The World's Most Expensive Waters

by Daniel Packer on 28 July 2011 5 comments
Photo: Joe Miranda

I admit to buying bottled water occasionally, but there's always the thought in the back of my head that I'm paying for something that I can get for little to no cost at home, where I have a Brita water filter. The markup on a 20 oz. bottle of water is enormous, and sometimes it boggles my mind to think how much we're paying for something so basic. (See also: The Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles)

In the grand scheme of things, paying a dollar or two for the occasional water bottle isn't going to break the bank. What may break the bank is paying exorbitant fees for waters.

In Marque Restaurant in Sydney, owner Mark Best installed a $6,000 system that filters, chills, and carbonates tap water. He's now selling the tap water for over $5 a glass. Charging so much for water has caused an uproar, but the cost includes unlimited refills, and the process is lightening Best's carbon footprint. To me, this sounds fairly reasonable. Especially considering that bottled water at the restaurant was about $10, $5 for treated tap water should not be causing a fuss. If the patrons at this restaurant (or more likely, online commenters) have a problem with Best's policy, I can't imagine what they'll think of the prices for the waters listed below, considered the world's most expensive.

Bling H20

Bling H20 is most noted for being a celebrity drink, having been spotted at events such as the Emmys, Grammys, and the MTV Video Music Awards. Each bottle comes frosted, corked, and with hand-applied Swarovski crystals. This water costs $40-$60 per bottle.

Fillico

The Fillico set of water bottles, costing about $219, are capped with gold king and queen crowns. These bottles are decorated with Swarovski crystals and gold paint. The water comes from a spring in Kobe, Japan and is sold at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo.

Kona Nigari

Just two ounces of Kona Nigari will cost you a whopping $33.50! This Hawaiian seawater is collected from a depth of about 2,000 feet, about 10 times the necessary amount to be considered deep seawater. The water is said to aid in weight loss, stress reduction, and digestion. For the advertised benefits, maybe it's worth it!

Exousia 24K Gold Luxury Water

Exousia 24K Gold Luxury Water sells for a whopping $24,000, but what makes it so special? This water is based on 24-karat gold, which means that little gold particles float around in the bottle, giving it a special sparkle. Add in its advertised anti-aging and anti-stress components, and you've got water fit for King Midas.

24K Gold Altamirano Glass Bottle

This $60,000 24-karat gold Altamirano glass bottle is known more for its bottle than for the water. The extravagant bottle was designed by Italian artist Fernando Altamirano, and the water combines water from springs in France and the Fiji Islands, and glacier water from Iceland.

I don't think I'm quite ready to shell out for one of these expensive bottles, but it definitely makes me feel better about only spending a buck on my plastic bottles!

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Meg Favreau's picture

There's a restaurant in Philadelphia, The Water Works, that has a bottled-water menu, including a special $50 "museum edition" Bling H2O: http://www.thewaterworksrestaurant.com/menus/5/

Guest's picture

I don't understand why people are willing to spend more for the same water that they drink just because of the brand

Daniel Packer's picture

For some it's convenience. I'd refill a bottle about 30 times if possible

Guest's picture
Elyse Stein Zois

I've been drinking tap water all my life. It's not that much trouble to put in in a bottle and carry it with me.

Guest's picture
Shizzle!

If we are just talking about the effects on the environment, I think tap water causes more waste (not trash) than bottles. For ever glass of tap water it takes 3 glasses of water to clean it out. Meaning, every time you get a glass of water at a restaurant, even if you don't drink it, it takes 3 glasses of water to clean it. So when you order soda and don't drink the tap water, it still costs 4 cups of water (per person!). That's why I always refuse the tap water before the waiter gives it to me.
As for the price of a regular plastic bottle. . You aren't paying for the water and you aren't really paying for the bottle, you are paying for the convenience. Just as you go to a restaurant to get served food that you can easily make at home (such as pasta, burgers, etc) that you can eat at home for a cost of $3 but at a restaurant you pay $13.