Hotels: What is Luxury?
Our World | On 16, Feb 2012
The term ‘luxury’ means something different to everybody you ask. For me, it’s not about ticking off the number of food and beverage outlets or listing the in-room facilities in order to comply with a checklist to gain maximum stars (although of course it’s a start).
It’s about people skills, ambiance and a delightful experience. Something that is an indulgence rather than a necessity. A property that attracts travellers, that are ‘in the know’ and prefer to keep a low profile.
It would be hard to beat the likes of Shangri-La Hotels and their consistent efforts to outstrip their competitors in particular in the Far East. The Rocco Forte Collection, One & Only, Ritz Carlton, the Mason Rose Collection, Angsana Resorts, Relais & Chateaux and of course Four Seasons Hotels; in fact visit their latest property in Florence and you’ll know you’ve found luxury!
An international luxury hotel must be able to inspire. It is obligatory on the Hotel’s General Manager to do this for both his staff and his customers. Location and an individual offering that captures the essence of the destination is a subtlety that must be apparent. It has to be said that the islands in the Indian Ocean have set a high standard in recent years for many to imitate but I believe local culture and a natural ‘from the heart’ attitude towards ‘service’ is what makes the difference (everyone desires to be treated as an individual).
Boutique and Chic
The words imply a multitude of definitions but whatever floats your boat, it must at least be superior in quality, Small enough to be intimate, elegant by virtue of being fashionably stylish and very often quirky.
Von Essen hotels, and the Perception privately owned portfolio of hotels typify these properties in the UK.
In fact you have to leave, feeling quietly smug that you’ve just been pampered in a place that not many people know about having experienced a blend of knowledge and innovation. To qualify for being boutique and chic, the property has to be a ground-breaker as opposed to a follower…
Susan Sexton, Events Team