"This world is filled with travel and luxury is what makes these adventures the most enjoyable. From Dining on a Jet to Wearing a $5.8 million diamond ring, luxury is defined as rare but perfect and both the 2016 list help readers visualize what all this is about."
Top 5 Most Luxurious Airlines
Who doesn’t like drooling at a mean machine, especially when it’s an aircraft that has on-board cabins like suites, or one that offers on-board chefs who make gourmet dishes for the first class passengers? Here’s our pick for the top five most luxurious airlines in the world, picked based on the quality of service, safety, aircraft configuration, and design and innovation.
Dubai-based Emirates Airlines has been known through the years to bring out new features that don’t just excite travellers, but also pampers them with in-flight perks and comforts. Emirates has over 230 aircraft that fly to more than140 destinations across the globe, and offers First Class suites, Business Class beds, and Economy Class seats. As installed on the A380, a bar is located at the back for First and Business Class passengers, and a shower is located at the front of the aircraft for First Class passengers. The airline was also one of the first to introduce an in-flight entertainment system. Today, it offers over 600 movies, 200 pre-recorded television shows, and over 100 video game options.
Etihad Airways is known for its creativity in air travel, which has certainly taken this brand to the next level. The Abu Dhabi-based airline offers on-board cabins like suites and apartments for First Class and The Residence travellers. The latter is a cabin in the sky, configured with a living room, bathroom and bedroom. These cabins are usually available on A380s and other selected aircrafts. Yet another noteworthy feature of the airline is its wide-bodied aircrafts and the on-board lounges. Etihad is also known for its on-board chefs, who prepare gourmet dishes for First Class and The Residence guests throughout the flight. Founded in 2003, Etihad’s elite service been recognised with many awards.
AHong Kong-based carrier that flies to most prominent cities in the world, Cathay Pacific’s world-class service can be enjoyed on flights to 168 destinations around the globe. Most long-haul Cathay Pacific flights are configured with First, Business, Premium Economy, and Economy Class seats. The airline has been around for approximately 70 years, and has a growing fleet that consists of A350s and B777s. It is best known for its First Class cabin with spacious seats that lie flat, much to the traveller’s delight.
Singapore Airlines is regarded as one of the leading brands in the aviation industry. The airline is known for frequently upgrading its features as well as its aircraft, like the A380. On-board, the A380 Singapore Airlines are fitted with Private Suites in First Class, which show off its glamour in an elegant manner. The suites are configured with lie-flat beds and wide-screen TVs. An added advantage is in the centre aisle, where two suites can be converted into a double bed by adjusting the privacy blinds between them. Singapore Airlines connects 64 destinations to Singapore with 107 other destinations across the globe.
All Nippon Airways
All Nippon Airways is a Japan-based carrier which flies from its Tokyo hub to over 80 cities across the globe. The airline consists of 207 aircraft which are configured with First Class, Business Class, and Economy Class cabins. Most of its Business Class seats include lie-flat beds which can be adjusted to a comfortable 1800. The All Nippon Airways fleet consists of B777 and B787 aircraft, with three A380s scheduled to be launched by 2019.
Top 5 Most Luxurious Private Jets & Yachts
Ever wanted to own a private jet or yacht that provides relaxation, class and luxury? These private yachts and jets are sure to make you envious. Some of the yachts available today have state-of-the-art technology and more gadgets than many five-star hotels. In some of them you’ll even find swimming pools, hot tubs, bars, etc.
Emirates Executive is a private jet service that was launched by Emirates Airlines in mid-2013. While at the moment the private jet service has only one functioning aircraft – the A319 – it is the best in the world in what it offers, which includes your own dedicated crew on-board! The jet can fly to almost any city across the globe, with stopovers of course, as the aircraft is equipped to fly for eight hours at a stretch. It is configured with a common area and 10 Private Suites like the ones in Emirates Airlines’ A380s. These seats also include a mini bar, a tablet that controls the TV and the seat, a lie-back seat, and a wide-screen TV that is configured with ICE (the award-winning entertainment software that is used also by Emirates Airlines).
