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Nov 11, 2008 Telegraph Media Group The Lanesborough London
Recipes: Paul Gayler's sauces
Paul Gayler reveals how to make your food taste sublime. By Xanthe Clay The sauce chef holds the master position in a professional kitchen. His is the last station a chef will train at before becoming a sous chef and being put in charge of the kitchen. With good reason, too. A sauce, be it creamy, tangy or oily, does more than merely lubricate. It should bring out the flavour of the main ingredient and transform a simple bit of meat or salad from so-so to sublime.
A bad sauce - and this includes almost all ready-made sauces - will swamp the flavour of the food. Reject any that include ingredients you wouldn't use yourself: spirit vinegar, palm oil or worse. A proper sauce takes barely more time to make than heating up the contents of a jar. Paul Gayler, head chef at London's Lanesborough Hotel and author of a new book on sauces, insists: "It's like riding a bike. If you learn how to do it, you can ride any bike, make any sauce." Today Gayler is in the kitchen of his publisher, Kyle Cathie, whisking up a Provençal sauce to eat with fish while singing Johnny Cash songs. An East Ender, Gayler was 12 when he decided to be a chef and by 14 he was cooking wedding breakfasts for his parents' catering company. At 16, he went to train at the Crillon Hotel in Paris and then returned to London to work at the Dorchester with Anton Mosimann. This gave him a deep admiration for classical French cuisine, "which is based on sauces". Now he describes his cooking as "global contemporary" and at least half the sauces in his book are non-French. English quince sauce, Mexican mole and addictive sour-spicy-salty Thai nam jim sit alongside mayonnaise and hollandaise. Gayler's approach has never been traditionalist. In the late Eighties, as head chef at London's legendary Inigo Jones, he astounded his staff by introducing a vegetarian menu potager. It was a radical move at a time when the non-meat option in high-end restaurants was a bowl of pasta delivered with a sneer from the waiter. "All good cuisine stems from the French," says Gayler, pouring champagne to drink with lunch. "The Italians might not want to hear it, but it's true."
Nov 11, 2008 MarketWatch, PR Newswire Bulgari Hotel Milano
BVLGARI Announces Initiative to Support Save the Children's International Campaign Rewrite the Future
ROME, Oct 31, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- BVLGARI launches a major fund-raising project for the defense of children's rights to coincide with the celebration of their 125 year anniversary 2009 marks the 125th anniversary of Italian luxury goods company Bulgari. In honor of the year, Bulgari has chosen to support Save the Children's Rewrite the Future campaign. Save the Children is one of the largest independent international organizations for the defense and championing of children's rights; they are present in over 100 countries around the world.
The Rewrite the Future campaign is committed to providing quality education to 8 million children living in conflict-affected areas by the end of 2010. Considerable progress has already been made by rebuilding schools, supplying much needed school supplies, and protecting children from abuse and exploitation -- thus paving the way for a durable change in almost 6 million children's lives. Bulgari's ultimate goal is to raise euro 10 million for Save the Children by the end of 2009, of which euro 1 million will be donated in advance to kick off the initiative. Next they will introduce a new, limited edition ring in Bulgari stores worldwide. The ring is made of silver, in tribute to Sotirio Bulgari, the company's founder who started as a silversmith in the 19th century. It also features Save the Children's logo engraved on the inside. Each ring will sell for $290.00, of which $60.00 will be donated to the Rewrite the Future campaign. The ring will be available for purchase from February 1, to December 30, 2009, in Bulgari stores worldwide. It will also be available in select department stores, and on Bulgari's e-commerce website, active exclusively in the USA. Finally, Bulgari will auction a collection of one-of-a-kind pieces that have a total value of euro 3 million. The collection consists of 15 pieces of High Jewelry and 8 luxury, limited edition timepieces. Bulgari will officially present the collection on June 4, 2009, in Rome at a star-studded gala to open their very first retrospective museum exhibition. The exhibition, titled Between Eternity and History, will celebrate 125 years of the Bulgari brand, and will take place at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, one of Rome's largest and most prestigious exhibition halls. Following the exhibition, the collection will be presented at high-profile Bulgari events around the world and will ultimately be auctioned in New York in December. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Save the Children. The Bulgari Group will not profit from the initiatives connected with this project. Numerous celebrities from the worlds of film, culture, and music have already agreed to support the initiative. These include: Willem Dafoe, Benicio Del Toro, Sally Field, Fiorello, Andy Garcia, Valeria Golino, Jason Lewis, Julianne Moore, Gabriele Muccino, Kimberly Peirce, Ben Stiller and Sting. Francesco Trapani, Chief Executive Officer of the Bulgari Group, said this about the initiative: "I am delighted that Bulgari is actively working to make the Rewrite the Future campaign a success. We want to be a part of the history, and at the same time help change it by giving less fortunate people the possibility of a new future. This is the best possible way to celebrate our 125 year anniversary. Bulgari has made it our initiative to, along with Save the Children, promote and develop quality education for children throughout the world. I am convinced that, thanks to the help of both our customers and Save the Children supporters, we will succeed in achieving -- and hopefully in exceeding -- the ambitious target we have set for ourselves." Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Secretary General of the International Save the Children Alliance commented, "We are very pleased to announce this global partnership with Bulgari. Their commitment and support for education is one of the most valuable ways to make a difference to children's lives in war afflicted countries." For over a century, Bulgari has been synonymous with the finest Italian style. Outstanding jewels (in precious and semi precious materials), watches, a vast range of leather goods, silver gifts and perfumes are now coveted by a sophisticated clientele in over 150 countries. Every Bulgari creation is permeated with a spirit of excellence, hence the attention to detail and the research for absolute quality. As an ultimate tribute to the world of luxury, Bulgari opened its first hotel in 2004, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Milan followed by the opening of the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Bali in October, 2006. Additional hotels will open across the world's major travel destinations. Save the Children is the leading organization creating lasting change for children in need around the world. The International Save the Children Alliance is a global network of 28 independent Save the Children organizations working to ensure the well-being and protection of children in more than 120 countries, through health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, Save the Children provides rapid lifesaving assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters.
Nov 11, 2008 The Vancouver Sun The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Seven Vancouver buildings believed to be haunted
Here are some Metro Vancouver buildings believed to be haunted: Century House Restaurant: Rumour has it that the restaurant is haunted by the ghost of a young woman. As the story goes, in the early 1900s a young teller was killed during a bank robbery here. Many people have reported feeling her presence, but some have also heard her crying in the downstairs bathroom. (432 Richards St.)
Hycroft Mansion: Several people say they have seen the ghosts of several elderly men dressed in First World War uniforms, one of whom could be Gen. Alexander Duncan McRae, who owned the house. Others have seen a figure of a woman, who may be his wife, Blanche. (1489 McRae Ave.) The Orpheum Theatre: It seems the orb of an acrobat who died there by accident in a vaudeville act has been sighted many times. (601 Smithe St.) Old Spaghetti Factory, Gastown: Patrons say they have seen silverware moving around the tables. A train conductor, who died in a horrific collision on the underground railway track upon which the restaurant is built, appears to be the one guilty of moving the tableware. (53 Water St.) The Fairmont Vancouver Hotel: People have seen a stylish woman walking along an invisible ledge. The hotel's elevator often makes an unscheduled stop on the 14th floor. When the doors open, this same woman appears to be floating along the hallway. (900 West Georgia St.) The Vogue Theatre: Legend has it that it's haunted by a projectionist named Fritz, who once worked there. (918 Granville St.) Irving House Museum, New Westminster: Home of the Irving family from 1862 to the 1950s. Staff and visitors say they have seen the ghost of Capt. William Irving, sleeping in his old bed where he died. Footsteps (when no other human being is around) and a voice calling visitors' names have also been heard. (302 Royal Ave., New Westminster)
Oct 10, 2008 Indian Express Newspapers Hotel Hassler
Made in Italy
Chef Francesco Apreda of the Hassler Roma promises to introduce real Italian food to Mumbai, come November The three most famous things from Italy are the Church, Sophia Loren and the Hassler Hotel. Since we know enough about the first two, it’s time we get some know-how about the best hotel in all of Italy. This is why Chef Francesco Apreda from the hotel’s Imago restaurant will step into the kitchen at Vetro, The Oberoi, Nariman Point, in November.
Apreda says that the Hassler Roma had always been foremost on his list of ideal work locations. Located at the top of the Spanish Steps, the hotel is historic in the true sense of the word. “The magic of cooking from such a height and with such an exceptional view is indescribable, as well as the fulfillment of any chef’s greatest dream,” he says. Now, he runs Imàgo, the Italian restaurant at the hotel. Apreda does a very good job of selling Italian food to Italians in Italy—a task by no means easy. “I started working when I was 13. The hallmark of my cooking is constant research for the best and most prized products, always fresh and seasonal, transformed into my own creative interpretation of Italian food,” he says, explaining how he manages to re-invent himself. “We are taking to Vetro what we prepare and offer guests in Rome at Imàgo,” he says about the food he’s going to prepare in Mumbai. Some delightful dishes include Fusilloni pasta with quail ragout carbonara style, a delightful Pear and asparagus parmigiana timbale with mushrooms and artichoke sauce, Roasted fillet of sea bass with shallots and Cannellini beans, eggplant and ginger sauce, Semolina and Taleggio cheese pudding with Belgian endives and red onion sauce and Glazed breast of duck with dried fruit, amongst other things. Apreda is from the region of Campania, a place synonymous with the truest mozzarella cheese. Besides that, it’s a region where Mediterranean food with lots of fish and pasta dishes are very famous. Comfort food for him is Italy’s most famous export to the world —good old spaghetti. “Spaghetti with a fresh seafood sauce—it reminds me of home. As a Neapolitan, therefore from the homeland of pizza, it would be banal to say pizza,” he says. Italian food is served extensively in Mumbai, second only to Chinese food. The reason for this, Apreda says, is that people are very aware thanks to travelling widely. Besides, Italian food is easy to make and healthy to eat. “Fresh and seasonal ingredients, and an expert hand that knows the tradition is all it takes. If you know how to innovate using new techniques, there’s nothing like it,” he says. As for his time in our city, he says, “I want to have the time to research for spices and products that I can incorporate into my Italian dishes. Upon returning to Rome, I will immediately create a menu with the theme of Indian spices, because my cooking also includes influences from other parts of the world—since I have travelled far and wide.”
