As the travel industry continues to rebuild itself following the global pandemic, there’s no denying that the way we explore the world has changed forever. However, one thing is for sure – travel is firmly back on the agenda. Based on our unique insight into the luxury travel industry, we explore what’s trending for 2022, from spa breaks for pets to deep-rooted detoxes in Switzerland.
ABOVE AND BEYOND PERSONALIZATION
The pandemic has caused a monumental shift in the priorities of the ultra-wealthy traveler, with factors such as privacy, safety and reliability taking precedence over cost. As sectors such as private jet charter saw a subsequent boom in demand, businesses that stood out above the rest were those that not only looked after the flight, but went above and beyond, providing well-executed and luxury concierge services for the client, ensuring they felt protected and well-catered for during the trip. Next year, we will see businesses outside of hospitality evolving to suit the ‘above and beyond’ expectation of the UHNW traveler and developing specialties of their own to cater exclusively for this.
Who does this: Global aircraft charter broker, Air Charter Service’s 27 offices around the world and operation of more than 27,000 flights per year allow them to seamlessly cater for any flight requirements. Going above and beyond their customer’s flight needs, Air Charter Service set up an in-house, lifestyle concierge team to ensure a seamless door to door experience for the most discerning flyer. This additional support has allowed them to support and continue growing the business, resulting in a 41% increase in enquiries for private jet charter since pre-pandemic in 2019.
Not only are journeys becoming increasingly privatized, but hotels are capitalizing on a heightened demand for exclusive-use destinations and luxury buyouts. Whether it’s a yacht, private villa or entire island, guests are being drawn not only to increased safety and security, but also the ability to craft entirely bespoke experiences.
Where to go: Velaa Private Island, an ultra-luxe resort in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll, has invested heavily in new facilities and experiences, as travelers continue to prioritize privacy and seclusion. In addition to a new padel tennis court, KRASH Predator jet-ski and limited-edition watercraft, the island is introducing wellness practitioners to provide everything from integrative body work to sound healing and mind training workshops.
EXPANSION INTO BRANDED RESIDENCES
The demand for high-end luxury residential property has inspired hospitality brands to diversify into branded residences, offering their unique style and expert levels of service as a long-term living solution. Savills’ Branded Residences Spotlight notes that the branded residences sector grew 170% in the ten years to 2020, with hotel brands making up 88% of pipeline developments. As work routines become more flexible and fewer people are confined to their usual schedules, these residences are likely to be acquired by those seeking to split their time more equally between two destinations.
How to do it: The iconic Raffles Hotels & Resorts will bring its unique blend of the intimate and luxurious to branded residences in 2022, with a collection in development at The OWO, the brand’s first opening in London, offering the opportunity to own a piece of history in the Grade II* listed Old War Office building. Across the pond, Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences will feature 146 branded residences in a striking new 35-storey building comprising pied-a-terre suites, one-to-three-bedroom homes and magnificent penthouses.
Nobu Hotels will open its first branded residences in Toronto in 2022, embodying the Nobu spirit in both design and attitude. Situated atop the original Pilkington Glass Factory, the residences will comprise two striking towers anchored by the city’s flagship Nobu restaurant, with a signature Nobu Hotel at the top of the West Tower.
REBUILDING THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
An inadvertent benefit of this year has been that destinations suffering from overtourism have recovered. Popular destinations were seeing an overwhelming number of visitors, which contributed to the alienation of locals, overloaded infrastructure and damage to nature. As tourism rebuilds, efforts to avoid a resurging crisis are already in effect, such as Italy banning cruise ships from Venice. Travelers will now seek destinations where they can leave a positive impact.
Where to go: Thanda Island is the world’s only private island surrounded by a protected marine reserve. Situated off the coast of Tanzania, the island is dedicated to conservation and preservation of the local environment, supporting the local NGO Sea Sense by participating in research and projects that aim to protect the region’s sea turtles, dugongs and whale sharks. Thanda Island also works with the local Park Rangers – who patrol and protect the reserve from illegal fishing – to offer dive training and help with boat maintenance, while its Whale Shark Citizen Science program allows the community to get involved with collecting identification data on whale sharks with the resident marine biologist. Sustainably minded in every way, energy on the island is generated by solar power, dishes are crafted with locally sourced ingredients and rainwater tanks help conserve this precious natural resource.
THE RETURN OF LONG-HAUL
The UK government’s traffic light system has limited which destinations are accessible. Now that many long-haul destinations are an option again, they will become increasingly attractive to travelers in 2022.