747-81 – Joseph Lau
Hong Kong businessman Joseph Lau’s private jet, the 747-81is a giant jumbo jet that he got re-configured to add many more cabins and amenities. This includes several suites, an office, guest rooms and a personal gym. The jet cost about $153 million and was purchased by the real estate tycoon in 2015. The aircraft even sports a spiral staircase and vaulted ceilings. Owing to its design and innovation, the aircraft was named ‘Dreamliner’, and truly oozes glamour and creativity.
History Supreme – Stuart Hughes
The sleek yacht History Supreme, which was designed by Stuart Hughes for an anonymous Malaysian businessman, is one of the most expensive yachts known today. The $3 billion yacht was designed and wrapped with 100,000 kgs of gold at the bottom of the vessel. Precious metals like platinum, gold and more were used around the boat. It is configured with a dining area, a bedroom, and deck; perfectly designed to showcase luxury. The super-yacht took three years to complete.
atar Executive, created by one of the world’s leading airlines, Qatar Airways, is a private jet service established to link the elite of the world to a luxurious life up in the clouds. For example, one of the jets in the Qatar Executive fleet is the A319, which is a lot like the Qatar Airways on-board experience. Each jet has its dedicated cabin crew. The A319 has a two-by-two configuration, as each seat can convert into a fully lie-back position. These seats have USB ports, power outlets, audio sockets, and LED lighting. The aircrafts offer passengers Wi-Fi and world-class cuisine. It has also won many awards for its impeccable services.
Dilbar – Alisher Usmanov
The Dilbar is a super-yacht that belongs to the 62-year-old billionaire Alisher Usmanov, the richest man in Russia. The yacht was sold at around $600 million and it is about 156 metres in length, easily allowing the boat to fit at least 40 guests and a crew of 80. The yacht is one of the biggest in the world and also one the most expensive. Considered one of the most beautiful works of art in the world of luxury yachts, the Dilbar boasts up to 41,000 square feet of space, a sundeck, swimming platforms, and two helipads, among other fascinating features.
Top 5 Most Beautiful Suites
When you think of a luxury suite, the things that come to mind are plush interiors, privacy, exclusive service, and a hefty price to pay! There are lots of run-off-the-mill places that offer great service and facilities, but then there are a handful of exclusive suites with exemplary offerings, like those listed below. Have a look at our picks for the top five most beautiful suites.
Private Island – The Four Seasons Maldives
Explore the crystal lagoon and white powder sands from the comfort of the luxury Private Island by The Four Seasons Maldives. Home to the charm of a Maldivian village by the turquoise sea, this private island resort consists of a three-bedroom beach villa, a two-bedroom water villa, and two mezzanine suites. Each villa features a dining room, lounge, pool deck, guest kitchen, library and, to round out the whole package, a private yacht. The main attraction, though, is the staff, which makes sure to give their guests the time of their lives. Lunch beneath the stars, dinner under the palm trees–all can be arranged.
Deluxe Victoria Harbour Suite – The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
Founded on the vision of a luxury hideaway, Deluxe Victoria Harbour Suite at The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is truly an ultimate escape. Located between the 106th and the 110th floor, the suite offers guests access to a 24-hour club lounge and a dedicated concierge service. At the top, you’re greeted by a magnificent 360° panoramic view of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Naturally, with a view this fine, you’d expect the drinks and the food to match, which they do. Indulge yourself in their signature cocktails and tapas at the highest bar in the world (490 metres above sea level) and you might never leave your spacious suite.
La Suite Impériale– Shangri-La Hotel Paris
Elegant interiors with fixtures and bronze sculptures give this palatial suite, designed by the Shangri-La Hotel Paris, a definite over-the-top appeal that’s lacking in many of the world’s other regal properties. The estate was originally French prince Roland Bonaparte’s private apartment, and still exudes Victorian splendour, with its ornate French mouldings, crystal chandeliers, high ceilings, tall windows, and a large balcony that overlooks the Place d’Iéna and its magnificent George Washington statue. The mansion’s former stable boasts a spacious living room, large private dressing room, dining area and a pantry, marble-clad bathrooms featuring a Jacuzzi, mist-free mirror, and heated flooring.
