Six exclusive apps for luxury travellers

From test-driving a Bentley to chartering a private jet, Nick Walton taps in to the best luxury travel apps on the market.

Bentley on Demand

The British luxury auto company recently announced Bentley on Demand, a unique app exclusively for the owners of its beautiful cars. Accessed via The Bentley Network app, this savvy service is like Uber for the uber-wealthy and offers access to Bentley cars when they’re travelling or celebrating. A unique alternative to a conventional limo company, the app kills two birds with one stone: it offers owners convenient and comfortable transfers as well as a test drive. The selected model is ordered via the app and then delivered to your door by a concierge, who explains the features of the vehicle and picks it up when you’re finished with it. Presently being put through its paces in Los Angeles, Dallas and New York, with other major cities in the works, the new service follows the recent launch of a California-based fuel-delivery service that means Bentley owners don’t have to line up for petrol. bentleymotors.com

 

iVIP Black

iVIP Black, also known as the ‘millionaire’s app’, opens up a candy store of luxury goods and experiences – all you have to do is prove you’re worth it. You need to have more than a million dollars to be allowed into the coveted iVIP Black community, but once that’s squared away the app provides access to a host of indulgent opportunities offered by partners, which include hotel groups such as Firmdale and Virgin Limited, restaurants by the likes of Gordon Ramsay, and a host of hard-to-source amenities, from theatre tickets and personal trainers to private islands and business jets. A concierge service connects you with these experiences, with other perks on offer including room upgrades and limited-edition iPhones as well as priority access and special rates. US$999.99 (about A$1,263) per year. ivipworld.com

 

JetSmarter

Private jets are still the ultimate spending item and JetSmarter makes booking corporate jets at the drop of hat easier than ever. Essentially, JetSmarter taps into the many ‘empty legs’ private jets fly as they relocate or travel to pick up passengers. These are said to equate to around 1.6 million hours each year, according to the app’s CEO Sergey Petrossov. The app is available for free on iTunes and the Play Store, though the ultra-wealthy will opt for the annual membership, priced at US$8,499 (about A$10,733) plus the US$3,000 (about A$3,789) joining fee. This gives you unlimited access to private flights as well as a private concierge service, special flight fares, exclusive events and more. The only catch is you might need to be flexible with your travel plans, but that’s a small price to pay to not fly commercial. jetsmarter.com

 

Y.CO

If superyachts are more your thing, these majestic vessels are also only a screen tap away thanks to an innovative app from superyacht charter gurus Y.CO. The invitation-only app connects would-be customers with a wealth of superyacht charter vessels, as well as all the luxurious accoutrement that the superyacht set would need, from tenders to sea toys. The app features the company’s entire range, from glorious sailing yachts and multi-million-dollar pleasure palaces to fast cruisers and even expedition-ready ships. The sea set can compare vessels, enter their specific requirements, select from a series of bespoke itineraries, and book yachts in real time. y.co/lynk

 

PrivateFly

If convenience is just as important to you as comfort, PrivateFly is a free app for the ultimate traveller. Offering you access to a network of more 7,000 private jets around the globe, the app lets you review models – from turbo-props to the latest business jet – and view interiors via photo galleries before selecting your choice and booking it with the swipe of a virtual credit card. If you’re in a hurry, a unique ‘Jet Me Home’ feature gives you instant access to aircraft available in their current location for flights to a designated home airport. The app also offers access to the same ‘empty legs’ that JetSmarter specialises in, with up to 75 per cent savings. privatefly.com

 

Sotheby’s

A glorious showcase of beautiful and oh-so-expensive items, Sotheby’s own iOS and Android app offers collectors unique access to the auction house’s extraordinary art, jewellery, wine and vintage car collections. You can use the app’s calendar to track auctions around the globe and review lots, complete with commentary from Sotheby’s experts. You can review items via high-res images and video, track things that catch your fancy, live stream auctions, and read a host of insightful articles about objets you’re most passionate about. sothebys.com

 

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Weather to go

The size of the United States means that weather varies dramatically from state to state (including Alaska and Hawaii). Summers (Jun-Sep) in the plains and southern states like California and Florida are characterised by hot and humid weather, whereas southwest states such as Arizona and Colorado experience a dry summer heat. The northern states experience extreme winter (Dec-Mar) conditions and snowfall while the temperatures in the southern states rarely fall below freezing. Your preferred time of travel to the sates will depend on your desired activities; winter for skiing or summer for endless blue skies and outdoor activities. June to August is the preferred time for many travellers as spring and fall are generally very mild. 

 

 

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