Butler Reveals How Superrich Asians Spend $400,000 A Day On Vacation

And why so much of it goes on seafood...

Butler Reveals How Superrich Asians Spend $400,000 A Day On Vacation


Here at DMARGE, we often like to make examples of American billionaires dropping their money on apparent frivolities — whether that be apocalypse-ready bunkers with fire moats, massive superyachts, or mind-boggling mansions. However, it seems that their Eastern counterparts are winning the battle of the big-spenders…

In luxury hospitality, understanding the whims of the ultra-rich is an art form that decides whether your business makes or breaks. Butlers at high-end resorts like Raffles Singapore are trained to both observe and anticipate the needs of their guests, often before the guests themselves have had a chance to realise what they want…

WATCH: A $500m Superyacht Stows Its Luxury Toys

Before guests even set foot in the building, staff conduct extensive research so that they can tailor the client’s experiences to their long-set, long-pandered-to preferences. Whether this means sourcing a book about native plants for a gardening enthusiast or setting up bananas and orange juice for a guest who loves being the early bird, every detail, no matter how small, is considered to make their stay as personalised as possible.

What really caught our eye, however, was the fact that self-proclaimed ‘crazy rich’ Asians take this to a whole new level, often outspending their American counterparts by a staggering factor of 10 to 1.

Dropping eye-watering sums on luxury spends, such as US$200,000 for a rare handbag or US$3,000 per head on a power lunch, their spending habits really begin to pile up when visiting housewives hit the malls to spend over S$300,000 (US$223,000 or approximately AU$400,000) in a single day on shopping sprees.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a spot more luxurious and accommodating than Raffles. Image Booking.com

And yet, the extravagance doesn’t stop at shopping. Additional status symbols the ultra-wealthy reach for in Singapore range from expensive cars to exotic seafood. A Toyota Camry hybrid comes in at around US$193,870 in the small city-state, due to hefty taxes and entitlement certificates.

This apparently means little to visitors, however, who purchase the cars moments before driving off to high-end seafood restaurants where they can easily spend tens of thousands on dishes like shark fin soup or rare edible bird’s nests.

VVIP guests (not a typo; they’re very very important…) often have personal butlers assigned to them, responsible for everything from chaperoning aforementioned shopping sprees to setting up private cinemas in their sprawling suites. Requests can be as wildly specific as needing a particular brand of Coca-Cola bottled in Indonesia or bright red PiqaBoo pears from New Zealand.

You’ll be pleased to hear that even this seemingly limitless spending has boundaries. Butlers at Raffles draw the line at illegal requests or anything that goes against the hotel’s extensive policies. However, they go to great, sometimes unimaginable, lengths to fulfil any legal and feasible desires. As one butler put it…

“Without you, this is just a Four Seasons.”

Anonymous Raffles Butler

It seems that as in so many industries, personalization really is the watchword of the day. Whether you find this kind of spending inspiring or indulgent, there’s no denying that the US elites have a thing or two to learn when it comes to flexing your finances…