In the first blog of our series on defining luxury travel, Lisa Corcoran of Travel Notebook and Passage To Luxury fame shares her views on luxury travel.

The definition of luxury travel is enigmatic: it means different things to different people. So the question is, what does luxury mean to me?

Sumptuous surroundings

Luxury travel has to have the wow factor from beginning to end. The key essentials are a given: sumptuous bedding and a mattress that guarantees you'll sleep like a baby, a bathroom with a rain shower straight from the Amazon, bathroom amenities so good you can't leave them behind, a turndown service that makes you return to your room with eager anticipation, maid service so invisible it must have been done by fairies, an entertainment system that doesn't require a degree in IT to use, complimentary wi-fi and sufficient space to relax without tripping over your case.

People make the difference

With all of this in place, what really sets a property apart is the quality of its staff. Smiles on faces and the feeling that nothing is too much trouble create an enjoyable atmosphere and one where you become so relaxed it is difficult to leave. Safari guides that are enthusiastic, keen to show you the wildlife and the local community. People that want you to see their part of the world and delight in giving you the best adventure possible. I am smiling now, thinking of those special places where I have experienced this, providing memories to be treasured forever.

The feeling of getting away from it all

Ultimately, luxury is about having time to escape from the stress of everyday life. With the advances in technology this is becoming increasingly difficult and I will admit I am one of the first to check if a wi-fi signal is available. Sometimes I think this is quite sad because immersing yourself in the exquisite surroundings and unplugging from the real world is true luxury indeed.