Luxury travel trends for 2018 – Our expert predictions on upcoming luxury travel trends
A new year is upon us, and there’s one thing on our minds: where should we be travelling to this year? We’re sure that question has crossed your thoughts too, so our expert reviewers have given us their predictions on 2018’s travel trends and the hottest destinations to inspire you onwards and out.
Diana’s passion for the finest in travel, including hotels, destination trends and operational excellence, as well as her encyclopedic insider’s knowledge of the world’s most exclusive luxury villas has been honed over her impressive career.
‘I think the Seychelles will have a big resurgence because British Airways (at long last) will be running direct flights from spring 2018. This is particularly exciting with the recent addition of the new Four Seasons Hotel and the stunning Six Senses. Traditionally thought of as a couple’s destination, I think people will start to realise it’s also an amazing family holiday spot, especially now that getting there is so much easier with direct flights to and from many cities. I also think Nashville is going to get a massive amount of press. BA is starting direct flights there in May and – speaking as a huge country music fan – I cannot wait. Country music is hugely growing in popularity in the UK, more and more big names are coming here on tour and the music is getting more airtime from mainstream media. A visit to Nashville is an essential pilgrimage for any country music fan, so I think this destination is going to be huge.’
Claire has held several positions in luxury travel, including sales director for the UK’s leading luxury tour operator, and then as a founding member and executive director of another. She now spends her time helping LuxuryBARED’s members find the perfect holiday.
For me it’s all about experiential travel in 2018: pushing the boundaries. I love Silversea’s new Couture Collection, which expands its cruises by offering land-based, pre- and post- journeys that take you to some of the world’s most remote destinations, and I can see more and more travellers following this pattern. People generally want to expand their global outlook, with care for the environment high on the agenda. BBC’s Blue Planet II, for example, has people craving to explore sea life, while more eco-friendly destinations continue to be on the rise too. Hotels such as Wilderness Safaris’ Bisate Lodge in Rwanda and Segera Retreat in Kenya offer extraordinary luxury, and are as close to a truly green travel experience as one can find.’
A eureka moment in the Greek islands after university led Andrea to pursue a career in travel. Stargazing in Uluru, Australia, and exploring Machu Picchu, Peru, are among her favourite destination highlights.
‘There’s a trend for luxury travellers wanting to “live” their holiday rather than simply watch it going on around them. Luxury hotels have been addressing this with activities including Grandma’s Kitchen at Shanti Maurice, a Nira Resort, where an evening can be spent in a Mauritian home learning to make traditional dishes; the ritual of payment to Mother Earth conducted by the local shaman at Sumaq Machu Picchu in Peru; and opportunities to meet the Maasai people in Kenya at Cottars 1920s Camp. In 2018, the desire for immersive experiences will grow, and luxury travellers will be prepared to go off the beaten track to find them. With innovators like One&Only Resorts announcing new Nature Resorts to offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as viewing primates in Rwanda, the demand is there.’
Sandy has worked in the travel industry for the past 27 years, and particularly the luxury market for the last 12 years. She brings to LuxuryBARED first-hand knowledge of what to expect from a luxury hotel.
‘Having fallen by the wayside for a few years due to safety concerns, I think Turkey is going to be back on the radar in 2018 in a big way. The discerning client will find plenty to suit their tastes as more and more luxury facilities open. In particular Bodrum, once an essential stop on any tour of the Mediterranean, will soon bounce back as one of the most desirable destinations.’
Alex’s role as the founder and director of Wix Squared, specialising in the creation of luxury holidays and inspired events, makes her uniquely qualified to identify places that LuxuryBARED wants to bring to the attention of its members.
“Mystery travel” is a new concept for those who simply don’t have the time to plan a trip of a lifetime or for those who have a love of the unknown. Provide details of your loves, likes and dislikes and the rest will be taken care of for you. Every element of the trip is planned around three country options to visit during a selected time frame. Once the budget is set, restaurants, spa treatments, day trips, guides, flights and much more will be booked for a surprise getaway.
‘Bhutan, where the long-awaited Bhutanese Six Senses Lodges are due to open in 2018 in Paro, Punakha, Bumthang, Thimphu and Gangtey, adding to an already fantastic portfolio of luxury hotels. I suggest combining a number of these international hotels with local properties and an excellent guide to get a true flavour of Bhutan. The option to explore the country by helicopter has recently been introduced, and the arrival of hot-air balloon rides in the Gangtey Valley are on the horizon. A perfect way to end a Bhutanese journey is with a stay at the incredible Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Alternatively, join the crowds at a colourful festival or trek into the wilderness of alpine forests and snow-capped mountains.’
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