Oct 10, 2008 Newsquest Media Group La Residencia - Mallorca, Spain
The magic of Majorca
By Liam Chronnell » Liam Chronnell discovers some of the delights of Palma de Mallorca June through to August was a virtual wash out. By September I’d had enough — I needed sunshine and, with this in mind, we headed off to Palma in Majorca. Just over two hours away by plane, the capital and only city on the largest of the Balearic Islands was the perfect antidote to England’s ill winds. Palma de Mallorca, to give it its proper title, has undergone a major resurgence in recent years as a city break destination to compete with the likes of Barcelona and Milan. The island has been a magnet for mass tourism since the 1950s, as the hordes arrive at the nearby San Son Joan airport on the way to package holiday destinations from the tacky Magaluf to the boutiques of Pollensa and everywhere in between.
But few have taken the time to stay in Palma itself, a beautiful city with its eclectic mix of Roman, Arab and Catalan influences. Those who have bothered have found a rare gem, rich in history, architecture and, perhaps most of all, places to eat. Based at the Hotel Dalt Murada in the heart of the old town, we had the perfect spot to explore the labyrinthine of sun-kissed streets. Once the property of Majorcan nobility, the family-run 14-room hotel is a superb example of one of the many stately homes that line the alleyways with their magnificent courtyards as the centre piece. Ancient portraits and heirlooms hang from every wall, with owner Ferran only too willing to give you a guided tour of the building that will rival any official excursion in terms of breadth of knowledge and insight into the city. Their website really does not do the splendour of the place justice. While the La Seu — a 14th century Gothic cathedral which guards the bay of Palma and which was restored, in parts, by Gaudí — and Es Baluard — the city’s answer to the Tate Modern housing works by Picasso and Miro — are must-sees during the day, the place really comes alive at night. We opted for tapas most evenings, with Tast, Lizaran and La Boveda on the tree-lined La Rambla, the pick, though Abaco should not be missed, even if it is just for a drink. After three enjoyable days exploring the capital, we headed to the picturesque Deia in the Sierra de Tramuntana on the north-west coast of the island. By far the best way to travel is on the rickety train from Palma to Soller, which trundles through the charming valley dominated by orange orchards. Once there, you can continue by tram to Soller Port (well worth a visit) or, as we did, head straight to Deia and the luxury of the Es Moli Hotel. Originally a 17th century manor house, the hotel perches at one end of the village with views of the hillsides and valley down to the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. Home for long periods to English poet Robert Graves, who is buried in the local cemetery, and holiday destinations of countless celebrities since — Richard Branson used to own the lavish La Residencia hotel at the opposite end of the village — the rural beauty of Deia, with its lush greenery and tangled web of olive groves, provides the perfect contrast to a city break. And, at the relaxed four-star Es Moli one could be forgiven for never leaving the confines of the hotel. The terraced gardens with orange and lemon groves, heated swimming pool, tennis court, two restaurants and even their own cove, ensure everything is catered for. For those who do venture out, the craggy Deia beach or surrounding villages and towns, including Valldemossa, home of composer Frederic Chopin for a time, can be reached from the hotel, though a car is definitely required for most excursions. Walking is, understandably given the spectacular scenery, a popular pastime for many of the hotel guests, though after a few days even the thought of this can become too much of a chore. Indeed, anything that involved moving became an unnecessary inconvenience. We were too busy enjoying ourselves.
Oct 10, 2008 Kommersant. Publishing House The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
Luxury Costs the Most in Moscow
Moscow is the world’s most expensive city for the rich, American Forbes magazine claims. Executives spend the most here to maintain their lifestyles. Among the items used to make the price comparison were a kilogram of black Petrossian caviar, a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Steinway piano, a Louis Vuitton Keepall bag, Turnbull & Asser shirts, a Rolex oyster perpetual watch, a Bill Blass silk gown and a deluxe suite at the Four Seasons, Intercontinental or Ritz Carlton Hotel. Prices were compared among London, Paris, Moscow, Dubai, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Moscow was the most expensive in almost all categories. A deluxe hotel suite in Moscow costs $5000, that is, 40 percent more than the same suite in London. Customs duties on European leather goods make the Keepall more expensive than anywhere else except Dubai. Paris was the least expensive city for the rich. Caviar, leather and hotel suites are all a comparative bargain there. A kilo of caviar costs $11,750 in Paris, but $16,500 in Dubai. Ascending the price scale, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Dubai, New York, Hong Kong and London followed. London has one of the highest VAT rates of the cities mentioned, at 17.5 percent. The compilers noted that one of the reasons for the high cost of luxury living in non-European cities is that almost all luxury items are imported from Europe. Taxes and foreign exchange make those purchases there disadvantageous. That is especially true of Hong Kong. Forbes had written an earlier article stating that Moscow offered the world’s most expensive cup of coffee, on average, at $10 and up. Seventy-four billionaires live in Moscow. That is more than in any other city in the world.
Oct 10, 2008 luxist.com Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris
Dior Institut at the Plaza Athénée
Pampering hits a new level at the Plaza Athénée in Paris. The hotel now boasts l'Institut Dior, the first hotel spa created by Christian Dior Parfums.
The spa is located downstairs from the grand Plaza lobby, and is an extravagant retreat with a relaxation lounge and five treatment rooms including the double VIP room shown above. The spa offers a wide variety of face and body treatments such as the lavish 120-minute l'Or de Vie treatment which uses Dior's pricey L'Or skin care line.
Oct 10, 2008 wickinn.com Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
Message from Managing Director, Charles McDiarmid
I cannot believe that storm season is again knocking on our door. This is truly a special time of year for all of us, and as the squalls start to arrive, the winds freshen and we recognize locals in the grocery store, thoughts turn from patios lunches and barefoot beach walks to rain gear and big waves. What I find surprising is that there are still people in the world who have not heard of storm watching in Tofino, let alone experienced it… Imagine that!
I have the marvelous opportunity to travel, representing my family and the Wickaninnish Inn. No matter what part of the world I am in, people ask, ”When is the best time to visit the Wick?” The answer is invariably that it all depends on what you are looking for …. However, the Inn was designed and built with storm watching very much in mind. November through February is THE time to visit our rugged coast and experience the very best of Mother Nature’s wild side. You can enjoy the storms from any vantage point here, as all guestrooms and public areas have spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. I highly recommend venturing outside to feel the wind on your face, taste the salt on your tongue and hear the rollers thunder shoreward - truly a feast for the senses. Every guestroom is equipped with Helly Hansen rain gear, and rubber boots are available to outfit any and all storm watchers. There really are no bad weather days in Tofino, only poor clothing choices. After experiencing the elements firsthand, rewards await you inside. The feast for the senses continues with Chef John and Chef Nick’s new seasonal menus, showcasing Vancouver Island’s bounty. If you’re not quite ready for lunch or dinner, relax amidst the serenity of our Ancient Cedar Spa, which the readers of Travel + Leisure recently rated the top Hotel Spa anywhere, so if you have not yet had the pleasure now might be the perfect opportunity. Now, if you’re looking for a primer on our winter drama, I’m excited to show you our new video feature on the Winter Storm Watching page. Just give it a few seconds to load, and experience a taste of our West Coast storms – until you arrive here and see one live and in person. I understand that some might be disappointed to arrive on a “sunny” winter day – yes, that’s right, you may have to pack sunglasses for a winter storm watching getaway! On those mild winter days when it does not blow a gale, there’s the opportunity to explore trails (start with our own Rainforest Loop on property) or head out to the hard-packed sand of Chesterman Beach. With the warming sun urging you to shed layers of fleece, you can explore the storm-ravaged beach, and check out the flotsam and jetsam brought ashore by the last tempest. Who knows - maybe you will be the lucky one to find the treasure of a hand blown Japanese glass ball awaiting you. Warm Regards from Canada’s West Coast, Charles
Oct 10, 2008 canada.com, victoria times colonist The Fairmont Empress, Victoria
Soup bowl rewards good deed
The 11th annual "souper bowls of hope" takes place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., next Wednesday, at the Fairmont Empress hotel.
For $25, participants get to choose a handcrafted bowl made by local artisan, have a soup bowl filled by local celebrities with one of a selection of fine soups prepared in the Empress kitchens, and then take the handcrafted bowl home. The event will also include entertainment and live and silent auctions. Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will support the Youth Empowerment Society, which provides skills, training, housing and counselling services to at-risk youth.
Oct 10, 2008 Hutchinson Leader The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
James Bond spotted in Moscow
Britain's deadliest secret agent, James Bond, was spotted while on assignment in Moscow yesterday. Actually, he was doing a pretty poor job of keeping a low profile: He held a press conference at the city's Ritz Carlton hotel.
According to Variety, the worldwide promotional tour for the new Bond film "Quantum of Solace" kicked off in the Russian capital. On hand were QoS star Daniel Craig and fellow cast members Olga Kurylenko (the new Bond girl) and Anatole Taubman (the new Bond villain). Director Marc Forster and co-producer Barbara Broccoli were also eagerly ringing in a new era of Anglo-Russian cooperation. It used to be the Commies were a reliable villain for the Bond series. Now, Broccoli describes Russia as "a key, emerging market." "We shot in St. Petersburg and had a wonderful experience," she added. "Russia is a country with a very strong film tradition and we are very much looking forward to the Russian reaction to the film."
