This summer travel season is anticipated to be the busiest in U.S. history. To kick-off the season and spark some wanderlust, we’ve forecasted the top trends impacting luxury hospitality globally. From skipping the summer internship for a mentorship-style adventure in Sri Lanka, sightseeing while working out, to hotels offering VIP perks at the airport, here are the top trends to discover this season.
What’s Out: Stagnant Sightseeing
What’s In: Wanderlust Workouts
Skip the gym, and work up a sweat on heart pumping, sightseeing excursions. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises and Crunch Fitness have collaborated to launch CruiseFit. While cruising around NYC’s landmarks, guests will enjoy fitness classes led by Crunch instructors, including Pound® and Mash-Up: Zumba® vs. Hard Knocks. In Zurich, The Dolder Grand, offers four different site running tours where guests can choose to jog past sights including the famed Bahnhofstrasse and National Museum of Zurich on their own or with a trainer. Wilderness Safaris’ new Mombo and Little Mombo camps now offer yoga classes set in the heart of the Okavango Delta, either held in the newly added gym and spa or a variety of bush locations. Now in Switzerland through November 2018, travelers can run through Europe’s largest open-air sculpture exhibition, the Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture with the new Bad RagARTz Walk & Run by skinfit® at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Taking runners through the festival’s sites, the heart pumping, art-infused 4 to 8 km run provides a unique cultural experience that visually stimulates the mind and body. The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa’s Running Concierge will take guests on a scenic sightseeing run along the famed Seven Mile Beach where guests will run along the coast and past sights such as The Governor’s House.
What’s Out: All Tech, Digital Overload
What’s In: Nostalgic Amenities and Experiences that Celebrate Lost Art Pastimes
Luxury hotels both overseas and domestic are reviving lost arts with amenities and experiences that celebrate the joys of quaint pastimes. Box House Hotel Group properties including The Box House Hotel, Henry Norman Hotel and Franklin Guesthouse, feature hidden antique treasures including vintage typewriters found throughout the guestrooms and hotel hallways. Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris invites guests to put away their headphones and channel their creative spirit with their own in-room guitar in every suite. Gstaad Palace is hosting its second annual Swiss Vintage Cycling Festival, Bergkönig, in which participants will cycle back in time with breathtaking Alpine panoramas and challenging narrow mountain roads while riding classic bicycles built before 1990 and sporting appropriate period clothing. Gaige House + Ryokan in Sonoma Valley offers Ryokan Zen Suites modeled after traditional Japanese inns complete with in-room amenities such as classic yukata robes, geta and zōri slippers, and Japanese delicacies including green tea, saké and ice cream mochi. This summer, Andaz Savannah has launched a new mobile Art Cart that allows guests to embrace the lost art of water coloring, sketching, and oil painting on mini canvases throughout the property and the city.
What’s Out: Boring Summer Internships
What’s In: Mentorship-style Travel Adventures
To showcase the educational wonders of travel, hotels and tour operators have introduced mentorship-style excursions targeted towards young adults that enrich their minds in a worldly way. Working with Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), Raffles Seychelles has developed the Ranger for a Day and Junior Ranger for a Day program which gives budding conservationists ‘behind-the-scenes’ entry to inaccessible areas of Curieuse Island. Home to giant tortoises, tropical birds, turtles, lush green mangroves, Coco de Mer palms and other endemic flora and fauna species, guests will learn about the island and participate in eco-tourism activities such as lemon shark tagging and sea turtle monitoring. For families with children in college, Big Five Tours & Expeditions has introduced Precious Journeys College Edition. Designed to prepare students for college by broadening their global perspective and developing more complex interests, trips include Australia Active and the Sri Lanka Adventure. Through Fairmont Hotels & Resorts‘ Bee Sustainable program, Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown has launched the new Bee a Beekeeper package which invites travelers to get the buzz on beekeeping with a private session with a local beekeeper. In addition, the package includes an excursion to Mt. Vernon, the former estate of President George Washington; packets of flower seeds for attracting pollinator bees; a donation to the D.C. Beekeeper Alliance; and a gift certificate for Draper’s Super Apiaries, Inc.
