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June 21, 2023

Luxury Amenities and Experiences: 5 Expectations of Affluent Travelers in 2023


Five stars used to be enough.

A generation ago, affluent travelers might select a hotel or resort simply because it could boast a 5-star rating. Today’s luxury audience, however, is significantly more sophisticated, with changing interests and more diverse demands.

The global luxury travel market has never been bigger, with one recent report valuing it at $1.3 trillion (USD) and predicting the market will grow to $2.7 trillion by 2032, driven by an increase of elite travelers who want to explore new destinations and have unique experiences. With growth comes evolving expectations. 

These are the luxury amenities and experiences affluent travelers are seeking in 2023. 

Wellness Programs and Facilities

Last year, wellness-related amenities such as spa and fitness facilities were among the top amenities desired by all travelers, so it’s no surprise to see that trend replicated in the luxury marketing for 2023. Affluent globetrotters consider health to be wealth, and many long to maintain their wellness routines while away from their hometown fitness center, which means a basic hotel gym with just a smattering of simple exercise equipment is no longer adequate. 

Get inspired to stand out from the competition, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box, like these hotels:

  • Andaz Scottsdale offers classes with aromatherapy consultants that help create essential oil blends specific to your needs and sound therapy classes to help increase mindfulness.
  • Alila Marea Beach Resort hosts daily yoga classes along the California coastline and offers organized beach runs as part of their Wake Up to Wellness program.
  • Pickleball is America's fastest-growing sport, and dozens of properties have added pickleball programs to their list of fitness offerings, including Turtle Bay on Oahu and Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa.

Takeaway: When updating your website for 2024, ensure your amenities pages include comprehensive descriptions of all wellness-related equipment and facilities available on property. This should include spa services, hot tubs, gyms, nature trails, fitness classes, bike rentals and so on. And if you’re not yet offering wellness-focused luxury amenities, consider adding some next year.

Personalized Guest Experiences

Personalized service has always been a hallmark of luxury. In 2023, a personal touch remains an attractive feature for discerning travelers. 

Today, a personalized guest experience isn’t limited to the time a guest is on site. Hotels have an opportunity to offer personalized interactions beginning with when a potential guest visits your website, and extending long after a guest leaves your property at the conclusion of their stay.

For pre-booking personalized services, think of personalized website experiences and content offerings that align with your audience's interests. Users who receive a personalized digital journey consistently book at higher rates and spend more money during their stay than those who don’t.

When it comes to guests’ in-person experiences, they expect personalized attention from hotel staff, whether it be leaving a chilled bottle of bubbly in their room on their anniversary vacation or helping them discover experiences that align with their interests and needs.

Takeaway: Dive into the data. Study your guests, the reasons or special occasions for their stays, and cater to them. Implement pre-stay surveys and plan to personalize their in-person experiences upon arrival. 

Sustainable Practices

Sustainability is a growing point of emphasis for travelers of all types, including luxury travelers. This includes expectations that hotels have programs that reduce waste and energy consumption, use eco-friendly materials, follow environmentally sensitive practices, and support local communities. In addition, featuring sustainable product brands en-suite appeals to the mindful traveler. 

Some things to consider:

  • Create a sustainability policy page for your website.
  • Showcase the ways you give back and engage with your community.
  • Detail the ways your property helps reduce waste and feature any awards or accolades associated with such programs.

Takeaway: If you are implementing sustainable practices and haven’t yet included content on your site to appeal to the sustainable traveler, plan to do so in 2024.

Connections to Culture and Responsible Tourism

For luxury hotels, offering experiences that showcase the local culture and host community are crucial for providing a unique and memorable stay for guests. Authentic experiences, such as private tours led by locals and consuming local food and beverage on site at the hotel, not only give guests a connection to the community but additionally contribute to the local economy.

By partnering with local businesses and artisans to incorporate local art and design in the hotel, luxury hotels can also showcase the talent and creativity of the community. Moreover, contributing back to the community through philanthropic initiatives or volunteering programs is a great way for luxury hotels to build a positive relationship with locals while also making a positive impact on society.

By offering such experiences, luxury hotels can create a sense of place and connection for guests, making their stay more meaningful and memorable.

Takeaway: Highlight your destination in an appealing way to this consumer type by offering authentic experiences, local food and ingredients, and paying homage to local culture throughout the hotel and in your rooms. This is especially important for international travelers, who comprise a significant portion of luxury travelers in 2023 and beyond.

Convenient Technology

We live connected. Most of us travel connected, too.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in luxury travel, with travelers looking for amenities that help them stay connected and make their stay more convenient.

To a large degree, hoteliers seem to understand this ask. One recent report noted that the majority of properties surveyed already offer or are planning to introduce mobile check-in and mobile room keys (100% of participants), two-way messaging with guests (95%), contactless payments (88%), check-in and check-out kiosks (62%) and voice-controlled devices (54%). 

Beyond these technologies, and the obligatory high-speed internet, affluent travelers have expressed an interest in smart TVs, smart heating and smart lighting in rooms, as well as in-room tablets offering room guides, property details, activity information and room service options.

Takeaway: Stay current with technology and find ways to integrate personalization with said tech, like tablets that include personalized greetings and recommended itineraries based on guest preferences. Focus funds on what travelers want over splashy tech. The ability to two-way message with your hotel team, for example, is wanted by virtually everyone, as opposed to just 18% and 16% of travelers that rated virtual reality spaces and robots for contactless services important.

Practical Takeaways for Luxury Hotels in 2023

Luxury travelers in 2023 are placing a high value on wellness facilities, personalized service, sustainable practices, connection to local culture and responsible tourism, and smart technology. These amenities and experiences are crucial for hotels and resorts looking to attract and retain luxury travelers in the competitive luxury travel market.

By investing in these amenities and experiences, hotels and resorts can create a memorable and enjoyable travel experience that will attract affluent guests for generations to come.


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