May 18, 2016
Ultra-luxury travel agency Remote Lands and hotelier Aman are giving their clients a tour of Asia in their latest private jet expedition.
The aerial excursion will be taking 16 guests through China, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka from Oct. 9-26. As travel becomes more accessible further down the income ladder, private jet experiences remain an ultra-exclusive manner of winning over the highest-value clientele.
"Both Remote Lands and Aman are boutique, exclusive, ultra-luxury brands that offer the very finest personalized service to their high net-worth clientele," said Catherine Heald, Co-Founder & CEO of Remote Lands. "Based on the resounding success of previous initiatives they have partnered on, including two other jet trips, a fruitful and continued relationship between the two brands has developed.
"Both brands value their travelers having one-of-a-kind, unique experiences and the best of the best when it comes to travel," she said. "The itinerary was carefully curated with these exclusive experiences in mind – the best hotels in the world, the best private jets and privileged touring experiences not available to the general public and only made possible by the relationships that RL and Aman have created in Asia."
The multinational journey will have clients disembark on two Gulfstream G200 private jets across Aman hotels in Beijing and Lijiang, China; Thimphu and Paro, Bhutan; Ranthambhore, India and Galle and Tangelle, Sri Lanka.
In Beijing, visitors will have exclusive access to off-limits areas of Beijing’s Forbidden City, the kind of perk and intangible experience that today’s luxury consumers crave. In India, travelers will embark on a Royal Bengal Tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park and partake in yoga within the ancient ruins of Bhangarh.
Aman private jet
Moving on to Bhutan, the agenda includes a hike to Tiger’s Nest temple, which hugs the edge of a cliff. In Sri Lanka, clients will explore the Galle fort, built by the Portuguese in 1588 and still filled with remnants of the time period.
Remote Lands and Aman will focus on maintaining the privacy that travelers would have if in smaller groups. The journey is priced for two at $63,888, allowing consumers to be coupled off and treated in pairs.
Each couple will have a private car, driver and guide for all airport transfers and touring. Itineraries will also be personalized and customizable, allowing each guest to enjoy the experience he or she most desires.
In a larger group, there might be an effort to democratize interests to ensure everyone gets something out of it. By allowing couples to tour in pairs, those with a particular interest – in art, in history, in outdoors activities or something else – will be able to shape the day in accordance with those interests.
Tiger's Nest Monastery
The communal experience of travel is not lost altogether, however. All 16 in the group will join together for various cocktail parties and meals, where Bhutan intelligentsia and Sri Lankan artists and designers will join them.
As a group, the travelers will also explore the private residence of the royal family in the City Palace in Jaipur, India, a watchtower on The Great Wall of China and the golden beaches of Sri Lanka.
The fusion of priceless experiences in private meals and access and the intimacy of touring in couples fits Aman’s smaller, luxury boutique properties, allowing for a customizable and more private luxury. Aman and Remote Lands have previously worked together on two previous private jet journeys.
Aman Summer Palace, Beijing
“The previous Aman jet journeys have been an overwhelming success and sold out quickly, so we are enthusiastic about continuing the partnership with Aman,” said Catherine Heald, Remote Lands’ co-founder/CEO, in a statement. “Aman and Remote Lands cater to the same UHNWI strata and share similar values in terms of highly-personalized service and a boutique approach.”
"The participants on this trip are not accustomed to mass transportation, riding in buses, etc," Ms. Heald said. "They value personalization and prefer to be able to do exactly what they want and what they want when they want rather than follow a structured itinerary.
"The main point of the private touring is that it gives them complete flexibility in their itinerary," she said. "The cities and amount of time spent in each are defined along with itinerary guidelines but everything else is customized to the guest’s preference and they are able to do things at their own pace."
Priceless and intangible
Other luxury hotels are also offering private jet journeys.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is keeping things exclusive with a new batch of recently announced private jet journeys.
“Culinary Discoveries,” “International Intrigue” and “Extraordinary Adventures” will take a select handful of consumers on themed journeys across a number of countries in Four Seasons’ private jet. Although only the wealthiest few will embark on the trip, its visibility and exclusivity will resonate throughout the brand (see story).
The focus on exclusive and intangible experiences extends across the hospitality sector, even if there is not a private jet to aid it.
For example, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is offering an Unforgettable Experience at each of its 25 locations worldwide.
In addition to activities and engagements unique to each locale, Waldorf Astoria is pushing its “True Waldorf Service” commitment, suggesting that unforgettable experiences start with the brand and extend beyond the packages. The offer aims to compete with similar deals from its peers, establishing consumer loyalty and reinforcing the brand’s commitment to great service and experiences (see story).
"Remote Lands and Aman are both very exclusive brands with a very specific clientele," Ms. Heald said. "The limited number of available spots speaks to the exclusivity of each brand.
"Based on the popularity among their clientele of the previous trips they partnered on, they now offer two trips a year and can accommodate 32 people per year," she said. "The whole point of the trip is to keep it small, exclusive and boutique – and is purposefully not mass-marketed. Most jet trips offered by other companies are in large planes while RL uses small private jets, with only four couples on each jet. The trip is limited in its marketing and mainly targets an exclusive list of high net-worth individuals and past clientele."