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Holiday Dream Trips

Holiday Dream Trips
© Milestone Hotel
Luxurious London

Ensemble Travel Group has crafted an over-the-top vacation trip for you and 99 companions. A privately chartered all-business-class Silverjet 767 whisks everyone in high style from Newark to Luton Airport, outside of London. Transfer via Rolls-Royce or Bentley to central London, where you will spend four nights at the five-star Milestone Hotel, a luxury boutique property that overlooks Kensington Palace, home of the late Princess Diana. Activities include a reception and private dinner at the palace; a private early opening and breakfast at Harrods; visits to antiques and home furnishings shops, including David Linley & Co., a modern furniture manufacturer owned by Queen Elizabeth's nephew; pre-theater dinner and a West End show, accompanied by a leading theater critic; and a gala, final dinner at Eltham Palace, an Art Deco home built in 1936 in the outskirts of London near the remains of a medieval royal palace.

The cost for 100 travelers: a cool $1.155 million.For more information: Ensemble Travel


Holiday Dream Trips
© Archivo Iconografico, S.A./Corbis
Epicurean Extravaganza

On September 18, 2008, 60 lucky food lovers will gather at the Palace of Versailles, once the official residence of French kings, to partake of a special, 15-course banquet created by 15 of the world's top chefs (names as yet unannounced). Served on Baccarat crystal and Christofle silver, the meal will include a Chopin piano recital, fireworks display and chauffeured transportation to and from Paris. Participants will receive deluxe souvenirs. For women: a replica of a Sèvres porcelain cup and saucer originally made for Marie-Antoinette, as well a special fragrance from Guerlain. Men receive monogrammed luggage containing three rare bottles of wine, one flask of vintage Hennessy Cognac and one magnum of Dom Ruinart selected by Oliver Poussier.

The price per person: $31,117.For more information: Virtuoso


Holiday Dream Trips
© Admiral Travel Gallery
Ferrari Track Drive

Admiral Travel Gallery, a Sarasota, Fla.-based luxury tour operator, has created a seven-night trip to Italy that will let you visit some top sights in ways you're not likely to forget. The first four nights are at the Villa San Michele in Florence, a former 15th-century monastery with picturesque views of the city. From here you can visit the Mugello, the test drive center of the Ferrari F1, where you can drive this legendary automobile. Then it's another outing: a drive, by Ferrari, to the Ferragamo estate in Tuscany, for lunch and a wine-tasting with the Ferragamo family. The last three nights are in Milan, with accommodations at the Bulgari Hotel Milan, the exclusive property run by the famous jewelers; activities include a private fashion show and shopping at Ferragamo.

Price: $13,081 per person double occupancy (one person gets the Mugello test drive). Airfare not included.For more information: Admiral Travel Gallery


Holiday Dream Trips
© Orient-Express Hotels (UK) Ltd.
World's Most Romantic Celebration

Orient-Express, which operates the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express trains as well as many posh hotels, has put together a seven-night vacation package that it claims is the world's most romantic. This includes three nights in a deluxe suite at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice; a guided tour of the city of the Doges; an overnight trip, in a cabin suite, on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, from Venice, through Austria and Switzerland, to Paris; three nights in a one-bedroom suite at the elegant Le Meurice in Paris; and an excursion, via private car and driver, to Reims, capital of the Champagne region, with a private tasting and lunch at Chateau Les Crayeres, a two-Michelin-star restaurant.

Price: $24,750 per person, based on double occupancy, not including airfare.For more information: Orient-Express


Holiday Dream Trips
© Saharan Sands
Saharan Sands

Ensemble Travel Group has a special seven-night program in southern Morocco. The first four nights are spent at La Sultana, a luxury boutique hotel in Marrakech. Activities include a guided tour of the medina, a visit to Yves St. Laurent's gardens, dinner in Pierre Balmain's former residence, and a seminar on Moroccan design and antiques. You will then fly, by private plane, to Dar Ahlam, a five-star Relais and Chateau resort in the oasis of Skoura, a desert gateway. Next is a four-wheel drive trip to the Sahara dunes, where you will overnight in a luxury tent. The trip concludes with a visit to the ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a medieval Moroccan mountain village and UNESCO World Heritage site, and the nearby movie studios, where Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator were filmed.

