Virtuoso’s new 2019 Best of the Best includes more than 1,300 of the world's top luxury hotels, as well as the hottest trends for the coming years. The network says readers will find special benefits at each property valued in excess of $500 per night. As part of Virtuoso’s Hotels & Resorts Program, each featured property is vetted through the global luxury travel network and its force of travel advisors.
Ranging from one to 4,004 rooms, almost half (48 percent) are under 100 rooms, and the same number are unaffiliated with a collection or brand. Forty-four percent only provide these enhanced benefits to Virtuoso travelers.
As the largest-ever version with 700 pages, the directory features properties in 103 countries alongside 52 pages of experiences. In a first, this year’s printing includes a limited number of hardcover copies for Virtuoso travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada to display to clients as a coffee-table book.
In an effort to keep it fresh and responsive to consumer preferences, Virtuoso added 94 properties to its 2019 Best of the Best book. Top trends in luxury hotels for 2019 include:
- Private Retreats: Villas and residences are seeing a surge from travelers who want privacy and the opportunity to feel more local than tourist.
- Luxury Retreats offers more than 4,500 villas in 100 of the world’s most popular locales, from urban lofts to private islands to ski chalets.
- Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita is an all-villa property along the island’s coast; each features a patio, garden and pool.
- Cotton House Mustique offers 17 cottages with private verandas and plunge pools on a 13-acre estate.
Rural Rewards: Travelers want countryside escapes infused with a definite sense of place, including some where they can live like historic aristocracy.
- Domaine des Etangs features an 11th-century French chateau, contemporary art, landscaped gardens, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
- Penha Longa Resort, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, once a retreat for Portuguese royals, contains five centuries of history nestled in a national park.
- Kurà Design Villas in Costa Rica features eight modern suites highlighting architectural design and sustainability from its placement on a mountaintop amid native gardens.
Wellness Wows: As travelers increasingly seek relaxation and restoration, Virtuoso wellness sales are up more than 15 percent.
- Waldhotel & Medical Excellence in Switzerland focuses on prevention and regeneration, with specialist consultations and personalized treatment plans that continue once travelers return home.
- Rosewood Hong Kong will feature a naturopathic doctor to oversee nutritional education and programming, as well as DNA testing and analysis, arts therapy and emotional awareness.
- Equinox Hotel, Hudson Yards, New York City will be the flagship hotel of the high-performance focused luxury brand, with Equinox club.
Recovery and Revitalization: Hotels turned natural disasters such as 2017’s Hurricane Irma into opportunities to rebuild and provide travelers with “new” options.
- Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands is welcoming guests again.
- On St. Barth, Le Sereno, Hotel Le Toiny and Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France have reopened after significant restoration and renovations.
- In Puerto Rico, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is now open with expanded facilities and enhanced guestrooms.
Quick Escapes: Travelers seeking a short break from the stress of daily life or unpleasant weather can choose from 21 new American escapes, as Virtuoso’s U.S. bookings have grown 13 percent year over year.
- Iconic Gurney’s in New York’s Hamptons offers access to a 2,000-foot private beach, five restaurants and bars, and an ocean-fed seawater pool.
- Mr. C Beverly Hills offers contemporary amenities and personalized experiences from the fourth generation of hospitality’s Cipriani family.
- Prestige at the Palazzo is a hotel within a hotel offering with benefits such as a Champagne check-in.
Best of the Best is being distributed to the homes of 150,000 of Virtuoso’s finest clients around the globe. To view the directory online, click here.
This story originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.