The fabulous people know how to live — we see it every day on social media (so it must be true). From private villas in remote locations to extravagant edibles, high tech headphones to golden workout gear, the bold-faced names are living their best lives, and the rest of us are experiencing serious FOMO. We wanted to know how to join the party so we looked for the most alluring, exotic and (let’s face it) expensive ways to part with some of your hard-earned dough re mi. As Auntie Mame once said, “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
The world is your oyster
Those insta-worthy destinations are waiting — for the right price. When the rich and famous need to get away from it all, super-privacy is the priority. The Fogo Island Inn ($1200 per night) is located off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. It is remote enough to completely disconnect, yet accessible via modern transportation. The island is halfway between the equator and the North Pole in the straits of Labrador, which provides locals with a temperate maritime climate and abundant wildlife that includes caribou, beavers, foxes, migrating whales and various native berries. In the spring, icebergs float by from the north, and in the summer the island is festooned in wildflowers. The inn itself is perched on stilts on the Atlantic coastline and has 29 suites, all with full views of the sea and sky.
Ker & Downey offers experiential luxury travel to an adventurous clientele who also want to give back. Some of their current offerings include trips to Peru on the Aria Amazon; to China aboard the Aqua Mekong vessels with international conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau; and to Cuba to explore the fabled island’s sustainability and conservation practices, including a visit to an organic coffee producer, lunch with local farmers and one-on-one exchanges with everyone from the mechanics who maintain Cuba’s classic cars to community activists and scientists.
Seeking something more exotic? The Dunia Baru is just the ticket. Constructed in Borneo and echoing the traditional design of Asian vessels, this luxury sailing ship sails the waters around Indonesia and the Andaman Sea. The ship carries 14 passengers, and every trip is bespoke, tailored to their client’s whims. Current offerings: a 5-day cruise in the Komodo archipelago, which includes searching for the famed Komodo dragons, swimming with Manta Rays and lying about on pristine beaches; and a six-day diving adventure in Raja Ampat, Indonesia — which includes 1,500 islands and over 1,000 species of reef fish. The average cost of a charter is $87,000.
If adventure is not your thing, check into CV Villa’s Villa Moana overlooking L’Ansecoy Bay in Mustique. A private chef stands ready to serve and can arrange for picnics on the beach and sumptuous formal dinners. Bedrooms face the ocean breezes, and if you don’t feel like moving far from home, relax in the infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. Prefer a little history with your luxury travel? Context Travel offers private or small-group strolls through the past. The tours, led by PhD-level scholars, are inside looks at some of the world’s most famous sites. The after-hours private Vatican tour ($3,800) gives you an up-close look at one of the finest art collections in the world. For something closer to the modern era, The Sound of Music tour of Salzburg ($1200, private) includes visits to sites where the iconic musical was filmed, as well as a visit to the real Von Trapp villa and a look at the true legacy of the region, its most famous family and details their context in history.
Living your best life
Part of the allure of the A-list life is how perfectly effortless it looks, but accomplishing that je ne sais quoi takes an army of attendants. You can’t stuff a full-skirted ball gown into an overhead bin, and navigating the logistics of booking that photo expedition into the Amazon is a full-time job in and of itself. Enter the world of luxury service providers who will cater to your every whim.
Garde Robe bills itself as “luxury wardrobe management,” and offers services that include archival couture preservation for your one-of-a-kind de la Renta, seasonal wardrobe storage, and luggage-packing and worldwide delivery of your precious cargo to any destination (your second home in the Tuscan hills, perhaps?) They also offer a cyber closet — a digital look-book of your collections — which can be accessed on a secure website from anywhere in the world because, with a shoe collection that large, how can you be expected to remember whether you have last season’s Jimmy Choos in turquoise or gold? In addition to maintaining and delivering your wardrobe and preserving your pretties, Garde Robe membership also includes help with consignment advice, personal shopping, in-home tailoring and seamstress services and closet organizing. Individual services are approximately $350 per month; clients can add services as needed.
Quintessentially is a worldwide concierge service that offers “bespoke lifestyle services” such as travel itineraries, restaurant reservations, finding babysitters, butler services, picking up dry cleaning, preparing your second home for habitation, maintaining your personal calendar, suggesting VIP and private events all over the world, advising on art purchases, making sure the jet is stocked with your favorite libations — and, as they vouch on their website, “no request is too small.” Dedicated lifestyle managers are devoted to your contentment and make it their business to understand and even predict what you might need anywhere in the world. Their global elite membership will set you back approximately $45,000 per year.
The Core Club’s mantra is: Discover. Experience. Transform. Memberships include a personal concierge service promising to “uncomplicated your life,” fine dining, private events, styling services by Paul Labrecque at his own salon at Core (or his two other locations in New York), and state-of-the-art skincare at Dangene: The Institute of Skinovation. Core:Fit is a fitness center complete with medical staff, private training, digital fitness training for when you can’t get to the club and wellness coaching. The club is one of the exclusive locations to offer Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS), which uses electrical impulses to stimulate muscular contractions. Cost of entry? $50,000 up front and $15,000 per year.
