The name of the game in luxury travel right now is the desire to check off bucket list items or select ultra-luxe, VIP experiences that are unavailable to the masses. Whether it’s a gift for your favorite foodie for Mother’s Day, a once-in-a-lifetime graduation adventure, or a sports-tastic Father’s Day surprise, these “treat yourself” vacations are the best-of-the-best luxury gifts this spring:
For the Foodie:
Ojai Valley Inn’s Four-Day Epicurean Adventure, Ojai Food + Wine
This year, the iconic Ojai Valley Inn (pictured) turns 100, and as part of the celebration is continuing its legacy as a leading culinary destination with the debut of its first-ever Ojai Food + Wine festival--a four-day event featuring more than 50 top chefs and 100 wineries from around the world, from the legendary Chef Alice Waters and Chef Dominique Crenn to Chef Jon Yao and Chef Daisy Ryan. From October 26 to 29, 2023, attendees can expect an all-star Michelin and James Beard awarded lineup along with future legends of the culinary world. Over the course of four days, Ojai Food + Wine will hold over 40 world-class events including a Grand Tasting at The Farmhouse on Saturday and Sunday, featuring 15 chefs each day and more than 100 wineries throughout the weekend with a spotlight on regional California wineries. Guests will enjoy intimate access to the world’s top talent, with just a few hundred tickets available via two remaining ticket packages here; four-day experience and lodging ranging from $8,000 to $12,000++.
For the Thrill-Seeker:
The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection’s Heli-Adventures
For those who want unrivaled, off-the-beaten-path experiences, Blue Sky’s unique helicopter adventures invite thrill seekers to explore the wilderness further afield. Depart from Blue Sky’s helipad for a short scenic ride over Utah's remote, high-alpine areas, and land in higher peaks that give access to endless horizons, wildlife spotting, and the chance to experience nature away from human contact. From Heli-Fly Fishing, Hiking, Yoga, and Meditation in warmer months to Heli-Skiing and Snowshoeing in pristine powder, the exclusive experience takes you back to Blue Sky’s property for après adventure. Guests can also venture even further from the local Uinta and Wasatch Mountain Ranges, and arrive to Moab National Park in less than an hour. Explore the iconic red rock landscape and fascinating geological formations by bike for a well-rounded Utahn adventure. Prices average ~$20,000 per experience.
For The Sport Fanatic:
Hotel Commonwealth’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Red Sox Packages
In celebration of Hotel Commonwealth’s 20th birthday, the hotel has teamed up with the Red Sox Foundation on several exclusive experiences, with proceeds benefiting its direct-service programming. Experiences range from a chance to act as a Manager for the Day with Red Sox Manager, Alex Cora. For die-hard Red Sox fans looking to fully immerse themselves in the game day experience, look no further than Hotel Commonwealth’s “Manager for a Day” Package for an opportunity to meet with Red Sox Manager Alex Cora. Including two dugout section tickets to a 2023 Red Sox game, you’ll have the chance to arrive early and watch the Red Sox during their on-field batting practice. Before the game, stop by the team store to spend your $250 gift card on select merchandise and memorabilia, which Alex Cora will personally autograph, while you have the exclusive chance to speak with the Red Sox Manager. Then, head out to the mound to deliver the ball to the Red Sox pitcher while the entire stadium cheers you on! Prices start at $15,013 for two people.
For the Fashionista:
ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki’s Private Shopping Experience
Hawaii’s most luxurious hotel, ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki, offers its guest unrivaled privacy and exclusive access to Honolulu’s cultural, shopping, and dining experiences. For those visiting the island for its shopping—which rivals Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive—without the crowds, ESPACIO offers its overnight guests private, complimentary in-suite shopping by Nieman Marcus. The luxury retailer will send a personal shopper directly to the guest’s suite (each suite spans 2-3 bedrooms and an entire floor with private elevator entrance) for a private shopping and/or styling session including champagne and/or wine service available. Following the private shopping session, guests can opt to enjoy rooftop sunset champagne and caviar service overlooking the hotel’s infinity pool and the Pacific Ocean. Three-day stay + experience pricing begins at $10,500.