Choosing a luxury hotel comes down to these 5 things

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Planning a vacation can be stressful, especially when it comes to booking one essential element of the whole experience: a hotel. With choices ranging from boutique to traditional, finding the property that suits your needs takes a bit of research. For anyone looking to splurge on luxury accommodations for their next vacation, we know you’ll want to spend more time researching the best options because, hey, we all want to get the ultimate value for our dollar in this economy. .

If you don’t plan to spend a lot of time in your hotel room, opting for a budget hotel with the bare necessities is always an option. However, we spoke with two luxury travel experts and a financial advisor for anyone looking for a property that offers the complete package: excellent service, excursions, memorable rates, wellness and spa services all under one roof.

Wondering where to start your hotel search? Stephanie Flor, founder of Around The World Beauty, a travel agency that organizes unique vacations for beauty enthusiasts, starts with two questions: “What is the theme of the vacation and who are you going with?”

Now that we’ve got you thinking, let these experts be your vacation guides as you build and prepare to book your accommodation.

Be flexible on location

Traveling always requires flexibility, and planning a luxury vacation is no exception. For example, Colleen O’Keefe, luxury travel consultant at Embark Beyond, shares that Cabo has seen a massive price increase, but recommends considering the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. “If you are willing to visit the Riviera Maya, you can get so much more luxurious hotel for much less. Plus, Embark Beyond luxury travel consultant Josh Geller suggests considering a continent change if you want to stretch your budget further. would in other years,” he shares.

Speaking of exotic locations, Tanzania and Morocco should also be on your list. “[They offer] luxury experiences that will surprise you budget-wise,” Flor told TZR. Although she notes that flight costs are usually your most important travel investment. “You get all the luxuries for half the price once you land. We’re talking glamping safari in the Serengeti and living like a queen in Marrakech, Morocco.”

Watch out for red flags

Red flags don’t just apply to love and relationships, so what should you watch out for? Well, we know some travelers like all-inclusives, but O’Keefe advises to be careful when booking all-inclusive experiences. “Some are great,” she says. “But [for] others, it’s worth spending the extra money and choosing your meals and alcohol. After all, you are on vacation. You should eat and drink whatever you want.”

She also says to skip the breakfast and spa packages as plans can change while traveling. However, if you want a tailored experience, she recommends using the services of a travel consultant, although there is a fee. “The perks we can offer you – VIP, breakfast, resort credits and upgrades – are definitely a long-term savings.”

And those extra rooms often paired with a cityscape or a view full of nature, O’Keefe says, can be worth the extra expense, depending on the location. She doesn’t always recommend paying extra at hotels in the city, because you don’t usually spend a lot of time in the room. [“However]in a resort, it’s nice to see the water or the mountains when you’re relaxing in the room,” she notes.

Don’t forget to budget

When planning a well-deserved vacation, Chelsea Barrows, CFP, Senior Lead Planner at Facet Wealth, advises striking a balance between taking care of yourself and your virtual checkbook. “You should have enough cash to cover credit card charges,” she advises. “Otherwise, you will be forced to pay additional fees and high interest charges, which will significantly increase the cost of your trip.”

And another key tip you may not have considered: read the fine print before entering your credit card number. “You should check with the resort or hotel about resort fees and taxes,” says Barrows. This is especially important when booking all-inclusive accommodation. “If the stay is all-inclusive, check to see what that actually means. Often there are still additional charges for certain activities, premium booze, or even daily housekeeping depending on the stay.”

Be careful with credit cards

As a traveler who often uses points through my American Express card (and often uses the card to earn them), I wanted to hear her thoughts on using credit cards to plan a vacation. For example, AMEX offers free upgrades, late checkout, and daily breakfast for two and five times the points when booking through its travel portal.

Barrows suggests using these perks wisely. “Points and perks like this are definitely a great way to enhance your stay, but you shouldn’t use a credit card unless you can promise to pay it off in full.” In this case, she says, reading the fine print is also important here. For example, you’ll want to ask about the cost of using any of these benefits, the dollar value of points, and card fees. “If you take advantage of the rewards often, paying for a card might be worth it, but otherwise an annual fee of $500 or more might just be an unnecessary expense.”

Eliminate international flights and stay in the United States

Inflation driving up the price of everythingincluding airfare, reconsidering the cost of an international flight could mean spending more of your budget on a dream property in the United States. For example, if you want a vacation that allows you to be social and relax, O’Keefe says Aspen is the place to be. “They have DJs, great restaurants, clubs, [and] everyone dresses to perfection.”

Now, are you considering adding Aspen to your list? U.S. too. When in Aspen, O’Keefe’s top property of choice is the Jerome Hotel. However, O’Keefe also strongly suggests domestic properties that offer complete vacation experiences like the quiet Stanly Ranch properties in Napa and Amangiri in Utah and The Breakers resort in Palm Beach.

With the right planning, a luxury trip you’ll never forget is possible…and closer than you think!

La Botanica Wellness

This pick comes from one of our travel experts. Located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this dog-friendly hotel is just two blocks from the beach and offers a free vegan Ayurvedic breakfast each morning. And if you’re looking for spa services, their wellness house offers regular massages and specialized Ayurvedic treatments.

Amangiri

Located in southern Utah on more than 900 acres, the 34-suite resort offers picturesque scenery, with each suite including private decks, fireplaces, king-size beds, and private courtyard entrances. Plus, meals, daily group hikes, and personalized itinerary planning services for their many excursion offerings, such as private Grand Canyon National Park air tours and hot air balloon rides, are complimentary.

Stanly Ranch Napa

Stanly Ranch is just a 50 minute drive from the Bay Area and is situated on 712 acres of vineyards and ranches. The wellness-focused resort includes 135 chalets and rooms and a wellness center that offers yoga, facials, massage services, and holistic full-body treatments like cold baths and massages. therapeutic body care.

The Palm Beach Breakers

Nestled on 140 acres of oceanfront property, the historic Palm Beach gem features 538 rooms, ten restaurants, four pools, two golf courses, and a Forbes Five-Star spa.

The Oberoi, Marrakech

Not only does this five-star property offer mountain views and exceptional service – just check out the review on TripAdvisor – but you can also book excursions that include private helicopter tours of the Sahara desert and individual led Moroccan culinary experiences. by a leader.

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

A five-minute walk from the private white-sand beach along the Gulf of Thailand, this property offers villas with private infinity pools and wet bars. If you’re up for excursions, windsurfing, golf, and access to a cruise ship that can travel to the National Marine Park are just a call away from the concierge.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

With a perfect five-star rating on Tripadvisor, this all-inclusive beachfront property features a private white-sand beach, eight restaurants, and three types of vacation experiences: the Grand Experience (Romance), the Zen Experience (relaxation) and the Ambassador Experience (family) – sits on 80 acres of lush greenery.

Hotel Jerome

This 101-room hotel offers well-appointed rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, cashmere curtains, and Hermès bath and body products with picturesque views. And it’s located on Aspen’s main street, just steps from restaurants, nightlife, and art galleries.

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