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Indulgent stays, exotic locations, opulent palaces, cruises or resorts and once-in-a-lifetime experiences crafted exclusively for the high spending segment is the focus of luxury travel. They are out of the ordinary experiences and promise an unforgettable holiday. All you need is the moolah and a lot of pizzazz.

My Unforgettable Luxury Travel Experience

A few years ago, to celebrate her landmark birthday, my friend invited fifty close friends and their spouses for an all-expenses-paid trip to Sharm el-Sheikh. We stayed at the luxurious beachfront resort, The Ritz Carlton. A grand luncheon was organised in the lush gardens of towering palm and date trees, brilliant Bougainvillea and flowering plants and cacti. We soaked in the majestic views of the coastline and drank ourselves silly. At night we partied by the side of the Red Sea with the belly dancers adding glam to a dazzling night. Yet another flight, the following day, took us to Cairo where we stayed at The Grand Hyatt. Her birthday was bought with aplomb – right in front of the Great Sphinx in Giza. A star-studded event with celebrities and stars from Bollywood added to the razzmatazz. Yeah! It was one brill holiday with the last evening of the holiday spent on a cruise on the River Nile entertained by the traditional dance and music performances. This was one luxury experience that I won’t forget.

Party in Egypt
Partying at Night In Cairo

International Luxury Experiences

Travel companies are drawing bespoke and personalised itineraries for their clients. In 1986, Susie Worthy started the Noteworthy, a company that offers the best access to the most prestigious locations, stays in fancy hotels and experiences that are a step up from anything you can find in guidebooks. With specialisation in UK, Ireland, Paris and Normandy, NoteWorthy can provide introductions to curators at castles, palaces, museums, stately homes and châteaus, as well as organising private tours. Clients can get a taste of history as they explore Highclere Castle, the 300-room home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon — more famously known as ‘Downton Abbey’ from the hit British TV series. They can view from behind the glass barriers of the Churchill War Rooms, saunter in Prince Charles’ garden at Highgrove, and dine in the Orangery at Kensington Palace.

Highclere Mansion
Highclere Castle

With their HQ in London, Blue Marble Private curates some of the world’s finest and exemplary experiences. Whether it is exploring the hidden beaches along the Amalfi Coast aboard a sublime yacht, or be strapped into a live ejection seat in a fighter jet screaming through the air at near supersonic speed Blue Marble chalks out an itinerary for you. Want to be cut off from the world? Find yourself in seclusion at Nukutepipi island. It is home to a unique collection of rare tropical flora and fauna, a primary forest, untouched beaches and a protected lagoon. Recently, they were planning to take their guests on an 8-day mission to the depth of 13000 feet in the Atlantic Ocean to see the greatest shipwreck of all times – The Titanic. Wow! This is something I would love to do too.

Excursionist, a premier inbound luxury destination management company offers similar extraordinary experiences for the US, Canada and the Caribbean. Whether it is ice cave hiking, thrilling dog mushing and plentiful wildlife viewing in Alaska or seeing a polar bear face-to-face in Manitoba or tornado chasing in a luxury RV with an expert (who advised in the making of the movie “Twister”) they leave a lasting impression with extraordinary travel experiences curated for discerning private clients.

Top 3 Luxury Experiences In India

In India too, the luxury travel segment is no longer the exclusive purview of the International tourist who is besotted with the palaces, forts and regal aura of Rajasthan or the sunny beaches of Goa or the coconut lined placid backwaters of Kerala Now, even Indian tourists are ready to foresee the cost aspect for the peerless travel experience.

Soak in the Royal experience at Taj Lake Palace

Listed in the category of the best luxury hotels of India, a stay at the Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur is a world-class experience. Completed in 1746 by Maharaja Jagat Singh, the palace sits on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola. Every room of the luxury resort offers breathtaking views of the neighbouring City Palace, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills and Jag Mandir. The paradisiacal palace exudes the opulence and pomp of the bygone era. Evening soirees, restaurants offering exquisite delicacies, impeccable hospitality combined with modern contemporary comforts in luxurious room transports you to the era of the royals of Rajasthan.

Udaipur Lake Palace
Udaipur Taj Lake Palace ( Photo Credit: Taj Lake Palace)

Rediscover the age of regalia and decadence in a train

Luxury trains of India, namely, Palace on WheelsMaharajas’ ExpressRoyal Rajasthan on WheelsDeccan Odyssey and Golden Chariot, offer grandeur and comfort to the guests. Opulent interiors, top-notch facilities and courteous staff make the journey an unforgettable one. Well-planned itineraries offer an opportunity to explore the rich heritage and culture of Rajasthan by covering historic destinations and include sightseeing, cultural performances, special meals, shopping experiences at the local bazaars. Palace on Wheels journey is a cultural extravaganza offering a kaleidoscope of insider experiences and cultural interactions.

Palace On wheels
Palace on Wheels ( Photo Credit: Palace on Wheels)

Sail on a private houseboat in Kerala

Sailing in a luxury houseboat through the backwaters doesn’t not only give you a glimpse of “God’s own country” but also a glimpse of inaccessible rural Kerala. As the boat glides over the water, spot rice farmers, fishermen and life at the tiny jungle-framed villages. Sip an ambrosial cocktail or enjoy a three-course meal cooked by the chef. The opulent suites house all modern comforts including wi-fi, airconditioning, a well-equipped kitchen, a lounge and a deck to soak in picturesque views.

Luxury Houseboat in Kerala
A luxury houseboat in Kerala

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Have you heard about Glamping? A portmanteau of Glamour and Camping, it adds a splash of glam to camping. Read more about it here.


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