Trains, Planes and Luxury gaffs


Fancy living the jet set life of film and rock stars, but that elusive winning lottery ticket has not yet materialised- well it's not who you know but how many, to indulge in a little luxury.


Paradise found, not lost

What about having a tropical island all to yourself for a few days complete freedom, peace and quiet, coconut palms, a private beach and crystal-clear water – you can even wake up to the sound of hummingbirds! Specializing in luxury holidays in Brazil, the WhereInRio lettings agency, is offering fans of glam ecotourism and totally tranquil chance to rent out an entire island: the Ilha de Maná is an unspoilt island carpeted in lush vegetation and set amidst the stunning bay of Angra dos Reis.


Maná island is located off the Costa Verde, between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,

boasting a 30 metre long stretch of private beach Maná island hosts several buildings, which blend seamlessly into their natural setting: a main residence with a dining room, two living rooms and a kitchen; four chalets each with a bedroom and bathroom; and the outbuildings: the caretaker's house and a boathouse.


In total, there is room for 8 guests – enough for an extended family group, two families, or perhaps a group of friends. Everywhere you look, the views are stunning. The chalets have access to a communal lounge area and bar (347 m²), and are surrounded by a large wooden terrace, with the sea just metres away, beckoning you to take the plunge!

The island has its own supplies of drinking water and all the electricity you will need is generated by solar panels (there is also a back-up generator).

It can be reached by boat in just 15 minutes from the magnificent historic town of Paraty. A three hour car journey from Rio.

It all shapes up to an incredible experience – one that you can share with your family or friends. Then there's the peace and mind provided by the back-up electric generator, air conditioning in all bedrooms, a fully-fitted kitchen and a motorboat to go exploring with: all you have to bring is the Champagne!

Guest capacity: 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, room for up to 8 people

Price: from 3,500 euros per night  




Nine lives and a big wallet

There has been a lot of talk over the last few days about the possibility of reintroducing Lynx’s back into the wild in Great Britain, and according to the BBC members of the public are largely in favour, well if you can’t wait to see this happen, there is another way to see big cats in the wild, although you will need rather a large wallet. Over 62 days, you will visit Brazil, Chile, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, India and Russia; I mentioned the cost didn’t I? A mere £45,000, for this you get to see seven of the most spectacular felines on the planet.



Mexico, a river runs through it

Riviera Maya

Originally built as the private hideaway home of an Italian duchess on what is considered the most beautiful beach on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, the 29 room, suite and villa Hotel Esencia is located on a private 50 acre estate surrounded by the Mayan jungle. One of the only truly boutique luxury properties in the area, it was converted into a hotel in 2005 and in 2014 began a new journey when award-winning entrepreneur and art collector Kevin Wendle became owner. Since taking over, Wendle has undertaken a major refurbishment programme to enhance the hotel’s facilities, accentuate its natural beauty as well as add a truly one-off collection of art and antiques. Located just 50 minutes from Cancun and 30 from Tulum.

The handpicked collection of art and antiques within the hotel is one of the things that makes Esencia’s décor so unique All rooms come equipped with complimentary mini bar, Mastro Raphael Italian bed linen, Malin + Goetz bathroom amenities and a curated collection of art and design books

Hotel Esencia is home to two outdoor restaurants as well as a new beach bar, poolside grill and cold-pressed juice bar.

Xpu-Ha beach is considered the finest on this 180km stretch of Caribbean coastline. Protected by the Mesoamerican Reef, the sea is calmer here than the rest of the coast and the snorkelling is excellent. As well as four signature suites, you can hire a two storey Pool Villa for that extra bit of privacy

Villa with private pool is a duplex residence featuring 2 ensuite bedrooms, 1 King bed, 2 Queen beds, a large living room, a master bathroom suite with separate walk-in shower and tub, 2 additional bathrooms, a large private heated swimming pool, multiple terraces with seating and hammocks, complete media room with 52 inch HDTV/DVDs, iPod sound system, air conditioning, complimentary mini-bar, walk-in closets, and Hotel Esencia signature amenities. Sleeps 4 adults, however extra beds are available (maximum 5 adults/3 children) $26174.1for 10 night stay, not including flights.



The Thing

I’m not sure if you will remember it, but I loved the film The Thing, it starred Kurt Russell and was based in a scientific research station in the frozen Antarctic, well you get the picture, anyway Quark Expeditions have devised a trip whereby guests get to stay for 5 days at a research base operated by the Russian Geographical Society at the North Pole. The accommodation isn’t too shabby, apparently specially designed tents, you get to mingle with the scientists and travel to the site by helicopter, the starting prices are from £19,795 per person, which doesn’t include the flight you will need to get to Svalbard airport, I don’t know about you, but for that price I would at least expect a private meeting with Santa.


You Rang M...Lord


I don’t know about you, but I loved watching the recent television programme about Claridges Hotel, how much the exclusive suites were per night and what the management was prepared to do to ensure its clients were kept happy, oh how the other half  live. Well now Langham’s, which is no travel lodge, has launched its new penthouse Sterling Suite to mark its 150th anniversary, boasting six bedrooms, a media room and 460 sq. metres of space, and of course a butler, at only £24,000 per night, it’s a snip.



Caribbean - 5 Days for only £125,000 at the Viceroy Anguilla (only £25,000 a day) and 1 happy hour on arrival included, what are you waiting for?


New at Viceroy Anguilla is the VICE package, a holiday for up to eight guests at one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive beach resorts. During their five-day escape guests will sample a selection of wickedly wonderful experiences to enjoy the very best of Anguilla and the hotel.

The lavish VICE package includes:

Private Air Charter by Tradewind Aviation for eight people from New York, Atlanta, Dallas or Chicago (all served by direct UK flights) to the island.

One five-bedroom Beachfront Villa (5,300+ sq ft) complete with a full gourmet kitchen, dining room, living room, four marble bathrooms with a deep soaking tub and oversized walk-in shower. Outdoor living includes a private pool, chaise lounges, spa pool, outdoor grill, cabana and two outdoor showers.

Private golf cart for use during stay

Breakfast and lunch daily with an oceanfront BBQ complete with island specialties such as grilled crayfish and lobster

One ‘Tempting Treats’ seven course dinner prepared by the Chef in-villa.

Poolside in-villa Champagne Happy Hour upon arrival.

Daily refreshed Private Bar with premium brand spirits and a private decadent Dessert Bar.

Choice of a daily pampering spa treatment for all guests.

Day yacht charter to the private Sandy Island or round the island regatta racing (national sport of Anguilla)

The VICE package is from £125,000 for a Five-bedroom Villa staying five nights for up to eight people. It is valid until 31 March 2015, excluding the holiday season (15 Dec 14 – 2 Jan 15) and subject to availability .Bookings:



Raw Fish


Quintessentially Tokyo a £33,000 experience offered by Palace Hotel Tokyo. The package, combines a collection of previously introduced Palatial Pursuits in an opportunity to capture the essence of Japan over a five-night, six-day stay.

Highlights of the experience include:

Full-day bespoke art excursion led by a local expert from the Tokyo bureau of Blouin ARTINFO,

the world’s leading art and culture curators.

One-on-one foodie tour with a culinary aficionado. Tour options range from sipping sake with the country’s foremost non-Japanese expert on Japan’s favourite fermented brew, to navigating Tsukiji Fish Market with a local chef, sommelier and book author.

Individually tailored four-hour private session with a cultural expert to explain and help navigate Japan’s deeply rooted, and sometimes complex, customs and traditions.

A single, luminous akoya  pearl( I must go it’s my birthstone) made famous by Marilyn Monroe and cultivated in Japan for more than a century, to take home as a memento.

The Quintessential guests will sit down to seasonal Japanese cuisine with a kaiseki lunch or dinner for two at Wadakura, and unwind from their explorations with two 80-minute Vitalizing Signature treatments at Japan’s only Evian SPA. As with all the elements of the package, the spa’s signature treatment is a cultural experience, with Japanese seitai acupressure-style trigger points being combined with European-style massage techniques for maximum tension relief and relaxation.

A you would expect for this price accommodation is in the hotel’s top abode, Palace Suite, a  210-square-meter contemporary space with an art collection of its own. The suite has great views , including that of the city’s skyline, Wadakura Fountain Park and Imperial Palace Plaza.

Included in the package are, round-trip airport transfers, daily chauffeured private car service and full Club Lounge access and privileges are also included. Package rate starts at £33,000, and hopefully all the raw fish you can eat.

Quintessentially Tokyo is available from January 5, 2015. For details on package inclusions and to book, please visit:




Within Budget!

To mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of The Setai  luxury hotel in Miami Beach, they launch a range of events for those long of pocket.


The Setai $10,000 (£6,503) Dinner ( indigestion before the meal!)

Held for a party of 10 in the hotel’s exclusive Wine Cellar, guests will partake in a decadent eight course tasting and wine pairing menu From Tuna Toro Tartar, Duo of Foie Gras and Mainelobster to White Alba Truffle Ravioli, Kobe Beef and Chocolate Caviar, dishes have been inventedwith the most discerning palates in mind. Not sure if the tips included, but if you can afford this I don’t suppose it matters. Bookings:



A whole new meaning to Annual Leave


Most of us are lucky to get about 6 weeks paid holiday a year, this offer is a bit longer than that, a whole 365 days’ worth, Ampersand travel in conjunction with Amanresorts have  organised a itinerary that not only takes 365 days, but features nineteen countries, this fabulous expedition takes in Bhutan, Japan and the Philippines, and many of Amans elite retreats, and all for a mere £220,000, but of course lunch and dinner are not included.


Ditching the annuity and taking the lot? Hurry you’ve only got until March!


Have you been wondering what to do with that spare £34,850 you have in your piggy bank (pension), well here where you can spend it, how about circumnavigating the Globe by Private Jet in March next year, taking in eight countries in 22 days


Luxury escorted tour and private jet operator Captain’s Choice is preparing to celebrate its 21st anniversary of private jet touring in 2015. This 22 day one-off tour departs London on 5th March and flies non-stop to Mexico, and then on to Brazil, Easter Island, Tahiti, Australia, Cambodia, India and Tanzania before the private jet lands back in London on 26th March.


The day before departure, guests will enjoy a chauffeur transfer from home, if inside a 100 mile radius to the Radisson Blu at Stansted, for a welcome reception and overnight accommodation. The following morning guests will transfer to the VIP Harrods Terminal to board the all-business-class reconfigured Boeing. Once on board, the first of many bottles of champagne will be served and as the jet takes off, champagne and fine wines continue to accompany the inflight dining as it heads to its first destination.  


Guests on the Captain’s Choice tour will enjoy gourmet meals, champagne and fine wines throughout their flights and benefit from seamless luggage transfers, expedited immigration and customs arrangements and private touring. Guests are looked after by a dedicated in-flight services team as well as a Captain’s Choice tour escort team headed up by the tour manager.  A tour doctor is on hand 24 hours a day.  The entire crew remains the same for the duration of the trip.


The Circumnavigation of the Globe private jet tour runs from 4th to 26th March 2015, with fully inclusive prices from £34,850 per person twin share. or call 0800 046 7727.



Snorkelling on a Grand Scale

One usually thinks that snorkelling is fairly light weight in terms of water sports, pottering around coming across various examples of marine life, often with a bit of trepidation, as the water tends to magnify the specimens,  but wait until you here what’s on offer  from January 2015, talk about magnification, Wildlife Worldwide are offering the opportunity to go humpback-snorkelling, the voyages operate in the Caribbean sea, north of the Dominican Republic a spot known as Silver Bank, where humpbacks go to court and mate. Available from £3,395pp



It's not the Orient Express

but you and 319 friends could charter your own train (well half) you and your friends could start your stag, hen or wedding party off early, hiring a portion of the train could start off things with a swing, at £138 pp you could go from London to Edinburgh, perhaps see in the New Year!



I definitely need a private jet

Ever been standing in the queue to board your flight and thought, I definitely need a private jet, no lengthy delays, over zealous security, and definitely no kicking on the back of you seat. There are options available for those of you who have enough friends and flexibility (6friends needed £170 pp) you can get flights for the same price as flying with the hoy paloy, however "empty leg flights" are only available at very short notice, but can be discounted by up to 75% PrivateFly recently had a one way flight from London to Cannes- a private-jet-only-airport, that cost approximately, £1,200 for seven people (£170pp). For those with a little less flexibility, bespoke flights are also available, prices from £3,100 for an eight sweater flying from London to Jersey (£388pp);



I need a yacht 

Ever dreamt of being one of the beautiful people you see lying on the deck of a yacht (you may have to remove your socks, not sure if socks and sandals allowed on deck).Well you and your 10 friends for £180 pp could be slicing your way through the med on a Princess V53 motor yacht, from £1980 per day, including a skipper, but not fuel;