Where the world's richest people spend their holidays

Down Angle Symbol A symbol in the form of an angle pointing downwards. Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were spotted in Aspen, Colorado last December. The ski area is one of the most popular holiday destinations for the super-rich. BG041/Bauer Griffin

  • Many people spend the holidays at home with friends or family.
  • The richest people in the world are now flying to ski resorts, second homes and holiday resorts.
  • Here are some of the most popular holiday destinations for the super-rich.

There may be no better place to vacation than a home away from home – or a luxury chalet in Gstaad, a yacht off St. Barth’s or a $3,000-a-night hotel in the Caribbean.

Some of the world’s richest people are choosing to spend Christmas Day at home, several wealth experts tell Business Insider, although often not at their primary residence.

Whether it’s a ranch in Wyoming or a beachfront villa on Martha’s Vineyard, they try to head to their biggest gathering spot, Nicole Pollard Bayme, founder of luxury styling and shopping company Lalaluxe, told BI.

“A lot of people build big houses in Aspen for this very reason – so the whole family can spend time together,” she said. “Every gift under the sun has flown in, already under the tree before it gets there.”

According to Wealth-X, Colorado ski resorts have the highest concentration of ski resorts worth $30 million or more in the U.S., one for every 67 residents, and billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Michael Dell have been spotted there.

Other popular ski resorts in the U.S. include Tahoe and Vail, says Winston Chesterfield, the founder of Barton, a consulting firm that focuses on luxury and the wealthy.

In Europe, Gstaad and Verbier in Switzerland; Kitzbühel in Austria, famous for its annual alpine ski race; and Courchevel in the French Alps in 1850. The latter is known to host VIPs such as David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John and Prince William and Kate Middleton.

“They like to go to places where there is an established city with established, world-class destinations,” Chesterfield said of the super-rich. For example, Kitzbühel has a branch of the Japanese restaurant Zuma and Courcheval has a branch of the luxury hotel Cheval Blanc.

For those who prefer the warmth – or want to plan a week at the beach to thaw out after hitting the slopes – the Caribbean remains a popular destination, whether by land or sea.

Jumby Bay, a resort in Antigua where Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson reportedly have homes Scott Phares/Getty Images

St. Barth’s, a particularly popular New Year’s Eve destination, has hosted Bezos and his fiancée Lauren Sanchez, and has also hosted the yachts of billionaires David Geffen, Barry Diller and his wife Diane Von Furstenberg, Sergey Brin and Bernard Arnault spotted on its coast.

Others choose a specific resort and flock there year after year.

“They don’t want to do anything,” Chesterfield said. “They want to be served, they want to be cared for.”

Jumby Bay, a resort town in Antigua where Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson reportedly have homes, is a popular spot. Rooms there start at $2,700 a night, although billionaires are likely to splurge on $13,300 a night at the mansion. Another popular option is the Aman in the Dominican Republic, whose rooms range from $2,900 to $4,200 per night.

On the other side of the warm-weather equation is Africa, a popular destination for both couples and families, Elisabeth Brown, a New York-based client manager at travel and lifestyle concierge company Knightsbridge, told BI.

The rich rent private villas in nature reserves like Ol Jogi in Kenya or Saanane Island in Tanzania, which can cost up to $40,000 a night.

If that’s not far enough, there’s always room. As Pollard Bayme said, entering orbit is “the ultimate flex for the billionaire class.”

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