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How do you decide which luxury hotels to go to?

How do you decide which luxury hotels to go to?

Old Mar 29, 19, 12:34 pm
  #1  
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How do you decide which luxury hotels to go to?

Hi Everyone,

I’m new to the forum here (although I’ve been reading threads for about a year) and decided I should take the leap to start posting, as we are looking to plan some bigger trips in the coming years. We are more focused on luxury travel now than we have been in the past, and I was hoping to get a sense of how other people plan their travel in this category and avoid making mistakes.

How do you guys decide where you are going next? Do you pick the destination first (ex. Paris) and then find the best luxury hotel option that suits your needs? Or is the hotel property the actual destination you want to go to (I can see this being true for Aman properties)? Either way, what resources do you recommend for finding and also vetting luxury hotels? Maybe the Flyertalk Hotel Reviews? If we are going to increase our average nightly cost on hotels, I want to make sure we are getting the best value.

I really appreciate your feedback!
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:05 pm
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I do a combination of identifying where I want to go and then research places to stay, or I find places from magazines, twitter, newspapers, blogs and message boards. On organized trips curated by a travel agent, I choose among the choices given. I look at the websites, and try to find reviews.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:09 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by aspatz View Post
Hi Everyone,

I’m new to the forum here (although I’ve been reading threads for about a year) and decided I should take the leap to start posting, as we are looking to plan some bigger trips in the coming years. We are more focused on luxury travel now than we have been in the past, and I was hoping to get a sense of how other people plan their travel in this category and avoid making mistakes.

How do you guys decide where you are going next? Do you pick the destination first (ex. Paris) and then find the best luxury hotel option that suits your needs? Or is the hotel property the actual destination you want to go to (I can see this being true for Aman properties)? Either way, what resources do you recommend for finding and also vetting luxury hotels? Maybe the Flyertalk Hotel Reviews? If we are going to increase our average nightly cost on hotels, I want to make sure we are getting the best value.

I really appreciate your feedback!
City then property. Unless, it's somewhere where the property is the destination like Yogyakarta and Amanjiwo. This forum has been invaluable for the detailed feedback shared between members and helps make the best informed decision possible.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:41 pm
  #4  
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Historically, choices have been guided by both locale and property. But there have been some trips specifically motivated by the property; Twin Farms in Vermont, Manoir Hovey, Eastern Townships, Quebec, Laucala in Fiji. It is rare we stay in a non-luxury establishment but it happens (e.g., Edinburgh).

Of late, however, a third criterion has been added: ease of travel. Typically this means non-stop flights of no more than five hours or so. We often repair to Cabo not because we love it (we don't) but because it is a warm beach locale graced with Las Ventanas AND only 2.5 hours from SFO.

There are a number of ostensibly luxe wilderness lodges in B.C. as well as Montana/Wyoming we would love to experience but, alas, we are past our sell-by date.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 1:55 pm
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Thank you! We've seen the photos of Laucala all over Instagram and it's definitely on our list of places to visit. I've just passively come across "destination" properties on Instagram and that's worked for me so far. Do you have a specific website or something that you go to in order to 'discover' new hotels that are trip-worthy in and of themselves? Maybe magazines like Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler have a round up or list of great hotels, but it's been awhile since I've read a magazine...
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Old Mar 29, 19, 2:13 pm
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I'm a research librarian so my sources are multitudinous. The one, single best source, though, is this FT forum right here.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 7:00 pm
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Originally Posted by aspatz View Post
Thank you! We've seen the photos of Laucala all over Instagram and it's definitely on our list of places to visit. I've just passively come across "destination" properties on Instagram and that's worked for me so far. Do you have a specific website or something that you go to in order to 'discover' new hotels that are trip-worthy in and of themselves? Maybe magazines like Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler have a round up or list of great hotels, but it's been awhile since I've read a magazine...
You may find this useful: Luxury Travel Resources

I'm down to choosing the places I have not been to, then deciding whether the luxury hotels offer enough compelling reason to visit. Rwanda was such a place we visited last year, which I waited until a luxury lodge opened. Sometimes the ease of going somewhere will mean we just end up doing it, even if we've been many times before, e.g. Paris is just a 2 hour train ride away. The weather is a big consideration, as I do not want to travel long distances to be somewhere during off-peak season (providing off-peak means bad weather, as opposed to what some properties declare it to mean simply outside school holidays), so that further limits choices down and then it's a case of trying to plan for the priority destinations and work out where they can fit in. I do also change my travel plans more than my underwear, so nothing is ever concrete until that non-refundable deposit is taken. Even then it's 50/50.

