The devil is in the detail when it comes to one of the latest superyachts to hit the market, says Lydia Gard
For a charterer dipping their first toe in the water, it’s pretty daunting to see just how many boats are out there for your perusal. A quick flick on YachtCharterFleet.com reveals thousands of superyachts of every conceivable style: from slick, minimalist carbon fibre hulls to solid, steel explorers, each designed with the end user in mind. Unless you’re a staunch landlubber, there’s a superyacht out there to meet your exact needs.
And, contrary to the constant doom mongering about the global economy, according to Boat International, ‘from January to December 2015, there has been €3.01 billion in superyacht transactions’. No small figure. In charter particularly, 2015 felt much like the old market where, if you didn’t plan ahead or were hoping to brave it and maybe land yourself a hefty last-minute knock down, you were left with slim pickings or no available yachts at all.
But let’s say, like me, you desire the sort of no-holds-barred luxury that you only get in the best suite in the very best boutique hotels – and you have a cool €220,000 to drop on a week’s charter in the Med this summer – look no further than newcomer and frontrunner in the charter ranks, MY The Wellesley.
The sister ship of London’s boutique hotel The Wellesley, itself known for its exacting Art Deco style interiors and decadent 1920s atmosphere, the new yacht is a seamless extension of the hotel. At 184ft, she was custom built in the Netherlands by Oceanco and has just completed a comprehensive refit by Sunrise Yachts in Turkey – a country that currently builds a third of new superyachts globally.
When MY The Wellesley launched at MYBA yacht show in Genoa this May, she received the highest accolade, the Best Boat in Show award, and it’s little wonder, because her design stands apart from the crowd.
Interior designer Dennis Irvine, of Dennis Irvine Studios, was responsible for the concept and delivery of both the yacht and the hotel interiors. ‘We wanted to create interiors that evoked a sophisticated sense of modern luxury with distinct acknowledgement of the 1920s design aesthetic.’
From the bespoke furniture to the black and white portrait gallery, the consistent ’20s styling and crisp hotel linen, when you’re on board MY The Wellesley you could easily be in the hotel, the only difference being the ever-changing backdrop of bays and beaches framed by the yacht windows.
Unsurprisingly for owners (and charterers) at this level, the devil is in the detail. The yacht has the hotel’s smoky palette of silver grey and blue in the fabrics – a bit of linen, a lot of velvet with contrast piping – against cherry wood, punctuated by burnished metal lamps and custom bronze furniture. Each of the expansive bathrooms has been designed individually, but everything – from the bath towels and robes to the Hermès amenities – is consistent with the hotel.
Sleeping 12 guests in six cabins (all en suite), none feel like the short straw. But if you’re the one putting the deposit down, you’ll want to opt for the full beam Master Suite on the lower deck.Here, leather panelling, rich mahogany and bronze detailing set the tone, and the sumptuous en suite is decked out with hand-selected Arabescato Corchia marble from Carrara in Italy, creating a cossetting, spa-like space.
But, let’s face it, when you are in the Med in summer, you’ll spend most of your time on deck. Dutch designer Cor D Rover has thought that through. The exterior boasts the largest open deck space of any 56m on the water, with more than 40m of space to entertain family and friends as well as a vast beach club that opens onto the water. There’s even a netted saltwater pool. On the sundeck, the spill pool is fringed by a huge crash pad: the social epicentre of the yacht. If you want some privacy to read a good book, there are several places to slip away to, from sunpads to Dedon sofas and Indian Ocean loungers, so that guests can be as social or as private as they wish.
But while the yacht has certainly been designed with charterers in mind, the owner’s personal passion for fine cigars dictates the upper deck. A vast custom-designed humidor holds a connoisseur’s selection of the world’s finest cigars to be enjoyed in the Club Lounge or connecting outdoor smoking deck. Yours is a Montecristo, Cohiba, or limited edition Bolivar paired with cognac, which the stewardesses are well versed to advise on.