magnify Click image to view more.

Up, Up, and Away

Meryle Evans - May 22nd, 2014

Soaring to new heights of luxury travel, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is offering guests some alluring airborne options, from floating in a hot air balloon over Florence to swooping down at the Taj Mahal in the company's first of a kind flagship jet.

In Italy, the hour long ride in a bright yellow hot air balloon lifts off from the Tuscan hotel's 11 acre garden and drifts over historic sites, providing seldom-seen views of the magnificent Duomo and the Palazzo Pitti Palace before depositing guests back in the garden for a Champagne and strawberry picnic. Similar rides are available at the Four Seasons Hampshire, England, and the hotel chain's Safari Lodge in Tanzania. Departing from Dogmersfield Park, The Four Seasons 18th century Georgian estate, passengers can gaze down at Winchester Cathedral and thatched cottages in the Jane Austen countryside before returning to home base to sample local produce from the Hampshire farmers’ market. Safari guests in the Serengeti can steal away from camp at 4:45 a.m. for sunrise wildlife spotting above herds of elephants and roaring lions, then enjoy a hearty Champagne bush breakfast.

For jet-setters with more leisure time and resources, the Toronto-based Four Seasons brand is completely customizing the interior of a Boeing 757, installing handcrafted leather seats that accommodate 52 guests. Unlike the legendary Phileas Fogg's 80 days circumnavigating the world, passengers on the inaugural ‘round-the-world flight next February will leave from Los Angeles and touch down in London for a celebration dinner after 24 days and nine stops in diverse spectacular sites like Bora Bora and Bali. A dedicated onboard concierge will be available to book spa treatments, tee times, and dinner reservations at each destination, amenities unknown to Fogg. However, that intrepid 19th century traveler didn't have to fork over $119,000 for the journey.