The big trip

Taking over the hotel

Those wanting to avoid other guests during the pandemic are resorting to booking the place out

“Even those with limitless budgets are now bursting to get away and let’s face it – we’re pretty much all craving the same thing: a hassle-free holiday that feels private, restorative, exciting and as Covid-19-free as it’s possible to be,” says Francesca Syz in The Daily Telegraph. So, travel restrictions permitting, one option is simply to take over the hotel.

The new seven-bedroom Henry’s Townhouse in Marylebone, London, can be booked in its entirety from £4,950 a night. It is named after Jane Austen’s favourite brother. Castello di Ugento, a “vast” nine-suite luxury fortress in Puglia, Italy, is also available from £7,725 a night. “Hosted by the truly delightful Massimo d’Amore and Diana Bianchi, the Marchese and Marchesa of Ugento, you will want for nothing while being royally fed and watered and entertained throughout your stay.”

200 bedrooms on Times Square

The concept of the “buyout”, where one group pays for the free run of an entire hotel or resort, has become “increasingly popular for travellers of means in the Covid-19 era”, says Sarah Firshein in The New York Times.

At Caldera House, an “eight-suite hotel and alpine club” in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the new buyout package starts at $21,900 (£16,000) a night for a minimum of seven nights. “Experiences might include sleigh rides through the National Elk Refuge or, for an added fee, a private ski session with Bode Miller, the Olympic gold medallist.”

For larger (and really big) groups, there’s Casa Velas, in Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific west coast of Mexico, for $49,420 (£36,100) a night. The InterContinental New York Times Square, from $100,000 (£73,100) a night, affords access to a minimum of 200 bedrooms and the 4,000 square-foot ballroom.

Your own Caribbean retreat

In the Caribbean, Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands can be had for a nightly $80,000 (£58,490). But if one’s means necessitate tolerating the presence of others, for the first time its suites can be booked individually for a “relative all-inclusive bargain of $5,000 (£3,655)”, says Bloomberg Pursuits. And you can “take comfort in knowing that Branson is one of the region’s largest philanthropic players and that your travel splurge is just what the [territory] needs to get back on its indefatigable feet”.

Meanwhile, Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda has reintroduced treehouse suites at around $2,380 (£1,740) a night with outdoor showers and beach views. “These secluded cottages, built on stilts to protect the fragile coastline, hark back to Laurance Rockefeller’s original 1964 designs for the property… The wait will be worth it.”

This article was originally published in MoneyWeek

MoneyWeek

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