What defines luxury travel

What is luxury travel? I’ve always associated luxury travel with five-star hotels, flying First Class, sailing on private yachts (with a crew to take care of everything of course) and dining at Michelin-star restaurants – these were my Velvet Escapes. Since launching the Velvet Escape travel blog, I’ve come to realise that luxury travel is much more than travelling like a millionaire. With the help of guest writers who wrote about their favourite Velvet Escapes, I discovered that it’s the experiences, or moments, that make travel luxurious.

To celebrate the launch of the new Velvet Escape blog design, I asked some of my friends the following:

What defines a luxurious travel experience?

Here are their answers:

Janice_Waugh-photo I know I am experiencing luxury when I shake my head in disbelief at where I am and I marvel at how happy I am. This certainly happens in luxurious locations, hotels and restaurants but it also happens in simple settings like sitting in a cafeteria on a ferry (not luxurious at all) in Patagonia. Like the name of your blog suggests, luxury can be plush, it can be a true escape and it can be both. Janice from Solo Traveler ->

Melvin-traveldudes-photo -> A luxury experience for me is to have time to travel! To have the freedom to travel! To do things which you wouldn’t do every day! To travel is luxury! Melvin from Traveldudes.

Evelyn-Hannon-Journeywoman-photo A luxurious travel experience is one that is just for me and it’s all ‘about me.’ It’s not work related – no travel reporting at all – and it allows me to pamper ‘my’ personal needs. Evelyn from Journeywoman ->

isabelle-kenis-isabellestravel-photo -> A luxury travel experience to me is a unique experience that has got even the tiniest details covered. Something exclusive & where I feel spoiled and upon return refreshed & inspired. Isabelle from Isabelle’s Travel.

JD-Andrews-EarthXplorer-photo To me luxurious travel is seeing , experiencing and absorbing a new destination. Being able to capture the beauty and heart of the area and share it with others…oh yea and great FOOD! JD from EarthXplorer ->

dave-and-deb-theplanetd-photo -> A luxury travel experience is about having the time to let go of all work. While we’ve had the opportunity to stay at some of the most luxurious places on earth, we still had an element of work that needed to be done. It is when staying in a beach hut, disconnected from the world with all the time and freedom to relax that makes a moment luxurious for us. It doesn’t need to be five-star, just secluded, quiet and having the time to be completely together. That’s pure luxury. Dave and Deb from The Planet D.

zoe-dawes-quirky-traveller-photo To me it’s about leaving all everyday life, cares and work behind. Being pampered, feeling totally relaxed and having nowhere to go and nothing I have to do. Zöe from Quirky Traveller ->

smon-falvo-wild-about-travel-photo -> A luxurious travel experience for me has very little to do with comfort and amenities. Luxurious is related to great emotions and special places: camping in the Algerian desert and watching the sunrise with only a handful of people, or being alone on the top of a mountain and looking at the wild beauty of the glaciers… Simon from Wild About Travel.

kirsten-alana-photo My idea of luxury is having my needs met before I even realize I’m wanting for anything. Additionally, a pace that is not stressful but instead relaxing and restorative is, for me, crucial if I am to bestow the label of luxury. Kirsten from Aviators and a Camera ->

jeff-titelius-photo -> Luxurious travel to me includes a visit to an enchanting village in Europe where my imagination can wander, my eyes can behold magnificent architecture, my mind can experience the art and culture, my comforts are met in quaint and authentic accommodations, and most of all, close encounters with the locals! Jeff from Euro Travelogue.

u-mei-agentcikay-photo Luxurious travel is, flying business class, staying in five-star settings with fine dining every evening! Mei from Cumi & Ciki ->

abigail-king-photo -> Warmth, quiet, comfort and the chance to thrill at simply being alive. Abi from Inside The Travel Lab.

nellie-huang-wild-junket-photo Having a place all to myself and my loved one (beach, desert, mountains – it doesn’t matter where) and soaking in the beauty of nature without any interference from the outside world – no internet, no tv. Nellie from Wild Junket ->

stephanie-diehl-traveldesigned-photo -> I think taking the time to appreciate the simple things in life when we travel is a luxury. The things that make me smile like watching children play, taking in a sunset, capturing the nature around me, seeing new things and every day things in a new way – the sights, the sounds, the scents. The things I don’t take time to do at home. For me it is appreciating life’s little moments that gives me the luxurious travel experience and make me happy. But don’t get the wrong idea, I still cherish those “5 star rated” experiences and get all giddy like it is the first time each and every time! Stephanie from Travel Designed.

