Napa Valley winery

California’s most exquisite Pinot Noirs

Northern California has long been prized as one of the regions that produce the richest and most palatable Pinot Noirs for decades, so it’s no surprise that in the recent years there are about a dozen new producers that have attracted the critics’ attention. The highly-valued bottles come at a hefty price, of course, although true connoisseurs are more than happy to pay it because of the wines’ texture, quality and fine production techniques that bring out the best of the vineyards’ produce.

One of the critics’ choice is Kosta Browne – a brand established in 2007 – that has quickly risen to popularity thanks to smart investments in prestigious vineyard land and special winemaking techniques that include exclusively deigned oak barrels, where the wine is stored. Their crafted wines in the 90-94 range hold ratings of 95 or higher in Wine Spectator magazine, earning them a top spot in the market. This justifies the $500 and higher price tag for their products.

kosta browne wineDemand for Helen Turley’s Pinot Noir is so great that there is a waiting list of several years to taste the tightly-allocated chardonnay from Marcassin Vineyards. The cost for the exquisite beverage is around $400 per bottle.

marcassin three sisters winery

Most famous for their savory and elegant Chardonnays, producer Peter Michael’s range has a price tag similar to top rated Burgundies. Their signature retained style makes the four Pinot Noirs extremely popular even with a price of $100 and above for a single bottle.

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Finally, there are the outrageously expensive single-vineyard Aubert Pinot Noirs that have a mailing list long enough to cool any buyer’s enthusiasm. That being said, the finely-crafted wines are well worth the wait and can be purchased on vonfolio.com, starting from $600 a bottle. The nuances of the premium grapes make for a spectacular experience.aubert pinot noir

huka lodge new zealand

Best boutique hotels revealed

They are so exclusive and secluded that most people haven’t even heard of them. But for true connoisseurs – finding the ultimate spot for peaceful and luxurious relaxation – these boutique hotels truly have it all.

The Pig on the Beach, Studland, England

The Pig on the Beach, Studland, EnglandEnjoy the English countryside in all its pristine glory in this 18th-century Gothic residence located in sunny Dorset. 23 rooms offer delightful bliss with their opulent rural style and there is even a greenhouse restaurant and two dovecotes on one of the buildings. The unique ambiance of the place is enhanced by the original mullioned windows and turrets as well as the massage room in the shepherd’s hut in the grounds. Rates vary depending on season, but you can’t find anything lower than £300 a night.

Huka Lodge, New Zealand

huka lodge new zealandSometimes you have to travel half the world for the best service and Huka Lodge proves it. The £1,000-a night hotel treats guests to peace and tranquillity like no other. Overlooking the beautiful Waikato River, the 1920s-style hunting lodge provides plenty of activities, such as skydiving and golf.

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodiasong saa campodia

This spectacular retreat is nested in the remote Gulf of Thailand – home to the first marine reserve. For £2,265 a night guests can explore a rainforest or simply enjoy the rainbow-coloured tropical fish swimming in their natural habitat through holes in the floors of the wooden villas. Service is exemplary and there is no other place that brings together the allure of nature with the comforts of modern living so well.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji

jean michel cousteau fijiLovers of South-Pacific getaways will enjoy this tropical piece of paradise. A popular destination for honeymoons, weddings and other special occasions – the £800-a night retreat offers a wide range of services and amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Family pools, babysitting services and plenty of water sports are available to choose from.

Check also our previous post on top boutique hotels.

Embraer Lineage 1000E jet

Inside Embraer’s £34 million private plane

Flying with class on a private plane has never been easier after the announcement of Embraer’s new ultra-luxurious Lineage 1000E. With an asking price of £34 million buyers can be certain they receive the very best in terms of comfort, quality and performance. The plane can also be rented for the more modest sum of £8,300 per hour.

Embraer Lineage 1000The interior is a striking combination of fine leather banquettes, state-of-the-art integrated appliances and even a spacious bathroom. Additional perks include a €50,000 (£35,000) dishwasher, espresso maker and built-in microwave and convection oven. The kitchen and other spaces are,of course, subject to further customizations.

Embraer Lineage 1000Despite its size arrangement of seating has been calculated for up to 19 passengers as well as three pilots and staff to ensure there’s plenty of space. At 84.3 feet – this is the longest executive jet. The Embraer Lineage 1000E has a cabin that is divided into five sections, comprising a kitchen, seating area, staff area, master bedroom and a bathroom at the front. The bedroom boasts a comfortable queen-size bed and a private walk-in shower.

