7 private jet trips you need to take next year
Hotels’ private jets are the new luxury cruise liners.Neil Churchill November 27, 2014
30 years ago, a Carribean cruise was the pinnacle of holidaying status. Boarding a huge cruise liner and spending weeks sailing around the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands was a sign you had made it.
Now in 2014, you can take those words 'Carribean cruise' and replace them with 'a hotel's private jet'.
The hospitality sector is booming - certainly in the Middle East - and in an effort to outdo each other, and likewise to 'keep up with the Joneses', hotels and travel companies are buying their own airplanes, converting them into private jets of luxury, and offering incredible exclusive trips to far-flung parts of the world.
Compare that to six weeks stuck on the same boat, bobbing around the Caicos islands listening to the same swing band every night... we know which holiday we'd prefer.
So if you have the time, and of course the money - these trips aren't cheap - to fly in your own plane to some of the planet's most desirable locations, then take your pick from these private jet trips happening next year:
The Four Seasons
Earlier in the year we told you about the Four Seasons private jet; the global hotel chain decked out a Boeing 757 and really set the industry benchmark for private jet trips. If you're one of the fortunate first passengers onboard next year, the hotel's Around the World itinerary goes as follows: Starting in Los Angeles, you take the private jet for the first time to Hawaii. You spend a few days swimming with turtles before you climb back into seat 1A and wake up in Bora Bora.
Next is Sydney, then Bali, followed by Thailand, Mumbai and Istanbul before finishing in London. And all the while you’re not in the air you’re staying in Four Seasons hotels, of course. How much will that set you back? $119,000 per person, about AED 437,000.
For the more culturally inclined, Backstage with the Arts is another private jet experience the hotel is offering next year. For AED 250,000 you fly to Prague to watch the opera; take dinner at a renowned Parisian three-Michelin starred restaurant; have private, guided tours of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia (below) and il Duomo in Milan; and a cocktail reception to finish within Lisbon’s ancient Jeronimos Monastery.
Demand for its private jet trips has been so immense that the hotel has already announced its 2016 itineraries, including some new routes. For those fortunate souls, the added destinations include: Seattle, Tokyo, Beijing, Maldives, the Serengeti, St. Petersburg, Marrakech, Boston, Austin, Costa Rica, Langkawi, Mauritius, Petra and the Dead Sea, Lisbon, Dubai and Florence. Phew. Visit fourseasons.com/aroundtheworld
If you ask around, you may well find someone who can give you a firsthand account of this private jet experience from TCS Expeditions, as the first trip finished just over a week ago. But fear not, you haven't missed the boat so to speak, in fact you're bang on time as the next Around the World trip leaves on January 10.
The trip starts with a welcome dinner in Kona, Hawaii. A few days later you step off the custom Boeing 757 in Palau. After some snorkelling and sunbathing, prepare yourself for the culture of Myanmar (below) followed by the spiritual land of Bhutan - and if you've already been, you have the option to take the jet to nearby Nepal. 12 days into the trip you land in Seychelles, before you're spotting the Big Five at the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Lanzarote is next for a few days in the Canary Islands, before you jet to the vibrant Rio de Janeiro. Cartagena, Columbia, has you for days 22 and 23, before you finish in Orlando, Florida. The cost? $76,950 per person, double occupancy - about AED 283,000.
TCS Expeditions also offers two other private jet trips. Its Eastern Europe and Beyond itinerary takes in Berlin, Ljubljana, Krakow, Moscow, Baku, Riga, Kotor and Prague before finishing where you started in London. That will set you back about AED 220,000.
Its Northern Summer trip requires you to wrap up warm as you leave Seattle for Kyoto, Ulan Bator, Gobi Desert, Irkutsk, Moscow, Spitsbergen cruise, Reykjavik, Kangerlussuaq and Boston. Price: AED 240,000. Visit tcsworldtravel.com
If you prefer to stay in one place rather than travel the world but still want the private jet experience, then the Jet ME package from Meliá hotels will suit you down to the bone.
The Spanish hotel chain will fly you into the White Isle from pretty much anywhere in the world, to enjoy your luxurious holiday at the ME Ibiza. After being picked up from the airport in the hotel's signature Land Rovers and introduced to your dedicated 'Aura Host', you can begin your six nights accommodation in the resort's top suite with VIP access to the rooftop pool and private dining on the rooftop terrace. The Jet ME trip extends outside of the hotel, with a private yacht waiting to whisk you away to the popular Juan Y Andrea restaurant in nearby Formentera. And you can forget queuing for the island's most popular beach bars and nightclubs - your name's already on the guest list.
Before you head home - again in the private jet - relax with private tuition with one of Ibiza’s leading yogis and daily spa and wellness treatments at the hotel’s rooftop spa. Prices start around AED 108,000 per person, flying from Madrid. Visit melia.com
Ultimate golf holiday
If a private jet trip is meaningless to you without some sport involved - or if you're just a rich golf addict - then this trip from UK travel agent Holidays Please is probably the greatest holiday you'll ever have.
The unique itinerary takes you to all 48 golf courses - yes, you play them too - that featured on last year's European Tour. As seasoned golf fans will know, the tour extends outside of Europe, so expect trips to Leopard Creek in South Africa (below), Sheshan International in China, Valhalla in the US and Lake Karrinyup in Australia, as well as the Middle East’s Jumeriah Golf Estates in Dubai. Lasting 100 days and taking you to 26 countries - all by the private jet - the trip includes some of the most iconic European courses in the sport, such as St Andrews and Royal Liverpool, while putting you up in five-star accommodation in-between rounds.
The price? $400,000 per person, on bookings for four people. Or if you don’t mind slumming it with First Class flights instead of the private jet option, you can get the trip for a bargain $100,000. Visit holidaysplease.co.uk
Failing all the above, your other option is to become a professional athlete and travel in Nike's custom-made private jet. Or, you could go on a cruise of course...