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Are luxury hotels for everyone?

Are luxury hotels for everyone?

Old Jan 10, 15, 12:47 am
  #1  
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Are luxury hotels for everyone?

Though I love reading the trip reports and reviews in this forum, I wonder: in your experience, are there people for whom luxury hotels simply aren't worth it?

I consider myself quite well-traveled (over 100 countries and something like 1000 nights abroad), and I am finally in a position where in all but the most expensive destinations I can afford to stay where I choose. Nonetheless, I still rarely choose the types of hotels on this forum. My hypothesis is that a lot of the features that many people love about luxury hotels are ones that are of no importance to me. A spa, a private lap pool, total seclusion, service in the "pukka sahib" style: no interest. For food, I rarely find hotels do it best, and even if they do, I just pop over for dinner (as at Amangella on my most recent trip).

What I do value is great design, a location in a happening neighborhood (if in a city) or next to beautiful nature, quiet inside the room, a big comfortable bed, a strong shower, and someone who will set up a cooking class with an excellent chef or a chat with a local eminence grise historian or a well-planned map for a long hike. Are there any luxury hotels you know which might be a good fit?
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Old Jan 10, 15, 2:07 am
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As an answer to your basic question, the answer is definitely a no. I know people who outright should not stay in luxury hotels, it's just not for them. It's all about your preference and personality, even though I could also say with some certainty that even for those people there are luxury hotels out there that they would absolutely love.

As for your closing question, those types of services kind of sounds like a good fit for a luxury hotel in my ears. Cooking classes can often be arranged at luxury hotels themselves, and if they can't concierge should have no problem helping you with arranging it elsewhere. The same goes for the other things you mention. I have no suggestions for you in regards to specific hotels, there are other here who would be better qualified for that, but in essence I would say we are looking at the age old question "What defines a luxury hotel?".
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Old Jan 10, 15, 3:03 am
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I tend to stay in high-end hotels whenever they are available, but sometimes travel elsewhere and have perfectly nice experiences at four star hotels, inns, etc...

Has the OP tried luxury hotels/resorts? The only way to know the answer to his question is to have experienced luxury hotels as a staying guest.

I think that there are luxury hotels for everyone, but obviously not every luxury hotel will suit everyone.

In cities where luxury hotels are overpriced and still not that great, one isn't really missing out on much by not staying. Then again, if lower end hotels also provide terrible value, like in New York, by comparison I still think high-end is the best way to go.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 3:19 am
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Originally Posted by kevincure View Post
Though I love reading the trip reports and reviews in this forum, I wonder: in your experience, are there people for whom luxury hotels simply aren't worth it?

I consider myself quite well-traveled (over 100 countries and something like 1000 nights abroad), and I am finally in a position where in all but the most expensive destinations I can afford to stay where I choose. Nonetheless, I still rarely choose the types of hotels on this forum. My hypothesis is that a lot of the features that many people love about luxury hotels are ones that are of no importance to me. A spa, a private lap pool, total seclusion, service in the "pukka sahib" style: no interest. For food, I rarely find hotels do it best, and even if they do, I just pop over for dinner (as at Amangella on my most recent trip).

What I do value is great design, a location in a happening neighborhood (if in a city) or next to beautiful nature, quiet inside the room, a big comfortable bed, a strong shower, and someone who will set up a cooking class with an excellent chef or a chat with a local eminence grise historian or a well-planned map for a long hike. Are there any luxury hotels you know which might be a good fit?
I agree with just about everything here. The perfect combo for me - luxury hotel with unmatched local interest - is probably Amansara in Cambodia. But I first went to Cambodia in 1992 and stayed in the dereliction that eventually became Amansara. The destination always comes first with me. I'm off to El Salvador in a few weeks' time . . .
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Old Jan 10, 15, 3:20 am
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The answer is no. I canīt imagain not to stay in a luxury hotel, I even try to avoid destinations without high level hotels. My mother for example don`t like luxury hotels, she doesn`t feel good and if she has to pay she always has to thing about it. She even feels a knd of shame to stay in such hotels. She would for example feel ashamed to be driven in a RR.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
The answer is no. I canīt imagain not to stay in a luxury hotel, I even try to avoid destinations without high level hotels. My mother for example don`t like luxury hotels, she doesn`t feel good and if she has to pay she always has to thing about it. She even feels a knd of shame to stay in such hotels. She would for example feel ashamed to be driven in a RR.
On the other hand, I feel like a fish out of water if I am NOT staying at a luxury hotel if there is a nice one available...

I have also become accustomed to flying in F on any flight over five hours or so that is operated on a three class aircraft. Even a decent business class product feels like a compromise because of the relative lack of personal space and the less personalized service.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
I have also become accustomed to flying in F on any flight over five hours or so that is operated on a three class aircraft. Even a decent business class product feels like a compromise because of the relative lack of personal space and the less personalized service.
Exactly. I always fly F even if it means staying in a standard five star instead of luxury hotel. Although I do realize you were speaking about having both your cake and eating it too, which I do as well whenever it's possible.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by JamesEaston View Post
Exactly. I always fly F even if it means staying in a standard five star instead of luxury hotel. Although I do realize you were speaking about having both your cake and eating it too, which I do as well whenever it's possible.
I too have to compromise sometimes, but I will sooner compromise on flights than on hotels/resorts.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 8:05 am
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I spend as little as possible getting there and as much as necessary when I'm there.

