The craziest requests tour companies get from wealthy guests

Posted by Leila Stein on 25 September 2020

Travel is a luxury for everyone, but for the ultra-wealthy this takes on a whole new meaning. The 1% expect every whim to be taken care of no matter how outlandish.

Luxury travel organisers understand that their clients don’t want the ordinary tourist fair. These people are willing to pay well to get major sites to themselves, have unique experiences or meet hard-to-reach people.

As a result, some of the stunts pulled by their staff are incredibly impressive and interesting.

CNN Traveller spoke to premier travel agencies about some of the craziest requests they received from their high-paying clientele.

All alone in the Sistine Chapel

Visiting major tourists sites are often a pain because you’ll most probably land up fighting for a glimpse through a hoard of other travellers.

One New York family requested to skip the crowds by having luxury concierge service Element Lifestyle secure a key to the Sistine Chapel. This way they could marvel at its beauty all by themselves – at the price of $75,000.

Oops, forgot my visa

South Africans know about visas. Almost every country requires one from those carrying a Green Mamba. The frustration of worrying whether your visa will make it in time has haunted all who wish to go overseas.

One family entirely forgot to organise a visa for one of their children when visiting Myanmar. As a result, they asked award-winning travel company Red Savannah to sort it out. The company’s fixer managed to convince the head of immigration to approve the visa while the family were en route, so when they landed they could walk right through the gates.

Own Hollywood movie

Family holiday movies seem like a good idea when you’re shooting them. Once you re-watch the tape you realise it’s all shaky and everyone looks terrible so it’s tucked away never to be seen again.

This family decided to give it over to a professional and asked Black Tomato to send a Hollywood cinematographer, who had filmed blockbusters like Star Wars to shoot a family on their six-week sailing trip in Indonesia. This cost a pretty $665,000.

Live penguins, please

We all love a complementary gift basket in our hotel room but it often doesn’t go further than a few chocolates or tea and coffee sachets.

Element Lifestyle however went above and beyond by welcoming a client and his girlfriend to their San Diego hotel room with three live penguins.

The client’s girlfriend loves penguins so was pretty impressed by her welcome surprise.

Fly-out my eggs bennie

While many of us get excited at the thought of a buffet breakfast included in our hotel price, the rich and famous expect something a bit more grand.

Red Savannah once had to fly out a celebrity chef to Antarctica as the client had requested that only this chef makes their morning eggs Benedict. In addition, this all happened while they were enjoying their private concert by a world-class mezzo-soprano.

Image: @theluxurioustravel/Instagram


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