You Can Now Privatise a Maldivian Island Resort… For a Cool $1.5 Million

Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Aerial View
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Aerial View

The limited time offer to privatise the Raffles Maldives Meradhoo on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll is all-inclusive and includes the use of an additional deserted island, just for fun…

For a limited time, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is offering an exceptional $1USD million (AUD 1.48 million) all-inclusive island buyout. In addition to privacy and special privileges, Raffles will throw in the use of an additional ‘deserted island’ that can be transformed into a celebration or adventure space.

Just an 80-minute boat ride from the equator, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo lies in one of the most remote corners of the Maldives. Available for four-night, five-day stays, You Run Raffles Maldives provides a host with the opportunity to treat up to 70 loved ones, friends and close associates to the all-inclusive service of Raffles, complete with Raffles Butlers, set amid the tropical oasis of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.

After enjoying a private charter flight from the Maldivian capital Male or landing a private jet at Kooddoo airport (located in the resort’s atoll of Gaafu Alifu) via Gaan airport, the group will have full access to the resort’s two islands. The first island is a white-sand idyll with 21 villas, while the second island is an overwater retreat.

As part of the You Run Raffles Maldives, guests will also have access to a nearby deserted island that can be transformed into a variety of things: a tropical playground, a sunset concert with a celebrity DJ, a stargazing session guided by a personal astronomer.

The culinary team at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo will create special menus and tailored dining experiences for guests visiting on this package. Guests are invited to wine and dine whenever and wherever they wish, on a complimentary basis. Dining experiences may involve a supper of beef tenderloin with chimichurri at The Firepit, a tiki torch-lit barbecue restaurant where diners sit at sand-carved sunken tables or sushi and pisco sours at Nikkei restaurant, Yuzu. For sundowners, parties can gather at the Long Bar for Maldives Slings, which are a mix of gin, coconut, cinnamon and clove.

Raffles Spa will treat guests to Biologique Recherche facials, Aromatherapy Associates massages and more treatments. Guests are also free to enjoy water sports and unlimited use of the resort’s yacht Azimut. Dolphin-watching cruises, fishing or diving expeditions may be arranged, with cocktails and canapés waiting on board. A Raffles Marine Butler can lead snorkelling excursions to the resort’s two house reefs, home to scores of fish species, from parrotfish to blacktip sharks and 22 hawksbill turtles. The You Run Raffles Maldives visit also aims to help protect this precious ecosystem over the years to come. The rate includes a 5% charitable donation, split between the Maldives’ Marine Center and the Olive Ridley Project, an NGO that works to protect sea turtles.

Guests will receive a range of personalised souvenirs including a customised robe, complete with the embroidered event name You Run Raffles Maldives, and custom epicurean treats created by the chefs for guests to take home.

The luxury travel connoisseurs of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo are on hand to tailor the trip for guests.

How the other half live…

You Can Now Book a Royal Palace on Airbnb

Exterior view of the City Palace, Jaipur, India
Exterior view of the City Palace, Jaipur, India

Jaipur’s Royal Family has listed their family home, the City Palace of Jaipur, on Airbnb 

The 300-year-old City Palace of Jaipur, home to Jaipur’s Royal Family, has played host to numerous special guests over the centuries, but from November 23, 2019, the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will become accessible to the public, available to book for the first time ever on Airbnb

Steeped in history and located in the heart of Jaipur, capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, the City Palace is one of India’s most iconic buildings. Built in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of the city of Jaipur, the City Palace exemplifies the 18th century Rajput architecture with other architectural influences of later periods. The interiors contain ornate chambers, large and airy reception halls, crystal chandeliers, gilded wall decorations, intricate carvings. The palace complex also houses a large, internationally recognised museum. Notable visiting dignitaries have included Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Jackie Kennedy, among others.

The decadent Gudliya Suite has its own lounge, kitchen, bathroom and private indoor swimming pool. Guests of the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will be provided a journey into the history, cultural heritage and artistic traditions of Jaipur’s royal family. Guests will be looked after by a private butler and guide who will arrange curated city experiences including shopping tours, guided walks through local museums and other excursions. A terrace with sweeping views of the surrounding Aravalli hills and forts overlooking the palace is a picture-perfect spot for digging into authentic Rajasthani meals, while afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the company of the resident peacocks who live in the Palace’s gardens.

