To say that 2020 is a continuing year of change is a bit of an understatement. The pandemic has made seismic shifts to our daily lives and the way in which we enjoy our leisure time. It has certainly altered our traditional, even habitual travel plans in the short term. However, it has opened up new opportunities and crystallised, catalysed and maybe even turbocharged the many trends the travel industry was slowly adapting to pre-pandemic.
Exclusivity, privacy, active adventure, spending more time outside, safe environments and the constant pursuit of ‘new experiences’ are changing traveller and guest preferences in the wake of COVID-19. At the higher end of the market, the travel industry has seen a rise in private jet travel due to the renewed focus on personal health and hygiene.
Rebecca Masri, Founder of private members luxury hotel club littleemperors.com comments: “As privacy and responsible travel are at the forefront of travellers' minds, guests want to experience hotel service while in an intimate and private space and the villa offering within hotels allows them to do just that. Members are seeking ways to ease back to normality and this is a comfortable step that allows for holidays while maintaining a sense of safety."
As summer slowly creeps towards autumn thoughts turn to wintry escapades, city-breaks and some truly exceptional offerings that are shaping the future of travel. Take a look at some hand-picked and super exclusive travel options to get those travel brains ticking over….
The ultimate city-break sleepover….The Mayor’s Residence, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is proud to unveil The Mayor’s Residence, a private nine-bedroom palace within the renowned five-star hotel. Opening 1st September 2020, the residence will cost €24,450 a night with a dedicated Team of staff including a Butler, Private Chef, Spa Therapist, Concierge and Housekeeper. Guests can book unlimited spa treatments throughout their stay and will have sole use of the spa to ensure their privacy, including its three treatment rooms, indoor pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation room. The Mayor’s Residence is steeped in history: it was built during the Dutch Golden Age in 1665 for Hendrik Hooft, one of Amsterdam’s most influential mayors, and has since been home to many of Amsterdam’s wealthiest individuals... http://bit.ly/MayorsResidence
Your personal winter wonderland at Severin*s - The Alpine Retreat, Lech - Austria
Severin*s - The Alpine Retreat has launched a Private Package for its ultra-luxurious Residence this winter that includes: a private jet from the UK to Innsbruck, private Mercedes transfers and self-contained luxury accommodation. The Residence sleeps eight in four separate bedrooms, and houses a large kitchen, dining room, living room with open fire and a grand piano, and wrap-around balconies with an alfresco hot-tub. It has its own entrance and lift and over 400 square metres of stunning living space over two storeys. The Private Package costs from EUR 59,090 for 7 nights (8 people max.) and is available from December 5. www.severins-lech.at
‘Healthy fine-dining’ at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz….The first Swiss resort to hold four Michelin stars
Not only is Grand Resort Bad Ragaz Europe's leading medical health and well-being destination, but it is also the first Swiss resort to hold 4 Michelin stars. New healthy fine-dining restaurant, 'Memories', opened last year and was awarded two Michelin stars in this year's awards, and the famous 'IGNIV by Andreas Caminada' was also awarded its second Michelin star. 'Memories' focuses on championing Swiss cuisine and works with small-scale, local producers. The menu offers a unique opportunity to enjoy healthy and nutritious cuisine on a fine-dining, Michelin level - highlights include a non-alcoholic pairing tasting menu. www.resortragaz.ch
Looking to the future of travel……The world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel, Svart - Norway
The world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel, Svart, will open in Norway’s Arctic Circle in 2022. Perched atop the crystal-clear waters of the Holandsfjorden fjord, at the base of the glacier itself, a glass-fronted, circular design will provide a 360-degree panoramic view of the fjord, glacier and in the winter months, the spectacular Northern Lights, all without compromising on guests’ privacy. Svart will produce more energy than it uses, and aims to be fully off-grid, carbon neutral and zero waste. Four restaurants will offer dishes making use of local, home-grown and foraged produce and guests can participate in the preparation of their gourmet meals, from mountain-side to plate, whilst an indoor-outdoor spa will offer a variety of holistic treatments, from the traditional and Norwegian, to the medically and technologically cutting-edge, using 100% sustainable, locally-sourced products. https://www.svart.no/en/