From diving for designer watches to private viewings of Fabergé eggs, Rosewood and Rocco Forte have both unveiled exclusive VIP experiences for guests, proving that the experiential travel trend is showing no signs of slowing down. Emily Eastman reports

Last November, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts launched a collection of experience packages called Rosewood Limited Edition, which comprise 12 activities designed for groups and built around Rosewood’s relationships with brands and communities around the world.

The ultra-luxury hospitality company is targeting “affluential explorers” with its collection of VIP experiences that include helping with the conservation and regeneration of Thailand’s Maya Island, where The Beach was filmed, which has been closed to mass tourism because of environmental concerns.

“Experiential travel has been an integral component of Rosewood’s DNA since the company’s inception nearly 40 years ago and has recently become even more deeply established as a key priority and passion point for today’s generation of travellers,” says Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts.

“With Rosewood Limited Edition, we are delighted to collaborate with our distinguished community of tastemakers and visionary partners to bring Rosewood’s destinations to life and take the adventures of ‘affluential explorers’ to new heights.”

The 12 extraordinarily expensive Rosewood Limited Edition VIP experiences, which can also be gifted to other people, include:

  • Search the Bahamian seas for a Ulysse Nardin Diver 42mm watch (Nassau, Bahamas)
    The “Rolling in the Deep” experience is available at Rosewood Baha Mar with four nights’ accommodation and round-trip flights on Baha Mar’s private jet, starting at US$202,100.
  • Customise a vintage Jaguar E Type with noted designer Tristan Auer (Paris, France)
    The “Va Va Vroom” experience is available at Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel with two nights’ accommodation and private dining for 12 at La Cave, starting at US$290,000.
  • Launch a luxury luggage Line with Métier London (London, England and Montalcino, Italy)
    The “Design… In a Bag” experience is available at Rosewood London with two nights’ accommodation and one night’s accommodation at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco starting at US$115,000.
  • Walk the red carpet at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Montecito, California)
    The “A Star is Born” experience is available at Rosewood Miramar Beach with three nights’ accommodation and dinner at Caruso’s, starting at US$50,800.
  • Sleep under the stars in the Arabian Desert (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
    The “Ultimate Arabian Night” experience is available at Rosewood Abu Dhabi, starting at US$15,000.

Rosewood Limited Edition ParisRosewood’s collection followed Rocco Forte Hotels’ August launch of Exquisite Europe, a series of experiences available in all 12 of the group’s hotels that are packaged up with room nights, banquets and other “extras” such as personalised portraits, spa treatments and gifts.

High-end travel coupled with special experiences also informed Rocco Forte’s packages, which include landing on Mount Etna in a private helicopter (from €4,217 including accommodation), and vineyard visits in a chauffeured Bentley Bentayga in Germany’s wine-producing Rheingau region (from €10,820).

Rocco Forte guests staying at its Florence-based Hotel Savoy have access to a private helicopter flight over the Tuscan countryside, accompanied by award-winning sommelier Filippo Bartolotta, while those in Rome can take to the skies in a private hot-air balloon (from €6,970).

In Munich, Rocco Forte is taking guests behind the scenes at the famous Staatsoper Opera House and to Nymphenburg Palace to meet the local artisans (from €9,070).

UK guests at Brown’s Hotel can take a private after-hours tour of the Tower of London (from £6,190), while Balmoral hotel guests can choose to take to Archerfield Links Club golf course with a PGA professional (from €7,135).

Thrill-seeking guests staying at Hotel Amigo in Belgium can choose to skydive above the countryside (from €2,219), while guests in Russia after a more sedate experience can enjoy a private viewing of the Imperial Fabergé eggs followed by a champagne and caviar reception at the Russian ballet (this will cost about £16,000).

Rocco Forte, CEO, chairman and co-founder of the hotel group, said: “The launch of Exquisite Europe firmly establishes our belief that luxury should be about creating the right experience for a particular need and we are always striving to achieve the highest levels of service, expertise and attention to detail to ensure our guests have a truly memorable, one-of-a-kind experience.”

This year, Rocco Forte is set to open two new properties: The Westbund Hotel in Shanghai and Villa Igiea in Palermo.

Rosewood and Rocco Forte are the latest luxury hotel groups to get creative with guest experiences as demand rises for unique day trips and excursions.

Last year also saw Mandarin Oriental announce an exclusive partnership with luxury tour operator Abercrombie and Kent to provide guests with a range of experiences, and the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo followed suit with its “conservation land and sea experiences” that pair guests with experts to learn about sustainability and the country’s wildlife.

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