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Luxury -- is it space, style, decor?

Luxury -- is it space, style, decor?

Old Jul 11, 17, 5:33 pm
  #1  
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Luxury -- is it space, style, decor?

Style and decor is hugely variable among us, as it should be. Aspects thereof include age/generation, upbringing, cultural exposure, aspirations, physical abilities, notions of space, color palette, form and function, bathroom preferences, entertainment features and more. Deliberately excluding service features and F&B offerings. The focus here is on decor, arrangement and space provided by hard product.

Are your preferences an extension of your style at home? Otherwise? If different, how?

What signals luxury to you in a hotel room or suite?

Last edited by KatW; Jul 11, 17 at 5:48 pm
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Old Jul 11, 17, 5:38 pm
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Don't we have this thread - or, at least, one(s) similar to it - every 4 months or so?

Regardless, I'll play along.

If I wanted exactly what I have at home, I'd stay at home.

I think, for me, a lot of times it depends on the location - i.e. the country in which it is located, then the region/area/city, etc - as well as what I am in the mood for at the moment.

And while I *can* be charmed by "period decor", 9/10 times I'd much prefer sleek and modern.

A recent stay at the new FS Surf Club managed to combine both, rather well, for my tastes.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 5:40 pm
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I don't quite travel to stay in destination hotels but I lean somewhat in that direction. Which is to say I usually can find a reason to visit a city or locale that happens to feature a luxury hotel of note. There's always something (with a few exceptions, e.g., Houston, Las Vegas, Orlando, etc.).

First, space. I opt for a suite, junior or (preferably) above. My definition of luxury is defined first by space. In imperialist language give me lebensraum, land lots of land, Manifest Destiny.

Second, bathroom preferences: two toilets. And a shower separate from the bathtub.

One of the pleasures of traveling is experiencing other styles, ambiance and decor. So I never look for my own home style but do care about casual beauty, implicit grace, explicit comfort and cultural echoes. For example, I adore the decor at Le Bristol, that French elegance yet comfort. Also the furnishings and decor at Ventanas Inn at Big Sur -- Ralph Lauren rancho style, comfortable and pleasing.

Then there is Twin Farms which is a pick-your-style kind of place. We've stayed in four different cabins and loved them all.

I resonate to two styles of decor: city or beach/country. For city style, my mantra is that of Le Bristol in Paris, Beverly Hills Hotel, the Peninsula in Beverly Hills. For country: Gravetye Manor in the U.K., Ventanas in Big Sur, Twin Farms in Vermont. For beach: La Casa Que Canta in Zihua, Laucala in Fiji, Las Alamandas on the Costalegre in Mexico, etc.

I am not fond of minimalist decor although some venues manage it comfortably enough for me, e.g., St. Regis San Francisco. Have yet to experience Aman but not in a rush - that minimalist decor gives me pause.

Last edited by KatW; Jul 11, 17 at 7:51 pm
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Old Jul 11, 17, 5:42 pm
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great thread/discussion, well said as always!

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jul 11, 17 at 5:50 pm
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Old Jul 11, 17, 5:43 pm
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Hmm, been around for a while, do not recall similar thread. There are various threads about hard product vs. soft which is not what I intended with this one but it's likely I have not adequately expressed myself. In any case, let us pretend it's time enough for another assault on the issue assuming there is clarity regarding that issue.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 5:46 pm
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To be fair, I'm probably blending posts/threads/etc in my head. Nonetheless, I do almost always find these interesting.

I forgot about space - that is something that is important. I don't need LOADS of it, necessarily, but I do NOT want to feel cramped, and I like it to be well-designed and utilized.

I also, in terms of resorts, MASSIVELY prefer separate bungalows/accommodations than "hotel on a beach" -- think Amanoi vs FS Maui
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Old Jul 11, 17, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by KatW View Post
space, style and decor
decor, arrangement and space provided by hard product
What signals luxury to you in a hotel room or suite?
only in accommodations, or also in common areas?

Originally Posted by KatW View Post
Hmm, been around for a while, do not recall similar thread. There are various threads about hard product vs. soft which is not what I intended with this one but it's likely I have not adequately expressed myself. In any case, let us pretend it's time enough for another assault on the issue assuming there is clarity regarding that issue.
i dont think i am the only one here who finds your threads great, trying to discuss some more abstract things, rather than just technical quantitative aspects.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jul 11, 17 at 5:56 pm
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Old Jul 11, 17, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by aa213bb View Post
To be fair, I'm probably blending posts/threads/etc in my head. Nonetheless, I do almost always find these interesting.

I forgot about space - that is something that is important. I don't need LOADS of it, necessarily, but I do NOT want to feel cramped, and I like it to be well-designed and utilized.

I also, in terms of resorts, MASSIVELY prefer separate bungalows/accommodations than "hotel on a beach" -- think Amanoi vs FS Maui
I conflate often, myself.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 6:00 pm
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Thank you, Kagehitokiri. Common spaces and general architecture, grounds also certainly apply to the luxury experience.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by KatW View Post
Common spaces and general architecture, grounds
those kinds of things are pretty much why i did necker island when it had very low occupancy. the room i had would be labeled a "gerbil room" by some here. i have chosen other properties for similar reasons, and would do so again. i like properties that are different from traditional average hotel experience.

i think (and agree?) that there are things that transcend the usual ways "hard product" are discussed, as well as "soft product" in terms of service offerings.

layouts are often discussed if there is wasted space or too little space, but the relevance of and preferences re spaciousness etc are not. even minimum size does not specifically address it. as noted above, preferences vary re things like relative sizes of rooms and bathrooms.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jul 11, 17 at 6:28 pm
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Old Jul 11, 17, 6:38 pm
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Here's an old thread where I asked about space. My desire to have space has only increased since them. I prefer a full suite when I can manage it. Space will compensate for lacks in other areas. There are times when I haven't been able to find a luxury hotel, but I have been able to secure a suite at a chain hotel. I had a 1000 sq ft suite in Dresden, overlooking the historic heart of the city (Hilton). I had a 1000 sq ft suite in Guayaquil, Ecuador (Doubletree). More and more I'll spend the money or the points to secure space.

