2014′s Top Travel Trends
1) The NearAway
The Staycation is over: 2014 is all about the NearAway. The difference? In 2013 Stay-cationers opted out of long queues and airport hassles and instead took their holidays in the UK. Now, that’s no longer good enough. 2014 brings the rise of residents looking for a night away or a weekend away in their very own back garden. The NearAway is a 50 mile radius holiday that is becoming increasingly popular. It’s not just about avoiding airports anymore, it’s about being close enough to home to avoid any travel stress at all. And the reality is, most of us don’t to go very far to get away from it all. London’s first and foremost Country House Hotel, Cannizaro House, based in Wimbledon, has seen a massive increase in guests who live just around the corner; it’s up nearly 70%.
2) The Green Mile
2013 saw a rise in Eco-Tourism, and a renewed awareness of giving back to our environment through travel. 2014 takes it even further – with more and more hotels looking to find new and innovative ways to become sustainable. Boutique resort/hotel Aleenta Hua Hin in Thailand now sources everything, including staff locally. The hotel is virtually completely sustainable, and grows all the veggie/herbs on its own farm, uses only local fisherman/meat farmers, and nothing, not even employees are taken from more than a 30 mile radius. Wood is used from local trees to make the room furniture and the flooring is stone from the local beaches. Even their Tuk Tuks are run on bio fuel made on site.
3) Your favourite restaurant goes with you
We’re all familiar with branded spas like ESPA at luxury hotels, and well aware of celebrity chefs lending their names to hotel restaurants, but 2014 brings with it the rise of the Branded Restaurant. The D-Hotel Maris, a luxury hotel in Marmaris, Turkey, now hosts London’s award-winning and international restaurant Zuma. D-Hotel’s Zuma will including an outdoor robata grill on the terrace overlooking the Aegean coastline and will feature Zuma signature and classic dishes.
4) The Emotional Trip
2013 was about deals and discounts, 2014 is about the journey. Hotels are now offering emotional milestone themed trips such as ‘The Divorce Getaway’, ‘The Engagement Retreat’, and Thailand’s Aleenta Hua Hin has just launched the ‘Break Up Package’ for people looking to get over their ex and heal their hearts.
In order to prevent you from texting your recent ex, or obsessing over why he/she ISN’T texting you, the hotel collects mobiles at the front desk. Calls are answered by reception and messages left once a day. They will handle your calls, give you messages once a day and screen those you shouldn’t be talking to. As an incentive and if you do this – they will take 10% off your bill when you leave! Also at Aleenta, televisions, telephones and alarm clocks are purposely absent from the room to ensure an atmosphere of peace and total relaxation. Nothing to remind you of what you left behind. To keep you off the blackberry/iphone email, the hotel also provides and encourages a return to post cards, providing cards and stamps to guests for free so that you can stop obsessing and just write to those you should be writing to. And in terms of healing from heartbreak – Ryan Gosling was a regular here not too long ago – so there’s always hope for the future!
5) The Bearded Facial
Spas are no longer just for women and more and more properties are actively recruiting staff who are trained to deal specifically with men. The Gentleman’s Facial is showing up on more and more spa menus as men look to take the kind of care of their skin that women have been doing for centuries. The Conrad Bali has just won the AsiaSpa award for the best spa for men in Asia. Using Vitaman products from Australia, the spa offers wellness treatments for men featuring both traditional Indonesian and Western therapies all using local essential oils and traditional massage.
6) Haute Couture Fitness
No longer satisfied going on a generic ‘Fitness Break’ now guests want bespoke programmes created for their individual goals. Thanyapura Sports Hotel in Thailand has launched a bespoke ‘Fusion Fitness’ programme. Here guests create their own fitness programme for the week, selecting things like: Thai boxing, core fusion workouts, weight training, kickboxing, swimming, tennis, Zumba, TRX suspension, kettleball workouts, yoga, foot reflexology, Thai massage and Pilates, creating their own daily regime, working alongside Olympic trainers and award winners in the field.