The Private Travel Issue

Overview

Power Trips. Piloting Your Business Jet.

From This Issue

Robb Design Portfolio: Highrider

Just as a cowboy has his horse and saddle, an Indian royal had his elephant and howdah. This particular example—with original paint still clinging to the wooden runners—probably was made circa 1820 for the Maharajah of Murshidabad, a principality in northern India. Unlike most howdahs, this one was built for two, accommodating the prince and […]

FrontRunners: French Quarters

When Henri-Leopold Charles, the Marquis de Sers, commissioned his four-story mansion in Paris’ golden triangle in 1880, he directed architect Jules Pellechet to create a functional living space within a classical edifice that communicated the marquis’ lofty position in French society. L’Hôtel de Sers (+33.1.53.23.75.75, http://www.hoteldesers.com), a new 59-room hotel in the marquis’ former home, […]

Furnishings: Curves Ahead

As difficult as it is to interrupt the progress of Manhattan pedestrians, a Poltrona Diz chair by Sergio Rodrigues succeeded in doing so this past fall, when it sat in the window of TriBeCa’s R 20th Century gallery. “It literally stopped people on the street,” gallery owner Zesty Meyers says of the deep-seated, curvaceous, rosewood […]

Travel: Kiwi Harmony

In a geographical sense, Auckland, New Zealand, is a long way from Milan, and at Mollies, an elegant inn near the restaurants, clubs, and shops of the city’s fashionable Ponsonby district, views of the Auckland skyline and Waitemata Harbor ground guests solidly in the Antipodes. But the sounds of classical piano music and operatic voices […]

FrontRunners: Peter Paul Unplugged

He was a successful businessman and a diplomat who spoke six languages, but Peter Paul Rubens is best known, of course, for his prodigious output of Baroque art. Demand for the master’s work was so great that he kept up with it only by employing numerous assistants to translate his sketches to canvas or tapestry. […]

Wine: Opulent Opus

Since its inception in the boudoir of Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s Château Mouton, where Robert Mondavi and his daughter, Marcia, were received in 1978, Opus One has conjured controversy laced with the faint exoticism of the Old World and bolstered by the bold enterprise of the New. On that distant day three decades ago, the […]

Spirits: Polished Woods

In 1964, after its purchase by Glasgow spirits brokering firm Stanley P. Morrison, the Bowmore Distillery converted its boilers from fire to steam and stocked its cellars with casks that once contained bourbon, fino sherry, and oloroso sherry. That fall, the Islay-based distillery filled its new barrels with whisky, and now, more than 40 years […]

FrontRunners: Back to Basque

Alain Ducasse has returned to his roots with Ostapé (+33.5.59.37.91.91, http://www.alain-ducasse.com), an inn and restaurant located in the heart of Basque country in southwestern France. Born and raised in nearby Landes, Ducasse has always drawn from the flavors of this region between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and head chef Alain Souliac, who […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

  Carlos Toraño Casa TorañoCarlos Toraño Cigars created Casa Toraño in 2000 as a private family blend, an unbanded cigar that was offered only to company insiders and cigar-convention attendees. Response to the blend was so enthusiastic that the Miami-based company has made Casa Toraño available to the general public. The cigar’s spicy wrapper, grown […]

FrontRunners: Well-Stocked Seller

At the first live auction from Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. (312.482.9996, http://www.hdhwine.com), collectors may get more than what they bid for. “We’re not just an auction house,” says CEO Michael Davis. “We’re part of a respected retail company, and we have the options of private retail services.” The Chicago-based buyer and seller of fine […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

  Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 2001 Sette Ponti is as much a fixture in the landscape of Tuscan history as it is in the lives of the Moretti family. The estate takes its name from the seven bridges that cross the Arno on the road from the nearby city of Arezzo to Florence, the closest […]

Collectibles: Stamps of Approval

When the late Sir Gawaine Baillie began collecting postage stamps in the 1940s, he was not unique in this pursuit; at the time this was a popular pastime among children worldwide. Nor was he unique in revisiting his childhood hobby decades later as a grown man, though his circumstances were atypical.   Baillie returned to […]