Hosting the Airbnb is the polo-playing 21-year old Maharaja, Padmanabh Singh, who succeeded his grandfather in 2011 as the Maharaja of a land his ancestors have ruled for nearly a thousand years. 

“I am thrilled that my family and I are partnering with Airbnb to bring the splendour of Rajasthan to life for travellers from around the world. My own travels with Airbnb have made me feel very welcome in new cities and cultures, and I am happy that the experience of quintessential Indian hospitality will be shared with others,” sais Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh.

Proceeds from each booking through Airbnb will go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting rural women and artisans in Rajasthan. For the remainder of 2019, the Gudliya Suite, priced at USD $8,000 per night, will be available to book on select nights at a special inaugural offer of $1,457 per night, with Airbnb paying the balance amount for each booking as a contribution to the Foundation. From January 1st 2020, the Suite will be available for guests to book at the full $11,662 rate.

Luxury Travel Subscription Launches Offering Unlimited Holidays

Encuentro Guadalupe, El Porvenir, Mexico

 Inspirato Pass provides Pass holders access to more than 60,000 worldwide luxury holiday homes, hotels, resorts and experiences for a monthly fee

If you get a rude awakening every time you calculate how much you’ve spent on travel for the year, you’ll be relieved to know there’s a new membership in town that allows travellers to book thousands of trips around the world for a set fee per month.

With no nightly rates, taxes, or fees, Inspirato Pass is the world’s first luxury travel subscription, providing Pass holders access to more than 60,000 worldwide luxury holiday homes, hotels, resorts and one-of-a-kind ‘Inspirato Only’ experiences – like European cruises, African safaris and marquee sporting events – for $USD 2,500 per month. Passholders can share the experiences with a plus one, and cancel trips without any penalty up until 72 hours before the reservation.

The subscription is from hospitality company Inspirato, which creates holidays through its private destination club and hospitality partners. Each trip includes Inspirato’s signature five-star service through dedicated travel specialists, who can help with bookings, planning itineraries and addressing guests’ needs throughout the stay. “Inspirato Pass gives affluent travellers the freedom to book a wider variety of trips and experiences on a more frequent basis, without the burden of nightly rates all at tremendous value,” explained Brent Handler, Founder and CEO of Inspirato.

The membership is aimed at everyone from empty-nesters making the most of their golden years to multi-generational families looking for a week-long overseas and business travellers seeking luxury hotel rooms in the world’s best cities.

To book, Passholders visit the Inspirato Pass website ( and browse tens of thousands of available trips in more than 150 locations throughout the U.S., Mexico, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. Then, Passholders reserve any available trip, enjoy the stay, and book the next reservation upon check out. The list of available trips refreshes daily, with a continual supply of new choices.

The catch? For the You can only book your next stay the day you check out. If you want to hold multiple travel reservations at once you’ll need to upgrade to either the $USD 5,000 per or $USD 7500 per month membership. Ouch.

Airbnb Luxe Ups the Ante with Ultra-Premium Holiday Rentals

Nukutepipi, French Polynesia | Airbnb Luxe
Nukutepipi, French Polynesia | Airbnb Luxe

Airbnb Luxe’s dedicated, highly trained ‘trip designers’ ensure every guest’s stay is personalised according to their needs, offering services such as private chefs, massage therapists and personal training sessions

Airbnb has launched a new home rental category, Airbnb Luxe, providing access to unique and spectacular properties with personalised luxury travel services. The new tier has launched with more than 2,000 handpicked homes, each one passing strict evaluation across more than 300 criteria to meet standards in both design and function.

These guidelines include elevated design standards on a variety of elements, from premium materials and finishes and rare and unique features; to spaces that accommodate groups, have chef-grade appliances and the proper number of bathrooms corresponding to each bedroom.

Each Airbnb Luxe booking also provides access to a dedicated, highly trained ‘trip designer’ who will ensure the stay is tailored to the traveller’s individual needs. After booking a property, the trip designer can help ensure effortless check-in and can also arrange a wide range of services, including childcare, private chefs, in-house massage therapists and personal training sessions.

