At Bloomberg Pursuits, we’ve spent the past year covering the most exotic travel experiences, the rarest foods and drinks, the finest clothes, and the most extreme luxury trends.
The following gift ideas are truly the cream of the crop; the most over-the-top products and experiences that money can buy. If you need to shop for the person who is impossible to please, these ten ideas are your best shot.
Cruise ship rental
During last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, the 212-passenger Windstar Sea Breeze moored in the little principality’s harbor so that its occupants could party and view the races. But it wasn’t a random collection of cruisers — everyone aboard was a guest of a single wealthy client who just wanted a couple of hundred of his closest friends to have the same home base for the week. This is an increasing trend: Cruise liners that are occasionally rented out for corporate events are being co-opted for birthday parties and family reunions.
One birthday boy on a Crystal ship outfitted the staff’s uniforms (and the bottom of the pool) with his family crest for the occasion — another Crystal ship-renter, who is a well-known former talk-show host, provided each guest with his or her own monogrammed pillow in the staterooms. When it comes to the kind of customization you can get your billionaire with this gift, the sea’s the limit.
Cost: $500,000 per week up to $1 million
Only a couple thousand bottles of a rare Bollinger vineyard champagne will be sold to wine connoisseurs. (Photo: Flikr/Courtney Mault)
A bottle of ultra-rare champagne
Only a few small plots in the Champagne region were spared from the ravages of the phylloxera virus, which devastated European winemaking in 1863 and forced vintners there to graft native vines onto robust, imported American roots. One of the remaining plots with French roots is a jumbled, now-ancient half- acre clos at the Bollinger vineyard, where a highly sought-after Champagne is made in the old style.
To craft the ultra-delicious vieilles vignes, Pinot noir grapes are crushed in a small press, where the cuvee is extracted (the first and best juice) and then aged in French oak barrels that are up to a century old. Any given year will yield between only six and nine barrels. After aging for eight to 12 years, a couple of thousand bottles will be sold to a ravenous crowd of wine fans. Your billionaire may be able to afford one of these herself—getting her hands on a bottle is another story.
Cost: $975 per bottle for the 2005 vintage, up to $5,000 and beyond for older vintages.
For quick trips to the market, billionaires can’t go wrong with the exclusive Ferrari Enzo. (Photo: Alexandre Prévot via Wikimedia Commons)
Tommy Hilfiger’s 2003 Ferrari Enzo
Only 400 Ferrari Enzos were ever made, and the cherry red one owned by fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is in spectacular condition. A bit more than 3,600 miles are on the odometer, and it has been in Hilfiger’s hands since it was sold, which makes it even more valuable.
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“My lifestyle is changing,” the 65-year-old told Bloomberg, explaining his decision to auction the supercar at Scottsdale in January. “I don’t drive fast sports cars as I used to. These days I prefer driving my Rolls-Royce Dawn or my Maybach.”
Advantage: your billionaire. While Hilfiger’s gotten tired of clambering in through the dramatic scissor doors and revving up the V-12, 650-hp engine, your gift recipient will be able to enjoy all those horses in near-mint condition — plus a carbon-fiber body, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a top speed of 218 mph. Of course, when it comes to price, the advantage goes to Hilfiger; he likely bought it for about $650,000, and you’ll pay millions.
Cost: Experts at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance bet this car could break the $3 million mark at auction.
This limited-production, all-sapphire watch provides transparency that allows the wearer to see the mechanics at work inside his timepiece. (Photo: Greubel Forsey)
An all-sapphire watch
Choosy watch fans love to be able to see the mechanics at work inside their little horological marvels, so an increasing trend in recent years has been to make cases entirely out of transparent or colored sapphire. A standout in this category is the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique, a spin on a much-loved watch from the brand that had previously come in metal versions. Now there’s hardly any metal to be found on the dial or case, minus a few screws and the winding pin. It’s a manually wound watch, with a 120-hour power reserve and two tourbillons.
Of course, the thing that will really win over your billionaire is its scarcity and value — only eight will be made, all of which will be exclusively sold in the U.S. Oh yeah, and that price…
Cost: $1.275 million. For a watch.
Every billionaire will want a rose gold jet to match their rose gold watch and jewelry. (Photo: Neiman Marcus)
A private jet in rose gold
Rose gold has been such a trend in recent years, hasn’t it? It has appeared on mechanical watches, on wedding rings, and on such Apple products as the iPad and the Watch. So it’s only natural you’d start seeing it in the air, right? Wrong.
This straight-out-of-Scrooge-McDuck’s-dreams gift is one of the counterintuitive wonders available in the annual Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. According to NM, the Cobalt Valkyrie-X “will be one of the fastest piston aircraft in the world when it debuts in 2017. With a shape that is raindrop sleek and a 350-horsepower engine, the Valkyrie-X will whisk its pilot and three passengers along at speeds of up to 230 miles per hour, with a range of up to 1,150 ground miles.”
Also, spoiler alert: It will attract a lot of attention. The actual structure of the plane is carbon composite, but the exterior is plated in an exclusive rose gold coating formula, and the interior flight controls are also sheathed in the material. And with each purchase, Neiman Marcus will donate $200,000 to the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.
Cost: $1.5 million
Blink’s bubble camps allow travelers to experience the Atacama Desert or the Alps of Switzerland in a unique and luxurious accomodation. (Photo: Black Tomato)
A hotel built from scratch
Do you have a picky billionaire? It happens; you’re not alone. Luxury travel outfitter Black Tomato has your back. If no hotels on earth ever seem to meet his needs — or there isn’t even a hotel in the part of the world where he wants to go — they’ll build one. From scratch. A whole hotel.