Whether it’s an exclusive ski adventure, island getaway or European escape you’re dreaming of, all you have to do is pack your bags and step aboard your private jet. Four Seasons has collaborated with NetJets to design three incredible trips – the kind you’ll be talking about for years to come.
The day trips outlined below represent just a taste of the three extraordinary journeys mapped out by experts at Four Seasons and NetJets. Among the experiences: heli-skiing hidden slopes near Vail, stargazing on a catamaran off the shores of Hawaii and dining on a private terrace above the Ponte Vecchio.
Touching down after an enthralling 40-minute trip by helicopter over the snowcapped Colorado Rockies, you’ll slalom around the lesser-known nooks of the San Juan Mountains – which scrape the sky at up to 14,309 feet (4,361 metres) above sea level – as if they’re your own private playground. Then, for the ultimate in après-ski, take a customized mixology class at the Resort’s Remedy Bar, working by firelight with top-shelf bottles and tasting 25-year-old Old Rip Van Winkle whiskey, while it lasts.
“I cherish the chance to share my passion for bourbon with guests,” says Steven Teaver, Director of Beverage at
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. “We’re constantly acquiring new whiskeys that you can’t get anywhere else through our Private Barrel Program; we have five different barrels on offer now, and that number is always growing.”
As dusk falls, cap off the day with a snowcat ride to Game Creek, a European-style chalet overlooking the mountains, and a four-course dinner of local dishes like Colorado lamb tartare with quail egg, wild salmon cooked on a cedar plank, and gypsum rhubarb semifreddo.
Yellowstone is among the United States’ most-visited national parks for good reason – hot springs in otherworldly hues and geysers taller than trees – but the experience becomes positively cinematic when you see it from inside a Bell 407GX Helicopter, with the craggy Grand Teton mountain range as the backdrop.
“The colours of the Grand Prismatic Spring, surrounded by snow, will take your breath away,” says Hope Maloney, Wyoming’s first Les Clefs d’Or concierge, who calls
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole home. Because almost all 2.2 million acres (890 million hectares) of Yellowstone are closed to automobile traffic in winter, from the helicopter you’ll likely spot wildlife few others can see, including elk, coyotes, bison and even wolves. Upon landing, climb aboard a snowmobile for an even closer view of the park’s inhabitants as you make your way to Old Faithful.
When it’s time to refuel, your lunch in Yellowstone is prepared by the Resort’s Executive Chef Michael Goralski, a master of molecular gastronomy who once manned the kitchen at the iconic 1893 Commander’s Palace in New Orleans.
Hang on to your sun hat: You’re going off-roading in 4x4s with Four Seasons Resort Lanai through some of the Hawaiian island’s 90,000 acres (36,000 hectares) of paradise. Cruising around Kaunolu Village, on Lanai’s southernmost point, you’ll quickly see why King Kamehameha made his summer home here in the late 18th century.
“Kaunolu is one of the best preserved and most intact traditional villages in all of Hawaii,” says Kepa Maly, Senior Vice President of Culture and Historic Preservation at Pulama Lanai, which assists with the Resort’s programming. “It allows visitors the chance to step back in time.”
You’ll explore ancient stone ruins like the cliff-side Halulu Heiau temple and Kahekili’s Leap – where Kamehameha’s warriors once took the 60-foot (18-metre) jump into the shimmering ocean to affirm their bravery – and then stop for a picnic at Shark Fin cove, the place for snorkellers to spot Hawaii’s state fish: the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, or triggerfish.
Those seeking an adrenaline rush can opt for the more rugged version of the tour: Climb aboard Polaris UTVs and hang on tight as you weave around the Palawai Basin, soaking up scenic overlooks and historical tidbits as you go. In the evening, you’ll board a 50-foot (15-metre) catamaran for a three-hour stargazing tour with a guide versed in Polynesian mythology. (Ask to hear the legend of the demigod Maui, who is believed to have harnessed the sun.)
“Hawaiian culture has been gaining attention over the past three years with the round-the-world voyage of the Hōkūleʻa, a replica of the original Polynesian sailing canoe,” says the catamaran’s Captain Kamalani Ranis. “We hope to continue this education by teaching the ways of celestial navigation and wayfaring on a more intimate level.”
In fair Firenze, the capital of Tuscany, ascend to a rarely seen view of the city that birthed the Renaissance. To start: a private guided visit at the Uffizi Gallery, where more than 45 halls – once the administrative and judiciary offices of the Medici family – now house a bevy of Italian masterpieces dating back to the 14th century. (Keep an eye out for rare works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.)
“The Uffizi Gallery is one of my favourite spots in Florence, not only because it’s one of the most important museums in the world but because of the atmosphere inside it,” says Patrizio Cipollini, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. “You really get an intimate look at the fruits of the Renaissance and how the city changed under the house of Medici.”
Afterwards, head to the Ponte Vecchio’s private fourth-floor terrace above the 19th-century Dante Cardini jewellery shop. Your four-course dinner is prepared by the Hotel’s Director of Food and Beverage, Michelin-starred Executive Chef Vito Mollica, trained at Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe. The menu will be tailored to your tastes – if you feel like sampling gold leaf–dusted risotto with caviar, just say the word.
Begin your Riviera journey with adventure, driving a classic vintage car along the winding roads of Cap-Ferrat, a region of Southern France so idyllic that Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier had their villa nearby. Your dedicated Concierge from the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, will plot the ideal drive for you between Nice and Monaco, with a stop in the medieval hilltop town of Èze. After an afternoon of ducking in and out of boutiques there, explore the manicured Jardin Exotique d’Èze, with stone ruins dating to 220 BC.
As twilight settles over the landscape, prepare for an evening designed to enchant the senses. The setting is the art-filled 1950s estate Villa Santo Sospir, one-time haunt of Jean Cocteau, Picasso, Chanel and Matisse. “The villa remains as it was in the 1950s,” says Chef Concierge Christiane Grun. “It feels like you’re stepping into that world.” Your private four-course dinner, prepared by Michelin-starred Chef Yoric Tièche, takes on added savour in the presence of original murals and frescos by Picasso and Cocteau, who lived at the home for 13 years.
Ski jackets and pants: Gorsuch
Ski equipment: Stio
Ski helmets and goggles: GIRO
Tote bag: Lisa Hadley
Clothing (Lanai): Maris Collective
Car rental: Joey Rent
Florence transportation: Barocchi
Sailboats: Riviera Sailing Events