Skift Take

Getting exclusive access for guests is becoming a key differentiator for the very best hotels.

Series: New Luxury

Luxury Travel News

The Skift New Luxury column is our weekly column focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.

Access has become a huge part of luxury travel. The very best hotels find ways to get their guests behind-the-scenes access that money (almost) can’t buy, whether that’s a private viewing in a closed gallery or an intimate meal with a Michelin-starred chef.

Legendary boutique hotelier Ian Schrager made an interesting point recently at Skift Global Forum. His argument was that luxury is splitting into the super-premium variety and what he called “luxury for all,” with very little in between.

At the very top end, hotels are going to be increasingly judged by the access they can secure for their highest-paying guests. Arranging a dining experience that would ordinarily be almost impossible to organize is a great incentive for a lot of high-end travelers.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @paddywhyte.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

8 Looks at Luxury

Luxury Hotels Bring in More Celebrity Chefs in Guest Gigs: In a day when exclusive access and intimate experiences are heralded over material goods, a meal prepared by world-class chefs in a spectacular setting is something luxury consumers are willing to travel for.
A Cautious Hilton Unlikely to Buy Belmond: Hilton is the kind of hotel company that’s adamant about sticking to its guns. It says the future outlook looks fairly solid — unless, of course, fears of a looming recession come true.
Kenya Airways’ New Direct Route Could Boost Tourism to East Africa: A new direct flight from JFK to Nairobi will open up East Africa to business and tourism in positive ways. Travelers no longer need to waste time connecting in London or the Middle East, and both Kenya and surrounding countries will benefit from increased activity.
Moroccan Government Plans to Sell Stake in Iconic Luxury Hotel: A hotel with such a storied history will surely be an easy sell. The only sticking point might be the other shareholders.

Fresh Investment Is Invigorating Many Northeast U.S. Ski Resorts: East Coast ski resorts are getting more attractive; it’s up to Mother Nature to cooperate this winter.

Can Bangkok Become an Arts Destination? Art typically has to be highly interactive and publicly displayed to become the main driver in why people book a trip. Bangkok is starting to use that playbook as it seeks to build a reputation as an artsy city.
JetBlue Keeps Hinting It Will Bring Its Mint Business Class to Europe: JetBlue is such a tease. Depending on the day or the media outlet, JetBlue is either very interested in flying to Europe or only kind of intrigued. We’d love to see the airline finally make a decision.

HNA Is Selling Off Luxury Jets as Its Global Portfolio Wanes: HNA has become an example of what happens when appetites get out of control. The conglomerate is looking to sell off billions of dollars of assets as it works to get its debt under control.


Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [[email protected]] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Tags: chefs, food, hotels, luxury

Photo credit: The Shangri-La Al Husn Resort and Spa, Muscat. The property had a tie-up with chef Mads Refslund. Shangri-La

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