Whether it’s to arrive in style or the only way to reach a far-flung destination, these hotels are making air travel fun again with their own in-house aircraft.
From personalized puddle-jumpers to swanky choppers, here’s our pick of hotels from around the world that will send your wanderlust soaring with their high-flying services.
Velaa Private Island (Velaa Island, Maldives)
Located 45 minutes from the Maldives’ capital of Malé, Velaa Private Island serves luxury before you even arrive.
This includes getting swept away by the resort’s brand new seaplane decked out with buttery leather seats in Velaa’s signature shade of deep ocean blue, noise-canceling headphones and complimentary iPads for use during the flight.
Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Republic of Maldives, Maldives; +960 6565 000
Tikchik Narrows Lodge (Alaska)
Accessible only by floatplane, Tikchik Narrows Lodge hides deep in the wilderness of Alaska, in the prime sport-fishing territory of Bristol Bay.
Luckily, Tikchik Narrows Lodge owns and operates four aircraft including three DeHavilland Beavers and one Cessna 206 to transport its guests to and from the remote lodge from Dillingham airport.
First constructed in the 1950s as military “bush” planes, the original planes have been completely revamped and reconstructed for modern use.
Tikchik Narrows Lodge, Dillingham, Alaska, USA; +1 907-243-8450
Campi Ya Kanzi (Mtito Andei, Kenya)
The adventure starts right away at Campi Ya Kanzi: From Nairobi, guests get picked up in the six-seater private charter, and an hour later they’re touching down on Campi Ya Kanzi’s private airstrip in the wilds of Southern Kenya’s Chyulu Hills, where this Hemingwayesque eco-lodge is located.
Campi Ya Kanzi, Mtito Andei, Kenya; +254 45 5622516
The Peninsula Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
With the only hotel rooftop helipad in the city, The Peninsula Hong Kong’s bespoke helicopter, operated by Heliservices, lets you live the high life.
Offering various “fly and dine” packages that always include a helicopter tour of Victoria Harbour to show off the city’s famous skyline views, there’s something very James Bond about this slick high-flying experience.
The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2920 2888
The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia)
With icing-sugar beaches and glass-clear waters in 50 shades of blue, it’s no wonder that Marlon Brando felt moved to purchase this little piece of paradise in 1967.
Keeping with the star’s original vision of creating a high-end but self-sustaining environment, The Brando represents the pinnacle of eco-friendly luxury. It also exudes exclusivity and privacy, which is partly achieved by its seclusion.
It’s only reachable by a flight aboard either The Brando’s six-passenger Britten Norman or its 14-passenger twin-otter aircraft, both operated by Air Tetiaroa.
The Brando, Tetiaroa, Arue 98702, French Polynesia; +689 40 86 63 00
Crown Promenade Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)
Whether it’s to visit Yarra Valley, Phillip Island, 12 Apostles or just to experience a bird’s eye view of Melbourne’s most prominent landmarks, Crown’s helicopter partnership makes it easy to explore Australia – and even easier to escape the traffic with their helicopter airport transfers. There are several other Crown properties in Melbourne.
Crown Promenade Melbourne, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia; +61 3 9292 8888
Time + Tide Miavana (Nosy Ankao, Madagascar)
Dressed in seafoam green stripes – an aesthetic element repeated throughout this pristine tropical eco-resort – Time + Tide Miavana’s private helicopter is not only stylish but also practical for exploring the surrounding 15,000 hectares of protected marine landscape.
On a half-day helicopter safari with pit stops along deserted beaches and hidden jungle havens, guests can get up close and personal with Madagascar’s famous wildlife like lemurs, turtles, and even whales.
Time + Tide Miavana, Nosy Ankao, Madagascar; +260 21 6246025
Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection (Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica)
A collection of 50 casitas tangled in the lush hillside of southern Costa Rica, Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, is just a short jaunt from San Jose aboard the property’s private Cessna 206 aircraft.
And the in-flight entertainment doesn’t stop there. On site, there’s also a fleet of ultralight planes. Seating one pilot and one passenger, these open-sided airplanes are used for adrenalin-spiking aerial tours of the surrounding landscape of waterfalls, pineapple plantations, and the wind-whipped Pacific coastline.
Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, Contiguo al Escuela de Santa Teresa de Cajon Santa Teresa, Perez Zeledon, 11908, Costa Rica; +506 2105 3000
Cheval Blanc Randheli (Randheli Island, Maldives)
Air travel is glamorous again aboard the specially designed, ultra-chic Cheval Blanc Randheli Twin Otter seaplane.
On the 40-minute flight from Malé to the private island, passengers are treated to utter relaxation, which includes a cooling kit of refreshing scented water and chilled towels.
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Republic of Maldives, Maldives; +960 656-1515
The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah (Ubud, Bali)
If you love your heads in the clouds prepare for lift off in The Chedi Club’s very own 23-meter air balloon.
With an exotic backdrop of rice paddies and Mount Agung, The Chedi Club’s hot air balloon soars 50 meters into the air several times a day, offering guests the most majestic vistas of the mist-draped five-hectare Chedi Club estate.
The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Tengkulak Kaja, Jl. Raya Goa Gajah, Kemenuh, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia; +62 361 975685
Nicole Trilivas is an American writer based in London, covering luxury lifestyle, specifically travel, food and drink.