Luxury hotels are no longer just about large rooms, high thread-count sheets, and Michelin-starred chefs. What once was the height of luxury is now commonplace, and what was unthinkable ten years ago has become table stakes.
To meet these changing standards, luxury hoteliers and hotel brands have had to study and understand what luxury means to their target customers today. What are their tastes, and how are they changing? How do they spend their time? How do they feel about new technology and sustainable practices? And how can you make them feel special, valued, and more like VIPs than ever before?
Today’s luxury travelers demand more than just comfortable accommodations; they expect to be wowed by their surroundings. They require high-tech services and amenities that go far beyond the basics. And they are focused on getting unique and personalized experiences.
Read on to discover luxury hoteliers’ answers to their customers’ ever-evolving needs that have become some of the top trends in hospitality and will most likely define luxury traveling in the following years.
Hotel-branded products and personalized must-haves
The luxury hotel industry is a saturated market with a significant challenge: How do you stand out? Hotel groups are turning to branded products and personalized must-haves to differentiate themselves.
For years, hotels have offered high-end cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, and other toiletries. However, now luxury hotels are taking them a step further by providing personalized toiletries.
Many luxury hotels are partnering with premium beauty and self-care brands to provide guests with customized, complimentary toiletries. They ask guests to complete a questionnaire when they check-in so that their specific requests can be fulfilled upon their arrival. This allows guests to enjoy their favorite brands, but it also provides an opportunity to create an experience that matches the guest’s personality and preferences.
And the personalized experience doesn’t stop there. Many luxury hotels also offer personalized amenities like monogrammed towels or pillowcases in guest rooms upon arrival. These items help make guests feel like they’re genuinely being treated like VIPs while staying at the hotel.
And people’s desire for personalization has increased even further, leading to another trend in the luxury hospitality industry: hotel-branded products.
Brands are allowing guests to purchase home goods with the same quality and luxury found in their hotels. So branded products sold in hotel gift shops or available for purchase online allow guests to bring a little piece of their favorite luxury hotel brand home with them.
In-house niche services and amenities
The second trend is the increased presence of in-house niche services and amenities, including concierge or butler service, housekeeping on demand, spa, and gym membership.
Butler service is becoming an increasingly common feature at higher-end hotels. Personalized service that caters to guests’ individual needs is becoming the competitive edge that sets luxury hotels apart from the mainstream players. The evolution of hospitality is most apparent in the shifting preferences of contemporary travelers. They now demand more control over their decision-making and better-personalized services during their stay.
Hotel services are evolving to meet guests’ needs for convenience, personalization, and comfort with minimal effort required by guests.
Food and Beverage is another area where hotels are getting creative with more local cuisine and customized dining options.
The modern luxury traveler is no longer just looking for a place to stay but an experience that reflects the culture and uniqueness of the destination. So, as guests get more adventurous and travel more often, they’re looking for authenticity. They want local ingredients and chefs who can bring their expertise to bear and create something the guest would never experience at home.
Staying in touch with local culture remains a vital element of the luxury experience. Luxury travelers want to fully immerse themselves into their destination’s history, culture, and community; they want to understand the local fabric and connect with it in authentic ways.
Hotels can help them do this by hosting cultural performances or giving guests access to local artisans so that they can see how things are made and interact with locals about their work.
Eco-friendly upgrades have become a must-have for hotels, but industry experts say that guests are now starting to expect more than just recyclable toiletries and organic bedding. Guests want to know that the hotels they are staying at are making a difference in their community. They also expect their preferred hotels to be actively looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints, and luxury hotels are responding to those demands.
Many hotels are upgrading their facilities to reduce their carbon footprint and offer guests a more sustainable stay. This includes installing solar panels and automated climate control systems that can reduce water usage and energy costs. They also offer guests eco-friendly upgrades like electric cars for rent and bike-sharing programs.
Cutting-edge technology and smart amenities driven by voice assistants
Luxury hotels are constantly trying to outdo each other with bigger and better amenities and services. The latest trends include cutting-edge technology and smart amenities driven by voice assistants and artificial intelligence.
Wearable technology, 3D-printed food, and robot butlers are among the futuristic features hotels are rolling out to impress guests.
Hotels are even adding Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to their list of amenities. It’s not just about making coffee or turning on the lights anymore. These devices also connect guests with concierge services, including recommendations for local attractions and restaurants and bookings for preferred activities and events.
Luxury apartments and villas with the same services as hotels
There’s an increasing trend for luxury apartments and villas with the same level of service as five-star hotels. Once reserved for a small group of highly qualified buyers, luxury apartments and villas are now more accessible. These properties are attractive to families, friends, and group holidays who are looking for more space, freedom, and privacy than hotel rooms offer.
This trend is also driven by the fact that many of these apartments and villas offer the same services as luxury hotels (i.e. concierge, private chef, daily housekeeping, chauffeur, etc.) FIN Grand Cayman is a great example of this type of luxury accommodation. Founded by Mike Ryan, the developer of the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, it now offers boutique hotel-level services that even the Ritz cant match.
These trends will continue to develop and evolve in the coming years, keeping luxury tourism at the forefront of hospitality. Luxury hospitality perks will become even more personalized, immersive, and innovative as staff members aim to meet the needs of discerning travelers. And that’s just how the industry likes it.