Boat of the Week: This Flashy 262-Foot Superyacht Has a Marble Beach Club Worthy of the Greek Gods
Despite Leona’s ruby-red exterior, Greek statues, and gold-leaf ceilings, there’s something warm and endearing about all the discordant features the vessel has on offer. We step aboard.
If Poseidon, God of the sea, owned a yacht, 262-foot Leona would be it. The red-and-white exterior, which we toured at the Monaco Yacht Show, is impossible not to notice. It has earned the boat the nickname the Red Bullet. It’s also the largest private yacht to come out of Turkey. Yet the only topic of conversation on the docks at Monaco was the Grecian-inspired, marble-clad beach club that was on full display to everyone passing the boat because all the doors were open.
The lower deck area is lined with Aphrodite statues, faux pillars, water fountains, a blue-tiled 28-foot pool, and a glittering fiber-optic ceiling. There’s also a dedicated shisha smoking room, three shell doors that open at sea level, and a wellness area. Even in the dizzying world of superyachts, Leona’s owner—who has yet to spend time aboard his new build—has taken opulence to a new, and some might say, kitschy level.
But all this glitz shows how talented the shipyard was in following the owner’s brief. The interior fit and finish, range of materials, and quality levels are all superb. And the one-of-a-kind design is well executed.
A central staircase leads from the beach club to the gold-and-cream main salon where the eye is drawn to a large tropical aquarium that sits atop a tiger-onyx, bioethanol fireplace. The structure divides the lounge from the formal dining table with seating for 12 people. Velvet and animal print-themed loose furniture by Roberto Cavalli fills the interior space, from sofas and armchairs to coffee tables and lamps.
The five-decked yacht is the second hull from Bilgin Yachts’s 263 series, though it bears little resemblance to its sistership Tatiana. Antalya-based Unique Yacht Design handled the naval architecture and exterior design, while British studio H2 Yacht Design penned the interior.
“The owner wanted a theatrical build in keeping with their personal taste,” Bilgin’s marketing director Tuğba Şengün Topgül told Robb Report during our tour. That includes five guest cabins (one less than Tatiana but all of them larger), including two Roberto Cavalli-themed VIPs on the main deck, two doubles on the lower deck, and the owner’s suite on the dedicated top deck, where gold is the order of the day.
It employs lots of high-gloss gold paint, polished brass finishes, and 18-carat gold leaf applied by hand by artist Alex Turco. Italian and Turkish marble feature in the two en suites. There are two separate dressing rooms. In the owner’s salon, a large yellow-velvet pleated sofa is twinned with a Boca Do Lobo armchair and coffee table.
Mosaic surfaces, patterned carpets, and mirror-tiled ceilings compete for attention alongside multiple artworks, including handcrafted pieces by Turkish artist Gülay Semercioğlu. At the foot of the bed is a double-sided TV, so that two programs can be watched simultaneously from either the bed or the sofa.
There are a total of 24 TV screens on board—nine of which are mirrored televisions in the guest bathrooms and gym—as well as 12 surround-sound systems. More than 100 iPads remotely operate the entertainment system, lighting, and even the night-vision security camera on the mast that records a 2-mile radius of the yacht.
The sky lounge enjoys a large circular digital ceiling, used to display a cloud-filled sky. It’s echoed in the circular sofas beneath and a small circular games table forward. Large glass wraparound doors open on to a large circular dining table on the aft deck. Cool blue views match the dark blue interior. This level also features the most elaborate day head onboard, dressed in backlit blue agate.
Lighting is a key feature across the yacht. Crystal chandeliers and LED strip lights are found in every room. The central staircase enjoys a quirky “bubble wall” filled with distilled water, which ascends from the main deck to the dedicated owner’s deck.
And the excess doesn’t end there. Around 70 percent of the yacht is covered in Foglizzo leather, including the main-deck salon wall and the guest cabin wardrobes. Crystal handles by Brehat and Haute Deco are fitted on every guest door. Lalique crystal faucets are found in the day heads and en suites.
The cinema is a Moulin Rouge-inspired red-velvet room with two large sofas and a screen, the gym has a leather and mirrored ceiling, a treatment table for sports massage and gold dumbbells. Onyx pillars continue the Grecian theme.
Leona is equipped with MTU 16V4000M73 engines integrated with their own SCR system for reduced NOx emissions. Considering the yacht isn’t available for charter, and the owner hasn’t stepped foot aboard since taking delivery in February, only time will tell if the boat ever really leaves its home port.
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