Want to rent an island for your honeymoon? How about flying around the world on your own jet, stopping only for the best meals along the way? Or perhaps a three-day stay at a hotel where a round of golf with Jack Nicklaus is included in the $8.4 million bill? They're all real possibilities. "Luxury is the most overused word in the travel business," says Teddie Chapman, a.k.a. "The Travel Goddess" (thetravelgoddess.com), a California-based travel agent who specializes in ultraluxury trips starting at $10,000 per person. Some of the over-the-top holidays we fantasize about:
The hottest ticket in super-luxury travel is a round-the-world trip on a 757. TCS Expeditions (tcs-expeditions.com) and Starquest Expeditions (starquestexpeditions.com) offer a jet equipped with doctors, expedition guides and expert lecturers. TCS's Seven Seas Odyssey, for example--a $38,950, three-week jaunt across the globe--stops in the great Roman city of Laptis Magna and at the ruins of Sabratha in Libya, open to the outside only recently.
How about a private isle? Try Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys (littlepalmisland.com). The 28 bungalows perched on crystal white sands have attracted such celebrities as Sandra Bullock and Sen. John Kerry. A grand suite sells for $2,345 a night. But the real treat is a private, three-night weekend complete with use of a 100-foot yacht and your choice of custom-tailored fishing charters. You'll also find rose petals on your bed, massage oils and books of love poems. Cost: $1 million.
If you have an extra $8.4 million, the Marquis Los Cabos (marquisloscabos.com) at the tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula will cater to your every whim. This package includes a weekend at the hotel, 18 holes of golf with Jack Nicklaus, a personalized concert by Santana and a full year's use of a private yacht.
Beaches aren't the only luxury spots. How about a plush South African safari vacation in world-class Kruger Park? At the Royal Malewane Luxury Safari Lodge, you'll get your own suite and deck with a view of the Thornybush Private Game Reserve, a 20,000-acre range with lions, leopards and more. At night, relax in your own private plunge pool or take advantage of the gym, spa, private butler, chef or masseuse services. Prefer to travel incognito? The resort will ferry you in on a pri-vate jet or helicopter ($17,000 per day for a 16-person suite; krugerpark.org).
Even cruise ships are getting in on the act. Take the Antarctica cruise offered by Travel Dynamics International. For $15,395, you can spend two weeks aboard the Corinthian II in a 385-square-foot penthouse suite with a marble bathroom and balcony. You'll tour the Antarctic shelf with a panel of world-class lecturers and naturalists. Best of all, a summer cruise means 24 hours of daylight and plenty of time to take in the splendor (traveldynamics international.com).