Dining: Reaching for the Stars

Italian food may be loved by millions around the world, but that has failed to impress the editors of the Michelin guide to European restaurants. Only three of the country’s current establishments have earned Michelin’s highest rating of three stars, and not one is located in Rome. This lack of recognition could be related to […]

Golf: Lying Low

From the veranda of the Inn at Palmetto Bluff’s bar, the lights of Hilton Head Island seem more distant than 20 minutes by boat. Just down the May River and across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Hilton Head is home to more than 20 golf courses, nearly 70 hotels, and the traffic jams and tourist traps […]

FrontRunners: Car Alarm

Jaeger-Lecoultre (800.552.8463, http://www.jaegerlecoultre.com), which once manufactured dashboard instruments, has modified its well-known Master Memovox alarm watch to create the Aston Martin Jaeger-LeCoultre Special Edition, available in steel ($8,000) or titanium (750 pieces at $8,500 each). This sporty collection features a new dial design with a 270-degree, speedometer-like arc, but the automatic Memovox movement inside is […]

FrontRunners: Robe Warrior

As the son of a British bishop, Daniel Hanson (+44.11.597.83677) grew up appreciating formal clothing, but the designer also developed a respect for dressing down when, in his mid-20s, he came across a remarkable bathrobe in a thrift shop. The find prompted Hanson to begin collecting loungewear, a hobby that evolved into a business nearly […]

Watches: Rotator Cuff

Thierry Oulevay lights up when he speaks about Jean Dunand, the Swiss Art Deco designer, whom he describes as “a master of many different media.” Oulevay, a veteran watch industry executive, is so captivated with Dunand’s work that he named his fledgling company after the artist—a bold stroke considering that Jean Dunand never made a […]

Jewelry: A Jewel Grows in Brooklyn

An automotive heiress from Detroit recently trekked to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, N.Y., for a consultation with Stephen Dweck, a jewelry designer who flaunts his Brooklyn roots as readily as his latest gem acquisitions. After spending three hours perusing Dweck’s vast cache of minerals and gems, she selected 30 stones—including a rare blue-and-brown topaz, a […]

Wardrobe: Making the Grade

The World War II orphans from Pisa, Italy, who were relocated to Florence’s Basilica of Santa Croce did not spend their time there idly. The Franciscan friars who operated the basilica had partnered with two local leather artisan families, the Goris and Cassinis, and transformed the dormitory of the 13th-century monastery into a leather crafts school. […]

Time: Second Time Around

Pierre Jaquet Droz, one of the most noted watchmakers of the 18th century, might find it surprising that his return from oblivion has come not as advertised in the book of Revelation, but at the hands of a modern watch conglomerate. His name and legacy, along with that of Léon Hatot, the 20th-century master of […]

FrontRunners: Higher Power

The Maserati Gransport (www.maserati.com), a stately, swift update of the company’s Cambiocorsa coupe, presents a pedigreed Italian package with greater power and sharper looks than its $92,300 brother—for just $11,000 more. The GranSport comes with the same 4.2-liter V-8 as the Cambiocorsa, which, it should be noted, is no slow, plain Gino to begin with. […]

Wheels: A Sure ‘Vette

The generations of engineers and designers responsible for building the various iterations of the Chevrolet Corvette over the past five decades have been nothing if not consistent. From its show-car beginnings through its current state, the ’Vette has maintained certain essential characteristics. Among these are contemporary, eye-catching styling, seating for no more than two people, […]

Feature: Curb Appeal

Few and precious are those entry-level performance cars that, wherever they are parked, are capable of drawing stares and stirring sighs from passersby. A Porsche Boxster and its sibling 911 are good for glances but offer no irresistible invitation to look and linger. Lamborghini’s Gallardo is a fierce shape that astonishes and intimidates, but it […]

From The Editors: Wings of Destiny

The age-old yearning for flight has at its heart the desire to conquer the randomness of our individual fates. Pilots aloft enjoy the momentary illusion that destiny and destination are one—that throttle and compass can indeed chart the course of their fortunes. The idea seduces amateur and professional alike (see “Air Command,”), yet its spell […]

