One person’s luxury may be another person’s hell on earth, and most people have their own ideas about what constitutes true relaxation and pampering. Just because a hotel describes itself as luxury doesn’t mean that it will suit you. So check out the details of what is on offer before you hit the “Book Now” button.

Service

Unfortunately, there are some things that you can’t be sure about without trying them for yourself, although reviews can give you a reasonably good impression if you treat them with due skepticism. You can, however, get an idea of the style of service if you phone the hotel and speak to reception.

Booking into a luxury hotel should be a smooth and easy experience and so should checking in. You should not have to wait in a queue for more than a few minutes. Cleaning staff should be pleasant and unobtrusive and use odor-free cleaning chemicals. Room service should be available at short notice 24 hours a day, and transport facilities should be easy to arrange.

Location

You are probably not visiting just for the hotel, so consider where it is in relation to the amenities you are seeking. A coastal hotel like the Marriott Resort and Spa at Hilton Head should not only have easy access to the beach but also to the many other recreational facilities that you expect in such a position.

Room

Room decor will be a matter of taste, but something should say, as soon as you walk in, that this is a room designed by someone with flair and individuality.

Beds, needless to say, must be super-comfortable and of the size that you have requested.

Bathrooms should also be stylish, with dual wash bowls, fluffy towels and robes, a big bath, good water pressure and shower controls that do what you expect them to.

There should be something memorable about each room, like a balcony or spa tub, and every room should have a reasonable view.

Food

Unless it is a very small boutique establishment, a luxury hotel would have at least one excellent restaurant with an imaginative menu, staffed by friendly, unpretentious people with a good understanding of the food and wine on offer.

Room service should offer more than burgers and club sandwiches, and be promptly served on an attractive trolley without too great a markup against the restaurant prices.

Extras

To be a luxury hotel, there must be something that is extra. You would expect a fitness center and a pool, at least, but you would also probably want a fully staffed spa, and perhaps a golf course, tennis courts, or a casino. All these should, preferably, be free to hotel residents, as should basics such as wifi, coffee makers, and shuttle services.

Spoil Yourself

It can be hard to find a hotel that fits anyone’s perfect specification for the description “luxury.” However, there are many hotels that make the effort, and if a bit of pampering is what you need, you can probably find it.

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