Carmelle Jensen had planned a quiet, relaxing Palm Springs weekend of pool time and taking in the surrounding Santa Rosa Mountains. Her itinerary never included the thrill of driving an Aston Martin.
But early one Saturday morning, the Salt Lake City furniture executive found herself admiring the details of a DB11 sports car — one of three models lined up at the resort’s entrance — before taking a quick spin around La Quinta, California, racing past towering palm trees.
Jensen’s unforgettable experience is one Waldorf Astoria and Aston Martin Lagonda are looking to provide more guests through a four-year global partnership.
Travel is as much about the journey as it is about the final destination, so it only made sense for the two iconic luxury brands to offer exclusive opportunities to get behind the wheel of one of the world’s most dynamic sports cars.
Through bespoke driving events taking place in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations like Palm Springs, Shanghai, Edinburgh, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Dubai, a select number of guests are paired up with a driving pro and learn about Aston Martin as they steer one of the brand’s newest vehicles through the city.
Each scenic drive is meant to bring the area surrounding one of six Waldorf Astoria resorts to life, while educating drivers on what makes Aston Martin’s Vantage, DB11 and DBS Superleggera world-class vehicles on the road.
In Las Vegas, for example, participants will make their way down the city’s famous Strip of casinos and attractions from the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. In Atlanta, you’ll explore the beautiful homes and green spaces surrounding the Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead.
In Shanghai, drivers will depart from the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund and take in the gleaming skyscrapers of Pudong, while steering their Aston Martin along the Huangpu River.
The individual driving experiences are offered from April to November, and can be booked through the personal concierge on site at each individual resort where the events are taking place.
ART OF LIVING
More elaborate Art of Living itineraries combine Michelin-starred cuisines and cultural experiences through all-inclusive packages in France, China, Italy and Dubai, with guests staying at Waldorf Astoria resorts.
And with Waldorf Astoria serving as the official hotel sponsor of Aston Martin Racing, fans of the brands will receive exclusive behind-the-scenes access to thrilling motorsport events like the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, in France; and Goodwood Festival of Speed, in the United Kingdom; as well as premium automotive events like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, in California.
The collaboration is meant to showcase the exceptional standards of sophistication and service that are at the heart of both brands.
“Aston Martin Lagonda was a natural choice for a partnership of this magnitude,” says Dino Michael, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton. “At Waldorf Astoria, experience and service are at the core of everything we do, and this partnership offers a rare opportunity for our guests to live unforgettable at our properties around the globe.”
It clearly left an impression on Jensen.
“It’s surprisingly more of a woman’s car than I would have imagined, and surprisingly, it’s a car I would want to own,” Jensen said enthusiastically after her ride in the DB11. “I’m going to try to convince my husband to sell his (Porsche) 911 to buy one for me.”
Jensen wasn’t the only guest that appreciated her time in an Aston Martin.
“It was fantastic,” said Los Angeles attorney Deborah Cussen. “I hadn’t driven an Aston Martin before but I’ve had other sports cars in the past. It felt like real driving. With Aston Martin, they’re a lot more exotic. You really feel like you’re driving the car.”