Luxury hotels in the U.S.A. are pulling out all the stops to wow visitors by offering the use of high-end luxury vehicles at select resorts. The trial hopes to build customer loyalty by offering a huge benefit to both business and leisure guests. It is certainly a service that guests are unlike to forget in a hurry.
The Four Seasons in Vail, Colorado has ordered five new Mercedes SUVs for guests’ use. Guests are permitted to reserve one of the cars free of charge for a day, and unlike a hire car, there’s no limit on mileage and no obligation to fill the tank with gas before returning it.
The neighboring Ritz-Carlton has responded by making two Chevy Suburbans available for guests – complete with drivers. In Chicago, the luxury Elysian Hotel has bought a fleet of five Lexuses and will drop guests off at any destination within a couple of miles of the hotel. That’s one up on a shuttle bus to the airport, for sure.
The idea is not just limited to America. In Cape Town, South Africa, the Cape Grace Hotel has three chauffeur-driven BMW 7 series to transport guests around the local sights, including Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. It would be a perfect way to return home in the evening in style after enjoying a meal and local wine overlooking the scenic old port.
Vacant land around the refuge where Nelson Mandela spent his last days of freedom is to be used to build a luxury boutique hotel.
As apartheid raged in South Africa in 1961, Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg, was bought on behalf of the South African Communist Party and used as the headquarters of the military arm of the African National Congress.
Mandela sought refuge there in the days before his arrest in 1963 and subsequent 27-year imprisonment on political charges, which ended on February 11.
The hotel will complement an historical museum that already exists at the farm. Nicholas Wolpe, of the Liliesleaf Trust, said:
“This is not a commercial venture, it’s more about making Liliesleaf self-sustaining. We thought about the best way to do this and a hotel seemed to fit.”
“Liliesleaf played a crucial, seminal role in the liberation struggle and it’s important for the world to understand that role.”
There will be historic exhibits in the 48-room hotel, and suites will be named after key players in South Africa’s struggle for racial equality. Construction is likely to begin in June and the property is scheduled to open in September 2011.
by Andy Moreton
If you’re travelling to South Africa, take a look at Luxique’s selection of luxury hotels in Cape Town, Johannesburg and other many other parts of this stunning country.