However, this next trip to Central America is with United Airlines and as I have an innate horror of coach/economy aboard US-owned airlines (they are so out of date) I'm travelling Business and just hope I don't have to pay for water and headphones.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
On the other hand, I feel like a fish out of water if I am NOT staying at a luxury hotel if there is a nice one available...

I have also become accustomed to flying in F on any flight over five hours or so that is operated on a three class aircraft. Even a decent business class product feels like a compromise because of the relative lack of personal space and the less personalized service.
+ 1. I always try to get the best hotel. I donīt really sleep well if I think the hotel or only the room is not on par with my expectations. I got problems with my wife when I booked one of "the bigger suites" for a one night stay at a FS were we only stayed a few minutes not sleeping inside the suite because I thought the layout of the cheaper suites (she not even try to get me in a "room") looked not nice enough. Sometimes I think I need a therapy.

With flights itīs getting worse. To be honest I canīt stand flying J if F is available. I know, it`s snobby but itīs the truth. Last time someone told me Emirates would be a nice airline and it is OK to fly it to Australia from Germany. The space would be not too bad. Of course I didn`t tell him that I would not even fly Emirates J to Australia.... So a compromise for me is to do only one trip instead of two.....

P.S. Big problem: We like to do Argentina from Europe. It seems no proper F-options. I try to avoid it the next years....
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Old Jan 10, 15, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I spend as little as possible getting there and as much as necessary when I'm there.

However, this next trip to Central America is with United Airlines and as I have an innate horror of coach/economy aboard US-owned airlines (they are so out of date) I'm travelling Business and just hope I don't have to pay for water and headphones.
The last time I flew AA business class, they were refilling passengers' water bottles with a large gallon jug of inexpensive spring water. I was happy to have enough water, but I think such an obvious cost cutting measure is inappropriate for premium cabins. Decent airlines serve Evian or similar brands of water even in Y.

Oh, and since the FAs were obviously irritated that I kept calling them for more water on this TPAC flight - I drink a lot of water on flights due to dry cabin air - I eventually told one of them to just place a large bottle of water in the empty seat next to me. On AA and UA, service is hit or miss. There are good FAs, but in the worst cases, which are not infrequent, the service is not only bad but it also borders on hostile.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
The last time I flew AA business class, they were refilling passengers' water bottles with a large gallon jug of inexpensive spring water. I was happy to have enough water, but I think such an obvious cost cutting measure is inappropriate for premium cabins. Decent airlines serve Evian or similar brands of water even in Y.

Oh, and since the FAs were obviously irritated that I kept calling them for more water on this TPAC flight - I drink a lot of water on flights due to dry cabin air - I eventually told one of them to just place a large bottle of water in the empty seat next to me. On AA and UA, service is hit or miss. There are good FAs, but in the worst cases, which are not infrequent, the service is not only bad but it also borders on hostile.
Oh my. You must have a cardiac arrest when flying North American airlines. Evian? They couldn't even spell it.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by ridefar View Post
Oh my. You must have a cardiac arrest when flying North American airlines. Evian? They couldn't even spell it.
I just go with low expectations and am usually fine in domestic F. AA's transcontinental three class F is actually a very good domestic product.

Internationally a good point about UA and AA is that mileage upgrades are relatively easy to get, especially J to F. UA's new Global First seats are nice.

Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Jan 10, 15 at 10:13 am
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Old Jan 10, 15, 9:49 am
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It sounds like the OP would benefit from an outstanding concierge in a luxury hotel.

For me, I enjoy the iconic historic buildings, whether it's a city palace or a countryside castle. I sometimes thing of the place as my private museum that's open 24/7, sometimes with good people watching too. Depending on the location, a luxury hotel can be a reliable way to get an acceptable hotel that's unique and interesting versus the alternative of a cookie-cutter western chain hotel.
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Old Jan 10, 15, 10:13 am
  #15  
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There are regular threads, usually in the Travel Buzz forum, where people explain how they just "use a hotel to sleep in" and always stay in the cheapest hotel available. Proponents of this approach usually make that claim as some sort of badge of honor.

If my only choice was to stay in a cheap hotel or not travel, I would stay in a cheap hotel. But I'm not really happy in a lousy hotel. Right now it can easily ruin a trip for me, so it would take getting used to.

Hence luxury hotels are the safest bet, but I can be quite happy in a good hotel in a decently sized room once my needs (which aren't that complicated) are met. There are only a few places where I regularly use concierge service. And as I am not a beach resort type of person, that rules out a lot of the hotels discussed on this forum.
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