As a connoisseur of quality and a lover of luxury, you no doubt have an eye for elegance. Picking out the finer things in life and carefully curating them to create your own first-class experiences is a fundamental, necessary part of your life. But where should you look to when you crave something different? Something unconventional that stands out from the crowd, yet still retains that all-important element of luxury. To help you marry up the two, supposedly opposite, elements together, we’ve put together a selection of unique luxury experiences to enjoy in 2019.
Enjoy an Iconic Luxury Trip Down the Nile Aboard the Steam Ship Sudan.
The Voyageurs Collection is a portfolio of original itineraries created by the award-winning tailor-made travel companies Voyageurs du Monde and Original Travel, and one of their most iconic is a trip down the Nile aboard the Steam Ship Sudan, a paddle steamer over a century-old. Evocative of the Belle Époque era, the ship exudes turn of the century North African charm with her wood panelling, gilt and copper ornate bed frames parquet floors and period features and to help guests feel enveloped in this sense of history, the walls are adorned with historic photographs of previous passengers, including King Farouk. The antique elements are balanced with plenty of plush and modern grand hotel comforts. Dining is quite an occasion aboard the ship with sophisticated dishes showcasing local flavours of the finest Egyptian fare.
For guests who love to explore, the ship operates five-night adventures from Luxor to Assouan, with two itineraries: The Dynastic and Eternal River. Each takes in major archaeological sites such as the Temple of Luxor, the holy city of Abydos, the Theban Necropolis, Valley of the Queens and the Temple of Edfu. At every port of call, expert guides are on hand to lead groups with their wealth of knowledge and passion for ancient Egyptian history.
Stay in a luxury commune… by the Great Wall of China
Adventure vs luxury is usually a choice you have to make. Do you sacrifice your (temporary) home comforts and accessible amenities for the ability to explore one of the greatest fortifications and structures in the world, the Great Wall of China? Yes, you can stay nearby in a luxury hotel, but what if you want to get up close to it and be free from the shackles of the city? Thankfully, the question is not so much what choice to make between the two, but if you have to make the choice at all. According to our latest luxury find: you don’t.
Enter Commune by the Great Wall, an exclusive collection of 11 ultra-luxurious private villas, all situated 60 kilometres outside of Beijing. Their unconventional physical appearance – some of them made up from shipping-container-esque wooden structures, others bearing similarities to suspended monoliths from a 1970’s sci-fi film – allows them to sit detached in the remote countryside, perched on a hill or hidden away on deserted banks. And whilst their location and external surroundings gives guests that sense of adventure, inside, they’re all luxury.
Enjoy 6-star luxury whilst drifting through Antarctica
If you have an appetite for exclusive experiences, like to be the first to try something new, or visit somewhere further afield or more remote than the regular traveller, then our next recommendation will be perfect for you.
Our next unconventional luxury experience is a 6-star adventure cruise to Antarctica on board Scenic Eclipse. Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht is an ocean cruise experience like no other. Where do we start?
Featuring a streamlined design, the exterior build of the ship is constructed to an Ice Class 1A^ (Polar Class 6) standard, allowing it to traverse narrow and demanding terrain in the polar regions. Limited to 200 guests on its Arctic and Antarctica voyages (228 on non-polar trips), Scenic Eclipse offers an extreme, up-close look at the Arctic, including helicopter and submarine expeditions, as well as Zodiac and Kayak excursions led by their specialist on board team.
Then there’s the luxury aspect. Each passenger has a premium verandah suite as standard, and upgrades include dedicated spa suites and the top-tier Owner’s Penthouse Suites. The best thing about this trip? You can enjoy a private butler service, so you’ll never go without that perfect drink after a day exploring the polar regions.
Spend a night in the world’s most luxurious prison cell
Although this might sound like a horrifically awful idea for a luxury getaway, Roermond’s Van der Valk Hotel Het Arresthuis in the Netherlands has the potential to make you re-think the revitalising effects of the inside of a jail cell.
The incredibly-transformed Hotel Het Arresthuis is split into different cells and suites. While former cells are now combined and transformed into premium ‘Deluxe Cells’, which include flat screen TV, mini bar and a rain shower; the ‘Suites’ consist of the ‘Lawyer’, ‘Jailer’ and ‘Director’ suites, which include spacious living areas, a Jacuzzi and espresso machines – who said crime and punishment was tough?
Beyond the rooms, simply venturing through the lobby is a phenomenal experience.
As you pass all the old prison cells, you’ll notice that everything has been left intact, from the steel staircases through to the striking exterior of the building. If these walls could talk.
The Best Kept Secret in the Tennis World
For tennis lovers the world over, that the bucket list of tennis clubs and experiences gets harder to get through as time goes by. Well, The Luxury Editor may have just found the solution and it comes in the form of The Ascotian All Court Tennis Club – a global tennis and lifestyle community, which offers international members’ access to a growing portfolio of the world’s best tennis clubs, through their tournaments and training camps.
You can hone your volley on the famous clay courts at the Monte Carlo Country Club one month, whilst brushing up on your back hand, with ex-professional players such as Francisco Clavet, in Madrid, the next.
It doesn’t stop there. If you’re in need of a hitting partner whilst away on business or pleasure, or help getting access to the very best tennis clubs from Hong Kong to Brazil and everywhere in between, The Ascotian Club’s concierge team is also in place assist.
Over and above the tennis, membership benefits also extend to access to some of the hottest private members clubs around the world, as well as discounts with leading hotels, resorts and executive transport companies.
Since its inception in 1991 The Ascotian Club has arranged and hosted some of the most impressive international amateur tennis tournaments. The annual clay tournament at The Monte Carlo Country Club has been played since 2018, under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who has himself participated several times. It is attended by over 150 of the best international amateur tennis players – it’s roster of events is ever evolving and their insider access is un-paralleled.
2020 will see a grass court practise day, at the exclusive Moor Park Golf Club as a warm-up for their Stoke Park tournament in June. The Clay Court Men’s Tournament will be at the Monte Carlo Country Club in September, swiftly followed by the Ladies in October.