What makes Luxury Frontiers unique?
Luxury Frontiers approaches a project holistically, collaborating with clients to unlock the full experiential value of an asset through a low-impact, high-yield development. A full-service shop, we offer turnkey solutions from conceptualization and design to project management, procurement, and experiential programming, all the way through to operational handover and ongoing operations support. No other group offers Luxury Frontiers’ comprehensive array of experiential expertise for the high-end market.
Luxury Frontiers provides services throughout a project’s lifecycle, ensuring continuity and quality, increasing efficiency, and empowering the client to adhere to project budgets and timelines. Clients can engage Luxury Frontiers as a Lead Consultant or for any services to work as part of a greater development team.
How long has the Luxury Frontiers team been in this space?
Our team founded Luxury Frontiers in 2011 out of the passion for experiential travel and the desire to develop products and services which enrich people’s lives and preserve environments. From day one, we sought to create a business which exalted—and was sensitive to—the natural environment while also delivering substantial value to clients and capitalizing on the experiential travel movement. Our first completed projects were the full development of Wilderness Safaris’ trophy property Abu Camp in Botswana and developing tree houses in Tuscany, Italy and Mallorca, Spain in 2012.
Luxury Frontiers has assembled a highly skilled, multicultural leadership team with a wide array of experiences, providing a uniquely global perspective and a deep knowledge of upmarket resort development, design, marketing, and management. In particular, Graeme Labe, a Principal & Managing Director, has been designing and developing luxury eco lodges and tented camps for over 25 years.
Has Luxury Frontiers done something similar to our project before?
With our breadth of experience, our firm understands the lifestyle and expectations of sophisticated experiential travelers. We are driven to create out-of-the-box concepts which will surprise and delight our clients’ guests. Our collective team has designed, developed, and/or operated some of the world’s most distinguished experiential travel properties in 25+ countries across 6 continents. Luxury Frontiers has applied our services to standalone resorts and resort add-ons, greenfield and refurbishment projects, and from pop-up experiences to permanent structures.
We have employed this expertise in working with premier hospitality brands, acting as their partner in the entry into the experiential travel world. Furthermore, our firm has worked with high-profile hotel and land owners in both the traditional hospitality and adventure tourism industries.
What caliber of specialized relationships in the high-end experiential space can Luxury Frontiers bring to our project, if needed?
Brand Experience: Our team has designed, developed, and operated travel experiences for top hospitality brands, including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Aman, Belmond, Abercrombie & Kent, Six Senses, Auberge Resorts, Wilderness Safaris, and Explora, among others.
Valuable Industry Relationships: We have established strong relationships with hospitality industry leaders and senior-level executives (i.e. owners, operators, brands, asset managers, hotel advisors, developers, consultants, procurement firms), providing a rich network of privileged access to information and opportunities. We are always exploring additional formal and informal strategic partnerships with other complimentary key industry players.
What is the difference between Luxury Frontiers’ concepts and “glamping”?
Quintessential “glamping” concepts aim to bring guests close to nature, however, due to their off-the-grid site locations, offerings are largely simple. The typical “glamping” tent is a prospector or safari type tent with little to no weather-proofing and with minimal infrastructure in place. For example, these tents may or may not have en-suite bathrooms, running water, or electricity. Moreover, the hospitality operations are most often run by “mom-and-pop” style management and/or offer a limited service model (i.e. maps with hiking trails, café/gift shop with boxed meals, evening bar service).
Luxury Frontiers consults owners and operators aiming to cultivate luxurious, best-in-class hospitality accommodations, amenities, facilities, and service offerings despite the extraordinary and challenging environments in which these projects are built. Luxury Frontiers specializes in the custom design of experiential builds which allow discerning travelers to experience nature-based settings without sacrificing luxury, such as designer tented suites, treetop suites, and other alternative, light-on-earth lodging concepts.
These builds are sophisticated in design and distinctive architectural structures compared to both traditional hotel offerings and glamping products, yet they are artfully integrated into their natural and cultural surroundings. Many of our projects are climate conditioned, open year-round, and have fully sustainable, off-the-grid infrastructure in place.
Services & Process
What degree of customization is possible? What weather and conditions can Luxury Frontiers’ developments endure?
Luxury Frontiers excels in highly customized designs. Depending on the programming, product concept, target market, and building code restrictions of the site, we can:
- Customize 100% of the structural design, materiality, FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment), construction process, and supply chain to suit the project requirements, aesthetic desire, timeline, and budget.
- Enjoy an unlimited range of creativity in design and construction due to the flexible nature of alternative building materials (blue-sky, out-of-the-box thinking!). With updated engineering green technology and high-performance materials, we can create haute designs in even the most challenging and remote locales. We can break away from the traditional notion of tent design, with its straight lines and hard angles.
