Top 7 luxury vacation destinations for us men of the world. With an average of only 10 vacation days a year in the US, there’s a lot of playing hard to squeeze into very little time before resuming the working hard part of a badly balanced equation. And if you’ve got one of those man jobs that requires balls to do, then we take a look at the vacation spots that dreams are made of. Warning: Not Safe for Work.
Elite city breaks
You know you have too much money when you can only identify a city looking down from above. Wait, New York City has hot dog carts and steam rising from the subway? Not from the penthouse suite of The Mark Hotel, named by Forbes magazine as the most expensive hotel suite in the world’s most famous city. A night here will set you back upwards of $75,000, pilfered bath robes and shampoo samples not included. The title of their website reads ‘Life at The Mark’. Sounds inclusive, but it’s someone else’s life. If The Mark penthouse is taken, you can try taking a suite in one of the world’s great hotels – the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva is a favourite of world leaders, as are The Ritz in Paris or Claridge’s in London. The key is to look like you belong there. Dress up, tip everything that moves and let impeccable service do its thing, rather than wrestling with the bell hop over your backpack.
When your bank has just completed the purchase of Greece, where do you go to unwind for a few days? Not Greece, for a start. Instead, you’ll want to get away from the hoi polloi in a remote island resort, soothed by tropical breezes, and pampered every moment with massages, cocktails, and lazy lagoon cruises. That would mean heading to Tahiti in French Polynesia before picking up a connection to Bora Bora. At that point, your world becomes hardwood pagodas and villas on stilts, crystal clear water, and twinkling tiki torches after sunset. All for nothing less than £1,000 a night. Alternatively, try Fregate Island in the Seychelles, a private resort with a price tag to match.
In search of hedonism
When it comes to fun, plenty of cities around the world have had their moment in the sun. Lagos, Havana, even Beirut have all been at one point the place to go for a party. Thanks to some astute marketing and the power of Hollywood, Las Vegas is back at the top. It’s no longer pitched as the place to feed your pension into a slot machine one quarter at a time, but as the ideal destination for a bachelor party or lost weekend. Try Caesar’s Palace to recreate key scenes from both Rain Man and The Hangover, or take the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa at The Las Vegas Palms ($40,000 a night) to look out over the desert night from the comfort of your own hooker.
Certification aside, we’re all equal underwater. But not all dive destinations can boast the same pull. Scuba Dive magazine identifies both Palau in Micronesia and Sipadan Island in Malaysia as its elite scuba destinations. In either place, you’ll find the laid-back but luxurious dive resorts where no doubt the campfire conversation turns to coral and fish of an evening. Head to the Maldives, on the other hand, and you can plunder the gin-clear waters of Cocoa Island, where yet another Four Seasons has bagged some premium real estate.
When the Christmas and New Year holiday arrives, where to go? The Caribbean beaches of St. Barts or the snows of Aspen, Colorado? No one should have to make these choices. Ultimately, slogging through a white out at altitude is going to be less sybaritic than topping up the tan on a tropical shoreline, but it’s in the apres ski where the established hierarchy realigns. In Europe, you can get your fix of royalty and prestigious finance on the slopes of Klosters or Courcheval. Book a suite at the exclusive Les Suites de la Potiniere at the latter.
Edward VIII famously despatched half of East Africa’s wildlife on one of his hunting trips, and the safari remains a perfect opportunity to gaze over a majestic landscape with regal disdain. Of course, the attitudes have hardened somewhat to the idea of blunderbussing elephants and leopards for their ivory or skins, but you can still treat yourself to the camp luxury of the 1920s hunter. At Ol Jogi in Kenya, the linens are from Hermes and the price tag a cool quarter of a million for a week. At Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri in Kenya you can camp in opulence beneath an African sky. Just remember not to pose with photos of your endangered species once you’ve bagged it.
Clustered around the Caribbean in winter and Antibes in summer, the super yacht circuit extends dick-swinging onto the water as sheiks, sultans and oligarchs jostle with each other for prime anchorages. But if you can’t afford the monthly payments on your own yacht, you can charter one instead, complete with Captain, crew, stewardesses and toys. In fact, get a group together and the cost can almost appear reasonable. Neither do you have to confine yourself to a standard white ‘stinkpot’. Contact specialist agencies to charter a classic yacht – teak and brass topside, surprisingly spacious below deck.