Before anything else, let this be a warning to all the budget travelers out there: read if you must, but you won’t afford anything on this list.
Now that that’s out of the way, let us explain the reason behind this list. We, the common folk, are all about budget travelling, always searching the world for the best bargains, whether it be cheap but clean accommodations, hearty meals under five dollars, two for one airfare, and freebies as much as we can. It’s known best to us how to stretch that dollar so that in the end, it will last you a whole week (okay, that’s a gross exaggeration). We share with you the one hundred and one ways to save money so that you can spend it on–bargains in the end.
Well, today will be different because we figure you already know how to save money and where the best bargains are. Today, purely for entertainment purposes and fueled by curiosity, we will find out how the not-so-commit folk travel the world. We all see the grand, five-star hotels that house celebrities and billionaires during their trips, but we see them outside.
This time, we take a peek inside their hotel rooms and see what it’s like to stay in a glitzy hotel room, and how much it costs per night. We’re all too familiar with back pains brought about by the heavy backpacks we lug around from city to city. This time, we leave the backpacks at home and see what it’s like inside a jetsetter’s cabin. We also hop aboard to check out the most expensive cruises you can choose from if you happen to win the lottery.
Ah, we haven’t forgotten about the food, either. Today, we will be traveling the globe from East to West and pretend to sink our teeth into the most expensive meals that money can buy. And last but not least, we point you to the most expensive shopping districts where the word “sale” is taboo.
So read on and for a few minutes, live it up. There’s no point looking up these places online afterward because you and I both know it’s not on the budget. Still, it’s not an entirely bad idea to see what it’s like on the other side of the wall and see what’s.
1. America’s priciest hotel room that’s not in Las Vegas
When you’re traveling, you want to be pampered. After a day’s worth of sightseeing and roaming around, you want to come home to a comfortable, cozy, and clean place. You want to be able to sit down, put up your feet, and say, “Hey. This is nice.” Then slowly, drift off to sleep. You would want a view that will make you seem like you’re on top of Mt. Everest, and the world is at your feet. Forget about hostels and B&B’s and budget inns with shared bathrooms. You want a hotel. To elaborate, you want the best that a hotel has to offer. In that case, mosey off to the Four Seasons Hotel right in the heart of New York and take the elevator straight up to the Ty Warner Penthouse.
TY Warner Penthouse
A night at the Ty Warner Penthouse will cost a guest a whopping US 35,000 dollars. Now, we understand that your credit limit doesn’t even come close to that figure, but that’s the reason why you won’t find a more expensive room rate at any other hotel in the country. Yep, you got it. This particular penthouse is the most expensive hotel room that you can find in the entire United States (but not counting Las Vegas). According to the hotel’s history records, it cost the management approximately US 50 million dollars to fund this suite and seven years to build. Compare 35,000 to 50 million, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic bargain, sort of.
And as promised, we peeked inside the hotel room and checked out what 35 grand will get you for one night. Let’s start with the view, which is in one word: breathtaking. Inside the penthouse, you get a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline in virtually every direction that you look. There’s simply no way that you can look out the window and not manage to fall in love with the city below. The enormous glass windows and the beautiful skylight will make you feel that you’re floating above the cars and the people below; it’s no surprise if you find yourself just admiring the view all day long.
Step inside the bathroom, and it’s virtually every girl’s fantasy. It’s spacious and elegant with large mirrors, not to mention the sinks are fashioned out of real rock crystal. Kind of makes you want to spit out your toothpaste somewhere else, but hey, at least they do the justice to the room rate. The walls are hand-coated with lacquer, and if you look closely at the inlay, you’ll see that it’s the birth mother of pearl. At night, you get to rest your spine on the smoothest silk bedspread that’s imported from Venice–hand made, of course.
It’s not just the decor that sets this room apart from the rest. Booking one of the most expensive hotel rooms there is also comes with its perks like having your very own Maybach and personal driver on standby if you need to get around the city. If that particular car doesn’t suit your fancy, you could always relax in the back of a Rolls Royce. Pick a car, and the driver will take you to your desired destination. You also have your very own butler whom you can call at any time of the day. Fancy a sandwich in the middle of the night? No problem.
We mentioned that the Ty Warner Penthouse is the most expensive room that you can find that’s not in Las Vegas. As you may have guessed, the Vegas Strip has an even more expensive hotel room for the extremely opulent. At the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa right on top of the Palms Casino Resort, a one night stay will cost you US 40,000 dollars. What do you get? Oh, a two-story room with your jacuzzi pool, spacious bar and living room, rotating bed, and the best view of the Strip.
