The following article has been kindly shared by our strategic partner, Lifestyle Capital Partners
The post-pandemic landscape in hospitality real estate has overwhelmingly accelerated towards wellbeing. From the consumer mindset on a macro-level, wellbeing is prioritising the safety and “care-cocooning” for every member of the inter-generational family of holidaymakers. On a micro-level, wellbeing is emphasising, throughout holidays, the health of each individual’s mind and body to be able to return to the “real world” rejuvenated.
At Lifestyle Capital Partners (LCP), we have embraced wellbeing as the future of luxury hospitality real estate (our niche). As early as 2017, we realised that discerning holidaymakers were asking us for luxury holiday homes attached to state-of-the-art gym and wellness-related facilities, medispa (natural or otherwise), meditation-related content, services, and amenities. Any luxury developer or operator who doesn’t understand that the wellbeing mindset, and wellness offerings, facilities, amenities and content, are the new “money can’t buy” luxuries that holidaymakers covet above all will be left behind in the post-COVID world.
As Barrons.com states, “In the niche realm of luxury wellness travel and real estate, a pre-COVID understanding of health-enhancing journeys included massages, spa treatments, and a smoothie after yoga class. As 2021 slowly moves out of the virus’ shadow, upscale resorts and private housing developments look to attract and reassure buyers that a chosen destination can enhance their health in a time when personal wellness needs to be a top priority” (Luxury Travel and Real Estate Industries Rethink Wellness in a Post-COVID World, John Scott Lewinski, 30 March 2021). Safety within the hospitality setting and how the luxury holidaymaker can travel to their “care-cocooned” home-away-from-home (ideally private!) is the purchase decision trigger.
The global travel and hospitality industry has encountered significant struggles due to border closures. Ironically, money from ultra-high net worth holidaymakers is thriving in post-pandemic hospitality real estate, and as a result, enquiries for luxury holiday homes are up. As the demand trickles through to sales, hospitality investors follow suit and channel funds to developers and operators with real estate offerings that get the “post-pandemic” world. Therefore market activity is not just up but is expected to rebound fiercely in a significant way.
Many ultra-luxury buyers found that their bank accounts kept full as forced savings built up through a lack of spending on consumer goods, holidays, travel, or business ventures. But as they now see the back of the pandemic, they’re ready to spend, but in a way that protects their safety and privacy and that prioritises the family health values they’ve fought so hard to protect during the lockdown.
As Forbes predicted in 2020, tongue-in-cheek, “…people talk about pent-up demand; this time it’s literal. People have been penned (pent) up in their houses, and they are yearning to get out and do something fun. Not to mention the birthday trips, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries that got postponed. When travel becomes safer, I’m going to be watching for a rapid increase in the hotel business, hopefully from poolside” (Survey: The Prospects for the Hotel Business in 2021, Brad Hunter).
In addition to safety and wellbeing, we’re seeing luxury holiday home buyers desiring holiday homes in short-haul destinations to their primary homes (to make the hassle of travel post-COVID manageable and to make a second or third home as a co-primary “work-from-home” setting). Ideally, in developed (as opposed to developing) countries to ensure access to top-quality healthcare and private travel facilities. Sustainability in travel, and the urgency to tread on the earth lightly, is becoming more and more a purchase qualifier next to safety and wellbeing.
How LCP Can Help
LCP are seasoned consultants in luxury hospitality destination real estate with significant global experience building strategy, sales and marketing programmes for branded and non-branded real estate developers within top hospitality operators such as Four Seasons, Aman, Six Senses, Porto Montenegro, Alila, Soneva, Rosewood, among others. Our experience ranges from upstream advisory services on how to help developers and operators plan, market, and sell luxury real estate from the master planning stage to executing such services at the resort and headquarters level.
We look forward to hearing how we can help your clients!