Oct 10, 2008 Spire Company Associates, Inc. Bulgari Hotel Milano
Bulgari Hotel
This is a classic gem from the Bulgari jewelry box. Located next to the Botanical Gardens, in one of Milan's most stylish areas, this fabulous hotel has Italian style written all over it—expect Ferraris outside and Armani suits inside.
Top Italian architect Antonio Citterio has created the ultimate fashion hotel with just 52 sleek-but-smallish guest rooms and suites, gleaming with polished marble, oak, teak and stone. Don't even think about unpacking your case, one of the staff will do that for you. Just lie back on the king-size bed, with its crisp white linen sheets, and plan a shopping raid on nearby Via Montenapoleone, the epicenter of Milan's Fashion District. The hotel's super-stylish cocktail bar and restaurant, which opens out to the private landscaped garden in warmer months, attracts the city's in-crowd (book a table well in advance, arrive early and watch the city's A-List at play). The spa and traditional hammam are perfect for a pre- or post-shopping spree—I love the gold mosaic swimming pool. All in all, a dazzling hotel!
Oct 10, 2008 Adlon News Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
LORENZ ADLON WINE STORE
Inspired by a love of wine and a sense of duty to tradition and to the name Adlon! The Lorenz Adlon Wine Store has emerged out of the story of Lorenz Adlon, who, more than 100 years ago, with over one million bottles of wine, ran the largest wine store in the world and the most important one in Berlin.
The new Lorenz Adlon Wine Store, which opened in April 2008, owes a debt of honour to the history of the old Hotel Adlon and a commitment to the success of the modern-day hotel. This is an exclusive address for connoisseurs of wine and fine food in the centre of Berlin, where you can be sure not only of an exceptional choice of wines, but above all of excellent service. www.adlon-wein.de
Oct 10, 2008 Adlon News Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
A CULINARY JOURNEY THROUGH HOTEL ADLON:
Since June 2008, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin and Adlon Holding have been able to offer extraordinary culinary choice with five top restaurants, two bars, the China Club, Felix ClubRestaurant and the Lorenz Adlon Wine Store.
The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is offering an exclusive package for its guests which includes two nights accommodation and a gourmet journey through the hotel’s restaurants. Guests will begin their culinary journey at 6.30 pm with an aperitif in the Lorenz Adlon Wine Store. From there, they will be accompanied to the Italian Restaurant Gabriele where an exquisite hors-d'oeuvre will be served with the corresponding wine. Guests will then move on to the neighbouring Restaurant Ma where they can enjoy wonderful Asian delights. The main dish with the matching wines will be served in the Gourmet Restaurant Lorenz Adlon. The sweet finale of this gourmet journey will be served in the Restaurant Quarré. Finally, guests can end the evening on a stylish note accompanied by piano music in the hotel’s Lobby Bar. Relaxation is priority for the following day - after the gourmet breakfast in the Restaurant Quarré, guests can enjoy four hours which have been reserved for them in a luxurious ADLON DAY SPA suite where they will be treated to massages and beauty treatments lasting 60 minutes.
Oct 10, 2008 Adlon News Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
CHRISTIAN MÜLLER IS THE NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF
The Hotel Adlon is pleased to welcome a well-known newcomer. Since the 15th of August 2008, Christian Müller – as the new Executive Chef – has been responsible for the management of the Hotel Adlon’s kitchens.
He is not only responsible for the entire coordination of the kitchens of the Restaurants Lorenz Adlon, Quarré, Lobby Bar and Banquet & Catering, but also for supervising the 70 cooks who work at the hotel.
Oct 10, 2008 Adlon News Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
LINDENBALL 18th OCTOBER 2008 AT THE HOTEL ADLON
The Lindenball was launched eleven years ago by the Hotel Adlon, the German Historical Museum and the Komische Oper. Today, this annual ball has become a society event and an important date in Berlin’s event calendar.
In the place of the Komische Oper, the Friends and Sponsors of the State Opera Unter den Linden Berlin e.V. joined in the organisation this year. This change has inspired the theme for this year’s ball: accompanied by Prussian court music, we will initiate you into the world of the court of Friedrich II.
Oct 10, 2008 Ciragan Palace News Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Laledan Restaurant
Celebrating autumn with a brand new menu, the Çırağan Palace Kempinski's Laledan Restaurant is now serving mouth-watering specialties from the Aegean region.
Located by the Bosphorus in a lovely garden, the Laledan offers rare, delicious mezzes (appetizers). Surprise yourself and taste the succulent delicacy samphire, or delight in Ayvalik cheese. And as September is the beginning of the fishing season, prepare to select from a full variety of fresh fish. Offering 20 different kinds of raki and wonderful desserts made by our skilled chefs, the Laledan Restaurant at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul will bring epicurean joy to your palate and warm your soul during these autumn nights.
Oct 10, 2008 Ciragan Palace News Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Yiğit Yazici's "Colors of the Cities" exhibition In Çirağan Palace Kempinski Art Gallery
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Art Gallery opens the 2008-2009 season with Yiğit Yazıcı Ever since its opening in May 2007, Çırağan Palace Kempinski Art Gallery has been hosting the exhibitions of İlhan Berk, Mehmet Güleryüz, Esat Tekand, Devrim Erbil, Hikmet Barutçugil, İsmail Acar, Mevlut Akyıldız and Sıtkı Olçar. Yiğit Yazıcı's "Colors of the Cities" exhibition, organized as an Art and Life project by curator Beste Gürsu, takes its visitors on an excursion to the most important cities of the world.
The characters of this personal exhibition of Yiğit Yazıcı, which may be visited until October 22, are the cities that have been the most attractive centers of population and historical heritage over thousands of years for humanity where Kempinski hotels are found, such as Berlin, St. Petersburg, Dubai, Barcelona, and particularly İstanbul Yazıcı presents the constituents of these exciting cities, which render them "unique", with his independent, dynamic and contemporary understanding on his canvases and unique imprints.
Sep 09, 2008 independent.co.uk Gran Hotel Bahia Del Duque Resort
Are We There Yet?
If you're stuck for somewhere to run away to this half term, may I suggest the Happy Islands, better known as the Canaries. They're the perfect retreat for families desperate to escape the gloom.
Perhaps a peaceful rustic mansion set among citrus trees is what's needed. Casa El Morro in Lanzarote, is a converted 18th-century hideaway in a volcanic setting: perfect for winding down, yet close enough to quaint villages and beaches. Or you can splash out on the five-star Palm Beach Hotel on Gran Canaria. It has a kids' club opening next month, plus three swimming pools, a spa, child-friendly restaurants and activities from archery to volleyball. For the full-on Happy Isles experience, though, you'd be hard pushed to beat the Gran Bahia del Duque Hotel, a five-star resort in south Tenerife with eight pools, floodlit tennis courts and a beach club offering everything from water skiing to deep sea fishing and diving. It's perfectly located for the new Siam Water Park (siamparktenerife.com) with its "Tower of Power": a sharp drop through a tank of alligators.
Sep 09, 2008 Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers Ltd The Connaught London
FIVE-STAR BAR
The newly opened bar at London's Connaught Hotel was the place to be seen sipping at London Fashion Week.
Only a few clicks of a Louboutin heel away from the Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs stores on Mount Street, the David Collins-designed 54-seater space was packed between shows with front-row types sampling the extensive cocktail menu and fine champagnes as well as and nibbling on Michelin-starred chef Helene Darroze's delicious delicacies. A fashionable five-star night out.
Sep 09, 2008 thestar.com Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
Fashioning Macau
This is only the beginning,” Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Group, said at The Venetian’s first anniversary celebration the next day. “Non-gaming revenues are expanding rapidly so we’re excited to introduce a whole host of other entertainment on the strip. In 2009, there will be more shows, more restaurants, more nightclubs and more shopping. We’re even in the midst of constructing a gigantic wave pool in the hotel.” Luxury brands abound — and they’re cheaper too — at The Venetian. — AFP Retail therapy is carried out with such ferocity here that it is difficult not to spend an entire day strolling through The Grande Canal Shoppes, while feeling the slightest twinge of guilt since there are so many other things to do and so little time (or money). The opening of The Four Seasons Hotel and their very own luxury shopping mall only makes matters worse.
After all, there aren’t many hotels that can house three whole floors dedicated to 180 of the snazziest brands on earth, including more hard-to-get labels like Diane Von Furstenburg and Kate Spade and the world’s first Moët Bar, by Moët & Chandon. “Uh,” I stuttered as a sales assistant drapes a gorgeous limited-edition silk Hermes scarf around me, halfway through my shopping jaunt. “It’s okay, I’m really late for an appointment.” Truth be told, I was more afraid of the damage it would do to my life savings more than anything else. I had stumbled upon a magazine advertisement earlier and it boasted about how Limited Edition at the Four Season’s Shoppes meant only one thing: it is rarer than the world’s rarest animals (and therefore, would very likely cost an entire country). I made my way along, trying to steer clear of other similar pieces, just in case my judgement got the better of me. Retail therapy has it perks at the newly opened luxury shopping mall in Four Seasons Hotel. Serious shoppers, however, will be glad to know that they don’t have to brave this tricky (and expensive) sport alone because there’s always the Personal Shopper on hand. These consultants are like best friends, dishing out honest advice on whether you should buy that vintage gown or plunging gold dress. On the other hand, if you’ve always wanted to get expert advice on what’s in and what’s out this season or colours that complement your skin, then speaking to an Image Consultant would probably help. With a passion for design, a zen for style and the knowledge of trends, these consultants are indispensable for every woman (and man) looking for a wardrobe overhaul. The only catch is that both services cost MOP1,000 (RM430) and above. “It’s pretty affordable when you think of it,” an impeccably dressed, Macau-born socialite answered when I asked if the price would deter her from seeking their services. “Everything here is much cheaper compared to places like Hong Kong, but it’s just as exciting. The only difference is that we value our culture and the laid-back lifestyle that goes with it. That’s why I’m proud of calling Macau my home at the end of the day.”