Two Bedroom Ocean Sanctuary Sunset with Private Pool – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
A treasure in the Maldives, the Two Bedroom Ocean Sanctuary Sunset with Private Pool at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi Hotel, is set amidst 340 square metres of turquoise lagoons and powder-sand beaches. Each house is uniquely furnished, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, marble finishing, walk-in shower with separate outdoor marble plunge bath, and walk-in closets. With all that glamour, there’s hardly any reason for you to leave your spacious suite – though you might be tempted to unwind in one of the modern spa treatment suites with private steam rooms and outdoor rain shower.
Two-Bedroom Pool Villa –The Naka Phuket
Spend your days gazing out over the superb Andaman Sea views from your airy villa at The Naka Phuket, Thailand. The Two-Bedroom Pool Villa offers all you need to stay relaxed: vast, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls, lush mountains, sea views, private beach, a stylish bar and fine dining, and room service to make your stay just how you like it. You can book a treatment at the spa or dine at their restaurant. And if that isn’t enough, there are a variety of excursions to explore the island of Phuket by snorkelling, scuba diving, and kayaking.
Top 5 Most Beautiful Skyscrapers
Shanghai World Financial Center – Shanghai, China
Designed to be one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the eighth tallest building in the world and the fourth tallest in Mainland China. The layout for this superstructure was conceived by Kohn Pedersen Fox and it measures close to 1,620 feet in height, with a total of 101 floors. Dubbed as the best completed skyscraper in 2008, today the Shanghai World Financial Center houses the offices of some of the world’s top international financial companies, including the Bank of Yokohama, Ernst & Young, BNP Paribas, and even Google’s Shanghai branch.
Shanghai Tower – Shanghai, China
Not only does the Shanghai Tower impress its spectators with its futuristic design, but its twisting tower comes in second in height right after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The 2,073-foot tall structure was designed by architect Jun Xia in a clean fashion that perfectly showcased its modernity with its almost impossible shape. With 127 floors above ground level and five below, this iconic multipurpose tower houses the J Hotel, a concert hall, sky lobbies, a subway station, a variety of restaurants, retail stores, and much more.
Burj al Arab – Dubai, UAE
This sail-shaped luxury hotel located aptly on the edge of the Persian Gulf is an iconic masterpiece that has transformed the perception of hotels worldwide. The building is about 918 feet up in the sky, with more than 50 floors in total. Designed to resemble the sail of a ship, architect Tom Wright chose a private man-made island for its location, linking it to land with an elegant bridge that has made the hotel seem even more exclusive and luxurious. Also designed to protect itself from earthquakes, the Burj al-Arab opened its doors in 1999, and instantly turned into an iconic symbol for Dubai.
International Commerce Centre – Hong Kong, China
The International Commerce Centre was designed with simplicity to make the building seem unique in a very modest yet elegant manner. The Hong Kong waterfront park was the perfect place to create this iconic structure, especially with the Ritz Carlton hotel residing in the building. The structure has about 108 floors above ground and four floors beneath. The construction of the tower took eight years to complete and it opened in 2010. The tower’s clean-cut shape exudes a classic business-like quality.
Capital Gate – Abu Dhabi, UAE
Capital Gate – the structure that can give the Leaning Tower of Pisa some competition – is notable because of its shape and design. Dubbed the furthest leaning man-made tower in the world in 2010, it was built next to a racetrack and a river to give it a grand effect. Capital Gate, the symbol for Abu Dhabi, has 35 floors and is about 520 feet tall. The building houses a Hyatt hotel and became a near-instant masterpiece when it was completed in 2010.
Top 5 Most Luxurious Fashion Labels
For centuries, playing dress-up has been one of mankind’s vital activities, and with the growing number of designers in the market, there’s more variety and choice than ever for discerning customers. While there are several brands that offer high quality products, there are few that top the list in terms of quality, design, and innovation. Below are our picks of the top five fashion labels that ace all criteria.
One of the most well-known fashion names across the globe, this French label is renowned for its haute couture and top-of-the-line handbags that everyone craves. Founded in 1909 by the legendary fashion designer and businesswoman Coco Chanel, the brand has maintained its position as a world phenomenon for over a century. The brand has been known for its signature fragrances like Chanel No. 5, the classic Chanel Suit, and the ‘little black dress’, among others. Chanel also produces chic accessories, and is known to make premium priced, but supreme quality products.
