Luxury is probably one of the most used concepts in the world of tourism. If we look for the definition that organizations as recognized as the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, we find a description that seems somewhat outdated: “abundance in adornment or in comforts and sumptuous objects”.
The journalist Juan Carlos Rodríguez, collaborator for more than 10 years of the Spanish supplement Fuera de Serie, recalls, “after the economic crisis of 2008, luxury is less arrogant, ostentatious and exhibitionist. We no longer seek so much the ‘brilli-brilli’, as the authentic experience and, if possible, transforming in the personal “.
Faced with this dichotomy, we wanted to find out, from the hand of several experts in the field, what the real meaning of the word luxury is for them, and what users of luxury and high-end hotels like Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden (Mallorca) are looking for when they agree to pay for one night, what many others pay for a whole stay.
For Vicky Vilches, one of the international journalists who knows the world of luxury hotels best, it is impossible to generalize. “I think that each person values luxury in a different way, although certainly quality, exclusivity and service always influences” she explains.
As for whether or not the pandemic has generated a “new luxury“, Vicky does not believe that it exists as such, but she does think that there is a “new trend, which values open spaces more, the quality of human connections, time spent with the people that one really appreciates or loves, and not so much jumping around all day, collecting stamps in the passport”.
That is why, according to her, “luxury is now more local”. “The limitation of physical mobility has meant that these types of clients have stayed in their countries and have spent a considerable amount in luxury hotels that have provided them with exceptional experiences“.
This boom in localism has achieved, according to Vicky, that “national travelers consider spending a weekend in cities like Palma de Mallorca, doing the same things that they did in the past in other luxury destinations such as New York, London or Paris: stroll through its streets, visit its museums or shop at the local shops”.
UNIQUE EXPERIENCES AVAILABLE JUST FOR A FEW
For Juan Carlos Rodríguez, “current luxury is no longer about buying the most expensive bag or the most exclusive car, but about living a unique experience available just for a few”.
An objective to which individuals aspire, as explained by the French philosopher Yves Michaud in his book “The new luxury. Experiences. Arrogance. Authenticity”, “obsessed with pleasure, the need to exist and to be visible”.
Private visits to museums and workshops, exclusive tastings, or stories with soul, generated inside family buildings and palaces, are some of the initiatives that Juan Carlos Rodríguez considers “authentic luxury”.
WARMTH, THE MAIN ATTRIBUTE OF LUXURY HOTELS
For David Moralejo, director of Conde Nast Traveler Spain magazine, “warmth is the new quality in the luxury environment“. A warmth that David, for whom “the pandemic has completely changed the perception of what we understand by luxury“, associates with “small hotels with careful interior design, which are perceived as a ‘home‘”. Those, he says, “are the favorites of an urban public, increasingly young, with high purchasing power, who have an aspirational attitude: they want to go to a specific luxury hotel, in the same way that they want to try a Michelin star restaurant. The hotel is the destination, and they choose to treat themselves to the experience of staying in it”.
According to David, this warmth is often accompanied by other elements such as “close treatment; the tranquility; the comfort of the rooms; the commitment to authentic and local cuisine; high connectivity, to respond to the growing demand for digital nomadism and teleworking; peace, a lot of peace, which we all need; and a real concern for sustainability, which coincides with the interest of many customers to minimize the impact of the carbon footprint”.
Finally, this prestigious journalist associates luxury with “proximity“, since he believes that the new trend is going to be “traveling to closer places, but traveling better“.
PRIVATE LUXURY, AND MUCH MORE DEMANDING
Finally, we wanted to know if the concept of luxury has also changed on the other side of the ocean, speaking with one of the professionals who knows the most about the hotel industry in the United States, Jeff Weinstein, editor-in-chief of the well-known magazine “Hotels”.
According to Jeff, “ultra-luxury consumers now want more privacy and security” in all services. “They want to do fitness and spa treatments, but privately, or even in the suite. They want to taste good food, but they prefer to do it outdoors, in the suite or on the beach”.
Another of the characteristics of current luxury is, for Jeff Weinstein, that it is much more demanding in terms of service, and luxury hotels have to make sure that they can provide it, “because this type of client expects the service and the comforts that correspond at the price they are paying, and they are ruthless”.
Discover the experiences that Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden offers you here.