“Today’s luxury traveller is craving more than just high-end accommodations; they seek transformation and experiences that leave them feeling more connected to each other and to their destination,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community.

With homes that are destinations in themselves, travellers can stay at incredible places, including award-winning homes in New Zealand and South Africa, castles in France and breathtaking historic villas in Tuscany. Others may prefer complete privacy and exclusivity by booking an entire island at the incredible private atoll in French Polynesia, Nukutepipi, curated by Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge.

In addition to chateaux and chalets, Airbnb Luxe will also open the door to places to stay in cities. Building on the places to stay already available in cities like London and Los Angeles, Airbnb plans to add incredible properties in at least 12 more cities this year, including Milan, Paris and Austin.

Chesky adds, “With Airbnb Luxe we are applying the same approach we’ve used since we launched Airbnb more than 11 years ago — creating local, authentic and magical travel moments now in amazing places to stay — to reimagine the way people think and experience luxury travel.”

There are already some spectacular Australian Luxe listings available on Airbnb Luxe, published in partnership with luxury home rental operator Luxury Retreats.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como Offers Guests Royal Experience at 18th Century Villa

Villa Sola Cabiati, Lake Como, Italy
Villa Sola Cabiati, Lake Como, Italy

The ‘Royal Style’ special offer gives guests the chance to experience the 18th-century Villa Sola Cabiati all to themselves on an exclusive three-night stay

Historic Belle Époque Grand Hotel Tremezzo on enchanting Lake Como in northern Italy is for the first time offering guests unforgettable overnight accommodation at nearby 18th-century Villa Sola Cabiati for the summer season.

The hotel partnership will give Grand Hotel Tremezzo guests a glimpse at the privilege, elegance and grandeur of the 18th century elite, with the historic residence of the Dukes of Serbelloni available for the hotel’s guests to enjoy exclusively.

Six captivating suites, a large garden and park with swimming pool, and rooms frescoed by pupils of the school of 18th-century Italian painter Tiepolo will be entirely – and only – at the guests’ disposal for candle-lit dinners prepared by a private chef.

In the morning, a classic Venetian motorboat will be at the ready for a private excursion to discover Lake Como. Once back on shore, all the services of Grand Hotel Tremezzo await – just a stone’s throw from the villa – including its luxurious spa, delicious restaurants and refreshing swimming pools.

'Royal Style' Special Offer

An exclusive stay at the Villa Sola Cabiati

Guests of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo can book a minimum three-night stay at the nearby Villa Sola Cabiati as part of their time in Lake Como.

Guests will enjoy:

  • Exclusive use of the Villa and its facilities, including gardens and heated swimming pool
  • Daily à la carte breakfast
  • 24-hour butler service
  • Chamber maid and housekeeper
  • Private chef at disposal for lunch, dinner and snacks, including fine wines
  • High speed wi-fi
  • Private dock
  • Laundry services

Additional complimentary services at Grand Hotel Tremezzo include:

  • Transfers between the Villa and Grand Hotel Tremezzo (max 2 roundtrip transfers per day)
  • Use of the spa facilities (treatments excluded)
  • Use of the tennis court (with the opportunity to book a lesson with a tennis pro)
  • Use of the T Fitness gym
  • Use of the private beach and three heated pools

The Villa is located just a couple of minutes’ driving distance from the hotel.

Villa rates:

Until 7th October: 10,000 Euro + 10% VAT per night

From 7 October – 28 October (end of season), 6,000 EUR + 10% VAT per night

Karma Group Acquires Borgo di Colleoli Estate in Tuscany

Karma Group Borgo di Colleoli Estate Tuscan Hills
Borgo di Collioli Entrance

Karma Group has announced the acquisition of Borgo di Colleoli, a historical estate in Tuscany, Italy

The sprawling estate is nestled in the stunning Tuscan hills, representing the latest in Karma’s stable of spectacular European estates alongside Le Preverger on the French Riviera, Pelikanos on the Greek island of Mykonos and the soon to open Chateau de Samary in Carcassonne, France.

Over the years, what was originally a medieval castle evolved to become an aristocratic villa and estate, and during the 17th and 18th centuries extensive renovation work was carried out to the frescoes and delicate mouldings, transforming the Borgo into an elegant country retreat. Today the estate encompasses the main villa and the surrounding farm buildings, including a hayloft, a workshop and an administrative building.

