From booking jets to luxury yachts, reserving elegant villas to attending exclusive events, check out this list of luxury travel apps
8 of the best luxury travel apps
When you’re paying top dollar for business class flights, expensive villas or a suite at a luxury resort, the process of getting there should be just as simple and comfortable. As a luxury traveller, you’re looking for a customised and personalised experience. No fuss, no queues, quick, easy and exactly to brief. Here are some of the best luxury travel apps to download.
If you have browsed the internet several times looking for an ideal holiday location, but still aren’t quite getting what you want, download Pana. The app, armed with a “pocket team of travel superheroes” is a tour operator that doubles as a concierge. It offers the conveniences of customised experiences for travellers and businesses alike. The process is simple: sign up with your email address, answer a few basic profile questions related to notifications and check-in services, and you’re good to go with a free seven-day trial. Thereafter, it will cost US$99 (Dh364) a month, or $999 (Dh3,670) per year. If you’re browsing and looking at some options, the travel concierge will provide you with options based on your preferences.
Swiping left and right has become the norm thanks to smartphones. Barcelona travel guide Symphony allows you to swipe right for something you like; swipe left if a restaurant is disappointing. If authentic Italian pasta is what you love, then swipe up, and if you’re not a daredevil when it comes to paragliding, swipe down. That’s how you are introduced to the app. After that, you will be introduced to a variety of categories, including fine dining, molecular gastronomy, rest and relaxation. The interface is clean and easy to use. Recommendations are based on your preferences, then save these as favourites for when you head to Barcelona. And if your Spanish isn’t great, get Ludwig (the “voice” and live assistant) to book for you. It’s adding other European destinations, with plans to extend thereafter.
Getting to the airport and through passport control can be stressful. So if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds flocking around duty-free or have some last-minute emails to send before you fly, download LoungeBuddy. The service is currently available in 800 airports globally. To check which lounges are available to you, either input your flight class, see if some of your clubs and memberships are associated with the service, or input your credit card to see what is available to you at that location.
4. Louis Vuitton City Guide
Louis Vuitton’s famous logo is known the world over. Its digital footprint comes in the form of the Louis Vuitton City Guides offering. Operational in cities such as Cape Town, Moscow, San Francisco and Singapore, the guides offer more than 15,000 addresses in 29 countries. Much like LV’s retail and fashions items, there’s a focus on quality when it comes this app. There’s a focus on trends, with a special look at recommended luxury hotels, restaurants and high-street fashion within these cities. Some of the city guides are free, but generally you are likely to pay about $10 (Dh37) for the guides.
5. Luxury Retreats
Luxury Retreats focuses on finding you the ultimate, most picturesque villa or activity in its 100 destinations worldwide. You can choose to chat with its representatives via telephone or email, and once you have booked, you’re able to text them, too (even in 2017), making the service very hands-on. Fancy a ski holiday in Colorado for the festive season? One of its listed villas, equipped with seven rooms and sleeping 20, starts at $963 (Dh3,537) a night. Browse the listings now and make sure your 2018 is filled with their extra-special locations.
6. Velocity Black
This might be the best of the lot. Velocity Black has been offering exclusive experiences for more than two years. From first-class dining to pop-up events in one of 60 cities, this members-only club allows users to enjoy carefully curated and tailored experiences through its app. It currently has 1,200 members on board, including celebrities such as Vanessa Hudgens, Gigi Hadid and Joe Jonas, as well as iTunes co-founder Denzyl Feigelson. Submit your request via the website velocity.black/access. After a short interview with an agent (the average response time is 60 seconds), if you’re successful, set aside $2,400 (Dh8,815) for the year and $900 (Dh3,306) for a once-off activation fee. They provide a download link to the app, where you get your luxury experiences off the ground.
Apply to join here velocity.black/access
If flying commercial is too much of an ask, or you’re jetting off to a remote island that would be reached easier by flying privately, try JetSmarter. With this app, you can check the prices of private flights, find private airports or hop on board a jet that has a few empty seats. The service also includes helicopters and a provision for your beloved pooches. The simplicity is what makes it great. You can book a jet in five minutes, thanks to access to the largest fleet of private jets in the world. Who knows, maybe there will be an empty seat on Jay-Z’s jet – together with Saudi investors, he’s a backer in the company. It makes sense that it has routes to and from Riyadh and Jeddah. There’s also a return shuttle between Dubai and Kuwait.
Congratulations, you have finally arrived. You’re on your island, and over jet lag thanks to the hassle-free concierge service from home to holiday. Now you want to plan your activities. Get the GetMyBoat app. Available in 171 countries, it offers a range of boating options. You can cruise around the bottom of Manhattan in your six-foot yacht, or sun yourself at sea on the houseboat you have rented, making use of the booking services on this app. If you’re in Dubai during the festive season, a typical 50-foot yacht will cost you Dh800 per hour.