Best in Travel brings you the most wanted luxury pieces and places worth splurging on
In search of an exciting new, holiday experience? Why not consider chartering a yacht which involves hiring a sailing or motoring boat and travelling from one idyllic island to another.
What makes this type of vacation (often referred to as a ‘term charter’) so satisfying is that, on a charter yacht, you get to dictate the pace and mood as the only people present on your yacht are those that you have personally invited.
Tempted by a Crewed Yacht Charter? It’s time to choose your ship for the décor is different on each and every boat. Take the famous sailing catamaran, Zahora, by Sunreef Yachts Charter (the world’s largest yacht charter agency). The ship is a marriage of modern and classic interior design, incorporating as it does American walnut and Anegre wood. Meanwhile Zahora’s Sunreef sibling, SEAZEN is Japanese in style meaning that minimalism reigns.
Decor differences aside, most yachts come equipped with a Jacuzzi or two, a media room, state of the art gym, spacious deck area and private (and roomy) cabins.
Cabin facilities have also been carefully considered and amenities include iPod docking stations, flat screen TVs, DVD players that enhance the entertainment system, satellite phone, on board internet and music and DVD libraries to cosset guests in true luxury.
Most yachts are also kitted out with water toys (windsurfers, water-ski, jet skis, scuba diving apparel et al) for your entertainment and some even offer state of the art gyms alongside full blown spas and salons.
Ready to set sail?
We may be living in a digital age but nothing beats writing or receiving a hand written letter on beautiful paper. Luxury stationer, Smythson, has a superior selection.
Rooted in deep heritage, the luxury British brand has long catered to the highly discerning, from European Royalty and the Indian Maharajas to the likes of Grace Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert and Vivien Leigh. Influential figures, leading extraordinary lives, from Sigmund Freud to Sir Winston Churchill, have all recognised the timeless purity of Smythson’s creations.
Introducing the Autonomous tent
Fans of the great outdoors will want to get their hands on the Autonomous tent – a stunning semi-permanent structure designed by star-chitects such as Patricia DiMario and Harry Gesner (whose famous Cooper Wave House design inspired the Sydney Opera House.)
The exquisitely designed yet sustainable solar powered tent an be enjoyed anywhere, all year round without destroying the world’s delicate ecosystems - provided that Sybarites are prepared to splash out US$100,000 for the smaller, 700-square-foot Cocoon version and US$200,000 for the 1,000-square-foot Tipi.
All told, if you’re looking to get in touch with nature without sacrificing creature comforts, then the autonomous tent could be the way to go…
Make a splash
Transform your backyard from drab to fab with a custom built swimming pool.
With a custom pool, you are given carte blanche meaning you can kiss goodbye to standard square shapes, regular rectangular ones and other cookie cutter pools and say hello to something altogether more special. Being tailored to your taste, custom pools can be as artistically designed, technologically advanced and luxurious as your heart desires.
“A well thought out pool should pop visually as well as functionally. People often spend more time looking at their pools than swimming in them, so you want something that is really pleasing to the eye,” reveals Brian Van Bowyer of Aquatic Consultants – one of the industry’s most coveted consultants.
Creating a custom built pool requires careful planning and plenty of patience (once a planning permit has been obtained, it typically takes three to four months for the pool to be built), but the end result is well worth it. A custom built pool is so much more than a place for recreational activity: it’s an extraordinary showpiece that multiplies the value of your home and magnifies the beauty. Time then, to take the plunge…
Crazy for Karim Rashid
Karim Rashid is arguably Canada’s most successful and prolific designer. However unlike most top draw designers, Rashid has not made his name designing expensive furniture, but by designing every day objects of consumer desire. Indeed his Big Apple based design practice, Karim Rashid Inc, has produced products ranging from perfume packaging to wine glasses, board games, cheese boards, coat racks, couches and everything in between for clients as diverse as Alessi, Audi, Prada, Proctor & Gamble, Kenzo and Yahoo.
The Canadian – by way of Cairo – designer admits to being on a one man mission to make the banal more beautiful so that we all learn to love objects the way we love clothes.
Rashid has also turned his attention to architecture: Kurve restaurant in New York, Philadelphia’s Morimoto restaurant, the Majik Café in Belgrade, Brighton’s boutique My Hotel and the award winning Athens property, Seramis, are all Karim’s creations.
His designs are in the permanent collection of 15 major museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris no less, while he has exhibited at prestigious institutions like London’s Design Museum as well at the Museum of Modern Art in New York – all of which makes for a none too shabby resume.
Whisky lovers will want to get their hands on The Glenlivet Winchester Vintage 1966 – one of the most sought after and exquisite whisky collections in the world and the pinnacle of the Glenlivet range.
