The pandemic has changed the way we travel, from COVID testing to mobile check-ins in hotels to using QR codes in restaurants. While some recent changes may prove temporary, others are part of longer-term trends, from purpose-built wellness sanctuaries to epic getaways.
Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s top four luxury travel trends to spot this year:
Search for well-being
People seek well-being outside the home. In a September 2021 American Express survey, 76% of respondents said they wanted to spend more on travel to improve their wellbeing, and 55% said they would pay extra for wellness activities when traveling. their future holidays. This trend is expected to continue to grow: wellness tourism will experience an annual growth rate of 21% from 2020 to 2025, according to a December 2021 report from the Global Wellness Institute.
Taking note of this demand, hotels have ensured that finding wellness on vacation means more than just going to the spa. Instead, a new generation of getaways caters to all aspects of your well-being. On the Hawaiian island of Lanai, Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort uses a science-based approach to help you on the path to holistic wellness. After your Sensei (a health expert who oversees your stay) tests everything from your blood pressure to functional movement, you get a personalized itinerary of classes and activities that can include a full weight training circuit, a lakeside meditation session and inside-out treatment hales (individual spa villas), all on a lush tropical park dotted with sculptures. Guests can also enjoy offsite activities, such as an e-bike ride through the Red Mountains. Building on the momentum of the wellness trend, the new brand is set to open another hotel, Sensei Porcupine Creek, this year in Palm Springs.
In the Maldives, at JOALI BEING, which debuted last November, you undergo an integrative lifestyle assessment whose results help you choose a personalized journey that includes workouts (from yoga to muay thai), nourishing foods (subtle suggestions may include adding ginger and turmeric to your meals to improve digestion), targeted spa services and individualized blends at the herbal center (it’s like a welcoming tea room, where a herbalist will brew a soothing cup to help what ails you). At the end of the day, your wellness journey continues, retiring to a breathtaking overwater villa with its own infinity pool and swing, proving that one of the best treatments is to travel in quiet places, far from everyday stress.
Cross off the bucket list
Given the recent broader health crises, travelers are no longer relegating their to-do lists to the “someday” folder – they are now taking their dream trips. They seek unique experiences like the Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver’s Ice Cave Adventure. The Vancouver hotel sends you in a private helicopter to the untouched snow-capped peaks of Whistler. From there, a guide will lead you into a veritable fortress of solitude, with gleaming walls that look like white marble and archways adorned with powder blue icicles, and a photographer on hand to capture every icy Instagrammable moment. . After wandering the caves and learning about their origins, a five-course meal awaits in the snow.
If you want to explore the wonders of the ocean, learn snorkeling – the extreme sport where you descend to the depths with only a snorkel, flippers and a breath – at the newly renovated Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Your teacher will be former National Freediving Champion and National Spearfishing Champion Kimi Werner. Get the basics done in the hotel’s newly renovated King’s Pond, an 1.8 million gallon aquarium, before heading to the crystal clear waters of the Big Island, where Werner’s photographer husband will document your daring underwater exploits .
Get better sleep
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of American adults report sleeping less than the recommended seven hours or more per night. A lack of rest can lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression, according to the CDC.
One of the ways people fight sleepless nights is by turning to hotels for recharging or building better nighttime habits. The Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards enlisted a sleep psychologist who optimized their rooms for naps with dark spaces featuring sound-absorbing walls, blackout windows and Lutron climate control systems for the perfect resting environment, and the New York hotel offers sleep kits in the minibar, a bedtime ritual to help you fall asleep, and a sleep coach. Mandarin Oriental, Geneva has developed its own Check-up with CENAS Sleep Clinic package which includes an overnight study that records your body rhythms, movements and other parameters to identify possible sleep disturbances.
Downtown LA’s Figueroa Hotel has created its new rest and recovery suite with the help of some fitness brands: pre-order a Pluto pillow, personalized to your nap preferences, to wait in the suite , then spread out on an Eight Sleep mattress that uses smart technology. adjust the temperature on each side of the bed. The next day, train with the FORME personal fitness mirror in the suite, then use Hyperice’s Normatec recovery tools.
Some hotel brands are making sleep a company-wide initiative. Langham Hotels & Resorts has partnered with the World Sleep Society for its new Sleep Matters program, which includes a blanket kit (filled with herbal tea, earplugs, eye mask, advice cards to sleep and an all-natural drink to aid sleep), a wellness menu (including white noise machines, pillow options, and weighted blankets), and a nap-inducing Spotify playlist. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts recently introduced its Alchemy of Sleep offerings designed to promote rest. They are unique in each destination, such as Acu Doze Acupuncture in Rosewood Little Dix Bay; Hôtel de Crillon, naturopathic sleep consultations at A Rosewood Hotel; and the Rosewood Baha Mar bush tea sleep sessions with an herbalist.
According to Accenture, 86% of travelers want to travel more sustainably, but only half of them often succeed. However, that will likely change as more hotels adopt cutting-edge sustainability measures.
There are independent properties that have long established themselves as eco-pioneers, such as Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba – the Caribbean’s first carbon-neutral resort, which banned single-use plastics in the 1980s French Polynesia’s Brando, which is close to carbon neutral, was the first resort in the world to achieve LEED Platinum, the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The Laguna Beach Ranch designed a system that uses reclaimed water to irrigate its land, saving more than 21.2 million gallons of water each year in drought-prone California, and every The estate’s glass bottle is ground into sand and reused to fill golf course bunkers, pavement repairs and swimming pool filtration.
However, bigger brands are joining us. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group established an Executive Advisory Committee for Sustainability in 2018, which has since worked to advance reform such as the elimination of single-use plastics in all properties. The brand has set its sights on the food supply, pledging to remove all endangered seafood species from hotel menus and to only source coffee, tea, vanilla and cocoa. responsible by the end of 2022.
In 2018, Hilton set a goal to double its investment in social impact and halve its environmental footprint by 2030. It is progressing company-wide with 88% of its portfolio participating in the soap recycling and with initiatives at its individual properties: Conrad Washington, DC, for example, uses a stormwater management system that captures 97% of rainfall to irrigate terraces and cool its air conditioning towers.