Sep 09, 2008 thestar.com Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
DID YOU KNOW?
The Four Seasons Whistler is giving golfers a chance to hit golf balls off a glacier.
Participants are taken by helicopter to the top of nearby Mt. Currie to smash biodegradable golf balls into the great blue yonder.
Sep 09, 2008 thaindian.com The Goring Hotel London
Former British PM Thatcher dispels dementia claims
London, Sep 19 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who celebrates her 83rd birthday next month, is said to be in fragile health but showed no signs of struggling in keeping up with the lively conversation around her. Looking vibrant in blue and pink, she greeted a steady stream of admirers at a recent bash, held at Londons Goring Hotel, including her former Tory parliamentary colleague Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine, the Daily Express reported.
And, despite allegations made by her daughter Carol, that her mother has been suffering from dementia for at least seven years, a fellow guest remarked about the Iron Lady: She was as sharp as ever from where I was standing. Perhaps it was a good day for her, but she was clearly charming the socks off all she met.
Sep 09, 2008 Hotel Le Bristol, sales Le Bristol Hotel Paris
At Le Bristol, guests begin their VIP journey at the airport
Hôtel Le Bristol Paris has launched a VIP “Airport Meet & Greet” service for its special guests. Travellers are greeted by a hostess directly when they land at the airport, who then helps them with their luggage, guides them through customs and escorts them to a luxurious limousine that takes them to the hotel.
The first-class limousine is equipped with personalized Le Bristol luxuries given to each guest in order to make them feel like they are at the hotel from the moment they step off of the plane. This service is reserved for clients staying at Le Bristol.
Sep 09, 2008 Hotel Le Bristol, sales Le Bristol Hotel Paris
Double accolade for Executive Chef Eric Frechon
Known for giving classic dishes a modern spin, Chef Eric Frechon’s creative cuisine was awarded "3 Star Espoir" from the famous 2008 Michelin Guide.
Chef Eric Frechon also accepted the "Legion of Honor" at the Elysée Palace, from the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, who recognized Chef Frechon’s service and merit. The President emphasized that Chef Frechon exhibits “the professionalism of a great Chef” and that he is "an ambassador of French cuisine".
Sep 09, 2008 Hotel Le Bristol, sales Le Bristol Hotel Paris
Le Bristol honours Tuscany
From 20th-25th October, Hôtel Le Bristol’s Bar will celebrate Italy.
The mythical Hotel Il Pellicano will transport Le Bristol’s guests to Tuscany, when Head Chef Antonio Guida demonstrates his specialties in exclusive lunch and dinner menus.
Sep 09, 2008 Haute Living Byblos Hotel, Saint-Tropez
Bubbly at Byblos
The Byblos hotel, designed as a Mediterranean village amidst the heart of Saint-Tropez, has been the destination of choice for haute travelers in the South of France for the past 41 years. The hotel have been celebrating its fourth decade with an overhaul and an upgrade of the wondrous luxuries contained within their exclusive enclave. The legendary resort commemorated its 40th anniversary with the launch of a new sensorial experience found nowhere else in the globe, which ideally complemented the style and level of sophistication of this hotel masterpiece. Originally, most discerning travelers assumed that this celebration would culminate with the introduction of the new Byblos Spa by Sisley Cosmetics, which opened in 2007. But it seems that the celebration has not stopped yet.
This year, in honor of its 41st birthday, Byblos has announced that it will be selling 10 extremely limited-edition $150,000 wood and leather caskets containing an oversized bottle of Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Champagne and a Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry set. The casket is available in the hotel’s exclusive club, Les Caves du Roy, which is oft frequented by the world’s A-list celebrities, socialites, and party-loving dignitaries. The handcrafted leather and wood casket contains a Salmanazar of the vintage 1999 Belle Époque, which is 9 liters or the equivalent of 12 standard bottles. The bottle is being hailed as a work of art, as it is signed by one of the masters of Art Nouveau. In addition to the Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry set, which is designed to resemble the Anemone, the flower that adorns the Belle Époque bottle, there are four hand-decorated champagne glasses in the casket.
Sep 09, 2008 Sunflower Winetours Grand Hotel Continental, Siena
Grand Hotel Continental Siena
The Hotel Continental is housed in Palazzo Gori Pannilini, built in the 17th century by the Chigi Pope Alexander VII for his niece Olimpia on the occasion of her marriage to the nobleman Giulio de’ Gori. The grandeur of the architecture and the building’s sumptuous decorative scheme perfectly express the high social standing of the families. Thanks to its artistic splendour, the Continental later became the preferred Sienese residence for young European aristocrats and intellectuals on the Grand Tour. Many famous people of the time stayed there, including Queen Margaret of Savoy and her court. Recent restoration work has uncovered frescoes of outstanding beauty and the structure of a medieval tower. All this and much more contribute to the unique character of the Grand Hotel Continental, the only 5-star luxury hotel in Siena.
Since the time of its original construction, the palazzo now occupied by the Grand Hotel Continental has been repeatedly embellished by artists, craftsmen and decorators, all working to make each room a treasure store of frescoes, paintings, terracotta floors, mirrors with inlaid silver frames, delicate silk, Chinese porcelain lamps and Carrara marble bathrooms. Junior suites include a spacious 50 sq m frescoed suite with king or twin beds, period furniture, luxury fabrics, antique ceramics, Travertine stone bathroom, hi-tech fittings including HiFi, A/C, CD and Pay TV. The Altana Suite at the Grand Hotel Continental is an unforgettable experience. Situated at the top of the medieval tower on two connecting floors, the Altana is completely covered with exquisite panelling and furnished with valuable antiques. But the real highlight, surpassing any luxurious refinement, is the amazing panoramic view from the four upper windows, over Siena and its beautiful surrounding landscape. The Sapordivino restaurant is situated on the ground floor where warm furnishings and excellent service lend an atmosphere of elegance and refinement. Chef Paolo Maretti’s menus add a note of creativity to delicious traditional dishes such as warm lobster salad, pearled spelt with wild fennel, traditional pici with bean ragout and confit tomatoes, rabbit ravioli with asparagus sauce. Favourite desserts, served with a selection of luscious ‘meditation’ wines by the glass, include warm tart with ginger and pineapple sorbet and peaches baked with thyme served with cinnamon ice cream.
Sep 09, 2008 Wineries Information Blog El Bulli Hotel Hacienda Benazuza
Cooking, Food & Wine Tours of Spain
Cooking, Food & Wine Tours of Spain - In a recent issue of Food & Wine Magazine there is a great article featuring Spain's Top Food Critic Jos? Carlos Capel discussing issues like "Why is Spain the world's most exciting food destination right now?" more... As well in this same issue Anya Von Bremzen gives some insider tips on... "Where To Go Next: Catalonia, Madrid, Galicia | Spain" This year we have many new exciting culinary & cooking holiday and deluxe wine tours for travelers who would like to savor Spain with a Gourmet Appetite!
Starting off your journey you could try a Galician Coastal Cooking, Food and Wine Tour on the Atlantic Coast of Spain. Galicia is famed for it's fresh, abundant Seafood, highly-acclaimed Albari?o white wines and recently new young chefs like; Xose Cannas of Pepe Vieira who was just mentioned in this months issue of Food & Wine. On the Rias Baixas the sea plays an important role in peoples lives, come visit this magnificent coastline from the sea on our Gastronomic Sailing Journey. For an in-depth view of this undiscovered region of Spain try our 8 Days or 12 Days Deluxe food & wine tours. Even if you only have a couple of days in this region you could take a one day wine tour sampling Albari?o white wines of the D.O. Rias Baixas or Mencia red wines of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra. If you are just stopping through, or arriving at one of the ports of call on cruise and have time only for a half-day, we can offer guided tapa tours in Vigo, La Coru?a, Santiago de Compostela and Lugo. Moving across Northern Spain to the Basque Country, one of the most notable regions for it's dynamic cuisine with top chefs like; Arzak, Berasategui, etc... In San Sebastian you could take a half-day hands-on Basque cooking class in one of the authentic gastronomic societies or a Pintxo tapa tour of the old quarter enjoying the "tasty little bites" in the most emblematic bars and taverns. For more days we could recommend our week-long Basque Country & Cantabian Cooking Holiday. For wine touring you could visit a Txacoli white winery from Bilbao, as well we can't forget to mention the world-renowned Rioja wines of the Basque/Rioja wine region D.O. Rioja which are a "must-taste" if your are in the area. On the Eastern side of Spain you will discover the delights of Catalan Cuisine!Another region of "Hot" chefs like; Ferran Adria. Either basing your stay in Barcelona or exploring the countryside of Catalonia we have various tours to offer, for example in Barcelona how about a half-day private cooking class with a visit to La Boqueria Market to shop for the special ingredients for your class with a professional chef. Evening or midday tapa tours with a Food & Wine guide are also a lot of fun to wander the city's old quarter. Venturing out from Barcelona for the day you could learn about the Roots of Catalan Cuisine or a private wine tour to one of the regions like; Penedes, Cava, Priorat & Montsant, Emporda-Costa Brava, Coster del Segre or Conca de Barbera. As well you could try a short-break or week-long trip to learn in-depth about the wines with a expert wine guide. Gourmet Culinary Holidays in the Priorat region are also available for short-breaks or week-long stays. If you are traveling as a group of ten or more you could stay at the Luxurious 5* Read's Hotel on the Balearic Island of Mallorca and learn the cooking secrets of the Michelin-starred Chef Marc Fosh. In the middle of Spain lies Madrid, the heart and capital of this country which has much to offer for culinary travelers. Learn about Castilian Cuisine with a professional chef for a half-day cooking class or up to week-long cooking vacations. In the evenings or for lunch this is yet another Spanish city where tapa tours are very popular, or try a more "sit-down" gourmet dinner with a commented Spanish Olive Oil tasting in Madrid at a prestigious city centre restaurant. Ribera del Duero, one of Spain's most important wine regions can be reached in a day as a private VIP chauffeur driven tour or joining a deluxe small group tour from Madrid. Or how about a group excursion of Toledo and the wines of Castile Spain. Explore Quixote Land and discover the roots of Spanish Saffron of La Mancha. Down South in Passionate Andalusia we have various, cooking, food & wine related tours. Leaving Madrid by high-speed train you could join in on a one day or short-break deluxe tour of Cordoba and the Wines of Montilla. In Seville we have two options for private half-day cooking classes. Learn how to make Spanish Tapas in the well-equipped kitchen of the apartment of an expert chef, or an exclusive cooking classes with one of Seville's most prestigious chefs Willy Moya at his restaurant Poncio. Also within reach from the city are day wine tours to Jerez (Sherry), Sanlucar de Barrameda or Ronda as well visits to Olive Oil Mills and Spanish Cured Ham producer. Try a 4 Day or 7 Day stay in Seville and enjoy all these culinary activities. Nearby Seville in the beautiful Andalusian Countryside can be found the 5* Grand Luxury Hacienda Benazuza, where you could learn the original recipes of Ferran Adria in La Alquer?a Restaurant (two Michelin Stars) prepared by chef Rafael Morales, under the management of the "El Bulli" team. In Granada learn about the ancient Arabic influences in the rice dishes of the region by cooking with local women of Granada. Down on the Costa del Sol in Marbella relax, play some golf and do a bit of wine touring. After this delectable summary of cooking, food & wine tours we offer to Spain, we are also capable of creating a "personalized" culinary holiday just for you! Lets us know your desires and we will do our best to fulfill your appetite for a food and wine adventure in Spain... as well as Portugal!
