As interest in luxury travel has grown over the last few years, so has the number of these high-end properties competing for attention, in locations such as New York, Las Vegas and, of course, London.
But with so much choice available, which one should you choose?
According to Stephen Bayley, the Independent columnist and author of London: Diary of a City, “The gap between what the professional traveller, or hotel booker, is interested in and the ordinary traveller, the non-VIP, has become very narrow indeed, and hotels are feeling this price pressure.”
According to Bayley, most hoteliers will try to attract visitors with opening offers to entice them to book.
In the run-up to Christmas, the online auction website eBay has put on sale, for £999.99, one-night stays at The Macdonald Regent in London, the Macdonald London Heathrow, The Whitby Edinburgh and The May Fair.
Others include the The Churchill Hotel, The Savoy, The Berkeley and The Dorchester. It’s not known how many of the properties will actually go to auction.
Bayley, who has had first-hand experience of bidding in such auctions, says it’s about working out the most appropriate property, pricing, which properties are not open to bidding and which hotels are worth the money.
So basically you have to approach your search from a different point view, like how the casino industry is known to shower new players with all manner of enticing offers and special promos when it comes out with the latest in new online casino additions. New properties, especially those at the higher-end of the travel accommodation spectrum, bear the most immediate concern of building up a reputation.
You’re not likely to find the prices advertised shortly after opening sometime down the line when you perhaps think about lodging at those particular places.
Of course it also depends which locale you find yourself in, such as how you might be in India versus the UK. If I was ever to visit India by no means would I allow myself to be referred to as a budget traveller, in which case the discussion of walk-in versus online bookings becomes important.
As the fast-growing online travel agent market in India witnessed entry of big online travel platforms such as MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Goibibo and a few others, hotels have also started exploring the online space and finding new channels to connect to customers. Owing to the rise of OTA players, online hotel bookings have become one of the fastest growing segments in the hospitality industry in India. The share of hotel rooms online booked via online travel agents has doubled in the past one year. In terms of value, the market is valued at ₹5,500, growing at 28 per cent from last year. In terms of room numbers, the segment is growing at a staggering 41 per cent. Moreover, from a channel standpoint, hoteliers are already riding this channel and with OTA platforms, this channel will further become a sales channel for them. Snehal Verma, vice president – digital marketing and CRM, Cleartrip says, “A majority of consumers today make hotel bookings online, given the convenience and the control they have over the booking process and their itinerary. This is pushing hoteliers to set up a dedicated channel for booking rooms.”