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Special/exclusive tours, excursions, and experiences

Special/exclusive tours, excursions, and experiences

Old Jul 20, 17, 1:49 am
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EXCLUSIVE/SPECIAL luxury tours, excursions, and experiences

I am curious about what special, exclusive, VIP-type (e.g. expensive) and/or unusually expensive tours and experiences people have enjoyed and/or know about from around the world. I'm going for the special, rare, one-of-a-kind experiences that few usually get to enjoy.

I'm hoping to be inspired, impressed, and to get ideas for future experiences!

Examples:

(1) Riva Experience, Gritti Palace, Venice, Italy--a half or full day exploration of the outer lagoon islands in the hotel's custom Riva motorboat. Truly sublime. Cost was around 2400 euros as I recall.

(2) La Cena del Oro, MAP Cafe, Cusco, Peru--phenomenal 7 course dinner offered originally in the Museum of Pre-Columbian Arts, then only inside the regular restaurant. (Best meal we had in Peru, better even than Central and Astrid y Gaston in Lima. Easily worthy of 3 Michelin stars.)

(3) Private whisky barrel tasting, Dufftown, Scotland--tasting from the rare barrels warehouse at Glenfiddich Distillery, highlight was from a 1959 (47yo at the time) sherry barrel that tasted like liquid chocolate, later bottled as a 50yo.

(4) Private tasting, Pahlmeyer, Napa Valley, California--inside the home of Jaysen Pahlmeyer, proprietor, with winemaker, Alison Tauziet.

(5) Private barrel tasting, Vina Cobos, Mendoza, Argentina--tasting with co-proprietor, Andrea Marchiori...and I suggested combining barrels for a new blend, which they actually did blend and bottle! She sent us a free case.

(6) Private wine tasting and vineyard tour, Chris Ringland Wines, Barossa Valley, Australia--in the home of and with Chris Ringland, acclaimed winemaker famous for his Three Rivers wines.

(7) Private wine tasting, Grosset Wines, Clare Valley, Australia--tasting with proprietor and winemaker, Jeffrey Grosset, acclaimed white winemaker in Australia

With tongue in cheek, I also give you:

(8) Birthday drag show evening out on the town, Amansara, Siem Reap, Cambodia-- lots of drinking and sass with Exec Chef Molly and F/B Director Audrey from Amansara, hanging out as friends and not staff/guests. A very memorable birthday to be sure!

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 21, 17 at 12:11 pm
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Old Jul 20, 17, 7:15 am
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The ones I have had the chance to experience are similar to yours, but much less interesting so I can't help with inspiration for you I'm afraid (sure other people will be able to tho). ​The two that come to mind are:

Private tour, wine tasting and lunch at the Ribas Winery on Mallorca. The winery dates back to 1711, and was closed due to harvesting. We were given the tour, tasting, and lunch despite of it, together with the daughter and son duo who will be taking over from their parents.

Another time we were served a one off tasting menu at FS Lisbon which gave one of their best young chefs the chance to experiment and try out ideas. He had competed in Bocuse d'Or, and the food was very good, and might I add very cheap around 50 per person.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 9:44 am
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Caresse, Bodrum, Turkey, has two ships of its own. One is a powerboat and one is a sailboat. We didn't take either but you'll see some pictures from an FTer who rented the powerboat for half a day. He spent 500 euros in 2015.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 9:53 am
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Oh come now, Bill, you know you would tempt me (into responding).

I once had a private tour of Russia with a dashing pilot.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 9:59 am
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The UK is full of this type of experience but the cultural ethos is such that they are rarely publicized. For example, there's the Champion's room at Wimbledon where for GBP200 per person, you get a table all day where you have what looks like a very nice lunch, tea, and cocktails while overlooking play on outer courts. But you need to reserve, typically months in advance, and be a Centre Court debenture seat holder to be allowed to reserve and get into the area.

Last edited by RichardInSF; Jul 20, 17 at 11:46 pm
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Old Jul 20, 17, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Oh come now, Bill, you know you would tempt me (into responding).

I once had a private tour of Russia with a dashing pilot.
I've been tempting you since we first met, baby. I actually was thinking of this trip when I posted. Of course, I'd likely have done more with the pilot than you did. #missedopportunity .

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 20, 17 at 10:53 am
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Old Jul 20, 17, 10:38 am
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my two favorite exclusive experiences in London

View the Changing of the Guard from inside the Wellington Barracks. This is where the Guard lives. You'll stand in the courtyard as they conduct their daily concert, then see them march out the gates and down the short spur to Buckingham Palace.

Get behind the plexiglass at the Churchill War Rooms. You can sit in his chair, hold his cigar, while all the tourists filing by wonder what kind of VIP you must be to have gotten inside the cabinet room.
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Old Jul 20, 17, 10:45 am
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The boat tour organized by Iniala is without equal. The (awesome) butlers join you, whether its constantly pouring you champagne, the (legit) sushi lunch Iniala provided, or just jumping on the jet skis with our son (who was six at the time) while his parents were on the other jetski.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 11:21 am
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The helicopter tour of Hong Kong and its islands from the roof of The Peninsula is well worth doing.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
The helicopter tour of Hong Kong and its islands from the roof of The Peninsula is well worth doing.

Agreed, that was fun!

Not sure if this is fits in this category, but, we also had the opportunity to fly on a private jet from the states to Scotland to play golf...living in style, that was .
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Old Jul 21, 17, 12:42 pm
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Belmond Eagle Island, Botswana has a helicopter you can book for a flight over the Okavango Delta. It's amazing to see the water, land, and animals from the sky. Other game parks such as Mombo also offer the helicopter ride with the helicopter that is stationed at Eagle Island.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 1:00 pm
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I want to add, that in my recent trip to Costa Rica, at Hacienda Altagracia, they offer Ultralight flights on their glider aircrafts. This looked amazing...yes, I chickened out...you actually sit in these two seater planes, no casing/glass...almost like a WWI plane but seat is barely above your waist (and with knees bent, a portion sticks out), The pilot sits in front and you sit in the back compartment...very fast and they fly over the mountains/waterfalls...next time I'll have a drink first.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 1:04 pm
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Sitting on the side of the stage (where dancers enter and exit from) for a performance of the Royal London Ballet and having one of the dancers give a tour of the whole operations behind the stage after the performance. that was a highlight!
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Old Jul 21, 17, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by uclabruin82 View Post
Sitting on the side of the stage (where dancers enter and exit from) for a performance of the Royal London Ballet and having one of the dancers give a tour of the whole operations behind the stage after the performance. that was a highlight!
How was that arranged?
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Old Jul 21, 17, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
The helicopter tour of Hong Kong and its islands from the roof of The Peninsula is well worth doing.
Is there a comparable helicopter tour over Tokyo? Do we think it would be worthwhile?

Last edited by bhrubin; Jul 23, 17 at 1:08 pm
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