ULTIMATE DREAM EXPERIENCES
ULTIMATE DREAM EXPERIENCES
Ultimate Dream Experiences
Your travel dreams really do come true under the magic wand of the best bespoke travel planners in the world. By:Kimberly Tan
1 1. Taj Mahal, India
ULTIMATE DREAM EXPERIENCES
Each supercar of your choice will be delivered right to your home every week from the UK’s premier supplier, whose illustrious credits include the provision of these vehicles for James Bond movies and the BBC’s Top Gear. All clients need to do is have an impeccable driving record for five years, with no bans or claims and a maximum of six points. THE FINAL FRONTIER Bringing the hotel experience literally to new heights, Galactic Suite Space Resort (www.galacticsuitespaceresort.com) offers an incredible experience – staying in a hotel in space.
ABSOLUTE UNESCO MAGNIFICENCE Imagine seeing the magnificent Angkor Wat temples one day, before flying to the Forbidden City next. A VeryFirstTo (www.veryfirstto. com) exclusive, this package (about US$1.5m for two) takes guests around the world to visit every single World Heritage site over two years. Together with Hurlingham Travel (hurlinghamtravel. co.uk), you’ll travel on at least business class to over 962 places that the World Heritage Committee considers to have immense and universal cultural and natural value. These places include the Taj Mahal, Petra, Spain’s Moorish Alhambra, the Great Pyramids in Egypt and Peru’s Machu Picchu among others. The lucky couple will also be able to enjoy luxurious accommodation on this trip, staying at the world’s finest hotels like the Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados, the Hotel George V in Paris, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow, The Plaza in New York and the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. The couple would also be indulged “from start to finish”, says Marcel Knobil, brand launch expert and founder of VeryFirstTo. “We even have on offer: night time gondola in Venice accompanied by music played by a personal musician, while sipping crystal champagne from Murano glass champagne flutes.” Also in store would be a personal chef, stone therapy, aromatherapy and massage post Macchu Picchu.
The US$3.9m experience per person starts off on an undisclosed private island, where guests must undergo a training programme to familiarise themselves with the craft and learn how to move around in space. The tropical environment allows guests to get extremely close to nature and be near the equator to make use of the Earth’s rotation for launches. Facilities are spread out over an incredible 100,000sqm of space on the island, with 28,000sqm dedicated to housing the spacecraft and private jets. Space tourists will spend their eight to 12-week training period in the 12,000sqm training area that also contains a human centrifuge, swimming pool, gym, conference halls, dining quarters and cafeterias. Guests will sleep in the 40,000sqm luxurious hotel resort furnished with a spa, wellness centre, sports facilities and restaurants.
Once the training ends, guests will be launched into space for up to a week’s stay via the Galactic Suite Spacecraft, reaching top speeds of 28,000kmh in about 10min. The facilities onboard include a protected private enclosure where they can enjoy the weightlessness, personal communication systems to earth, view 15 sunrises and sunsets per day and orbit around the earth every 90min. Guests will also be able to travel in the Extra Vehicular Activity vehicle for a spacewalk. An extra week of post-flight recovery would be recommended once guests return to earth. After this week is over, they will be sent back to their homes, no matter where they are in the world. 6
Hurlingham Travel also offers a shorter travelling option, visiting World Heritage sites in the continent they want to explore. A MULTITUDE OF SPORTS CARS Imagine having a different sports car to drive every week for a year - now that’s definitely a dream come true for sports cars lovers residing in the UK. This is organised by VeryFirstTo (www. veryfirstto.com), where prices would cost about US$384,504 per person, including a refundable no-claim deposit of about US$7,663, and will feature models like the Ferrari 458 Spider, the Lamborghini Aventador LP700 and the McLaren MP4 12C. Other brands include Bugatti, Bentley, Aston Martin, Mercedes and Maserati.
