For some travelers no price is too high for privacy. And Europe offers some of the most appealing hideaways in the world in the form of luxurious private islands.
Just off the coast of Spain is Tagomago Island, a 98-acre escape (above) with a fully-staffed, five-suite villa that can be rented for about $16,000 a night for up to 10 guests. But if you really get lonely for civilization, Ibiza is just a five-minute boat ride away.
In the Stockholm archipelago is Island Lodge, a tented camp that makes glamping look like roughing it—after all, most campsites don’t have a floating sauna.
Meanwhile, in the Venetian lagoon, is Isola Santa Cristina, a private island (above) with a nine-bedroom villa as well as its own apricot orchard and vineyard. But if that sounds too strenuous, there’s also a swimming pool and a yoga studio. Over in Scotland is Eilean Shona, a private playground co-owned by Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa that can be rented for $20,000 a week. In the 1920s, Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie used the island as a writing retreat. “We have mountains and lochs and boats and tennis and billiards and most of the Western islands of Scotland lying at our feet,” Barrie wrote of Eilean Shona—and it’s not that different today.
Finally, what better way to ensure privacy than on an island fort that’s been converted into a luxury hotel? Spitbank Fort, just off the coast of Portsmouth, England, was built in the 18th century to protect Britain’s southern coast. Today the island garrison has been brought into the 21st century with eight bedrooms, a Laurent-Perrier Champagne bar, a hot tub and a fire pit—all of which should prepare you for a peaceful holiday.
Your guide to luxury travel—and life’s other indulgences.
Malibu may be known as a glamorous beach town for celebrities and surfers, but it’s also a perfect locale for California wine lovers. Forbes Travel Guide recently put together a dream itinerary that began in Napa and Sonoma, moved down to Santa Barbara and headed to Malibu.
With more than 50 wineries and six tasting rooms, Malibu is a nascent wine destination, but the area’s wine history stretches back to the 1800s, when the first vineyard was planted by Spanish general Jose Bartolome Tapia. To begin, FTG recommended a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, above, which has the largest spa in the Four Seasons universe as well as grounds that include a waterfall and a pagoda.
Now about that wine. The itinerary began at Rosenthal Malibu Estate winery, which has the only wine bar and tasting room on the Pacific Coast Highway. Next, it was off to the Malibu Wine Safari, which in addition to offering tastings at the 1,000-acre Saddlerock Ranch also features some exotic animals that have retired from their careers in Hollywood. (Most famously, Stanley the Giraffe from The Hangover Part III.) Then it was on to Malibu Wines, which has a fitting variation of Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture on its grounds—only the metal sculpture spells WINE.
For every traveler who dreams of perfect weather, smaller crowds and great deals, here are two important words to learn: shoulder season. In simple terms it means the period between the high prices of peak season and the unreliable climate of low season.
In Hawaii, for example, rates often drop after Labor Day—but of course they’ll rise by Thanksgiving. Similarly, traveling to the Mediterranean can be a (warm) breeze in October without all the tourists. And to beat the holiday rush in the South Pacific, head there in early November. With travel, as in life, timing is everything.
You know what has more zip than the average Zipcar? Renting a Lamborghini, Ferrari or even a DeLorean. That’s the idea behind DriveShare by Hagerty. The Michigan-based insurer recently purchased the peer-to-peer car rental company Classics & Exotics, which allows owners to rent vintage luxury cars for those who just want a brief spin.
Given the level of vehicles offered, it’s a bit more complicated than going to Hertz or Avis. Customers must be at least 30 years old and have their driving history vetted before participating, and both a $500 security deposit and a nominal service charge are required with each rental.
The current DriveShare fleet is around 150 cars—from coast to coast—and rapidly increasing. The prices range from a 1997 Porsche Boxster in Roanoke, Virginia (for $99 per day) to a 2016 Lamborghini Huracán in Venice, California (for $1,900 per day). Despite its name, the 2014 Ferrari California, above, is actually in Trenton, New Jersey and it rents for $808 a day. All of the DriveShare vehicles come with up to $1 million in insurance protection as well as roadside assistance, but given that some of these cars are quite rare or antique—say, a 1927 Model T in Utah—you probably just want to drive carefully.