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Romantic Malibu Getaway


Doug McLaughlin:

There are dates, and then there are dates. If you are like me, the romantic type, going for a drive up the roads of Malibu is the way to go. It feels like going back in time, when movie stars would get in their luxurious coaches and drive in the pursuit of sun and fun. Of course, because this is NOBLEMAN after all, I had to throw in a little bit of luxury to make it a truly unique and, dare I say it, an extraordinary date.

This is a feature from Nobleman Magazine’s 6th issue, 2018 – “Extraordinary Date Night”.
Romantic Malibu Getaway
The idea was simple: just a quick, unassuming ride from Orange County to Santa Monica. Rest assured, I had a few things up my sleeves as Lydia and I arrived at the brand new ACI Jet FBO (Fixed Based Operator) at John Wayne airport. (…) We pulled up to the tarmak, where we were immediately greeted by our pilot, who would whisk us through the air to our destination. It couldn’t have been any easier, and the smile on Lydia’s face was worth it!
“IEX Helicopters, in one word (well, maybe two or three) luxury, performance, beauty. “

Our chosen ride? The Sikorsky S76, the Rolls-Royce of helicopters. With a maximum speed of 178 miles per hour (the S76 was much faster than one would think), you are ensured to get to your destination in style… and quickly. IEX Helicopters has the largest fleet of passenger Sikorsky S76 on the West Coast. For those of you fantasizing about owning this engineering marvel, the cost is a cool $15M, and don’t even get me started on maintenance costs. Trust me, for the rest of us, a charter is the way to go.

Aircraft used for this trip:
Sikorsky S76

Read more about this aircraft under Fleet

Talk about a fantastic experience. Even on an overcast day (June gloom at full effect), the flight is stunning. We elected to go over downtown Los Angeles for the view (took about 10mins) then over to Beverly Hills (mansion overload), then to Malibu. We flew low enough to get amazing views of pools and some unbelievable houses. Then, just like that, the houses disappeared, and we found ourselves overlooking the hills of Malibu.

We landed at Saddle Rock Ranch (aka @MalibuWines), like a scene out of a movie. Our pilot landed our aircraft skillfully on the lawn near the private home of Saddlerock Ranch’s owner. This is truly a magical property, surrounded by a lake, horses, ranch dogs, and even a giraffe.

(…) Now, for the best part! (Wait, wasn’t the chopper ride the best part?) I am a “car guy”, and I could spot this particular beauty from a 1,000 feet away as we were landing at the ranch. Standing there in all its glory, was a 1958 Jaguar XK150 Drop Head Coupe just waiting there on a cobblestone driveway about 50 feet from where we landed. (…) This is a car that needs to be driven. Handling it on the windy roads of Malibu instantly took us back in time. (…) With the wind in our hair, we drove to one of our favorite spots, NOBU in Malibu. Upon our arrival, we were quickly seated and greeted by the sound of the waves crashing on the patio, while we enjoyed the delicious fare. (…)

The day was far from over, and after our lunch, we drove back to Saddlerock Ranch for a private wine tasting Safari. We explored the nearly-1,000-acre vineyard in Malibu, we explored wildlife and unique scenery, and let’s just say that our day wouldn’t have been complete without our up-close encounter with Stanley the giraffe. Once more, we were blown away by the amazing views, and as a bonus we got to taste the local wines – what a great day!

(…) Even extraordinary dates have to end some time, and before we knew it, we were back in the helicopter, for yet another magnificent ride home during golden hour, which took all twenty-five minutes.

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