Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name—other times you crave privacy and an escape from crowds. The following vacations have options for private activities and experiences for those times when exclusivity is what’s needed. Whether you just want time alone or a one-of-a-kind opportunity, these vacation experiences offer everything you need.
By Elisa Jordan
Opened in 2019, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has emerged as a world-class resort surrounded by white sands and crystal blue water. Guests can indulge in water activities, a spa and wellness sanctuary and dining venues, including a treetop restaurant. Also available is a one-on-one experience with the property’s resident marine biologist, Emma Bell. Guests can help Bell in her daily tasks in preserving the ocean, such as adopting a coral frame or removing a crown of thorns (a sea star that eats the coral) from the reef. They can also partake in guided snorkeling trips and presentations about marine life in the Maldives.
Coral framing experience: $175 USD per frame
Mountaintop Wine Tasting
TOR Wines owner Tor Kenwood has been a wine vintner for more than 40 years in Napa Valley. In 2001, he retired from working for others and started TOR Wines with his wife Susan. Wines are handmade in small quantities. TOR now offers by-appointment-only hiking and tasting experiences in partnership with Pritchard Hill Vineyard. The remote and exclusive vineyard has traditionally been closed to the public but now allows TOR to bring small private groups to this part of the Vaca Mountains, which is 1,500 feet above the Valley floor. Samplings of Chardonnays and vintage Cabernets paired with small bites follows the hike.
$200 per person
Guests of Royal Mansour can have access to private tours of the home and laboratory of Serge Lutens, who has spent more than three decades developing fragrances from his home in Marrakech. The experience begins with a ride through the Medina in a vintage motorcycle sidecar before arriving at the estate for a private tour. The space is not open to the public and no photos are allowed inside, making this a trip guests truly need to see to believe.
$730 USD for two and $100 USD for each additional guest, which is paid as a donation directly to the Serge Lutens Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of the home and laboratory.