5 Signs You’re Staying at a Luxury Hotel

Shot of an attractive young woman enjoying a luxurious breakfast in her room.
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Luxury hotels have more in common than just high prices. To lure customers willing to pay those high prices, a hotel should have certain services, features and amenities that set it apart from the rest of the pack.

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You won’t find a lot of set standards on what constitutes a luxury hotel — mainly because the industry itself doesn’t impose requirements on when hotels can define themselves as “luxurious.” It’s not like the auto industry, which has certain standards on what can be marketed as a sedan, coupe, convertible, SUV, pickup truck or sports car.

As the Xotels website notes, just about any type of lodging accommodation can use the term “luxury,” from resorts to boutique hotels.

However, there are certain signs you can look for to let you know you’re staying in a luxury hotel. Here are five of them, based on various travel and hospitality sites:

Exceptional Customer Service

Guests who stay in luxury hotels should have their needs met quicky, efficiently and professionally, with no hassles or rolling eyes. This includes everything from the booking, check-in and checkout process to housekeeping, maintenance, concierge services, room service, car services, front-desk services and on-site restaurants, lounges, spas, workout rooms and pools. Phones should be well-staffed and requests for help should be dealt with immediately.

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First-Class Dining

Selling sandwiches and microwavable pasta bowls at the front desk does not constitute a luxe dining experience, and neither does a breakfast buffet that lets you make your own waffles. Luxury hotels should have at least one full-service, Michelin-starred restaurant, and preferably more than one. The hotel should also have a café for lighter fare, but with high-end touches. Full-service restaurants should be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the hotel should offer 24-hour room service.

Luxury Guest Rooms and Bathrooms

As Luxlife Magazine notes, anyone can book a room and find a place to sleep. To qualify as a luxury hotel, it needs to offer innovative designs and high-quality furnishings with expensive touches. Among the things you should look for are a quiet, spacious room with thick walls and floors, specialty lighting, original artwork, windows that open, lots of closet space, several iPhone docks, expensive linens and a pillow menu. Bathrooms should be spacious and feature large tubs than can hold two people, his-and-her sinks, plenty of counter space and artisan toiletries.

Deluxe Amenities and Services

Luxury hotels should cut no corners in providing a first-class experience. This typically includes high-end spas, luxury pools with private cabanas, a well-equipped 24-hour fitness center with on-site staff and access to a personal trainer, laundry services, unpacking and packing services, hired car services, babysitting and petsitting services and concierges with expert knowledge of the local landscape.

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First-Class Touches

The last thing a luxury hotel guest wants to see is a dreary lobby with the same old red carpet and tired chairs. Luxury hotels will have unique and modern features and furnishings, with designer interiors, posh amenities, an artsy vibe and state-of-the-art technology. Beyond that, every space should be sparkling clean, from the lobby and meeting rooms to the hallways, elevators, bathrooms and guest rooms.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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