Glamour travel: Where and how to luxe it up
Take luxury travel to a whole new level with these suggestions on how to live the high life. (Dallas Stribley/LPI)
If money is no object, there is no shortage of ways to spend it. Here is our rundown of the most wallet-walloping holidays and some must-have extras.
1. Singapore Airlines' double-bed suites
When an airline is engaged in a perpetual battle for the world's richest people, it has to pull out all the stops. So when Singapore Airlines was deciding how to design the First Class cabins of their A380 behemoths, they hit on a novel idea. Why not end all arguments about legroom by offering a double-bed suite, complete with privacy blinds? One word of warning: if you attempt what the airline deems "inappropriate activity" you will be asked - probably very politely - to stop.
Singapore Airlines suites with double beds are only available on routes served by A380. Fares vary but we were quoted about £4,160 ($6,445) per person for a 2010 return flight from London to Singapore.
2. Supercar hire
Sometimes a Toyota Prius with unlimited mileage just is not enough. Happily, several companies exist to cater to your needs. Should you dream of roaring round rural English lanes, Dream Car Hire can fix you up with everything from a Ferrari 430 F1 Spider, to a Bentley GT Convertible. The cost £500- about ($775) a day - will be pocket change compared to what you could end up paying in speeding fines.
A Lamborghini Gallardo for three days with 200 miles allowance is available for £2,085 at www.dreamcarhire.com.
3. Your own desert island
Always dreamed of being a castaway? Island broker Farhad Vladi can help. He rents and sells exclusive island retreats all over the world, where the ample-walleted can escape the stresses and strains of everyday life and not have to worry about meeting anyone else. Choose from a Spanish island, complete with a castle that sleeps 16 ($2,019 per day), or Fiji's Dolphin Island, a tiny coral paradise costing $6,600 for four nights for up to four guests. And if renting is not enough, how about Cornish Cay in the Bahamas, on sale for a mere $9 million? Vladi also sells rare editions of Robinson Crusoe should you want something to read.
Vladi Private Islands can help you if you want to rent, buy or even sell an island. Artificial duck ponds do not count.
4. The must-have submarine
Virgin supremo Richard Branson got into the island-buying game years ago with his purchase of Necker Island, and its exclusive appeal is no secret. His yacht, the Necker Belle, is also available for hire for $88,000 per week. Doing that will also allow you, for a further $25,000, to take charge of Necker Nymph, the three-seater submarine for the week. The sub is modelled on a fighter jet.
Necker Island and Necker Belle can both be booked through www.virginlimitededition.com.
5. Geneva's biggest-ticket hotel room
Even by the standards of superlatively priced luxury hotels in Switzerland, a country not celebrated for its value, the Royal Penthouse Suite at Geneva's President Wilson Hotel is pushing it a bit. For a mere $65,000 a night you get a private lift, a massive suite with unbeatable views over Lake Geneva and a team dedicated to providing you with anything you might conceivably desire. Visiting dignitaries attending pow-wows at the UN or World Economic Forum are the most regular guests. Perhaps oddly, haggling is the name of the game when booking such a suite. The quoted "rack rate" is rarely paid.
Give the hotel a call at 41-22-906-6666. They will probably cut you a deal.
6. Solid gold Trans-Siberian
Anyone who has squeezed into a four-berth compartment for the week-long ride across Europe and Asia on a Trans-Siberian train, look away now. Billed as the world's most luxurious train ride, the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express will take some beating. Cabins can be up to seven square metres - that is bigger than many hotel rooms. Some come equipped with underfloor heating and private entertainment systems, and meals are taken in restaurant cars serving top-notch regional cuisine. And unlike the public Trans-Siberian trains, there will not be a sozzled Russian soldier trying to ply you with vodka in sight.
Fifteen-day Moscow to Vladivostok trips travelling in Gold Class start at $15,795, booked via GW Travel.