Aiglon Summer School. ’Nuff said.
This is no ordinary camp. It’s THE camp—a two-week program(me) on our mountain for children and teens (ages 8–17). The agenda includes language learning, all sorts of outdoor and indoor activities, and frolicking through the Alps. BTW: Where was that Aiglon banana boat when we were in school? (see the video on the Summer School Information Page). Donated by Aiglon College.
A Luxury Six-Bedroom Villa in Bali
You just have to see it to believe it—your own six-bedroom luxury villa overlooking the crystal water of the Lombok Strait. Beautifully appointed rooms. A personal staff. And a private infinity pool and beach. This Siri Mendira Beach Villa is the nec plus ultra on an island that Trip Advisor calls “a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy.” For more info click here. Donated by Siri Müller Preststulen. Value: One week—US$10,500
Hanging out with Giant Sequoias
It turns out that Nipper von Wiesenberger has a ranch in Springville, Tulare County, California, just outside Sequoia National Forest. Who knew? Anyway, he’s offered to let some lucky bidder(s) stay there for a week to stand tall in the redwood forests, chill, and enjoy the spectacular scenery. The cabin sleeps six, with three bedrooms and two bedrooms. Since Nipper is not in the hospitality business (that we know of) this item is reserved for Aiglon alumni only. Blackout dates: the first week in August.
Golf at Beaverbrook
You may have heard about Beaverbrook House (https://beaverbrook.co.uk/), the former estate of Lord Beaverbrook, in the Surrey Hills near London. Today, the house and 400-acre property have been converted into a luxury hotel, restaurant, and spa. But did you know there’s an eponymous private golf course right next door? No? Not surprising. Its members prefer that their select club keep a low profile. But make no mistake, Beaverbrook is golfing at its best. The extraordinary course is ranked among the finest in the world. Designed by David McLay Kidd and eight-time major champion Tom Watson, no expense was spared to construct this 7,104-yard parkland-cum-downland masterpiece. Jonathan Fackelmayer has generously donated a four-ball at Beaverbrook to the Aiglon auction this summer. So, as Carl the greenskeeper (Bill Murray) in Caddyshack would say, we’ve got that goin’ for us, which is nice! But it will be even nicer for the high bidder. Bidding restricted to Aiglon alumni. Value: Priceless
Two Nights at Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge in Swaziland
“Rod de Vletter, I presume?”
Looking for something off the beaten path? Something truly extraordinary? Bingo! Run by Aiglon alum Rod de Vletter and his wife, Lungille, the Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge is situated in a spectacular nature preserve in the mountains of northwest Swaziland, surrounded by dramatic waterfalls and lush natural forests. It’s a favorite destination for discerning travelers and nature lovers seeking a romantic or reinvigorating sanctuary in a strikingly beautiful natural setting. The Ecolodge was designed to enhance every guest’s experience exploring the area’s remarkable ecosystem and also to achieve the aims articulated in their motto: “Peace, Privacy, Paradise.” For more information, click here.
A Weekend at the Ermitage de l’Oasis, near Cannes, on the Côte d’Azur
There are hotels, and then there’s… this: a truly extraordinary retreat overlooking the Med.
We know a picture’s worth a thousand words. So you get the idea. Click here for the TripAdvisor review. And here’s the hotel website, en français. Your all-inclusive weekend for two comes with dinner at the Michelin one-star Oasis restaurant and a round of golf at the nearby Riviera Golf de Barbossi. It’s a week-end de rêve in the south of France! Donated by Akram Safa. To register to bid, click here.
Serious Winter Fun in Alta, Utah
Spend a week in a fabulous condo in the Village at Sugarplum in Alta/Snowbird, Utah—just a short walk from the lifts. Season after season, Alta has some of the best snow in the world, and you can’t beat the ambience. To check out all the details, click here. Donated by Nick Besobrasov and Gerald Taylor.
Two Nights & Dinner for Two at Auberge Saint-Antoine: A Boutique Hotel in the Heart of Old Québec City
Here’s a fabulous escape in Québec City—a two-night stay in a “luxe” room at Auberge Saint-Antoine plus breakfast and dinner for two at the hotel’s restaurant, Chez Muffy. The package includes a walking tour of the city with Evan Price (Aiglon ’75), gratuities, and taxes. The Auberge Saint-Antoine provides an exceptionally warm, convivial atmosphere in one of the most charming cities in North America. Throughout your stay, you’ll be treated to authentic hospitality, boutique accommodations, farm-to-fork dining, and more.
Steeped in rich history, the hotel is a member of Relais & Châteaux association, providing contemporary amenities and conveniences in Québec City’s historic Old Port.
Two nights, breakfast and dinner for two (excluding drinks) plus a walking tour of the city. Value: CA$1,377 (about US$1,030). Donated by Evan Price. To register to bid, click here.
Wagner and Five-Star Accommodations
Now here’s something wirklich Besonderes: a chance to grab tickets to a celebrated six-hour opera and one night in a five-star hotel room. Bid on two premium tickets to see Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at this summer’s (July 31) Munich Opera Festival plus a one-night stay in a “superior room” at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof (check it out HERE), It’s just a short walking distance from the opera house. (The plot: a woman is promised to the winner of a singing competition. A knight, Walther, who has fallen madly in love with her, struggles to enter the contest and win. Does he or doesn’t he? You’ll have to see.) If you love Wagner, or amazing cultural experiences, or if you really want to impress a date/partner, you should bid on this. For that matter, if you have a child or grandchild who has never seen a Wagnerian opera, you should bid on this. The late Delaware housemaster Robert “Bertie” Boas, who used to write liner notes for London/Decca Wagnerian recordings, surely would be all over it. Donated by Elisabeth van de Grampel. To read more about this extraordinary getaway package, click here.