As a brand, Alexander McQueen has been at the forefront of fashion trends even following the early demise of its founder, Lee Alexander McQueen. Founded in 1992, this 24 year-old brand has always been known for its one-of-a-kind designs that propelled fashion in a whole new direction. Its cutting edge style has even had musicians like Lady Gaga incorporate some of McQueen’s creative masterpieces in her music videos. What further sets the brand apart from the rest is the skull detailing on its jewellery and apparel, making a McQueen easily distinguishable.
Cartier, a French Label, is known for its elegantly designed pieces. The brand designs watches, pens and jewellery, and is famous for all three due to the intricate simplicity of their compositions. They have created and designed a multitude of elite products over the last 169 years, and have always been perceived by customers as something pure and luxurious. Cartier is well known for their Crash, Tank and Baignoire collections. In addition to mastering watch, pen, and jewellery design, the brand has also expanded into working with fragrances and more.
Acomparatively new brand, Tom Ford was established in 2005 by a fashion designer of the same name, in association with former Gucci Group President and CEO, Domenico De Sole, who now serves as Chairman of Tom Ford. The brand is known for its cutting-edge style and expert quality in a range of menswear and womenswear, eyewear and beauty products (in an alliance with Estee Lauder). Tom Ford eyewear is among the top three brands sold in luxury stores across the globe, and the label’s apparel has been known to dress many of Hollywood’s leading men and women, including Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Pierce Brosnan, Karlie Kloss, Julianne Moore, and Natalia Vodianova.
This Italian luxury fashion house was initially founded as a fur and leather store by Adele and Edoardo Fendi in Rome. But today, 91 years later, the name Fendi brings to mind the best of haute couture. Specialising in fur and leather accessories and attire, along with readymade products, timepieces, shoes, and fragrances, not only is this brand one of the best in Europe, but also the world. In terms of its production, quality has always been the number one priority for Fendi, followed by design and innovation.
Top 5 Most Beautiful Real Estate Properties
As Hubert de Givenchy once said, “Luxury is in each detail,” and such is the case with these luxury real estate properties. Whether it’s a private island, a massive château, a modern penthouse, or an elegant mansion, they all share certain things to make us green with envy: stunning design, abundant space, and privacy that is simply sublime. Here are our five favourite and utterly beautiful properties, spanning three continents and many architectural styles.
Seven Montagel Way – Alabama, US
A60,000 square-foot private residence located in Birmingham, Alabama, this stunning guitar-shaped mansion, Seven Montagel Way, is designed by architect Bill Sheppard, and is filled with original works by some of the world’s most talented artists. The home represents the highest standard in the masterful handcrafting of millwork and stucco, and applications of gold leafing and stonework throughout. The estate’s main mansion includes 15 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, and six half baths, and the additional guesthouse has 3,000 square feet of living space with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. This impressive property also boasts an authentic screening room with a 170-inch screen for 25 people, a wine cellar with shelving for 2,000 bottles, a commercial-grade elevator and a game room.
The Fendi Château– Florida, US
A gorgeously designed château in Surfside, Florida, the Fendi Château, curated by Fendi Casa, is no plain Jane. Massive windows look out over the mountain landscape, and there’s eye-catching art adorning the walls. Along with three to five spacious bedrooms and nine bathrooms, the residence has a fitness centre, a thermal pool spa, two swimming pools, a jacuzzi, cabanas with service, a private movie theatre, and a gazebo with outdoor kitchen service. Drink in the refreshing views of the beach from your private foyer or terrace. Or, head out for some beach games or water sports. They also have a multilingual concierge who will book restaurants, boat trips, and other activities in the area.
Floating Seahorse – Dubai, UAE
Owned by real estate developer Kleindienst Group, Floating Seahorse could well be the most luxurious resort in the world. Situated more than two miles off the coast of Dubai, the uniquely designed three-storey private villa boasts one underwater, one sea level, and one upper deck room, each with a fully-fitted kitchen with a dining area, a mini bar, an open-plan living area, a glass-bottomed Jacuzzi, and underwater coral garden. Of course, the best part of this jaw-dropping hideaway, which sits on a man-made island called the ‘Heart of Europe’, is its fabulous views of the ocean.
