In a fast-paced, technology-crazed world, the need for transformative, soul-enriching travel is higher than ever.
Gone are the days when travelers want to spend their days passively sitting by the hotel pool or enjoying scenic nature views from afar— they now crave complete immersion in their environment, as well as accommodations that are woven into the fabric of the entire guest experience.
Hotels are reacting to this industry shift in a host of different ways and to varying degrees of success. Some are introducing new wellness-centered offerings like in-room yoga mats and wellness coaches. Others are appealing to guests’ desires to reconnect with nature by offering millennial-favorite experiences like forest bathing and foraging excursions. And virtually every hotel has widened its menu to include more health-minded, sustainably-driven options.
But as a recent industry report, “Rethinking Luxury,” by tourism consultancy Horwath HTL points out, now “guests even expect their ‘unspoken’ needs to be fulfilled”— the touchstone of what they coin “the new luxury.”
Responding to the Horwath report, Anna Bjurstam, Six Senses’ vice president of spa and wellness, makes the case for adopting a ground-up, all-encompassing approach.
“The only way to deliver ‘the new luxury,’” she writes, “is simply to be authentic from the inside out, and not just play lip service to the idea.”
To wit, hospitality groups must do more than introduce wellness-focused add-ons or “back-to-nature” services; they must make experiential hospitality an essential part of their DNA.
Luxury Frontiers, whose entire business model is predicated on the notion of delivering experiential and meaningful hospitality design solutions, is uniquely poised to capture this new luxury traveler.
With operations backgrounds at some of the foremost experiential properties around the world, the Luxury Frontiers team excels in helping hospitality groups anticipate guest expectations, needs, and desires in the most remote of destinations. How it works: first, the firm works with the client and operations team to conceive bespoke and superlative guest experiences. Then it’s on to designing the physical product itself. This two-pronged process allows Luxury Frontiers to curate genuinely immersive physical spaces that are equal turns comfortable and unexpected, and far surpass the guest experiences offered at traditional resorts or glamping concepts.
“Not only are our clients’ guests looking for a break from the city or to ‘unplug’ from their busy lives—they’re also wanting a conducive setting in which to reconnect with nature, their spirituality, their partners and families, and other things bigger than themselves,” says JamieRose Briones, Luxury Frontiers’ director of strategy and development and former General Manager of the world-famous Abu Camp in Botswana. “We thoughtfully design our hospitality spaces and experiences to put a magnifying glass on the simple yet profoundly meaningful moments—like coming face-to-face with a wild elephant on your private deck or engaging in a conversation with toucans in the canopy above your suite.”
At Abu Camp, for example, Luxury Frontiers was tapped to redesign and rebuild the entire legendary lodge and elephant sanctuary operation. One of the new additions included the Star Bed, a canopy-level suite in which guests can fall asleep under the stars while listening to the drowsy sounds of elephant snores. Luxury Frontiers also ideated the lavish outdoor salas Abu is famous for— complete with blankets, firepits, and designer furniture— where guests now convene for sunset drinks and lantern-lit outdoor dinners.
Photo Credit: Abu Camp / Andrew Howard