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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 11 months ago

The luxury skies

Admiral Travel International steps up luxury, a lot.
by: Business Observer Staff Writer

Ryan and Malaka Hilton, founders of Sarasota-based Admiral Travel International, have a reputation as a go-to source for a luxury African safari.

But amazing as these trips are, Ryan Hilton says it's long irked him that many times the air travel part of the trip doesn't match the high-end parts on the ground.

Not anymore. The Hiltons have partnered with one of the newest luxury private charters on the market, the Crystal Skye. The plane is a Boeing 777 that's been transformed into a five-star resort in the air. It includes handcrafted, fully reclining flatbed seats, a dedicated stand-up bar and social lounge and a team of Crystal Skye Butlers. There's also an executive chef on board to prepare Michelin star-inspired cuisine. “They show a complete dedication to the luxury experience,” says Ryan Hilton.

The partnership will debut in a trip planned for May 2019 in Singita, what Admiral, in a statement, calls “some of the most productive and un-crowded big-game safari areas on the continent.” Guests will arrive for the one-week safari on the Crystal Skye; the return trip is a business class ticket to the States from Johannesburg through Dubai on Etihad Airlines.

The trip comes with a price tag that befits the lavishness: $34,550 per person. The Hiltons are currently sending invites to past clients. “This was an opportunity to marry two luxury brands together,” Hilton tells Coffee Talk. “We think this will be a great fit.”

(This story was updated to reflect the correct name of the airline that takes passengers back to the United States.)

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