What Is Luxury Travel?
During our work as travel bloggers, we have the opportunity to visit some of the top hotels, spas and restaurants in the world. These five-star destinations sometimes include beach front villas, in-suite pools and jacuzzis, private aircraft, live-in butlers and world-class dining, but that is not necessarily what earns their status among the greats of luxury travel. Best at Travel challenged us to define what luxury travel means to us, so we reflected on some of our favorite experiences.
To us, luxury travel is the ability to travel without stress with every need met, but in a way that is not predictable. True luxury travel means not having to worry about how you’re getting from here to there, where your bags are or whether the kitchen is still open. Luxury travel facilitates an exclusive experience in a destination among the local culture creating memories that last a lifetime.
To us luxury travel is all about the experience.
We are usually working on the road, so getting to take time off to dive into an experience responsibility free is when we feel like we have found ultimate luxury. To us, it is when hotel staff greet us with enthusiasm and kindness, and assure us if we need anything we need only ask. When we don’t have to lift a finger and only upon looking back realize how much the staff worked to ensure our experience was perfect, we know it was unparalleled service. As a traveling couple, we value a level of privacy on our trips. Balancing such privacy and flexible schedules with immediate and anticipated service is difficult but attainable, and this is where luxury is created.
Exclusive activities, whether they are costly or not, also contribute to luxury travel. Participating in adventures that can’t be found just anywhere such as flying a microlight or exploring a cave, adds another level of uniqueness to travel.
Our memories of luxury travel include interactions that exceeded our expectations.
Luxury travel is: when an executive chef with Anantara built us a private menu and sat with us to share his experience of transforming his grandmother’s home recipes into world-class dishes.
Luxury travel is: when Sofitel staff took us out on their speedboat to have a picnic on an island after hours where we were literally the only ones there (besides the giant lizards).
Luxury travel is: when our butler at Dhara Dhevi guessed where we would want to go for dinner and made sure a reservation was made when we didn’t think to make one ourselves.
Luxury travel is: when the La Residence Hue arranged for us to visit their favorite local restaurant, where we had our best breakfast in Vietnam, with only a moment’s notice.
Luxury travel is: when our guide in Inle Lake took us to all the parts of the local villages and ruins that tourists don’t get to see while giving us an excellent history lesson.
Luxury travel is made up of experiences that allow us to escape reality while exploring the unknown. Leaving behind the worries of everyday life to try something you never have before creates the sense of awe that luxury travel should instill. Whether you are spending the entire day in a private treatment room of a world-class spa or arriving to an elephant tent camp by helicopter, completely immersing yourself in a special occasion is what defines luxury travel for us.