It’s a question I am often asked – where do billionaires travel?
Billionaires are a special breed of human, and when travelling, look for the most exclusive travel experiences away from the crowds.
Most billionaires travel almost continually between their various homes and board meetings, on their private jets and in their helicopters. Following the sun globally from their home on one continent to their home on another is often a pattern.
But a designated “holiday” usually has a purpose, like seeing a sporting final, attending a health retreat or celebrating a life milestone like a family member’s birthday.
Most billionaires have egos, so they want to see and be seen. During the European summer for example, billionaires are found on their luxury super yachts, many valued at over £200 million moored off Capri, St Tropez, Ibiza, Portofino or Mykonos.
The lavish fixtures on board can include swimming pools, gyms, four poster beds & dining tables seating 16 or even 20 people. They are effectively floating mansions.
The luxury and service on board their boats is well in excess of what any hotel can offer, so they tend to go on shore for cocktails and dinners as well as shopping, but stay on board during the day.
When James Packer was dating Mariah Carey for example, they would often moor their huge luxury superyachts side by side off the upmarket Italian island of Capri and then be seen in the town having dinners & dancing before retreating to their boats after midnight.
There are others who like to keep things low key, Bill Gates for example has been seen in the relaxed coastal areas of Croatia.
When not beside the ocean, a lot of wealthy men gravitate to the NBA Games in the US, where courtside tickets can cost up to US $25,000 each.
The attraction is not only the basketball, but the A-Listers they rub shoulders with before, during and after the game. However at many high level global sporting games, even billionaires can’t buy tickets – which is why they want them so much.
There has been much written about the challenge of acquiring tickets to Knicks Games at Madison Square Garden (MSG), where Knicks staff apparently decide who does & doesn’t get seats. And plenty of high profile, rich people miss out – or are forced to accept rows 2 or 3. Ouch.
For those lucky enough to be there, tickets include VIP access to a bar before and after the game, but food & drink is on top of ticket costs, as is getting to and from the game. But billionaires have their own drivers, and helicopters so that’s not a problem for them.
And what about hotels? The majority of Billionaires have their own apartments in NYC, but the penthouse at the Mark Hotel is their most popular choice if they need a hotel if their apartment is under renovation for example.
At US $75, 000 a night, it’s only occupied around 10 nights of the year and the 12,000 square feet of luxury includes five bedrooms, a grand piano, six bathrooms, a library, 26 foot ceilings, and four fireplaces amongst other elaborate details.
London is another global city where most of them have a base of some description. For example Tesler guru Elon Musk is renting a sprawling luxury home in inner London where he sees his children who are based there.
For $51,000 a night, The Lanesborough has the most luxurious – and priciest- suite, and comes complete with a Rolls Royce Phantom at your disposal. Filled with gold leaf, 7 bedrooms and a 12 seater dining room, it is nothing short of spectacular.
But if it’s REAL luxury a billionaire is after, the Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland is the priciest at $120,000 a night. It has a private lift, grand piano, 12 bedrooms, and spectacular views.
Necker Island is another hot spot for the super wealthy who want seclusion. Located in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, the rich fly in by private jet, and pay US $42,000 per night to rent the whole island. This trip is about getting back to nature and getting away from it all.
The island can accommodate 16-28 people, but billionaires generally host a few close friends and their staff, and that’s it.
This style of travel where billionaires book a whole island or resort is common when they want to bring their mates.
Much has been written about billionaire life coach Anthony Robbins building a $52 million house on the island of Vanau Levu, and his many trips to Fiji over the years booking whole islands where he now hosts wellness retreats. Fiji is also a favourite holiday destination for Oprah Winfrey.
These are the people who more than most have all the choices in the world, but like the rest of us, eventually seem to find a few favourite locations and keep going back.