When money is no object, luxury travel can offer extraordinary experiences.
The recent International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), held in Shanghai, featured some of the most extravagant opportunities to gain bragging rights for the privileged few.
Whether it’s a private cinema screening in the wilderness of Mongolia, a package to catch the US Open tennis final or time kicking back in the largest suite on any cruise ship, the sky really is the limit when it comes to big buck breaks.
Here are some of the destinations and experiences that ILTM had on offer:
1. Laucala, Fiji
Sand-between-the-toes experiences rarely get much more exclusive than the private 4.6-square-mile Laucala Island in the South Pacific nation of Fiji.
On arrival — via the island’s own airport, naturally — guests get to choose from 25 villas with private pools overlooking perfect white sand beaches and azure water. Coconut plantations and jungle help ensure total privacy and explain why the co-owner of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, bought the island.
When guests aren’t playing Robinson Crusoe, they can while away the hours in a $1.7 million DeepFlight submarine, snorkel with hawksbill turtles in breathtaking seas or maybe kick back with sustainable local produce in the Plantation House restaurant.
All-inclusive rooms start from $6,000 per night.
Laucala Island, Fiji; +679 888 0077
2. Magic gers, Mongolia
Mongolia continues to entice adventurous travelers with one of the world’s last genuine off-grid wildernesses.
Staying in mobile luxury camps, known traditionally as “gers,” allows visitors to roam the majestic landscape and wake up to panoramic views of the legendary Mongolian steppe grassland, mountains, sand dunes or rivers.
Activities include “warrior camps” for children, where they can learn to ride horses or try their hand at archery. Stargazing with high-powered telescopes or tracking snow leopards are other options. Special dining, sauna or even cinema gers can be set up wherever guests want, affording the ultimate big-screen experience in the wilderness.
By the time they wake, everything has been packed up before they move on to the next horizon.
An exclusive long weekend for a couple starts from approximately $4,800 with Lightfoot Travel (+852 2815 0068).
3. Ultimate Shanghai weekend, The Peninsula, Shanghai
A weekend package at The Peninsula, Shanghai, offers a way to experience the city in unmatched style from the hotel’s historic Bund riverfront location.
Getting there is a breeze as The Peninsula’s legendary Rolls-Royce Phantom in signature green is available to whisk guests from the airport before they check in to the 4,300-square-foot Peninsula Suite.
Seeing the city from the water adds a whole new dimension, so a Champagne Deutz afternoon tea aboard the hotel’s luxury motor yacht is a highlight.
As are spa treatments or dinner for two at one of the property’s Michelin-starred restaurants: Sir Elly’s and Yi Long Court.
The weekend package in the Peninsula Suite comes in at $32,650.
The Peninsula, No. 32 The Bund, 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, Shanghai 200002, China; +86 21 2327 2888
4. Wine and dine weekend, Zürich
Swiss wine is one of the Alpine nation’s great hidden treasures and it’s often said you don’t see it elsewhere because they keep the best stuff for themselves.
A package at Zürich’s timeless Baur Au Lac Hotel, in business for 173 years, gives guests a glimpse of what they’re missing.
Two nights in one of their suites comes with a candlelit dinner for two on the rooftop, with Champagne and local wines. Guests are then whisked in a Rolls-Royce to the Erich Meier vineyard where a tour of the property and dégustation of rare wines awaits.
Back at the hotel, the views of Lake Zürich and the Alps are mesmerizing, while the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street is dangerously for anyone feeling the urge to splash more cash.
From $6,400 per couple, staying in a suite.
Hotel Baur Au Lac, Talstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland; +41 44 220 50 20
5. US Open final experience, Baccarat Hotel, New York
For sport fans, few experiences can rival a Grand Slam tennis final and that’s exactly what’s on the cards with the US Open men’s final package through New York’s Baccarat Hotel. The luxury Manhattan property, which opened in 2015, celebrates Baccarat’s heritage as the legendary French crystal maker across its 114 suites, dining and entertainment options.
In addition to an overnight stay for two in a Classic Suite, the experience includes a limousine to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday, September 10, VIP entry and courtside tickets along with gourmet lunch or dinner and premium bar service throughout the match.
