We profile three amenities that will amp up your luxury travel experience.
By Kirsten Niper & Kimberly Turner
Options abound when it comes to transportation. But luxury travel calls for panache, style and enjoyment. Setting the tone, bonuses such as fine interior fabric, chrome-plated wheels or smart technology systems allow for relaxing and satisfying travel. However, the more unique amenities, which incorporate home-like qualities to your experience, bring traveling in luxury to a new level.
Etihad Airways makes a home in the sky, providing the services of a Savoy Butler Academy-trained butler, a world-class chef and a VIP concierge team that handles all aspects of travel for the two guests of The Residence, who are ensconced in their own apartment during their trip. It will launch in December 2014 on the London to Abu Dhabi route, with four more launching in 2015 on different routes. “The Residence has literally taken the world by storm… Since the May announcement of its upcoming launch, we have already received bookings for our first flights, which begin at the end of the year,” says Calum Laming, vice president of Guest Experience at Etihad Airways. A round-trip flight on the London to Abu Dhabi route is $43,239 for one passenger or $21,620 each for two passengers.
A Zen-like Train
Arriving in speed in Japan is easy with the country’s famous bullet trains, which can travel at speeds of up to 199 miles per hour. Relaxing in extra comfort and style will now be possible with a new carriage in the train that will feature two banks of seats with 8-foot-long tubs in which passengers may soak their feet, facing the windows so they can take in the views as well. Train company JR East will launch the practice in The Toreiyu train, which will be the first bullet train dedicated to hospitality.
Additional relaxing features include tatami mats, which are traditional soft floor coverings associated with Japanese nobility and designed to make it comfortable to sit on the ground.
Bentley’s Mulsanne features striking design elements, such as the diamond-quilted, leather-trimmed cabin. But, what truly makes this vehicle unique is the option for an electrically operated bottle cooler, complete with hand-blown and hand-cut lead crystal champagne flutes. The rear cabin storage area includes space for two full-sized champagne bottles in a canted position, allowing opened bottles to be placed back in the cooler. With one touch of a button, the frosted glass door slides open to reveal three crystal champagne flutes, displayed by white LED accent lighting. The flutes echo the racing spoke design of Mulsanne’s 21-inch 5-spoke Sports alloy wheel and were exclusively created for Bentley by renowned British designer David Redman of London.