There’s an old saying, “The difference is in the details.” The new Benetti Told U So is a charter yacht incredibly rich in details, from her atmosphere to the attitude of her crew.
If you’re thinking, “Plenty of yachts have lavish decors,” that’s not what Told U So is about. The 145-footer (45-meter), part of the Benetti Vision line of megayachts, has a mix of one-off furnishings purposely designed for her and selected by the owner from his antiques collection. In fact, everything, from the player piano and Chinese daybed in the two-room saloon to Missoni towels, cushions, and robes, was personally selected by him. When you realize the owner is Kirk Lazarus, the no-stone-unturned approach makes sense. A South African native, Lazarus has a varied career as a frequently traveling entrepreneur and the founder of Molori Private Retreats, exclusive properties worldwide. His numerous hotel stays prior to founding the resorts company convinced him that high-net-worth travelers want more exclusivity than what most places offer, yet still want everything readily at hand. He therefore personally picks every piece of furnishing and artwork adorning the retreats, and arranges one-of-a-kind experiences for guests. He even created Molori Design to oversee projects like this. Furthermore, his hotel staff aren’t just trained, they’re sent to the top resorts worldwide to observe and learn from people Lazarus considers the best.
So, when you consider that a charter yacht is akin to a floating resort, the philosophy for Told U So is fitting. The way the rooms are arranged certainly shows it. Taking front and center inside the saloon from the aft-deck doors is a three-foot-long lobster that was turned into a work of art (above) . The traditional main-deck dining room is replaced by a second lounge/saloon, complete with the 16th-century Chinese daybed referenced above, plus a fireplace. After all, why dine surrounded by walls when you should enjoy the essence of being on the water? That’s why the dining area is up one deck and aft, with glass walls that retract for an indoor-outdoor experience. Just forward, the skylounge becomes a private cinema when hidden screens are revealed at the touch of a button.
Speaking of experience, Told U So intends to make her guests feel as if they own the yacht themselves. Each stateroom has an individual decor, ranging from the Red cabin to the Caramel cabin, the Ivory stateroom, and the White stateroom. There’s even themed-tone crocodile leather covers on the iPads in each stateroom that control lighting, music, and temperature. But really the feeling is solidified the moment when guests see pictures of themselves inside the photo frames throughout the megayacht, the first day they step aboard. A stewardess told me the crew asks charter guests to send photos ahead of time, so that when they board, they feel as if Told U So is their yacht. As the charter goes on, the crew takes more photos of guests and replaces them in the frames.
Told U So is available for charter through Molori Private Retreats. She’s spending the winter in the Maldives and Indian Ocean. Here’s more of this definitely different yacht.
ALL PHOTOS: COURTESY MOLORI PRIVATE RETREATS