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Inside the billion-dollar world of luxury hospitality

7 Aug 2019 | by Les Roches

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Luxury hospitality continues to be one of the biggest, most lucrative and fastest-growing of all hospitality sectors. According to research analysts Arcognizance.com, it is set to be worth $171 billion in 2019, a figure forecast to rise to $222 billion by 2024.

Whether it is unforgettable, personalized service, fine food and wine or a relaxing spa, luxury has become a key component of the hospitality industry. All the major operators have either acquired luxury brands or expanded those already in their portfolios, with the ambition to shape the future of the segment. At the same time, a steady stream of new entrants and boutique properties are staking their claim for a share of the spoils.

 

What does luxury actually mean?

Luxury hospitality has many meanings, depending on the guest’s needs. Often, guests want the best in food, culture, activities and wellness. They come to a destination seeking the same experiences that wealthy locals have access to, providing guests with a real flavor of the local culture.

But customer needs are also continually evolving. According to Les Roches Professor Riccardo Campione, many of today’s luxury travelers are looking for something less tangible than material extravagance. 

The leaders of today’s luxury hospitality industry have their fingers firmly on that pulse. These companies offer bespoke packages that strike a balance between comfort and challenge. From adventure travel to cultural immersion to far-flung destinations, the key to cutting-edge luxury is rarity – utterly unique experiences never to be repeated by the average traveler.

 

The rise of luxury hotels

For hoteliers, luxury does not depend on scale. Boutique hotels often boast small but stylish rooms in an urban setting, offering intimate, personalized service and a warm atmosphere. Staff at these hotels are taught to predict and meet the demands of clients in advance, so they can proactively respond to them.

International hotels are responding to luxury trends by offering more understated experiences. Leading organization Park Hyatt provides a residential environment that aims to mirror a guest’s home. “You walk into Park Hyatt and feel like you’re in your own apartment,” says Laura Amanzi, VP of Marketing at Park Hyatt Zurich. “You get to do all the things you would at home, but with all the 24-hour services you could ever need.

Growing consumer demand has seen the worlds of luxury brands and hospitality organizations collide. For example, leading companies Gucci and Armani have branched out into luxury hotels, bars and restaurants. By offering experiences that fit their brand, these companies have strengthened their relationships with their clientèle.

 

Which luxury hotels are rated the best?

According to the latest poll in Travel and Leisure Magazine, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan,Indonesia, offers the world’s best luxury experience. According to the magazine, it earned the number one spot for its amazing riverside guest villas, which have a meditation space and lily pond on the roof, as well as an outdoor living room and pool.

In second place is Ballyfin, a 5* country house property in County Laois, Ireland, which opened in 2011 after an eight-year restoration. Completing the top three is Frangipani Beach Resort, Anguilla. This family-owned boutique resort is located in the Caribbean island said by many commentators to have some of the world’s best beaches.

 

Get into luxury

Are you interested in a career within the luxury industry? Do you want to help shape memorable experiences for clients around the world? 

A Bachelor’s in Global Hospitality Management from Les Roches opens doors into the world of luxury. Our students are recruited for internships or full time positions by many of the leading names in the business, including Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood and Shangri-La.
·     Find out more about the program

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