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  1. Luxury
February 21, 2011

Sail the good yacht Anouska Hempel

By Spear's

21 February 2011: This Summer, Dalmatian Destinations adds design doyenne Anouska Hempel’s treasured gulet, BELUGA, to its portfolio of luxury yachts available to charter in Croatia and Montenegro.

Whilst Anouska Hempel has received international acclaim for her iconic hotels, private residences and gardens, Beluga has – until now – been a well-kept secret, preserved only for use by close family and friends. This summer, Beluga will enjoy her inaugural summer in Croatia available for private charters for the first time with Dalmatian Destinations, experts in personalised sailing itineraries to this nautical playground of 1,300 pristine islands.

As one would imagine, everything about Beluga is immaculate. This 28 metre Turkish gullet has been entirely rebuilt and beautifully designed to an impeccable standard; a complete one-off. The colour scheme is of Hempel’s signature monochrome. The expansive deck space is covered in oversized cushions. The mahogany mast is dressed in dramatic black sails, and, at the stern, sweeping black drapes frame the views of the sea. Frette linen adorns her three cabins and nothing but the best bone chinaware is served at the table.

“Everything I do is influenced by the sea”, says Hempel. “I love its romance and its mystery. I especially love that time of the day, very early in the morning when the sea and the sky blend into one silvery slick. I think I would be very happy living on the back of a sardine. I just adore that silvery colour.”

It was this love of the sea that prompted the hotelier, designer and couturier to buy Beluga in 1992 (since refitted in 1997 and 2007). “I don’t know what got into me but one day I decided we just had to have a boat. I had always loved the boats in Bodrum, which they bring onto land in the winter to dry the keels. I felt sure that if we went down in October, when it was quiet and everyone’s holidays were over, we would find a beautiful old boat in need of some love and attention.”

Hempel chose Beluga as she has a lovely swing to her and was elegant, even in her original state. “She was Greek blue which I don’t like but we stripped away everything but the bare essentials, such as the mast, and took years re-building her. I was aiming for a relaxed, non-pretentious look for happy days at sea.”

It was a labour of love but one that has brought endless enjoyment and wonderful memories during the years since.

Hempel’s favourite onboard luxury, after Jorge the butler, is hot water and air conditioning. She and her husband Mark Weinberg have a bathroom each and Anouska’s features an enamel bath. “Everyone told me I couldn’t have a proper bath on a boat but why on earth not?”

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There is a galley that would look luxurious in a New York apartment. Here your chef de cuisine and his team prepare food for an average of twelve guests per day. Beluga was designed for lively lunches and sophisticated dinners. “This boat was always about entertaining. We could have designed another cabin but instead we preferred to have additional space for relaxing and entertaining. We can fit 18 people round the table so easy to pick up friends from port to port and invite them for dinners onboard.”

Alongside Beluga’s dedicated Captain, her crew includes a chef from Blakes Hotel and a steward to provide guests with immaculate service and signature dishes from Hempel’s famed hotels. An engineer and deck hand are onboard for seamless sailing adventures and watersports on Beluga’s 4.5m RIB tender.

BELUGA accommodates a maximum of 7 guests and is available to charter from €40,000 per week on a full-board basis.

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