Photo: Nina Lishchuk/Shutterstock

The Most Expensive Ways to Experience the World

Luxe Travel
by Carlo Alcos Jul 20, 2010
Budget travelers be warned: You cannot afford these.

WE LOVE budget travel here at Matador. So what’s with this post? Entertainment. Pure, unadulterated, entertainment. And besides, isn’t it always interesting to see how the other half (and by other half I mean 1% of humanity) live?

1. Most expensive hotel room in America (outside of Las Vegas)

According to Sarah Nassauer over at the Wall Street Journal, a night in the Ty Warner Penthouse in the Four Seasons Hotel in New York will cost you…wait for it…$35,000. It’s the most expensive room in the country — outside of Las Vegas, that is. It cost $50 million to build and took seven years to design, so really, it’s quite a bargain.

So what does the equivalent of the GDP per capita of Spain and Italy get you?

  • Sweeping views of Manhattan in every direction;
  • Bathroom sinks made of solid blocks of rock crystal;
  • Hand-lacquered walls with mother of pearl inlay;
  • Handmade Venetian silk bedspread;
  • A personal butler on-call 24 hours a day;
  • The use of a Maybach or Rolls-Royce (with driver);
  • Room service from the hotel’s restaurants, including one run by celebrity chef Joël Robuchon.

If you’re worried about booking problems, fear not. The room is only occupied about 25% of the year.

If you really want those bragging rights though, go on and reserve the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa at the Palms Casino Resort. $40,000 per night.

2. Most expensive private jet tour

How would you like to visit “Cultural & Legendary Treasures In Remote Lands Around The World” between February 28 and March 23, 2011? How would you like to pay $71,100 for it? If you want to save some money, grab a partner and split the $62,950 double occupancy price tag.

Smithsonian Journeys — whose tagline is “The Best in Educational Travel” (think they throw in a Bachelor’s degree?) — is putting this nugget of a tour on. I know what you’re wondering. What does the money that could feed 284,000 children for a day get you?

  • Visits to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and the following countries: Japan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bhutan, India, Rwanda, and Jordan;
  • Accommodations in some of the most beautiful hotels in the world;
  • Extraordinary speakers including: Kristofer Helgen (Research Zoologist and Curator of Mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History), Jim Richardson (National Geographic photographer), and Pegi Vail (Ph.D., a cultural anthropologist, filmmaker, and curator);
  • A spot on a Boeing 757 configured for 78 travelers in a 2×2 seat configuration of custom leather seats with ecomfort™ foam support.

They also offer Value Priced tours for those with lighter wallets.

3. Most expensive cruise vacation brings us this list of the five most expensive cruise vacations you can sink your money into. For the low, low price of $62,000, you too can partake in a 108-night tour of the world.

On board Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager, every luxurious cabin has a balcony. They better have. For 62 large there better be million dollar views.

4. Most expensive food in the world

Forget the $1.50 slice of pizza in New York or the 50-cent bowl of pho in Vietnam. Put your money where your mouth is.

  • Most expensive restaurant in the world: Aragawa in Tokyo, Japan, with an average meal cost of $368. Not including sake;
  • Most expensive box of chocolates*: $2600 per pound at Knipschildt Chocolatier of Connecticut;
  • Most expensive omelette in the world*: $1000 by Emilio Castillo of Norma’s restaurant in New York’s Le Parker Meridien Hotel;
  • Most expensive caviar in the world*: A 3.9-pound container costs $48,750. It comes from a type of Iranian beluga called Almas.
5. Most expensive shopping in the world

For many people, traveling is about shopping. For most, they will never afford shopping in these districts (sorted by rent):

  • #5. East 57th Street between Third and Fifth Avenues, New York: $900,000. Per square foot. Per year.It includes the Chanel headquarters, Burberry’s, and Tiffany & Co.
  • #4. Avenue des Champs Elysees, Paris: $922,000. Among other shops, it’s home to the largest Louis Vuitton department store in the world.
  • #3 Madison Avenue, New York: $1.20 Million. Prada, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Barney’s flagship store.
  • #2 Causeway Bay, Hong Kong: $1.21 Million. Home to the famous 13-story Sogo department store and Times Square Hong Kong.
  • #1 Fifth Avenue, New York: $1.50 Million. Here you’ll find flagship stores like Abercrombie & Fitch and Apple.

*Courtesy of TLC Cooking.


While I’m certain that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will still be able to afford any and all of these, give them credit for pledging most of their cash to charity and challenging other wealthy folks to do the same. Learn more at Gates & Buffett challenge super rich to give half to charity.

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