- Creatively use wood, glass, steel, and high-performance canvas (an extremely durable material which can withstand extreme temperatures) in the design for temperature control. We can employ various degrees of insulation/thermal regulation to provide comfort in both cold climates/cold months and hot climates/hot months. Various types of cooling and heating systems can be applied for maximum guest comfort.
- Assure a structural design can endure geographic and climate conditions, including high wind speeds and loads, extreme temperatures, high rainfall and storm water levels, high humidity, and change in topography (i.e. shifting sand dunes).
What are some of the challenges in designing and executing experiential builds?
If climate conditions, seasonality, or building regulations require fully dismountable structures, we can design and build fully dismountable units which can be adapted to short, medium, or long-term placement needs.
When designing experiential builds such as canvas tents and tree houses, the following design implications and challenges often arise, but Luxury Frontiers has expertise in and solutions to all of these:
- Climate and weather conditions
- Sun and UV exposure
- High wind speeds and loads
- Flooding and high-water levels
- Health and safety concerns
- Insect infestation
- Fungal/biological resistance
- Wild animals
- Structural challenges
- Terrain suitability and shifting topography
- Noise and sound
- Cooling/air conditioning
- Electricity installation
- Plumbing installation
- Rust and corrosion
What sustainable building and operating concepts can be employed in our project?
- Use of locally and sustainably sourced building materials;
- Low energy, inverter HVAC systems (can consider internal airflow design in some areas);
- Incorporation of solar power or other renewable energy sources;
- On-site water filtration and mineralization system to reduce or eliminate the need for bottled water;
- Rainwater capture system for use in irrigation, pool, cooling systems, etc.;
- Eco management plan for grey water;
- Aerobic sewerage treatment system;
- Solid waste management and disposal;
- Management of outdoor light pollution (using covered and discreet outdoor lighting);
- Site planning to minimize clearing native trees and vegetation; sustainable landscaping;
- Outline Leave No Trace Principles;
- Integration of local communities’ programs and initiatives; employment of local workforce or small businesses.
What are some considerations between year-round and seasonal products?
Everything we do is bespoke and caters to the site’s climate conditions, market seasonality, permitting regulations, and budget. These factors will also affect the decision to build/operate seasonal or year-round products.
Considerations for seasonal products:
- These will need to be efficiently dismountable, meaning that although they can be completely customized they will—to a degree—be simpler in architectural design than a semi-permanent or permanent structure. Hybrid structures can be considered, such as having a semi-permanent or permanent brick-and-mortar bathroom component enveloped by a greater dismountable, seasonal canvas structure.
- These require climate-conscious storage solutions on-site.
Considerations for year-round products:
- These can be fully dismountable (for example, all canvas), a hybrid structure (i.e. a brick-and-mortar component like the bathroom which stay up year-round encompassed by a greater canvas structure which can be dismounted), or a solid structure which is semi-permanent or permanent (i.e. using insulated, double canvas walls).
- Hybrid and solid structures will offer more possibilities of sustainable climate control.
- Year-round products typically have higher room rates than fully dismountable seasonal products, but overall average occupancy may be lower than a limited, seasonal offering; however, with creative experiential programming and sales & marketing, a seasonal product can enjoy higher rates and occupancy than year-round products.
How long does a project take? How different will the entitlement and permitting process be from traditional brick-and-mortar projects?
A project’s duration will depend on the architecture, construction style, site conditions, and a myriad of other factors. Assuming a simple camp development and assuming entitlements/permits are already in place, one can expect design and development to be completed in even less than a year.
We can design structures to be technically dismountable, allowing for gaining licenses and permissions in locations where traditional buildings would not normally be approved. This is especially true in cases where environmental concerns and strict regulations are in place (i.e. UNESCO World Heritage Sites, RAMSAR sites, national parks).
Why should we consider Luxury Frontiers programming the guest experience?
Luxury Frontiers’ bridges the gap between traditional high-end hospitality and the adventure travel marketplace. With key members of our team having experiential hospitality operations backgrounds, we are acutely staffed to expertly devise an operational program of meaningful and memorable activities, adventures, and lodging experiences that will appeal to high-end adventure travelers of all ages and skill levels.
Luxury Frontiers approaches each project by first outlining the experiential programming of the project—the inherent essence of the property, the intended guest journey from arrival to departure, all the experiences they enjoy in between, and the operations required to masterfully deliver such. After our team has thoughtfully planned this programming, we dovetail the physical design into the experiential design, ensuring that the physical product can deliver the scripted guest journey.
Using this process, we have found there is no one better to consult on the experiential design than the same team designing the resort. Moreover, experiential programming includes concepts which typically fall outside the purview of a traditional hotel operator, such as route scouting/mapping, guide training and establishing best guiding practices, and wilderness first responder training.