Thursday, December 18, 2014

Birkin Handbags: Gifts for the Rich!

In the November post about Ethiad Airways luxury $48,000 suite for an overnight flight, Stacy left a hysterical comment about running across a used Birkin Bag for the exact same price! Here's part of her comment:

"...I was having a conversation with my boss this week and I told her about how I'd seen a used 2013 Birkin bag for sale for $48,000. Her response is that no one with a conscience should ever pay that much for a bag. Then I remembered your post and realized it was the same price as the flight. Even though I agreed with my boss that no one NEEDS a handbag that costs as much as a luxury vehicle, the truth is, no one NEEDS a luxury vehicle either....there's simply no way to justify a $50,000 handbag except to say...it's really really really GORGEOUS...and it'll last a lot longer and get more miles than that flight :-)"

While I agree with you, Stacy, and your boss as well about the questionable need for a purse that expensive, it's a real bargain in my opinion, since Birkin's can run as high as $150,000. (In fact, there's a one-of-a-kind Birkin being offered on the internet right now for $450,000!)

On the other hand, there's a defensible place for these extravagant handbags in the world of the super rich. To explain it fully, I'm going to slide into sheer fantasy here for a few moments and hope it makes sense in tying it altogether:  

To begin this scenario, we focus on a Miss Betty Bankstocks, sitting in the back seat of her vintage $2 million dollar chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, on her way to the airport. Wearing a simple $85,000 couture travel dress, she glances down at her diamond-encrusted $1.2 million dollar Patek Philippe wristwatch to see is she's on time.

At the airport, the staff aboard Ethiad Airways escorts Miss Bankstocks to her $48,000 suite (complete with private bathroom and shower) where she hopes to get a good night's sleep before her girlfriend's three-day birthday celebration begins the next day.

Before arrival the next morning, she takes a quick shower and jumps into a new $125,000 haute couture cocktail dress. Feeling well rested and refreshed, she takes a limousine from the airport and a private water taxi out to her girlfriend's $225 million dollar luxury yacht sitting in the Bay of Monaco, with the Monte Carlo skyline shimmering in the background. The staff aboard the yacht hoists up her antique $75,000 Louis Vuitton wardrobe trunk and takes it to her room.

Right on time, she glides into the main salon where late-morning cocktails (Bloody Mary's and Mimosas) are just getting underway. Amidst  all the chatter and greetings, the Maitre'd makes a hand gesture as to where she can park her $150,000 Birkin bag on a side table, in full view of all.

And that's precisely the moment when an expensive bag like that shows off it's true value. What else could Miss Bankstocks have possibly sat down there that would reflect her true status in this world? A cheap off-the-shelf $5,000 purse from Bergdorf Goodman or Neiman Marcus?

I don't think so, not in that crowd!

Anyhow, thanks for reading tonight and indulging in the fantasy. The super rich do things in their own odd way, with cost being the least consideration over style, elegance and presentation.  And thanks again, Stacy, for bringing up such a fun topic.

Before going, here's a link to what Birkin Bags are all about.

Good night,
Andrew

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Expensive Hotels for the Rich!

Last month I wrote a post about Ethiad Airways' private three-room suites that can cost up to $48,000 for an overnight flight. While that may sound insanely extravagant to most of us, what I failed to do was put it all into perspective.

The thing is, paying $35,000 to $65,000 a night for a luxury hotel is actually common place for the super rich, in major cities all around the world. So why not on an airplane, in the hopes of getting a good night's sleep?

I could mention where famous film stars and directors hold up during the Cannes Film Festival each year on the French Riviera. The renowned Hotel Martinez is situated right on the exclusive Boulevard de la Croisette near all the action, and has it's own private beach on the Bay of Cannes. The elegant Penthouse, maybe the largest in Europe, will cost you about $37,500 per night.

Then there's the venerable Four Seasons in New York. The Penthouse occupies the entire top floor with a 360-degree view of Manhattan, and indoor-outdoor Zen gardens. (One of the designers, by the way, was the world famous architect I.M. Pei.) A night here will cost you about $41,750.

But let's jump to what's currently the most expensive rooms in the world, the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland. With a private elevator that goes up the Royal Penthouse, you'll find twelve rooms, including a living room with a Steinway grand piano, a dining room, library, billiard room, and fitness center. For heads of state visiting the United Nations (not to mention security-conscious celebrities) the hotel boasts that all the windows and doors are bullet proof. And for all this luxury and security, you'll be paying about $65,000 to $80,000 per night, depending on the time of year I guess, and what's going on in town.

While this all might sound extraordinary (maybe even unbelievable), don't forget that all the above-mentioned suites usually come with a full staff--including a butler, your own private chef, room attendants, sometimes even a chauffeur. And of course, for an additional fee, a massage therapist can always be called in, as well as caterers for a large party, even a well-known pianist to sit at the Steinway during the cocktail or dinner hours.

So you see, $48,000 for a flight on Ethiad is nothing really out of the ordinary for the super rich--although most luxury hotels don't require Dramamine to get to sleep.

Before going I might also mention, from personal experience, that Motel 6 has comfortable beds, clean sheets, and a TV for about $59 a night. Although in Napa Valley and other desirable destinations, it might jump up to $69. So beware, and always call ahead to get the best rates.

Thanks for stopping by,
Andrew