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From
paragliders to speedboats, these hotel transfers will have you arriving in
style.

Forget
the airport taxi: from the Persian Gulf to Punta Cana and Hong Kong to Bora-Bora, upscale
hotels, resorts, lodges, and safari camps are perfecting the art of the unique
arrival. These days, a “shuttle” to the hotel is more likely to be a helicopter
or a speedboat than a lowly minivan. Or it may be something even more
dramatic…anyone for some paragliding?

Whoever
said “Getting there is half the fun” was clearly on to something, especially
where today’s high-end lodgers are concerned. Whether by sea, air, or
ingenious—and often indigenous—overland passage, many travelers these days are
being treated to holiday thrills well before they actually arrive at their
holiday destination.

Of
course, the idea of packing luxury and leisure into every travel moment—while
providing hotels a unique opportunity to set themselves apart—isn’t exactly
new. Upscale hotel groups such as the Peninsula have long offered their guests
airport transfers via Rolls-Royce, while helicopter service to rooftop hotel
landing pads is a staple of the jet set in Asia, South America, and the Persian
Gulf.

What is
new, however, is an increasing focus on authenticity and sense of place—which
allows guests to arrive at their accommodations already feeling acquainted with
the culture they’re visiting.

After
all, what’s more European than a cable car? And when you book a room at the Vigilius
Mountain Resort
in Lana, Italy—some 5,000 feet
above the valley vineyards—you’ll find that the only way to get there is a
high-wire act. The vintage cable car takes just seven minutes to climb through
the South Tyrolean Dolomites; you’ll end up at a remote Alpine lodge surrounded
by jagged peaks.

If you’d
like to savor your transfer, consider heading to the Maldives resort of Dhoni
Island. Here, guests arrive at their private island sanctuary after a five-hour
sail aboard a handcrafted Maldivian dhoni, where a personal butler will
pop open a bottle of bubbly to ease any lingering jet lag. Too slow? Take a
speedboat from St. Kitts and in 30 minutes you’ll be awash in the refined,
genteel atmosphere of Montpelier Plantation in Nevis.

And if
all this still seems too pedestrian, try something truly unique: flying to
Oman’s Six
Senses Zighy Bay
on a paraglider (with a guide)—a James Bond–like entrance
that will make you forget there was ever such a thing as a hotel minivan. —David
Kaufman

World's Coolest Hotel Transfers

From
paragliders to speedboats, these hotel transfers will have you arriving in
style.

Forget
the airport taxi: from the Persian Gulf to Punta Cana and Hong Kong to Bora-Bora, upscale
hotels, resorts, lodges, and safari camps are perfecting the art of the unique
arrival. These days, a “shuttle” to the hotel is more likely to be a helicopter
or a speedboat than a lowly minivan. Or it may be something even more
dramatic…anyone for some paragliding?

Whoever
said “Getting there is half the fun” was clearly on to something, especially
where today’s high-end lodgers are concerned. Whether by sea, air, or
ingenious—and often indigenous—overland passage, many travelers these days are
being treated to holiday thrills well before they actually arrive at their
holiday destination.

Of
course, the idea of packing luxury and leisure into every travel moment—while
providing hotels a unique opportunity to set themselves apart—isn’t exactly
new. Upscale hotel groups such as the Peninsula have long offered their guests
airport transfers via Rolls-Royce, while helicopter service to rooftop hotel
landing pads is a staple of the jet set in Asia, South America, and the Persian
Gulf.

What is
new, however, is an increasing focus on authenticity and sense of place—which
allows guests to arrive at their accommodations already feeling acquainted with
the culture they’re visiting.

After
all, what’s more European than a cable car? And when you book a room at the Vigilius
Mountain Resort
in Lana, Italy—some 5,000 feet
above the valley vineyards—you’ll find that the only way to get there is a
high-wire act. The vintage cable car takes just seven minutes to climb through
the South Tyrolean Dolomites; you’ll end up at a remote Alpine lodge surrounded
by jagged peaks.

If you’d
like to savor your transfer, consider heading to the Maldives resort of Dhoni
Island. Here, guests arrive at their private island sanctuary after a five-hour
sail aboard a handcrafted Maldivian dhoni, where a personal butler will
pop open a bottle of bubbly to ease any lingering jet lag. Too slow? Take a
speedboat from St. Kitts and in 30 minutes you’ll be awash in the refined,
genteel atmosphere of Montpelier Plantation in Nevis.

And if
all this still seems too pedestrian, try something truly unique: flying to
Oman’s Six
Senses Zighy Bay
on a paraglider (with a guide)—a James Bond–like entrance
that will make you forget there was ever such a thing as a hotel minivan. —David
Kaufman

Courtesy of Six Senses Resorts & Spas/Kiattipong Panchee

World's Coolest Hotel Transfers

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