2. Taj Mahal, India; 3, 7. Galactic Suite Space Resort; 4. Machu Picchu, Peru; 5. McLaren MP4 12C Supercar; 6. Great Pyramids of Giza; 8. Moorish Alhambra, Spain
FAME AND STARDOM Dodging the knives that are been thrown your way, you fight off the assassins until they are all felled. “Cut!” yells the director; you have just completed the filming of your own movie. Quintessentially Escape (www.quintessentiallyescape.com) will pair with Genie Film and allow you to Star in Your Own Movie (price starts from about US$23,000). Whether it’s the glamorous Sex & The City or a Bond movie, the unique and exclusive filmmaking service from Genie Film will fulfill all your requests and even get your favourite actor or actress to star in the movie with you. Filming can take place anywhere around the world, and the length of the film will depend on your wishes – a two hour, feature-length movie is definitely possible.
You’ll be involved in all the stages of productions, from the scriptwriting, shooting to the final cut of the film. Each movie would be shot with the latest High Definition technology and a panel of award-winning industry professionals like post-production specialists will add the visual effects and music to transform it into a Hollywood blockbuster-esque production. Once the movie has been produced, Quintessentially Escape will also arrange an exclusive gala premiere, with a red carpet welcome for you and up to 500 of your closest friends. Take home memorabilia like film posters, a ‘Behind the Scenes’ feature and of course a copy of your film.
CONSUMMATE SAFARI INDULGENCES Abercrombie & Kent (www.abercrombiekent.com/privatejet) offers its first private jet travel trip in a Boeing 737 around Africa from March 2 to 20 in 2014, (prices from US$79,995 per person) for the best wildlife encounters in the more inaccessible areas. Founder Geoffrey Kent will be personally hosting the group during the threenight Tanzania safari leg of the trip while A&K’s Travelling Bell Boy® will collect your luggage after departing each hotel and ensure it is waiting in your room at your next destination.
The private chartered jet will contain just 40 of the most fortunate guests who will be visiting seven countries in 19 days to discover the most authentic Africa. Unforgettable sights include the rare Ugandan mountain gorillas up in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, witnessing the Great Migration of wildebeest and the 700ft dunes along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. After the private jet lands in Victoria Falls, a helicopter tour will be arranged for you to appreciate the staggering scale of the Zambezi River and the Falls. At Namibia’s desert dunes, special delivery takes on a whole new meaning as a bottle of sparkling wine gets delivered to you by parachute. On the last two days of the trip, you’ll travel back to Cape Town and have a fantastic gala farewell dinner at the Two Oceans Aquarium and drinks against a spectacular backdrop of sand tiger sharks, loggerhead turtles and rays. The trip also presents an opportunity for interaction with the locals, from meeting dignitaries at a private cocktail reception to hiking and mock hunting with the Batwa people. Visit a hospital supported by Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy that has reduced infant mortality by 50 per cent. The three-hour tour will enable travellers to learn about the hospital’s history, tour the wards and spend some play time with the children at the playgoround.
the private chartered jet will contain just 40 of the most fortunate guests who will be visiting seven countries in 19 days to discover the most authentic Africa
9, 10, 11, 14. Abercrombie & Kent Safaris; Images courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent; 12-13. Star in Own Movie experience by Quintessentially Escape
INCREDIBLE BIKING JOURNEYS Given that safaris are the typical choice when heading to Africa, Secret Compass (www.secretcompass.com) decided to up the ante by offering a different East African experience – one by cycling (experience would cost around US$14,000 for a week). An amazing landscape awaits; with countless droves of game, soaring volcanoes and dramatic valleys, blood red African sunsets accompanied by the bullfrogs’ sonorous tenor and the occasional magnificent trumpeting of the elephants. Cycling on this journey provides travellers with a closer view of the famous Big Five, with the experienced safari guides carefully watching over you and taking you to places that typical tourists will not be able to reach. Additional modifications to the itinerary are possible, including Gyrocopter rides, hot air balloons and horse and quad riding.
Abseil 741ft from the top of the largest single drop waterfall, Kaieteur Falls accessible only by private jet on its airstrip to the jungle floor. Accomplished only by a few persons, the free drop will give you a sense of weightlessness. The ex Special Forces and IRATA certified guides will ensure that the descent is made safely as you are attached to them with a safety rope. Situated directly behind the falls, the cave will be explored once a safe route through the cavern has been established. This trip, at time of print, has never been done yet, so you’ll have the privilege of being the first to reach the cavern, by getting behind the waterfall in the dry season while always being attached to a rope.
