PHOTOS: interiors by Klaus Jordan; exteriors by Tom van Oossanen
“The owner came to us three to four years ago and wanted a home for his young family, friends, and his beloved cycle team.” So says Nick Brosnan of Winch Design, in regards to Areti. In fact, Brosnan adds, the owner, a businessman with global interests, wanted his Lürssen to feature a “fresh American interior wrapped in a clean, sleek exterior.” With accommodations for 18 in the owner’s party, plus two staff and 28 crew, the 279-footer (85-meter) had to meet the strict Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) governing yachts carrying 13 to 36 passengers. Focused on fire prevention and containment, PYC poses construction and aesthetic challenges. While the build and design teams acknowledge those challenges, Areti shines at surmounting them.
The owner wanted styling similar to that of his previous megayacht, a 197-footer from 2011. That doesn’t mean exactly alike, though. He tasked Winch Design with making Areti sportier, which suits the active lifestyle he and his guests pursue. When it came to construction, PYC compliance required a more robust approach. This includes stability-oriented features, like additional watertight compartments. Lürssen is well versed with megayachts of Areti’s size, and larger, but Areti is its first PYC delivery.
Another significant PYC factor is employing more fire-resistant finishes and materials. Do megayachts therefore look less luxurious? No, as evidenced by Areti’s spa. Actually, the spa is more than a luxury. It’s a necessity for the athletes post-ride. It features showers with light, sound, and aromatherapy. The spa additionally has a private massage room, where the marble table is heated, too. A steam room, a sauna, a plunge pool, and an adjacent hot tub are here as well. There’s even a banya, a.k.a. a Russian bath. For a true banya experience, the owner and Winch Design chose the customary accessories of birch and eucalyptus branches, timber knives, and felt hats. Topping it all off, Areti’s spa shows off hand-laid mosaics in rose patterns, made by a renowned Serbian artist.
Adjacent to the spa is the teak-laid, lounge-like beach club. Guests arriving via tender can walk directly into it, too. The cozy, teak-laid, lounge-like ambiance is still enjoyable underway, brightened by three transom ports. “Cozy” is a good word not just for the beach club, but also overall for Areti. Despite her voluminous 2,851 gross tons and nearly 50-foot (15.14-meter) beam, she emphasizes togetherness and warmth, versus seemingly endless spaces. Makore panelling, cream-tone silk furnishings, and antique brass accents underscore the mood.
That mood definitely extends to the main saloon. Guests surely can’t help but gather around the Steinway player piano. Artwork atop the credenza separating the saloon seating from the formal dining area (see photo at top of page) pays homage to owner’s love of cycling. Paying homage to good meals with good friends: a custom wine display in the dining area.
Particularly for family, Areti puts two VIP suites on the owner’s deck. The entire area gains privacy thanks to double doors in the library-like foyer leading from the sky lounge. Additional guests have four below-deck staterooms. Regardless of location, they have their own subtle color accents like green, blue, or yellow. As for the owner, special indulgences await. A private alfresco area with a hot tub, sunpad, and dining spot sits just forward of the suite. The owner’s children can come out here straight after breakfast to play, lending peace of mind to Mom and Dad. Inside the suite, the his-and-her baths have indulgences, too. His side contains his watch collection, while her side has shoe and handbag displays.
Indulgences await guests in the aft sky lounge, of course. They can belly up to the granite-topped bar, complete with a custom beer tap. It’s even illuminated, with the Areti logo. Nearby, the games table awaits, as does a TV cleverly concealed by a custom painting of a sailing ship.
Lürssen always executes accessible engine rooms. Areti has accessibility in spades: one and a half engine rooms, essentially, with segmented equipment partially for PYC compliance. Water tanks, fuel tanks, and the water-treatment system sit on one side. Meanwhile, another treatment system for the spa plunge pool and bridge-deck hot tub sits opposite. So is an engineer’s laundry area—separate from the crew laundry in case of diesel spills, for instance. The twin MTUs housed here permit a reported 17-knot top speed.
As much as Lürssen and Winch Design rose to the PYC challenges, so, too, did the owner. He realized he need not compromise on comfort or artistic appeal aboard Areti. To wit: You cannot discern faux woodwork in foyers where fire doors deploy in emergencies. More than that, you’d marvel at the glass-surrounded racing-bikes display in the spa lobby. The owner’s cycling team is beloved indeed. So is the desire to prove luxury and regulation need not be at odds.