From the Travel Desk: The rise of luxury hotels

  • Article by: KERRI WESTENBERG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 21, 2014 - 1:03 PM
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The Shangri-La Bosphorus is a luxury hotel in Istanbul, Turkey.

Photo: Shangri-La Bosphorus,

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A certain kind of traveler swoons for doormen that call them by name, fresh flowers in the room and (if they are like me) terry cloth robes so thick they can get lost in its loops and folds. Luxury hotels, with their pampering service, lavish spas and hushed rooms in styles that reflect the locale, fit the bill — well, at least for anyone who can pay those bills.

Increasingly, baby boomers with money and time are willing to do just that. And with demand comes supply.

Minnetonka-based Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group became the latest hospitality company to vie for such customers. Last week the company that brings travelers a range of options, from Country Inns and Suites by Carlson to Radisson Hotels, announced that it is creating the Quorvus Collection to gather its five-star stunners under one brand. The hotels will be similar in quality to Peninsula Hotels and Leading Hotels of the World. According to the news release, these properties will “reflect and respond to the true sensibilities of the contemporary global traveler while celebrating the culture of each and every location.”

That is just the kind of experience people are after today, according to Perry Lungmus, vice president of Travel Leader’s Luxury Center of Excellence, which helps travel agents understand the upscale travel market.

“Affluent travelers are looking for an authentic experience,” such as staying in a palace-turned-hotel, Lungmus said — the Shangri-La Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey, or the colonial-era, art-filled Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India, for example.

“People are willing to spend money on the right sorts of experiences,” he said. That includes cushy white robes.

 

Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com, and follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.

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