Don’t even try to explain what sort of vacation folks will choose after being cooped up for two years. It defies prediction. A well heeled couple we know could have done anything from trekking in Bhutan to luxury glamping in Patagonia, yet what did they opt for as their first foray into post-pandemic luxury-world? A junket to an all-inclusive monolithic 300-room resort on a peninsula in Oahu, where room nights start at US$800, the food looks mass-produced at best and recreation leans in the direction of rum cocktails served in tiki glasses on a lounge chair at poolside accompanied by sunset hula shows. Alternatively, there’s always a ticket on the Blue Origin capsule (US$28 million to US$55 million per seat, depending on which coupon you use) for a thrill ride on a high-tech Roman candle and five minutes of weightlessness at the edge of space, with a low-privacy zero-gravity bathroom behind a curtain. You do get to keep the custom flight suit. After a price of approximately US$10 million a day for that, a rented oligarch’s superyacht looks like a bargain at about US$200,000 a weekend.
To our way of thinking, a seven-night, all-inclusive road trip spanning three outstanding five-star luxury properties in France starting at €12,000 doesn’t sound bad at all, especially if the three hotels are operated by the Airelles Group. Valid for stays between May 5 and June 30, and from September 1 to October 16, 2022, the Airelles Road Trip Experience features two-night stops at Le Grand Contrôle set within the grounds of the Palace of Versailles outside Paris; and La Bastide in the picturesque hilltop village of Gordes; rounding out with three nights in a superior seaview room at Château de la Messardière in Saint-Tropez. The all-inclusive road trip package will be organized from start to finish by a member of the Airelles team, on hand to advise on every aspect of the trip. Every departure you get a deluxe picnic basket containing local delights such as traditional Jambon-Beurre and Ladurée macarons, perfect antidote for your case of the luxury munchies while on the road.
Fiji Airways’ executive chef Richard Cross débuts a new business-class meal service guaranteed to delight travellers on the Auckland or Wellington to Nadi route, where tickets start at NZ$1,200. You’ll find fine dining at 35,000 ft, with new signature dishes such as kava and cinnamon ice cream and dehydrated vegetable garnishes. A new menu cycle will launch every quarter and includes molecular gastronomy and house-smoked produce. Chef has added spectacular grilled tiger prawn cutlets with sriracha mayo and crispy noodles on a caramelized pineapple bed. Save room for the cookies and cream banoffee parfaît, and bittersweet chocolate panna cotta, delicacies sure to tantalize any palate before touching down in the romantic isles. Some exclusive package holidays available via fijiairways.com.
Here’s a new twist on a summer burnish, a line of nostalgia-themed sun care products with a concept. Forget about feeling guilt-tripped every time you use one of those creams advertised in in-flight magazines, which sell for a week’s rent, that get you a mysterious laboratory concoction slick-packaged under some unpronounceable eastern European doctor’s name and cost about a buck a squeeze. Vacation’s signature sunblocks are accompanied by an after-sun chardonnay oil and a skin spritz, a fragrance, a car air freshener, access to an online boutique of kooky branded swag, and a QB code-accessible playlist. Name another sun product brand with its own streaming theme music. The signature sunscreen scent was developed in conjunction with a celebrated parfumeur. It immerses the wearer in a nostalgic olfactory mix of coconut, banana, pool water, pool toy and swimsuit Lycra for optimal poolside lounging.
Stanley Moss is travel editor of Lucire.