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- 31 Jul 2014

What Travelers Want From Small Luxury Hotels


Baros, Maldives

Four key insights into the modern luxury travel consumer, based on a new survey by Small Luxury Hotels of the World ™, completed by over 13,000 clients

What does the modern luxury traveller want? They want iPhone charging stations in their rooms, which they will stay in with their pets. And they are happy to make their own coffee – as long as it’s Nespresso.

A new survey by Small Luxury Hotels of the World ™ (SLH) completed by over 13,000 SLH customers worldwide reveals new trends within the luxury market. Italy has been identified as the most luxurious holiday destination, Chanel as the most popular luxury brand and free Wi-Fi was favoured over free breakfast in the majority of core markets.

“Today’s in-room Nespresso machine will possibly be tomorrow’s trouser press,” believes Paul Kerr, CEO of Small Luxury Hotels of the World “Luxury demands are always changing and we are in a perfect position to respond to the demands of our customers worldwide. This annual survey offers valuable insight into the varying demands in markets across the world.”

 They are happy to make their own coffee – as long as it’s Nespresso 

Favoured Destinations

When asked to specify their favourite luxury holiday destination, Italy and destinations within Italy reigned overall chosen by 13% of all respondents. France and destinations within France followed, representing 11.1%, with the Maldives taking third place, selected by 8%.

Australia, Latin America and the USA all opted for Paris as their favourite luxury holiday destination making it the stand-out ‘luxury’ city whereas China, Germany and the UK preferred the Maldives as their number one holiday destination.


iPod Docking station, S31 Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok

In-Room Necessities

When picking their favourite in-room accessory, the majority of respondents (58%) opted for a Nespresso/ coffee machine, followed by an I-pod docking system (22.8%). In the minibar, the favourite brand overall was Coca-Cola which featured heavily across most core markets with the exception of the UK, Russia and Australia.

UK respondents opted for Bombay Sapphire as their favourite mini bar brand, Russian respondents for Evian whilst the Australians opted for Moët & Chandon.

Looking at the consumption of mini bar products, wine, beer and champagne were the top choice across all markets (33.5%) with the exception of Germany. The largest percentage of German respondents (38.7%) opted for soft drinks over spirits, snacks, and wine, beer and champagne.

 Most markets opted for a Michelin star restaurant over a roof top bar 

Service Desires

When picking one hotel attribute over another, most markets opted for a Michelin star restaurant over a roof top bar (51.5% vs 48.5%) with the exception of Germany and Russia (with 66.9% and 60% respectively opting for a roof top bar).

Across all markets, a knowledgeable hotel guide (or concierge) was selected over in-room destination guides (71.3% vs 28.7%) and adult-only hotels were preferred over child friendly hotels (77.4% vs 22.6%).

When booking a hotel, the majority of respondents preferred free Wi-fi access over complimentary breakfast (53.1% vs 46.9%) with the exception of the UK and German respondents who preferred free breakfast over free Wi-fi (55.4% and 58.4% respectively).

When picking a luxury hotel, the most important characteristic was ‘character/charm’ selected by 59.6% of all respondents, followed by ‘five star facilities’ (28%). Respondents from China and Hong Kong however opted for ‘personal experiences’ as their second most important attribute whilst Russian and German respondents chose ‘privacy/intimacy.


ABaC Restaurant and Hotel, Barcelona

Feline Friends

Finally when looking at luxury travel with pets, 7.3% of those surveyed said that they would travel with their pet whenever possible. 15.1 % said that they would be willing to pay extra for their pets to be pampered, with the top pet pampering items identified by respondents included luxury bedding and food (14.1% vs 11.2%) and pet grooming (7.9%).

When asked what luxuries their pet might enjoy at a luxury hotel, the responses were varied with one Chinese dog lover suggesting ‘pata negra ham and caviar’.

To further investigate the travel industry on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:

- In Conversation With Paul James, Global Brand Leader, Starwood Luxury Hotels
- Which Brands & Destinations Are Chinese Travellers Searching For?
- Traveller Made Champions Bespoke In The Age of Experience


Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is a brand of luxury, independent hotels offering an infinite variety of memorable experiences. Carefully selected for their style and sophistication, Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ has more than 520 hotels in over 70 countries.

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