What is New Luxury?

Sometimes we struggle with the word “Luxury” when we talk about the Cayuga Collection Experience.  One the one hand, we are a luxury experience because of the level of service and installations we offer – and of course also because of our premium rates.  But on the other hand, we don’t fit into the profile of traditional “Dubai-style” luxury either. 

We have heard the term “new” or “intelligent” luxury in the past years, and this is something we identify with much more.  When we look at the origin of the word Luxury, it comes from Latin:  Luxus = Excess.  No, that is not the Cayuga Way.  Traditional luxury terms like extravagant, opulence, grandeur and indulgence also don’t work for us.  This is a bit of a dilemma… 

We are glad that our friends at Skift Magazine have taken on this topic and given us some guidance. They state in a recent article that:

“Increasingly, as individuals’ basic needs for safety and community met, consumers are seeking out a sense of accomplishment in other areas.  This is driving a major shift in the consumer psyche of affluent consumers who are now looking to self-actualization – the fifth and top level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – as the ultimate luxury.”

Looks like we have been practicing this New Luxury at our hotels and lodges in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama for quite a few years. Here are a few examples. But the list could go on and on…

It is about discovery and finding the way off the beaten path.

Aguas Claras
It is about world-class service.
Adrenaline and Exploration trump linen thread count. It is ok to get sweaty and dirty.

Just simple, fresh, local and healthy food – no pretentious stars needed.

It is about connecting, being part of something bigger and leaving a contribution.

It is about going back in time to learn how things were done before.

Quiet time and being alone is a luxury. It is hard to be always “on”. We help you switch to “off”.

An Adults-Only Arts Hotel in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
It is about a connection with who lives around you. Always remember that we are guests in the forest.

Getting there is part of the experience. Follow the road to discovery.

It is about stepping out of your comfort zone and learning a new skill (or helping a loved one to do just that).

When we explain the experience at Cayuga to a potential guest, we usually use the concept of “ExperienceLearnConnectRelax”.   We have identified those concepts as a crucial part of the guest experience today and maybe, that is the real definition of new or intelligent luxury.

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Hans Pfister

Co-owner & President