Living In The Lap Of Luxury

By: Shaun Parker

For years it was only the super rich and those lucky enough to have vast business accounts that got to stay in a luxury hotel. It is now becoming easier for those with smaller budgets. But what exactly does paying that extra money get you and are those with smaller budgets really getting the extravagance that the super rich have been used to for years?

Luxury hotel services are in some cases not dissimilar from their cheaper counterparts; however the charges for these services are considerably more expensive. Whether it can be considered value for money is the big question. Take a cup of coffee for instance; in a standard hotel you expect to have a kettle with coffee and tea making facilities in the room. The coffee may be a cup of instant awfulness and the milk may be so removed from milk that to call it dairy would be a crime but at least it is complementary.

In a luxury hotel the coffee making facilities are removed and you are expected to pay a rather extortionate amount for coffee to be brought to you. However this is real coffee, nine times out of ten from a cafe tier and with fresh milk. It may seem stupid and rather pointless to be discussing coffee at such length but for many, it is life or death to have that first cup of coffee and to those willing to pay the extra, quality coffee makes all the difference. But what else should be expected from a luxury hotel to qualify it as such.

First and foremost the service should be impeccable, that is the precursor to any hotel being deemed as luxury. The concierge should be attentive and respond to the whims of his guests, one story of a concierge who brought in their dog from home for a guest missing their own pooch shows the extremes of this devotion but gets the point across of how the guest should be held above all, at least for their stay. That is not to say that all guests deserve to be treated with such reverence but when staying at a luxury hotel the staff should be well trained, good mannered and respectful at all times.

The next element of a luxury hotel should be the rooms. Of course rooms will vary from hotel to hotel, some with more character than others but all should possess a minimum of luxury. At least a queen-sized bed is requisite, as is a spacious bathroom with separate shower, a telephone, possibly two and an area to sit (without having to perch on the edge of the bed). Maid's service should be included every morning with fresh towels and toiletries. As with much of the luxury hotel industry it is the small touches that make the big difference.

Whether travelling on business or for personal reasons staying at a luxury hotel for many is the norm, prices of such hotels are falling and it is becoming more available to the mass of travellers. This can be considered a good thing for the majority but it carries an inherent danger, if the prices drop the standards of service are bound to follow. However much customers wish to be treated like royalty, it will never be truly possible at cut down prices.

A luxury hotel will be left with a choice; either keep prices low and let their standards slip or keep the standard of service that qualifies them as a luxury hotel, at the expense of their customers. So despite luxury hotels becoming more accessible to the masses, hotels will respond by creating further lavishness and opulence and simply charge more for the extras. In today's climate of the self-professed six and seven star hotels it is clear this is happening already, seemingly luxury is always something that will come at a price.

Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure