The notion that hotels and resorts only provide fancy rooms and somehow prevent you from having an “authentic” (The most overused term ever) travel experience couldn’t be more wrong. Just like with anything else in life, there are levels to travel. Think about it, all those viral videos and photos people share and drool over, guess where they’re from?
Gone are the days where staying at hotels meant you simply received a chocolate on your pillow. These days top hospitality brands have upped the ante and redefined experiential travel with exclusive experiences that go beyond eating at local markets and touring temples. While the aforementioned is essential, these travel moments are on another level.
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So grab a “fancy room,” put a diamond in your champagne, and prepare for some serious #travelgoals with a few of the most jaw-dropping, over-the-top, bucket list worthy experiences from around the world that you definitely won’t find in a hostel.
1 of 6 Photo Credit: Ellerman House
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so what better way to say I love you to yourself than with a once-in-a-lifetime diamond experience. The first of its kind in South Africa, guests staying at the Ellerman House in Cape Town can drop a cool $18K+ to participate in an exclusive Diamond Safari. Guests are flown by private charter to South Africa’s west coast, where those with a Padi Open Water 1 certificate can choose to join divers beneath the waves, or watch the action from the boat. Once the treasure has been found, you’ll enjoy a private lunch on a nearby villa terrace before meeting with a sorting expert to select your gemstone, and flying back to the hotel to pop a bottle of vintage Dom Perignon with dinner and toast to your new best friend.
2 of 6 Photo Credit: Four Seasons Maldives
How many times have you been on vacation and longed to see the stunning underwater world beyond snorkel level? As awesome as diving is, it’s not for everyone, and the inability to go deep can leave you feeling left out. Not anymore. Guests at the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives can now explore the world below without needing a diving certificate on the world’s first 3-person DeepFlight submarine – the Super Falcon 3S. For approximately $2000 per flight you can take a once-in-a-lifetime ride in a custom 2 million dollar, electricity powered submarine that does up to 120 feet below the surface giving passengers a 360-degree view of the Baa Atoll’s incredible underwater world - without having to get wet.
3 of 6 Photo Credit: Dream Hotel
Dream Downtown’s GuestHouse Presidential Suite, which includes a 900-square-foot garden terrace, a glass-bottom Jacuzzi, a Champagne Bar vanity, a private barista and a personal security guard, is set up to give you the time of your life. Not sure where to begin with that? No problem! The $5000 per night suite comes with a Vibes Curator (butler who?!) that can do everything from arranging art installations, customizing bedding and pillows, building bespoke music playlists, setting up personal consultations with a sneaker stylist (yes this is a thing) and even securing the hottest DJs and mixologists in the city for the most epic suite bash ever.
4 of 6 Photo Credit: é by José Andrés
If you’re a true foodie then you’ve definitely heard of him. Chef José Andrés is known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine across the globe, but it's his culinary masterpiece in Las Vegas that will truly stir up your appetite. Tucked away in a small private room adjacent to Cosmopolitan Hotel restaurant Jaleo, é by José Andrés offers a clever and creative tasting menu of Spanish dishes. Only 16 diners per night, eight diners per sitting during two dinner seatings, are allowed into this elusive world. Guests apply online for spaces, with lucky recipients receiving a Golden Ticket in the mail. For $600 per person including wine, diners enjoy a 23-course molecular gastronomy tasting menu in a mind-bending and flavorful wonderland, designed to mimic the experience of being inside Chef Jose Andres’ head.
5 of 6 Photo Credit: The Wellesley
Sailing the Mediterranean for Yacht Week on a catamaran is great, but adults with discerning tastes like to play with grown up toys and one London hotel provides guests with a toy they won’t want to share. MY The Wellesley is the 56 meter superyacht owned by The Wellesley London. This ultimate luxury party yacht boasts three decks, a sundeck and a Jacuzzi, diving equipment, jet skis, an outdoor cinema, 6 cabin suites with en-suite bathrooms full of Hermès products, a club lounge with cigars fit for a true connoisseur and a private chef. So how much will all this awesomeness cost? Just a mere $275,000 per week.
6 of 6 Photo Credit: Six Senses Zighy Bay
Taking normal transportation to your hotel is so last year. Let the other guests know you have arrived, and start your vacation off with a little heart-pumping adventure, by paragliding off a mountain into the luxurious grounds of the Six Senses Zighy Bay resort in Oman. For just $195 USD per person, you can glide over the Hajar mountains and land next to the azure waters of the Gulf of Oman with a mesmerizing view of the bay from above.
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