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Five luxury travel trends and destinations for 2020

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) know about high-end travel more than most. Here, they outline their travel trends for the luxury market...

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has released its annual Luxury Travel Trends Report, looking ahead at what will be shaping the luxury boutique experience in the coming year.


From bio-architecture and conscience-free cuisine to dispersed hotels and ultimate relaxation methods, the report has been crafted from the creative, inspiring and novel elements introduced by the luxury brand’s more than 520 independent hotels that together reflect the emergence of a movement or burgeoning trend. 



For 2020, these small, nimble and progressive hotels continue to set the standard for luxury in the ever-changing travel landscape.   


The full report outlines six specific overarching themes reinforced by the idea of uncomplicated and honest luxury. Travellers are looking to embrace pared back extravagance by interacting with local cultures, respecting nature and participating in something that feels bigger than themselves. 


Conscious Luxury

Examples of bio-architecture, conservation projects, widespread plastic-free initiatives and of course those hotels striving for carbon neutrality are the highlight. 

As a global company, SLH will be launching a Sustainability Manifesto in 2020 laying out commitments for SLH as a business as well as guidance for our member hotel, however, many of our hotels have long been operating with a conscience.


Dispersed Hotels

Dispersed Hotels offer a new way to experience a hotel and a destination by spreading the areas out across buildings in one small town or village, naturally creating a unique micro-community for guests and locals. 


Wellness from Ahh to Zzz

Indigenous spa practices and rituals such as hay baths, volcanic mud and Ayurvedic therapies are on the rise, while the importance of sleep and innovative solutions to achieve optimum rest continue to be key for overall health and wellbeing.



The Root Back to Real Food

For foodies, the emergence of Unexpected Herbivores, plant-based restaurants in surprising places, and the ongoing benefits of ‘going herbal’ are rising in popularity. In addition, white charcoal, or binchotan, is being incorporated into food and drink across menus worldwide to absorb impurities and release vital minerals. 


Upskilling Escapes

Upskilling Escapes offer real once-in-a-lifetime experiences, granting travellers VIP access to specialists in an effort to learn new skills, or become experts themselves.


Destinations to Watch

New destinations for SLH guests in 2020 include several new members opening their doors for the very first time. 

Gangtey Lodge in Bhutan, one of the only carbon-negative countries in the world, lures active travellers while cultural enthusiasts appreciate its traditions unhindered by outside influences. 

Nepal is gearing up to celebrate ‘Visit Nepal’ in 2020 and in December the Lost Horizon Resort & Spa Begnas is scheduled to open near Pokhara. 

Azerbaijan is a perfect combination of European, Asian and Middle Eastern influences that make The Land of Fire a fascinating place to explore from Dinamo Hotel Baku. 

Tel Aviv, Israel sees new flight routes from American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways World Club Suite and The Norman Tel Aviv is the city’s only luxury boutique hotel.

Despite the country’s small size, Montenegro is full of hidden treasures and a new destination for SLH in 2020 with Villa Geba joining the brand.


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Published: 10 February 2020

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