Price: $19,500 per person, double occupancy, not including airfare.For more information: Ensemble Travel Group


Holiday Dream Trips
© CC Africa
CC Africa Grand Safarai

Conservation Corporation Africa, a high-end safari company, has created a 29-day trip that takes in many of the continent's most famous attractions and includes stays at luxury villas, lodges and camps. It features two nights at the Ngala Tented Safari Camp in South Africa's Kruger National Park; the "Flight of the Fish Eagle," a 60-minute flight above the Maputaland wilderness; two nights in Cape Town and the nearby Constantia wine region; two nights in the NamibRand Nature Reserve; four nights in the Okavango Delta, with its legendary lagoons and floating islands that teem with birds and wildlife; two nights at Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River; and stays in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Lake Manyara and Serengeti national parks; Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, and Mnemba Island, a private island off the coast of Zanzibar.

Rates range from $77,730 to $83,895 per person, double occupancy, not including airfare.For more information: Conservation Corporation Africa


Holiday Dream Trips
© Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
The Taj and the Himalayas

Greaves Tours, which specializes in travel in India, is offering an eight-night package that features accommodations at Oberoi Hotels, among the country's finest, and flights on Oberoi's private aircraft. The first two days, at the Oberoi Hotel in Delhi, include sightseeing in the old and new cities. In Agra, accommodations are at the Oberoi Amarvilas, only 600 meters from the Taj Mahal. There's an evening visit to this fabled monument, plus a full-day tour of the Red Fort and Itmad-ud-Daulah, a tomb with beautiful inlay work. The last four nights are at Wildflower Hall in Shimla, the glamorous summer capital of the British Raj in the Himalayas. Formerly the home of Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, at one time Great Britain's commander-in-chief in India, it is now a luxury resort set in 23 wooded acres. Activities include a nature walk, picnic at an old colonial bungalow and other sightseeing. Departures are recommended between mid-April and September.

Price: $9,520 per person, double occupancy, not including airfare.For more information: Greaves Tours


Holiday Dream Trips
© COMO Shambhala estate at Begawan Giri
Ultimate Stress Management and Wellness Program

From Signature Travel Network comes this one-week program at the COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri, a residential wellness retreat near Ubud, Bali. Guests stay in one-bedroom villas surrounded by bamboo trees, above the Ayung River; each has a garden with an infinity-edge swimming pool and jacuzzi. The program features spa cuisine, six massage treatments, two yoga lessons and two wellness consultations per person. Among the resident teachers are a fitness instructor, yoga master and martial arts teacher, while resort facilities include a vitality pool, treatment area beside the river, climbing wall, outdoor jungle gym and yoga pavilion.

Price: $8,750 per person, based on double occupancy, plus 21% taxes and service charges. Airfare not included.For more information: Signature Travel Network


Holiday Dream Trips
© Explora Lodges
Ultimate Adventures to the Ends of the Earth

Signature Travel Network has put together a 12-night package, with four nights each at three lodges run by Explora, a Chilean hotel company whose accommodations have won numerous plaudits. The first three nights are at the Explora en Patagonia, on Lake Pehoe in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park; from this base you can explore mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and emerald lakes on foot, or by boat or horseback. The next three nights are at the Explora en Atacama, a lodge in a shady oasis in the Atacama Desert; this is the driest and highest desert in the world, where you will find volcanoes, salt flats and high-altitude wetlands. The final four nights are at the brand-new Explora en Rapa Nui, built in the southwestern zone of the mythical Easter Island, in the South Pacific. From here you can tour the island.

Price: $15,475 per person, double occupancy, airfare not included.For more information: Signature Travel Network


Holiday Dream Trips
© Peter Rigaud / Deutsche Grammophon
World's Greatest Opera Houses by Private Jet

JQ Porter Exquisite Travel, a Dallas-based tour operator, has created a 13-day exclusive tour for ten, with transport on a Gulfstream 550 private jet. Departing May 27, 2008, the tour will include the Paris National Opera's May gala, where Anna Netrebko will sing in "Les Capulets and les Montaigus"; a performance of "Samson and Delila" at the National Theater in Prague and of "The Magic Flute," at the 18th century Theater of the Estates, also in Prague; and a performance of "Capriccio," with Renee Fleming, at the Vienna State Opera. Other activities include private entry to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg; rehearsal visits to the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Kirov Ballet; a master class with a Czech opera star; and royal box seating for the Lipizzaner Stallions in Vienna. Accommodations are chosen according to the traveler's preferences.

The package starts at $85,000 per person, double occupancy.For more information: JQ Porter Exquisite Travel





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