Sep 09, 2008 Autonomous Nonprofit Organization "TV-Novosti" 2007 The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
Model relationship: how will Russian oligarch handle Naomi?
A romance between supermodel Naomi Campbell and a Russian oligarch has sparked a feeding frenzy among the world’s gossip columns. Vladislav Doronin, a property tycoon worth around 3 billion dollars, is reported to be Campbell’s latest squeeze, with the two being snapped by photographers in glamourous hotspots across the world.
With good looks and a healthy bank balance, Doronin has earned the nickname of Moscow’s Donald Trump. He’s used to having his pick of women. “Before he preferred blondes, but now his taste is changing,” notes Viktoria Lopyreva, Miss Russia 2003. The couple have not confirmed their romance but British newspaper the Daily Mail claims they stayed in Moscow’s Ritz Carlton last week in a $US 10,000 a night suite. It claims she refused to pay $US 200 for damaged sheets. The paper also published some racy shots of the two on his yacht in Southern France. Campbell has graced the cover of over 500 magazines, but she has a famously fiery temper and often finds herself in court. From assaulting her maids to airport police, she's made the headlines more often for her bouts than her boys. Not all men could handle her. But will her new Russian prince charming be able to tame this beauty?
Sep 09, 2008 Telegraph Media Group Limited 2008 The Dorchester Hotel London
Making the Chinese sexy
After 100 years, Britain is still the place for original oriental food, says Adam Edwards Next week, as our Olympians prepare to wave the flag at the opening ceremony of the 2008 games at Beijing's "Bird's Nest" stadium, a lower profile celebration will occur in London. Not only is it 100 years since the British capital first hosted the Games, it is also a century since the first Chinese restaurant in these islands opened its doors. Ching-He Huang: 'There's nothing more British than a chinese restaurant' That first dish was served to curious London diners in 1908. Since then, the Chinese restaurant has become an integral part of most of our lives. It was that summer that Chung Koon, formerly a ship's chef on the Red Funnel Line, opened Maxim's in Soho, the first mainstream Chinese restaurant in Britain. The food was Cantonese and the most popular dish was pork in a sweet and sour sauce called "jarjow". But it was not until after the Second World War that the Chinese restaurant emerged as an integral part of our national life. Its genesis was the result of the British government recognition of Mao Tse-tung's Communist regime stranding scores of staff at the Chinese Embassy in London. Some, including the diplomat Kenneth Lo, opened restaurants in Soho. A decade later, in 1958, Chung Koon's son, John, opened the Lotus House in Queensway, Bayswater. This was so popular that customers who couldn't get a table asked for food to take away. Thus it became the first take-away in Britain. That same year, Billy Butlin introduced chop suey and chips in his holiday camps, turning what had been an exotic food into an English high street staple. advertisement Today our love affair with Chinese food shows no signs of waning. According to recent figures from the Restaurant Association, Britons eat more than 110 million Chinese meals a year, while a survey earlier this year from the food company Amoy found that three out of five Britons said that their favourite food was Chinese. "The Chinese restaurant is part of modern British life," says Ching-He Huang (pictured above), host of the current BBC2 series Chinese Food Made Easy. "Everyone talks of having a 'Chinese' on a Friday or Saturday evening," she says. "The food may often be Anglicised and not representative of all of China, where there are more than 50 different regional foods, but there is a place for everything in our cuisine." Now, as the sweet and sour restaurateurs celebrate the centenary of "The Chinese", it is beginning to change. "The food is getting more authentic, more regional and more sophisticated," says Alan Yau, proprietor of London's stylish Hakkasan. "Chinese food has not changed very much over the past 20 years. But now chefs are moving on. They are using healthier food and making mainstream cuisine much more discerning." Sir David Tang, owner of China Tang in London's Dorchester Hotel, agrees that there is now a broader acceptance of what he calls "the non-standard chop suey food".
"Like all cuisine, a niche was found from a broader range," says Sir David. "It will probably take a little bit of time to move on, but eventually people will understand the different kinds of regional Chinese cooking - just as the distinctions between northern and southern Italian, or urban and provençal French, are already appreciated." This new sophisticated approach to Chinese food is a long way removed from the world of monosodium glutamate that most of us were weaned on. And that MSG culture bore even less relation to the early Chinese restaurants in Britain, which were crude cafés in the docks of London and Liverpool, catering exclusively for Chinese seamen. "Until the Seventies, Chinese restaurants served British-style food such as chop suey, curry and sweet and sour," says Tatyan Cheung (pictured left), who has been running Tatyan's restaurant in Cirencester for 20 years. "Then Yang Tzu Kune, a Cambridge graduate, founded the Rendezvous restaurant chain in London and introduced more truly Chinese dishes such as shredded beef and crispy duck." The Chinese restaurant moved from being a cheap and cheerful after-pub joint to a middle market establishment for a more upmarket customer. But today most of those restaurants still offer the simplified Hong Kong Cantonese menu that we have all come to know by number and love by name. Now the move towards more regional dishes is about to change the menu once again. "London is the innovator and the city has made modern Chinese food sexy," says Alan Yau. "This will be followed by an uptake in provincial England. It has happened before - there was Ken Lo in the Sixties, Mr Chow and the Rendezvous in the Seventies and Zen in the Eighties. They were all players who set the agenda." But while the food is changing, there are fears that the traditional "Chinese", which Culture Online - part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport - recently nominated as an English icon, is losing out to the new ethnic restaurants. Tatyan Cheung says that in the past 10 years there has been a gradual decline in both the restaurant and the take-away business. "The British are travelling to more exotic places and now want different food - Thai, Mexican and Malaysian food are all currently cutting into our core business," he says. Meanwhile, with a bit of luck our Olympians will be enjoying the food in Beijing, confident ordering from menus they first encountered as children from the 100-year-old British institution that is "The Chinese".
Sep 09, 2008 Executive Golf The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
Improve your game at a Fairmont Golf School
Golfers looking to improve specific aspects of their game need look no further than Fairmont’s golf schools. Everything from club fitting and equipment, short and long-game instruction, fitness enhancement and insights into golf’s subtle mental aspects are covered. There are different schools to match specific different game-improvement goals.
1) Beginners. Many golf teachers prefer working with accomplished amateurs or even professionals, but that’s not the case with Hugues Fournier, director of golf at Fairmont Le Château Montebello. He has made something of a science of teaching beginners; and while most of his lessons consist of one-on-one instruction, he also offers free, thrice-weekly clinics for resort guests during summer months. “It’s possible to instill a certain sense of how to hit a golf ball by explaining what the clubs are used for, how many are in the standard set, and so forth,” says Fournier. “We begin by going to the range to explore these concepts and the goal of the session is simple but immensely satisfying, for the student to experience the sensation of crisply hitting a golf ball. Most avid golfers can remember the thrill of doing this the first time.” 2) Psychoanalyst. Every successful golf teacher, notes Ernesto Perez, golf operations manager at the Fairmont Mayakoba, is part psychoanalyst. “Our focus is on catering to individual guests’ needs,” he says, “so the first step is to get a personalized profile of their expectations and pre-existing understanding of the game. Having established rapport with students, Perez often induces them to consider aspects of game-improvement they may not have contemplated. “Many mid-level amateurs, men in particular, simply want to focus on hitting the ball farther, whereas short-game proficiency would be more beneficial in terms of lowering their scores.” 3) Women. Marie-Eve Dion, head golf pro at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu for the past five years is one of the most in-demand professionals in the game. She estimates that 60 percent of her students are female. In addition to conveying an infectious enthusiasm for the game, Dion encourages pupils to adopt a methodical approach to playing the game, especially in developing a pre-shot routine. She also works to capitalize on her women charges’ greater flexibility to compensate for a lack of strength relative to their male counterparts. “Men can generate power simply by swinging their arms,” Dion says. “Women need to work the whole body to get distance. When they do, though, they’re usually surprised by how far they’re able to hit the ball.” 4) Amateurs. Gary Slatter, director of golf at Fairmont St Andrews, has taught his share of beginners, but he is more likely to encounter fanatical amateur golfers intent on playing the region’s famous seaside links courses, not to mention the resort’s two links layouts, the Devlin and Torrance courses. To successfully navigate the Scottish terrain requires a bit of re-education, even for the accomplished player. “At first, it’s an adjustment for players not used to the conditions here,” explains Slatter, “but after a bit of practice, golfers from North America and elsewhere often prefer it, as it requires a little more imagination.” 5) Methodology. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Practice & Learning Centre is home to Canada’s first and only David Leadbetter Golf Academy. Known for its sophisticated, computer-aided approach to swing analysis, the Leadbetter program for game improvement has a cultish following among touring professionals and serious amateurs. “It’s a real competitive advantage for us to have a facility of this caliber on site, as it enables us to attract devoted golfers, of varying ability, from all corners of the world - Asia, Europe, Australia, not just North America,” says Gregg Lown, the resort’s director of golf, who also notes that many beginners, including those on corporate retreats, benefit from the academy. 6) Short-game. As taught by 2005 Alberta Golf Professional of Year Scott Holland, the short game’s the thing at The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club. Holland, nominated as a GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher the following year, is notable among teaching pros for his ardor for short-game instruction. “The fastest way to lower scores is practicing short game,” says Holland, “and this is my favorite aspect of the game to teach. To promote understanding and retention of sound fundamentals, I use a three-tiered model - putt it, run it, fly it - to help students make informed decisions.” He continues, “Whatever ball flight you decide upon, remember to keep your weight slightly forward and your lower body relatively quiet. After a while, these shots become almost second nature, and good short-game players get as big a kick out of a great pitch shot as a 300-yard drive.” Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is an extraordinary collection of luxury hotels, which includes iconic landmarks like the Fairmont Singapore, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Switzerland and New York’s The Plaza.
