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New luxury trends revealed by Small Luxury Hotels of the World ™ (SLH)

A new survey by Small Luxury Hotels of the World ™ (SLH) completed by over 13,000 SLH customers worldwide reveals new trends within the luxury market.  Italy has been identified as the most luxurious holiday destination, Chanel as the most popular luxury brand and free Wi-Fi was favoured over free breakfast in the majority of core markets.

The survey carried out in May and June 2014 reveals significant trends in the luxury sector highlighting luxury travel habits, identifying favourite luxury brands and delving deeper into the demands of luxury travel with pets.

For the second year running, French brands topped the list of favourite luxury brands with Chanel identified as the number one luxury brand overall followed by Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ and Hermés. Other top brands included Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

Luxury travel preferences
When asked to specify their favourite luxury holiday destination, Italy and destinations within Italy reigned overall chosen by 13% of all respondents.  France and destinations within France followed, representing 11.1%, with the Maldives taking third place, selected by 8%. Australia, Latin America and the USA all opted for Paris as their favourite luxury holiday destination making it the stand-out ‘luxury’ city whereas China, Germany and the UK preferred the Maldives as their number one holiday destination.

In-room hotel accessories and the mini-bar
When picking their favourite in-room accessory, the majority of respondents (58%) opted for a Nespresso/ coffee machine, followed by an I-pod docking system (22.8%). In the minibar, the favourite brand overall was Coca-Cola which featured heavily across most core markets with the exception of the UK, Russia and Australia.  UK respondents opted for Bombay Sapphire as their favourite mini bar brand, Russian respondents for Evian whilst the Australians opted for Moët & Chandon.

Looking at the consumption of mini bar products, wine, beer and champagne were the top choice across all markets (33.5%) with the exception of Germany. The largest percentage of German respondents (38.7%) opted for soft drinks over spirits, snacks, and wine, beer and champagne.

Favoured hotel services and attributes
When picking one hotel attribute over another, most markets opted for a Michelin star restaurant over a roof top bar (51.5% vs 48.5%) with the exception of Germany and Russia (with 66.9% and 60% respectively opting for a roof top bar). Across all markets, a knowledgeable hotel guide (or concierge) was selected over in-room destination guides (71.3% vs 28.7%) and adult-only hotels were preferred over child friendly hotels (77.4% vs 22.6%). When booking a hotel, the majority of respondents preferred free Wi-fi access over complimentary breakfast (53.1% vs 46.9%) with the exception of the UK and German respondents who preferred free breakfast over free Wi-fi  (55.4% and 58.4% respectively). When picking a luxury hotel, the most important characteristic was ‘character/charm’ selected by

59.6% of all respondents, followed by ‘five star facilities’ (28%). Respondents from China and Hong Kong however opted for ‘personal experiences’ as their second most important attribute whilst Russian and German respondents chose ‘privacy/intimacy.

Travelling with pets
Finally when looking at luxury travel with pets, 7.3% of those surveyed said that they would travel with their pet whenever possible. 15.1 % said that they would be willing to pay extra for their pets to be pampered, with the top pet pampering items identified by respondents included luxury bedding and food (14.1% vs 11.2%) and pet grooming (7.9%).

When asked what luxuries their pet might enjoy at a luxury hotel, the responses were varied with one Chinese dog lover suggesting ‘pata negra ham and caviar’.

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