(credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

15 Hotels with Exclusive Helicopter/Plane Experiences

Apr. 25th, 2024

To fully appreciate the beauty of a certain locale, sometimes it is best to view from above. Soaring high above in a helicopter or plane, the few who are not afraid of heights, are afforded stunning topographical views of the land below, which put the location in full perspective. For the adventurous out there, these 15 luxury properties offer exclusive helicopter or plane experiences that will literally elevate your stay to new heights.

(credit: Tourism & Events Queensland)

Situated on the northernmost part of Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia, qualia is a jewel of the Whitsundays. Surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef, the property demonstrates how ultimate luxury and sustainability can co-exist, providing guests with the opportunity to relax in a hideaway as the resort offers 60 elegant and private Pavilions with a mix of tropical bushland and sea views and the Beach House with a single bedroom with lap pool for secluded stays.

Guests can experience unprecedented access to the iconic Heart Reef lagoon (called such due to its reef which is shaped like a heart) in the Great Barrier Reef with their unique helicopter experience, Journey to Heart Island for two. Guests will take a short 30-minute helicopter flight seeing Whitehaven Beach and the expansive Great Barrier Reef from above and land on Heart Island for a tour and spend time exploring the incredible lagoon, snorkeling and a futuristic glass-bottom boat ride around Heart Reef. Also included in the package is dinner one evening at the resort, a la carte breakfast daily, 24-hour chauffeur service, VIP return Hamilton Island airport/marina transfers and more. With a three-night minimum, prices start at AU$ 8,094 in qualia’s Leeward Pavilion and AU$ 11,634 in its Winward Pavilion.


Situated on the bank of the River Talek, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge offers guests a unique base to discover the Masai Mara National Reserve. The lodge features 20 tents with private terraces overlooking the river along with a restaurant, lounge bar, swimming pool, spa, and a large outdoor terrace and fire pit area that will host traditional Masai dance shows in the evenings. Along with being the only luxury lodge within the Mara National Reserve, the property offers helicopter rides and scenic flights that offer unique perspectives of the savannah and its abundant wildlife below.

Helicopter rides (prices start at $1,300) provide a lower altitude viewing to spot the Big Five in their natural habitats as well as close-up views of the Mara & Talek Rivers, which may include sightings of crocodiles and hippos. Scenic flights (prices start at $9,000) are also offered and are great for photography enthusiasts looking for a stable and unobstructed vantage point for capturing stunning wildlife and landscape photographs. These over-the-top experiences can be tailored to other areas and captivating locales to transform a regular safari into a spectacular airborne adventure.

(credit: Visit Costa Rica)

Böëna Wilderness Lodges operates four lodges in Pacuare, Osa Peninsula, Monteverde and Tortuguero, allowing guests to experience true Pura Vida in the tropical forest of Costa Rica. Whether on the banks of the rushing Pacuare River or in the heights of the cloud forests of Monteverde, these five unique sites blend luxury with adventure, creating an intimate environment for guests to relax or take advantage of the dazzling surroundings. For those who want to experience three of Costa Rica’s most unique eco-lodges located in the country’s most exotic destinations, The Böëna Ultimate Costa Rica Discovery Package (prices start at $5,112/person) affords guests to explore Costa Rica’s phenomenal wilderness.

But for those who want to spend less time on the road, add two XPLORE AIR by Böëna private charter flights (additional $2,778/person) to your Ultimate Discovery Package for a full luxury immersion. Start with whitewater rafting on the mighty Pacuare River and stay at Pacuare lodge, nestled deep within the rainforest. You are then whisked away via the Cessna Caravan aircraft and a private boat ride to the quiet river canals in Tortuguero National Park and stay at Tortuga Lodge. Lastly, you take your chartered flight to explore the enchanting rainforests and pristine beaches of the Osa Peninsula at the stellar Lapa Rios Rainforest Lodge. Along with domestic flights from Tortuguero to San José and to Puerto Jiménez, ground transportation between destinations and the luxurious properties is included in the package.

