London Transformed Into Luxury Superyacht Destination for Olympics' A-List Guests
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen among the yacht owners docked in London’s East End.
The Olympics are attracting the world's billionaires to London's East End docks. According to Business Insider, some of the biggest superyachts are currently moored at the Wood Wharf and Canary Wharf including Westfield group founder Frank Lowy's 74-meter Ilona and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s 414-foot Octopus.
Associate editor of Robb Report Bailey Barnard tells THR that Allen's is "the tenth largest boat in the world right now. It's really a stunning work of naval architecture and design. It has a floating hotel and some of the staff on this boat is unparalleled." It is valued at $200 million, complete with two helicopters, two submarines and a swimming pool. It's no surprise that the yacht is a potential party venue for guests like Bill Gates, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and hosted Paris Hilton during a recent Cannes Film Festival.
Italian superyacht Sienna has also arrived at the Games. It boasts walnut paneling, a marble stairway, and Barnard's favorite feature -- a home theatre with a 100-inch projection screen.
Ilona, the German megavessel crafted by Amos, joins Octopus and Sienna in London. It recently underwent an eight-month refit and has a swimming pool at the stern of the boat. "The top of the pool can close to convert into a dance floor, or just for more deck space, which I think is pretty cool." Barnard said.
CNN reported that it took 24-hour concierge service MGMT one year to transform the previously barren area to as haven for A-list yachts. "This is an Olympic-themed platform to launch London as a future destination for superyachts," MGMT’s Benjamin Sutton said. "All these boats that used to go to the Med will now see London as a great place to stop off; a new launching pad for Europe."
Services provided include grocery deliveries, party planning and preferential tickets to the Games. Guests can also avoid traffic by traveling around the city via speedboat taxi. Of course such spectacular service comes with a price: about $90,000 for two weeks of the games. But for billionaires like Allen -- with an estimated wealth of $14.2 billion according to Forbes -- this isn’t much of a problem.