Are remote stays redefining luxury travel?
More travelers may opt to holiday at remote resorts to disconnect from the stresses and pressures of modern living.
Some are even willing to give up digital connectivity to do so. But far from being basic, many of these retreats offer high-end comforts these vacationers are accustomed to, making them even more appealing.
A recent Skift article predicts isolation may be the next step for luxury travel. Holidaymakers, it seems, could be looking for a change from traditional hotel offerings in tourist hotspots, seeking instead the benefits of quiet, personal transformation and distraction-free enjoyment.
Remote retreats are a huge draw for those looking for serious downtime, not least because they can provide something hotels in bustling hubs cannot.
“Properties situated in locations that are often quite remote afford a sense of escapism, calm and serenity… as a result, our guests are truly able to switch off and let the beauty of their surroundings relax their minds,” said Roland Fasel (quoted by Skift), chief operating officer at Aman, a group with residences in some of the most secluded places in the world.
Beyond rest and relaxation, isolated retreats are gaining a reputation for offering enriching experiences, unique to their particular locale.
At the Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island 162 miles from Adelaide in South Australia, guests have the chance to immerse themselves in the “coastal wilderness and plentiful wildlife” for which the area is famous.
Described in its marketing material as a “luxe base camp,” the resort can arrange bespoke itinerary and custom charters so visitors can explore the natural environment and see native species at close quarters.
But this type of experiential travel is not limited to resort stays.
Ecocapsules, promising the “luxury of a hotel room” could revolutionize off-grid vacations. New to the market, these mobile microhomes have bathing and cooking facilities, and generate their own power and water. As they are entirely self-sufficient, they open up a number of possibilities for travelers who really want to get away from it all.
Isolated and remote travel, however, is about more than just venturing to far-flung destinations or avoiding thronging crowds. It is also about unplugging from digital dependency, an insidious problem blighting many holidaymakers.
A study on vacation deprivation conducted by Expedia found Asia-Pacific workers checked their voicemail and email once or more times a day when on holiday.
Understanding such temptation can be difficult to resist, some resorts are trying to encourage abstinence. At Kamalaya, a wellness sanctuary and spa in Koh Samui, Thailand, the use of digital devices is restricted to guest accommodation.
Internet, too, is limited as a chargeable commodity, so people spend time reconnecting with themselves rather than conducting business or updating their social media accounts.
The growth of digital detox and seclusion raises interesting questions for the travel industry. For a long while, high-tech amenities and round-the-clock connectivity have been the defining quality of luxury offerings.
In the future, however, things like remoteness, the scope of self-development and natural esthetics may carry greater weight with up-market travelers. This is especially true of those who want more from their vacation than just time away from their day job.