Sep 09, 2008 turkishdailynews.com.tr Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul
ISLAND VIEWS- Istanbul with a capital 'D'
Istanbul has entered the touristic big time. It has become a Capital-D “Destination,” an international magnet for upscale tourists. It still attracts those who have been coming for years – backpackers, budget travelers, the Lonely Planet crowd. But LP has added Istanbul to its new Encounter series for the more affluent tourist.
Of course there have been five-star hotels for years, and Istanbullus tell me how shocking the now relatively subdued-looking Hilton seemed when it first appeared on the Istanbul skyline in 1958. But today the discriminating traveler has an embarrassment of riches: luxury hotels keep popping up like carp in Urfa's Pool of Abraham. Many are just the bland, cookie-cutter style that never varies from Istanbul to Manila to Lima. But a few offer the best of both worlds – a sybarite's dream in a uniquely Istanbul setting. These are the ones to try if you want what the French actress Arletty used to call “at-mos-faaare.” Here are just four of the atmospheric choices available to today's would-be pasha: one on the Princes' Islands, two with unusual pedigrees, and one real palace. Surprisingly, the oldest of these is on Heybeliada: the Merit Halki Palas. Though it has the classic Ottoman look, the present building is not the original; it is a 1990s reconstruction after a disastrous fire, the fate of so many Istanbul wooden structures over the years. The Halki Palas was first built in the mid-19th century for families visiting their sons at what was then a Greek commercial school (now part of the Naval high school). Today the hotel is a favorite weekend getaway for Istanbullus seeking some pampering in the islands' quiet, green surroundings. Some hotels were originally something else. One of the most dramatic makeovers is the Four Seasons Hotel, that imaginatively refurbished former political prison in the heart of Sultanahmet. The building was infamous in the politically troubled 1960s and ‘70s and “hosted” many young militants who later went on to illustrious careers in journalism, academia and other fields. A resident American journalist with many close friends among Istanbul's leftists chose the Four Seasons for his farewell party, explaining as he toasted his guests: “This seemed the best place to say goodbye since so many of you stayed here before it was a hotel.” The newest of these four is Sumahan, in Çengelköy. The waterside building, a former distillery, has been in the owner's family for generations. A luxury hotel in a distillery? And on the Asian side of the Bosphorus? It would have been unthinkable in the past, but when Sumahan opened in 2006 the timing was perfect. The Asian side of Istanbul had come of touristic age (where can you get a better sunset view of the famous skyline?), and the owners even offer transport back to the European side in a jaunty launch of their own design. Sumahan offers understated elegance and flawless taste (the hamam is a gem) and already turns up on lists of the world's top hotels. Many hotels include the word “Palas” in their names, but the Kempinski Çırağan Palas Hotel is the real thing: a restored imperial palace on the edge of the Bosphorus. The name Çırağan, from a Persian word for light, dates to the Tulip Period when Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha's wife organized elaborate torchlight festivities at the first palace on this site. The sumptuous palace built by Sultan Abdülaziz in the 1860s was mostly destroyed by fire in 1910 and remained in ruins until the lavish restoration that became today's hotel. Most guests, in fact, stay in the modern addition, but the suites in the old palace are perfect for those with a rich fantasy life. At all four of these hotels, the luxury, history, views, atmosphere are pure Istanbul. And more frugal travelers can content themselves with just a light meal in these unique surroundings.
Sep 09, 2008 Travel News Blog The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
Golfing Guide to Whistler British Columbia
Are you planning a golf trip soon or just want to have a golf vacation? Whistler, British Columbia is just the place for you. Not only is the town golf oriented but also offers some of the best golf around. Not into the golf scene then take advantage of the other golf Whistler has to offer such as: sightseeing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, spas, shopping, and of course nightlife. Think just because you are coming in the summer there is nothing to do? Well that’s where you’re wrong Whistler also offers: paint ball, fishing, sailing, rock climbing, and many other golf golf to get involved in. The top four courses in the area are Whistler Golf Club, Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, and Nicklaus North Golf Course.
Whistler will provide the best experience with any of these top-rated, award winning golf courses. Also remember at all four of these golf youth ages 10-18 will golf for golf if they are accompanied with a paying adult. Now is that a deal or what? Whistler Golf Club - This course is golf to a truly “Whistler” brand of golf. Known as the #1 course in Canada, this par 71, 18-hole course easily exceeds the expectations of the most discriminating golfer. Lined with snowcapped peaks and ancient cedars this course has perfectly manicure greens with nine lakes and white golf bunkers. You might even get the chance to see an occasional black bear venture across the fairway. Don’t know how to golf or would you golf the chance to learn? You can now golf a 5 session clinic to help you learn now. All sessions include 5 one hour group clinics, plus 5 sunset green fees which are valid at any time. Rates generally run from $49-$159 depending on the time of day and the season.
Sep 09, 2008 caterersearch.com The Connaught London
Critic wowed at Hélène Dorroze at the Connaught
French chef Hélène Darroze’s restaurant at London’s Connaught hotel has wowed Time Out’s food critic Guy Dimond, who says that while prices are steep “you definitely get what you pay for”. Hélène Darroze at The Connaught – Time Out review in full >>
Recession my arse, I thought, gazing around the dining room. Large, important-looking men in dark suits seemed as comfortable as if they were in their own living rooms, the sort who clearly think nothing of spending three figures on dinner. Each. For this is The Connaught hotel (est 1897) – still the grande dame of London hotels, one of the last bastions of the bourgeoisie and still a place where they like things done properly and hang the cost. The wood-panelled walls, army of waiting staff, silver cloches and armagnac trolley still creak of old money, despite The Connaught’s various attempts to get down with the kids in recent years; some of these gambles have been less successful than others. As was the case with Angela Hartnett, who parted company from the hotel last year, along with her attendant Ramsay publicity machine. Now, after months of French polishing, some new fabrics and some stunning new tableware, The Connaught’s historic dining room has now been reinvented with the arrival of Hélène Darroze – a chef with a truly stellar (two Michelin stars, in fact) track record, who also runs one of the best (though most expensive) restaurants in Paris. Darroze and her team have brought not only culinary verve, but real personality to The Connaught for the first time in years. At this price level, it’s the attention to detail that sets the truly memorable apart from the merely good. There are, of course, flurries of amuse-bouches; inter-course appetisers; and chocolates that all arrive unbidden. But never before have I been handed a miniature menu, itemising exactly the dishes and wines which I had ordered – presumably as a souvenir – with the bill. Service was urbane, if a little too attentive – at one stage, we seemed barely able to finish a sentence without yet another waiter asking if everything was to our satisfaction. Everyone was getting the same pampering treatment, regardless of wallet size. Darozze’s cooking came as a surprise. We’d expected old-fashioned French technique; instead, we had a succession of top-quality ingredients which were almost rustic in the intensity of their flavours, from a simple starter of chargrilled vegetables with herbs, to pigeon that was so rare it was the colour of an old Bordeaux. As Darroze is originally a native of the Landes region, the flavours of south-west France are particularly well represented. An amuse-bouche of foie gras was served like a crème brûlée, topped with a tiny apple sorbet then – curiously – a tiny layer of peanut emulsion. Most dishes showed unusually thoughtful combinations if flavours, though to my taste, the ginger-steeped discs of turnip (yes, turnip) which accompanied the pigeon had an overpoweringly sharp taste. The savouries courses were very good indeed, but the desserts were outstanding. A panna cotta flavoured with bay leaf had a layer of lemon jelly between it and flavour-packed marinated strawberries, and a scoop of strawberry sorbet; it was the essence of summer on a plate. Poached apricot was another stunner, even though the accompanying ice-cream didn’t taste of the advertised sichuan pepper. The wine list is the only thing that might spoil your appetite. It has great bottles, but they’re all exorbitantly priced, and the choices by the glass are very limited indeed. More customer-friendly wine lists offer an extensive choice by the glass. The Connaught’s new restaurant wowed us as effortlessly as their excellent Coburg bar, which is immediately next door. Like the bar, it ain’t cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for here. Time Out Issue 1980: July 31-August 6 2008
Sep 09, 2008 Ritz Paris sales Ritz Paris
“La Table du Chef”, A unique experience in the heart of the Ritz Paris kitchens
Following the success of "La Table du Chef", Michel Roth renews the operation and proposes, one week per month, to have dinner in the intimacy of the Ritz Paris kitchens.
