The trend shaping luxury hospitality

The understated elegance of ‘quiet luxury’

Luxury is changing. The days of over-the-top opulence are making way for understated, sophisticated elegance defined by a greater focus on quality products and services that meet individual needs and less on the image or status they reflect.

Welcome to the world of quiet luxury.

What is ‘quiet luxury’?

Quiet luxury is not a new concept. It’s a recurring trend that can be traced back to Renaissance times when wealthy Italians would shun lavish displays of wealth in favour of high-quality, understated, bespoke fashion pieces. Its most recent incarnation arose in response to the social and cultural changes that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. This period was characterised by enforced time spent at home combined with apprehension for many about what the future held economically. As a result, we had time to reflect and evaluate how we spent both our time and our money.

As we emerged from enforced lockdowns, spending patterns shifted. Creating lifelong memories gained importance, favouring experiences over the mass accumulation of material goods. When we chose to invest in goods and possessions, we took a more considered and thoughtful approach, choosing quality over quantity. The products we chose were ethically designed and sustainable in line with our increased interest in environmental issues. This ethos forms the foundation of a trend impacting fashion, lifestyle and travel choices globally – the emergence of quiet luxury.

Quiet luxury in hospitality

The rise of quiet luxury is shaping the guest experience on many levels as hoteliers respond to evolving expectations of what’s expected from a luxury experience. As flashy and ostentatious displays of wealth are shunned for a more subtle and refined approach, the traditional view of ‘luxury’ is undergoing a transformation that is impacting hospitality’s approach to service delivery, product choices, and design aesthetics.

Service Delivery: authentic, personalised, discreet

As consumers seek greater authenticity in their guest experiences, quiet luxury is hallmarked by privacy, personalisation and discretion where every detail of their stay is crafted to deliver a unique and intimate experience. Staff training is increasingly geared towards ensuring every guest feels pampered and valued, achieved by delivering a personalised service and creating memorable and unique experiences that build a human and authentic connection with no indulgent exhibitionism. Guests’ needs are anticipated and met without being intrusive. Technological integrations can increasingly support and complement this, offering innovative solutions to personalise services, and offer a discreet approach to service delivery, such as contactless check-in and customised in-room amenities.

.Product Choices: high-quality, sustainable, refined

Quiet luxury in hospitality is characterised by products that exude quality and sophistication without overt branding or extravagance. High-quality, ethically sourced furnishings and amenities are favoured over glossy designer brands. Quality makes way for quantity, with an emphasis on minimalism, favouring products built around the principles of superior craftsmanship, sustainability, and durability. Where once fine dining was epitomised by a menu featuring rare and exotic ingredients, it is now more likely to be built around the creative use of fresh, locally sourced produce, with dishes presented elegantly and without unnecessary embellishments. Bathroom amenities are created using high-quality, natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin and environmentally friendly. Elegant and simple packaging, often using recycled materials, evokes a feeling of refinement and elegance without the need for conspicuous and flashy branding or extravagance.

Design Aesthetics: minimalist, calming, ethical

Although the quiet luxury trend has its roots in fashion, it’s perhaps not surprising that its impact has spread into the world of interior design. Quiet luxury favours interior design choices that evoke peace and tranquillity, using natural materials like wood, and muted tones to create an ambiance of comfort and well-being. A minimalist approach to design, featuring high-quality luxury furnishings, ethically sourced amenities, and calming colour palettes, honour the principles of quality, simplicity, and minimalism that form the main pillars of the quiet luxury lifestyle.

As the concept of luxury continues to evolve, the understated elegance of quiet luxury is reshaping the luxury hospitality sector. Contemporary values of sustainability, personalisation and authenticity, combined with the desire to create memorable experiences, are gently redefining what luxury means to today’s traveller. As guests seek a more thoughtful and meaningful approach to their stay, the industry is evolving to embrace these principles, transforming what it means to offer a truly luxurious experience.

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