Private Escapes


The most exclusive modes of travel; fly-in resorts, custom jets, megayacht charters. Also mercedes takes aim at Bentley's convetible.

From This Issue

Home: Cooking with Gas

If ever a kitchen has evoked a supercar, the Venus is it. Made by Snaidero, of Majano, Italy, the kitchen with a goddess’ name showcases a vibrant color palette, symmetrical curves, innovative materials, and state-of-the-art technologies—attributes not unlike those of the Ferrari Enzo, Ferrari F50, and Maserati Birdcage. And why not? The automobiles and the […]

Private Travel: Virgin Territories

Water World The 161-foot Feadship Teleost, docked at the 3-year-old Wharf Marina, cuts a distinct silhouette. In the Caribbean, this vessel would not appear particularly remarkable, but here she is the only megayacht in the only marina in the Seychelles that can accommodate boats her size, and she is 100 feet longer than any other […]

Journeys: Capital Venture

Looming over a Brussels suburb like a magnum opus for atomic energy is the Atomium, a structure representing an atom that has been magnified 165 billion times. The Atomium was erected for the 1958 World’s Fair, when Europe, still skittish after World War II, and the rest of the world held faith that the atom […]

Private Travel: Private Landings

Something Wild Two female lions, appearing only marginally concerned with our presence, laze around the carcass of the young impala they killed minutes ago. Lions spend as many as 23 hours each day dozing, and these two, not unlike many of us, cannot decide which is the more enticing option: to sleep or to eat. […]

Private Travel: Private Landings: Flight Preparation

Like spas and residential units before them, private airstrips might one day become essential components to resort developers’ project plans, or at least to the plans for properties situated in the most remote locations. The following resorts, each under construction now, will require time and effort to reach if you are traveling by car, boat, […]

Private Travel: Private Landings: Getting There

The following charter, flight-card, and fractional providers offer aircraft that will enable you to minimize your travel time when visiting any of the featured resorts or other properties with on-site or nearby airstrips. (Note: Unless otherwise indicated, a one-sixteenth fractional share of a jet corresponds to 50 flight hours per year, a one-half share to […]

Private Travel: Haute and Heavy

Somewhere in the world, a Boeing jet flies with a throne in its center, and on a plaque above that seat an ornately engraved passage gives praise to that royal leader’s god. In other large jets—known in the aviation industry as heavy metal—you might find a dance floor, an exercise room, a waterfall, a car […]

Private Travel: Elevating First Class

It is midnight somewhere high over Asia, and a few of us have moved from our seats to the forward bar of the plane’s upper deck. It is difficult to sleep; after all, seldom is one aboard a test flight of a new aircraft, much less the largest passenger plane ever built.   Taxiing into […]

Health & Grooming: Time’s on Your Side

Even if 50 is the new 30, our skin and bodies can be slow to catch on. Doctors at the Miami Institute for Age Management and Intervention, a surgical center and medical spa, promise to erase some of the ravages of time and help you feel better as you grow older. Their services range from […]

Collectibles: Wave of the Past

As old as it is, the Hawaiian surfboard from 1895 that is the highlight of an upcoming surf memorabilia auction may be relatively new when compared to the sport itself. In fact, the board dates from a surfing renaissance in Hawaii, where, it is believed, the sport was invented. Presumably, islanders were riding the waves […]

Vacation Homes: Virginia Is for (Wine) Lovers

Virginia winemaker Patricia Kluge acknowledges that her adoptive home state is no Napa Valley. “We’re not trying to compete with Napa as a wine region,” says Kluge, a British-born businesswoman who has been producing sparkling wine and Bordeaux-style blends since 1999 at her Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard outside of Charlottesville. “Napa has two climates […]

Antiques: Flags of Our Forefathers

Much of what we believe about the American flag and its history is not true, or so claims Jeff Bridgman, an antiques dealer in the rural Pennsylvania town of Dillsburg, near Gettysburg, who specializes in vintage examples of Old Glory. He says, for example, that Betsy Ross probably did not create the first American flag, […]

