Unless you’ve never travelled (and even then) you’re probably familiar with the star rating system used by many hotels as an indicator of quality. Unfortunately there’s no internationally consistent set of measures however and combined with the abundance of online reviews, it seems that star ratings are going the way of the polar ice caps.
That said, online reviews suffer pretty much the same problem – the standards and criteria of one person won’t be the same as the next, and when you’re talking about relying on a set of words on a page concocted by a complete stranger, well… how is that any better than the star ratings?
Sadly, I don’t have the answer. I do however, know that I have pretty high standards which increase exponentially as the nightly rate goes up. So without further ado, here’s my list of 5 basic things I expect a luxury hotel to get right.
1. High-end toiletries and other such paraphernalia. Now is not the time to try and pass off home brand anything as custom, bespoke or luxe unless it’s some sort of colab with a well-known brand. From body lotion to tea and everything in between, I want to be able to put a bit of a value on those little luxuries.
2. Quiet. Whether I’m staying in downtown New York or the middle of nowhere in outback Australia, I don’t want to be able to hear my fellow guests, hotel staff or the partygoers enjoying the rooftop bar.
3. A balance of technology and practicality. Free wifi is a given, but equally when I turn the lights out at night I don’t want to have to unplug everything just to get the room dark.
4. A concierge that seriously knows their stuff. I don’t want cliched recommendations about the local restaurant with picture menus where they get a clip for sending me there. A concierge worth of their title at a luxury hotel knows about the hot spots before it’s hit the ‘gram.
5. Something approximating perfection. Call me whine-y, but for upwards of a few hundred bucks a night I feel like it’s reasonable to expect a spiffy paint job, zero stains and common areas in tip-top condition.
Fussy? Maybe. But to me, luxury must be good value, otherwise it’s just expensive.