From a large designer yacht at Maison Mumm (which comes with its own bartender and signature cocktail) to the $150,000 Rolex watch on display at Kennedy, this year's Flemington Birdcage marquees up the ante on luxury in a bid to woo the VIPs.
The champagne maestros at Maison Mumm have gone above and beyond last year's indoor swimming pool by anchoring a large yacht at the entrance of their marquee which has got high roller written all over it.
Those lucky enough to be invited will enjoy a private cocktail party within the tinted yacht and will also get to taste the Grand Cordon – which comes in a new bottle lauded for its modern design aesthetic.
"Blokes will love the new Mumm marquee this year," beams champagne expert Chris Sheehy.
"Aside from the luxury yacht which will be an instant draw card, we're also back serving rose which is proving a growing market for Australian men," he says.
"Rose is perfect for our nautical theme this year."
Over at Palazzo Lavazza you'll get a taste of luxury Italian boutique hotel. In the hands of designer Neale Whitaker – his third year at the helm – it replicates mid-century elegance in a bid to replicate boutique foyers.
There's velvet furniture and armchairs throughout, while laminex on walls create a marble effect and hint at Italy's grand interiors. There's curved structures for a '60s architectural nod – this is Rat Pack chic with silver screen sophistication written all over it.
"I wanted a luxury hotel experience within Lavazza," says Neale Whitaker.
"The marquee has a timeless feel and works in with the brand's signature blues."
A space to chill and reflect
The marble effect tiled floor from Italy is designed by Australian interior designer Greg Natale, while art is in abundance with a mural of faces by Australian artist Robert Doble behind the bar.
"We've built a new structure this year at Lavazza. It's an elevated area which is less dance floor and more lounge chill out," says Whitaker.
According to Nigel Meakins, General Manager at Lavazza, it's all about putting a new spin on its coffee bean reputation. They want VIPs to embrace great design, coffee and the stylishly cool trimmings that come with being Italian.
The Schweppes Marquee is back with chic black and gold décor. VIPs can indulge in an impressive cocktail menu including The Highland Orange brimming with smoky scotch whiskey and the Chilli Cuban, which is infused with dark rum and passionfruit syrup.
Samuel Wynn & Co Urban Winery
The Samuel Wynn & Co Urban Winery is a pop-up within the Birdcage where guests will be treated to barrel tasting and tutorials from the resident wine maker Dominic Coulter. Throughout the carnival, the urban winery will produce approximately 300 litres of limited edition cabernet sauvignon and shiraz (that's around 400 bottles), which are yet to be named.
"We are showing you the process of winemaking for something a little different in the Birdcage," says Coulter.
"Harvest season is in March and we froze these grapes to save them for this. We defrosted them yesterday and when people come by they can see what happens during fermentation and you can get involved too by plunging and pressing the grapes."
Famously located on millionaire's row with the best view of the track, the emphasis at Emirates is cuisines from more than 150 destinations.
According to Emirates Regional Manager Dean Cleaver, guests are treated to a true A380 airline bar – with the latest version in the marquee.
"The design of the bar is based on a high end yacht and the seating is a little different to what you find in the air," explains Cleaver.
"It's all about non-stop food service, champagne and cocktails all round and gives those who are invited to our marquee a chance to mix and mingle like they would in the business lounge on a flight."
There's a full sit down serviced Skywards Restaurant within the marquee, which guests need to make a reservation early to secure a spot, and a First Class lounge spa for luxury pampering which gents are welcome to use.
Over at Sensis Digital Marquee it's swinging '60s mod for its second year at the track. A linear neon backdrop by Tasmanian artist Paul Snell offsets bar staff who are dressed in Jack London looks from the latest SS17 collection.
"We have gone for a modern mod look at Sensis," says marquee designer Valentina Jovanoska from The Valentina Group in keeping with the runway looks dominating Europe.
"We're gone edgy and throwing back to that cool mod scene. Our waiters are styled by Jack London designer Roy Christou and the space will appeal to the modern adventurous man who is stylish and cutting edge," she says.
In their debut in the Birdcage, Kennedy makes a grand entrance in a bespoke marquee setting where watches line the walls behind glassed cabinets.
Richard Fryer, a Kennedy spokesperson says the watch is a cornerstone of men's style and the subliminal pitch to the cashed up lad is ever present here.
"Patek Philippe is one of the biggest and best watch brands in the Kennedy marquee," says Fryer.
"These watches range from $60,000 to $120,000 and have some high complications and multi functions. VIPs at Kennedy will discover that a Patek can tell different time zones and is ideal for a businessman who travels, while a perpetual calendar can distinguish different leap years," he says.
"You don't have to adjust these watches. They do it for you over a lifespan of up to 200 years into the future – they will outlive you."
Check out the gallery above to see the OTT marquees taking over the Birdcage.