Why Luxury Hotels Should Keep Fleets of Luxury Cars
And five stays that already do
Hotels aren’t going away anytime soon, whatever the glampists and cabin hounds among us might say.
But in an age where travel-hungry masses routinely scroll past outrageous sights and stays on backlit rectangles with hardly a blink of the eye, hotels do need to commit to throwing their weight around. Pillow chocolates are just the tip of the iceberg.
And the best way for both top chains and new-on-the-block boutiques to elevate their luxury offerings is by wisely pairing with other industries in their high-end sector. According to a study by WGSN, a global trend forecaster based in the United Kingdom, luxury brands that plan to collaborate with other luxury brands by the year 2020 are in the best position to succeed. It’s already created a new sense of cross-industry cooperation in hotels, and a new definition of “all-inclusive.” Hotels have become trusted destinations for craft cocktails, rare art, seasonal markets, and handcrafted goods from local artisans. Look to Line LA in Koreatown. Shinola’s new hotel in Detroit. Crossroads in Kansas City.
But hotels can take it up another notch by teaming with luxury car companies. Getting behind the wheel of a six-figure car is generally more prohibitive than playing Rockefeller for the night at a swanky spot downtown. So teaming up with a luxury automotive brand, and keeping a fleet of those cars on campus as “house cars,” lends immediate legitimacy. It also makes sure a hotel stays in its lane (so to speak). You know, let the people who actually know cars come in and drop off the keys.
Below, we’ve chosen five luxury hotels (some global, some local) that offer a car experience a few notches above “Oh, our Uber’s here.”
Charleston, South Carolina
The Wheels: At The Restoration, our money for the best hotel in Charleston, there’s a blisfully specific list of muscle autos available. Feel free to take a ’66 Ford Mustang Convertible, ‘67 Chevy Camaro or ‘70 Mercedes 280SL out for a spin. There’s also an on-site wrenchman who will help you design your own motorcycle.
The Wheels: Aston Martin. This is a new partnership, solidified in late last year. Poised to last (at least) four years, Hilton’s luxury brand went all in with the British automakers. Expect the sportscars to be available across the globe at Waldorf locations, driving experiences led by pros, VIP hospitality at Aston Martin Racing events, and an array of drive-and-stay packages.
The Wheels: Depends where you’re staying. Guests at Four Seasons Vail, Whistler or Jackson Hole (dubbed the Four Seasons Mountain Collection) have access to Mercedes GL SUV house cars for use around the mountain. Meanwhile, Four Seasons Resort Oahu has an on-site Tesla at the ready for guests, and they even hosted a environmentally conscious drive-in movie night last year.
The Wheels: Bentley. St. Regis has a dedicated house driver who will take you wherever you want to go. Buuut, unfortunately you won’t be able to drive the car yourself. That’s ok. Consider this the grown-up version of a limo to Prom. Catch a show that requires a tux and rent the car out to and fro.
The Wheels: Cadillac is the official car of Montage Hotel & Resorts. Head to Montage Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills, Deer Valley, Palmetto Bluff, or Kapalua Bay to get driven around in one (and inevitably get sand all over the backseat) or to try out some of the brand’s newest models on the open road.