Now that the world is opening back up to travel, hotels are eager to welcome guests back after a long pause. After more than a year of staying close to home, travelers and vacationers are more than ready to book trips -- which is music to the ears of hotel REIT (real estate investment trust) investors.
While hotel owners do have a long way to go to recoup the losses sustained during 2020's travel ban, luxurious amenities are sure to draw crowds once more. Here are five hotels that would capture the interest of even the most discriminating travelers.
The Gritti Palace, Venice, Italy
Unique amenity: Private yacht
A gondola is one way of getting around Venice, but guests of The Gritti Palace can upgrade to a yacht. To explore the Venice Lagoon in luxury, guests can book "Il Doge," the Aquariva speedboat made by world-renowned yacht maker Riva. Advanced reservations are encouraged, although same-day reservations are sometimes available. Guests can choose from four different excursions that take them through the northern and southern lagoons of Venice, or the hotel can customize a unique experience.
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
Unique amenity: Spa and holistic health care center
There's nothing terrible about the spa at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz -- "bad" is just the German word for bath or spa. This resort is more like a sanctuary than a hotel. It stays true to the centuries-long tradition of spas and bathing for rejuvenation, but it goes many steps further with its holistic healthcare center. Yes, you can still book a massage at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, but why stop there? You can also consult with a nutritionist, get cosmetic laser treatments, undergo a hair transplant, and more.
Xigera Safari Lounge, Botswana, Africa
Unique amenity: Baobab Treehouse
Glamping is literally on a whole new level at the Xigera Safari Lounge. For an African safari experience like no other, book the Baobab Treehouse, about a kilometer from the main lodge. The treehouse is actually a structure made of steel that's reminiscent of a baobab tree, looming 10 meters above the plain. Guests have panoramic views on all three levels of the treehouse -- you can even unzip the canvas walls in the bedroom and bathroom to see more of your surroundings.
The Lanesborough, London
Unique amenity: Butler service for every room
No need to upgrade your reservation for special treatment -- every guest is privy to 24-hour butler service at The Lanesborough in London to cater to your every whim. Outside of the family-friendly hotel's sumptuous suites and rooms, there's a Michelin-starred restaurant, an acclaimed tea service, a luxurious spa, and one of the city's top cigar and cognac lounges. But frankly, we'd stay put in our rooms and ring our butler to request the popcorn and milkshake service.
The Joule, Dallas
Unique amenity: Cantilevered pool
Move over, infinity pools. The Joule Dallas has lapped them all with its cantilevered pool that juts out eight feet from the 10th floor, offering swimmers a lofty view of the city's business district. The 161-room hotel itself is located in a neo-Gothic landmark building constructed in the 1920s. The Joule's other ritzy offerings include priceless artwork, a world-class concierge, and a fleet of luxury cars for in-town excursions -- that is, should guests have any desire to get out of the pool.
The bottom line
While it's fair to say that "anywhere but here" is atop most people's travel wish lists after forced staycations, hotel amenities are still a lure for more seasoned travelers. These exclusive hotel and resort features will likely come with even heftier price tags to make up for the pandemic's losses, but investors can feel optimistic about future hotel bookings now that travel restrictions have been lifted.