And last but not least….

rich-whitaker-photo To me I define luxury as sitting in seat 1A with a glass of champagne before takeoff. Rich from Brilliant Tips and Brilliant Travel Media (the brilliant mind behind the new Velvet Escape design). ->

Luxury travel and Velvet Escape

As for me, well, more importantly than travelling like I’d just won the national lottery, luxury travel is all about the moments and being inspired by them. Enjoying the cool droplets of mist on my face in the cloud forests of Monteverde. Sitting on a beach and feeling the silky water of the sea lapping around my toes. Feasting my eyes on the colours of the lagoon in Bora Bora. Lying on the deck of a boat in the Whitsundays and staring at the Milky Way above. Curling up in a five-star hotel bed. Catching a whiff of the rich scent of a Pinotage as I swirl it in a glass. Savouring the wondrous texture and flavours of Italian ice-cream. Or discovering a little bit more about myself.

These are my moments of luxury. My Velvet Escapes.

Keith-Velvet-moment

A Velvet moment. Image courtesy of Diana Edelman @dtravelsround

 go explore. experience. and be inspired.

 

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16 Responses to “What defines luxury travel”

  1. Alexandra Aranvich 05/07/2012 5:52 pm
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    Love all definitions about luxury travel!
    Alexandra

  2. santafetraveler 13/10/2011 5:29 am
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    I’m more of a purist when it comes to luxury travel. It’s a four or five star hotel with great service, a restaurant with fabulous food and ambiance and service to match. A ride on the Orient Express (on my bucket list). People to meet every whim I have within reason and some beyond. It’s soaking in a large bathtub with candles and sea salt. It’s a private hot tub with a view of the ocean. It’s gourmet chocolate delivered to my room (or, since we’re talking luxury, my suite). Call me shallow- but i LOVE extreme creature comforts and pampering.

  3. sara 27/09/2011 5:49 pm
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    I would love to be part of your network, right now It is my goal to provide these velvet escapes, especially to Africa.. My speciality is extraordinary safaris, away from the maddening crowd!
    I have done all your magical moments around the globe, traveled by private Gulfstream, sailed on a glamourous yacht, dined at 5 star establishments, sipped champagne on my terrace overlooking Trevi fountain, swum with mantas in Rangiroa, you name it I have done it.. but Africa is Oh so special..

  4. Abi 09/09/2011 2:29 pm
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    Congratulations on the new design. I’m a (big) fan of champagne but I also prize other things so much more…

  5. Nancy & Shawn Power 08/09/2011 5:03 am
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    Hi Keith,

    Great post! Especially the part about curling up in a 5 star bed!

    Nancy & shawn

  6. The definition of luxury is very much in the eye of the beholder. Just like the definition of “adventure” it all means something very different to different people and at different times.

    It was great meeting you at TBUIBK! Hopefully we’ll meet up again real soon.

  7. John 07/09/2011 12:32 pm
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    I don’t see Luxury as a label used to sell an expensive travel product. To me the ability to enjoy my travels anytime, anywhere is a luxury. In fact I get less enjoyment from some “luxury” experiences as they are potentially more wasteful and thus contribute to resource depletion and climate change.
    I find it heart lifting to find so many other bloggers that I respect also see luxury in more meaningful terms than marketing hype.

  8. The World of Deej 06/09/2011 10:26 pm
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    I love all these different takes on luxury travel. I agree with what several said…luxury is having your needs met before you actually have the need. The great thing is, this can happen anywhere, from your local restaurant, to the Hotel Ritz in Paris…

  9. velvet 06/09/2011 7:53 pm
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    Cheers JD! :-) Thanks for your contribution too. :-)))

  10. JD Andrews 06/09/2011 7:47 pm
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    Very cool design! Here’s to future adventures! :)

  11. velvet 06/09/2011 7:26 pm
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    Thank you Jeff and Kirsten for your lovely comments. Sooooo excited about the new design. Cheers & thanks for your fab contributions!

    Keith :-)

  12. Jeff Titelius 06/09/2011 6:53 pm
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    Fantastic Keith! Loving the new site and wishing you all the success in the world.

    The spirit of friendship runs deep with you my friend as evidenced through your showcase of what luxury travel means to so many of your travel friends!

    Keep up the great work and thank you for allowing me to be part of your world!!!

    Jeff

  13. Kirsten Alana 06/09/2011 6:41 pm
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    Well, now I want to go on a luxury vacation! A cold, rainy day in NYC (such as it is today) probably isn’t helping. Great redesign Keith and I’m so thrilled to have been a tiny part of your newest post after the redesign. BEST things to you for the future!! (Which I hope includes crossing paths again soon.)

  14. velvet 06/09/2011 5:49 pm
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    Thank you Jane for your comment. I’m with you – I’d never turn down a glass of champagne too but it’s the rarity of the experience that’s priceless.

    Cheers!
    Keith

  15. Jane 06/09/2011 5:46 pm
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    Although I’d never turn down a glass of champagne, luxury to me is in the rarity of the experience. Walking in a place where few others have walked before, visiting an island away from the madding crowds.
    Thanks for the great article – great to see so many other define luxury the same way!

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