Embraer Lineage 1000Maximum flying speed is 543mph and distance – 5,300 miles (8,529 km). The plane benefits from impressive storage capacity of 323 cubic feet on-board and 443 extra in the hold, and is equipped with the latest in modern technology – Blu-ray players and Wi-Fi, plasma screens and iPod docking stations. In choosing the interior, buyers have the option to pick between 700 fabrics and dozens of carpet patterns.

Embraer Lineage 1000Watch a virtual tour of Lineage 1000E:

In terms of on-board technology the plane uses two General Electric engines and Honeywell technology. The seating area, which measures 8ft 10in wide by 6ft 6in high, is fitted with fine wool carpets and leather banquettes. For maximum comfort seats can be rearranged so passengers can dine on the laminated wooden tables. Overall, the new Lineage 1000E is fuel-efficient and silent, which makes it one of the most popular private jets on the market.

andaz costa rica

The ultimate Costa Rica getaway!

Costa Rica – the crown jewel of Central America – has another sublime spot of interest for wealthy guests who value their privacy. The gorgeous base of the Peninsula Papagayo attracts with the pristine natural wonders and outstanding service – a combination that regularly puts it amongst the world’s best hotels.

andaz costa ricaThe hotel exhibits a striking balance between contemporary aesthetics and seamless integration into the surrounding wild nature. Beautiful views of Culebra Bay can be seen from all windows of the modern structure. The indigenous style of the spaces provides a wonderful native feel to the luxurious accommodation. Guests can relax in the midst of a laid-back atmosphere while being catered to by fully-trained staff 24/7.

andaz costa ricaThe Andaz has 153 beautifully-furnished rooms and 21 luxurious suits – all of them featuring panoramic views of the bay and the surrounding area. The low-key eco style is ideal for relaxing and enjoying life in the tropical paradise to the full. SPA-like showers, king-size beds and infinity pools complete the blissful experience. Wooden floors and delicate lights help guests become one with nature.

andaz costa rica

There is an open-air restaurant – Rio Bhongo – that serves rich and delicious native dishes all day with everything being locally sourced. Tropical fruits, grilled seafood and traditional recipes are just some of the scrumptious offerings guests are treated to. At night they can enjoy a vibrant and festive atmosphere in the close bar, where the finalist in the 2013 World Class Bartender of the Year contest Clark Jimenez works his magic.

andaz costa ricaThe hotel boasts a state-of-the-art SPA, where guests are spoilt with local therapies and massage techniques for deep relaxation. Choose from two infinity pools and two private beaches, where you can soak all the sun you can in pristine silence and tranquillity.

There are plenty of local amenities located nearby, including the private reserve Sensoria for lovers of idyllic wild landscapes.

Mukul, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua

Top Boutique Hotels

When it comes to luxury hotels and resorts – bigger does not necessarily mean better. A wave of smaller, so-called ‘boutique hotels have been the preferred choice of the elite in the past decade because of the unmatched level of privacy, executive service and personal attention they can provide to their guests. Their charm and intimate ambiance is the epitome of tailored service whose focus is solely on the clients’ comfort and pleasure.

Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris

top boutique hotel paris

With prices starting from £1195 for a night of blissful relaxation, this Parisian jewel is just a 5-minute walk from Avenue Champs Elysées and exhibits elegant accommodation and a number of amenities – Dior Institute spa, 5-restaurant and a cocktail bar. Guests can choose from 80 drinks for the personalised minibar and 5 pillow types to ensure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

Blantyre, Lenox, MA

Blantyre, Lenox, MA

The secluded mansion offers a total of 21 rooms and completely redefined the meaning behind a simple country Inn or Bed & Breakfast. Guests are able to enjoy candlelight dinner under the accompaniment of a live pianist while being treated to sublimely-prepared meals. Some of the offered amenities include gold, hiking and an exquisite SPA. The Relais & Chateaux member deserves its status as a Forbes 5-Star award winner and one of the most acclaimed small luxury hotels.

Mukul, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua

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Located on a piece of pristine coastline, the dream resort offers 37 accommodations in the form of freestanding casitas, with private plunge pools on the decks, walk-in double rain showers and mini bars. Plenty of amenities provide diverse entertainment for guests.

