(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)
Cool trends are just that - cool! Trend hunting gets me going as it stimulates the creativity, keeps a roof over my head and, often (knock on wood), breakthroughs occur that truly make a difference!
Currently, I am witnessing a downright explosion from chains looking for new products or experiences with one consistent caveat: it must contain a twist. Coming off of a challenging decade that was about everything needing a functional purpose, or if it ain't broke, don't break or change it. This new pulse is unlike anything I've experienced in the industry over the last two decades.
Let's examine a few examples of this new movement, which is all about "guest delight."
First-class concierge teams are masters of going above and beyond to ensure guests can access one-of-a-kind experiences - after-hours shopping in the best boutiques; difficult-to-obtain tickets to sold-out events, theater and TV shows; and private excursions that would make the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalogue staff shiver! Concierge staffers are hunters, and like trend hunters, they love to chase the avant garde and obscure.
Nothing is impossible at the notable Four Seasons Prague, which relishes offering exclusive tours of the Lobkowicz Palace with Prince Lobkowicz himself! Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon arranges personal bullfighting experiences, while Four Seasons Los Angeles can secure the downright impossible ticket to the mega-hit TV show, "American Idol"!
Signature room amenities have returned while some properties are moving their luxury dials towards posh, sexy and inventive pleasures! Take the return of "the bath," with a butler-drawn tub experience (including a tub organizer filled with luxury products) or a chef's bed dinner for two, in-room stripper poles, overstocked wet bars and - my personal favorite - in lieu of those uncomfortable terry cloth slippers, The Ivy in San Diego stocking their suites with Swarovski-encrusted Havaianas flip-flops!