Survey after survey shows luxury travelers seek authentic adventures off the beaten path. But off the beaten path often means off the luxury grid.
Silk Road Treasure Tours is bridging both worlds with exclusive itineraries to the Caucasus and the “stan” countries of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The New Jersey-based company was founded in 2008 by Uzbekistan native Zulya Rajabova, who previously organized programs, and led foreign delegations, for the Uzbek Ministry of Tourism.
Rajabova says interest in travel from the States to the region is increasing as more of the luxury hotel chains that Western travelers are comfortable with are developed.
“When we started originally, there were only a couple of world-class hotels available, and the luxury clients mainly stopped by the capital cities and continued somewhere else,” she said. “But now we have luxurious hotels, world-class restaurants, high-speed trains, great museums and airport lounges have more exciting appearances.”
Additionally, she said, private-jet access has increased.
“We see so many travelers who are looking for luxurious tours to Central Asia and Caucasus,” she said. “Last year we did several luxurious tours to Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan and in Armenia. Travelers came by private jets and through [the] VIP lounge of the airports.”
The company’s land packages can be customized for four to 10 people and include accommodations at hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, Sofitel and Hyatt; private butlers; fine food and wine with tailored menus; private luxury vehicles and first-class train cars; exclusive access to closed venues; and private guides. Chefs and rentals of historical venues can also be arranged.
The groups newest offerings include a 14-day Central Asia luxury itinerary from $470 a day, a 10-day luxury travel experience in Uzbekistan that starts at $530 a day and a 10-day luxury culinary immersion in Uzbekistan that highlights gastronomical experiences at bazaars, bakeries, gourmet shops, restaurants, farms, wineries and private estates, from $532 per day.
In the Caucasus, Silk Road offers a five-day luxury Georgia tour that includes tours of ancient and contemporary churches, synagogues and mosques.
“I designed these travel itineraries to specifically offer the richest cultural experiences combined with the most comfortable accommodations; most modern and convenient luxury transportation; and superior, personal service,” Rajabova said.