(These Aren’t Your Grandparent’s Amenities)
At the new Great House in Washington’s exclusive Tumble Creek community (a private, master-planned enclave within Suncadia Resort) members have access to a TrackMan Performance Studio in which they can measure the full trajectory of their golf ball with integrated video and real time data. All the while, their kids can go hang out in the tricked-out PlayStation & Media Center room…or bowl a few games at two state-of-the-art bowling lanes. Consider also the Yotel New York City hotel, which features the refined hospitality of YOBOT, an amenable technologically advanced robot that carefully stores customer luggage in locked bins. Similarly, the Aloft Cupertino California hotel employs the services of a robotic butler which distributes towels, beverages, and room snacks. These are just a couple of examples within the luxury hospitality and real estate markets of a growing trend within the industry to up the ante with traditional amenities (pool, golf, spa) by adding features and perks that go above and beyond the expected. The reason for this growing trend toward “over-the-top amenities” is simple: the desire to delight and woo guests and home owners at the highest level in order to build loyalty. Although many of these new lifestyle concepts are the result of high-tech advances and increased digital capabilities, some simply represent the desire to add a new twist, or upgrade, to an already familiar amenity or perk. Let’s look at a just few examples of luxury amenity trends we can expect to see more of in the coming year, and beyond.
Sure, many people are quite content to take to the trails by foot or bike or horse. After all, a good hike or spin while immersed in nature will always be deeply gratifying. Nevertheless, some luxury communities are taking that to the next level by offering ATV Trails, which allows owners and guests to zip around on rugged, high-speed four-wheelers, that can traverse over hill and dale and go almost anywhere. In fact, several communities we talked to say that ATV Trails have helped them draw the interest and close the deal on more home sales.
Mirror Media Stations
If you thought mirrors simply reflected your groggy morning countenance or stellar new hairdo, think again. Mirrors today can do so much more than reflect objects. These new high-tech glass contraptions include digital TV screens. So while you are brushing your teeth or shaving, you can check the news, plan how to dress for the day’s weather, or watch highlights from last night’s game. Some smart mirrors are programmed to request hospitality services and concierge-style functions.
The Zoom Room Boom
With Google Chat Rooms and Zoom Meetings having replaced board rooms and conference facilities as the new standard for preferred meeting spaces, hotels and luxury communities are constructing actual rooms that are designed to better accommodate these virtual meeting sessions to help put one’s best face forward. Such features and adornments include strategic lighting, video capabilities, custom audio, background vignettes, trendy art work, and anything else that might accentuate or enhance one’s virtual meeting presentation.
Cars Are Getting Wired
This has been a thing for a while but it is becoming increasingly more common within the luxury hospitality and real estate industries. Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are no longer a mere luxury or novelty, they are in increasing demand with homeowners and hotel guests. As the public consciousness to live more environmentally friendly continues to grow, so will the market for electric vehicles. The positive economic impact they bring is yet another reason EV charging stations are becoming popularized within the industry.
Pets At Play
Fret not, mere humans aren’t the only ones enjoying the fruits of elevated living. Pets are too, especially dogs and cats. As many already know, the pet industry has taken off, especially in the luxury market space. Some travelers and homeowners will stop at nothing to ensure the satisfaction and pleasure of their furry friends. Green spaces, doggy parks, activity areas, manicured walking paths (with enviro-friendly disposable bags), grooming stations, and the like are increasingly popular as more and more homeowners and guests seek to find suitable living conditions for their four-legged pals. Additionally, hoteliers, resorts, and communities that make an active effort to cater to pets generally see an up-tick in occupancy rates.
Home Sweet Smart Home
They’ve been around, sure, but now they are becoming the norm in high-end resorts and communities. We’re talking the kinds of homes that know you want to hear Bach’s Cantata No.21 when you walk through the front door. Or that intuitively dim the lights to just the right shade at night. Even lets you know who is at the front door when the bell rings through a streaming camera on your phone. Today’s Smart Homes add an extra layer of security, comfort, and panache for families. Not surprisingly, luxury condominiums and master-planned communities are catching on. As one realtor told us, “smart homes are the new frontier for affluent buyers and they’re becoming as much of a status symbol as opulent gardens, marble bathrooms, and infinity pools.”
Eye On The Future
With so much to be excited about—thanks in large part to breakthroughs in technology—amenities only stand to become more grand and inviting each year. Let’s not forget, however, individuals and families still love their golf, tennis, fishing, and spa treatments, as well they should. The era of high-tech and over-the-top amenities in no way diminishes the tried-and-true features guests and homeowners will always demand. Today, there are simply newer offerings to add to the mix. When it comes to the world of luxury amenities, it is both/and, not either/or. And by the look of things, the future of hospitality looks dynamic and leading edge for high-end travelers and homebuyers.
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