(credit: Catie Viox)

Hotel Versailles is a newly constructed modern retreat with a heritage dating back to the late 1800s. At the intersection of Center and Main in downtown Versailles, Ohio, the full-service hotel features 30 boutique guestrooms and suites, chef-driven and sustainably sourced food at its restaurant, Silas and a full-service event space, 1819 Room. Recently launched, the hotel partnered with Chicago based luxury private aviation company Triumph Jets for the kickoff of AmuseAir, a new luxury transportation concept being introduced in the Chicago market. This roundtrip service will provide Chicago consumers a fantastic weekend getaway opportunity and enjoy a luxurious ride to and from the property.

Guests can choose from two service options which board in Chicago and will land at Darke County FBO (KVES), a short two miles from downtown Versailles. First is its Overnight Package which is available for four to fourteen guests and includes dinner at Silas, overnight accommodations and a welcome amenity in each guestroom, while the Same Day Dinner Experience presents a welcome cocktail, four-course a la carte dinner service or six-course Chef Tasting menu and an exclusive send-off gift. Pricing for the weekend packages starts at $10,000 and the same-day package starts at $8,000 depending on the size of the party.

(credit: Brandon Cole, courtesy of Tordrillo Mountain Lodge)

Resting on the private Judd Lake, Alaska's premier luxury adventure resort, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, provides exclusive helicopter experiences in both summer and winter. Just a 40-minute flight from Anchorage, the resort is a remote, multi-sport, luxury lodge where outdoor adventures by day give way to top-notch accommodations at night. As the resort partners with aviation companies for both a private Otter plane and private helicopter, each excursion is completely exclusive. Their summer packages start at $8,950/person for a three-night minimum stay and include transportation from Anchorage via private plane.

Included as well are multiple heli-excursions (from fly fishing to exclusive wildlife sightings at several national parks to Alaska’s first via ferrata, a tethered climbing route 1,000 feet above a glacier), unlimited lodge activities, one massage, outfitted and expert-guided adventures as well as all meals. In the winter, the package is $18,000/person for a seven night memorable stay surrounded by more than one million acres of Alaska skiing terrain. Along with round trip transportation from Anchorage via private flight, guests enjoy seven days of heli-skiing adventures, use of sauna, hot tub, cross country skis, snowshoes and fat tire bikes, as well as outfitted and expert-guided adventures and all meals.

(credit: Tropic Ocean Airways)

Lake House on Canandaigua is a lakefront luxury resort located in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region along Canandaigua Lake. From the handmade furniture, luxurious linens, and spa-like bathrooms in the rooms and suites, sustainability and a commitment to eco-conscious practices are front and center at the property. New York City dwellers can trade the concrete jungle for adventures in the Finger Lakes in just 90 minutes, with a seaplane package that will have travelers soaking up the region's sights and sounds in no time.

Their Tropic Ocean Airways Package (priced at $16,500 for two people) provides a stress-free transportation private charter between the East River in New York City and the Finger Lakes. Along with private plane transportation from New York City to The Lake House on Canandaigua, guests will receive luxury accommodations for two nights, a Finger Lakes bottle of wine and charcuterie on arrival and guaranteed early check-in. There is a two-night minimum stay to book and guests must call Tropic Ocean Airways 954-210-5569, or email to confirm flight details.

(credit: Bernardus Lodge & Spa)

On 28 acres of rolling vineyards, orchards and gardens in Carmel Valley, Bernardus Lodge & Spa is a luxurious intimate escape featuring 73 guest rooms, suites and villas. Just a one-and-a-half hour drive from San Jose International Airport, the resort is surrounded by the picturesque Santa Lucia mountain range and just minutes from the coast.

For those looking to make the most of this majestic wine country, Bernardus offers its 'Wine in the Sky' package (prices start at $2,755/night), an experiential, epicurean escape that includes a scenic helicopter tour for two followed by a private wine tasting and lunch at the resort's signature dining experience, Lucia Restaurant & Bar. During the dining experience, guests will be presented with pairings that feature the property's private wine label, Bernardus Wines, that uses grapes grown on property.

