Edi­tor’s Note

World Travel Magazine - - Contents - SHEE­TAL RAS­TOGI ED­I­TO­RIAL DIREC­TOR edi­tor@wtrav­el­magazine.com

Lux­ury in hos­pi­tal­ity is not about per­ceived brand im­age, pre­mium price tag, a big build­ing to moot and a grand lobby decked out to awe. Lux­ury in this in­dus­try orig­i­nates from the el­e­ments of in­tel­li­gent-dis­crete ser­vice, unique ex­pe­ri­ences to make the stay mem­o­rable and stand out (on Face­book at the very least!), seam­less tran­si­tion from tran­sit to so­journ, cuisine that is au­then­tic, and above all else, com­fort. Com­fort in style and el­e­gance. This fun­da­men­tal un­der­stand­ing, how­ever, seems to have strayed from its mark as mar­keters, overnight/on­line in­flu­encers, travel agents, and of late, on­line travel book­ing sites fall over each other, hand­ing out 5-star rat­ing and two thumbs up for al­most any­thing that has a bed. Agents project their lux­ury of­fers on pho­to­shopped ap­pear­ance and lists of reviews as fool-proof ev­i­dence of their prod­uct’s lux­ury, al­most al­ways as­sum­ing rightly that read­ers are un­sus­pect­ing of re­view-gen­er­at­ing farms of on­line pro­files in the thou­sands, trad­ing reviews for cents to the dol­lar to cre­ate and push this il­lu­sion un­til a new ‘lux­ury’ prop­erty comes along.

A mega brand lux­ury prop­erty whose name in­spires utopia in it­self, along the banks of a ma­jor river in the heart of a ma­jor tourist city in Asia strug­gles to ex­plain to me the near­est/eas­i­est way to cross the river, which most tourists cross ev­ery hour, to reach a fa­mous restau­rant on the other side; an­other staff gets an­noyed when asked to re­peat the food op­tions served in the five restau­rants; dur­ing din­ner, a server flashes two sweet smiles and then in­sists that I use my smart­phone to log-in, right away, to a web­site with my room num­ber as id and rate her ser­vice, nam­ing her specif­i­cally in my feed­back; an­other night the prop­erty’s fa­mous Ital­ian restau­rant has the au­dac­ity to rush me through my sub-par meal! Oh Dear, I’m sorry to have an­noyed you. I paid lux­ury price for this. Same city, dif­fer­ent prop­erty, it’s a soft launch, smaller setup with far fewer rooms. Their restau­rant is top­notch, as were those in the ear­lier prop­erty. Af­ter or­der­ing drinks, the fam­ily re­alise that veg­e­tar­ian op­tions are lim­ited to nought. Fret not. The chef cooks up two amaz­ing veg­e­tar­ian starters. Best meal in months!

Such lux­ury goes be­yond rat­ing. It can only be ap­pre­ci­ated when ex­pe­ri­enced. This epiphany brings me to the edi­tion’s The 100 List at hand, the es­sen­tial roll-call of the most lux­u­ri­ous prop­er­ties around to be ex­pe­ri­enced. A year’s worth of re­search, re­view, anal­y­sis, feed­back and scru­tiny has been em­ployed into craft­ing this edi­tion’s The 100 List. This an­nual com­pi­la­tion took its first step with an ini­tial draft list com­pris­ing of over 2,000 names, all el­e­gant and note­wor­thy. Over the many months, this har­vest dis­tilled to just 100 names which proudly grace these pages. The essence of our 100 List is find­ing the pin­na­cles of in­tel­li­gent ser­vice, ex­clu­siv­ity, ac­com­mo­da­tion, cuisine and ex­pe­ri­ence. Let lux­ury wel­come you home here in The 100 List, no mat­ter where you travel.

In case you were won­der­ing, the fa­mous restau­rant on the other side of the river is Thip­tara, Penin­sula Bangkok’s Thai restau­rant by the river­side; amaz­ing cuisine, the courtyard per­fumed by Frangi­pani and the staff is very at­ten­tive. In my next visit, I am com­ing here again to eat, and stay.

The 100 List 2017 Sin­gita Sweni Lodge

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