Once upon a time, the leisurely pit stops of the world’s jaunty elite used to be entirely predictable. Just ask Taki — society columnist, doyen of the Jet Set, and the last surviving playboy: “It went St Moritz or Gstaad in Winter; Paris in the Springtime; the French Riviera in the Summer; and New York in the fall,” he says. Anyone who was anyone did it like that, because everyone always had. The reliability and familiarity was part of the charm; adventures were for your love life or your business interests, thanks very much.
Nowadays, however, it’s harder to pin the tail on this particular donkey. Originality, newness, and authenticity are all; the global rich want to leave their comfort zones, hop outside their boxes, venture wildly off the beaten track. So we spoke to four leading authorities in the world of luxury to find out where the world’s wealthiest travellers are jetting (or sailing, or quad-biking, or trekking, or diving) off to in 2022.
Tanya Rose, founder of Mason Rose, senses a yearning for the wild frontier
“A trend we’re seeing amongst the super-rich (and possibly across the board post-pandemic) is this yearning for wide open spaces and outdoor adventures in the heart of nature — with high-end ranch style resorts perfectly poised to welcome this particular guest.
Located 10 miles from the chic US resort of Aspen — frequented by many an A-lister, art aficionado and tech entrepreneur — is the incredible (yet very discreet) The Residences by Aspen Valley Ranch. Opened just last year, it spans over 800 acres of amazing wild Colorado countryside and six (soon to be twelve, but no more after that!) incredible properties — each filled with contemporary art, huge windows, and all the most superlative mod-cons that one would expect for luxury ranch style living.
But the real fun is in the all the services that they offer that really make the most of the destination, and that’s why we’re seeing so many guests staying for much longer than the minimum required stay of two weeks. (Some of them even go on to buy one — or two! — of the homes themselves…)
You can learn to barrel race with Bella, their award-winning on-site wrangle; or take up cross-country skiing along the ranch’s own private trail — with obligatory pauses for elk crossings along the way, of course; or try white water rafting along Roaring Fork River. It really is a haven for those looking to escape into nature for a spot of adventure — or simply for those wishing to relax in complete privacy with friends and family.”
Rental starts at $52,500, minimum stay two weeks. Homes purchase prices available upon request
Tom Harding, co-founder of Nemo Travel, recommends a safari and beach combination
“High-end travellers are looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, seeking remote corners of the world and truly unique places to stay. Exclusivity is key and we’re seeing an increase in demand for multi-generational families taking long overdue bucket list trips. Southern Africa is our top pick to truly get away from it all and we love a safari and beach combination. Duba Plains offers exclusive, luxurious suites and a fully private safari in the Okavango Delta, whilst Kisawa Sanctuary on Benguerra Island (Mozambique) is an example of a brand new opening that is catering for the privacy-seeking crowd. Seamless travel is crucial and our team are delivering with private charters, helicopters and seats at the front more popular than ever.”
Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato, says Botswana is fast becoming a hotspot
“For true remote immersion and to mark safari’s great return in a perennially bucket-list locale, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park in Botswana is particularly compelling and somewhere we’re seeing pick up steam. There’s a huge increase in clients booking epic 2022 trips to this remarkable part of the world, as the trend for exceptionally affluent travellers plotting massive escapes and memorable expeditions continues.
We’ve witnessed a surge in interest from people seeking to travel to Makgadikgadi and Okavango, which is perfect for multi-gen families with older children. We’re recommending that clients kick off their adventure in the fabulous Okavango Delta, staying at Black Tomato favourite, the stunning new Xigera safari lodge, where we can even curate an experience into the ecology of the Delta. Then they’ll make their way to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans for extraordinary day and night game drives, encountering the unique wildlife that inhabits this seemingly barren landscape. It’s possible to get unbelievably close to meerkats here, and to traverse the salt pans by horseback.
Intrepid travellers are also relishing our incredible new adventure, which takes guests through the Okavango Delta to Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on a mobile quad bike safari. Replete with bespoke, kitted-out ‘blink’ tents for sleeping under the stars in the remotest of Botswana, like The Lost Island of Baobabs, near Kubu Island. Here, gourmet meals are laid out on white damask linens, decked with fine glassware and bone-handled silver — so they’re not roughing it by any means.”
Geoffrey Kent, founder of Abercrombie & Kent, points to a newly opened Saudi Arabia
“This year, people want to push the boundaries of travel by going somewhere new, somewhere just opened to tourists — Saudi Arabia. Each year, millions of people make the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, home to the holy city of Mecca. Yet, off the pilgrim trail is a bounty of overlooked wonders, here you can navigate between ancient and modern wonders and delve into a desert kingdom off the tourist trail. In Riyadh you can dine atop the iconic Kingdom Tower – one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and visit nearby Diriyah, known for its traditional mud-brick architecture, home to revitalized Al Bujairi, a pedestrianized maze of winding alleyways with cafes and craft shops. Al-Ula is a trove of archaeological treasures including striking rock-carved tombs comparable to Petra. A&K have an exciting project building there with luxury camps planned. Jeddah’s famous Red Sea waterfront rolls out before you like a red carpet, as you visit the floating mosque, UNESCO-listed old town, and myriad fascinating museums. You’ll leave Saudi Arabia with a deeper insight into Saudi Arabia’s unique culture and history.”
Charles Carveles at Edmiston Yachts say it’s all about Antarctica
“Yacht charters have had to adapt to the change the world has gone through in the past two years, and navigating travel restrictions is not easy. But the demand for charters around the world is higher than ever, and chartering a superyacht is often the safest place you can be (as well as being the highest luxury you can wish to experience, of course). We have seen growth in yacht owners and charterers wanting to go further afield with their yachts. And while the demand for the usual hotspots like St Tropez, Mykonos and St Barths will always be there, owners are really using their yachts to explore more than ever before. One example: I just organised a huge charter for one of our clients to Antarctica that included three planes, two superyachts, two helicopters, a submersible, and over 100 people — as well as a host of special guests, and much more. This trip took over two and a half years to plan. Antarctica is becoming more and more of a hotspot for clients who want to experience something special, and there are more yachts travelling there each year. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the appetite.”