2. The most expensive tour you can do in a private jet
You’ve probably been to a handful of package tours that have led you to different cities worldwide. How about mixing it up by signing on to one of the private tours being offered by Smithsonian Journeys? Provided that you’re prepared to hand over US 70,000 dollars, you’re nearly good to go. Smithsonian Journeys offers its guests private trips to various locations. The company boasts that their tours are not only exciting but also educational. All you have to do is get on your private jet, and they will take care of the rest. For example, if you sign up for the tour named Cultural and Legendary Treasures in Remote Islands Around the World, get ready to have the best history and anthropology lesson you’ll ever have. The trip will take place early next year if you’re interested, specifically February 28, up to March 23.
Private World Tour on a Private Jet
Not only do you get to visit eight different countries, you also have the privilege of seeing first hand eight different UNESCO World Heritage Sites during your trip. No more flipping through magazines and poring over books in the library. Smithsonian Journeys will take you to that special place to see for yourself, touch and smell, and take everything in right then and there. The history lesson will take place as you come face to face with these sites. You also get to experience several cultures during a single trip. It may be wise to pack for different weather types because you’ll be visiting countries on other continents. Among the places you’ll be visiting are Indonesia, Japan, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Bhutan, Jordan, Vietnam, and India. Face it. It would be tough to drag your backpack to all of these places in just three weeks.
As this is a private tour, Smithsonian Journeys is also taking care of their guests’ accommodation. US 70,000 dollars will ensure that for the next 23 days, you will be staying in some of the most luxurious, beautiful, and comfortable hotels that you can find worldwide. Among the hotels you’ll be staying in are: Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle; and Palau Pacific Resort.
Naturally, you can’t be expected to have an extraordinary learning experience by just reading the brochure while standing in front of Petra’s ancient city, which is why your trip will include attending simple but enjoyable talks or lectures will, by respected speakers. Among them are Kristofer Helgen, who is a researcher in the field of Zoology and also happens to be the curator specializing in mammals over at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of National History or the NMNH; Jim Richardson, who works for National Geographic as one of their photographers; and Dr. Pegi Vail, who is an accomplished cultural anthropologist, curator, and successful filmmaker. As you go island hopping in different remote areas worldwide, these speakers will share their knowledge with you for a more meaningful and memorable trip. Not only do you have fun, but you also get to learn something new, as well.
Now, we haven’t forgotten that this is a private jet tour, and the jet that we’re talking about here is none other than the twin-jet Boeing 757. This particular plane, however, is specially designed to accommodate no more than 78 travelers in comfortable, custom made leather seats stuffed with special, Comfort foam for lumbar support that you simply can’t get one a budget plane ticket no matter how hard you bargain with the woman behind the airline counter.
3. The most expensive and swankiest cruise vacation
Now that we know how to experience the world through flying let’s venture out into the open seas and check a couple of the most expensive vacations you can take on a cruise. Whether it’s down south in Australia or through the ever famous Panama Canal, these cruise ships are always ready to receive guests as long as they can afford the hefty price tag.
World’s Costliest Cruise vacation
Sign yourself up with Yachts of Seabourn Cruises and for a cool US 60,000 dollars, enjoy 111 days out on the water on their new vessel due to be out early next year, the Seabourn Sojourn. If your idea of a nice vacation is to spend more than three months floating peacefully out at sea, then you’re in for a real treat. The Seabourn Sojourn is scheduled to go on a maiden voyage by January of 2011. The trip will start in LA and will make its way to Oceania, then up to East Asia, after which the vessel will sail its way to the Middle East and take you to Europe, where the voyage is scheduled to conclude in the UK. The Seabourn Sojourn is a small vessel compared to other cruise ships. Nevertheless, the management makes sure that every single one of their guests enjoys this intimate cruise.
If you fancy something a bit cheaper, perhaps The Crystal Cruise will be more to your liking. An all-inclusive cruise that will take you to Africa and South America will set you back about US 58,000 dollars. The entire trip will take 108 days, during which guests can sit back and relax in the cruise line’s most giant vessel, the Serenity. Almost every stateroom on the Serenity is a spacious suite that opens into a private balcony where guests can enjoy the view without having to jostle with the other guests.
The Serenity departs from Miami, Florida and takes vacationers to South America’s coast, passing by Brazil, Uruguay, and then crossing the Pacific Ocean to dock safely in South Africa. Expect to be spending the night in exotic India; Dubai with its modern buildings and fantastic sand dunes; Greece, which offers so much history; and Spain, home of the seas’ great navigators.
But the one that takes the cake is the US 62,000 dollar Regent Seven Seas Cruise. You spend 108 days out at sea but virtually living inside a luxury cruise ship for this package. Hopping aboard any of the Regent’s vessels is like stepping inside a five-star hotel. There is a queen-size bed on the Seven Seas Voyager, especially for you and hey. Your quarters even include a living room with a comfortable couch. Of course, the view is terrific; you don’t have to leave your room to view the sunrise and the sunset.
