Luxury Hotel Trends
By Betsy Goldberg, Virtuoso

Hotels are always looking for the next big thing to grow their share of the $550 billion market. What are travelers craving from upscale hotels? And how are hotels tapping into these luxury hotel trends?

Virtuoso has its finger on the pulse of what upscale travelers desire. Its Hotels & Resorts collection, almost a quarter-century old, is luxury travel’s longest-running and most prestigious program. Virtuoso experts have identified five luxury hotel trends shaping the growth of its portfolio.

1. More spacious accommodations

Multigenerational travel is the hottest trend of 2016, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report. Groups traveling together need a property that can provide them with ample living space. One of the hottest luxury hotel trends today: hotels that offer extremely large suites and villas.

Virtuoso’s portfolio includes an 11-bedroom suite opening at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. It’ll be the biggest in the Caribbean. Not enough space for your island retreat? Try Four Seasons Resort Nevis, which offers guests 40 villas.

Urban fans will be pleased to discover the largest penthouse suite in the U.S. at New York City’s The Mark. There they’ll enjoy 12,000 square feet of living space. Hotels are offering authentic experiences to meet travelers’ desire for a sense of place, such as concerts at Germany’s Schloss Elmau.

2. Experiences with a sense of place

Today’s travelers place great value on experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime. Hotels and resorts are offering an array of authentic experiences that are unique to their destinations.

For a sense of place in Europe, take in one of the world-class concerts at Schloss Elmau, a historic Bavarian castle. Craving an experience distinctive to the US West? A cattle drive at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming would be perfect. Can’t live without your morning java? A private coffee-tasting experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica fits the bill.

3. Lifestyle hotels

As Millennials blaze a new trail in the luxury travel world, properties are catering to their preferences. They’re social and want gathering places such as inviting lobbies and bars. They’re looking for a less corporate and more boutique atmosphere. Technology rules, so features like WiFi and even numerous outlets in a hotel room are important.

Hotel companies are creating new brands with qualities that appeal to lifestyle-focused travelers. Exciting modern chains such as Andaz and W Hotels are represented in Virtuoso’s collection. As well, the network has welcomed its first Conrad hotel (in the Algarve in Portugal) and first Edition hotel (in New York City).

4. Discovering the world’s newest properties

Luxury travelers want to be the first to discover the globe’s most buzzed-about new properties. Virtuoso provides them with a way to do just that.

The Virtuoso Preview program debuts new or re-opening hotels and resorts to the public. Virtuoso travel advisors and their clients receive advance information and offers for the properties. Since Preview hotels are exclusive to the network, only Virtuoso clients can receive extras at them. Those could include a transfer to and from the airport, guaranteed room upgrade, or complimentary massage.

Preview regularly unveils properties from world-class luxury brands. Current hotels include the eagerly anticipated Ritz Paris and stunning Faena Hotel Miami Beach.

5. Broadening global appeal

People – no matter where they live – love travel. And people often select their travel destination based on what’s close. Australians venture to different winter-getaway spots than Americans. And Europeans adore certain summer locales that are less well-known to Mexicans.

In the past year, Virtuoso has expanded its network of worldwide travel agencies. It added its first member agencies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Virtuoso also grew its presence in Europe. So it’s expanded its collection of global hotels to get ahead of the demand from these regions. New hotels such as Anassa on Cyprus (a popular destination with Europeans) and Pousada Literaria De Paraty in Brazil (a favorite spot for South Americans) are two examples of how Virtuoso is satisfying diverse tastes.
How to keep up with luxury hotel trends

A Virtuoso travel advisor (that’s us!) is a great source of information on luxury hotel trends. Always ahead of the curve, Virtuoso constantly assesses developments in the industry. In the last year, Virtuoso added 95 new properties to meet the ever-changing needs of clients.

The network’s portfolio is now more than 1,100 hotels in 100 countries. Those include everything from resorts, spas, lodges, camps, villas and even private islands. Of these, 43 percent have chosen to partner exclusively with the network.

Book with your Mary Rossi Travel travel advisor and receive hotel perks. You’ll enjoy standard benefits such as breakfast,  room upgrades and early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability). You’ll also savor extras that enhance the experience like spa treatments, dinners or rounds of golf.