This is the first is a series of informative articles we are going to be writing in an attempt to help our readers become more informed and hence be able to understand better our opinions on destinations, hotels and experiences which we write about. An informed reader will push us to ask ourselves troublesome questions which we might have skipped (we are lazy like that) and have us grow as well. To kick-start this ride to self-growth we take on the very basic question of what is Luxury Travel.
What is Luxury Travel?
We’ve been asked our opinion on Luxury Travel many a times and frankly were always stumped for a perfect answer. After a year of talking to hoteliers, fellow bloggers, other luxury travellers and a bit of self-introspection (while sipping on a fantastic drink beside some of most lust worthy pools in India), we’ve arrived at our answer.
- It is about timely experiences. A pastry from the best local bakery could be as much of an experience as a meal in a 3 Michelin star restaurant.
- It is in the details and in an inspirational, anticipatory service. Some hotels have perfected hospitality in the truest sense. Little things like the waiter remembering your choice of water or the guide anticipating rain carrying an extra set of umbrella makes for lifelong loyalty.
- It is relative. For some an afternoon siesta by a private pool on a weekday is the epitome of luxury while for some caviar and champagne on a remote island for a private dinner is what’s required to cut it.
Luxury is no longer just about the plush beds, gourmet food and gorgeous facades. It is obviously all that but all of this is now taken for granted because for a guest luxury isn’t something money should be able to replicate. It is supposed to more than that. Irreplicable, subtle & exclusive.
What then is Boutique Luxury Travel?
Think of mass market and then think of the opposite of that. Boutique hotels were initially described as small hotels in unique settings but have now become ubiquitous with style. Boutique luxury takes it a step forward and adds personalization to it. You have your comfort, convenience and a level of exclusivity which replaces the frills with an experience that says it’s all for you. The staff to guest ratio is generally higher because of smaller number of rooms which means that the experience is seldom replicable by a city center 5 star hotel, which albeit serves a different purpose altogether. It is important to add in that Bespoke luxury travel can have elements of boutique luxury in them but not vice versa. This is because Bespoke Luxury is an experience tailor made for you from scratch and will be unique in that sense, in a way the epitome of luxury – irreplicable and exclusive.
For example. We had a fantastic experience in a quaint little boutique hotel called Lakshman Sagar in Rajasthan, India. The person managing the staff was so adept that he made our stay a benchmark for all future trips, right from remembering how we had a sore throat and preferred our water a bit warm to making sure we had tea at 5.30-6 am in the morning because we had mentioned we were planning to spot the sunrise. This apart from the fact that he had perfected the art of predicting when we would require him to be around and when we would prefer being alone. The focus on detail and anticipatory service is exactly what we were talking about and what everyone in the hospitality industry should be paying attention to.
As influencers our opinions matter and can make for an extraordinary experience and at the same time a disappointing one as well. For our readers, some of whom take just one vacation a year, it might be even more crucial. We choose our accommodation partners with as much care as we do for our destinations as we realize how important our opinions are going to be, both for the property, the destination and the reader who chooses to go by our recommendation. With that ending note we hope this gives you a bit of insight about where we are coming from.
Read: Why people travel
In our next info guide we will be talking about how we select our accommodation partners (and how you should as well) and what we look at while reviewing them.