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

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With less than 30 accommodations, most of them include stunning infinity pools to marvel the surrounding scenery. Different combinations of living spaces combine excellent service with views of the Caribbean and St. Lucia’s famous twin mountain peaks for an unforgettable experience.

St James’s Hotel and Club, London

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Starting at £1,200 a night, the member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a sophisticated retreat close to popular burrows Mayfair and Piccadilly. 60 beautifully designed rooms offer complete exclusivity with Murano glass chandeliers, silk wallpapers and with glossy, black lacquered furniture.

Cottars Private House, Upstairs patio

7 exquisite vacation spots for a billionaire

When every corner of the world is an available option and money is no issue, there are quite a few places that are worth visiting. Private tropical retreats, wild safaris, lush condominium or ocean exploration – you name it, it’s all just a charter flight away.

The Hamptons’ Billionaire Lane

hamptons usa

A convenient drive-away from New York, the Hamptons has long been favoured amongst the rich as a quick getaway from the bustling city. There is something very appealing about a second holiday home surrounded by other lush estates in a never-ending demonstration of wealth and stature.

Croatia

croatia vacation

Beautiful coastal line and ancient structures give this place an irresistible allure that draws billionaires from all over the world. The unique combination of modern luxury and well-preserved history and nature makes it ideal for people who can afford it.

Bermuda

bermuda

The notoriously private islands may scare away the general public with stories of unexplained disappearances and strange occurrences, but for the rich – this is just an added benefit to the tropical flora and beautiful scenery.

Cottar’s 1920s Camp

Cottar’s 1920s Camp

Cottar’s 1920s Camp’s is as good as any safari experience can get. The exclusive resort in Kenya boasts open-plan cottages that let man and nature live as one and achieve pure harmony. Spectacular sights and top-notch service make this an unforgettable experience.

Musha Cay

musha cay

The small private island boasts a number of attractions, such as a drive-in movie theatre, an arcade, a laser tag arena, and a pirate’s treasure hunt with an actual treasure. Of course, it will send guests back $20,000, but given the retreat’s exclusivity – it is something definitely worth it.

Rural Ireland

ireland landscape

Its untamed, derelict beauty has inspired many folk tales and movies, so it’s not surprising that so many billionaires flock to rural Ireland in search of pristine tranquillity and relaxation. Remote harbour villages add a certain poetic charm to the trip with poet David Wythe being your personal guide, if you can afford it.

Superyacht Nirvana

yacht nirvana

Superyachts have long been favoured by the rich for the privacy they provide and this one exceeds all expectations. The ultimate in relaxation and privacy as it travels the open ocean; it comes with a 3D-theater, a stage and dance floor. Summer charter rates start at €900,000 per week.

dubai indoor ski slope

World’s longest indoor ski slope in Dubai

Dubai is soon to witness the construction of the world’s longest indoor ski slope that will be situated inside a new complex. It will comprise the world’s tallest residential building, the largest dancing fountain and the aforementioned ski slope that will stretch for 1.2km. The first phase of the 40-million square foot complex is expected to be finished by 2020 and has an estimated cost of $6.8 billion.

Dubai indoor ski slope Other amenities will feature a 350-room luxurious hotel, a mall with 300 restaurants and a marina. The residential tower will stand at 2,333 feet and will be able to accommodate up to 78,000 residents. The multi-use destination is constructed with functionality and convenience in mind, housing everything under a single roof.
Getting there and enjoying the many amenities can be done in style and unparalleled comfort through the exclusive service of Etihad Airlines at the cost of $28,090.

Dubai indoor ski slopeTo prepare guests for the lavish flamboyance of the oil-rich capital, the airline’s fist-class ticket experience reaches new heights in luxury with private mini bars, 23-inch cinema screens, portioned suits and several course warm meals available on board. Opting for a flight on UAE’s other signature airline – Emirates – will cost you $30,000, but it’s worth mentioning this is the preferred choice of A-listers and VIP businessmen. The airline uses exclusively A380s, A340-500s and 777s that provide plenty of space for fully partitioned private suites that are equipped with mini bars, mattress beds, vanity tables and even on-board SPA and massage facilities.

Dubai indoor ski slopeAs part of the premium services of both airlines, flyers will be treated to an on-flight concierge team as well as private butlers. There is high-speed Wi-Fi, fully-equipped entertainment stations, live TV and broadband with internet mobile.

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Fendi’s new travel collection

Fendi’s new travel collection reinvents and reimagines the classic glamour and beauty of old-school Hollywood. Inspired by iconic Italian film star Silvana Mangano – the collection is the epitome of feminine grace and timeless elegance with practical and eye-catching pieces.