(credit: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection)

Nestled along the dramatic Kohala Coast and in the piko, or center, of five great mountains, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection is spread out across 32 acres including 295 rooms, 38 suites and five private bungalows and a 6,000 square-foot estate. Mauna Lani, meaning “mountain reaching heaven”, is set on soulful lands once cherished by the greatest of Hawaiian royalty marked by royal fishponds, lush tropical gardens and an alluring beach to catch the sunset.

For those looking for an experience up in the air on the Island of Hawaii, the hotel offers their Cultural Helicopter Tour - 'Tales of Hawaii, From Above' ($15,000 for up to five guests). Offered exclusively with local helicopter partner, Paradise Helicopter, guests will learn the island's fascinating history as you soar over the turquoise ocean, jet-black lava plains and five-storied mountains and an epic picnic near a hidden waterfall - a remote location only accessible by air.

(credit: SB Winemaker's House & Spa Suites)

SB Winemaker's House & Spa Suites is set within the family’s former home in the Mendoza suburb of Chacras de Coria, Susana Balbo and her daughter Ana Lovaglio Balbo, have opened a wellness-centric seven-room hotel. The property offers a peek into one of the leading wine-making families' Spanish-style properties located just a short distance away from the Susana Balbo Winery. Along with their culinary, spa and wine experiences on site, they offer day trips as well as overnight safaris via Vision Air. Guests who want to literally experience wine at new heights, guests board a private seaplane, fully equipped with high-end technology and ultimate comfort and can choose from four different wine safaris (prices start at $1,500).

The Los Andes From Above Day Tour takes guests over natural reservoirs, crystalline salt flats and dazzling water to an oasis in the middle of the desert and enjoy a luxurious meal designed especially for you in La Rivera hidden paradise. There is also the Esteros Del Iberá: A Wild Experience in a Natural Paradise with accommodation in the only Eco Lodge within the Iberá National Park, night safari, horseback riding and more; Argentinian Patagonia: The Splendor of Lakes, Forests, and Mountains, All In One Place and the with accommodations or tours in private ranches and landing on several lakes; and Cafayate From The Roots To The Sky where Susana Balbo began her wine career in Cafayate.

(credit: RedTail Air)

Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection in Telluride, Colorado features 83 rooms and 71 residences and is surrounded on three sides by the dramatic 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Along with their ski-in/ski-out access in town, slope side Ski Valet and Alpine Swim Club featuring a heated outdoor swimming pool, hot tubs, fire pits and al fresco lounge, the property offers their Scenic Flight In Moab, UT (pricing is available upon request for groups up to nine people). 

Following a short private flight from Telluride, passengers will be taken over Westwater Canyon for an adventure that will deepen guests’ connection to the natural world. Guests will soar above the canyons and rivers in Moab on a private scenic flight over Arches and Canyonlands National Park with RedTail Air and enjoy a chef’s prepared lunch and curated beverage menu while spending the day hiking and fly fishing. The private and exclusive trip includes a private boat or 4x4 to escape to a one-of-a-kind lunch location and a string quartet is also available upon request.

(credit: Grande Lakes Orlando)

Grande Lakes Orlando is home to two premier hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lake across a sprawling 500-acres. Experiences available to Grande Lakes Orlando guests include: caviar and wine tastings, eco tours, spa trunk shows, luxury car drives and more depending on the season. They also recently announced their Kennedy Space Center Helicopter Tour (begins at $2,500 per guest, with a minimum group of four) which takes guests via a state-of-the-art EC-130 helicopter, directly to the iconic Kennedy Space Center. The one-day concierge-guided adventure expedition with Galactic Medallion from Grande Lakes Orlando combines the thrill of a helicopter ride with the excitement of exploring the cosmos. 

The fully customizable tour includes an in-sky adventure, private tour of NASA facilities and KSC Visitors’ Complex, a Shuttle Launch Experience, a tour of the Rocket Garden and more. This journey also invites guests to an exclusive luncheon venue for panoramic views of the Indian River and KSC, where they will have the opportunity to hear from a guest speaker and cheers the day with a farewell champagne toast for a successful mission.

