April 23 (Bloomberg) -- First came the Orient Express train. Then the Queen Mary ocean liner. Now the Four Seasons jet?
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is unveiling its own-look Boeing 757 to transport guests on its around-the-world group trips. The Toronto-based luxury-hotel chain says the airplane is the hotel industry’s first fully branded private jet.
The black aircraft will be emblazoned with the Four Seasons name in white on the fuselage and its tree logo, also in white, on the tail. The customized interior will feature leather flatbed seats, plush carpeting and contemporary lavatories. It will offer global in-flight Wi-Fi and be staffed with chefs and an onboard concierge to plan spa treatments and tee times for its 52 passengers while en route.
Four Seasons, which operates 92 hotels and private residences around the world, is pulling out the stops amid a frugal mood among the rich. While affluent consumers enjoy spending money on travel and hotels more than on any other category, they have been holding back, according to Unity Marketing Inc.
“They are hesitant to indulge now because of their concerns about finances and the overall economy,” Pam Danziger, president of the Stevens, Pennsylvania-based luxury research firm, said in an e-mail.
Four Seasons first began offering its around-the-world trip in 2012 using a non-branded jet that carried 78 travelers, Susan Helstab, executive vice president of marketing, said in an e-mail. The new jet is being leased from TAG Aviation through TCS Expeditions.
Four Seasons, owned by Kingdom Hotels International, Bill Gates’s Cascade Investment LLC and Triples Holdings Ltd., developed the branded jet to fulfill the wealthy’s wish to explore the world in utmost comfort, she said.
“It recognizes their desire to pair adventure and discovery with the luxury of a fully immersive Four Seasons experience,” Helstab said.
The plane, which would carry 233 passengers in its normal configuration, will take to the skies in February, starting with a nine-destination, 24-day trip that begins in Los Angeles and includes stops in Bora Bora, Thailand, India and Turkey as it makes its way to London. Guests will stay at Four Season hotels at each stop.
Price? $119,000 per person for double occupancy and $130,000 to travel solo.
The debut will be followed by a trip in April for European culture lovers who will travel to six cities for 16 days to visit museums, see performances at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and Estates Theatre in Prague, and attend a private gala at the Pavlovsk Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia. The excursion costs roughly half the price of the first one.
Each package includes transportation, accommodations, excursions, meals and drinks.
The new jet, including crew and staff, may also be privately chartered.
Price? $110,000 or more a day, with a Four Seasons hotel stay required.
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