches, a perfect marriage of sophistication and simplicity blend in with the beautiful scenery. Here, nature is the most important element of design.
Resting in France’s Eugenie-les-Bains region, in the heart of Gascony, lives a Second Empire-styled estate boasting an index of luxuries. From a three Michelin starred Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux restaurant by legendary Michel Guérard, an aquatic medicinal spa retreat, to a 50-acre owned vineyard, new age cooking school, and extensive vegetable farm, Les Prés d’Eugenie is a holistic oasis – one to be experienced fully and wholeheartedly. Here, a guest’s stay has multiple dimensions, which is a treasured perk in a world where less is more.
A modernist marvel of architecture and design in the wild landscape surrounding Utah’s Lake Powell, Amangiri hotel is monumental. The dramatic setting and calm surrounding is very relaxing and decadent, with a Navajo-inspired spa, gourmet restaurant and absolutely perfect service. While hotels like Amangiri top the charts of high-end luxury, it’s important to note that the level of experience and service are the determining factors, rather than price point.
The Rajmahal Palace is a one of the oldest and most treasured hotels in Jaipur. A private oasis, secluded in lush and exquisite gardens, this palace is rich in history and culture. The walls of the Rajmahal ooze secrecy and adventure, with each room telling a different story. The wallpaper, created specific to each room, tells the many different stories of Jaipur, it’s rulers, their legacies and the collective history of the state. At The Rajmahal guests really feel like part of history.
Londolozi Private Game Reserve at the Kruger National Park in South Africa is situated in the heart of the Sabi Sand game reserve. The lodge is surrounded by untamed nature while also boasting elegant simplicity throughout. Here, the minute attention to detail makes all the difference. From private swimming pools overlooking the Bushveld to contemplation decks, this family-run property redefines luxury by being in perfect harmony with the environment and making contact with nature the highlight of the guest experience.
La Mamounia, a palace centered in the heart of Marrakech, carries an air that typically converts travelers into permanent tenants (Consider Yves Saint Laurent’s initial half month stay turned 2 year residency). Mamounia’s exquisitely decadent décor and rich historical past sets it apart from other luxury hotels. Here, service goes beyond what the eye can see. Step inside and feel immediately transported to a different time and place, where magic and beauty creates a world of endless possibilities.
Goldeneye Hotel shows a whole different side of Jamaica. The unique, history-steeped boutique hotel is remote, but not too remote and exclusive. Just a quick hop from the US, these villas sit on a gorgeous plot of coastal land, facing the picturesque cove of Ocho Rios. A paradise for creative adventurers, GoldenEye was Ian Fleming’s estate and the desk in the flagship Fleming Villa is where he sat down to write all fourteen of his James Bond novels. It’s still as casual and low-key as you expect Jamaica to be, but with an undercurrent of colonial-era gentility and history still unseen in other parts of the island.