The adventurous itinerary includes white water rafting, rides to Naro Moru, Mukogodo forest and through the hills of Don Dol with picturesque surroundings. The route will also take cyclists to Mount Kenya, the rock outcrops, and see some game enroute. Game driving can be spotted at the final challenge – five hours of riding to Nakuru with uplift – including large numbers of flamingoes, water fowl, buffalo, rhinoceros, Rothschild’s giraffe and perhaps even a leopard.
Perhaps one of the most amazing adventures here would be an incredible, dramatic helicopter extraction from the dense rainforest which will ascend over the virgin jungle canopy towards the border of Venezuela. The summit of the highest Tepui (table-top mountain) Mount Roraima will be the landing spot and this location is reputed to be the setting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous novel ‘The Lost World’. Savour the unparalleled chance to explore the unique ecosystem, with sink holes and endemic species of flora and fauna. In the meantime, your support team will set up your fly camps on the summit with a private chef to prepare all your meals during this stay.
THE THRILL OF THE UNEXPLORED The 12-day expedition (prices start from US$38,307 per person) will take you to one of the remotest areas of the jungle on the South American continent, in the Potaro-Siparuni and Venezuelan borderlands, to try out two world-first experiences with Epic Tomato (www.epictomato.com).
THE ARISTOCRATIC LIFE Luxury for Horizon & Co. (www.horizon-co.com) can be epitomised by exclusive private tours (the two-week package costs US$106,681 for two), where you’ll visit iconic sights like the Royal Palace, the ThyssenBornemisza Museum, the Picasso Museum, an Andalusian Estate and the
Royal Residence in Aranjuez. Where possible, these tours will even be held after hours so that you’ll get ultimate privacy to enjoy these fantastic sights. Immerse yourself in the culture of Spain by walking down Sacromonte to visit Granada’s unique cave houses, see the gypsies and learn to dance the flamenco and master its accompanying musical instruments. Amazing gastronomic experiences also await, such as sampling Madrid’s finest wines and olive oils, with an unforgettable tasting of the world’s only sustainable organic caviar – the Riofrio caviar - at a local restaurant in Córdoba. Few things could make this phenomenal experience any better, besides Presidential Suite or equivalent accommodation in Spain’s most luxurious hotels like the Hotel Ritz Madrid, Hospes Palacio de los Patos and the Hotel Palacio de Villapanés. Here, even shopping is a redefined luxury, as you’ll get to enjoy a private viewing of the finest Bvlgari jewellery right in your hotel room. TUDOR-STYLE LUXURIES ( Inspire Travel Facebook Contest Winning Entry ) With seven of your closest friends, live the life of royalty in the Thornbury Castle Hotel (www.thornburycastle.co.uk), the residence of several kings and queens from the Tudor era such as King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn and Queen Mary I. Luxuriate in your Gulfstream G550 private charter which will take you from Singapore to Bristol in about 13h. Upon arrival, a bevy of Rolls Royce and Bentley cars will pick your party up and take you to the hotel, located just 45min away.
The Victorian architecture, winding stone staircases and suits of armour positioned around the hotel will not only make perfect holiday photographs, but will also take you back to a time of regality. Choose the Tower Suite for picturesque views over South Gloucestershire and if you want bragging rights for having slept on the widest four-poster bed at 10ft, in a British hotel. Alternatively, recline in the same Duke’s Bedchamber that King Henry VIII and Anne Boelyn slept in about five centuries ago. During your week-long stay, indulge in the activities of the British gentry, such as falconry (about US$388 per hour), archery, croquet (both complimentary), having a delectable afternoon tea (about US$49 per person with champagne), hot air balloon rides (up to US$194 on weekends) and even a helicopter ride to London for shopping (about US$25,474 for the day trip including charter of two helicopters). Prices for flights, land transfer and accommodations start from US$386,772.
immerse yourself in the culture of Spain by walking down Sacromonte to visit Granada’s unique cave houses, see the gypsies and learn to dance the flamenco 15-17. Secret Compass; 18. Gulfstream G550; 19. Royal Palace in Aranjuez; 20. Kaieteur Waterfall; 21. Thornbury Castle
Read on to find out the most amazing travel experiences! Plus the Facebook contest winning entry!