Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), in partnership with global trends analysts Trendwatching, looks at what will be shaping the luxury boutique hotel experience in 2018.
SLH has been an innovator in this field since it was established 27 years ago as ‘the champion of small’, and together with Trendwatching has identified five specific trends from its collection of independent hotels around the world. These are further supported in the report by innovations from companies both within, and beyond, the travel sector.
While the hyper-competitive Experience Economy is nothing new, it is clear that we haven’t yet seen the full impact of the Instragram effect. In 2018 travellers will be looking to get their luxury hands ‘dirty’ by helping to design their own experience.
The wellness industry has always been entwined with spirituality, and in 2018 the focus will be on those spiritual experiences that enable guests to seek out one-of-a-kind moments to focus their independent minds.
A complete digital detox might be too much for some of us; however, the desire to take a ‘holiday’ from modern technology and nostalgia for times when life seemed simpler has led to a resurgence of literature in small hotels. Providing a taste of the timeless, hotels are paying homage to esteemed writers or classic novels, as well as offering libraries, reading rooms and library butlers.
It is no longer enough to offer a pillow menu and a comfy bed to guarantee a good night’s sleep – some brands are now introducing pioneering bed linens that prevent sweating and eliminate bacteria. In 2018 hotels will be competing to guarantee the optimum night’s sleep in more traditional, yet original, ways.
While data capture can promise optimum personalisation, in small luxury hotels nothing beats a thorough and instinctive understanding of each guest to get everything just right, just for them.
Filip Boyen, CEO at Small Luxury Hotels of the World says: “SLH has been the trailblazer for small hotels for many years. Small hotels are by nature nimble and able to react quickly to maintain relevancy and provide the very best experience, and indeed set the trends without even realising it. With this report we are celebrating SLH, our hotels and their forward-thinking leaders by formalising these developments for the first time. We are delighted to have been able to work with Trendwatching on this – their ability to unlock compelling innovations across the consumer world perfectly complements SLH’s independently minded philosophy.”