As the Sybaritic Single checked out from the last luxury hotel of 2019, he soared high somewhere above Isfahan, Dom Pérignon 2008 in hand. He looked back at the year and how his own luxury playground evolved over the past 12 months – and wondered what to expect next.
Being a barometer of all things luxury, he predicts that in 2020 travel connoisseurs will settle for less gold and glitter yet demand even more adventure, fun and wellness. All things luxury will be more accessible as travellers become even more tech savvy and time impatient. Hotels will partner with fashion houses to offer ensuite personal shopping. Some, like Rosewood Hong Kong, will work in synergy with museums and offer a new dimension of bespoke cultural programming. More Louis Vuitton and Goyard baggage will fly ahead of their owners thanks to hotel- and airline-facilitated courier services.
More luxury hotels will pop-up in the middle of untrammelled wilderness and bid farewell to complicated menus, serving simple food. Transformative experiences and desire to learn will matter more than ever. It’s why, for instance, a company like LVMH is buying up hotel groups such as Belmond, which it snapped in 2019, and building up its leisure portfolio. The very rich, when they travel, want to understand, to learn, to reflect on history and to gain insight into other cultures.
Hoteliers will finally decide to employ staff with high levels of EQ rather than just IQ, who will be able to read guests better and offer service that is both thoughtful and invisible. More yacht and private jet interior designers will work on hotel rooms to ensure perfect ergonomics.
Is there a particular opening that the Sybaritic Single looks forward to in 2020? There are two, in fact. Both Cheval Blanc Paris and The Langham Nymphenburg Residence in Munich promise to become great establishments designed to fulfill the main promise of luxury: make people feel happy.