Once in a while it is grand to indulge the senses on an ultimate escape. From your own private island to a sampling of every three-Michelin-star restaurant around the world, Madeline Hoskin lists five sure to whet your appetite.
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An exclusive Caribbean hideaway
Price tag: minimum US$30,000 per night.
A destination able to ensnare the most discerning of clientele, speculated as worthy for a Jolie-Pitt honeymoon, and with ample shining waters to dock your luxury yacht upon during your next stint in the Caribbean, Calivigny delivers Hemingway-esque adventure with a bountiful serving of glamour. Located a five-minute boat trip from Grenada, West Indies, the 32-hectare island – though small in size – delivers big in style, service and extravagance. Here is a world where six sandy beaches are yours to explore; and divine boat charters, firework displays, scuba and fitness instruction, musical entertainment, outdoor movie theatres and extensive pampering are all made available at the click of a finger. Catering for just one group of guests at a time, visitors opt for the level of indulgent suite accommodation they desire – and that’s the hard work done. After that, all that’s left to do is relax and let the island pleasures, private chefs, army of staff and innumerable on- and off-water activities blanket you in bliss.
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Ultimate alpine living
Chalet N, Oberlech, Austria
Price tag: €210,000 to €490,000 per week (dependent on season).
The Alps are a renowned hub of exorbitant living, but when you find yourself enveloped by the pitched roof, primed wooden beams and crackling fireplaces of a six-star chalet – with bulletproof glass, rainforest showers curtained with Swarovski crystal, its own ice bar and cinema, and ski room complete with a lift to the ski slopes – it would be safe to assume you’d died and gone to alpine heaven. It is very possibly the world’s most expensive chalet, and you’d be hard-pressed to find another experience even remotely on par. Its royal suites gaze directly onto the mountain; personal butlers attend to your every fancy; pillowcases are personalised with your initials; spa indulgences span multiple hot tubs and saunas, salt-cave steam baths, quiet rooms, fitness spaces and lush treatments; and an entire team of chefs will concoct dishes that suit your mood… complete with an extensive wine cellar, of course. You would expect nothing less from a property that strives to leave no wish unfulfilled.
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Unsurpassed luxury on safari
Singita Serengeti House, Tanzania
Price Tag: from US$84,000 for seven nights (high season).
Unpretentious opulence is irrefutably achieved within the earthy tones, vivid whites and rustic textures of this exclusive-use retreat. Opening in early 2013, the private property breathes with airy rooms, immersive wilderness views and modern credentials. It couldn’t be more striking; complete with refined interiors by Cécile & Boyd, unparalleled services, and even its own curated art collections that draw upon the safari setting, all elements work together to see it emerge as the standout among a saturated canopy of high-quality offerings. Perched on Sasakwa Hill overlooking a waterhole in Grumeti Reserves, with a breeding herd of elephants in residence to admire, the property accommodates eight people, with two suites in the main house and two further garden suites found either side. These are encircled by a lavish maze of pathways, a private 25-metre pool, tennis court and archery space. A private guide, house host, chef and dedicated staff will orchestrate everything from game drives, mountain biking and horseback safaris to candlelit dinners, spa treatments and cooking classes; perfect whether you’re enjoying a family gathering or a romantic escape. Here, your wish is their command in your own divine home on the plains.
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Gourmands’ pursuit of perfection
Price tag: estimated £182,000.
How many can say they have sampled the delicacies on offer at each and every establishment deemed worthy of an illustrious three-Michelin-star rating? That is the feat achieved by those that undertake this decadent six-month trip visiting each of the 108 establishments worthy of the coveted rating. The crème de la crème of culinary getaways takes you through 12 different destinations, dining on only the most impressive fare all the way through the United States, Europe, China and Japan. You will feast upon the likes of ‘salmon poached in a liquorice gel’ at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in the UK, and ‘pineapple bubbles’ at Arzak in the Basque region. Each stop is two nights in length, allowing you to savour the sights, not just the edible treats. And in this fashion the sweet life continues. You retire each evening into some of the world’s finest hotels including Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and Claridge’s in London, all flights are business class when available, and travel dates are flexible so as to suit pressing schedules. Without a doubt, it makes for the most delectable holiday of a lifetime.
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Sky, sights and Antarctic delights
White Desert Antarctica
Price tag: from €59,000 per person.
Flying from Cape Town directly into the heart of the icebergs, snow and glaciers of Antarctica, this eight-day guided adventure is an experience like no other.
High-end adrenaline seekers, welcome to the land of the midnight sun; one rich with unique encounters, from time spent among the Emperor Penguins, ice climbing, kite-skiing and abseiling into crevasses, to reaching that sought-after marker that signifies the mysterious South Pole. Camping in such a cold climate may not seem an appealing prospect, however, swathed in the luxuries of a specialist tent or hightech, solar-powered fibreglass pod (and looking out in awe across a 200-foot ice fall) you will, without doubt, quickly change your tune. All flights, guides, meals and drinks are included, with the latter being of utmost importance for warming you up after each exploratory day. The continent’s delights are revered by many, but seen by few, making it one of the most remarkable journeys any traveller can undertake.
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Dreams take flight
Around the world with Four Seasons
Price tag: from US$119,000 per person.
What happens when one of the most revered hotel names takes to the skies with a private jet to whisk travellers around the world? They unlock sky-high exclusivity of a previously unfathomed level. Over 24 days, passengers embark on one incredible journey calling in at eight remarkably varied countries. In February 2015 stops include LA, Kona, Bora Bora, Sydney, Bali, Chiang Mai, India, Istanbul and London. Dreams are given wings the moment guests step on board, with the custom- designed aircraft encompassing 52 first-class standard flat-bed seats (handcrafted in Italy, no less), global Wi-Fi, ample space and a team of faultless staff attending to every need, complete with an in-air concierge. Alighting in each destination will see you savouring Four Seasons’ signature quality accommodations, with numerous on-land itinerary options allowing all to make their holiday as unique as they are. In the end, travellers arrive home with a scrapbook spanning everything from elephant treks through Thailand, a personal shopper-assisted turn through Turkey’s Grand Bazaar, Balinese massages, beachside dining in Tahiti and more – all in five-star comfort. Two 2015 departures are available: 9 February to 4 March, and 16 August to 8 September.