Each year brings with it a host of new trends and innovations in the luxury market and this one is no exception. For a list of the hottest new offerings that luxury hotels are presenting this year – read on…
Adults Only Hotels
Previously viewed with a bit of a side-eye, the Adult-Only hotel appeared to veer towards a possibly overly sexed, down-market audience, but now this is changing entirely. Elegance personified, smart, chic, Adults-Only hotels are bang on trend this year. Weary of noisy children (who are not even your own) disrupting tranquil moments by the pool or during evening cocktails, guests are now seeking Adults-Only enclaves in some of the most luxurious places and properties around the world. And new hotels are opening and adapting to meet this growing demand. The brand new Hurawalhi in the Maldives, opening in November 2016, will be the first Adults-Only (over 18s) island in the exclusive area and the chic Domes Noruz in Crete opens in Chania in July 2016 – and will be a lively, buzzing and stylish destination for adults.
Check in and check out times are a thing of the past. With a growing focus on personalisation, hotels are ditching traditional check-in and check-out times in order to cater to today’s traveller. No longer compelled to sit bleary-eyed, nearly falling asleep in a lobby whilst waiting for your room to be ready – or for business travellers, who might have a meeting soon after arrival and need the chance to shower, change clothes, and drop off their luggage, flexi-check is here to stay. The big advantage villa rentals or Airbnb have on hotels, where you can arrive at any time, hotels are taking note and stepping up their game. Flexible check-in is becoming a perk that will gain major momentum in 2016. At luxury hotel Panacea Koh Samui they have been offering this since opening last year. There is no set time for check-in or check-out the only question asked is, “What time would be best for you?” and the team will organise an airport transfer on the preferred guests’ time at no cost as well. At the brand new Patina Hotel, Capitol Singapore, (worked on by legendary designer Richard Meier) owners plan to introduce a 24-hour-stay concept, guests can check in at 3pm and depart as late as 3pm the next day. There are no check-in desks at the hotels, but key cards can be programmed before arrival. Doubles from £450 www.patinahotels.com
Swipe for Service.
Your own personal mobile phone given to you at check in, with one number plugged in – that of your personal butler available to serve 24 hours a day. You can take it to the pool, the beach wherever, your hotline to help is always available with no need to worry about looking up numbers or think about roaming charges. Long available in super luxury properties, these manservant mobiles are being offered at a greater number of mainstream hotels. Domes of Elounda in Crete has just launched Haute Living Collection which includes a direct line to your butler 24 hours a day, free babysitting as well as helicopter or limousine arrival on demand.
More and more women in the UK are using their maternity leave to take their new baby on adventures with them around the world. After all, given the choice, who wants to sit around changing nappies and warming milk at home when you could be lounging poolside? In honour of this growing trend of women taking off for sunnier climes in which to bond with their new baby, more and more hotels have created special offerings designed with just that in mind. In Thailand, Manathai Koh Samui is perhaps the ultimate Mother and baby escape, set on the serene sands of Lamai Beach opposite a fishing village and facing the Gulf of Thailand. There are large, spacious rooms with plenty of space for baby to play and sleep in, enormous bathtubs big enough for mummy and baby to enjoy together, a quiet cove to splash in, a beach shaded by palm trees offering natural protection for delicate skin, an indoor and outdoor pool, all amidst a soothing palate of deep greens and blues. In addition, bespoke wellness offerings tailored to new mothers allow them to remain in close proximity to their little one, including in room massage or yoga class. Private nannies are on duty 24 hours a day, and for memories to last a lifetime, mother and baby can capture the moment with their own photo shoot including a personal glam squad on offer to help mum feel her best.
Villas & hotels are merging – hotels are offering Villas with the level of privacy they provide and villas are offering hotel amenities because after all why should a holiday feel like any other day of the week? Stylish and sumptuous D-Resort Sibenik, recently opened on Croatia’s crystal blue Dalmatian Coast, offers Exclusive Vilas for guests seeking privacy on holiday. Modernist without being chilly, with interiors of pure white concrete, glass and wood, the first luxury resort to stake its claim on the charming town of Sibenik, think simple, stark lines and high end design incorporated into a very natural Mediterranean landscape. The Exclusive Villas are smart and elegantly dressed – with stunning of a super yacht dotted marina. Spacious at over 1600 square feet, decorated with minimalist Italian furnishings, two spacious ensuite bedrooms, living and dining room, private terrace with dining table, and sunbeds, these are also soundproofed for those prefer their holiday fun to be uninhibited.
RIP Kids’ Clubs
2016 will find that the traditional Kids Club is over or at the very least retired. More and more parents are discovering that long haul flights with children just aren’t worth it if it simply means playdoh by the sea. A new and innovative concept of child wellbeing that includes thoughtful, tailor-made, authentic and local experiences is being adopted at ultra-luxury properties. At Velaa Private Island, owner Jiri Smejc enlisted his 3-year-old daughter to create and design the luxury property’s kids’ club herself – which she did, ensuring it was relevant and would appeal to her peers. That it does. It includes a mini-water park, a climbing wall, special kids’ menus; menus which include mocktails and smoothies, activities such as sand colouring, learning the Dhivehi language, Koraa (Maldivian hopscotch), learning about local sea life with a marine biologist, mask making and a host of other incredible things.
2016 is the year that Sleep Got Serious
Sleep packages (blackout shades and hot milk) were so last year – this year it’s about silence and sleep technology giving you that extra nudge into the land of nod. Mandarin Oriental have just launched an annual ‘Silent Night’ worldwide turning all spas into peaceful retreats – no music and no conversation after 5pm – in response to the growing trend of weary travellers desperate for quiet. Kata Rocks, newly opened in Phuket, has installed state of the art Metro-Energy Nap pods in addition to chromotherapy (coloured light therapy) and Italian made Iso-Benessere water massage beds to aid relaxation and sleep
Over the top wellness amenities are the way of the future as basement gyms just don’t cut it anymore. The 300 room Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort, which opens May 26th, will offer a thermal spa so large that runs across two floors with an enormous thalassotherapy pool fed in directly from the sea (which heats up to a heavenly thirty degrees). In addition, there’s a tepidarium, herbal sauna, Flotation & Hydrotherapy Beds. In London, the subterranean Akasha spa at Café Royal has just added an intuitive counsellor, reiki master and a cognitive and emotional coach to its spa treatment list. Doubles start at £323 hotelcaferoyal.com