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Category: Luxury Life

Transparent LCD’s

Transparent LCD’s

LG OLED Signature T announced at CES it is going to be the first commercially available transparent TV. It definitely could add a lot to minimalist living spaces. Samsung, not to be outdone, introduced its micro-LED display technology which seems to deliver an even brighter, better image.

Transparent OLED and LCD screens have around for a while – in fact, you’re probably using one. People were making cool transparent panels by taking a standard backlit LCD, remove the LCD antiglare coating, do a little wiring, then put a lot of light behind it.

LG also has large transparent OLEG signage as well.

Personally, I don’t think just making a standard TV out of a transparent display is understanding what new things are possible with this technology. The Verge review even points out that the tv came with a movable backing screen that slid behind it to help it act more like a traditional TV – so why go transparent? I personally think this opens up a lot of new ideas for innovative new products and experiences instead of just being a minimalist TV.

To that point, the LG Dukebox showed up at CES 2024 and is one of the first devices to make use of a transparent LCD as part of the product design. It’s essentially a re-imagined jukebox. You get to see the internals of the system while the user interface is displayed on the transparent display.

While a good start, I can think of a number of interesting new products that simply COULDN’T really be made in other ways than using a transparent display. Those are the kinds of product ideas that I think are ripe for this kind of technology.

Beyond first class

Beyond first class

First class has seen some pretty big improvements the last few years, but that’s small peanuts these days.

The new A380’s offer suites – but even those with their full-sized recliners, full bed, in a private room doesn’t really touch what’s available.

Etihad Airways started offering something they’re calling The Residence on some of their highest end flights. Private airport entrances with concierge service, a private 3 room suite on the plane with living room, double bedroom, and full bathroom with shower. Add private large screen tv’s, cognac and turndown services along with private high end meals and you have a recipe for luxury. The price? $20,000 per ticket (vs $5000 for first class).

2023 Update: Unfortunately, it seems like The Residence were largely discontinued when Etihad retired most of their A380’s during covid. Nonstop Dan shows why they ran into problems selling them. Not because there weren’t customers, but because it turns out people that can afford that kind of luxury usually find it is barely any better deal than just renting a whole private jet. The price for a one-way private jet from Abu Dhabi to London also costs about $40,000 – or about the same as 2 Residence tickets. So if you’re flying with at least one other person, the private jet lets you take many more friends/business partners, have much more flexibility in schedules, and avoid big airports all together.

Bonus points for mentioning Abu Dhabi is a huge hub because it is located in a spot that makes most of the world’s population just 6 hours away – from China to Europe.

Rent your own private island

Rent your own private island

Oh – you think you’re cool because you stayed at a luxury hotel in Dubai or comped to a suite in Vegas?

For the ultra rich, there are experiences that are far beyond the pale like David Copperfield’s Musha Cay. Renting for $50,000/night, you get the whole island. Multiple luxury residential buildings for up to 12 with high end catered food, their own mystery game to play, movies on the beach, and even custom fireworks show.

Or maybe try out Richard Branson’s Necker Island for a little over $107,500 a night (up to 40 guests), or $128,000/night for up to 48 guests. The buildings and island was almost completely destroyed in 2017 by hurricane Irma, but seems to have re-opened in 2022.

I find it interesting that even billionaires need to AirBnB their properties.

If renting a billionaire’s island is too pedestrian, perhaps just buy your own island.

Charter your private jet

Charter your private jet

Flight prices aren’t as cheap as they used to be anymore. In fact, if you’re about to fly your family and friends of 5-7 people somewhere, you might consider picking up a private jet. It might actually be in the same ballpark for price.

How much? Charter companies like XO specialize in these sorts of chartered trips. If you have flexibility, they sometimes even offer discounts and special deals for one-way trips to get their planes back/to the next pickup.

Here’s a list of recent prices

Go Back in time on the Blue Train Murder Mystery

Go Back in time on the Blue Train Murder Mystery

Ariodante of France has been offering a Murder Mystery train ride on the fabulous and famous Blue Train. While traveling from Paris to the French Riviera, you will try to solve a murder mystery – but do so while dressed in authentic period clothes and environment.

Unfortunately, by 2022, it looks like the train ride has been converted to into a cruise. Maybe it will come back as a train experience in 2023? Here was a 2019 review of the train version.

The entire experience for 2 comprises a 4-day trip to Paris to create your 1920s wardrobe and the entire 4-day cruise on the Mediterranean in a regular cabin. Included in your package: 6 nights in a luxury hotel (suite), your wardrobe for the game, as well as all your meals and bespoke cocktails during the cruise.

