After a year that has made many of the super-rich even richer, it’s time for a post-lockdown toy: Superyachts. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is shoring up a $500 million, 417ft behemoth so big it needs its own "support yacht" with a helipad, while superyacht sales in Britain are up 43 per cent on this time last year. The binge-spending, it appears, has begun in earnest.

Superyacht manufacturer Cecil Wright & Partners has sold 354 vessels in the last year, which cost up to £430 million to build. Due to ongoing travel restrictions, many of these yachts were bought unseen. The wealthy are also buying Arksen marine exploration vessels (, luxury cruisers, which cost up to £8.5 million and enable their owners to explore planet’s wildest places.

"The ultra-wealthy want to know they can escape on a far-flung adventure at any given moment," explains Arksen’s chairman, Jasper Smith, who has seen an 88 per cent increase in inquiries this year.

Helicopters and electric cars, too, are choice purchases for ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) intent on making the most of the post-Covid world. "Three lockdowns in the same house have made me crave travel and experiences," says Martin Reith, chairman of Luchford, a communications agency for luxury brands.

Now, the super-rich want accessible exclusivity – whether that comes in the shape of a several-hundred-foot sea vessel or ultra-exclusive resorts, such as Lopud 1483 in Croatia, a renovated monastery for 10 that rents for £70,000 a week. Deplar Farm, a luxurious heli-skiing and salmon fishing retreat in Northern Iceland, is another favourite. "I’ll be investing in some long-haul holidays, with the focus on seamless experience," maintains Reith – by which he means five-star service and easy access via a private jet airstrip.

Reith has signed up to NetJets, a sustainable shared ownership scheme "better than having [your own] jet sitting on the runway", while others are putting their names down for the new Dassault Falcon 6X, which costs £34 million but uses up to 60 per cent less fuel than similar planes and has an ultra-long range.

This desire for eco-wanderlust extends to electric vehicles, too, with wealthy buyers queuing for the Polestar 2 car and cruising around town on the new Porsche e-bike.

Meanwhile, helicopters are more popular than ever for travel in the UK. "The Bamfords helicopter is a regular fixture in Daylesfordshire and we’re seeing more and more hovering above the Cotswolds skies," says Harry Gladwin of The Buying Solution. "They’re useful for nipping to and from London – owners can be anywhere and everywhere in a matter of minutes."

Indeed, Britain’s richest self-made entrepreneurs have fallen so deeply back in love with Blighty that they’re buying up as much of it as possible. The frenzy for country estates is now reaching fever pitch, says property finder Jess Simpson, who receives three inquiries per day for estates over £10 million.

Buyers are upping their budgets, Gladwin explains, to ensure they have enough room for nannies, tutors and grandparents should there be future lockdowns.

Further afield, it’s too late to buy in Mustique, where the Duchess of Cambridge holidays with her family, but the Bahamas is a good alternative for tax reasons, he says. In Europe, interest is returning to the most glamorous parts of the south of France and the Balearics.

"A number have moved to Ibiza permanently, making the most of the good private schools and sunny lifestyle," De Mallet Morgan explains. Portugal is also popular, as a home purchase there can also secure EU citizenship.

For now, though, the wealthiest Brits are focusing on acquiring their third or fourth home in Britain. The obsession with space is taking them to Scotland, where they are snapping up sporting estates with castles to entertain friends and family.

Beach houses are also selling at a rate not seen since the boom of 2007, with potential buyers choppering to viewings in Norfolk, Dorset and Cornwall, while according to Simpson, the latest status symbol is to own a British wine estate. "Vineyards are becoming popular and some ultra-wealthy buyers have even established oak plantations with trees impregnated with truffles."

Once a property is acquired, the spending spree will begin in earnest, to ensure it meets their specification. This means installing the prerequisite smart technology: near-invisible Zuma light and sound systems, for example, and "serenity zones", 360-degree OKTO shields to protect the wealthy from burglars, kidnappers and drones.

Much to the annoyance of the neighbours, the super-rich are also back in love with basements, digging ever deeper to ensure they have multifunctional spaces to work, relax, work out, preen and play.

"Wealthy clients want meditation rooms, ‘vitamin C showers’ and enormous dressing rooms," says Louisa Brodie of Banda, the property company run by Princess Beatrice’s husband, Edo Mapelli Mozzi. Vitamin D chambers, therapy and convalescent suites and medical-grade HEPA filters to ensure the highest quality air are another must.

Lockdown has given the ultra-wealthy a deeper appreciation of nature: they are determined to live off their acres, and ensure their chefs have the freshest ingredients. The biggest show-offs are buying up woodland, and commissioning bespoke tree houses, with a couple of bedrooms for their children’s sleepovers.

After a year off the party circuit, socialising is also a priority for UHNWIs. "I want to ditch my cashmere leisurewear and stop feeling as if I’m stuck on an island with my family...," said one member of "I want to feel alive again – which means wearing my Tom Ford suit, hosting parties and meeting as many new people as possible."

No wonder then, that London’s most exclusive restaurants – such as MARU in Mayfair, which serves a 20-course omakase-style tasting menu to just 10 diners per evening – are already booked out for the foreseeable. According to restaurant expert Katrina Kutchinsky, the trend for restaurant-style dining at home continues, with the super-rich hiring celebrity chefs, such as MasterChef: The Professionals champion, Alex Webb, to prepare poolside dinners.

And the new nirvana post-lockdown, according to Gladwin, is a natural swimming pool with a pool house. Such is the demand for contemporary natural pools from companies such as Clear Water Revival, that waiting lists stretch into 2022, leaving super-rich clients with no choice but to suffer the summer without one. Not ideal – but at least they’ll have a few other shiny toys to play with in the interim.

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