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Name Your Own Star, And Other 'Extraordinary Experiences' From Four Seasons

Where: Europe
June 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM | by | ()

The Milky Way, with HotelChatter star

Ever strolled across the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and thought, if only there were a private place to have dinner and enjoy this beautiful view? Ever visited the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and thought, Greenwich Mean Time would mean so much more to me if I could have it to myself? Ever gone to the opera (in Prague, to be precise), and thought, this is all well and good, but those acoustics would really shine better if it was just me and my loved ones soaking them up?

If so, the European cluster of new Four Seasons Experiences may well be for you.

Similar to the newly launched Peninsula Academy, Four Seasons Experiences are for people to whom a Four Seasons property is what a Motel 6 is to the rest of us: completely affordable and a little bit yawn. To stifle that yawn, the brand has come up with various “experiences” to liven up your stay. Having taken a look at the European ones, we’d say they’re pretty good. Pretty good if you’re a particularly spendthrift oligarch, that is.

Let’s start with one for everyone, or everyone who can afford to stay at the George V in Paris. All guests of the hotel and Le Cinq restaurant can partake in a special monthly wine tasting in the hotel’s wine cellar. It’s guided by Eric Beaumard, director of Le Cinq, and cheese, charcuterie and puff pastry snacks included too. Win! Cost: just the room rate, a mere €905 and up.

Up next: a behind-the-scenes visit at St Petersburg’s famous Russian Museum, courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St Petersburg. You’ll get a 90-minute tour of the museum’s restoration chambers and a walkthrough of the restoration process. Price: $1175 per visit (maximum three people). Room rates from $502. Perfect for those wishing to celebrate their first mil with an art purchase and wanting some Proper Background.

Think of those as your affordable options. Going up in ascending order from there, Four Seasons London at Canary Wharf is running a Stargazing Tour, which sounds only so-so until you realize it’s a private evening at the Royal Observatory’s planetarium in Greenwich. You get dinner and a show at the planetarium (London’s only one) and then a private tour of the Royal Observatory galleries, founded in 1675. Then you get some telescope time, and then – wait for it – you get to name your own star. Price: A reasonable $16,145, considering that includes suite accommodation and you get your own star out of the deal.

Four Seasons Florence’s offering is a private dinner on the Ponte Vecchio – not the touristy bit with all the scarf shops, but above the melee on a fourth-floor terrace above a jewelry shop. The four-course meal is designed by Vito Mollica, the hotel’s executive chef, and includes gold as an ingredient. Price: $17,616, including a three night stay and champagne. You are eating gold, after all.

Over in Budapest, Four Seasons Gresham Palace is after a slightly different clientele with its experience: a private dinner at the Budapest Opera House. It’s not just any private dinner – the place will shut down for the previous three days in order to create your night, and your food will be accompanied by a live orchestra. Price: $101,854.95. Suites (because if you’re going to book this, you’ll want a suite): $4352.

And if you’re the type who goes to an opera house to see an opera, rather than have dinner, the Four Seasons Prague offering might be more up your street. Their experience is for up to six people, and includes two nights in the presidential suite, a private dinner on the hotel’s rooftop terrace and a vintage Rolls Royce shuttling you to the Estates Theatre, where Don Giovanni was first performed in 1787, for a private performance of the opera. Price: $101,940. Because Mozart.

If you’re thinking of booking (you aren’t?), most of the packages require advance reservations, so be sure to check out the Extraordinary Experiences website first. And remember: “the HotelChatter star” has a great ring to it.

[Photo: Wikipedia]

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