At 8,000 feet above Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler’s 19th hole, tee time holds spectacular views. // © 2014 Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
Feature image (above): Enjoy an intimate dinner on the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Italy. // © 2014 Thinkstock
As the thirst for experiential travel grows, hoteliers are getting more innovative with the types of packages they are rolling out. Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is among the companies that recently rolled out a brand-wide initiative encouraging all of its properties to develop customized luxury travel experiences that have a local perspective.
The program, Extraordinary Experiences, includes individualized hands-on adventures that often capitalize on iconic locations and occasionally incorporate celebrity appearances. They run the gamut of experience types, from private viewings of some of the world’s best art collections to exclusive five-star dining experiences and extreme travel adventures.
Here are 13 Extraordinary Experiences from Four Seasons that we think are truly extraordinary:
All that Sparkles on the Ponte Vecchio
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Enjoy an intimate dinner on a fourth-floor private terrace on the Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s signature arched bridge. As the sun sets, savor views of the Arno River before indulging in a four-course gourmet meal designed by Michelin-starred chef Vito Mollica. Inspired by the many jewelry stores located along the Ponte Vecchio, Mollica’s decadent menu features an unexpected ingredient: gold. After dessert, shop for a keepsake at Dante Cardini.
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Kick up your heels in a pair of customized, premium cowboy boots. Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s exclusive arrangement with world-renowned Lucchese Boot Company means you can design a one-of-a-kind pair of the brand’s iconic boots, favored by celebrities, athletes and world leaders. As master artisans get to work sewing, shaping and buffing your boots, enjoy dining and dancing in true Texas fashion with lunch from Franklin Barbecue, named the top barbecue restaurant in the country, and two-stepping lessons at Austin’s legendary Broken Spoke dance hall.
Camp Out on a Fourteener
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail
Discover one of Vail’s legendary “fourteeners” (mountain peaks that exceed 14,000 feet) during an exclusive two-day adventure led by local outdoor experts, Paragon Guides. Accompanied by llamas that carry gear and food, journey to 11,000 feet to set up camp and savor a gourmet meal prepared by the Resort’s chefs. After spending the night in characteristic Four Seasons comfort, embark for the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross, located 14,005 feet above sea level.
Eau, It’s So You
Four Seasons Buenos Aires
Craft your own fragrance with one of the world’s great perfumers. Enjoy a one-on-one lunch with legendary Argentinian perfumer Julian Bedel, co-founder of the boutique perfumery Fueguia 1833, where you’ll discuss which ingredients best reflect your style and personality. After lunch, visit Fueguia’s micro-laboratory, where Bedel will blend an original scent that embodies your aromatic identity.
Great American Tailgate Party Hits a High Note
Tailgating and opera, two of Santa Fe’s favorite pastimes come together in glorious style with Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe. The evening begins with a chauffeured drive to the world-renowned Santa Fe Opera House for a behind-the-scenes tour, followed by a personal tailgate party where Four Seasons Executive Chef Andrew Cooper serves a gourmet meal against a backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
This stargazing and dining experience, available only at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, might be the only one in the world that features a specially prepared menu of cocktails and culinary treats infused with real meteorite dust. Guests can see the southern sky through a powerful GPS-guided telescope and capture the moment with a high-tech device that connects a camera to the telescope.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler
After finishing a round on one of three area championship courses at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler, you’ll meet your personal PGA pro on the 18th green and board a private helicopter to fly 8,000 feet to the elevated 19th Hole. When you land, Four Seasons servers will greet you with appetizers and your favorite cocktails. Then it’s tee time: with tips from your pro, set a personal record for longest drive ever as you send biodegradable golf balls soaring into the sky.
National Parks Take Flight
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole
Experience rare and majestic vistas of the Tetons and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from a stunning vantage point aboard a luxurious helicopter. Throughout your flight, an in-house biologist from Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole will narrate the stunning vistas as you soar above the mountains and travel over hot springs and waterfalls. After landing, there is a ground tour of Yellowstone National park via SUV.
One on One with Hakeem Olajuwon
Four Seasons Houston Hotel
Go one-on-one with Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Your day tips off on the court at the Houston Toyota Center, where you can show off your skills and get pointers from Olajuwon himself. After an insider tour of the Center’s facilities, you and Olajuwon will enjoy a private lunch together at Quattro before heading out by limousine to visit The West Mansion, headquarters of Olajuwon’s DR34M business empire.
Private Fireworks Show
Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis
When it comes to celebrations, Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis says, “Go big, or go home.” When celebrating life’s big events, why not highlight the celebration with an exclusive, customized fireworks show? From the hotel’s Sky Terrace overlooking the Mississippi River and the iconic Gateway Arch, the personalized fireworks display is set against the wide-open Midwestern skies.
Scale New Heights
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi
Guests can experience the thrilling landscape of Japan’s Mount Fuji unlike any other travelers in the world. With Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, guests are accompanied by a personal guide, chef and butler as they ascend Mount Fuji on a two-day, exclusive adventure of a lifetime that includes gourmet meals, soaks in natural hot spring and plenty of time to pause and enjoy the views.
Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest
Opera buffs know that the Hungarian State Opera House is one of the most acoustically impeccable theaters in the world. Now the theater is also available for an ultra-private concert. Guests are seated on stage for a once-in-a-lifetime dinner experience. When the curtain rises and the lights dim, a live orchestra begins a private concert as guests dine on cuisine prepared by the hotel’s chef.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Your childhood dream of ropin’ and ridin’ comes true, courtesy of the hotel’s partnership with Arizona Cowboy College. After a custom fitting for your own Western hat, belt buckle and boots, learn how to rope, shoe, groom and saddle horses at a nearby ranch. Your Western adventure culminates with a trail ride through the scenic sceni northern Scottsdale and Rio Verde region. Back at the resort, dust off your boots for a campfire dinner under the stars, accompanied by a cowboy crooner and storyteller who spins tales of the Old West.