Walking into the master suite aboard the 203-foot motoryacht Icon offers a glimpse of what I imagine it would feel like to enter an airlock in space.

The master suite's sleeping area, behind one of the "four doors."

You see, most yachts with master suites forward on the main deck have a starboard-side doorway that leads into a corridor or office, which in turn gives way to the sleeping area, bathrooms, and such. That first doorway is often kept open, creating a sense of spaciousness when guests look toward it from the main saloon or starboard-side entryway. Yachts with this layout, in a visual sense, appear to extend endlessly forward.
Not so aboard the 203-foot Icon, the flagship motoryacht from Icon Yachts http://www.iconyachts.eu in Holland. The doorway to the master suite is in a similar location, but it is kept tightly shut. When it does open, guests find themselves inside another corridor with two closed doors on either side. I entered this corridor at the 2010 MYBA Charter Show in Genoa, Italy, and I felt a serious moment of sci fi, as if I were somehow entering another dimension in yachting. (Remember that scene with Neo, the Key Master, and all the doorways in The Matrix Reloaded? I actually had a flashback.)

Closets, a bathroom, and the sleeping area shown above lie behind each of these four doors.

As it turns out, there’s a perfectly logical reason for the corridor’s design. When I found myself standing inside the space, I could not tell that there were his-and-her closets, a bathroom, and a sleeping area behind each of the four doors.

Nor could I see anyone who might be doing anything of a private nature in any of those rooms within the master suite.

“I’ve worked on boats where you open the door to the master, and you don’t know the guests or owners are there, and they can be walking naked from the bathroom, and it’s all wide open,” chief stewardess Dani Bolderson told me. “There is no chance of that happening on Icon. You have your privacy, completely.”

You also have some other truly unique features aboard Icon, including a wall-size swim platform that folds down to create a teak beach, iPod controls for everything from the entertainment systems to the blinds, and a dining room table covered in stingray leather.

I suppose you could enjoy them naked, too, but I’m not sure whether management company Camper and Nicholsons International http://www.camperandnicholsons.com would welcome you back for another charter at a weekly base rate of €425,000. And if you can’t come back aboard, you’ll never find the “secret stairway” that leads from the master suite to the observation lounge. And then you’ll be in a whole other sci fi flashback…

For more about Icon and the Genoa Yacht Charter Show, see Kim's blog post on Yachtworldcharters.com.