The series of rarefied 50 year-old single malt whiskies have been crafted over generations, matured over decades and hidden within the walls of the Glenlivet distillery. With only 100 bottles of this rare and precious liquid in existence across the globe, the historic Scotch is priced at £20,000
Shop to it
Searching for a knock out outfit for the British summer social season – read the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Ascot, Wimbledon et al?
Perhaps it’s time to seek professional fashion assistance. After all, we have relied on interior designers to help create a home environment that reflects our individual style, so why not turn to professionals to pull together a wearable wardrobe – just as we do when planning our homes and holidays?
Men would do well to consult the dapper Daniel Johnson (www.daniel-johnson.com) – who starred in the BBC documentary The Millionaire’s Gift Guide. Meanwhile women should look to Laura Fantacci and Petronella Stofberg (www.wardrobeicons.com), two British former fashion editors whose services include home wardrobe consultations, personal stylish and shopping trips. www.wardrobeicons.com
Escaping city life doesn’t mean having to sacrifice comfort. Just ask the makers of the Autonomous tent – a stunning semi-permanent structure designed by star-chitects such as Patricia DiMario and Harry Gesner (whose famous Cooper Wave House design, inspired the Sydney Opera House) that can be enjoyed anywhere, all year round without destroying the world’s delicate ecosystems.
The tent provides over 500 sq. ft of indoor living space, a king size bed, a gas fireplace and leather lounging chair, luxurious cotton linens and comforter. It also boasts an en suite bathroom including a claw foot shower and flushable composting toilet. The smaller, 700-square-foot Cocoon version costs US$100,000 while the 1,000-square-foot Tipi retails for US$200,000. However if you want get in touch with nature without sacrificing your creature comforts, we reckon it’s a price worth paying.
We’re loving the Watercolour Compendium – a collaboration between iconic British brands Linley and Winsor & Newton which retails at a cool £12.500.
Created in a ripple sycamore veneer which is bleached to mimic the colour of a primed canvas, the compendium has a marquetry colour wheel using 12 different hand-dyed birch, tay and bolivar veneers inlaid onto the lid and finished with an engravable sterling silver plaque.
Inspired by the wing of the iconic Winsor & Newton griffin, the compendium has a curved radius edge and a gently sloping angle. Inside, the smart walnut interior has been meticulously designed with drawers and compartments to contain all the materials needed to create a watercolour study. From the underside of the lid an easel extends out, standing on the box and providing a space to work at in the studio as well as proudly display finished work.
The coolest wrists in the world right now, are wearing luxury watches that happen to be smart. Translation? A watch that connects to the Internet – in addition to other devices like smartphones or tablets – in order to deliver real-time information to your wrist.
We want a watch that can do it all – from taking pictures to tackling emails and texts, recording our heart rate, sleep and stress levels, checking our stocks and giving us real-time driving directions. As such Tag Heuer – the 155 year old Swiss maker of luxury timepieces – released its Connected Watch, which is powered by Google's Android Wear operating system. Elsewhere Tissot has unveiled its Smart-Touch smartwatch which – when connected to your smartphone – will allow you to sync the time, get weather updates, change settings and share experiences with friends.
Then there’s the Hermès Apple Watch – a unique timepiece designed with both utility and beauty in mind.
Calling all luxury car lovers (that’s all of us then). If the Verve Rally isn’t on your radar, all we can say is: it should be. For the Verve Rally represents a luxurious adventure travel experience with like minded people, supercars, beautiful roads and majestic locations.
It’s not a race and it is not timed in any way. Rather it’s a journey – taking place in July 2018 and September 2018 – that celebrates where a luxury car can take you.
Driving time has been balanced with relaxation and exploration: expect to spend around four hours a day behind the wheel, cruising along the Insta-perfect roads at your own pace and stopping off to savour local delicacies with fellow Ververs, before arriving at the day’s destination by mid to late afternoon.
Luxurious five-star hotels and chateaus provide the serene space as soon as you’ve parked up. And with no night-time driving, you’re free to indulge in all the destination's flavours and experiences.
Good cars, company and quality accommodation - sign us up.
Dive right into the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands may be associated with offshore banking and the rich and famous, but the trio of Caribbean islands are also synonymous with world class diving having invented recreational scuba diving.
Make no mistake: the Cayman Islands’ 365 dive sites are sure to cause even the most seasoned divers’ jaws to drop.
If you have never snorkelled or dived on a Caribbean coral reef, you’’ be amazed by the beauty and incredible diversity of Cayman Trough. Other don’t miss Cayman dive sites include Bloody Bay Wall which is found off the coast of Little Cayman, within the Bloody Bay Marine Park and offers some of the best wall dives in the Caribbean.