The Hottest New Amenity Among Uber-luxe Hotels? Private Boats

Four places to set sail, from Malta to the Maldives.

The Mark hotel's sailboat of the coast of Manhattan, New York
Photo: Courtesy of The Mark

Luxury hotels around the world are taking to the high seas with their own private boats — offering guests seamless ship-to-shore experiences. From overnight charters in the Indian Ocean to sailing trips around New York Harbor, these are some of the best to hop aboard.

A Sailing Around New York City

Few things can top the experience of heading out onto New York Harbor on a balmy summer day. Guests at the iconic Upper East Side hotel The Mark can buy out the property's 70-foot 1921 Herreshoff sailboat, pictured above — one of the few still sailing. The hotel runs two-hour charters that sail from a marina on the Hudson and circle the Statue of Liberty. With room for 25 guests, the vessel can also host intimate events, including weddings, with an onboard menu from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Sailings from $7,000.

A Tropical Tour in the Maldives

The Norma yacht of the St Regis Maldives, on the water at sunset
Courtesy of Courtesy of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

Norma, the ultra-sleek 66-foot Azimut yacht from the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, has four lavish cabins and a dedicated crew that includes a butler and personal chef. The boat can be chartered by the hour or for overnight trips for up to eight guests. It glides around the coral atolls and stops when guests wish to snorkel, dive, watch dolphins and whale sharks, and explore the smaller islands. Sailings from $3,000.

A High-design Hideaway in Australia

The Raes on Watego hotel's Sea Raes yacht on the water
Madeline Johnson/Courtesy of Sea Raes

Glamorous Byron Bay resort Raes on Wategos now has a nautical twin: Sea Raes, a four-bedroom floating villa for private charters — up to 10 for multiday trips — with antique furniture and custom pieces by interiors mastermind Tamsin Johnson. Sea Raes spends summers in Sydney Harbour and the nearby waterways of Pittwater and the Hawkesbury River, then heads to the white-sand Whitsunday Islands in winter. $1,445 per hour, overnight sailings from $12,999.

A Mediterranean Yacht Day in Malta

A man heling a woman on to a yacht in Malta
Courtesy of Iniala Harbour House

Iniala Harbour House, in Valletta, Malta's cobblestoned capital, debuted its own 44-foot Riva Rivarama yacht when it opened in late 2020. Available for half- or full-day trips for up to eight guests, this is the ideal way to explore the country's hidden coves and outlying islands; sail to a hard-to-reach seaside restaurant for lunch before dropping anchor in a remote bay for the day; or take a sunset cruise around Grand Harbour for views of the historic city. Sailings from $1,700.

A version of this story first appeared in the February 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline All Aboard.

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