Whales these days can't just go on any old luxury ski vacation. Gone are the days when ski valets carrying their gear to and from the slopes and putting their boots on for them were enough. Today's most discerning whales are demanding helicopter delivery to and from everything, private jets, custom skis, the option to surf and ski in the same day, and even to have the street names of European ski villages temporarily changed to those of the whale's hedge-fund idols. Here Curbed Ski lays out the most expensive, outrageous, and carbon-intensive ski vacations today's whales can go on.
? Starting at a modest $16,500 for five nights for a whale and their loved one, The Four Season Whistler's Ski The Dream Experience offers a broad selection of goodies for the hardcore skiing whale. The package includes two days on Whistler Blackcomb with a private instructor, a day of heli-skiing, a tour of the Prior ski and snowboard factory and construction of a pair of custom sticks or snowboard, an aprés-ski massage, and daily wine reception. Also included are private helicopter transfers from Vancouver International Airport to and from Whistler.
? Targeted towards LA-area whales, XOjet's Malibu Surf and Ski Offer offer boardsport experts the chance to get a dance patrol surf session in at Malibu Pier and then head straight from the beach to Van Nuys or Santa Monica airport, where they board a private jet bound for Salt Lake City. After being brought to the Waldorf Astoria in Park City and leaving their bags with the valet, they can hit the slopes at The Canyons by noon. The package starts at $23,000 and includes a two-night stay at the Waldorf, a two-day lift ticket, all transportation, and some dining credit at Slopes, the in-house restaurant at the Waldorf that's a Travel + Leisure fave.
? Aspen has always been a quandary for discerning ski whales. There's the ready access to luxury accommodations and world-class dining and nightlife, but alas, no expert heli-skiing to be found. Thankfully, powder-hungry whales have had little to fret since last season, when the Little Nell introduced the Nell Heli-Suite Element 47 Package. Starting at $45,000, guests can stay at the Nell's 2,000 square foot Pfeiffer Suite, get transported to and from the Aspen airport in private Audi SUVs, and then whisked away to Silverton, four and a half hours away by car in the San Juan range near Telluride, for a full day of guided heli skiing. After recharging with a picnic lunch put together by the Nell's executive chef and shredding some of the Lower 48's gnarliest terrain for the afternoon, guests are flown back to Aspen in time for dinner at the Nell's new restaurant, Element 47, for a meal paired with 1985 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti "Richebourg" wine, goes for up to $3,700 a bottle.
? Of course, no ski vacation will earn bigger bragging rights than the one in which you rent your own European ski village. Starting at $60,000 a night, entire villages including Switzerland's Engelberg, Alpbach in Austria - even the nation of Liechtenstein - can be rented by a single whale for themselves and their entourage. Guests are welcomed to the village by the village brass band and the mayor, who presents them with the key to the city. The entire village can be branded and whales can even temporarily rename the streets after themselves, family members, or their favorite stocks. They can introduce their own currency, cut lift lines, heck, even reserve entire lifts and slopes for themselves! Nothing is better for the mind, body, and ego.