What does luxury mean to you?
Sounds like a campaign pay-off line for an asset management firm or investment bank, doesn’t it? But it’s not. it’s just me, thinking. Thinking about our recent stays at establishments that use the word ‘luxury’ in their branding.
Luxury, or five stars, aren’t necessarily the same thing in terms of official gradings, but understanding what is meant and what you’re expect helps.
Luxuries are the comforts that make your holiday stay better than staying at home. Now, if you’re a stay at home mom, with five screaming little ones under the age of 4 (unlikely In today’s world), then luxury could simply be having a nanny for five consecutive days and your own king sized bed(room). Some peace and quiet – that’s a universal definition for luxury I suppose.
Luxury for me is the comforts of my home that I adore, with the extra and attentive service and thoughtfulness offered in being away from it. King sized beds, cotton sheets (obviously!), bathrobes (I love a robe!) and (quality) showergels and creams. Earbuds, cotton wool and bottles of water, remembering by day 3 what my evening drink of choice is, or how I take my morning coffee. Pool side service (if there’s a pool) and a discreet but caring attitude of staff that makes me feel like royalty, even though we all know I’m not. That, is luxury.
From guesthouse to hotel, a five star or ‘luxury’ brand tag, should have this. It’s in the quality of what is delivered. It’s the service.
We were recently at a guesthouse that sported five stars on their golden plaque outside their front gate, the price tag for the stay in line with those five neatly lined up icons. However, after sunning ourselves alongside the pool for a few hours with passing staff and no offer for refreshments, after which we were asked to bring in the sun loungers ourselves, I can safely assume the 5 stars and ‘luxury’ definition on their website were dished out by marketing individuals alone.
So, what exactly is the universal standard of luxury? Is there even such a thing? And how can we trust that it’ll meet our expectations? Using hotel collections or reviewing travel awards (don’t get me started on the truth behind these things, I worked for a company, I’m in the know of their authenticity!) – would this give us enough information? Even tripadvisor – real people, staying in the same place you plan to. But even these are subjective in terms of whether your expectation will be met or exceeded.
How do we really know before we travel the truth about the luxury tag an establishment has?