Dinner at 8
For the ultimate in pre-dinner cocktails, try the Diamonds are Forever Martini ($20,000), offered by the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo — a perfect Absolute Elyx vodka martini with a lime twist, poured over a flawless one-karat diamond. The martini is prepared tableside and is accompanied by the Shirley Bassey recording of (what else?) “Diamonds are Forever.”
Dinner is always a good idea, especially if it involves splurging on such things as Osetra caviar in exotic locales. Phillip Johnson’s Glass House, built in 1949, is a singular piece of architectural history where you and 11 of your closest friends can pretend it’s all yours when you book a private seated dinner (and private tour of the property) for a mere $25,000. But be prepared: That doesn’t include the cost of food, beverages, service and rentals.
For dessert, “The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence” at the Fortress Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka is the perfect catch. Italian cassata flavored cream with Bailey’s liquor and pomegranate and mango compote on a bed of champagne sabayon sit next to a hand-carved chocolate stilt fisherman, holding an 80-carat aquamarine stone as blue as the surrounding waters of the nearby Indian Ocean.
Still hungry? Stop by Industry Kitchen in New York’s Financial District for their 24k pizza ($2,000). Order 48 hours in advance; that’s how long the squid ink pizza dough must rest before cooking. The crust is topped with Stilton cheese, foie gras, Osetra caviar, shaved truffles, and strips of edible 24-karat gold leaf. It’s the ultimate in comfort food.
Spa like you mean it
There are few names that inspire visions of the best of everything like The Four Seasons. Whether you’re staying in a massive urban center like New York, or a remote hideaway like Bora Bora, rest assured that you’ll be pampered from head to toe. The spas of the Four Seasons are internationally known and revered, and each spa pays special attention to its location. This is no cookie cutter luxury that offers the same amenities from city to city. The Four Seasons prides itself in using artisanal fragrances and products, and celebrating local cuisine and culture. The goal of each of their hotels is to make clients feel that they are an esteemed part of the environment. The Spa at Bora Bora is at the edge of a private lagoon, and is designed to look like a kahaia tree, which are indigenous to the island paradise. Signature spa treatments include skin-smoothing Tahitian black pearl powder, and algae treatments sourced from local waters. There’s an overwater couples suite, with treatment beds placed on glass panels above the lagoon, and an outdoor tub overlooking Mount Otemanu.
In the Indian Ocean, the island country of Mauritius beckons, and the world class Four Seasons spa there offers such signature treatments as Indian Bliss, incorporating Ayurvedic therapies with traditional herb bundles and traditional teas and sweets in an outdoor relaxation area. For a true relaxation experience, try the “Let it Go” eight-handed massage. This exclusive treatment created by the Mauritius therapists uses synchronized motions of four practitioners to stimulate energy across your body to achieve truly global rejuvenation.
Want to go for the gold? Then Head to the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai, an opulent resort frequently visited by royalty. In the hotel’s marble-and-mosaic bedecked Talise Ottoman Spa, guests can book a full-day journey ($7,000) that would have been fit for Cleopatra herself, including a milk and rose oil bath, argan-oil massage, the use of an Arabian gold hammam, a caviar lunch in the spa suite, and a custom-made 24-karat gold facial mask.
The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
If you want to live the luxe life, or at least look like you are, it’s all about the accessories. Sunnies are de rigueur of course: Chopard brings the bling with their diamond-encrusted pair (they will run you a cool $400,000), but for serious street cred, make your way to Gogosha Optique in Los Angeles, where Julia Gogosha-Clark and her staff will help you select the perfect, hand-made, artisanal frame for your face. All of the limited-production frames at Gogosha Optique are made by international, über-chic designers, and you can schedule a private, after-hours session to pick your look. Frames run from $400 to $600, but fierceness knows no price tag.
For audiophiles, German audio brand Seinheiser’s Orpheus Headphones will set you back $58,000 but according to the brand’s website, will provide “otherworldly sound and timeless beauty.” The amplifier sits on a glass housing that rests on a block of Carrara marble and the control dials are hand-milled from solid chrome-plated brass.
If you want to look like an A-lister, you have to work that body. For a hardcore workout in your own crib, the Peloton Tread ($4,000) hits all the right buttons. With digital access to Peloton’s top hard bodies, you can experience a mix of cardio and strength training for a total body workout — with a trainer broadcast on a 32-inch HD touch screen. And for weights that are chic enough to live in your living room, pick up Hock’s Goldloft Dumbbells ($125,000), made with precision-turned handles of rare Granadilla wood and 18k gold heads. Or opt for a complete set of Diskus Dumbbells on a walnut stand ($15,000).
Last modified: August 23, 2019