Margutta 19. Five-star Accommodations and Dinner for Two in Rome
“Rome. By all means, Rome!” —Audrey Hepburn (Princess Anne) in Roman Holiday [that also starred Oscar-winning Aiglon dad and granddad Gregory Peck]
So, what’s OMG in Italian? Check out Margutta 19, a luxury boutique hotel on—you guessed it—the via Margutta, in Rome’s historic center. Owned and managed by Aiglon alum Alberto Moncada di Paternò, this elegant property sits across the street from [legendary filmmaker] Federico Fellini’s old apartment, just a stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps. Here’s what Condé Nast Traveller had to say about it:
“Arches and patterned floor tiles, flowers stood so perfectly in their vases they must be on the payroll, and a golden light falling just right on the cobbles outside. Nothing is left to chance in Margutta 19. Even dust doesn’t fall where it’s not supposed to. Let’s make no bones about it, Margutta 19 is an expensive hotel, but it works hard to make itself worth the price, and the guests expect nothing less.”
Dinner is at the hotel’s award-winning gourmet restaurant, Assaggia, managed by Michelin-starred chef Angelo Troiani.
You can find the Margutta 19 website HERE.
One night in a luxury suite and dinner for two. Value: €700. Donated by Alberto Moncada.
A Guided Tour of CERN, in Geneva
Anybody can take a tour of CERN (the largest particle physics laboratory in the world), but not like this one—unless he or she has connections. And we just happen to have one of the best connections available: Aiglon parent and distinguished particle physics pioneer Dr. Tejinder Virdee. He is best known for originating the concept of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) with several colleagues and has been referred to as one of the “founding fathers” of the ambitious project. The CMS, attached to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is a “detector” capable of taking forty-million phenomenally detailed images every second, taking you back to a time moments after the Big Bang! It proved to be instrumental in confirming the existence of the Higgs boson. You can read more about Dr. Virdee HERE.
Tejinder has offered to lead a group of up to ten people through the famous Geneva complex, including a look inside cathedral-sized experiment caverns 100m underground, where the 17-mile (27-km)-long LHC lives. This is a unique opportunity, even if you know diddly about particle physics. CERN is a place where some of the best minds in the world are working together to unlock several of the universe’s most challenging mysteries. (BTW: It’s the lab where the World Wide Web was invented.) A visit to the laboratory should be on your European bucket list. Donated by Dr. Tejinder Virdee. Value: Priceless.
Dinner for Four at the Palazzo Borghese
For a Roman experience that money can’t buy (until now), bid on dinner for four at the Circolo della Caccia, Rome’s most exclusive private club, in the magnificent Palazzo Borghese (not to be confused with the Villa Borghese: a complex of museums and attractions situated in a large park). Suitably attired guests will join hosts Paolo Borghese and Alessandro Corsini for drinks before sitting down to enjoy an extraordinary meal, accompanied by wines from some of Italy’s finest vineyards, many owned by club members. More guests may be included at the purchaser’s expense (US$ 200 per person). Register to bid on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in arguably the world’s greatest cultural capital. Donated by Alessandro Corsini and Paolo Borghese. Value: Priceless. (Bidding restricted exclusively to Aiglonians)
Two Nights Glamping in South Africa
So, what is “glamping”? It’s a relatively new portmanteau used to denote a holiday experience where awe-inspiring nature and outdoor adventure meet [at least some, if not many] modern comforts. It’s a way to experience the untamed and unique parts of the world without having to sacrifice creature comforts—think of it as camping with beds, kitchen, and a bathroom. But, like an Aiglon long-ex, you have to bring your own provisions. Honeywood Farm, about three hours (280km) from Cape Town, has been in the Moodie family since 1817. Situated at the base of the Langeberg Mountains, it borders the wild, spectacular Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. Honeywood is a nature lover's paradise, offering hiking, mountain biking, birding, horseback riding, and swimming in rivers and pools, all in a tranquil and secure environment. Aiglonian John Moodie and his wife have donated two nights at Woody’s Cottage, one of several “cabins” on the property. It’s equipped with just about everything but electricity. What fun! You really ought to consider extending your stay. If you’re flying in from outside South Africa, John can tell you how to get there—and what else you might want to see. Here is the Honeywood website. Donated by John and Miranda Moodie.
Two tickets to see La Bohème at the Met this autumn and dinner for two at the Metropolitan Opera Club
Tickets to see Puccini’s La Bohème at the Met are enough to make for a wonderful evening. But add dinner and drinks for two at the exclusive Metropolitan Opera Club and you’re talking about a truly memorable night on the town. For those of you who may not be familiar with the club, here’s an excerpt from their website:
“Founded in 1893, the Metropolitan Opera Club is a private club located on the Dress Circle level of the Metropolitan Opera House. Our facilities include a dining room and bar and, most importantly, access to seats for just about every performance by the Metropolitan Opera. Our members come from all walks of life and, while we maintain a strict standard of dress with men in white tie and tails or tuxedos (for which we are nicknamed the penguins) and women in evening gowns, the Club's ambiance is friendly and elegant. While love of opera is the Club’s basic theme, as in all clubs, camaraderie is a key ingredient with members always ready to discuss a host of topics.