The 13, billed as the most luxurious hotel in the world, is yet to open its ultra-opulent doors to its customers. But the Macau-based property, owned by billionaire Stephen Hung, grabbed headlines already for the outrageous numbers attached to it. The $1.4-billion hotel has 200 ‘villas’, each built at a cost of $7million, with the largest measuring a mind-boggling 30,000 square feet. But even more than the money spent on the structure itself, what made news was the 30 Roll-Royce Phantoms that were commissioned for a reported $20million to transport the hotel’s guests.
The Goodwood carmaker has revealed the two flagships of this extraordinary fleet, which, in keeping with the property’s exclusivity and luxury, are the most expensive Rolls-Royce Phantoms ever built. Having already made several cars studded with diamonds and other precious stones, the craftsmen at Rolls-Royce have done something different with these two cars. The exterior finish has been infused with 23.75 carat gold, making it the most expensive and “meticulously engineered” paint the marque has ever used in a car. Rolls-Royce says the particular weight of the precious metal has been chosen for even disbursement of the finish.
“A Rolls-Royce motor car is commissioned to express the tastes, desires and lifestyle of its patron. It is testament to the skill of the artisans that so elegantly express their craft at our Global Centre of Excellence in Goodwood, that this bold and technically challenging design scheme has been executed so perfectly,” says Giles Taylor, director of design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
In fact, the Surface Finish Centre at the Rolls-Royce Global Centre of Excellence in Goodwood had to be modified to produce these two cars. New specialist equipment were installed to make sure no contamination could occur during the painting process. Up to 250 per cent more paint has been used compared to other Phantoms, resulting in 10 layers of paint, one of which is a 40 micron deep layer of gold, mixed with glass and aluminium to add to the shimmer. But it’s not just the paint that has gold in it. The Spirit of Ecstasy is made using 97.1gms of 18ct gold and 24 carat gold-plated, while the umbrella within the doors gets a gold handle and a golden trim to match the colour themes of the hotel. The yellow metal is used even in the treadplates and the twin coachline hand-painted by Mark Court, Rolls-Royce’s resident expert coachline painter, using a fine squirrel hair paintbrush.
With all these painstakingly incorporated details, these two Phantoms are sure to be as much a highlight of the hotel as its magnificent hallways and ‘villas’ are.