By: Sarah Turner
In 1970, the Peninsula Hotel introduced Rolls Royces to ferry passengers around Hong Kong. The tradition continues today with a fleet of 14 Phantom VII cars, all branded in the hotel’s distinctive green. This month, the hotel has also launched its first yacht. The Sunseeker Manhattan 60 is a 19 metre cruiser that seats up to 15 passengers. It will see service around Victoria Harbour for sunset cruises and private charters, both extending the guest experience and maximising visibility for the hotel.
Hotels yachts are nothing new; examples include Jumby Bay’s Yennecot and Dhahab, a traditionally-styled wooden dhow owned by the Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman while Ashford Castle in Ireland has its own boat, Cranki which regularly explores Lough Corrib. (Shall we be sniffy and maintain that the Gritti Palace’s Riva Aquariva in Venice is more of a speedboat, as indeed the Pulitzer’s boat in Amsterdam? Even though they’re still rather beautiful.)
In the Maldives, the Four Seasons Explorer is a liveaboard, while for all-round good looks, it’s hard to beat Amanikan and Amandari which are attached to Amanwana and offer voyages into the Indonesian archipelago, as does the Alila hotel group with the five-cabin Purnama.
What is changing is the yachting world’s relationship with the hotel. In Switzerland, Le Montreux is a restored 1904 steamer. Belonging to Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne, in summer it glides through Lake Geneva in a stately fashion during summer, while operating as an event space in winter.
Now though, it has competition. Guests staying at the Evian Resort, which comprises the Hotel Royal Palace and the Hotel Ermitage, can be picked up from the airport by Evian One, its 12-meter new catamaran. Built by A2V in La Rochelle, the futuristic design allows the journey time between airport and hotel to be cut to 45 minutes. Seating just eight people, with a cruising speed of 50 knots, its innovative design meaning that it can travel twice as fast as conventional boats while using half as much fuel. By supplying the hotel with one also allows the company to showcase its product to a potential clientele.
In Ibiza, Pershing has teamed up with the new 7 Pines resort to give guests access to the company’s latest power boats. Next to a pine forest on the south west coast of Ibiza, both the Pershing 74 and company’s newest product, a 28m Pershing 9x are dropping anchor here; the latter, one of the company’s newest boats, has interiors by Poltrona Frau and Antonio Luppi.
Pershing's relationship with 7 Pines extends to creating a clifftop bar that draws inspiration from the company's yacht design.Jordi Cervera
Back on land, guests will also get to experience the hotel’s clifftop Pershing Yacht Terrace, designed by the Pershing team specially for Seven Pines, with a décor evokes the smooth surfaces and curves of their distinctive yachts. It is not so much a hotel with a yacht, more a brand collaboration.