Are Luxury Hotels Worth Splurging On?


Many a times when we are deciding to go a vacation with family or friends, there is always much planning to be done especially when it comes to budgeting for travel and accommodation. Should we decide to go for a luxury accommodation, we would have to cut cost from traveling options or even reduce the places that we can visit. The question is whether is it worthed it ? Even if we have decided to go for it, there are also many things to consider when going to a luxury hotel.

The following article post originally appeared on’s blog and was written by Erica Ho 

” I was trying to play it cool, looking at the countless number of buttons inside the Rolls Royce, when I shot a glance across at my friend. “I just want to play with them,” I whispered to her.

At the time, I was reviewing the flagship Peninsula Hong Kong for Jetsetter. As a travel writer, most salaries aren’t actually up to par to justify a night at such decadent properties. But since our jobs are to literally pretend we live glamorous lives out of a magazine, sometimes you get a brief taste of the good life every now and then. (It’s not uncommon to attend a swanky evening soirée just to go home to your apartment that doubles as a closet at night.)

I’ve ran the gamut of properties throughout the years, so much that I always thought that when I retired, I would open up my own bed and breakfast for funsies. There are so many categories of accommodation that it’s really easy to get lost in it all. But for the sake of brevity I’m only going to address the upper crust of hotel chains (not high-end boutiques or ultra-decadent resort chains like Aman Resorts). But the Four Seasons, Ritz Carltons, Peninsulas and Mandarin Orientals of the world, they’re all fair game in this piece.

But most people I know, myself included, don’t have that kind of money to travel like that on a regular basis. I certainly don’t. So when is it actually justified spending over $500 a night on a hotel? Is it ever justified? And if you make the big splurge, what can you expect?

But probably the most important thing to know is that not only do you need the moolah to stay at these upscale places but the charges can rack up at an equally stratospheric rate once you’re there. Thankfully, most high-end chains have finally clued in on the fact that Internet is pretty much a necessity. But now, instead of charging $30 per day for that, they haven’t forgotten there are other incidentals like food, tips and parking and resort fees. In more than a few cases, breakfast on its own can often run up to $50 per person. And that’s just for some eggs. Money should really be no issue before you decide to stay at these type of places.

For the record, if you want to be transported via Rolls Royce while you’re in Hong Kong, it’ll cost you $1600 HKD, about ~$206.45 USD, per ride. But hey, if you’re going to be doing that, you might as well splurge for the helicopter airport pick-up instead. For the coup d’etat, I’d highly suggest the private helicopter champagne brunch over Victoria Harbour.)

For that kind of money, most people expect the rooms they get will take their breath away. But the fact is you’re going to a hotel, not the future. The rooms at the Ritz, the Peninsula and other luxurious boutique rooms I’ve had the privilege of touring or staying at have all been expectedly nice in their own way. Imagine an extremely well-appointed home. In fact, I found it more amusing than anything else that the hotel phone system was pretty much the same antiquated system you see everywhere else. Meanwhile, The Penn, I was shocked to see, still employed an in-room fax machine for its hotel residents. Blast from the past. (It should be noted that the time I was staying at the Peninsula, they were undergoing serious bedroom renovations. They needed it.) ”

Read the full version of the article here

Erica Ho is a former reporter for TIME in Hong Kong and former geek at Gizmodo and Lifehacker. Her work has appeared in CNN, Yahoo!, MSN, Mashable, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and Quartz to name a few places.