Speaker after speaker at the American Express Publishing Luxury Summit, held here at the St. Regis Monarch Beach, underscored how an emerging class of relatively youthful, internationally minded, nouveau riche are roaming the world spending money and redefining service expectations. “They look so casual, walking around a hotel in a swimsuit, but when they want service, they want it delivered flawlessly,” said John Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle brands for Hilton Worldwide. “They don’t want four people standing around them, waiting to pick up their handkerchief should they drop it. They want service on their terms.” Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen said the Ritz-Carlton ethos of “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen may be a credo for the ages, but it’s sure not for today.” Starwood’s St. Regis, W and Luxury Collection brands compete with Ritz-Carlton. Being among the elite “used to mean being in the know,” van Paasschen said. “Today, it’s knowing what to know. Who decides that? I don’t think we’re the arbiters anymore.” For the younger, wealthy consumer, what defines luxury is more diverse and personal, but the emerging luxury consumer exists side by side with more traditionally minded upper-upscale travelers. As a result, hoteliers like Starwood are offering different luxury experiences across several brands. Get the full story at Travel Weekly