Boating: Soaking Up the Sunseeker

When boat owners upgrade, they typically do so in incremental steps, acquiring only marginally larger boats that still feel familiar and comfortable. However, one owner of a 68-foot Sunseeker, a Mexican businessman, was not going to follow this traditional progression. Instead, he wanted to leapfrog as much as 40 feet up the boat ladder, while […]

Aircraft: NXT Generation

To reach this year’s National Championship Air Races at Stead Field in Reno, Nev., Jon Sharp, accompanied by his wife, Patricia, flew the 450 miles from his office in Mojave, Calif., in his Nemesis NXT, a sleek, white monoplane. Three days later, he piloted that same plane to a third-place finish in a field of […]

Feature: Air Command

Greg Farbolin fills a variety of roles for the Honey Baked Ham Co. He is the founder of the company. He pilots the corporate jets. And he serves as a baggage handler for passengers on those jets. In truth, the latter task he performed only once, and it is unlikely that it will happen again. A […]

A Traveler’s Guide to Business Jets: Light Aircraft: Beechjet 400A

The Beechjet 400A replaced the Beechjet 400, which was produced after Beech acquired the Diamond II, a light jet built by Mitsubishi, in December 1985. After acquiring the Diamond II, Beech moved the rear fuselage fuel tank forward, positioned the lavatory in the rear of the cabin, and improved the plane’s soundproofing. Consequently, the new […]

Feature: Where the Air Is Rarefied

For a $45 million aircraft, the Boeing Business Jet has more drawbacks than one might expect. Other business jets fly faster and higher, and although the BBJ has ultralong-range capabilities, rare is the passenger who requires them. In addition, because of the size of the plane, many of the conveniently located regional airports do not […]

A Traveler’s Guide to Business Jets: Heavy Aircraft: Bombardier Challenger 604

Although these aircraft are designed for intercontinental travel, fliers more often prefer them for their interior space rather than their long-distance capabilities. Families can take them from the mainland to Hawaii for weekend getaways, but more popular uses revolve around special events—the Super Bowl, the Indy 500—where companies can host clients or top-performing salespeople. Charter […]

A Traveler’s Guide to Business Jets: Heavy Aircraft: Gulfstream IV

The Gulfstream IV is perhaps the most sought-after plane for long-distance private flights. Gulfstream began designing the G-IV in 1983, building four production prototypes and completing the first flight in 1985. After 1,412 hours of flight testing, the airplane was certified by the FAA in 1987. Production continued until 1992, when Gulfstream replaced the G-IV […]

A Traveler’s Guide to Business Jets: Heavy Aircraft: Embraer Legacy

While national charter operators have yet to add the Embraer Legacy to their fleets, industry professionals believe the price and performance capabilities of the Brazilian aircraft will make this a favorite in the near future. The Legacy, a variant of Embraer’s commercial ERJ-135 regional airliner, can seat 13 passengers in a cabin only slightly smaller […]

A Traveler’s Guide to Business Jets: Private Flight Choices

In addition to purchasing a jet outright, you can fly privately through local charter companies, national charter operators, national charter brokers, 25-hour fractional programs, or fractional providers. Following are summaries of the various options and contact information for some of the leading companies in each category. Fractional Providers While NetJets remains the market leader in […]

Feature: Sea Rations

For Gary Epstein, the once-pleasurable pastime of boating aboard his 50-foot Hatteras and 39-foot Tiara sport cruiser had become an annoyance. His appointment book, which included the dates of upcoming cruises and family vacations, was also filling with deadlines for boat-related tasks—performing maintenance work, meeting with his crew, making sure his boats were housed correctly—that […]

Feature: Infatuation For Hire

The early-fall sun rises over Portovenere, a small town south of La Spezia on Italy’s western coast, and reflections of red, pink, and yellow buildings reach across the water and up the dark blue hull of Infatuation, a 136-foot sailing yacht anchored just offshore. The setting alone could be enough to validate one’s decision to […]

Back Page: Virgin Territory

When SpaceShipOne glided back to Earth on October 4, 2004, after reaching the edge of space for the second time in five days, it validated almost a decade’s worth of work by inventor Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites in Mojave, Calif. For their efforts, Rutan and company were awarded the Ansari X […]