Amare Stoudemire Travel Tips: Private Jet Etiquette, Luxury Hotels, Art

Amar’e Stoudemire at Art Basel Miami Beach, in 2017.

Photographer: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images North America

At Bloomberg Pursuits, we love to travel. And when we can again, we want to make sure we’re doing it right. So we’re talking to globe-trotters in all of our luxury fields—food, wine, fashion, cars, real estate—to learn about their high-end hacks, time-saving tips, and off-the-wall experiences. These are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.

Amar’e Stoudemire, 38, is a six-time NBA All Star basketball player and alum of four major teams who has worked as a coach since retiring. He’s also dabbled in acting, fashion design, connecting the art and sports worlds, writing children’s books, and now, his own line of wine.

The first batch of bottles were produced in partnership with a winery in Israel. Stoudemire has recently expanded stateside via a partnership with two Herzog Cellars wineries in Paso Robles, Calif., to produce Origin from 2018 cabernet sauvignon grapes. He also owns a 185-acre farm in New York’s Dutchess County, Stoudemire Farms, which will begin selling its pasture-raised Black Angus steaks at Manhattan’s Union Square Greenmarket next month.

Before the pandemic, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based entrepreneur logged some 50,000 miles per year, flying either American Airlines or privately with XOJets, which is co-owned by a friend.

Every time he packs, Amar’e saves room for the spiritual, as well as the practical

I always pack my antique gold menorah. I bought it in Jerusalem, and it’s kind of a small, travel-sized one. It helps the aesthetic of my room whenever I get to my location. It started when I played in the NBA. I always had the menorah inside of my locker with a few books that I would read before I start the game, so it kind of helped me Zen [out] and relax before I went into a battle against another NBA team.

When I started playing overseas, I started taking it with me to road games and then when I traveled to different countries in the offseason. It’s traveled with me to multiple countries and is always on display, wherever I am staying, to remind me of the strength that can be found in struggle. This helps me endure anything.

It shows up as a dark spot on the x-ray at the airport, but it’s not sharp, like a weapon—it has round edges. [TSA agents] will ask, “Are you traveling with jewelry?” and I’m, like, “No, just my menorah.”

selective focus of interior of plane with champagne glasses for trip

Champagne is a safe bet on a private jet.

Photographer: LightFieldStudios/iStockphoto

Like many in the pandemic—first time flying private? Don’t do this 

You sure do not want to be the guy that spills red wine on those seats—because they’re very, very nice and plush. The carpet could be cream. White wine is great, and rosé is fine, but you might want to put the red wine aside until you get to your destination. However delicious it is, save it for dinner when you land.

If you’re flying private with others, and you’re a guest, for sure, you will also want to wait until the host boards before boarding yourself.

Overlooking wine country

An idyllic summer scene rolls toward the horizon near Treviso, the heart of Italy’s sparking wine country.

Photographer: Evan Mitsui (FSP)/Moment RF

This often-overlooked corner of Italy is one of Amar’e’s happy places

My first trip to Treviso was when I was playing for the Phoenix Suns, and we had training camp in Italy. We stayed there. It’s unfair that it’s so off the radar [for many people]. It’s a beautiful wine country. Most of the time, I was the only guy going to the vineyards, because a lot of the guys don’t enjoy the things that I enjoy. I would pack my journal and some reading material and do some wine tasting.

Two vineyards I loved were Fioravanti Onesti and San Gregorio in Valdobbiadene. The restaurants [in the area] are simply amazing. Here, in the States, we make a big deal about calling restaurants farm-to-table, but in Treviso, that is the only way the chefs create their menus, and you’re getting the true flavors of the land around you. Fall in Treviso means colorful radicchios, for example. It’s peaceful, it’s quiet, it’s relaxing. You can truly find yourself and just enjoy the nature and drink the wines and enjoy. 

relates to A Former NBA All-Star’s Advice for Penthouses, Private Jet Etiquette

Casper bedding is provided to passengers in premium cabins on American Airlines.

Source: American Airlines

Too tall for your airplane seat? Here’s what to do

If the seat is smaller than what you expect or what you want—and being 6’10”, you for sure have a lot of shortage in your seat [even in business- or first-class]. You have to take it upon yourself to make yourself as comfortable as possible to overcome the uncomfortable seat. So on a long flight, you’ll want to snuggle and go for the [lay-flat seat] option as quickly as possible. You can take the side angle and kind of bend your legs a bit, and you’ll get yourself nice and bundled in there. Put on your [pajamas], wear the slippers they give you. 

relates to A Former NBA All-Star’s Advice for Penthouses, Private Jet Etiquette

The Belle Etoile penthouse suite has a terrace overlooking Paris. 

Source: Dorchester Collection

Ready to splurge on the penthouse suite? Follow the Stoudemire rule

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