In 2003 the Borgo was restored under the guidance of the Italian Fine Arts Commission to transform it into a unique holiday destination, with the 50 uniquely Tuscan, well-appointed guest apartments situated in the former farm buildings, and a further 12 spacious suites in the palatial main villa. In the ideal spot for for indulging in the region’s specialty – good food and wine, the estate also features an onsite restaurant as well as two panoramic pools.

Founder and Chairman of Karma Group, John Spence, said he has had his eye on Borgo di Colleoni for quite some time, and the property will now undergo an extensive renovation before opening to the public. “We will be open for the summer season as we renovate and refurbish the property to bring it up to our high standards. The magnificent location of the estate is close to many attractions and I have no doubt whatsoever that this will be a hugely popular destination for Karma guests both old and new, from all around the world.”

The estate is strategically located just a short distance from some of the most-loved tourist attractions in the region, such as the historic and picturesque cities of Siena and San Gimignano, as well as Volterra, Pisa and Florence. Borgo di Colleoli Estate is also located just a few kilometres from the Etruscan Coast with its renowned beaches of Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta, Viareggio and Cecina as well as the beautiful towns of Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci.

Luxury Private Rental Brand, onefinestay, Introduces Australian Properties

onefinestay | Chinamans Beach property in Sydney
onefinestay | Chinamans Beach property in Sydney

The AccorHotels company has today announced that 22 luxury homes have been introduced to its suite of rentals as well as the first ever all-villa resort on the Greek island of Mykonos, with homes in Melbourne, Queensland and New Zealand to follow in the coming months

onefinestay, part of the AccorHotels family and one of the world’s leading luxury private rental brand has today announced major additions to its luxury portfolio of global destinations, including over 22 luxury homes in Sydney, plus the first ever all villa resort, on the Greek island of Mykonos.

Following Sydney’s entry into the home rental market space, Melbourne will offer over 20 homes with more than 10 Queensland properties around Noosa joining in late June, growing the Australian portfolio even further.

In Sydney, beachfront homes across the eastern suburbs, lower north shore and northern beaches are the epitome of grace and style, chosen for their character, space and comfort, with many designed by award winning architects or showcasing original Australian features. Sweeping views of iconic beaches, or a property with the buzz of Potts Point or the CBD, the portfolio also presents corporate ready one bedroom apartments in Woollahra, and smaller homes, some with famous historic family ties.

In Melbourne expect to see CBD city apartments, fastidiously kept Victorian terrace homes, and a range of 1-5 bedroom homes, to be a “home away from home” available for the F1 Grand Prix, Australian Open tennis championships or a foodies delight and cultural getaway. Out of the city, look for homes towards the Great Ocean Road, the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, and the world class Yarra Valley wine trail.

It is the first major presence for onefinestay in the APAC region, and beginning in June, onefinestay will offer over 30 private rentals in New Zealand, specifically in Auckland, Queenstown and Wanaka, operated by local, on-the-ground teams to provide the luxury onefinestay amenities and the personalised service that guests love.

In the northern hemisphere, onefinestay has also arrived in sun-drenched Mykonos, with a first-of-its-kind offering for the brand, a resort collection of 10 villas overlooking a secluded bay on the south-west coast of the island. It’s the only private retreat of its kind on Mykonos – the homes are equipped with luxurious features like infinity pools, a private dock and a helipad, as well as onefinestay’s signature service with concierge available on-site 24/7.

The addition of these new markets  adds to to onefinestay’s Endless Summer collection including Bali, the French Riviera, Los Angeles, the Hamptons, Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii.

Additionally, it bolsters the company’s expanding portfolio of more than 10,000 homes across 200 destinations around the globe, with homes in both markets of Sydney and Mykonos, available for booking at now.

This announcement closely follows AccorHotels’ announcement opening up onefinestay’s portfolio to its Le Club members who can now access its luxury portfolio of homes around the world, or burn Le Club points on bookings, as well as accessing its concierge programme, Higher Living, which launched earlier this year.

Mykonos Properties

Villa Ella | Villa Amy