More and more travelers are seeking to have unique and authentic experiences, but you don’t want to sacrifice the luxury amenities you have at home – or you want to experience a high-end stay that pales in comparison to what you have in the everyday in order to feel truly pampered. These are the trends in luxury travel that are coming online this year that can truly take your vacation to the next level – whether you are traveling with the whole clan or just traveling on your own as a couple.
Virtuoso is a travel agency network that specializes in luxury and experiential travel. The organization is comprised of more than 380 agency members who are curated by Virtuoso and invited to join. Currently, there upward of 11,400 travel advisors spread over 30 countries who are Virtuoso members. The network has positioned itself at the forefront of luxury hospitality trends to keep its members ahead of the curve. Here are some of the ways that hotels will be distinguishing themselves in the coming year.
1. Larger Suites and Villas: Family travel, particularly with extended and blended families, is one of the hottest trends of the year, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report. Hotels are responding to the demand for group lodging with larger suites and villas so that the whole family can stay together. For example, in Virtuoso’s portfolio, there is an 11-bedroom suite opening this year at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.
The suite will be the largest in the Caribbean. The largest penthouse suite in the U.S. is at New York City’s The Mark. It is 12,000 square feet. Four Seasons Nevis is also offering guests 40 villas.
2. A Sense of Place: Today’s traveler places great value on authentic experiences that gives them a sense that they have traveled somewhere new.
Virtuoso has a collection of Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts that showcase these types of experiences and are distinctive within their destinations. Therefore, travelers who use a Virtuoso travel advisor can enjoy everything new things, such as world-class concerts at Schloss Elmau, a historic Bavarian castle; a Western cattle drive at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming; a private coffee-tasting experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica and more.
3. Lifestyle Hotels: It has been said that millennials are blazing a new trails in the world of luxury travel, so Virtuoso has selected new properties that appeal to the younger travel demographic, offering brands such as Andaz and W Hotels in its portfolio, which has also recently welcomed its first Conrad hotel (in the Algarve in Portugal) and its first Edition hotel (in New York City).
4. Getting Their First: Luxury travelers want to be the first to discover the globe’s hottest new properties and, if they can get exclusive access and perks, they have an even better experience. Virtuoso has the pioneering Preview program, that is designed to introduce emerging or reemerging hotels and resorts to its discerning clientele of elite travel advisors.
Preview has been around for six years and continues to deliver properties from world-class luxury brands during their pre-opening phase and debut. Current participants include the Ritz Paris and Faena Hotel Miami Beach.
To find out about all of Virtuoso's hotels and resorts, check out the Best of the Best, a book that outlines some of the best luxury properties around the world.