The trend in suites is to be bigger and more expensive, and there are many beautiful ones worth the money. In fact, most magazines and media focus on biggest and most expensive. I can plead guilty. When I was Editor-in-Chief of Elite Traveler, we started an annual 101 Top Suites list, and size and expense definitely carried weight. I also know you enjoy them. Many of you read the item on a $75,000 suite in New York, one of the most popular stories in the DGAE Library.
At the same time, many times when traveling, particularly to cities or for business, you just don’t want a 4,000 or 8,000-sq. ft. suite. This past week I attended Virtuoso Travel Week, an annual gathering of over 2,000 travel advisors who specialize in luxury, held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. As I was chatting with various advisors about favorite suites and villas they had recently visited, they weren’t always the biggest or most expensive suite at a hotel or resort.
One of the reasons to use a travel advisor is that the good ones know the hotels they are selling, and they will put you in the right room or suite, based on whatever your needs are. If you are with the family, they will know the ones close to all the activities. If you are on a romantic retreat, they know the villas where other people can’t see into your private pool. They also know the villas and suites that get noise from the restaurant late at night or early in the morning, or look out onto the loading dock, or have obstructed views. This type of information is almost never available on hotel websites, and is rarely covering in travel articles, except, well, here in this newsletter.
Good advisors also have personal relationships with the General Managers of the hotels where they send clients. In a hotel, the GM typically has the authority to make exceptions that can be the difference between a bad, good or great stay. One advisor, Anne Scully of McCabe World Travel has a saying, “You can’t VIP yourself,” and while for some of you that might not be true, it usually gets you further when a third party does it for you, particularly when that third party is a travel advisor who already produces hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in bookings for that hotel you are going to.