The Private Travel Issue


Comfort, speed, security & style; the unique traveler's guide.  BMW's Long-awaited 654ci coupe bridges the gap.  Also, custom air journeys around the globe, the new breed of micro jet, first-time plane & yacht charters, and security in transit: safe passage at home and abroad.  

From This Issue

FrontRunners: Stylish Storage

The Italians constantly offer reminders about why they are known for their style; they see possibilities for beauty in places and items that others overlook. Vismara Design (, a design firm located outside of Milan, turned its attention to CD and DVD storage and elevated it to an art form. The company employed a combination […]

Home Electronics: PureDriving Force

Although the popularity of plasma screens has been growing steadily, the picture is still far from perfect. Various degrees of digital noise, fuzzy edges, and image jitter, which occurs when a static background appears to shake as the camera pans, still plague the technology. Pioneer is closing the gap in visual quality between plasma and […]

Furnishings: Of Goatskin and Men

It is not surprising that Lulu Lytle’s favorite color is eau de nil. The British furniture designer studied Egyptology, and, judging by the oasis of palm trees on her roof garden, she is clearly still fascinated by everything Egyptian. “The Nile is nothing like that color in reality, but I still love it,” she says, […]

Appliances: Soul Showers

If “fitness” was the mantra of the ’90s, “wellness” is stealing its thunder as we settle into the hectic pace of the 21st century. Many health club members, particularly men, now gravitate toward the spa as a post-workout perk. “People no longer see spas as pampering but as a prerequisite to staying healthy,” says Lynne […]

From the Editors: The Madding Crowds

Private travel, in its beginnings, proved anything but private. In our primitive state, we humans ambled across the primordial plains rather publicly, in the company not only of our fellow tribesmen, but also in malodorous proximity to domesticated oxen, yaks, and asses. These indignities were but slightly mitigated by the cart and chariot, which placed […]

Travel: Part of the Hole

For those who crave wide-open space, Jackson Hole has it all—expansive vistas framed by the majestic Grand Tetons; rugged backcountry ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing; lush summer meadows and wildflowers; deep, soft winter snow; and some of the world’s best and most challenging downhill terrain. But the resort area’s seemingly endless expanse […]

Private Travel: The Wary Traveler

It is a common scene at any major airport terminal: chauffeurs or taxi drivers holding signs bearing the names of passengers, awaiting the clients’ arrivals so that they can drive them from the airport to their hotels. To an exhausted traveler who has just completed a long flight and is far from home, such a […]

From the Robb Cellar: January 2004

  Stags’ Leap Winery 1999 Estate Reserve Cabernet SauvignonThe Napa lexicon teems with leaping stags: There is the Stag’s Leap District, the celebrated appellation in the southeast section of Napa Valley; there is Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars; and there is (confusingly at times) Stags’ Leap Winery, which is in fact the oldest operation in the […]

FrontRunners: For the Birders

During a recent birding festival in Cape May, N.J., the most popular sighting could not be identified in a book of ornithology. According to Terry Moore, vice president of Sport Optics at Leica (800.222.0118,, he was overrun by birders clamoring for a glimpse of the new Leica binoculars. The binoculars, available in 14 models, […]

Select Smoke: January 2004

  Davidoff Limited Edition 2003 Vintage 2000 When the Dominican Republic’s 2000 tobacco harvest was completed, the unanimous opinion among growers and blenders was that they had produced an extraordinary leaf. From this crop, Davidoff has produced its Limited Edition 2003 Vintage 2000, its first offering in which all of the tobaccos—the Ecuadoran wrapper and […]

Spirits: Into the Woods

The woods can be mysterious. No one knows this better than Bill Lumsden, who holds a doctorate in biochemistry and heads the Wood Management Programme at Glenmorangie. Although the small highland distillery employs only 16 men, its Ten Years Old bottling is the best-selling single malt in Britain and one of the top four sellers […]

Smoke: Smoke in the Air

“May i check your carry-on?” a screener at Los Angeles International Airport recently asked. Because the question is rhetorical when posed by an agent from the Transportation Security Administration, I looked on numbly while she selected my cigar case for inspection. As the agent pulled apart the leather container, three 50-ring Churchills fell out and […]

Art: Winter Wonderland

Elinor Gordon, a leading dealer in Chinese export porcelain, knows what the first Winter Antiques Show was like; she was there. Gordon has exhibited at every edition of the annual New York event since its 1955 debut. “When it started, it was a very unsophisticated market,” says Gordon, who is based in Villanova, Pa. “Now, […]

Dining: Aqua Cultured

The environmentalists’ complaints about Caspian Sea sturgeon have become increasingly difficult to ignore. Even the most ardent caviar connoisseurs have come to acknowledge that, given the depleted state of the 27 different sturgeon species in the region, sacrificing even one female fish for its caviar is akin to killing the goose that lays the golden […]

Health & Grooming: Native Healers

For centuries, “dreamtime stories,” or fairy tales, offered the only insight into Australia’s Aboriginal culture. “When the white people came, they treated us like children, so we gave them children’s stories—and nothing more,” explains Kakkib lidthia, an Aboriginal elder. Today, Aboriginal figureheads, such as lidthia, are increasingly willing to share pertinent aspects of their ancient […]

FrontRunners: Bench Marks

The road to prosperity has been a rocky one for British shoemaker Edward Green (+44.207.499.6377, His once-successful business fell into decline under the management of his sons. They eventually sold it to an American investor, who in turn drove it to the brink of bankruptcy. It was acquired for a mere pound in 1982 […]

FrontRunners: Glove Story

Over the years, Martin Dingman (870.422.7151, has applied his talent for working with leather to everything from belts and wallets to footwear and watch straps. Recently the Diamond City, Ark., accessories designer has been dealing with the issue at hand, introducing a colorful sampling of gloves made from the finest South American peccary (wild […]

Watches: Turbo Time

While many watch companies cloak themselves with images of automobile racing or aviation, Richard Mille injects this performance ethos into his watches. Indeed, it is acutely applied in his interpretation of the acme of watchmaking tradition: the tourbillon. Mille’s flagship model, the RM003 tourbillon with GMT indicator ($179,000 in white gold), exudes a sense of […]

Wardrobe: Style and the Man

In the 1964 Rat Pack musical Robin and the 7 Hoods, 1930s-era Chicago gangsters played by Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra plan to open a swank nightclub. Upon realizing that their financial partner (Bing Crosby) dresses more like a schoolteacher than a sophisticated saloon keeper, they drag him to a chic men’s haberdashery. There, they […]

Jewelry: Shell Life

Seaman Schepps’ signature turbo shell earrings rank alongside Verdura’s 1930s Maltese cuff and Jean Schlumberger’s 1960s enamel bangle as one of a handful of iconic 20th-century jewelry designs. Originally created in the late 1930s, the embellished natural shell earrings transcend time and trends.   While the shells made Schepps famous, they also represented his imaginative […]

Family: Remarried…with Children

The thin veil of harmony that shrouded the union between the Kennedy and Onassis clans was stripped away during the 1975 funeral of Aristotle. The acrimony that had been simmering since shortly after Jackie and Ari exchanged vows became front-page tabloid fodder when the funeral procession’s lead car came to a halt, and Onassis’ daughter, […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Silver Streak: Porsche RS60

Porsche became a dominant force on the racetrack during the mid-1950s with its splendid 550 and 550A. (The lightweight cars also gained notoriety outside of the racing world when actor James Dean perished in an accident while at the wheel of his 550.) The company followed up on the success of these cars with the […]

Motorcycles: Totally Radbusa

A turn of the key prompts the Radbusa to flaunt all of its flair: The digital display on the motorcycle’s dash flashes through its pre-ride diagnostics; the tank-mounted GPS indicates my location in the desert east of Los Angeles; and the exhaust expels the sweet scent of spent racing fuel, not the ordinary gasoline on which […]

Wheels: Revived and Reprieved

  Bangle is the latest addition to the lexicon of motoring, and its definition depends on its usage. As an adjective, it has come to mean exhibiting a state of drastic revision that creates a new standard of ugliness. (BMW’s bunglesome 7 Series is another Bangle design.) As a verb, to Bangle is to defy […]

Boating: Captain America’s Cup

Michael Schumacher probably would not relinquish the keys to his Ferrari to a teenager with a learner’s permit, and it is safe to assume that Chuck Yeager never beckoned a bush pilot into the cockpit of his X-1 sonic boomer. Yet the in-water equivalent of these two ludicrous scenarios is unfolding here in San Francisco […]

Aircraft: Playing Nice

The philosophy at Lufthansa Technik, the German company that customizes interiors of wide-body jets, is that the airplane is an extension of the home. “They have fantastic audio equipment at home,” Lufthansa Technik Chairman August Henningsen says of his clients. “When they come to the plane, they want the same top-notch technology. That’s why we […]

Private Travel: Light Fantastic

Rob McGrath loathes commercial airports. Too often, however, McGrath, the founder of Private Retreats, a company that manages vacation homes in beach and resort communities, finds himself passing through an airport—confronting the ubiquitous lines and delays—on his way from Southport, Conn., to one of his properties.   For shorter business flights or when the airports […]

Private Travel: Preflight Check

Five years ago, at the crest of a robust economy, membership in fractional aircraft ownership peaked. Inexperienced private fliers snapped up five-year shares, blind to the possible collapse of the market. Now, as their shares approach expiration and the economy recovers from a recession, they are seeing the values of their purchases slashed, sometimes in […]

Private Travel: Plane and Simple

This was not going to be just any vacation for this family of 10 from California. Wanting to enjoy an experience unlike any they had ever known, the group, which ranged in age from 25 to 65, decided that together they would see the world, or as much of it as possible, in a span […]

Back Page: The Great Planes

Since Robb Report devoted its November 1989 cover story to collecting World War II aircraft, the popularity of the vintage planes has soared higher still. The 1990s marked the 50th anniversaries of major events of the war, prompting a wave of nostalgia and renewed appreciation for this tumultuous period of history. The decade also ushered […]

Private Travel: Magna Charter

It is 1983, and Neil Macpherson is vacationing in the British Virgin Islands with his wife. They have chartered a 43-foot sailboat and are anchored in the turquoise waters off the Bitter End, enjoying an idyllic tropical sunset. Soft, warm trade winds ferry the sound of a steel drum across the water. As the orange […]

Light Fantastic: Flagging Down a Flier

Vern Raburn’s expectations are nothing if not dramatic. Raburn, CEO of Eclipse Aviation, believes that the Eclipse 500 will create a completely new method of transportation. If his vision comes true, taking a flight in the Eclipse 500 will be as straightforward and inexpensive as hailing a cab for a ride downtown, albeit without a […]

Style: Treasure Coast

Despite Palm Beach’s balmy tropical climate, each winter, the exclusive coastal enclave experiences an ice storm. In fact, diamonds have become one of the most enticing components of the annual Palm Beach Classic: The International Fine Art & Antique Fair.   This winter’s exhibition—at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach from […]