Saturday, December 5, 2015

What is Luxury?

Dining room at Le Meridien
Most people would agree that staying in a 5-star hotel is probably pretty luxurious and I would agree. That’s why I thoroughly enjoyed my two-day stay at the Le Meridien in Ho Chi Minh City (the amazing bathtub and cloud-like bed especially). However, in my time traveling through Asia, I’ve realized I have a new definition of luxury:

Anything that isn’t absolutely necessary is a luxury in that moment. 

Library lounge at Le Meridien

So my thoughts about this started swirling around when I happened to stay in a hotel that had two items that for me were completely luxurious, a pool and a lamp by the bed that could be easily switched off when I’d had lulled myself to sleepiness by reading. 

The lamp was the first thing I focused on. Most of my other rooms required that I turn the light off somewhere near the door – therefore nowhere near the bed on which I lay prone, completely relaxed and ready to nod off.  I found myself so thankful for this simple feature as I rolled over and flipped the switch. 
Le Meridien's 9th floor pool.

It wasn’t until I stepped into the still warm salt water of the pool at my hotel in Siem Reap my first night there that I truly appreciated the magnitude of having a pool at the hotel. Oddly enough, I had one in Alona Beach, Philippines, and I used it. It was just outside my room, but this pool in Cambodia was somehow more relaxing and more enjoyable. The ownership had surrounded this one with palms and lovely cabana chairs. There was even an arbor to one side. This pool felt personal and therefore more luxurious. And on top of all that, I had the great pleasure of meeting very fun, nice people in and around that pool!

The pool in Siem Reap
In the little hotel I’m staying in here in Ho Chi Minh City, there’s not much that could be considered luxurious until you consider that the convenience store next door is open 24/7 in case I need something and anything I wish to eat I can find in one of the many restaurants within 50 feet of the hotel. Tonight I found wonderful Indian food I’d happily pay much more for – an incredible chicken curry – at the amazing price of $3.11. Now that’s luxury!

Perspective is the number one factor in determining luxury, followed closely by gratitude. What’s a luxury to you?

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