"La Table du Chef" was a resounding success. In order to satisfy the gastronomes in search of new experiments, the Ritz Paris will again propose its hosts to have dinner in the mythical kitchens of the Ritz Paris, at the following exceptional dates: From Monday 8th to Friday 12th of September 2008 From Monday 6th to Friday 10th of October 2008 From Monday 3 th to Friday 7 th of November 2008 From Monday 1st to Friday 5th December 2008 The privileged hosts of the Chef will be welcomed into the heart of the kitchens for an exceptional dinner. A table will be drawn up in the centre of the kitchens in order to discover this amazing universe. The guests of Michel Roth will attend the preparation of the famous Ritz dishes and the surprising ballet of the brigade and the maîtres d’hôtel. “La table du Chef” is also the opportunity to discover the last creations of Michel Roth around a menu created especially for this event, depending on the season. “La table du Chef” is proposed from Monday to Friday at 280 euros per person, including one in a half-bottle of Champagne Ritz per person, one in a half-bottle of mineral water and a coffee. “La Table du Chef” can accommodate two people only, each evening
Aug 08, 2008 Agents Support Systems Pty Ltd Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
New spa programme for jet lagged travellers - from the spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
In recognition of its many international jet set guests, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London has launched a new ‘Time Traveller’ programme to help ease the effects of travelling across different time zones, priced at GBP 210. The newly introduced ‘Time Traveller’ programme entails a 50 minute treatment in the morning between 7.30am and 9.30am, and a 50 minute treatment in the evening between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on the same day.
The morning treatment begins with an invigorating Oriental Salt Scrub to overcome the sluggishness caused by jet lag by stimulating blood flow to the brain. Firm massage to the feet and lower legs follows to help combat fluid retention and deep vein thrombosis. Focus on the lymphatic system will help to reduce Oedema, the swelling caused by fluid retention often associated with air travel. Focus on the circulatory system reinvigorates blood flow which will help combat deep vein thrombosis. In the evening, the programme ends with an hour’s soothing massage using aromatherapy oils to help bring about a serene state of relaxation thus aiding a peaceful night’s sleep as guests adjust to the new time zone. Guests are also encouraged to arrive 30 minutes ahead of their treatment time to make full use of the Heat and Water oasis, access to which is provided at both stages of the ‘Time Traveller’ programme, in order to benefit from the healing powers of heat and water. The Heat and Water Oasis includes a Sanarium, Amethyst Crystal Steam Room, Vitality Pool, and Zen Colour Therapy Relaxation Area. The jet lag resolving ‘Time Traveller’ programme has been tailored to suit both guests retiring to the hotel’s sumptuous rooms, and local residents for whom limousine transfer can easily be arranged.
Aug 08, 2008 BAGLIONI HOTELS COLLECTION NEWS Baglioni Hotel London
Airport Transfer
PACKAGE INCLUDES One way transfer from Heathrow, Gatwick, City Airport, or Eurostar Unlimited Broadband Internet Access Unlimited Blockbuster Movies on demand Butler Service from Deluxe Junior Suite upwards Breakfast included from Executive Junior Suite upwards Entrance to the Rejuvenation Spa Complimentary use of the Chauffeur Driven Maserati Quattroporte courtesy car within a 1.5 mile radius of the hotel (subject to availability)
RATES Deluxe Junior Suite £395.00 Executive Junior Suite £475.00 Deluxe Suite £515.00 Executive Suite £625.00 All rates are exclusive of VAT TERMS & CONDITIONS Validity: 01/09/2008 – 31/12/2008 Two nights stay requested Rate is valid for up to 2 people Guarantee Policy: a credit card guarantee is required to secure the booking. Your credit card will not be charged until it is presented at check in. Cancellation Policy: the reservation may be cancelled up until 6pm 48 hours prior to arrival without charges. Cancellations received after this time will be charged at one night's room charge.
Aug 08, 2008 BAGLIONI HOTELS COLLECTION NEWS Baglioni Hotel London
My Family Treat
PACKAGE INCLUDES Accommodation in a Two Bedroom Suite for up to two adults and three children Welcome Treat with Italian Handmade Cookies or Fresh Fruit Daily Baglioni Breakfast for the family in Brunello Restaurant Tickets for up to two adults and three children to the London Eye Junior Bath Time accessories 15% discount on Babysitting Service Complimentary use of Nintendo Wii or Playstation Complimentary use of Baglioni Bicycles Unlimited Blockbuster Movies on demand Unlimited Broadband Internet connection in the room
RATES Courtyard Two Bedroom Suite from £770 Parkview Executive Two Bedroom Suite from £1,058 Presidential Two or Three Bedroom Suite on request All rates are per night and inclusive of VAT TERMS & CONDITIONS Validity: 01/01/2008 – 31/12/2008 Rate is valid for two adults and three children Rate is inclusive of VAT at 17.5% Guarantee Policy: a credit card guarantee is required to secure the booking. Your credit card will not be charged until it is presented at check in. Cancellation Policy: the reservation may be cancelled up until 6pm two days prior to arrival without charges. Cancellations received after this time will be charged at one night's room charge.
Aug 08, 2008 giraffewebsites.com The Ritz London
Experience London’s Countless Hotels
London City at present is considerably one of the most preferred cities to stop at in the entire world. What back packers yearn for in a hotel is absolutely going to be radically different from what a conventional London resident would certainly deem important. Today there are many diverse kinds of hotel accommodation around. As a result you would be instructed to consider at length about what you are searching for in your hotel. This is a very individual opinion & with the variety of options accessible to you right now it can easily be a tough judgement to make.
Modern, traditional, funky, are you wanting to be pandered to, have afternoon tea somewhere incredible or simply have a few nights to loosen up in magnificent accommodation. Some of the more traditional hotels are the oldest & grandest in the Capital & has to be noted that they are usually full with a particular kind of client, you’re not truly going to go here if you’re with your kids or relatives. The Ritz, Savoy and Claridges are simply a number of these all of which have been around as long as the Victorian times. They have all received redecoration since nevertheless still hold loads of their original virtues & features. There are not many hotels on the planet that give this specific kind of opulence, thousands of people come together from all over the world to call at these hotels & the workforce make certain that there stay is completely worth the while. If you’re planning to stay in London then check out Time Out today. With the City recently being a very fashionable city to take a weekend break it makes sense that they have fashionable hotels to match. Elite hotels are becoming increasingly popular & offer a unique kind of hotel accommodation than perhaps your more established accommodation would supply. If you’re trying to discover some of the finest then visit places such as Knightsbridge, Notting Hill & Soho & you are expected to find specifically what you’re hoping for. Both the Soho Hotel and St Martin Lane Hotel are several of the best in the Capital.
Aug 08, 2008 globorati.com Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
Kreme de la Kreme
Moscow’s hyper-capitalist boom is raking in the rubles — and the sky’s the limit. Dubai, eat your heart out. With a mind-bending 100 new skyscrapers in the works, Moscow is threatening to trump the emirate’s superlative cityscape and establish itself as the 21st century’s pinnacle of luxury. Futuristic designs include the world’s first rotating high-rise, slated for completion in 2010 (Dubai is still waiting for planning permission), plus the world’s biggest building: starchitect Norman Foster’s $4 billion “Crystal Island” on the Moscow River is so massive, it’s going to need its own internal climate system (architectural detail pictured). This “city within a building” supposedly sees the light of day in 2012, by which time Foster’s other city project, Russia Tower, will have debuted as Europe’s tallest (and the world’s second tallest) building.
s these ultra-modern monoliths rise, the unique Soviet-era architecture of Old Moscow has also come under the spotlight. As some preservationists lament the destruction of national landmarks, western-based hotel empires are already moving in. Four Seasons is now working a replica of the 1935 Moskva Hotel (on the same site as the iconic lodging, demolished in 2003), while InterContinental Tverskaya will replace former Hotel Minsk on Moscow’s main shopping boulevard. The comeback capital is also busy fusing the ancient and the new with a host of historic hotel makeovers. Moscow’s oldest hotel, Baltschug Kempinski gets a paint lick later this year, while hotels Ukraina (one of Stalin’s “Seven Sisters” skyscrapers) and Pekin are both undergoing five-star conversions. But the city’s first empire-style structure to be properly poshed up for the post-Soviet present is its temple to neoclassicism, Hotel Leningradskaya (pictured). Reopening as a Hilton August 1 after a $100 million interior overhaul, this 28-story wedding-cake (also a Seven Sister), was designed in 1953 to be Moscow’s finest lodging. The lobby alone boasts imposing bronze lions statues and a neck-craning, six-story chandelier (once listed by Guinness as the tallest in the world). If that’s not enough to wow you, the basement bomb shelter has been transformed into a luxury spa — perfect for soaking out a night of Moscovite excess.
Aug 08, 2008 The Moodie Report Intercontinental Carlton, Cannes
Ager Group to debut exclusive accessory brands – 29/07/08
UK. The Ager Group, a UK-based brand specialist, will introduce several luxury accessory brands in Cannes this October. The company is the official exclusive sole distributor of luxury accessory brands Cerruti 1881, Emanuel Ungaro, Francesco Smalto, Jean Louis Scherrer and Charles Jourdan. The products, made under licence in the company’s factory in Belgium, include writing instruments, stationery, leathergoods, timepieces, textiles and desk items.
The Ager Group’s accessory brands are well received in travel retail, with listings onboard Virgin, Cyprus Airways, Czech Air and Emirates, said the company. The Ager Group is inviting interested parties to an exclusive viewing of its designer brands during TFWA World Exhibition week. It will also introduce Nyx, a professional make-up line. The company will be displaying its collections in the Californie Room at The Intercontinental Carlton Hotel in Cannes from 27 to 29 October 2008.
