All of us have been in the situation of having a big event coming up (birthday, anniversary…) but having absolutely no idea what to do to mark the occasion. This problem gets worse, not better with age. When the loved ones are children then the choices are fairly large, when you’re turning 40, and successful, the choices seem much more limited.
At Ultimate Drives we cater for many different nationalities and types of people, from couples on romantic breaks to people who are seeking the adrenalin rush of a supercar in the Alps. However, recently small groups looking to celebrate special occasions are becoming more and more popular.
We recently had the opportunity to organize such a rally with a group of guys from the UK, each with their own cars, an Aston Martin Vanquish, a Maseratti GTS, a Ferrari California, a Porsche Cayman S. This particular rally was to celebrate one of the party’s 40th, a perfect solution for a difficult problem.
The basic idea was then that the group head directly to Zurich in convoy (less than 8 hours from Calais), we then met with them, provided with all the regular rally paraphernalia (maps, navigation units, driving notes), but here’s the twist, throw in a lead driver with a latest generation supercar (in this case the new Mercedes SLS) with all drivers insured for the next 3 days in the Alps….
So to the rally. The plan was to run the tour through the Swiss Alps, then east into Italy and Parco dello Stelvio/ the iconic Stelvio Pass following our “St Moritz and Italian Connections” route. Having made our way to St Moritz (taking in 3 of the best passes in the Alps, plus the Rhine Gorge valley) the next morning the weather in Stelvio took a turn for the worst. Nobody wanting to negotiate a hairpin with a light dusting of snow and 500hp under the right foot, it was time for the contingency plan to kick in (fortunately all breaks that include these ultra high passes have one). So, it was head south from Switzerland and down to the Italian Lakes (not a lot of people know but the tip of Lake Como is less than 90 minutes from St Moritz).
So, Lake Como, Lugano (stopping for lunch) and Maggiore later, we had gone from 10 degrees to glorious sunshine and 28 degrees. Lunch on the terrace of the Hotel Splendido in Lugano made it impossible to beleove we had left snow in the mountains! Lunch was followed by a return trip over the iconic San Bernadino, making a perfect days driving. After heading back to Zurich the following day (via the Austrian Voralberg) the celebration was topped off with a big night out in Zurich, dinning at Taos (trendy Asian Fusion) followed by some late night “reveling” at Icon, the coolest club in the city, and not packed to the rafters with weeny boppers.
Everyone who participated was impressed not only by the organization, the roads and the hotels, but most of all by the SLS. During the Rally we regularly changed cars, so everyone had a drive in our SLS.
For 2011 we are introducing 2 new routes which incorporate the Cote d’Azur / Monte Carlo and the Italian Riviera / Liguria region – both involve drives south through the Alps, via some of the most spectacular roads in Europe (such as the Col de la Bonette, Route Napoleon, San Bernadino) before some more leisurely “cruises” along the coastal boulevards of France and Italy.
A great experience as a couple, a great present or simply a great holiday, this is one of the most unique present anyone could wish for.
The Ultimate drives team.