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Photography provided by The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Prior to checking Alice Daniel’s family of four into their luxury suite for a month-long stay, the hotel staff at the Peninsula Beverly Hills had a question. “Madam, can you kindly tell us your initials?” they inquired, pen in hand. They also wanted to know her children’s favorite hobbies. Moments later, as the family was getting comfortably ensconced in their lavish hotel room after the long journey from London, the doorbell buzzed and in waltzed a parade of butlers carrying a PlayStation, Little Mermaid DVDs and fresh popcorn.

This is just a taste of what it’s like to reside long term in a high-end hotel. In Daniel’s case, her new home away from home also included use of the property’s Rolls Royce and daily reserved pool cabanas.

Photography provided by The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Daniel isn’t the only affluent traveler playing house in a high-end hotel these days. Luxury travel advisor Jonathan Alder of Jonathan’s Travels says that long-term stays have become increasingly common among wealthy travelers. This new breed of luxury nomad is “looking for all the bells, whistles and convenience of high-end hotels and none of the pressure of a long-term lease commitment,” he says. Alder recently had a client move to Vietnam for work. He spent a full year at the Park Hyatt Saigon in Vietnam, a luxury property that offers residential-style layouts with expansive living rooms, walk-in closets and private studies along with other upscale amenities. For the ultra high-income, he says, there’s not much to lose but hassle.

Credit the pandemic. According to Amex Travel’s 2022 Global Travel Trend Report, 55% of American travelers say they are willing to go on longer trips now since they can work remotely throughout the year. What’s more: Home exchanges of two-plus weeks jumped 13% between January and May compared to the same period in 2021, reports HomeExchange. That’s on top of a 133% increase from 2020.

Photography provided by The Peninsula Beverly Hills

While the trend may seem new, it’s worth noting that luxury long-term stays have a storied legacy among the rich and famous. Coco Chanel famously lived at the Ritz Paris for 37 years; Elizabeth Taylor resided at the Hotel Bel-Air during her short-lived marriage to Conrad Hilton; Oscar Wilde lived and died at the Hotel D’Alsace; and Howard Hughes was known to whittle the days away, watching movies in his bungalow at The Beverly Hills Hotel with a pink cocktail napkin over his nether region. And let’s not forget the slew of celebrities who’ve decamped to the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan or the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood over the decades. Of course, the most famous hotel guest of all time might be Eloise, the six-year-old character who lived on the “tippy-top floor” of New York City’s Plaza Hotel.

And perhaps you remember Anna Delvey, the notorious fake German heiress? During the many months she scammed her way through New York City society, she threw crisp $100 bills at the hired help at countless long-term hotels including 11 Howard, Das Stue Berlin, The Standard East Village, Chateau Marmont, The Ace in both New York City and L.A., The High Line Hotel, Gramercy Park Hotel, and, “some hotel in Paris, I forgot the name,” says Delvey, who is currently living in upstate New York at a friend’s farmhouse following her release from prison in 2021. “The Bowery Hotel in New York City has the best sheets,” she says. Delvey very much enjoyed channeling her inner Eloise in the months leading up to her incarceration, she admits. “It was great to have staff around, some of whom I ended up becoming friendly with.” But the best part about high-end hotel living, according to Delvey? “I never had to take out garbage.”

Photography provided by The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

As Anna Delvey showed millions of Americans when her story made its way to Netflix, long-term luxury stays are no longer just for celebrities but rather any random wealthy person — or ambitious grifter — who fancies a low-level commitment. Olivia Liveng, a travel expert living in Copenhagen, spent three months living at the five-star Mansion Hotel and Spa in Bali. After traveling there pre-pandemic for remote work, she quickly realized that her dollar went much further in Bali than Denmark so she decided to ride out the travel restrictions in luxury and solitude. “I had breathtaking views from my balcony, and the staff’s consistent warmth and familiarity fostered a sense of community, making the hotel feel like a very luxurious home.” Now a mother, Liveng is looking to recreate the experience with her entire family.

Leading the charge in providing long-term stays is The Collection, a hotel group which owns and manages a portfolio of one-of-a-kind properties set in some of the most desirable places in the world, from Paris to New York City, Saint Barth to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Photography provided by The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel

World-famous architect Thomas Juul-Hansen designed each residence in The Collection with top-tier amenities, including a full-sized equipped kitchen, bespoke Italian furniture crafted by Giorgetti and walk-in wardrobes, says the brand’s Chief Operating Officer Jacques Oudinot. The fully-stocked kitchens and dining areas provide convenience for nights spent cooking at home. Add to that Officine Universelle Buly 1803 toiletries, Italian linens and a walk-in rain shower. Guests also enjoy all the amenities of a five-star hotel – concierge services led by a Les Clefs d’Or member, exclusive bookings for the city’s finest restaurants and experiences, in-room grocery delivery, not to mention private chef services and housekeeping. The Maison Hudson property in New York City’s West Village also boasts the Intuisse Spa in case you are interested in a post-run massage that doesn’t require you to leave your building.

Long-term luxury rentals can help fill the gap for those who might be between home searches, Oudinot says. “In New York’s West Village, the time from starting your home search to finding the right fit, to then being approved and signing the lease, can often take months before you are able to move in. The ease of being able to book one of Maison Hudson’s serviced residences allows travelers or residents to be more useful with their time and energy without forfeiting luxury.” The minimum stay at Maison Hudson is a month. Guests who stay longer — say, a few months to a year — are often offered a negotiated rate.

Photography provided by The Peninsula Beverly Hills

The Daniels’ month-long stay at the Peninsula Beverly Hills left a lasting impression. “It was such a memorable summer for us and one that we will always treasure,” says Daniel. “Obviously, the 500-thread-count Frette linens and nightly Champagne delivery was fabulous, but the four of us being together made it the most special. We had so much help but it still felt very private because — unlike at home — no one was actually living with us.” When the kids would get a bit too boisterous, she’d send them off with Max the doorman to help him walk the dogs. The luxury digs also provided the family with plenty of entertainment in the form of people-watching. “We had breakfast every morning on the roof terrace, and it was never boring. One day, Pierce Brosnan was sitting next to us buttering his toast. The next day, Hugh Jackman, who was my daughter’s hero after she saw him in The Greatest Showman, made a cameo.”

Oh, and about those initials? “They gave us monogrammed pillowcases for the entire family!” says Daniels. “At the end of our stay, they were laundered and packed for us to take back to London — the perfect touch.”

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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