A week ago, I received an invitation from Hill Robinson to come aboard the Motor Yacht Amaryllis for a chance to experience what their yacht and hospitality has to offer. It's been years since I have been invited to an open house. I'm talking pre-COVID. So, I was excited to climb aboard, meet new people and see what amenities this yacht provides their guests.
I arrived at 6p to the Safe Harbor Rybovich where the boat was docked. At security check-in, a crew member greeted me. "Good Evening, Mr. Coppola. Welcome. Please park wherever you'd like. A golf-cart will come by and bring you to Motor Yacht Amaryllis."
I parked the Maybach and before I exited the vehicle the golf cart was already waiting for me. In the cup holders there were chilled glass bottles of Pellegrino and Acqua Panna water, in case I was parched. The boat was tucked away across the shipyard, it was stationed for some refit work before setting sail for the Mediterranean. While I could've walked, the golf cart drove over the debris-filled yard. Imagine oil-stained, dirt-covered terrain with loose screws and bolts... not great to traverse in my Stubbs & Wootton octopus loafers.
I was dropped off at the ramp. As I boarded the polished teak wood flooring of the main deck I heard soft music playing in the background. A smiling Stewardess appeared, she handed me a chilled towel. I unfolded it and used it on my hands. So refreshing.
Another stewardess appeared. She was sleek, attentive, brunette and had flawless posture. "Good Evening, my name is Kendyll. I'm the chief Stew aboard Motor Yacht Amaryllis. May I offer you a coconut margarita?" Behind her, a stewardess held the silver platter full of stemmed glasses with a coconut shaved rim and garnished with a lime and coconut bite skewer.
I tucked my bag under my arm to free up a hand. "Don't mind if I do," I said as I took a glass off the tray. There was even a complimentary eco-friendly avocado pit straw, which I took as well. Why ruin the beautiful rim and risk getting coconut shavings all over my lips?
They led me to the aft deck (the back part of the ship) where the other guests were gathered. The attendees included yacht brokers from various broker houses like Camper and Nicholson's and Fraser Yachts. I didn't know any of them so I began to mingle. Networking with like-minded individuals in the same industry is always exciting. I struck up conversations to ask about their favorite movies, our go-to cocktails, countries we love to travel to. Despite the humidity, there was a cool breeze as the sun sank quickly below the buildings casting pink and orange hues into the sky.
After we finished our cocktails, the Captain took us on a tour (click here to see photos). The decks were spacious. The exterior bridge deck dining table was surrounded by misters to keep the guests chilled on hot afternoons. There was even an oversized pool that had a glass panel you could see through. You'd never know there was a hidden tender tucked within the decking of the bow that had an incognito crane to lift the boat into the water— this smartly created more deck space for the guests. Inside there was a giant main salon, a piano lounge, a kids playroom, a game room (with a backgammon table!), and a massive movie theater. But my favorite was the beach club.
The beach club is located on the lowest deck, closest to the water. Not only does it give you access to jump into the ocean, but it also accesses the spa and fitness center. The gym includes a pilates reformer, a treadmill, elliptical, free weights, a rowing machine and a power plate. After a workout, the guest can submerge themselves in the cold pool, receive a massage, enjoy the dry sauna, steam room, or take a shower. They could even do a rotation of each. Imagine waking up in paradise with all of these amenities at your disposal? Sign me up.
After the tour finished, we were asked to sit down in the interior formal dining room. The round table was set to perfection. The table settings had beautiful menus with the food selections for the evening. The stewardesses offered us flat or sparkling water to begin beverage service before the bread service. Cocktails were served along with a crisp glass of Sancerre to compliment the Grilled Peach & Ricotta Roll with Truffle and Crispy Bacon. I sancerrely enjoyed it.
The table was alive with conversation in between delicious smokey warm bites of peach with salty notes from the bacon. The stewardesses provided synchronized service. They came to the table at once, dropped each plate and left simultaneously. There is nothing quite like wonderful, choreographed service. It was like witnessing a dance.
The main course was brought over shortly after. We were given a choice during the cocktail service. I chose the Branzini. The portion was perfect. It was light, flavorful and exquisitely balanced. I finished the plate feeling completely satisfied, but not stuffed. We finished the night off with the Pistachio Parfait under a white chocolate and miso dome. Dessert was accompanied with coffee, tea, an aperitif, but I stuck with wine.
The service was fast due to the closely located pantry that had everything stocked. Some ships, that I have worked on, have pantries on a completely different floor, which not only adds time to service, but fatigues the stews more quickly.
Afterwards, the captain came over to compliment me. I wasn't sure why, but then he expressed how he was familiar with my website and my business. The stewardesses followed suit and mentioned that they followed me on Instagram, they loved my tips and tricks for service. The yachting community is small, but mighty. It was nice to hear my experience has helped them in theirs. More connections for future opportunities.
By 9:30p we had finished experience aboard the Amaryllis. Let me tell you, this is a JOAT-approved-yacht. For any guest that charters M/Y Amaryllis they are in for a luxurious, bespoke experience with a mindful crew that is respectful, responsive and professional. The stews noticed subtle cues from the guests, and did a great job sinking into the background when they were no longer needed. I never had to remind them of which water I was drinking or to ask for a refill. When they poured the wine or water, the label faced the guest. It's the little things. I'm a sucker for great service.
Imagine having a full day out on the water, being catered a high-end meal with thirst- quenching beverages and well-mixed cocktails. Before you head into your cabin, your bed is turned down with a silk eye mask along with a sachet of lavender ready to whisk you off into a deep sleep followed by wonderful dreams.
If you are interested in learning more about chartering M/Y Amaryllis ($875,000 USD/ week) please contact me. Click here to view the listing.