I like a view. I really like a view of water or mountains or a baroque fountain or an interesting piece of architecture. I like a hotel that positions its furniture and designs its windows and curtains so that I can enjoy the view.

I like comfortable furniture. I'm shocked at how few hotels offer a chair with a foot stool. That should be basic. Don't offer form over function. We've had many a conversation with hotel management trying to find comfortable furniture for the room. It surprises me how cavalier they sometimes are about these issues. I've even turned a wastepaper basket upside down, put a pillow on it, and used it as a footstool.

I want a walk in shower. Don't expect me to step up over a high sided tub with no grab bars. Offer a tub and shower if space permits, but a shower should be baseline.

I like good food. It's ideal if the hotel offers great food but if not, have staff who know where to find it and can make bookings.

Decor isn't as important to me. I like zen, found at many Park Hyatts and Amans, as I find it peaceful. But it's not essential to me as I live that way at home.

I'm sure I'll think of more.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 6:40 pm
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SanDiego1K, i forgot you did state it very well!

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Hotel websites give a dimension that includes the bathroom space. Thus, a number can feel very different in one hotel versus another depending on the split between the bathroom and the bedroom. And the number can feel very different depending on how well the hotel lays out the furniture. So, this number is very soft.
even some who only book suites can run into trouble with 34m2 and 50m2 suites, which sometimes hide sizes.

some will exchange bathroom size for room size, others the opposite.

combination showers definitely frequently come up, interesting some properties have started avoiding it by doing shower only. some do want bathtubs. properties should have every room in a category the same, so there is no gambling involved.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jul 14, 17 at 9:24 am
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Old Jul 11, 17, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Here's an old thread where I asked about space. My desire to have space has only increased since them. I prefer a full suite when I can manage it. Space will compensate for lacks in other areas. There are times when I haven't been able to find a luxury hotel, but I have been able to secure a suite at a chain hotel. I had a 1000 sq ft suite in Dresden, overlooking the historic heart of the city (Hilton). I had a 1000 sq ft suite in Guayaquil, Ecuador (Doubletree). More and more I'll spend the money or the points to secure space.

I like a view. I really like a view of water or mountains or a baroque fountain or an interesting piece of architecture. I like a hotel that positions its furniture and designs its windows and curtains so that I can enjoy the view.

I like comfortable furniture. I'm shocked at how few hotels offer a chair with a foot stool. That should be basic. Don't offer form over function. We've had many a conversation with hotel management trying to find comfortable furniture for the room. It surprises me how cavalier they sometimes are about these issues. I've even turned a wastepaper basket upside down, put a pillow on it, and used it as a footstool.

I want a walk in shower. Don't expect me to step up over a high sided tub with no grab bars. Offer a tub and shower if space permits, but a shower should be baseline.

I like good food. It's ideal if the hotel offers great food but if not, have staff who know where to find it and can make bookings.

Decor isn't as important to me. I like zen, found at many Park Hyatts and Amans, as I find it peaceful. But it's not essential to me as I live that way at home.

I'm sure I'll think of more.
Abso-effing-lutely. All of that. And, bingo ditto on the footstool/hassock issue. Seriously, just exactly what are you supposed to do with your legs and feet. Honestly, I swear! You are my travel twin, sandiego1K!
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Old Jul 11, 17, 8:34 pm
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I'm with SanDiego1k!

For me:

Bathrooms
I like a properly isolated bathroom too. None of that movable partition or glass type that looks out into the bedroom. That's one thing I can't stand in a lot of new room designs. A bathtub with a view is sometimes hard to find as well.

Fit and finish

I can notice when things were done half assed. Caulking in a different type or boards and fitment just a little off. I like rooms or suites to be crafted well. Cheap and chic doesn't cut it for me.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 10:02 pm
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I suspect I dont stay at the level of luxury that a lot of people on this particular forum do, but I do like 5 star and aspire to some of the more luxury properties as I get older.

I like the entrance/lobby of a hotel to have grandeur or even be simply grand, lots of space here sets the tone. And flowers... most definitely flowers!

I definitely love hotels that have a club style lounge - again, space is quite important here and how it is furnished and what it offers. A view or an outlook is top of my list, if not the hotel room, definitely the lounge!. A hotel that has a luxury spa is another top of list item for me.

I want elegance, comfort, cleanliness (I am a stickler on this), service that is not fawning but interested (although I know that is not part of the subject).. I want modernity but without losing character if that is the style of the hotel. I want soundproof rooms and blackout curtains. I want elegant table and glassware where I am eating or drinking. I would like a room that has been designed with both men and women in mind... decent lighting so I can do my hair and makeup... good lord, how often is this not the case. Space to put at least 2 suitcases, really do they think only 1 person is staying. sorry now I'm nitpicking...

The last few years of travel for me have really helped me define what I want in my home and life, hence I am now building a new home with a sea view. A luxury hotel should be aspirational in many ways.
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