If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking, “Sleeping at a luxury resort is just not enough,” you’re in luck: these hotels around the globe offer over-the-top, one-of-a-kind experiences guaranteed to take your stay to the next level — and beyond.
Diving for diamonds in South Africa
Courtesy of Ellerman House
In the market for a truly unique — and ethical — idea for your marriage proposal? The Ellerman House, an adults-only 11-room Edwardian mansion in Cape Town overlooking the South Atlantic, has partnered with Benguela Diamonds to create the world’s first-ever diamond safari. You’ll be flown by private charter flight to South Africa’s mineral-laden west coast, where those with a Padi Open Water 1 certificate can join divers beneath the waves. (Not qualified? Not to worry — it’s just as exciting waiting for the divers to reemerge.) Seabed gravel is then “jigged” to separate out the heavier gemstones — garnets, diamonds, olivines. After all the excitement, you’ll enjoy a private lunch on a nearby villa terrace before meeting with a sorting expert to select your gemstone, to be finished at the design studio. A flight back to Ellerman House concludes with popping a bottle of vintage Dom Perignon with dinner and toasting your discovery.
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A helicopter flight over Northern Italy
Hotel Principe di Savoia
The Hotel Principe di Savoia is one of Milan’s more beautiful stays — an elegant 1927 landmark with a neoclassical façade and hand-painted frescoes that’s hosted countless celebrities — but it’s one-upped itself with a new excursion that takes guests beyond its storied doors. The name — “Breathtaking View Experience” — might give it away: an exclusive helicopter flight whisks adventurous guests over the undulating hills of northern Italy. The final destination? The peak of Mottarone mountain, in the Western Alps, where you’ll land for a panoramic, postcard-perfect view of bucolic Po Valley and lakes Orta and Maggiore and a bottle of bubbly.
Behind-the-scenes sumo wrestling in Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo
The ancient rituals surrounding Sumo, Japan’s national sport, are practiced to this day — the original rules, the traditional dress, the highly competitive tournaments. While the wild popularity of these theatrical events means ringside seats are invariably sold out, guests of the Palace Hotel Tokyo, a grand 290-room high-rise overlooking the Imperial Palace moat, can get an impossibly close look during a “Grappling Tokyo” experience. If tournaments are in session, you’ll get a private tour of Tokyo’s revered Ryogoku Kokugikan arena and museum, then find your seats to see matches alongside a sumo sports writer and sports broadcaster, who will provide insider narration just for you. Visiting in the off-season? Get a tour of a not-accessible-to-the-public sumo stable — where wrestlers live and train. You’ll be among the lucky few to watch a morning practice session before lunch and get a few snapshots with the wrestlers themselves.
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