Frequently, our travel clients will ask us to pinpoint how we define luxury travel. Because we’ve been trekking around the world for over 30 years for both business and pleasure, we know a thing or two about traveling well. When it comes to a luxury hotel or resort, whether on the grand scale of the Leela Palaces in India or an intimate enclave in the Dominican Republic, the two key factors we look for above the realm of the expected are service and experience.
If you’ve ever been on a travel review site, you’ll notice immediately the seemingly endless hotel options, all offering top shelf amenities and high thread count beds. Reviewers gush about these amenities but don’t always delve deeper. But what sets apart the better properties from the best is the experience and the service, so look for this in reviews.
What To Look for In Hotel Reviews
A great way to narrow down your search is through reviewer-based sources like TripAdvisor and top travel blogs. Although a traveler’s experience is always opinion-based and numerous factors can inspire a review, it’s wise to look for reviewers who go beyond just describing the Hermes amenities and tropical poolside drinks and get to the heart of the property and describe the experience and how it made them feel.
On Service and Mind-Reading at Luxury Hotels
Luxury properties should create an ambiance where service and attention to detail isn’t just the goal, but the norm and where service extends to certain levels of mind-reading. A recent guest of our travel PR firm’s client Casa Bonita in the Dominican Republic wrote a review on TripAdvisor where they not only described how impressed they were with the stunning setting and amenities, but how the service was out of this world.
The guest and his wife went walking on the grounds and came across a stunning orchid, like none they’d ever seen, and told the staff how remarkable it was. The beaming staff explained that on the island there were over 300 exotic species of orchids and knew exactly which one they were referring to. Later that night, when they had returned from dinner, a brilliant bouquet of these orchids was placed on their bed.
Luxury properties like Casa Bonita excel at service because their employees anticipate guests’ needs and finds ways to accommodate them. The guest who received orchids did not expect this gesture, but it’s an example of the pinnacle of service and created a lasting customer for the lodge.
Unparalelled service leads to an exceptional experience, and that is the final piece of the puzzle to look for when analyzing reviews and making your decision. In today’s travel climate, guests are looking for one-of-a-kind experiences that create lasting memories from their stays at exquisite properties.
When you arrive at Sublime Samana Hotel & Residence’s property, you are greeted with good cheer and a freshly sliced coconut. Instead of gushing about the amenities that obviously await you, they will point to the nearby jungle and explain how they would love to set up a horseback riding excursion through the jungle and to the beach.
And if your passion is the ocean, they will take you on an underwater snorkeling excursion to a Robinson-Crusoe beach where a gourmet meal awaits you. These type of experiences make guests return and feel inspired for years to come.
So remember, service and experience are key factors when choosing a luxury hotel for your next adventure.