Luxury travel trends for 2018

A lowdown on what will shape the luxury boutique hotel experience this year.

Star gazing at Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali.

According to a trend report by boutique hotel specialists Small Luxury Hotels of The World, in partnership with global trends analysts Trendwatching, what will be popular among independently minded luxury travellers in 2018 are as follows:


Hands-on and customised: Discerning travellers of today would eschew just fancy for truly unique experiences. This includes getting their hands dirty and “working” for their vacation, from customising their own rooms and catching their own dinner, to going on a submarine mission to study the Titanic wreckage.

Guests can customise their experience at The VIEW Lugano in Switzerland 


Spiritual journey: A decidedly urban trend is self-improvement, and travel has become a means to that. 2018 will see people going beyond run-of-the-mill relaxation into exploring spiritual energy, connecting with nature through spiritual spots, or returning to wild living.

A spiritual experience at Sankara Hotel and Spa Yakushima


Literary escape: More modern luxury travel companies will offer a low-key holiday experience, where hospitality comes in some form of literature and reflection – from poetry-inspired hotels, extensive libraries, to ‘book butler’ services that help guests curate their reading selection.

The Writer's Room at The Betsy-South Beach


Snooze-away: For some, the best holiday is a good night’s sleep. Luxury hotels are stepping in to fill that need, be it with organic bedding materials, AI technology that measures guests sleep cycles, or a “sleepdown” service - available in Chiang Mai’s 137 Pillar Suites hotel -of dream tea, drawn bath, sleep music offering, and the option of a bedtime story.

Chiang Mai’s 137 Pillar Suites hotel


Flexible dining: The ultimate in luxury is to be able to indulge in what you crave, where you want it. This is increasingly possible through unique dining services in hotels such as Dar Ahlam in Morocco, Ett Hem in Sweden and Foxhill Manor in the UK.

Dar Ahlam in Morocco


Read the full Small Luxury Hotels of The World report here

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