If you wiped out the price tags when researching hotels, where would you end up?

For the sun worshippers:

Would it be a little basic shack on a beach with maybe a mozzie net, complete with the odd hole or 2, the only thing separating you from the sea breezes and the whispering lull of the ocean ebbing on a far flung beach?  Albeit you have no personal amenities, maybe a shower you share with the local creatures or the other occupants of the huts nearby.  There is no wafting aroma of an early espresso at your door; instead it is the lingering smell of rubbish. The loud bustling hum of a resort coming to life invades your blissful dreams, whilst morning breakfast is shared with squabbling sunburnt families. 

Take that little shack and place it in a remote destination, where you have room to breathe and there is no Bart, Marge and the "Simpsons' rug rats" mauling breakfast. There is a fluffy white robe to cocoon yourself in after a decadent shower in an open-air bathroom with a rain shower, or maybe a skinny dip in your own infinity edged pool. Breakfast magically appears on your private outdoor deck - think rich crema swirled espresso, tall elegant glassware dripping condensation of brightly colored and just squeezed fruit juice, a colorful array of local tropical fruit cut to perfection into bite size portions and maybe sizzling bacon or blushing smoked salmon peeking out from under a shiny silver cloche.

Expensive Hotel, Are They Worth It? - The Wise Traveller

Which scene would you prefer, if the price was taken out of the equation?  The above scenario can translate into city stays, country hideaways or mountain adventures. People are prepared to pay for luxury accommodation for numerous reasons, even if they are splurging way above their holiday budgets.

For some jet setters, money is not the issue, but for many globetrotters willing to go into the moth-infested depths of their pockets it is all about:

Location, location:  

Just like real estate, location is everything and intrepid souls will pay to be in the best location available.  Whether it is a perfectly sited hotel in a famous city so you can leisurely grace the pavement, a Bedouin tent in a vast desert perfect for star lit nights, a safari lodge on the edge of the watering hole in South Africa where you can sip your vino watching waterbuck fight, or an isolated lodge in a wilderness; you go for the best location to suit your fancy.


The desire to escape from everyday life, the constant crowding of personal space, the need to spread out without bumping into a wall whether real or a mental illusion.  To take a long deep breathe of fresh air and to see the stars with no city loom diverting their brightness.  The more remote the accommodation, the more costly it is to bring in supplies and the more it would have cost initially to set up.  Hence, you will be paying a higher price tag for your solitude.


A constant problem for those "very important people" of the world who are always in the spotlight, the loved-up couples in the throes of lust that don't need anyone else to share their space, the discrete couple on an illicit getaway or the last-ditch effort of a romantic interlude for an-about to split up couple.  People need privacy where names and faces are never mentioned.

Expensive Hotel, Are They Worth It? - The Wise Traveller

Personal touches:

The price of your accommodation quite often determines the level of little touches that will enhance your stay.  From iced down face cloths in tropical climates, drinks graciously spread out the moment you walk through the doors, one on one check-in procedure, scattered just picked flowers and plush bedroom slippers. The list goes on to include a personal butler who can arrange anything for you from tickets to the latest theater show or that restaurant that no-one you know has ever been able to get into.

Amenities and comfort/service:

Yes, you are paying for the best amenities such as boutique shower products, plush bedding and a bed that gives you sweet dreams, not a sore back.  The staff do respond graciously to your wishes and anticipate your needs without you having to wildly wave your arms to get their attention. Muddy hiking shoes are cleaned without asking and you rarely see the cleaning fairies that keep your suite immaculately. You have your own fully stocked fridge with exactly what you crave to drink at your disposal, for those sundowner reflective times. Friendly staff smiles allow you to think that you are doing them a favor by letting them look after you. 

No one under 18:

Quite often the case, there will not be a child in sight.

The total Experience:

Of being able to put yourself in a bubble of self-indulgence and doing something that you have always wanted to do. Diving pristine waters, gawking at ancient ruins, angling for that huge sailfish, standing in a field of lavender, getting lost in the alleys of Venice or having a picnic taken from the scenes of "Out of Africa", the experience is yours to own.

Wank value:

Then there is always the "wank" value of being able to say, "I've been there, and it was incredible".

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.