L’atelier Penthouse – Miami, US
Located in Miami Beach, the large L’atelier penthouse at The L’Atelier Miami Beach Condominium and Condos screams exclusivity. Each of the penthouses, with white-blue interiors, has a bar and a kitchen, lounge, and private 40-foot infinity pool as well as dedicated cabanas at the building’s two other pools–from where you can gaze out at the ocean. After a long day on the beach, ask for a special, luxurious massage at the spa. Plus, there’s plenty to do; take in a round of golf or a range of watersports, or attend a concert at the nearby theatre.
Amillarah Private Islands – Maldives
Though the beautiful lagoons in the Maldives have many legendary and swanky islands, Amillarah Private Islands are often the top choice for people who love nature. They’re especially known for the floating residence that boasts a unique embodiment of privacy and luxury. The tailor-made private paradise, designed by famed Dutch architect Koen Olthuis with the latest state-of-the-art green technology, keeps their environmental impact at a minimum. A perfect hideaway for family celebrations, guests can expect to encounter incredible sea life when snorkelling, kayaking, and diving. Others might prefer to simply enjoy taking things easy and dine at the height of luxury.
Top 5 Most Luxurious Pieces of Jewellery
Audrey Hepburn once said, “Happy girls are the prettiest girls,” and jewellery is universally accepted to make girls both happy and pretty. The obsession with jewellery is never ending. While some people prefer simple pieces, many others are wooed by more elaborate ones. Here are our picks for the world’s most luxurious pieces of jewellery.
The Hope Diamond
Mesmerisingly elegant, the Hope Diamond is believed to have originated in India, where French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier purchased the Tavernier Blue in 1666. The diamond was then sold to King Louis XIV in 1668, but was stolen in 1791. It was re-cut in 1839, with “Hope” when it appeared in the catalogue of a gem collection owned by a family called Hope. After going through numerous owners, in 1949, New York gem merchant Harry Winston purchased it from Washington socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean. Touted as the most famous Blue Diamond in history, the 45.52-carat piece now resides in Washington’s National Museum of Natural History, and is considered to be one of the most expensive museum objects on Earth.
Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet – Cartier
The epitome of glamour, the Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet boasts calibré-cut onyx and single-cut diamonds that offer an explosion of iridescence on the wrist. Designed by Cartier in 1952, the uniquely shaped piece, that of a panther, was owned by American socialite and Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson, whose love affair with Edward VIII led to his abdication. It was auctioned at £4.5million – a price estimated to be thrice its original value–making it the most expensive Cartier item to be sold at any auction. Pop singer Madonna is now rumoured to be the current owner of this much sought-after bracelet.
Trombino Ring – Bulgari
With 5.30 carats of rare and brilliant-cut diamonds horizontally set on baguette-cut diamonds along the sides of the piece, Bulgari’s Trombino ring is a force to be reckoned with. The fancy deep-blue diamond ring, which was crafted in 1965, was sold for £1.9 million, more than twice its pre-sale estimate, at Bonhams Auction in 2013. And we’re not surprised; the distinguished craftsmanship and attention to detail by the jewellery brand definitely made this one of the most fashionable and innovative pieces of jewels of all time.
Pink Star Diamond Ring
The Pink Star Diamond Ring is the quintessence of femininity and elegance. Offering a flawless oval-shaped diamond that sits daintily on the finger, the pink dream – as it was renamed once Isaac Wolf acquired it – measures 2.69cm by 2.06cm, and weighs in at 59.60 carats. One of the world’s great national treasures, the unique cut diamond mounted on a ring is said to have been mined in Africa by DeBeers. Priced at a whopping $72 million, this majestic beauty is truly fit for a queen.
Majestic Diamond Necklace – Tiffany
The luxury jeweller Tiffany & Company’s Majestic necklace is peppered with 319 glittering, hand-cut stones. And adding more romance to the stones are the rows of diamonds blossoming in florets. Weighing in at 84 carats, the brand’s careful attention to detail is evident in the pear-shaped 41.4-carat diamond solitaires, which hang on the platinum chain. Priced at $2.5 million, the
necklace– which is designed to perfection–is one of the world’s most valuable jewellery pieces.