What is life’s biggest luxury? Money? Your house? A car? Well according to a group of travel industry insiders, the answer is actually much less tangible, but a lot more simple. Time.
When asked what they felt was the ultimate luxury, that was the view returned by the insiders at the International Luxury Travel Market at Cannes last December. In order to ensure that their customers are able to take full advantage of the precious commodity that is time, the experts divulged some ways in which the stresses of luxury travel and holidays can be eased and time can be saved.
First off, everyone knows how frustrating it is to spend your time travelling to your destination, only to then be held up at the check in desk. Well, there are steps being actively taken to reduce this hardship. In some hotels, such as Starwood’s Aloft accommodations, guests can download a smart phone app which allows them to miss out the check in desk completely, and open their room door with a code on the phone.
Another way that technology has revolutionised checking in is in evidence at Andaz Hotels, where the check in process is completed on iPads as receptionists escort the guests to their rooms. This method of doing two jobs at once saves time and probably a lot of stress for both parties. Conrad Hotels offers a concierge app which provides further time saving convenience for guests, allowing them to tailor their stay by requesting their desired pillow type and notifying the hotel of their estimated arrival time.
In other places, the focus is less on technology and more on the simple things. For example, The Loews Regency Hotel in New York allows regular guests to leave a case of pressed clothes and essential items, under a programme that it calls “wrinkle-free travel”. This means that those who stay on a frequent basis no longer have to worry about packing clothes and lugging huge cases with them each time. And it’s a similar story at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley, where those who are frequent visitors are provided with personalised toiletry bags. This is particularly effective for people who fly with only hand luggage and are unable to bring many such items through airport security.
Other time saving schemes include the La Reserve Geneva, which provides a Venetian taxi boat to sail guests across the lake rather than being caught up in traffic when travelling to and from the hotel. But perhaps the most incredible is the Akaryn in Koh Samui, Thailand which has a dedicated “sunbed supervisor” who monitors guests’ sun exposure and notifies them when the time is right to turn over, allowing them to soak up the rays and catch the sun without worrying about checking the clock and burning.