What’s Out: Aggravations at the Airport
What’s In: Airport advantages from Hotels
Luxury doesn’t need to end when you check out of your hotel. Some luxury properties are forging exclusive partnerships with airports to ensure their guests receive luxury service right until takeoff. Montage Beverly Hills has a new partnership with The Private Suite at LAX which provides Montage guests with luxurious transportation to a private terminal at LAX and pre-flight perks in a spacious suite before takeoff. At boarding time travelers are driven across the tarmac to their aircraft in a BMW 7 Series sedans. Recognized as the Best Airport Hotel in North America by Skytrax World Airport Awards, Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel offers frequent flyers a Fit on the Fly program which provides travelers with access the hotel’s Health Club facilities to workout, relax at the sauna or pool or refresh in the locker room during their layover or flight delay. Workout clothes packed in your checked luggage? Not a problem, as the Fit on the Fly program includes added perks through the brand’s Fairmont Fit program including fitness gear rentals from Reebok.
What’s Out: Pop-ups in the Lobby
What’s In: Pop-ups in the Guest Room
From exclusive boutiques to art galleries, hotels have been bringing interactive pop-up experiences to lobbies and public spaces for years. Now hotels are taking this trend to the next level with dynamic pop-up experiences and exhibitions in each guestroom. In Philadelphia, The Logan Hotel can create an “urban camping” experience for guests right in their guestroom, complete with a teepee tent, star machine and s’mores. The Darcy in Washington, D.C. offers in-room pop-up shops for men and women–dubbed The Collection for women and The Haberdashery for men–where guests can peruse items to borrow or purchase. Home-meets hotel company, Oasis offers travelers the opportunity to customize their home rental with amenities and add-on perks including pop-up teepees for children to play in. The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel opened in the Eternal City in April. Each guest room features a glass display case which is updated on a regular basis to showcase items inspired by local Rome events and happenings, such as design shows and cultural events. The in-room exhibitions bring to life the never-ending evolution of the surrounding city.
What’s Out: Luxury Loaner Vehicles
What’s In: Luxury Joy Ride Excursions
Loaner vehicles at hotels are nothing new, but now hotels are fueling travelers need for speed with interactive driving adventures that put guests behind the wheel of a luxury vehicle for an unbeatable joy ride Fairmont Grand Del Mar has announced its newest partnership with Maserati with the launch of the Key to The Grand Life package. A one-of-a-kind experience, the package includes a personal Maserati to drive up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, dinner for two at Addison, $750 relax and play credit, and accommodations in the hotel’s Manchester Presidential Suite. Luxury car experiences aren’t exclusive to adults at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris. The hotel’s new Range Rover Experience invites teens (11-17 years old) to get behind the wheel on a luxe test drive excursion through a closed circuit track with a professional driver, and their (brave) parent in the back seat. While staying at XV Beacon, guests can take the Lexus LC 500 luxury coupe for a spin with the Lexus Test Drive program. Visitors to Boston can reserve a time slot, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., with the concierge, who can help plan an outing to make the most of their time in Boston.
What’s Out: Phone Screens, Laptops, and iPads, OH MY
What’s In: Old School Summer Reading Lists
In a world driven by technology and vacations surrounding the next best Instagram post, hospitality brands and boutique hotels are encouraging travelers to go back to grade-school days and crack open a book. With no TVs or phones in its 21 guest rooms, Chebeague Island Inn off the coast of Portland, Maine is already an unplugged respite. This summer the charming Inn has partnered with Yarmouth, Maine-based Islandport Press to curate a selection of books by local New England authors that guests can enjoy in the comfort of the Inn’s Great Room or on the property’s wraparound porch. The Nines in Portland, Oregon features a library off the lobby with over 1,000 books provided by nearby Powell’s Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. This summer the hotel has curated a pop-up library within the permanent library featuring Summer Reading Classics like Lord of the Flies by William Goulding, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts collaborated with Audible, Inc. to create the Stories of the InterContinental Life collection, a curated list of audiobooks, with the help of Brendan Francis Newnam, journalist and an Executive Producer of The Paris Review podcast, that offer new perspectives on worldly destinations through the intersection of literature and travel. Literature is brought to life — quite literally — in London at The Savoy hotel who recently appointed award-winning author, Damian Barr the property’s new literary ambassador. In his role, Barr will revive the hotel’s famous writer-in-residence program, introduce a Book Butler who will cater to guests residing in the hotel’s suites literary needs and oversee a seasonal library for guests, and continue to host sell-out Literary Salons.
