As I was preparing to take a flight from New York to South Africa recently I picked up a magazine touting the best about luxury travel. It contained beautiful penthouses, tropical getaways and the 100 best (and probably most expensive) suites in the whole world. One property stood out above the rest, the Time Warner in New York City whose suite retails generally for 50,000 USD per night!
The number made an immediate impact (as I’m sure it’s designed to do) and it caused me to wonder how much is too much? The truth is that considering myself a discerning traveler and having splurged in the past paying a little more for a nice room I don’t have an answer to that question directly. Money is a relative thing because that number can be a lot for some and virtually nothing for others.
What may seem worth considering with an investment of your money (of any amount) is to know if one has an answer to the question do I really know what I am paying for? I think the single biggest mistake travelers of all walks of life make is the idea that more money equates somehow a better, bigger or superior experience. This doesn’t come from nowhere; objectively nicer rooms often have larger price tags in their respective markets. The only way really to be sure you aren’t spending “too much” is to be informed enough to know the qualities and values of the place you are willing to drop your money on.
Personal value all really comes back to expectations and how we manage them relative to what we want. In the case of expensive suites, the hotel room furnishings, square footage, services, utilities, amenities and location has some distinguishing characteristics from other hotels that make it expensive. The price can be objectively set, but the value of such a place really depends on why someone is choosing to book it. Whether it is someone with all the money of the world or someone who has saved their entire life just for a one night stay, I feel ideally the motivation should be the same, the person knows the value of what they want.
Yes, traveling can be confusing, because normal people may not have all the answers about what it makes distinctive, unique or even expensive a hotel. This is why we do what we do as travel advisors. Our experiences, research and industry knowledge serve us as we craft personalized trips for discerning travelers. What may be worth 300 USD per night to you in Malaysia might not be worth it to you in Amsterdam. Maybe the point of focus for one hotel is the location while another are the wellbeing facilities. In short, how much is too much is only answerable by the limits of what you want to do with what means you have to do it. A personal travel advisor can help with the very first question of all which is “what am I looking for? What kind of traveler am I? what am I willing to spend and what do we want to be able to get?