London’s Mayfair is home to the world’s most elite private members club, Apollo’s Muse, and the equally exclusive Bacchanalia. Members may enjoy the house string quartet, an expanded truffle and caviar menu, and an endless supply of Cristal.
This exemplifies the new norm among the top 0.01%—inconspicuous consumerism, in which the wealthy retreat into their snowglobes to avoid public scrutiny and social media tagging.
One aircraft departing from a UK airport every six minutes is evidence of the skyrocketing popularity of private jets in the country. The ultra-wealthy may enjoy a multi-city vacation entirely via private plane.
Companies like Roar Africa and Jimmy Carroll exploit the African continent as a home base for vacations that charge a premium for solitude, such as the $1.25 million that may be spent to host up to 12 guests at the Echo camp in Antarctica for seven nights.
Those who would rather sail than fly increasingly opt to go to places where they can’t be seen. Currently, 88 “explorer” superyachts are being built, with 110 expected to be completed and delivered by the decade’s end.
Even though hotels and villas have always guaranteed their guests anonymity, certain establishments are upping the ante on the exclusivity they provide. The Aman New York is the most luxurious brand-new hotel in the world’s most luxurious city, costing the most.
Another kind of hotel — the “villotel” — a combination of a villa and a hotel is super ostentatious. Bespoke vegetable-tanned leather covers walls, floors, and staircases in England’s Holland Park neighborhood. Replete with eucalyptus wood ping pong tables, Rubelli’s cream silk damask wallcoverings, and Rolls-Royce’s “Million Stitch Phantom,” a stay there costs more than the car itself.
Think Gwyneth Paltrow. She has become a symbol of the trend of “quiet luxury” and “stealth-wealth minimalism” among the ultra-rich.
In April, Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam decided to prohibit the use of private planes, but no airport in the United Kingdom has taken the same action.
Since private jets and superyachts produce more pollution than commercial aircraft, environmental activists demand that they be banned. The super-rich talks a big game about being “green,” but the only green that they care about is money.