What’s Out: Average Instagram Posts
What’s In: Photography Lessons from the Pros
If it’s not on Instagram, did it really happen? Today’s traveler brings their vacation to life via social media, and now luxury tour operators and hotels are expanding their offering to teach guests how to capture guests that perfect shot. Adventurous photographers can get a taste of the wild side with Big Five’s President’s Pick: Botswana & South Africa, a 14-day photographic safari that uses cutting-edge technology for animal tracking and conservation. In India, travelers can tour with an award-winning photographer with Nomadic Expeditions 11-day photo journey, Photographer’s India: Land of the Tiger, hosted by American photographer, Lewis Kemper. Portrait Firenze’s partnership with Leica Camera allows guests to capture the sights and sounds of Florence like a professional photographer with access to a Leica camera and a professional photo guide showing you the ropes. It’s no question that travelers get their inspiration (and wanderlust) from Instagram and Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is encouraging guests to capture vacation memories with the help of the hotel’s new Instagram concierge. In his role, the media-connoisseur will guide guests to the ideal locations, composition, time of day, filters and app recommendations to take the best shots, as well as point travelers in the direction to the hotel’s new “instagrammable” summer backdrops, perfect for all feeds.
What’s Out: Leaving Wellness at the Spa
What’s In: Excursions that Enhance the At-Home Wellness Regime
Taking wellness beyond the spa, luxury hotels are introducing interactive excursions that enrich and enhance guests day-to-day regime beyond their vacation. In Miami, learn how to make every trip to the market stress-free with Carillon Miami Wellness Resort’s Grocery Guru. An interactive consultation, guests will conquer the grocery store as they learn easy healthier product swaps, mastering nutritional labels, and curating their shopping list to meet their wellness goals. In Switzerland, guests of Gstaad Palace can learn the benefits of natural skincare at its source via an excursion to Jardin des Monts’ beauty and wellness chalet and gardens. Guests will explore the flowering organic gardens bursting with chamomile, thyme, mint, and Edelweiss, as they learn about natural beauty, the Swiss’ brand’s harvesting methods, and have the opportunity to create sample products of their own.
What’s Out: Beer Flights
What’s In: Unexpected Specialty Flights that Delight
Beer flights have been a staple for years, and now bars are expanding their offerings by introducing unexpected specialty flights that are designed to delight. Champagne enthusiasts can toast to the Hawaiian sunset at Montage Kapalua Bay‘s Champagne Hale at Cliff House with the new Sunset Tasting Flight featuring Veuve Clicquot. Tailored to guests’ Champagne preference, guests can arrange their flight to include an array of Veuve’s celebrated labels including the Rich and Rich Rosé and the La Grande Dame. For flights with a healthy twist, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort‘s Juice Bar invites guests to reboot post-workout with custom Juice Flights. With a variety of selections, a juice-ologist will blend together a sample of different creations designed to further support guests’ post-workout recovery. The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa has partnered with Patron to offer guests an exclusive select barrel blend Tequila. The property offers flights of Tequila Tastings in the Catboat Bar – Silver, Reposado and Anjeo – that delights Tequila lovers with high-end Tequila from Patron, Grand Patron Tequila Piedra, which is aged for 3 years in an oak barrel.