While part promotional and part prescient, Virtuoso®, the global network of travel agencies that cater to upscale clients, developed a short list of trends in travel for 2016 that is no surprise considering the growing number of millennials hitting the road along with well off baby boomers and seniors. One trend Virtuoso failed to mention is all the upgrades to older hotels, erection of more luxurious properties with super luxurious suites and cruise ships and the addition of swankier ships such as Crystal Cruises Esprit and Seabourn’s Encore, and Silversea’s Muse.
Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts has been around for two decades-plus providing discerning travelers with top options for hotels and destinations offering benefits worth up to $450 per stay that are exclusive only through a Virtuoso travel advisor. Standards such as breakfast, room upgrades and early check-in/late check-out are matched with value-added extras that enhance the overall experience like spa treatments, dinners, airport transfers or rounds of golf.
So what the company as eyed as the major inclinations this year are:
- A penchant for bigger and best with more booking in large suites and villas. Villas: Multigenerational travel is the hottest trend of 2016, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report. Hotels are responding to the demand for group lodging by offering extremely large suites and villas. In Virtuoso’s portfolio: an 11-bedroom suite opening this year at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman that will be the biggest in the Caribbean, the largest penthouse suite in the U.S. at New York City’s The Mark at 12,000 square feet, and Four Seasons Nevis offering guests 40 villas.
- Being there. People are putting greater t value on experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime. Virtuoso’s collection of hotels fit the bill offering everything from world-class concerts at Schloss Elmau, a historic Bavarian castle; to a Western cattle drive at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming; to a private coffee-tasting experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica.
- Lifestyle Hotels: millennials trail blazers are making luxury the top requirement booking upscale lodgings such as Andaz and W Hotels.
- First dips: just like savvy seafarers flock to inaugural cruises on new ships, hotel hunters also want to stay at the hottest new properties and if they can get exclusive access and perks, even better.
- Jetsetting: vacations are being taken far from home with the trends to Asia, Africa and the Middle East and Europe albeit with some trepidation by travelers concerned about the world situation of terrorism threats.
- Booking trip: travelers are doing diligent shopping for lodging really studying the web sites and brochures to find the perfect place to plotz.
Virtuoso offers the Best of the Best, which is currently being distributed to the homes of 150,000 of Virtuoso’s best clients, you can view it at virtuoso.com.