V.I.P: Those three golden letters that can elevate pretty much any experience from meh to memorable. But there are a select few experiences—available only to a select few—that take the concept of “VIP” treatment to entirely another level. From sports events to music festivals to fine dining, we’ve curated the most lavish, over-the-top VIP packages from around the world to see how the one-percenters live…and frivolously blow their cash.
SUPERLATIVE: The World’s Most Expensive Restaurant
WHAT PUSHES IT OVER THE TOP: Ibiza: Land of epic parties, glimmering beaches, and the beautiful people. (No, really.) Oh, and it’s also the setting of the world’s most obscenely priced restaurant, Sublimotion, housed inside the shiny new Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza. First introduced in June 2014, Sublimotion accepts just 12 guests nightly—all of whom shell out €1,500 (around $1,667 USD) for a 20-course tasting menu dreamed up by double Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero.
What’s the return on that investment? Picture dinner theatre in its most lavish incarnation. For Roncero, all the world’s a stage—and nowhere moreso than his own dining room. Designed to engage all the senses, the trippy three-hour experience isn’t just about fine dining, but also carefully choreographed sights, smells, and even temperatures. 360-degree wall and table projections transport diners everywhere from orchards to oceans, and in June, Samsung Gear virtual reality glasses were added into the mix to amp up the experience even more.
“It’s a radically different show that you can only live for yourself,” says Roncero in this preview video.
The food follows suit. Courses blend avant-garde gastronomy and optical illusions; think white chocolate foie gras donuts entering the room on mini-hot air balloons and levitating cakes atop spinning CDs. For cocktail aficionados, one course involves mixing test tubes into a bubbling beaker. The result? A self-mixing Bloody Mary.
Of course, it takes a village to bring something this ambitious to life—according to Sublimotion’s website, Roncero enlisted a team of chefs, designers, engineers, illusionists, set designers, architects, choreographers, and screenwriters. (Not to mention the nightly staff of 27, which creates an almost two-to-one ratio of servers to guests.) The restaurant is only open from June to September, which gives diehard foodies eight months out of the year to save up and see for themselves.