Defining a Luxury Experience: What Can Hotel Guests Expect

Almost everything is described as “luxurious” in today’s world. Anything from soap to lamps can be luxurious. However, when someone uses the word “luxury” in conjunction with “hotel,” the term isn’t used that lightly. There are several things that travelers have come to expect from luxury hotels.

So, how does a hotel get a luxury designation?

Hotels are assigned stars from AA, Forbes, and other similar organizations. However, there are no firm guidelines as to what constitutes a luxury hotel. In fact, both five star hotels and four star hotels often promote themselves as having “luxury” accommodations.

Guests pay more to stay at a luxury hotel, and as a result, they should expect certain things from their accommodations. That same concept holds true for the food, the service and the amenities.

So, what can guests expect from a luxury hotel? Read on for more details.

Simple To Book

When you make a reservation at a luxury hotel, the booking process should be relatively straightforward. If you choose to book online, you should be able to interact with the website without incident. If you choose to call the hotel, the booking process should go through quickly and without much effort on your part.

Easy Check In, Easy Check Out

When you arrive at a luxury hotel, you don’t want to stand in line for several minutes before you check in. The same concept holds true for the check out process as well. There should be very minimal waiting!

Some luxury hotels function similarly to the Apple Store. If you have ever been in one of those stores, you know that there are no lines. Staff members carry around iPads and ring people up while walking around the store.

After you check in, your luggage should be taken to your room within ten minutes. In addition, when you check out, there should be an express option that allows you to leave quickly and without any hassle.


A Suitable Room

If you make special requests with respect to your room, a luxury hotel should be able to accommodate you. Some guests like to be near the elevator and others want to be further away. Some want a view while others do not care. Other guests like to be close to the ice machine, while some feel it is too loud there.

Furthermore, some guests may need a handicap space or a room they can bring their pet to. They may have a preference on the size of the bed (king versus queen). A luxury hotel listens to its guests and is able to meet their requests with a smile.


Great Amenities

There are so many things that a hotel needs to have if it wants to advertise luxury accommodations. This is a fairly comprehensive list, but it is by no means complete.

First, the rooms need to have striking decor, pleasing designs and well-made furniture. They should be quiet and not affected by outside noise. They should smell nice; for example, a guest should not walk into a luxury hotel room and notice the lingering odor of smoke or even cleaning products.

Luxury hotels should have art on the walls, and they should not be inexpensive prints that anyone can pick up at the store. There should be king beds, nice mattresses and comfortable sheets that are made out of cotton. The mattress cover should not be either vinyl or nylon, because that affects comfort. Finally, there should be several different pillows in the room, with the option of getting more should the guest request them.

Luxury hotels need to provide slippers and robes. There should be a window that opens to allow fresh air in. Curtains need to look nice and be made out of fabric, but there should be some type of covering that also keeps the sunlight out in the morning. The room should contain a desk, a safe, a nice flat screen television, a coffee machine and a large mirror.

The HVAC system needs to be relatively quiet and simple to adjust. Finally, there needs to be a clock and access to free Wifi.

Fully Functional Bathrooms

The bathroom is important in a luxury hotel. There must be proper ventilation, as well as two different sinks. The toilet should be in a separate enclave from the main space. In addition, there should be plenty of room on the counter for all of your toiletries.

The counters themselves should be in good condition. The bathtub should be able to comfortably fit two people and it should be easy to get in and out of. The shower head should provide adequate water pressure. The hotel’s toiletries need to smell nice but should not be too overwhelming. Guests should be provided with both bar soap and bath gel.

There should be numerous terry towels that are soft and absorbent. There should be plenty of room to hang hand towels. If you are in Europe, a bidet is a necessity. If you are in Asia, a TOTO toilet is a necessity.


Excellent Service

When a guest walks into a luxury hotel, they should be made to feel important. All staff should be pleasant and accommodating. If other guests are out of earshot, you should be addressed by name.

The housekeeping staff needs to do their job well. Your personal effects should not be touched, even if they appear to be trash. The bed needs to be turned down in the evening.

The cleaners that are used should not leave behind a lingering odor. This is especially true for your room, but it is also true for any area of the hotel, including the restaurant and lounge area. Natural products are preferred.

If you have a problem in your room, maintenance needs to respond to your request in a timely manner. They should be able to efficiently and expertly take care of any concerns that you have. The landscaping staff should not get in the way. For example, if you are outside by the pool, you should not see or hear their work. Guests should never hear a leaf blower at a luxury hotel.

Top Notch Restaurants

A luxury hotel should have at least one restaurant that serves great food. In addition, there needs to be a bar area as well. Both spaces should be clean, have attractive decor and serve delicious food and beverages.

Room service needs to be an option. Depending on the area, guests should be able to call room service at any time of the day. A complimentary breakfast is occasionally included. However, in America, the complimentary breakfast is rarely done right. It should not only consist of bagels and prepackaged foods.

As an example, The Townsend Hotel is a Forbes rated 5 star luxury hotel. Not only does it offer luxury accommodations, it offers a 5 star restaurant with a wine cellar to match in its premises. It is a great luxury venue for parties, weddings, and meetings. It matches the criteria of luxury: great amenities, cean rooms, and easy check in/out. If you’re ever in Michigan and looking for a luxury hotel, you should check it out.

Attractive “Extras”

All guests at a luxury hotel need to have access to a fitness center that is open twenty four hours a day. Inside the fitness center should be, at minimum, a treadmill, free weights, a StairMaster, floor mats and a stationary bike.

Luxury hotels should have a pool and a lounge area that is free from drafts. Couches should be in the space, WiFi needs to be provided and guests should have the option of ordering from a bar.

Laundry service needs to be available. If a guest needs a babysitter, personal drainer, dog walker or other service, the staff at the hotel should be able to point them in the right direction. The concierge needs to be knowledgeable, friendly and not too pushy.

Finally, it is important to note that luxury hotels do not charge extra for every little “extra.” Guests are already spending a lot of money on their room. They should not be subjected to a lot of additional fees. Things like bottled water should be provided at no cost. Coffee should be in the lobby, where guests can grab a cup in the morning. Access to WiFi should never be an additional fee. There should also be a free shuttle that takes guests into town on a regular schedule. And, if guests need to use the phone to call somewhere local, they should be able to do so at no cost to them.

This article is sponsored by The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan. I do not receive a commission for any bookings made through their website.

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  1. says

    I’ve experienced plenty of luxury hotels and resorts but have never taken the time to think about what defines them. Thanks for putting this post together! What was the most luxurious hotel you stayed at? For me, I got to experience Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and China and I will say they are pretty amazing. Unfortunately, they are not easy to access via Miles and Points since they have their own unique program. But the experience I got at them was impeccable from picking me up at the airport to checking me in the room to an amazing spa experience.

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