Tailored luxury travel
The luxury travel industry is ready to cater to every whim of the individual.
Personal Experiences Top Travel Trend
If the futurists of the mid-20th century had been right, we should now all be zipping around town in jetpacks and hover-cars … which clearly is not the case. But if there’s one overarching theme of the five travel trends set to be big news in 2014, it’s this: it’s all about you. What makes you happy on holiday? How can your stay be made seamless? How can hotels and airlines catch your eye… and, of course, your wallet. This year, it’s out with the masses, in with the personal.
Blinger is Better
It’s a competitive space, the travel industry, and it’s not easy to stand out from the crowd. Percale linen and a celebrity chef used to be enough, but today it’s big, brash and unusual offerings that catch our eye. The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is the world’s most expensive hotel, the 7 500-room Izmailovo Hotel in Moscow is the largest, while the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai is, at 355 metres, the tallest on the planet… But the future isn’t up, it’s down, it seems.
Underwater Hotels Next Big Thing
… and Africa is leading the way. The Manta Resort off Pemba Island near Zanzibar (this page) opened in 2013 with a remarkable underwater ‘room’. It’s actually a floating villa anchored a few hundred metres offshore: the top-deck’s for sunbathing, the ‘ground’ floor for dining and relaxing, with a subsurface bedroom allowing you to live out that old Mafia threat of sleeping with the fishes. Other underwater hotels are the Poseidon Underwater Resort in Fiji, which will offer22 rooms accessible only via submarine, and the Hydropolis off the United Arab Emirates. Don’t pack your bags just yet, though: Hydropolis has run into ‘technical difficulties’ that could see the $550 million resort be some time in the making.
First “Instagram” Hotel
The 1888 Hotel in Sydney didn’t have half a billion dollars to spend, but has nonetheless become one of the most eye-catching properties on the planet as the world’s first ‘Instagram hotel’. From a ‘selfie booth’ in the lobby to ‘Insta-walk’ guided tours and screens filled with images tagged #1888hotel, this 90-room boutique hotel in Pyrmont encourages guests to click and share from dawn till dusk. And guests with more than 10 000 Instagram followers get a free night’s stay.
Compiled by: Richard Holmes
Photographs: Maxine Sheppard, Supplied