Fendi Travel Collection

Born out of a close collaboration between the late actress’ daughter Veronica De Laurentis and Fendi’s current designer Silvia Venturini Fendi, the collection comprises of luxurious pieces including a fox fur wrap coat, a double-F emblazoned roll aboard, and several versions of the brand’s signature satchel handbag. The leather Silvana Mangano Boston bag is the first item that captivates with clean, cut shapes and subtle luxury – trademark for the company and sells for £2,190. The travel suitcases have a wonderful vintage appeal to them with natural elegance and sophistication. Reminiscent of a past long gone – they fully capture the allure of distant travel at a time when it was a memorable occasion and fit surprisingly well in modern context (price starts from £2,650).

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The collection became available in April and can currently be purchased at any Fendi boutique as well as online at Net-a-porter.

Two items from the collection stand out with striking sense of beauty and style – the trench coat and gilet, priced at £1,960. With a generous fox fur lining enwrapping the neckline and figure-hugging shape, they are an absolute must-have in the wardrobe of the elegant, modern woman. Fendi is known for designing works-of-art that perfectly complement the delicate allure of the female nature and these fashionable pieces are a perfect continuation to their trademark tradition.

Wendi Travel Collection

Fashionistas will be pleased with the introduction of several new models of the beloved Boston bag in a variety of exotic skins and bold colours. The classic shape of the iconic piece has been retained with subtle, albeit eye-catching, variations in new fashion homage. Prices for the bags start at £2,250.

Bellagio Hotel - favorite among millionaires

Bellagio Hotel – favorite among millionaires

Located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, the Bellagio hotel is the most popular hotel among the world’s richest, multi-millionaire guests. The notable 8-acre lake between the building and the Strip houses the Fountains of Bellagio, a large dancing water fountain synchronized to music.

The hotel has won the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award. The main tower of Bellagio has 36 floors and a height of 508 ft, while the Spa Tower, which stands to the south of the main tower, has 33 floors and a height of 392 ft. The Bellagio counts 3,993 guest rooms and suites, furnished to meet the highest standards of luxury and comfort. In December 2011, Bellagio completed a $70 million upgrade, remodelling all of the main tower’s rooms.

The Fountains of Bellagio performances take place in front of the Bellagio hotel and are visible from numerous vantage points on the Strip. The magnificent show of light and music takes place every 30 minutes in the afternoons and early evenings. The fountain display is choreographed to various legendary pieces of music.

According to a study by New World Wealth, Bellagio with its world-famous Fountains, luxury shopping, spa, restaurants and nightlife racked up approximately 6,400 visits from multi-millionaires over the past year. So, with the Bellagio on the first place the list of hotels that received the highest number of millionaire visits includes the Plaza hotel in New York, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Waldorf Astoria in New York, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and The Breakers in Palm Beach.

Costa Diadema

Costa Diadema

The most extravagant of the Costa fleet, the new Costa Diadema, will sail on its maiden voyage in November 2014 from Venice to Savona. Costa Cruises has invested approximately US$745 million in what will be the largest cruise ship flying an Italian flag. Built by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard in Venice, the Costa Diadema is also known as Costa Tiara. It’s the tenth ship to be delivered by Fincanieri to Costa Cruises.

Costa Diadema will be capable of accommodating 4,947 passengers and 1,253 crew members. It is 306m long and 37.2m wide and it features 1,854 cabins. The most impressive attraction of the vessel will be the Samsara spa covering an area of about 7,800m². The interior of the ship is designed by Architect Joseph Farcus. It will carry some 7,874 works of art, including original art, reproductions and silk-screen prints by 41 artists (38 of them Italian).

“The whole project of the ship is based on ‘pure design’ aimed to affect the emotions of every guest. The design philosophy is sophisticated and contemporary. We have been trying to create special designs, which affect the emotions of the guests indicating to them they are sailing in a very special environment created for their leisure and delivering them to the real destination, their dreams,” said Fracus.

Costa Diadema will include 15 bars, three swimming pools (one of them with a retractable roof), a multisports pitch, eight hot tubs, an outdoor jogging track, library, baby pool, restaurants with excellent food and many more. The ship will be equipped with six Wärtsilä 12V46 main engines with an output of 75,600kW and it will set sail for a series of Mediterranean cruises immediately after its inauguration.