Dining: Dean’s New Digs

Dean Fearing has left the Mansion, and he is preparing to open his own place. Fearing’s Restaurant, housed in the new Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, is scheduled to debut with the hotel at the end of July.   Fearing spent two decades as the executive chef at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, establishing the Dallas hotel’s restaurant […]

Art: Birds of Passage

A duck rescued Joseph Hautman from a fate of teaching physics to college students. “When I won, I had no artistic career,” Hautman, a 50-year-old Minnesotan, says in reference to his victory in the 1992 Federal Duck Stamp Contest, a wildlife art competition. That triumph, which he earned with his rendering of a spectacled eider […]

Spirits: Mixing It Up

Brazil’s national spirit, the sugarcane-derived cachaça, is the third-most-imbibed distillate in the world (behind vodka and soju). Until recently, however, less than 1 percent of the total production of cachaça entered the United States, and the low-grade varieties that reached the country served almost exclusively as ingredients for caipirinhas and similar cocktails. But with the […]

Contributors: Hot Tubs Flying and Ice Driving

Senior Editor Michael Schulze knows what you’re missing when you fly into Cibolo Creek Ranch; he made the four-hour drive from Midland International Airport, the less convenient means of reaching this resort in southwest Texas. “Oil rigs and vast expanses of nothing,” says Schulze, describing the view along Interstate 20. The ranch is one of […]

The Collector: Patriot Games

  Its OwnerBruce Gimelson, a 64-year-old art and antiques dealer in Garrison, N.Y., once bought and sold a letter in which John Hancock, writing on July 6, 1776, proclaimed, “We are finally free from the bonds of slavery.” He also assisted in the sale of a plaster bust of Thomas Jefferson that was sculpted in […]

FrontRunners: French Culture

The jewelry and watch house Van Cleef & Arpels ( has given its flagship boutique in Paris a lavish makeover. The shop, located below the firm’s jewelry atelier at 22 Place Vendôme, features curved panels with a sculpted vine motif and winged mannequins draped in jewels. The second level includes rooms where you can have […]

FrontRunners: A Good Mixer

Spirits are likely to run high in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the fifth annual Tales of the Cocktail (, a festival that will take place from July 18 through 22. The event will include culinary and bar competitions, street parties, and walking tours of bars and restaurants. Some 50 seminars will explore […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Although its name means “large palace” in Italian, Il Palazzone is a small estate comprising 20 acres, of which, according to DOCG regulations, a mere 10 may be used in the production of Brunello di Montalcino. But the acreage and the annual production (about 350 cases) are the only diminutive aspects to this enormously elegant […]

FrontRunners: Cut Above

Chef Michael Lomonaco named his new Manhattan steak house Porter House New York ( after the cut of steak first served in the same city. Many historians believe that Martin Morrison, the proprietor of a New York porterhouse (a bar that serves ale), created the cut in 1814 when he ran out of steak and […]

FrontRunners: Amazing Properties

The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach ( once was a fairly formal place, with dark wood walls, overlarge seating, and gold rope on the lobby chandeliers. But a $60 million makeover has transformed the 310-room resort into a property you might expect to find in Bali, with its palette of cream, sage, and blue and open spaces […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

Cusano Cuvée Grand is the first of what Cusano ( expects to be a line of Cuvées, with a new size and perhaps a different blend appearing each year as the previous year’s version is discontinued. This year’s Cuvée is a graceful-looking 7 x 40 Lancero. The company will produce only 17,000 sticks. The Cuvée’s […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Hard to Figure

Walter Lowry never envisioned carrying Lladró porcelain products when he opened TableArt (323.653.8278, on a hip stretch of Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue nearly three years ago. His home decor store targeted Angelenos with less traditional tastes by stocking furnishings, flatware, and other works by avant-garde designers such as London’s Bodo Sperlein. But when Lowry […]

Sport: Following the Freak Fish

Each May, when chinook salmon season begins in British Columbia, fishermen converge on the Lodge at Whale Channel, located in Barnard Harbour about 90 miles south of the remote northern coastal city of Prince Rupert. The lodge floats on a steel barge, which is attached to long cedar logs called “boom sticks” that keep the […]

