A massage in your private suite? Been there, done that.

How about getting a hot stone treatment in your own private gazebo, that’s perched on a cliff, while watching breaching whales behind crashing Atlantic rollers?

The stakes are high in the luxury travel world: Hotels at the top tier are opening at rapid-fire pace, and, according to Jan Freitag, a consultant at Smith Travel Research, luxe resorts like the above-mentioned whale-friendly Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, near Capetown, South Africa, are “in a constant arms race” to woo rich, jaded travelers.

Knowing this, the architect-owner of the Jade Mountain resort on St. Lucia decided to one-up the “room with a view” concept by doing away with the fourth wall in select suites, thereby offering guests a dramatic viewing of the island’s twin Pitons. The rooms quite literally open up on to the bay, while still allowing for complete privacy.

These are the kinds of unique experiences today’s premiere traveler is seeking, says Matthew Brace, author of Heaven’s Gate: Confessions of a Luxury Hotel Addict.

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