Travel Trends For 2022

Words by
Andy Morris

8th January 2022

Why rail journeys, tech-free breaks and 'friendtrips' will define the next 12 months. 

Luxury Train Travel Is The Way To Go
The many petty indignities, inconveniences and delays of commercial short haul look set to continue post pandemic, to say nothing of the environmental impact. As such, we predict many more people will be choosing to travel by rail. From the low cost Lumo service (from £14.90 London to Edinburgh) to the extraordinary decadence of the Pullman Dining by Wes Anderson experience (from £400 per person), travel by carriage has never looked so chic. Remember: for inspiration, order a copy of Monisha Rajesh's Epic Train Journeys (Gestalten, £35) rather than watching whatever TV journey Michael Portillo (and his red trousers) have been on recently.

Suite Dreams
The ultra wealthy have been saving over the past two years: now it is time for some real indulgence. We can’t wait to see the new Claridge’s penthouse suite, set to be the most expensive in London at £50,000 a night (the previous record was held by the Mandarin Oriental Penthouse for £31,000). What do you get for this? According to the FT, an ornamental lake, landscaped garden, rooftop swimming pool and two glass sided pavilions - together, of course, with Claridge's service, which one might only describe as “priceless.”

Hotel restaurants are destinations in their own rights
Long gone are the days where a hotel restaurant was only the option for the least imaginative guest. Three of the hottest openings of 2022 are in hotels: whether that be high end dining (Mauro Colagreco at Raffles London ), sweet treats (Cedric Grolet at the Berkeley) or expertly prepared sushi (The Aubrey at Mandarin Oriental). But there are also recent arrivals to London that are open and already setting the standard: such as the Galvin Bar and Grill at Kimpton Fitzoy, a splendid space filled with inventive, exquisite dishes and genuine bonhomie.

“Friendtrips” can help us reconnect
Who knew that the pandemic would cause us not only to reassess quite how much time we spent in the office but also how much time we needed to spend with our family? Those looking for a genuinely rejuvenating stay should consider travelling with friends. Think about the last time that you travelled with those you were neither related to, nor working with - and no, stags and hens don’t count. Instead consider booking yourself into a luxury private home and properly catching up. Smarter Stays have some fabulous ones in London, particularly ​​a very fine three bedroom penthouse in Covent Garden.

Go Retro
The golden age of the package holiday has returned. Now is  a chance to holiday like your parents used to - with no work, no phones, a pile of paperbacks and, preferably, with an all inclusive aspect. After the fetishisation of "rise and grind" culture, it is now time for a more considered and relaxed approach: and after the last two years, who couldn’t do with a fortnight of "fly and flop"? Our pick is Rixos group: all inclusive but at such a high level it feels truly luxurious.

The Rise Of The “Promad”
For the first time in history, companies are willing to let employees work remotely. Even the companies that insisted on workers being at their desks - Goldman Sachs, CNN - have caved and are sending people home. Now is the perfect time to realise you can work remotely. The "Promad", a term coined by Yon Living's Tom Brooks in Harper’s Bazaar, is someone who relishes this opportunity to travel the world but has the financial safety net of a full time role.  A word of caution for anyone considering such a move in 2022: taxes make things a bit complicated, so hire an accountant before you take the plunge.