NEW YORK—Virtuoso has released its 2018 Best of the Best catalog of hotels and experiences around the world, revealing emerging trends across the lodging industry. This year’s edition is the largest to date with 1,250 hotels, resorts, villas, and private island retreats in 108 countries. The report includes properties in Virtuoso’s global luxury travel network, a curated collection of hotels that range from four to 4,004 rooms. Below are the most significant trends observed among the new additions to the collection.
The Cool Factor: Lifestyle Hotels and Resorts
Stunning design, on-point amenities, and unique character define a new breed of lifestyle hotels and resorts. At NUO Beijing, Ming Dynasty tradition is combined with hip modernity to offer travelers a unique experience and Sao Paulo’s Hotel Unique intersects architecture, design, gastronomy, and service. Other brands in line with this trend include Pendry San Diego, Thompson Seattle, Andaz Scottsdale, and The London EDITION.
Adventure Abounds: Hotels Offer Off-Property Experiences
With its wide appeal to all travelers, the allure of adventure remains hot, with experiences ranging from nature immersion all the way to the extreme. Guests at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort in Sri Lanka can discover the area by bicycle, go whale watching, and explore national parks. Tutka Bay Lodge and Winterlake Lodge in Alaska offer activities such as deep-sea and freshwater fishing, river rafting, bear viewing, glacier trekking, ocean kayaking, and hiking.
Urban Retreats: Hotels Embrace Their Locales
Hotel development continues to abound in the world’s most alluring cities. Urban retreats offer travelers shopping, spa treatments, art and architecture, and culinary wonders. European grande dames steeped in history are what define properties such as Hotel Kamp in Helsinki, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, and the Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris. London’s The Langham and Four Seasons New York Downtown offer elegant urban retreats while The First Hotel Roma and Hoshinoya Tokyo focus on art and cultural immersions.
Remote Glamping: Swapping Rooms for Luxury Tents
Demand for luxury camping is thriving as interest in authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences grows. Minor Hotel has tented camps in Kenya and Tanzania. At Loisaba Tented Camp, guests learn about preserving the local wilderness, then enjoy a private sundowner with cocktails and canapes. The Manor at Ngorongoro offers a coffee tour of the estate and private gourmet picnic with sparkling wine. The Ultimate Travelling Camp gives travelers access to India’s mountains, deserts, jungles, and festivals. These deluxe camps include spacious tents, complete with a private butler.
Family Fun: Family Travel Dominates Leisure Trips
The 2018 Virtuoso Luxe Report identified family travel as a dominant niche. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania is just one property that offers a family-friendly stay. The resort houses a Wildlife Academy with animals from all over the globe to educate and entertain guests. Switzerland’s Kulm Hotel St. Moritz offers a variety of perks as part of its “Very Important Kids” program, including free hot chocolate and ice cream. VILA VITA Parc Resort in Portugal provides an array of children’s activities including an adventure playground, painting, and baking.