The 4 hottest trends for the upper crust

Wealthy New Yorkers are usually on the vanguard of the latest high-end gadgets and lifestyle crazes. So we asked Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, to reveal this year’s toniest trends. Below, he offers his predictions on what will be making...

The 4 hottest trends for the upper crust

Wealthy New Yorkers are usually on the vanguard of the latest high-end gadgets and lifestyle crazes. So we asked Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, to reveal this year’s toniest trends. Below, he offers his predictions on what will be making waves in the worlds of luxury automobiles, travel, style and living.

Ritzy residential developments aren’t just for major metropolises anymore. “[People] everywhere want lots of amenities,” Pedraza says. Indeed, posh residential towers that cater to both young professionals and empty nesters are popping up across America — from the glassy One Light in Kansas City to the elegant Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton (above), that Florida town’s first five-star hotel-and-real-estate combo.

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels

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“Hotels are understanding the paradox that you need to feel the literal comforts of home [on your] adventure,” Pedraza says. So they’re adding ultra-personal touches and stocking up on guests’ favorite snacks, bedding and products. Aloft hotels rolled out voice-activated rooms (above) that set temperature, lights and music just as you’d have them en casa, while 1 Hotel South Beach just debuted “Personal Gurus,” who will stock suites with requested groceries and newspapers before check-in.

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce

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Sleek design and an elite engine don’t make a luxury car stand out these days. Advanced tech features — including self-driving mechanisms, onboard Wi-Fi and virtual assistants, like the “Eleanor” system aboard Rolls-Royce’s “Vision Next 100” concept car (above) — will be in the driver’s seat. “You’re going to see technology become more pervasive,” predicts Pedraza, noting that safety features will matter most: 360-degree visibility and stay-in-the-lane technology among them.

Instead of browsing baubles dug from mines, the fashionable set will embrace lab-grown diamonds and other customizable gems. “The quality is extremely high,” Pedraza says. Man-made dazzlers (like the above o.75-carat Brilliant Earth sparkler in an 18-k white-gold setting, from $3,080) are indistinguishable from real rocks to the naked eye and offer a bright alternative to environmentally destructive mining — at a lower price point. (Shhh — no one has to know about that part.)

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