The Luxury Insights Report: Stewardship of Iconic and Historic Buildings, commissioned by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, unveiled new insights in current trends in luxury travel. This inaugural volume reveals the vital importance of emotional fulfillment, place identity (the psychological connection to a destination) and cultural immersion in the decision-making process of luxury travelers worldwide.
“Luxury guests are not only looking for warm and engaging service when traveling to world-class destinations, they are also following their hearts,” said Jane Mackie, vice president, Fairmont Brand. “The emotional connection guests feel to each of our hotels is unique – whether it’s finally crossing off a bucket list trip, exploring a new destination, or celebrating a milestone event. This industry-leading research demonstrates that the choice of a Fairmont hotel, be it historic or newly developed, often provides the sense of place and personal connection luxury travelers crave.”
One of the highlights from the report is that guests choose a historic destination to make an emotional connection. In fact, many feel that historic hotels offer unique and ownable emotional benefits due to their ability to evoke “place identity”. Additional report highlights include:
- Place Identity: the psychological merging with the past; hotels with rich histories enable guests to feel like they are part of something meaningful, important and enduring.
- Experience over Commodity: aligning social status with the consumption of experiences rather than material goods – luxury redefined; transforming “luxurious” travel from simply being pampered to creating unforgettable memories.
- Cultural Immersion: a new type of cache among travelers; “I stayed at the Fairmont” is a clear demonstration of immersing oneself in culture, experience and history.
- History Lovers Repeatedly Choose Fairmont: in 2015, 38,000 “history lovers” stayed at more than one of Fairmont’s historic properties.
With more than 70 hotels in key markets globally and even more in development including The Plaza in New York City, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has a distinctive collection of unrivaled heritage properties in its luxury portfolio. In June 2015, The Plaza unveiled The Legacy Suites, offering guests an unparalleled level of luxury in one of the world’s most iconic hotels. As the name suggests, The Legacy Suites pay homage to the rich history and heritage of The Plaza, and were designed to be evocative of an Upper East Side home. New York-based Champalimaud has redesigned each of the 29 iconic suites to feature contemporary décor with a tailored look that is simple and bright, yet elegant and timeless. Named for the iconic locations and celebrated individuals who have been part of The Plaza’s history, The Legacy Suites are firmly rooted in today with decor that is contemporary, yet complementary to the historic elements of the building. While the hotel is respectful of its storied past, The Plaza continues to evolve and The Legacy Suites are the newest page in its ongoing history book.
With a global commitment to the careful restoration and preservation of historic buildings, along with the integration of the latest guest amenities and advanced technologies, Fairmont is uniquely positioned within the luxury travel industry. This value pillar was the impetus for the research study, which was designed to investigate key motivators for travelers today, and how these drivers relate back to iconic and historic properties.
“Our Luxury Insights Report reveals a decisive link between travelers and their emotional connection to historic and iconic hotels and the destinations in which they reside,” added Mackie. “As a globally recognized leader in the stewardship of these landmarks, as well as the luxury operator of many new hotels that have already established themselves as the icons of tomorrow, it is our mandate to not only understand the experiences our guests desire, but to preserve and develop the properties that act as a catalyst for so many unforgettable moments.”
Fairmont has made it a focus to restore many of its grand buildings worldwide, and in partnership with its committed hotel owners, the luxury brand has managed to help renovate or restore more than 80% of its North American portfolio over the last few years. Notable projects range from a multi-million dollar makeover of the Claremont Club & Spa in Berkeley, CA to a top-to-bottom restoration of Quebec City’s castle-like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
In addition to the preservation of these influential historic properties, Fairmont is extending its commitment to being the leading operator of iconic properties worldwide with more than 40 new developments underway in key gateway cities and sought after resort locales across Europe, North America, the Middle East and China.