Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas Gifts for the Rich: The Orient Express!

In September I mentioned a few items that might be great gifts for the super rich. It's really hard to buy for them, you know? Considering they already have everything under the sun, right?

But thanks to our Twitter pal Jim Kendall (luxury real-estate mogul in Boston) it occurs to me that the gift of travel could be entirely unique and well received by our rich friends - if presented carefully and in the right way. Who doesn't love to get out of town and do something different, right?

For example, how about open tickets (meaning 'at your convenience' ) for a ten-day holiday on a luxury Mediterranean cruise ship? (Which is generally under $50,000 per couple.)

And then, how about open reservations for a six-day revitalization visit to the luxury spa Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland? Who wouldn't appreciate that? (About $33,000 per person, or $66,000 per couple.)

Or perhaps open tickets for the three-room apartments on the UAE's luxury airline Ethiad Air -complete with a private shower before landing? (A round-trip ticket from New York to Mumbai, for example, would be roughly $76,000 per couple.)

But Jim was talking about something new altogether. It seems the renowned Orient Express, serving the rich and famous since 1883, is upgrading some cars to accommodate the current new breed of super rich - who are always looking for new thrills and adventures. In it's long 135 year history the train has not only been known for luxury but also mystery and intrigue - as in Agatha Christie's book and film Murder On the Orient Express.

Like many other children, my father bought me a miniature train set when I was a child and I've been hooked on train travel ever since. As a family we took trains all across America and Canada, with sleeping cars, an observation car, and a dining room with linens and crystal wine glasses on the table. All so awesome! And then in later years as a poor back-packing student traveling in Europe, cheap passenger trains were always the transportation of choice. Not just for the scenic beauty but also the wonderful people you meet along the journey.

One summer in Istanbul I went to the train station to check out the Destination Board, trying to decide where to go to next. To my excitement the Orient Express was pulling into the station at that very same time! At least twice I walked the entire length of the train on the platform, peering into windows and watching the well-heeled passengers depart - summonsing porters to pick up their Louis Vuitton luggage and steamer trunks. Just so elegant and mind boggling!

But now getting back to the subject, here's a link to the newly added suites for the super rich on the Orient Express. At a mere $7,000 per night per person, you can easily see why this would be a great gift for your best rich friends. That's only about $200,000 for a couple to have a two-week trip, right? Perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary celebration, as well as other such reckless events.  Conde Nast Traveler

I hope this has been somewhat helpful in making gift decisions this year?  Or what?

As always, thanks for dropping in this evening,