We all have that one person on our list who’s impossible to shop for. They already have everything they want, or they can’t think of anything they want, or they’re eschewing material possessions—whatever the reason, there’s always that name that keeps you from finishing off your gift giving to-do list. Well, not anymore. Forget physical gifts and give those recalcitrant recipients an experience they’ll never forget. An around-the-world trip on a private jet, a celebrity chef’s cooking class, Ferrari driving lessons: these memorable presents will satisfy even the most frustrating giftee.
A Private Wine Tasting at Ovid Napa Valley
Thanks to its perch high on Pritchard Hill in Napa, 1,400 feet above the valley floor, Ovid affords some of the best views in California wine country—on a clear day you can see all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s also one of the most sought after wines out there (Ovid is in the same family as Silver Oak) and there is a two year wait to get on the winery’s mailing list. The good news? You can instead make a reservation for a private visit and enjoy a tasting of its coveted wines—it’s a gift any oenophile will appreciate.
$195 per person, limited to parties of six. To make an appointment, email [email protected]
Learn the Art of Home Cooking with Alice Waters
For better or worse, Covid-19 has forced many of us to spend more time in the kitchen.
Make Cocktails with the Best Bartenders in the U.S.
From November through January, a group of bartenders from the most renowned bars in the country—NYC’s Dante and Dead Rabbit, LA’s Nomad Hotel, Miami’s Sweet Liberty, to name a few—will host virtual cocktail classes with Venezuelan rum brand Santa Teresa 1796 and teach participants how to make one of three cocktails using the spirit (Old Fashioned, Hot Buttered Rum, and Ponche Crema, a Venezuelan rendition of eggnog). It’s a great way to get together for a festive activity—all while learning from the best in the business.
Book Now $49.99, spiritedholidays.com
A Sunday Brunch Sail in Connecticut
This three-hour sail aboard a 110-foot schooner leaves from scenic Mystic, Connecticut for a brunch tour of Fishers Island Sound and its beautiful coastline and lighthouses. Built in 1967, the Mystic Whaler includes 3,000 square feet of sail.
Shop Now $82 per person, cloud9living.com
The Ultimate Art Subscription
Turn your home into a gallery with this luxe gift, perfect for the art-lover in your life. The subscription offers you the chance to pick one new original artwork per month from an expertly curated collection to bring a little more beauty to your life.
Backcountry Ski Through Grand Teton National Park
Jackson Hole is a legendary winter retreat, known for some of the hardest ski terrain in the world. Powder-loving guests of the swanky new Caldera House, a ski-in, ski-out hotel located in Teton Village at the base of Jackson Mountain, can go off-course for an overnight backcountry skiing excursion through the majestic Teton mountains with an experienced guide. You’ll spend the night at a fully stocked backcountry camp before returning to Caldera House’s plush digs. (Rooms at Caldera House, from $1,500 per night).
Book Now From $1,100 per person, calderahouse.com
Blend Your Own Wine
Oenophiles can live out their fantasy of creating a personalized wine blend at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. In 90 minutes, a sommelier leads participants through the process of combining wines into a personal blend, and everyone goes home with their own bottle featuring a label that can be customized with artwork and wording.
Book Now $99, classesbykessler.com
Learn to Drive a Ferrari Like A Pro
Iconic Italian car brand will put you behind the wheel for an intensive two-day Corso Pilota course with personalized training in how to rev around the track like a professional driver. Their level one program will impart everything you need to know about sport driving practicum, but if that doesn’t satisfy your need for speed, they also three additional course levels for even more advanced drivers.
Book Now From $13,900, ferrari.com
Learn to Arrange Flowers Like a Florist
As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” We’d like to suggest a less aquatic interpretation: “Give a person a bouquet, they’ll have beautiful flowers for a day, teach them to make a bouquet, they’ll have beautiful flowers all the time.”
Book Now From $750, flourla.com
An Annual Pass to the National Parks
National parks around the country soared in popularity this year due to the pandemic. This pass offers access to all 59 parks across the country operated by the National Park Service, and it includes entry for the pass holder plus up to three accompanying adults age 16 and older (no entry fee charged for children 15 and under).
Buy Now $80, usgs.gov
A Helicopter Tour Over New York City
Get a bird’s eye view of the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Central Park, and more on this 17- to 20-minute helicopter flight that leaves from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport. A variety of departure times are available throughout the day.
Shop Now $284 per person, tripadvisor.com
Etiquette Classes at the Plaza
With virtual offerings for both children and adults, etiquette expert Myka Meier teaches guests about everything from the art of making a good first impression to business networking. The children’s program, in particular, includes the topics of basic table manners, greeting adults with respect, making friends, and positive body language and eye contact.
Book Now From $150 per person, beaumontetiquette.com
A Private Holiday Cruise on the Hudson
What better way to take in the sparkling lights of the Manhattan skyline than on a private cruise around the Hudson River? Book a festively decorated Classic Harbor Line yacht for a two-hour private cruise for your loved ones and toast the holidays with Mistletoe Manhattans as your private captain takes you wherever you want to go.
Book Now From $1,488 for 2-32 people, classicharborline.com
Go Around the World on the Four Seasons Private Jet
Four Seasons (and other brands) have offered private jet travel experiences for some time, but now the hospitality company has its own custom-designed Boeing 757 that whisks guests to as many as 10 destinations on a single trip. Upcoming 2021 itineraries include a three-week tour of nine countries, with stops in Kyoto, Hoi An, the Serengeti, Marrakech, and St. Petersburg.
Book Now From $169,000 per person, fourseasons.com
Get a Private Tour of the Sistine Chapel
Imago Artis was founded more than a decade ago by three former art historians and since then they have organized ultra-luxe travel itineraries and experiences around Italy for CEOs, Silicon Valley billionaires, and celebrities. The company is known for its unprecedented access into the country’s top landmarks. Case in point: this Imago Artis Platinum Package, which takes visitors on a completely private, after hours tour of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum.
Book Now From $8,795, iatravel.com
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