Globetrender predicted the rise of Hyper Personalisation in travel. From DNA testing to Japanese personal hosts, here are eight examples of how the trend is manifesting in luxury hotels around the world. Jenny Southan reports
In Globetrender’s Elite Travel Trends 2021 report, which you can download free here, we forecasted the widespread adoption of Hyper Personalisation in the world of luxury hospitality.
In it, we wrote: “Jamsheed Pocha, co-founder of travel and lifestyle agency the Pelican Club, believes that ‘there are some things you can only understand by knowing someone personally’.
“When one client expressed hesitation about leaving his familiar office behind on an extended Caribbean ‘workation’, Pocha’s team contacted his PA to replicate the setting in his new seaside hideaway – he settled into island life nicely.
“Ultima Collection also takes personalisation extremely seriously. The company begins by sending out preference sheets to guests 30 days before arrival, asking for everything from food and pillow choices to scented candle and artwork proclivities.
Managing partner Michala Chatel says: ‘We have a really good idea of what our guests like and what they like to do.’ Once embedded, unlike in a hotel, guests staying in Ultima Collection residences have the staff all to themselves so they get their full attention. The company can stock wardrobes with clothes and ski gear ready to wear and even organise bespoke medical procedures such as DNA testing and illness screening.
“Hotels that build up detailed guest profiles have endless opportunities to personalise their experiences. With stays only offered to a select few club members, ‘the world’s first itinerant hotel’, 700,000 Heures – which moves to a different location every six months – essentially caters to friends and family, meaning there’s scope to provide every guest with a personalised itinerary.
“On one occasion, the owner arranged for a local artist to sketch guests from a distance throughout their stay and then presented them with a series of portraits upon check-out.”
Here are eight other examples of how luxury hotels are embracing Hyper Personalisation…
1. King’s Mansion, Goa
Guests signing up for Moss Wellness Consultancy-designed programmes at King’s Mansion in India, will be asked to submit a saliva sample ahead of their stay, which will be sent to a local genomics lab for analysis. The results of which will ultimately determine the programme’s schedule and goals.
With a minimum stay of seven nights and costing in the region of £8,000 per person, the schedule will be goal-orientated and incorporate innovative therapies such as “LED infusions”.
2. Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has launched a new wellness concept called the “NewYou Method”. Guests choose what their personal focus is (rehabilitation or weight loss, for example) and programmes are tailored to suit their needs.
Packages (starting from about £1,685 per person for three nights) include “Back to Sports”, which is centered around regaining strength and endurance following an accident, injury or illness, and “My Microbiome”, which is aimed at restoring gut health.
3. Fauchon l’Hotel, Paris
At this Parisian hotel, guests are encouraged to tell staff what they would like to eat, rather than order from a menu. Check-in and housekeeping is also conducted according to individual needs and demands. Some people prefer maids not to visit during their stays – others prefer regular room maintenance.
Some guests like to check in remotely and be whisked upstairs in a flash, while others prefer to relax with a cocktail on arrival while their luggage is taken up to the room.
General manager Jerome Montanteme says he now considers their bespoke and individualised approach to be the “norm” for the future and insists that Fauchon l’Hotel will remain uber-personalised even when mainstream travel revives.
4. Severin*s – the Alpine Retreat, Lech
Severin*s – the Alpine Retreat is a small luxury hotel with just nine individual suites, all with large double bedrooms, comfy sitting rooms with open fires and wooden tables for dining or work, and luxurious bathrooms. There is also a separate Residence which sleeps eight people with its own entrance, cinema and outside hot tub (accessed via a pathway with under-floor heating).
Severin*s says it has always been about luxury, privacy and space – and has always encouraged guests to order “off menu”. It provides individual transfers to ski lifts and the neighbouring town, private excursions on skimobiles to remote mountain huts to enjoy Austria’s finest fondue, a private chef in the residence and private wine tastings in its cellars.
5. Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa, Puglia
With just 11 guest rooms, this hotel’s charming team are more like personal guides and friends than staff. They willingly share their own secrets and local knowledge on where to eat, shop, see and go, intuitively tailoring tips to each guest’s preferences.
From voyages on the hotel’s private yacht, to cookery classes and motorbike tours, a wide range of experiences can be organised. You can even hire the former palace exclusively from €10,000 for two nights with a minimum F&B spend of €3,000.
At YTL Hotels’ Higashiyama Niseko Village, a trusted personal host or Do San (a person of Hokkaido) is on hand for every guest, acting as their go-to for every need or want throughout their stay. Each Do San’s sense of care and responsibility, or omotenashi, is the gold standard of Japanese hospitality, which has evolved over the centuries as a subtle art form.
7. Rakxa, Bangkok
Opened in December, Rakxa offers fully personalised wellness programmes ranging from three to 14 days. Integrating “advanced medical treatments with revered holistic therapies”, RAKxa curates packages to the individual, with a bespoke diet plan included. Options include: Gut Heath, Immunity Boosting, Body Solution, Facial Solution and De-Stress.
8. Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel
This hotel gives guests a choice of pillow and duvet to suit their personal preferences, be it feather, down, softer or firmer. Le Coucou can also arrange for skis to be inscribed with their owner’s initials, as well as supply off-menu cocktails and mocktails, personal picnics, decorated cakes for special occasions and private cooking classes.