As summer makes its entrance in the Low Countries, the desire for relaxation starts to stir among many members of high society. While the past month of May already served as a pleasant preview, with people taking brief escapes and frequent business obligations taking them across borders, the summer break is the moment for affluent business families to truly indulge in a well-deserved vacation. But where do they stay?
In earlier times, when the Dutch nobility still hid behind high walls, the summer holidays of these aristocratic families were delicate affairs. With the arrival of the summer sun rays and the alluring scent of adventure in the air, they departed to their estates and country residences to enjoy a well-deserved break from worldly life.
The nobility of yesteryears withdrew to their opulent country houses, surrounded by expansive gardens and majestic fountains. Here, far away from the hustle and bustle of the court and the demands of society, they chose a life of tranquility and elegance. While the attentive staff packed their suitcases with silk dresses and tailored suits, they set off for idyllic destinations.
Today, the wealthiest individuals on earth have discovered new destinations to relax and flaunt their prosperity. Instead of their estates in the Netherlands, they now follow the call of exotic destinations and breathtaking coastlines around the world. These modern jet-setters travel to the corners of the earth, where the sun casts its most seductive rays on luxurious havens.
From the Maldives to the Caribbean, from the French Riviera to a Spanish party island called Ibiza, they land their private jets on tarmacs that sparkle with unprecedented luxury. Why? It's the exclusivity of the experience. As the sunset sets the horizon ablaze, they dance the night away on yachts equipped with champagne fountains and banquets rivaling the banquet hall of Versailles. They savor gourmet delights prepared by the most renowned chefs while adorning their bodies in custom-designed couture.
The modern summer of the wealthy is a fusion of decadence and refinement. They let themselves be carried away by waves of pleasure, surrendering to the delights of life and the opportunity to showcase their wealth. While they bask in this abundance of luxury resorts and private yachts, the question arises: are these destinations still as exclusive as they claim to be? In a world where new wealth quickly emerges and the old aristocracy fights to maintain its status, the gap between old money and new money becomes increasingly evident.
An example? Take the picturesque Saint-Tropez, an oasis of relaxation on the French Riviera and the refuge of the old money elite. However, nowadays Saint-Tropez is also known for its abundance of super yachts, powered by fuel engines that anchor off the coast of Saint-Tropez, appearing as sleek and certainly not always unattractive flat irons. While the focus used to be primarily on the classic wooden sailing yachts that exuded the spirit of carpe diem, it is clear that the flat irons of the nouveau riche have also claimed their spot. Although the classic image has certainly not disappeared, it is undeniable that modern super yachts have made their mark. The blend of traditional class and contemporary luxury reflects the evolution of this iconic destination, where old and new money come together and embrace each other in a world where status and extravagance are highly regarded.
In conclusion, while the nouveau riche is gaining ground and triumphing especially in cities like Dubai, there are special situations, such as Saint-Tropez, where old and new money still coexist, albeit in a delicate balance as seen in Monaco as well. However, places like Como remain a safe haven for the upper class, where etiquettes are respected. Here, time stands still, and the villas still exude the grandeur and traditions of times long gone.