Among affluent travelers, there is a general self-consciousness about over-indulgence and a move towards conscientious consumption. In terms of travel choices, luxury is no longer being defined by the degree of elegance, rather by the quality, authenticity, and personalized enrichment of the guest’s experience. It’s about appreciating the provenance of a place and its unique qualities.

Successful design must be embroidered with the classic comforts that today’s luxury travelers appreciate. It is not enough to simply arrive at an opulent destination – guests want to learn from local experts with intimate, lifelong knowledge of the area, and leave with a new understanding of daily life in another part of the world. Whether a journey includes a chef’s rooftop garden where guests enjoy tea with lavender honey harvested from onsite beehives, or working alongside one of the world’s great photographers on a safari tour, guest experiences must be true reflections of both the land and local culture.

Designers are enhancing the luxury guest experience by crafting unique stories for properties derived from its locale. Moving away from themed architecture intended to transport guests to different places and times, destinations now focus on more natural environments. The use of indigenous materials, paintings and sculptures by local artists, and custom-designed furnishings with residential aesthetics exude warmth and hospitality. Polished brass and shiny chrome are out, while natural stone and wood are in.

While the needs of the guest remain the number one concern, the needs of the environment also continues to gain priority. Discerning travelers want to visit places where they are comfortable and the hotel fits in with its surroundings – not just physically but in all sensitivities. Travelers are increasingly aware that some of the world’s most naturally spectacular environments are luxuries that need to be protected if we are to share them with our children and generations to come. In response, leading luxury hotel companies see the coming years as an opportunity to intensify their commitments of caring for the communities and environment in which they work. The use of solar and geothermal energy, water recycling and wastewater treatment, sustainable building materials, and organic landscape management practices can provide a distinctive edge. Guests enjoy having a narrative behind their stays and sharing "what makes a destination green" is one way to tell the story and differentiate a property in a meaningful way.

Across all these dynamics, people are choosing authenticity over glamour and experiences over acquisitions. Luxury has become a realm of feelings, memories, and the value of time well spent with a partner or with the family. It’s no longer just a matter of expensive finishes, or meaningless sparkle. Meeting interesting people, absorbing the local culture, experiencing the authenticity, inspiration and contextual sustainability represent the luxury goods of tomorrow. For more information on our current hospitality works, please reach out to us at

A richly textured landscape combined with the presence of a strong history and architectural language provided inspiration for the first certified eco-labeled development in Montenegro. With a small footprint covering less than 6% of the total landmass, the heart and soul of the destination is a 120-berth marina and adjacent mixed-use hillside village. Overlooking the marina core, a reconfigured military site provides a park-like setting with views of the Adriatic Sea and mountains. Designed to reflect the historic massing and character of a traditional Montenegrin hillside development, the resort boasts an 18-hole golf course, spa, secondary marina village, portside promenade, and an exclusive peninsula with residential offerings, as well as one of the project’s seven luxury hotels. Additional year-round amenities include wellness and medical facilities.

Throughout the design process, authenticity and sustainability remained in the forefront with special attention to preserving the existing ridgelines, protecting archaeological remains, maintaining the site’s natural hydrology, and use of indigenous materials. This integrated approach to land use development allowed for the introduction of a lake for thermal storage and irrigation water storage, as well as reduction of private car use with centralized visitor parking, low emission vehicles, and cable car transportation. Additionally, protection of the marine area and enhancement to the sea environment were made possible with artificial reefs and the construction of a 5-kilometer boardwalk. EDSA was responsible for master planning and detailed design services.


EDSA’s “Footsteps” leadership program includes a monthly company-wide activity that celebrates the firm’s core values. Focused on “listening with curiosity and the intent to learn” employee teams, consisting of a “communicator" and an "artist", were asked to visually replicate a photograph with only spoken words. The resulting communication styles provided an open forum for discussions on active listening, the importance of feedback, and clear and concise messaging.

Check out the fun HERE.