(credit: Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel)

Between Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps in Rome, Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel blends classical with cosmopolitan in the Eternal City. From the property’s Secret Garden, to its well-appointed guest rooms and romantic dinners at Stravinskij Bar or Le Jardin de Russie restaurant, the property is within walking distance from the Trevi Fountain and high-end shopping and classic cafes. Along with a jogging tour of Rome’s landmarks and a lavish wellness program, they also offer four helicopter experiences that can be booked as single trips or combined to create a picturesque route. For guests looking to step back in time, their Pompeii (€13,000) excursion discovers the Pompeii UNESCO World Heritage Site ancient ruins, starting with a one-hour flight to Pompei, before a four-hour guided visit of the Pompeii excavations on foot. 

Their Rome in Close-Up (€2,300 for 30 minutes or €3,800 for 60 minutes) tour takes guests over the famous Altare della Patria, the green gardens of the Villa Borghese or the Ancient Roman Aqueduct park. Next is their Roman Castles and Villas (€3,800) heli-tour which takes guests on a 45-minute journey over the verdant hills of the Roman Castles. The fourth tour is the 30-minute Bracciano Lake (€2,300) excursion which flies over Rome's historic city center towards the town of Bracciano and its famous lake.

(credit: Aero)

The 134-year-old historic landmark, boasts luxurious, contemporary accommodations featuring 99 rooms and suites in the heart of Aspen. From the popular J-Bar to their other five dining establishments on property, Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection also features a spa and ski concierge. For those looking to arrive in style, the hotel partnered with Aero for the Aero x Hotel Jerome Travel Experience, with flights starting at $975 one-way.

Departing from a private terminal in Los Angeles travelers can enjoy memorable mountainside experiences, including upscale accommodations, nature excursions, acclaimed dining and world-class shopping. Included in the experience is complimentary valet parking for up to four days at Aero’s Los Angeles (VNY) private airport terminal ground transportation from Aero's private terminal at the Aspen (ASE) airport as well as access to preferred seating at Hotel Jerome’s restaurants and bars.

(credit: Prestige Wings)

ORIGINS Lodge is an elegant eco-lodge overlooking the Higueron Valley, surrounded by lagoons and a lush rainforest, where guests have a unique opportunity to experience pura vida. Guests are fully immersed in the sights and sounds of the high valley jungle of Costa Rica’s wondrous northern rainforest, ideal for a personal retreat or romantic getaway. Nestled amidst 111 acres of private rainforest jungle, the property features six lodges which are designed to mirror an indigenous Cali (casa) as well as a three-room villa accommodating up to six guests.

The options at the lodge are endless, from waterfall hikes to indulging in high-quality gourmet cuisine with French and Costa Rican flavors with produce from the on-site garden, spa treatments and more. They also offer their Majestic Volcanoes package ($9,624 including flight from or to SJO and $10,229  including flight from or to Liberia) inclusive of a three-night/four-day stay, all meals, on-site activities, sightseeing options and VIP service at the airport to speed the departure or landing. Rates valid from June to November 2024. and for more information contact

(credit: The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail)

Nestled in the heart of the majestic Rocky Mountains, The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail is located at the base of Vail Mountain, just steps from the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Featuring 344 rooms, 22 suites and 16 luxurious residences, guests are afforded to dine at four brand-new culinary concepts or indulge a day of wellness at the signature Well & Being Spa. Due to its location, visitors can enjoy countless activities year-around from skiing to biking to exploring the cobblestone streets of Lionshead and Vail Village and other adventurous experiences. 

Through the property’s unique partnership with Adventure IO, thrill-seeking guests can partake in a once-in-a-lifetime experience heli skiing with an Olympian (priced at $10,275) in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Led by Anna Lisa Drew, a professional freestyle and halfpipe skier who lives in Colorado and has represented the U.S. in two Olympic games, travelers will meet at the Eagle Airport where they will fly to Telluride on a private Cessna plane. When the group arrives, they will be shuttled from Telluride Regional Airport to the helicopter for a day of adventure and powder skiing. Powder skis, poles, avalanche equipment and lunch are all included.

Jarone Ashkenazi

Jarone Ashkenazi is a seasoned writer who covers: travel, luxury items and other lifestyle topics. View more work at Connect with him on Twitter at @JaroneAsh ...(Read More)