Total package for two is $12,015.
Baccarat Hotel New York, 28 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, USA; +1 212 790 8800
6. World’s largest cruise suite, Regent Seven Seas
Want to hit the waves in style? It doesn’t get bigger or grander than the 4,434-square-foot Regent Suite, the world’s largest cruise ship accommodation, aboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer.
Launched last year and costing $450 million, the ship features crystal chandeliers, Versace crockery and Murano glass ceilings.
Unlimited dining, shore excursions and treatments are all included, but guests may not want to leave their suite, which is overseen by a personal butler. It includes a Steinway grand piano, a private spa and sauna and an opulent Savoir No. 1 bed, itself costing $150,000.
From $10,000 per night through Regent Seven Seas.
7. The London Edition, Penthouse Suite
London is hardly short on hotel options, but few can match the private apartment feel of The Penthouse at The London Edition.
The terrace around the suite is landscaped and offers 360-degree views of the capital, as well as a perfect spot for aperitifs.
A personal dining room seats 12 and features cuisine from chef Jason Atherton’s renowned Berners Tavern restaurant, itself part of the Edition Hotel. The party can continue long into the night, or alternatively London’s vibrant Soho district is literally on the doorstep with no shortage of options.
Room only from £4,995 per night.
The London Edition, 10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP, UK; +44 020 7781 0000
8. Time + Tide Miavana, Madagascar
The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar is one of the planet’s true biodiversity hotspots and a new property called Time + Tide Miavana, the country’s first five-star lodge, allows visitors to explore it in unmatched style.
Comprising just 14 villas along the white beach in the wonderfully named settlement of Nosy Ankao, visitors can wander and spot no fewer than four different species of turtles amidst a sanctuary for threatened marine species.
Back on land, the endemic lemur species is another draw, as are chopper flights over pristine landscapes. The lodge also works on sustainability projects supporting hundreds in the local community.
From $5,000 per night.
Time + Tide Miavana Island Sanctuary, Nosy Ankao, Madagascar
9. JW Marriott Emerald Bay Resort, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Phu Quoc, an island off the southwestern coast of Vietnam, is gaining a reputation as one of Asia’s hottest beach destinations.
JW Marriott’s new Emerald Bay Resort features a number of villas, but none as eye-catching — or expensive — as Lamarck House.
The four-bedroom seafront villa, designed by Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley, takes opulence to new levels, with Asia’s longest villa infinity pool at 50 meters and an outdoor massage pavilion. If you can pull yourself away from the massage table, your private chef can whip up dinner or you can pick from one of five restaurants with global cuisines.
Lamarck House starts at $10,000 per night.
JW Marriott Emerald Bay Resort, Bai Khem, Phu Quoc District An Thoi Town, Vietnam; +84 297 377 9999
10. Helicopter over the Adriatic, Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Montenegro only voted for independence in 2006 so it may be an unfamiliar destination to some, but its dramatic mountain landscapes and emerald waters on the Adriatic coastline are changing that.
“Sveti Stefan” — “Saint Stephen” — is a small island housing a fortified village dating from the 15th century, linked to the coast by a narrow causeway.
Today the entire island and village is home to The Aman, an understated but luxury resort favored by celebrities, including tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, who was married there.
The ultimate way to arrive is via helicopter from Dubrovnik in Croatia, a 40-minute journey down the breathtaking coast.
The Sveti Stefan Suite is about $5,750 per night, while the Dubrovnik to Aman helicopter is around $1,900 per person.
Aman Sveti Stefan, Sveti Stefan, 85315 Montenegro; +382 33 420 000
11. Fairmont Penthouse Suite, San Francisco
For anyone looking for a Penthouse Suite to seriously party, the 6,000 square feet across the entire eighth floor of the historic Fairmont San Francisco should do the job.
Guests not only get three bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, but also a two-level library, a billiards room and a vast terrace overlooking San Francisco.
The kitchen is fully stocked and staffed, while a butler is on hand to ensure that no request goes unfulfilled. Former suite residents include JFK, Mick Jagger and Marlene Dietrich.
From $18,000 per night.
Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, California, USA; + 1 415 772 5000
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