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What the open road holds

epicure 1 December 2014
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A growing class of discerning and tech-savvy jetsetters will continue to fuel these five travel trends right into 2015.

Designer suites
Lifestyle-centric travellers are on the constant search for chic properties they can call home, if only for a few nights. The year ahead is going to be abuzz with accommodation choices that sport avant-garde architecture without being overly futuristic. Think ‘starchitect’ or posh boutique hotels and fantasy resorts.

What’s hot: Part of the Design Hotels group, The Serras in Barcelona is a swanky listing on the historical Passeig de Colom street. The highlight is the Picasso Suite, a tribute to the artist whose studio was located on-site. All the rooms are furnished with capacious walk-in rain showers. The hotel is slated to welcome guests in January 2015.

Better with tech
Travel takes on a sharper digital edge as mobile applications and startup ventures offer savvy globetrotters more intelligent ways of planning and enjoying a vacation. Following Airbnb’s success, online startups continue to unveil new ways of travelling such as mapping trips in detail and linking up holidayers with locals as a response to the rising demand for bespoke cultural experiences. Virtual wallets the likes of Velocity Global Wallet and Google Wallet also spell convenience and security for tech-savvy vacationers.

What’s hot: Starwood’s mobile keyless entry. Newly launched as part of its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programme, the cutting edge Bluetooth-enabled system allows guests to use their smartphones in place of hotel room keys via the SPG App. The groundbreaking invention is a first in the world and debuts in 10 hotels, including Aloft Beijing, W New York-Downtown, and Element Times Square.

Excerpt from the December 2014 issue of epicure.

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