Golf: Tee to Shining Tee

“You gave that one a good whack,” says instructor Pier Falcomer as we watch my drive sail into the distance. From the vantage point of the tee box, the white sands of Princess Margaret Beach stretch out in a crescent below the steep, palm-covered hills of Bequia, the northernmost island in the Grenadines. My shot—a […]

FrontRunners: Money on the Line

Apparently we humans are not the only creatures that hanker for jewelry. The Million Dollar Lure, created by Mac McBurney of MacDaddy’s Fishing Lures ( in California, consists of more than three pounds of platinum and 14- and 18-karat gold and is encrusted with 4,753 diamonds and rubies. McBurney, who does indeed offer the item […]

Wardrobe: Ford’s New Models

Ttom Ford’s long-awaited menswear collection, which he unveiled this spring, appears surprisingly traditional. Maybe the designer has become more reserved now that he is 45 years old or because his own name is on the label. For one reason or another, Ford has departed from the hip, overtly sexy clothing that he propagated during the […]

FrontRunners: Race Clocks

With each America’s Cup have come a number of sailing-themed timepieces; watchmakers like to associate their efforts with that competition because both feed on leading-edge technologies. To commemorate this summer’s Cup, Audemars Piguet ( has built the limited-edition, $23,100 Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team Chronograph. It is made from forged carbon, a material with excellent […]

FrontRunners: Toothsome Accessory

Woolly mammoths died out about 10,000 years ago, but their tusks have been resurrected as fashion accessories. J.W. Cooper ( has used the tusks, which are in fact elongated teeth, to make buckles for a limited line of belts. An artist embellishes the buckles with sterling silver and 18- or 22-karat gold and adds motifs […]

FrontRunners: Dominant Jeans

Mario Bisio, known for the tailored clothing that he sells at his flagship shop in Portland, Ore., has opened a second boutique that showcases luxury sportswear. Mario’s 3.10 (, located 12 miles away in Bridgeport Village, features denim brands such as Prps and Earnest Sewn and a range of jeans-compatible jackets, outerwear, and knits from […]

From the Editors: Lincoln Continental Divide

If a car’s visibility in pop culture is any measure, then the Lincoln Continental convertible’s cool quotient is on the rise. In mid-May, the cover of Sports Illustrated announced that Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore, “one of the greatest players of our generation,” drives a 1966 baby blue Continental convertible. On TV, the HBO […]

Feature: Testing the Waters

The sun is shining, a breeze is blowing, and the top is down as I navigate a dark blue 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300D onto a scenic road overlooking Newport Beach in Southern California. “In postwar Germany, things were not so great,” says my passenger, Mike Kunz, who manages the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in the nearby city […]

Wheels: Continental Drifting

‘‘Now throttle! Fool! Fool! Fool!” Driving instructor Thierry Bouillon erupts as I slide a Bentley Continental GT sideways around an icy hairpin turn. Until this moment, I had been quite pleased with my display of car control, so the insult catches me a bit off guard, and I hesitate for a moment before I glance […]

Aviation: Snow Bird

The P-38 fighter plane known as Glacier Girl is expected to complete its mission to England in July—65 years late, but the circumstances that delayed the flight were extraordinary. The pilot abandoned the plane in Greenland in July 1942, after its Allied squadron, while heading from the United States to England, encountered bad weather, flew […]

Boating: Room, with a View

Producing unusual designs is not an uncommon practice for Italy’s Azimut Yachts and its founder and chairman, Paolo Vitelli. In 1982, seven years after Vitelli had moved from offering sailboats for charter to designing and building motoryachts, his company became the first manufacturer to introduce a fiberglass yacht that was more than 100 feet long. […]

FrontRunners: Newport

Wining always matters, of course, but yacht crews will not focus exclusively on victory at the fifth annual Newport Bucket Regatta (, which takes place July 20 through 22 on Rhode Island Sound. The organizers of the race, which is limited to 20 sailing yachts, each measuring at least 80 feet in length, encourage participants […]