Having been all around the world at a huge number of luxury properties, it's getting harder to find somewhere worth venturing long distances for. I feel at times we're scraping the barrel and tend to stick to where we've already been.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 7:07 pm
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To the other considerations I would add ... compare locations. If per the OP’s example of Paris, why are you going? If first time sightseeing, I’d opt for a hotel central to the museums and other attractions you’ll be visiting (perhaps Le Meurice). If shopping, then a hotel close to boutiques (Le Bristol) or the major designers (George V or Plaza Athenée). Want to be on the Left Bank? Perhaps Lutetia.

There are are so many great hotels in Paris - so make location one of your criteria.
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Last edited by DavidO; Mar 29, 19 at 10:10 pm
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Old Mar 30, 19, 12:50 am
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For me it's always the destination and/or the country. I've been to more than 120 sovereign states and many more overseas territories which aren't proper countries, such as French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Turks & Caicos etc. There has always been a significant reason to visit these places and having a luxury hotel isn't necessarily a priority with me, though it's nice if such properties exist. Twenty-odd years ago I did make a specific trip to the Philippines just to stay at Amanpulo but I also went to Siem Reap/Angkor in 1992 before any luxury hotels were available.

By the way, aspatz, if you do make it to Laucala, don't forget it's in Fiji which is well worth seeing. Ditto the Marriott North Island which is in the Seychelles where it's worth staying on Mahe and driving around for a few days.

If you only visit luxury hotels you won't see much of the world. Perhaps you don't want to . . . and that's OK with me.

Last edited by Pausanias; Mar 30, 19 at 4:54 am
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Old Mar 30, 19, 3:35 am
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I choose the location first, and then check on FlyerTalk which hotel shall be preferred.
Speaking about Aman it happened that I chose the hotel experience before the country / place to visit (Amanbagh, Amanjiwo, Aman Sveti Stefan, etc.)
And last, in some cities, there are no brainers for me => Bangkok means MO, LA means Hotel Bel Air, London means Bvlgari
I am still struggling for selecting a nice place in some cities where there is no obvious choice (Singapore for example) so I tend to try 4-star hotels. I know it won’t be great but at least I am not disappointed as my expectations are low.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 1:38 pm
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1. Research
2. Find the sweet spot for best value for money if I can be flexible. This takes the most time.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 2:27 pm
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The way one travels and preferences for destination, mode of conveyance, purpose, accommdations, affordability change over time, and not only once but many times. Horizons both lengthen and shorten. There was a time when we traveled as Pausarias recommends and those sojourns were revelatory. Funding then was limited and so were our destinations in the States, Western Canada, Panama, Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, and the U.K.

With increased means we opted for new destinations AND luxury venues in the States, Norway, Iceland, Fiji, France, Quebec, with return visits to Mexico, Hawaii, and the U.K. These locales may be insufficiently exotic or authentic for some but, nevermind, we enjoyed the hell out of them.

However it is one chooses to travel is nothing to be ashamed of. In any choice, the selections necessarily entail turning away from worthy destinations and venues. It's useful to garner here suggestions, opinions recommendations, caveats and more. But I regret it when posters here are chided, however gently, for their choices and aspirations.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I did make a specific trip to the Philippines just to stay at Amanpulo

you won't see much of the world
you actually convinced me not to visit places that have become too crowded
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Old Mar 30, 19, 4:39 pm
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Normally destination first and later the hotel. Of course there are trips I do for thehotel (ie resorts) or I'm inspired by new openings or special offers.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 10:57 am
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Increasingly I look for luxury hotels that participate in chains with which I have top tier status. I also enjoy returning to old favorites, sometimes to check out renovations.
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