If money were no object, how would you choose to see the world? Would you do it “all in one go” on the luxury trip of a lifetime? Or would you spread it out over several years and multiple journeys, so that you could absorb and appreciate everything that you experienced? Would you travel with strangers? With just one other person? Or with 50 of your closest friends? It’s a champagne dilemma. And one that the uber-rich are increasingly faced with. Taking a Grand Tour of the civilized world was a cherished ritual of the wealthy in the 19th century – the trips lasted for months, sometimes years, and were an important facet of becoming a sophisticated adult in high society. Fast forward to today, when such a trip can be completed in a matter of days if you have the right budget. New York, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Jaipur, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Sydney – if you’ve got a couple of weeks and lot of stamina, you can check all of these destinations and more …
Luxury lovers of the world, have you ever visited a national park in the United States? If you’re like us, the answer is likely to be no. Members of the global elite don’t tend to spend their vacations in public parks, perhaps because they still harbor childhood images of grizzly bears eating leftovers from campground trash containers, park rangers in funny hats, collapsing tents, outhouses and the antic cartoon goings-on at Jellystone Park, home of Yogi Bear and friends. We confess to being guilty of dismissing the national parks as “not for us.” Grand jeté, yes – Grand Teton, no. In the interest of research, however, a team from Dandelion Chandelier made an expedition to a national park for the first time ever while on a 4th of July holiday trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton, both of which are day trips from Amangani, the luxury hotel where we stayed. Turns out, this is an outstanding way to mark Independence Day. Or any day, really.
The best luxury hotels and resorts in the world, in the most incredible locations. That’s how people who have visited them describe Aman properties. That is, if you can get someone to talk about them – Aman is still a bit of an insider secret. The hotels do not advertise, they have no loyalty program, and rates average $1,400 per night for a basic room (they can climb to $50,000 per night.) We’d traveled the world extensively for years, but we had never heard the Aman name until we started hanging around truly wealthy people a few years ago. Up until that point, we had fancied ourselves knowledgeable luxury travelers, well-versed in the nuances of the Four Seasons, the Ritz, the St. Regis, and the iconic grand dame hotels in major cities around the world. We thought we were totally in on whatever insider luxury hotel secrets there might be. We were wrong.
Which kind of summer vacationer are you: mountain, beach, or glittering metropolis? Lake, ocean, or infinity pool? If you’re really fortunate, the answer is all of the above.
Compared to the rest of the world, are there any truly world-class gardens in the US? And what about the rest of the Americas?