‘Believe me, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats’ is a quote from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Above, Six Senses’ CEO Neil Jacobs returns to THE BRANDO after a fascinating few hours’ touring a neighbouring uninhabited French Polynesian island, also owned by the family of the late Marlon Brando (the tour had involved messing about in the undergrowth to learn about hermit crabs and so much else).
Hotels do not need to be on islands to get into the boat game. The massive MADINAT JUMEIRAH in Dubai has a fleet of electric water taxis that silently ferry people around the complex’s canals. THE VENETIAN in Las Vegas and THE VENETIAN in Macau both have electronic gondolas on the ‘canals’ that are differentiators of those casinos, sorry, ‘integrated resorts’. As a tangent, is it true Macau is investing heavily in cementing the belief that Macau is no longer, as is generally believed, only reliant on gaming? Watch it become more like Vegas, a magnet of fine dining, superb events and entertainment that is truly world class.
Oh gondolas, fake or not. If you want the real thing, head for Venice. Girlahead arrived once at AMAN VENICE by gondola, though generally her arrivals, at Belmond’s gorgeous CIPRIANI or, about 300metres west along Giudecca, at the surprisingly agreeable HILTON MOLINO STUCKY, were by high-speed slipper launches.
All arrivals in The Maldives are by boat as seaplanes land next to a moored platform a few hundred metres off a resort’s island. Transfer to the resort’s boat when it comes out to get you. At CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI, fly in on the resort’s own seaplane, transfer at the platform to the resort’s own boat and management, sometimes in statutory white but with accessories that are sunflower yellow or blue (Klein blue, natch), stand in line on the jetty.
There was an occasion when Michael Luible, then running ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH, arranged a cocktail on a low-water sand dune. The boat took his party, plus ample Veuve Clicquot there, to the dune. Sunset was saluted, and the tide rose. The dune disappeared, and it was time to continue. Messing about in boats.
Listen to the advisor to that luxury boat giant, RSSC