There is also a fitness centre with hi-tech exercise equipment onboard the ship. The cruise also has a jogging track, so avid runners can do a couple of laps while biding out the time during tour breaks. There are also several boutiques where you can go shopping. Let us not forget that you can also take a dip in the swimming pool or get an extremely relaxing (and a bit decadent) treatment over at the spa; you never know what all that lounging on the boat can do to your muscles! If you’re really set on keeping active as the ship makes its way across miles and miles of water, how about tennis’s friendly game at the court? But, if you like to take it easy, there are complimentary cocktails and other alcoholic beverages that you can avail of practically any time of the day. Go ahead and have a glass or two. You won’t be driving home by nightfall, anyway.
4. The most expensive grub
This is when you can forget about taking a bite out of that US 1.50 dollar pizza in NY, or the unbelievable cheap but delicious Vietnam pho. The following are some of the most expensive meals you will ever find and mind you. Only guys with severe and serious money can afford to bring a date to these places. You might think that we’ll be venturing to France as they are confessed gastronomic geniuses and generally look down on any other type of food except, well, theirs. But keep in mind that we’re not necessarily looking for the best-tasting food there is, oh no, we’re simply looking for the ones that will burn the biggest holes in your pocket.
Way out east in Japan’s small country, you will find the world’s most expensive restaurant. It may undoubtedly look unassuming from the outside, but enter the Aragawa restaurant’s doors in Tokyo and be prepared to shell out an average of US 370 dollars for a single meal. Oh, and that doesn’t include the sake. Arakawa is a steak house and is famous for its delectable Kobe beef.
If you’re planning to give your sweetheart a box of sweets on Valentine’s Day, better start saving up for chocolates from Knipschildt Chocolatier in Connecticut. The catch? One pound of chocolates costs US 2,600. We bet that she’ll have a hard time swallowing when she finds out how expensive the chocolates are. No worries, though, because chances are she’ll say “I love you” in the next second. If you’re having a hard time settling for the chocolate, they also serve bonbons, hot chocolate, and other snacks. We wish we could say the price would be drastically different, but we think you know better than that.
Would you care to know how much the most expensive omelet costs? Exactly US 1,000 dollars. Where will you find such a costly omelet? Right inside the kitchen of Norma’s restaurant, located inside the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York. How’s that for a hearty breakfast?
You find these prices pretty obscure for something you can finish off in less than an hour and eventually erm, pass, the next day. But what if we tell you that there’s still something out there that costs a lot more money and tastes? Well, we leave that up to the diners. If you’re particularly fond of caviar or basically fish eggs, four pounds of the Almas caviar will cost you almost US 48,800 dollars. Enough said.
5. High-end shopping
For a lot of people, shopping is a significant component of the entire traveling experience. Going on a trip minus the shopping spree is like going on a vacation without taking a single picture for some people. But if you’re not well funded, you might as well forego that thought when you venture into these shopping districts. We’ve sorted them out by rent, and here are the top five most expensive shopping districts worldwide.
NEW YORK – Fifth Avenue
Rent for every square foot – US 1.50 million/year
What you will find Madison Avenue isn’t expensive enough compared to Fifth Avenue. As you make your way down this path, you’ll come across some flagship stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch. Walk a bit further, and you end up at Bulgari, Fend, Hermes, and another flagship store, Apple.
HONG KONG – Causeway Bay
Rent for every square foot – US 1.21 million dollars/year
What you will find – It’s easy to get lost in the lights and glamour of Causeway Bay. The whole place is buzzing with activity even until late at night. Everywhere you look, shop windows are displaying the latest trends in fashion. While you will find some affordable things here, don’t expect to get a bargain in every store. The big Sogo department store that rises to 13 floors is situated in this shopping district. Here, you will also find Times Square Hong Kong.
NEW YORK – Madison Avenue
Rent for every square foot – US 1.20 million dollars/year
What you will find – If you think that East 57th is enough to make you hyperventilate, then we suggest you whip out your plastic at the famous Madison Avenue. Aside from Barneys, which can eat up your entire savings, you can shop all you want at Gucci, Armani, Prada, and Ralph Lauren.
PARIS – Avenue des Champs Elysees
Rent for every square foot – US 922,000 dollars/year
What you will find – Aside from restaurants and theaters, the Champs Elysees Avenue is home to many luxury shops both for men and women. Several popular international brands have made their way here. Still, probably the biggest attraction in the area is the Louis Vuitton department store, which is considered to be the largest in the whole world.
NEW YORK – East 57th Street
Rent for every square foot – US 900,000 dollars/year
What will you find – Shopaholics with limited funds should stay away from this area, which is essentially a place dedicated to high-end boutiques. Here, you will find the glittering items from Tiffany & Co., not to mention the headquarters of some of the famous brands in the entire fashion industry, namely Chanel and Burberry.