Hotel Lobbies that Really “Work”: Hotels are continuing to reinvent the functionality of lobby spaces by creating ultra-cool lounges as places to meet, network and conduct business. The Palace Hotel in San Francisco offers a stunning historic court, with people on laptops gathering in a bar equipped with Wi-Fi and outlets. The new Four Seasons in downtown Manhattan offers lobby-specific amenities, such as laptops and interpreters for business meetings.
Hotels Bring the Destination to Life: To accommodate travelers’ growing desire for authentic and adventurous experiences, hotels are increasing on- and off-property activities. Virtuoso has also responded to this demand by expanding Best of the Best to feature 76 pages of cultural itineraries, including sushi making with one of Tokyo’s top chefs, camel rides along Erg Chebbi – the largest dunes in the Sahara – and nighttime safaris in Laos. Hotels immersed in the region’s terrain also play an important role in attracting travelers. Those include Amanera Resort, recently opened in the heart of Dominican Republic’s jungle, and the new Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, based in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The desire for personalised travel experiences and Instagram-worthy design continues to drive the popularity of boutique hotels.
Boutique Reigns King: The desire for personalised travel experiences and Instagram-worthy design continues to drive the popularity of boutique hotels. Of the 40 properties accepted into Virtuoso since June 2016, 60% have fewer than 100 rooms. New additions include Ted Turner’s one-room Ladder Ranch in New Mexico, where guests will have outstanding wildlife-spotting opportunities on the 156,000-acre property, and at his 18-room Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa, also in New Mexico, guests can enjoy outdoor hot springs, which were first established by the region’s Native Americans as a healing tradition.
Wellness 3.0: The rapidly growing travel niche is expected to hit $US680bn this year. It is expanding 50% faster than the overall tourism industry and hotels are responding accordingly. Mii amo, a destination spa in Sedona, goes beyond traditional treatments by offering restorative therapies such as Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction, and Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland is a pioneering medical retreat that combines cell therapy and holistic wellness.
Best of the Best is currently being distributed to the homes of 150,000 of Virtuoso’s best clients, as selected by their advisor. To view the directory online, click here.
PHOTO TOP OF PAGE: Tswalu Kalahari