Where to go: Fairmont Maldives has already noticed a 20% increase in Q1 bookings for 2022 compared with the same period in 2021, demonstrating increased consumer confidence as holiday seekers count on late-winter escapes to far flung destinations. The island resort is the pinnacle of a luxury long-haul getaway, with stunning over-water accommodation, tranquil beaches and incredible experiences to be had on land and sea, including the soon-to-launch Sustainability Lab, which will allow guests to transform plastic waste into bespoke gifts and souvenirs.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Travelers will seek out longer holidays in 2022 due to pent-up demand and more flexibility in work routines. This trend will see holidaymakers favoring few long trips over many short ones in order to make the most of each destination.
Where to go: COMO Hotels and Resorts’ Bali properties can be combined to create a twin-center escape, with extraordinary experiences beachside and in the depths of the Balinese jungle. Starting at COMO Uma Canggu in the country’s bohemian surfing neighborhood, intrepid travelers can try their hand at surfing with a seasoned guide, while relaxation-seekers enjoy the hotel’s whitewashed wellness retreat, COMO Shambhala Retreat. Next, the jungle awaits at COMO Uma Ubud, flanked by lush rice paddies, the hotel offers unparalleled access to the region’s spellbinding landscapes, intriguing temples and vibrant culture.
DEEP ROOTED DETOX
Already a prominent trend prior to the pandemic, the events of the past two years have undoubtedly heightened the importance of mental and physical wellbeing. In 2022, with fewer restrictions in place, many people will seek to reverse the effects of the past two years on their minds and bodies.
Where to go: Situated in the Swiss Alps, Chenot Palace Weggis offers a Recover & Energise programme, which aims to reduce stress, recharge the body’s all-natural energy and restore its vitality by combining detox treatments with clinically proven and patented neuroscience technology. The program encourages the body to restore its natural rhythms, reduce chronic stress, improve restorative sleep, and optimise energy levels – the ideal solution for a post-pandemic health reset.
WELLBEING IN DESIGN
Studies demonstrate a connection between design and physical health and wellbeing, inspiring a trend for architecture and design that takes its emotional impact into account. Factors such as daylight, colour, acoustics, indoor air quality and scents are all relevant, and increasingly considered in luxury spaces.
Where to go: Each Nobu Hotel is designed with a simple and calming style, blending Scandinavian aesthetics with Japanese minimalism, while paying homage to the distinctive elements of its surroundings. The design concept is part of the wider Nobu ethos, which is shaped around the concept of Kokoro, referring to the connection between emotions, feelings, spirit and soul.
CAYO Exclusive Resort & Spa has been intentionally designed to offer panoramic sea views from every bedroom, in order to immerse guests in the surrounding nature. Interiors utilize a muted color palate to support the Cretan sun and prevent harsh contrasts; designer Gian Paolo Venier says, “I like to think of CAYO’s design as ‘whispered’ – it embraces the natural surroundings rather than forcing itself upon them.”
THE FAMILY BUCKET LIST
Travel restrictions and limits on household mixing have kept families apart. With travel back on the cards, families will be planning long-awaited reunion trips in order to spend quality time together in destinations that are equipped for multi-generational groups.
Where to go: Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa – the Maldives’ leading resort for families ¬– will double its collection of Family Beach Villas in 2022, with spacious bedrooms, inviting communal spaces and private pools and gardens offering plenty of space for groups to reconnect. The resort offers an abundance of activities for all ages, including kids’ yoga and cooking lessons, relaxing spa treatments and adventurous water sports.
Located on Turkey’s Datça Peninsula, D-Maris Bay is an ideal destination for families hoping to stay closer to home. A water taxi service transports guests between the resort’s five pristine beaches catering to all ages, from Bay Beach’s delightful ice cream parlor to Silence Beach, where guests are encouraged to switch off from the outside world. D-Maris Bay Villa provides exceptional comfort and flexibility, with spacious bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, private pool and butler service.
WELLNESS FOR PETS
Research shows that 3.2 million UK households have adopted pets since the start of the pandemic, as the population sought companionship during extensive periods of lockdown and isolation. Amidst an increasing demand for pet friendly travel, 2022 will see the focus switch to wellness experiences for four-legged guests, as owners seek to maximize their pets’ health and appearance.
Where to go: London’s The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel is launching the ultimate dog friendly experience in Chelsea, thanks to a partnership with local pet care expert Pet Pavilion, whisking canine guests away by doggy taxi for rejuvenating spa and grooming treatments. The hotel also has a new menu of nutritious delights to cater to specific breeds – which can be delivered by butler service and enjoyed in-room for added indulgence – and offers premium Pet Pavilion products including sumptuous pet beds, perfect for a nap after strolling around the beautiful Cadogan Place Gardens, to which guests have exclusive access.
Image credit: Velaa Private Island