Experience (ɪkˈspɪərɪəns)
7. to be emotionally or aesthetically moved by; feel
Collins English Dictionary

There are countless ways to read the definition above, as what moves us depends on taste, education, culture, gender, class, income, age and so on.
Let’s just say that, whoever you are and whatever you like, if something emotionally or aesthetically moves you, you want more of it. Moreover, due to a mechanism that is intrinsic to capitalism, brands have to push it to the limit, before the competition eats them alive.
This dynamic can lead to the point of no return, the exaggeration, and the over the top.

As usual, when it comes to luxury, Oligarchs and Patricians (see other posts on the matter) have very different approaches: while the formers think of a sumptuous experience as a “Tony Montana kinda thing” – i.e. smoking expensive Havanos, while watching a gold-plated TV immersed in a marble Jacuzzi the size of Regent’s Park, sipping on vintage champagne, next to a half-drunk,  half-naked and young Michelle Pfeiffer – Patricians see it in another way: make every experience the most memorable one ever.

The best being, as we said several times, the tailored experience.

In this post, we will be talking about the ultimate luxury holiday / trip / adventure / escape.

Welcome to the luscious world of experiential luxury, which now makes up almost 55% of total luxury spending worldwide and, year on year, has grown 50% faster than sales of luxury goods, according to a BCG report from June 2012.

“Although experiences are more intangible than an item, consumers consider them more memorable,” says Michelle Eirinberg Kluz,  project leader of The Boston Consulting Group LINK

Here’s how holidays sound like for the hoi polloi:

  • Go to the airport by (crowded and expensive) train / bus.
  • Go to J D Wetherspoon while you wait for you plane (and pray the Lord it has not been delayed)
  • Spend a few, precious hours of your life on an overcrowded plane, surrounded by screaming kids and half-drunk hen party attendees dressed in pink, with matching cowboy hat
  • Land and queue under the sun for fifty-four minutes for a cab / bus / other, in order to reach your hotel (whose bed is going to disappoint you)

And here is the mega-rich version of the song, remixed by Dj Cash and Mc Bling:

  • Go from Tokyo to Narita International Airport, on a $10 million Hermès helicopter. “Our female passengers say it makes them feel like they’re inside a Hermès bag,” says Takako Otsuka of Mori Building City Air Services. (See more here: http://www.mcas.co.jp/en/flight/overview/)
  • Relax and get pampered at the airport. Norman Foster designed Wing in Hong Kong is Cathay Pacific’s über-opulent lounge. Private relaxation suites with gardens, a fine restaurant and private bathtubs. Is the plain delayed? No prob, fella.
  • Jump on the plane, and, even if it’s not your private jet, don’t worry, for your moment of Zen will not be spoiled. Along with the best food available, the most precious bubbles, the most comfortable full length beds around and hot showers in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Virgin’s Upper Class Suites features whispering flight attendants. From PSFK: ‘The Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Suite flight crew is being trained in the art of whispering. In a day-long training session, the staff will be learn how to whisper at the proper decibel level, (between 20 and 30 decibels is ideal), how to speak with the right tone and feeling, and how to intuitively assess a passengers’ needs. The new program is designed to allow passengers the most restful travel possible, free from noisy interruptions or intrusions from the crew.’
  • Land and reach your final destination, for a well deserved holiday, far from the noise of modern society. The Rania Experiences, Maldives, is like Heaven with a private chef – ‘a three hectare private island with just one bungalow: yours. Everything then turns private: private chef, private suite, private pool, private beach… but also your own private yacht and your very own private seaplane… The Rania Experience is exclusive.’

What do you think? Do you prefer Ryanair or whispering flight attendants?

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