Ten money-no-object holidays

From the worth-saving-for to the absolutely unaffordable, 10 extravagant trips worth dreaming about

Visit the  Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) mountain monastery  at Paro Bhutan in Bhutan

Visit the Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) mountain monastery at Paro Bhutan in Bhutan

 

Aboard the VSOE
There’s an argument to be made that no 24-hour train journey is worth €2,200, but the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is no ordinary train. The sine qua non of luxury train journeys transports you between Paris and Venice (there’s the option to travel from London for €2,600) in five-star luxury aboard a train carriage that’s been refitted to its 1920s’ grandeur. The food and service are unparalleled and the journey is over far too quickly. The train runs weekly from March to November. belmond.com

Malaysia and Borneo
A luxury itinerary that combines five-star beach resorts and exclusive jungle lodges, relaxing on private beaches and clambering through some of the world’s oldest rainforests to meet orangutans, rare Sumatran rhinos and endangered pygmy elephants. The 17-day trip includes two nights in Kuala Lumpur and a final four days in a luxury hideaway resort on the island of Tioman. From £3,690 (€4,670) including flights from London. exsus.com

Bhutan
Bhutan may be the world’s only Buddhist nation and measure its success in terms of “Gross National Happiness”, but the Dragon Kingdom jealously guards itself by limiting the number of visas issued and requiring visitors to have fully planned itineraries before arriving. This itinerary, which begins and ends in Kathmandu, includes all of the main highlights, such as the sacred Kurje Lhakhang in the Bumthang Valley, the Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) mountain monastery and the markets of the capital, Thimpu. From £3,495 (€4,425). coxandkings.co.uk

Taj palace tour
A 17-day itinerary where every night you sleep in a restored historical palace, including three nights each in the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai and the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, the former residence of the Maharajah. In between you’ll get a five-star India highlights tour, before ending your trip with an overnight at arguably India’s finest hotel, the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, the former home of the kingdom’s ruling Nizam family. From £6,370 (€8,065) including flights from London. ampersandtravel.com

Go with the floe
Nowhere on earth is more deserving of the ‘trip of a lifetime’ tag than Antarctica. The White Continent is a memorable collection of superlatives that has been witnessed by relatively few adventurers. Project Travel’s Silversea Expedition is a 10-day luxury cruise from Ushuaia that takes in the Falkland, South Georgia, Elephant and South Shetland islands on its way to the continent itself. Prices from €8,150, including flights from Dublin. project-travel.ie

Your own private opera
A private performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the neoclassical Estates Theatre in Prague (where the opera debuted in 1787) followed by a lift in a chauffeur-driven Rolls to the Four Seasons, where you will dine on the rooftop terrace whilst being serenaded by members of the Estates Theatre Opera . . . before tucking into a bed in the Presidential Suite, your home for two nights. Available for up to eight people from May to September; six months’ advance notice required. Total cost is €60,000. fourseasons.com/extraordinary experiences

Ultimate safari
How about your own 350,000-acre game reserve? The Singita Serengeti House on Sasakwa Hill in northern Tanzania has four beautiful suites and is available on an exclusive-use-only basis, so you’ll have the place to yourself. The lodge is on the migratory route of the wildebeest, so you’ll get to see plenty of wildlife when you’re not relaxing in the infinity pool, getting a spa treatment or dining on what the chef has cooked, all included in the weekly €66,000 price. singita.com

The world’s most expensive chalet
High in the Austrian Alps near Lech is Chalet N, where the pillows are embroidered with your initials and the water in the basement pool changes colour according to your mood. Your skis are made by Porsche, the cutlery is titanium and you can access a fully stocked wine cellar. There are 11 bedrooms that sleep up to 24 people – just two shy of the complement of staff. But all this luxury has a price: a week at the chalet comes in at about €250,000. chalet-n.com

Your own slice of paradise
If you’ve got a spare €380,000 or so you can rent the Caribbean island of Calivigny, just off the coast of Grenada. The 50-acre island’s main accommodation is the Beach House, a mix of French Colonial and Balinese style that sleeps up to 20 people in extravagant, Oscar de la Renta-designed opulence. It’s a full-service kind of place, and the price includes absolutely everything, including private plane transfer from Grenada. calivigny-island.com

A pricey hangover
To treat yourself to the world’s most expensive hangover, take a €415,000 bottle of Armand de Brignac Dynastie, add a glass of Penfolds Ampoule (only 12 bottles made, retailing for €138,000 each) and throw in a €500 tequila chaser. It’s all part of the Ultimate Drink Connoisseurs’ Holiday, which takes two people to 10 different countries to sample the world’s most exclusive drinks – flying business class all the way and staying only in five-star hotels, of course. The trip – for two – costs a cool €1 million. holidaysplease.co.uk

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