The murder mystery was written by an award-winning author and inspired by Agatha Christie. In this new murder mystery, you will never really know when the mystery starts, who is real, or how each of your fellow travelers is involved. All you’ll know is time is of the essence because anyone on board could be the next victim or … the murderer(s).

​The adventure begins months before the cruise starts when you will receive your invitation with the date and place of departure. Then, after an incredible 4-day-long Costumes Experience in Paris to create your whole 1920s wardrobe for the cruise, your adventure will start a few months later, in September or October 2023… or is it 1923?​

Travel back in time a hundred years back to enjoy an extraordinary private visit to one of Italy’s most famous ancient archaeological sites, taste the 1920s-inspired creations of 3 different famous 3 Michelin-starred chefs, dance during a Charleston party on board the steamship and so much more. But be aware that this idyllic and lavish cruise hides many untold secrets and covert riddles as nothing is what it seems.

The price tag? An eye watering £350,000 for 2.

If that’s a little steep, maybe try the Blue Train inspired rooftop restaurant at Bloomingdale’s in New York.

French Orient Express restarts in 2024

French Orient Express restarts in 2024

The Orient Express. The train that forever changed luxury travel almost 140 years ago (debuted October 4, 1883) is being brought back to life yet again – but this time by French hospitality group Accor, which uses the Orient Express name under license from SNCF, France’s national train service.

It’s not the first train service to do this. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express by Belmond has been operating for years. I was lucky enough to take a day-long murder mystery ride on the train. David Suchet (the actor for Hercule Poirot) also took a trip on the train:

Starting in 2024 this most recent rebirth of the railroad icon will gear up to resume service from the French capital to the rest of the continent, reviving the same lavish journeys of its heyday. While details and itineraries have yet to be confirmed, it’s likely that some of the routes will end in Istanbul, just as it was for the first Orient Express. 

What’s more amazing is that many of the original cars have been found and are being restored right now.

In total, seventeen cars—12 sleeping cars, one restaurant, three lounges, and one caboose—will form the ‘new’ convoy. All of them date back to the 1920s and ’30s and used to form what was known as the Nostalgie-Istanbul Orient-Express (the train took different names depending on its routes).

In 2015, industrial history researcher Arthur Mettetal embarked on a worldwide quest to inventory what was left of the Orient Express for SNCF. The luxury train company had shut down in 1977, but different iterations of the Orient Express had been briefly resurrected in the 1980s, only to disappear almost completely by the following decade (save for the Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express rail service, part of a completely separate venture). In the intervening years, many of the trains had gone off the grid.

During the course of his survey, Mattatel came across an anonymously posted YouTube video. He analyzing the clip for clues and located it on the border between Belarus and Poland.

A few months later, Mettetal traveled to Warsaw with Saint Lager, as well as a translator and a photographer and found them. They had been there for about 10 years.

“We were expecting them to be in terrible condition, but inside they were surprisingly well-preserved,” recounts Saint Lager. “Some of them still had the original Lalique glass panels that were so emblematic of the Orient Express. We also found Morrison and Nelson marquetry,” which are intricate wood carvings with inlays of precious materials like gold or ebony. “The Art Deco details were just incredibly vibrant,” Saint Lager says. Following two years of negotiation between Accor and the owner of the Nostalgie-Istanbul, the train was eventually escorted back to France where they are being refurbished.

Tickets will go on sale in 2023—but if you can’t wait, there’s always the Orient Express La Dolce Vita (another project by Accor) slated to hit the tracks soon.

A whole different reality

A whole different reality

It’s one thing to talk about people yachting around the world in a boat they sold everything to buy. I recently ran across ultra luxury offerings that exist on a whole other scale.

Want to rent truly astounding yachts for 10-20 of your best friends? Yachts that come with crews of 10-20 to cater to your every food, bar, and piloting needs? Do you have a cool half to million+ dollars for a single week’s rental? Then Morley Yachts is for you.

Go check out their offerings – offerings that only the 1% of the 1% could afford.

Update: Maybe take it to the private island you rented

Spend a night at the North Pole

Spend a night at the North Pole

Starting April 2020, the North Pole will no longer be only for intrepid explorers and polar bears. The northernmost point on Earth will get a temporary hotel. 10 heated glass igloos will be transported to the safest part of the glacier.

Luxury Action is a Finnish travel company behind the mobile igloos. They will only open for one month, when travelers can reach the hostile environment by helicopter. 

Now all you have to do is cough up €95,000 ($104,604) for the experience, which includes two nights in Svalbard (an archipelago halfway between Norway and the North Pole), flights and logistics from Svalbard to the North Pole and then back to Svalbard, a night at the North Pole, and all meals, security, and guiding. 

Read more about it here: