If you feel like treating yourself, or you just happen to have extra thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to consider a little luxury. Whether it is a possession or experience, these items certainly fall into that category.
When you want great seats to a concert or a show, you can usually get them through ticket brokers or ticket websites. You’ll pay a premium, but spitting distance from Beyoncé may just be worth it. However, there are other experiences so rare and unique, that you’ll need to bring your fairy godmother into the mix or simply visit www.charitybuzz.com. The website that raises funds for a whole mix of charities has got some serious pull when it comes to donated magical moments, such as lunch with your favourite celebrity, a walk-on part in a Broadway show, or VIP tickets plus a backstage tour of none other than ‘Saturday Night Live’. If you’ve got the dosh, they’ve got the dreams. Browse for rare gift items, extraordinary travel experiences, and maybe even tea with Robert De Niro.
Heli-diving (sort of)
Snow skiing aficionados know that one of the most luxurious excursions for the suited-and-booted is a heli-skiing trip. Terms like “fresh powder” are whispered in chalets, along with the promise of empty runs barely touched by other humans. Here in Cayman, scuba divers can go “heli-diving”, if they so desire. Cayman Helicopters offers a day’s trip that includes scuba in all three islands, with even a stop for lunch thrown in. The day begins with a leisurely flight to Cayman Brac so guests can dive the Capt. Keith Tibbetts, then it’s on to Little Cayman for a look at world-famous Bloody Bay Wall, followed by a delightful repast at the Southern Cross Club. Once the last bite has been consumed, it’s all aboard to head back to Grand Cayman for a final descent to visit the Kittiwake wreck. The copter can comfortably seat five. You are welcome to have fewer in your party, but the price remains the same. You board it, you bought it. (Note: You are not jumping in the water directly from the chopper, unless you are Chef José Andrés).
Yes, you can book a room at The Ritz-Carlton for the weekend, but if you want to get together with friends and family in style, why not rent a villa for the week or weekend? Treasure Cove in Cayman Kai is a beautiful property overlooking a tranquil cove and boasting so many bedrooms, it could be the setting for an Agatha Christie novel (in a good way). From the professional chef’s dream kitchen to the master bedroom that would give any Presidential Suite a run for its money, this villa is the ultimate getaway. Take a dip in the pool, lounge on the beach, or take one of the complimentary kayaks around the point to Rum Point where creamy mudslides await. Minimum stay periods usually apply, but who wants to restrict their time anyway? A weekend really isn’t long enough to truly appreciate all that this, and other short-term rental villas have to offer.
Drive like a boss
A trip to any big city means entertainment, shopping and taking drives along exciting thoroughfares. When travelling with the family, a car, SUV or minivan is probably the rule of thumb. However, if you are going solo or duo and have some money to burn, you could treat yourself to a luxury sports car rental. Believe it or not, in locales such as Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York (where the parking alone could break the bank), you can hire everything from a high-end Mercedes to storied names like Maserati, Lamborghini, Bentley and Ferrari. Expect to pay anything between $500 and $3,500 per day for the privilege for the rental, and this probably isn’t the time to pooh-pooh the insurance, unless you have a double black American Express card. Want to drive down the strip in style? No one has to know it isn’t yours.
Even if you don’t know how to boil an egg, you can have a kitchen that makes you look like an expert … or at least encourages you to learn the art of cooking. When the basic appliances just won’t do, you need to get yourself a Gaggenau. Steam ovens, coffee machines, cooktops, refrigerators, wine cabinets … the German company produces them all and more, with the kind of handcrafted excellence that will have your guests eschewing the Picasso in the living room for the shiny stovetop in the heart of the house. Never seen your reflection in a Gaggenau before? Luckily, Bon Vivant in Camana Bay can show you some examples, up close and personal. Before you know it, you’ll be opening a pop-up restaurant in your home. No less than three Michelin-starred chef Daniel Humm has partnered with the company in the past for a rare, interactive dining experience. You know what they say, if it’s good enough for Humm…
If you are going to imbibe, should you not seek out a cocktail created with quality ingredients? Long gone are the days of the simple Cuba libre (rum and coke) or screwdriver (vodka and orange juice). These days, if you are going to work at any kind of half-decent watering hole, you had better know your Baileys from your Beefeater. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has elevated its cocktail menu in Silver Palm Lounge to new heights, with libations categorised by four distinct regions: America, Africa, Asia and Europe. The names of the drinks are as exotic as their recipes. Guests can indulge in the Hakuna Matata, Nashi Spritz and Princess Elena, to name a few. The Smoke and Mirrors cocktail, hailing from Asia, is a heady mix of Hojicha smoked scotch, ginger, yuzu and grapefruit, whereas the Cayman Old Fashioned incorporates a house rum blend, brown sugar, Angostura bitters and orange. Attention to detail includes specific glassware to make each cocktail a feast for the senses.
Just like money, people may soon prefer the phone that folds when Samsung releases its Galaxy Fold. The articulated spine, when flexed, reveals a 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED display and there are six pro-grade cameras integral to the device. The advantage of the fold design means it can be thin enough to fit in pockets, yet opens to a screen size only slightly smaller than the Apple iPad Mini. It is all very exciting although when exactly the phone will be available to the general public is a whole ‘nother question. It was supposed to launch in April this year but has been delayed to fix some issues. Best guess right now is July, so tech lovers will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on one. Based on early press, it does have its cons, and the sticker price will come in around $2,000, but such new technology will be tough to resist. How will Apple respond?