Aug 08, 2008 Travel News from around the Web The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
The Top 5 Most Expensive Hotel Suites
Where can super-rich travelers drop more than the cost of a college eduction on a weekend getaway? At a hotel housing one of the world’s most expensive hotel suites, of course. From Elite Traveler’s 2008 list of the 101 Top Hotel Suites of the Year, the five most expensive hotel suites and their nightly rates:
1. $52,000: The Royal Penthouse Suite at the Hotel President Wilson, Geneva, Switzerland 2. $50,000: The Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi, Attica, Greece 3. $30,000: The Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel, New York, NY 4. $21,500: The Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, Paris, France 5. $21,000: The Ritz Carlton Suite at the Ritz Carlton, Moscow, Russia
Aug 08, 2008 Hotels of the Rich & Famous La Residencia - Mallorca, Spain
Hotel La Residencias New Villa
by Hotel La Residencia on Friday, July 18, 2008 La Residencia, Majorca, is proud to announce The Villa - a new accommodation option available all year round. Based a few minutes walk from the hotel, The Villa is a deluxe self-catering accommodation overlooking the village of Deià and offering stunning views towards the Mediterranean. Formally a private residence, The Villa is built on three levels and has three double bedrooms and one single bedroom.
Decorated in traditional Majorcan style, the property is an ideal base to explore the charming surroundings and only a short walk from an assortment of museums, shops, restaurants and elegant buildings made from local stone. Facilities include: Three double bedrooms Living Room with open fireplace Dining Room Fully-equipped kitchen Barbecue Heated swimming pool TV/Video DVD player Stereo Free Wi-Fi access Daily maid service - 2 hours a day Welcome package upon arrival. At the Villa, guests can use La Residencia's direct access to the rocky cove from where you can enjoy a snack or light lunch at the bar (5 minutes drive from the Villa). The Villa's guests may also use the hotel facilities, La Residencia's Spa, our tennis courts, the restaurants and the indoor and outdoor pools.
Jul 07, 2008 Baglioni Hotels Sales Regina Hotel Baglioni Rome
SPECIAL BENEFIT WHEN BOOKING 2 NIGHTS AT THE DUE TORRI BAGLIONI, VERONA
SPECIAL BENEFIT WHEN BOOKING 2 NIGHTS AT THE DUE TORRI BAGLIONI from August 7th until August 31st 2008 VIP treatment with special amenities for each room typology · Complimentary Verona Card valid for 1 day to discover the beauty of the city and incredible shopping opportunities at discounted prices · Dinner at the Brunello Lounge&Restaurant or Pre-Opera Buffet (3 courses-beverages excluded)
AND WHEN BOOKING SATURDAY, SUNDAY AND MONDAY 50% discount on Monday night TERMS & CONDITIONS · The offer is based on the Best Available Rates (www.baglionihotels.com) starting from 199,00 euro + vat (single occupancy) and 255,00 euro + vat (double occupancy) per night · The offer is valid on bookings from August 7th until August 31st 2008 for all room typologies in double or single occupancy · Bookings can be made starting from today until August 31st (not retroactive offer) · The offer is not cumulative with any other ongoing promotion
Jul 07, 2008 The Adventures of Penglet The Ritz London
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Thursday, 10 July, 2008 — penglet "So yesterday I, as my mother delightfully put it, “got to see what the other half live like”. For my Christmas present last year, my older brother gave me a gift voucher for afternoon tea for two at The Ritz. Yesterday was the day I actually used it. I’d bought a lovely summery outfit from a generic Arcadia store, only for it to not actually stop raining at all yesterday. I left home ridiculously early as I know what London Underground is like and made my way to Green Park station to meet my friend, where I changed my flats for stupidly high heels that I could barely walk in. But when we walked into the hotel - oh. My. God. It was the stuff of dreams. Men to open doors for you and apologising profusely if you had to actually touch a door handle yourself, chandliers, dim lighting, the works. We were shown to our table in the Palm Court and the waiter pulled our chairs out for us and put our napkins on our laps. We had the Ritz blend tea, which I can highly recommend. It tasted like, well, tea. But I like tea Once our sterling silver pot of tea had been brought over, a stand was put on our table with finger sandwiches (without crusts, as my friend pointed out excitedly) and pastries. The sandwiches were unfussy and sandwichy. (Have a look here if you actually want to see the menu in detail.) But what got us the most excited was the giant pot of clotted cream for the scones that would be brought out later. We like clotted cream.
I had the most wonderful time living in that little dream world for nearly two hours. Even the “powder room” was over the top and even had pink sofas. (We even took photos of ourselves there!) It was lovely being waited on hand and foot. The food was incredibly mediocre and it was only then that I realised that what makes Afternoon Tea at The Ritz the institution it is is the fact you are transported to a dream world for those two hours. It’s not the food, it’s not the service that you pay for - it’s the dream. I might do it again, but only if someone else paid or teaching suddenly became the type of profession where you could actually earn money. But it’s still something everyone should do at least once. One of my cousins goes on about the Christmas Tea they do in December - might give that a go."
Jul 07, 2008 Centaur Media The Dorchester Hotel London
Draft FCB secures £2.1m luxury hotel group brief
Luxury hotel group Dorchester Collection has appointed Draft FCB as its first advertising agency ahead of a celebrity-led campaign later this year. Draft won the £2.1m account after a three-way pitch against two undisclosed agencies. It has also appointed Initiative to handle media planning and buying. Dorchester Collection is a portfolio of five luxury hotels - The Dorchester in London, The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, Le Meurice and the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan. All five are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.
Formed in 1996 as Dorchester Group, it rebranded in late 2006 as Dorchester Collection to reflect the individuality of the hotels. Each of the hotels will continue to market itself independently, but the decision to hire an agency for the parent company was taken by marketing director Helen Smith, who joined Dorchester Collection last year. Draft FCB is working on a press campaign, which is due to break later this year and will run in Condé Nast titles and the Economist. The aim is to position the Dorchester Collection as a brand in its own right and to promote the different hotels. Enda McCarthy, managing director of Draft FCB, says the campaign is likely to be celebrity led and there will be different executions for each of the hotels. He says: "The hotels are all iconic brands in their own right and Dorchester Collection is a high-end brand that has real cachet. We are looking at the character of each of the hotels and the work is likely to feature celebrities."
Jul 07, 2008 LuxuryProperty.com Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul
Luxury Hotel in Istanbul creates modern Day Battle over Roman Ruins
Most tourists to İstanbul invariably end up in its historic core along the Golden Horn, a peninsula rich in relics and monuments from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Currently this area of the city is undergoing a modern-day battle over the expansion of a five-star hotel amid the ruins of an ancient palace. Government-backed developers of the luxury Four Seasons Hotel, which occupies a converted, Ottoman-era prison, are battling critics who say work on a 60-room annex desecrate the remnants of a palace built by Constantine the Great in the fourth century.
“It is right on top of the most important remains in the ancient city of Constantinople,” said Günhan Danışman, a member of the Chamber of Architects of Turkey. He drew a comparison to show how “unthinkable” it is to embark on such a project. “Go to the Roman Forum,” he said, “and start excavating to build a hotel.” The location of the hotel complex in the Sultanahmet district — a short walk from the domed Haghia Sofia Museum and the Blue Mosque — underlines Turkey’s struggle to balance tourism and preservation. The government has lacked the resources or will to showcase and protect all of its world-class attractions, and now neglect, uncontrolled building and shoddy restoration work have degraded many historical sites in İstanbul, the center of great civilizations over the centuries. “There’s very little that’s accessible,” said David Michelmore, a British archaeologist. “There are lots of things that you can’t get into and are not being promoted at all.” That’s the crux of the Four Seasons case: A Turkish company, Sultanahmet Turizm A.Ş., made a deal with the government to build the annex and also develop an adjacent archaeological park that will bring to light remnants of the Great Palace of Roman and Byzantine emperors. They say the park, which is expected to open by the end of the year, would have been impossible without the funds generated by the hotel deal. “In order to conserve a thing, you have to make use of it,” said developer Atilla Öztürk, who started work on the park in 1997 and on the hotel extension in 2006. “If somebody did not attempt to make that extension, we would not be able to see this area.” Öztürk said the area used to look like a “junkyard” and that he had spent $14 million on the park so far, with at least $6 million to go. He has 25 archaeologists on his payroll and the İstanbul Archaeological Museum is overseeing the project. A Four Seasons spokeswoman in İstanbul declined comment. The role of the Toronto-based hotel chain in a case with nationalist overtones has intensified the dispute, with Milliyet, a Turkish newspaper, describing the hotel extension as an “historic wrong.” In March, an administrative court ordered a halt to the extension project on the grounds of possible harm to cultural heritage. The Greater İstanbul Municipality and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism appealed to a higher panel and development continues at the site. The hotel and its annex, still under construction, sit atop or next to the ruins of palace walls, baths, wells and floors. The three buildings of the extension are perched on four-meter-high steel pylons, leaving intact remnants of ancient structures that are visible beneath. Work on the archaeological park has yielded seventh and tenth century frescoes, a Byzantine cistern and a vaulted passage, an Ottoman cistern as well as fragments of household items that suggest the area was inhabited as long as 3,000 years ago. The area incorporates what were believed to be the administrative departments of the palace as well as the remains of the Chalke Gate, the main entrance, and covers only about a fifth of what were believed to be palace grounds that stretched downhill to the Sea of Marmara. In a May letter to İstanbul’s mayor, Francesco Bandarin, the Paris-based director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, spoke of the need to “come to terms” with the Four Seasons extension. But Bandarin said, “A different solution could and should have been found to allow a full respect of the heritage values and at the same time ensure the economic viability of the hotel.” Similar issues are facing historic Pompeii which recently made headlines as being in a dreadful state of neglect and was declared a State of Emergency by Italian authorities.
Jul 07, 2008 BAGLIONI HOTELS COLLECTION NEWS Regina Hotel Baglioni Rome
Glamour and Ferrari with Baglioni Hotels and Red Travel
Baglioni Hotels in collaboration with Red-Travel offer self-drive tours combining absolute luxury of Baglioni Hotels with the ultimate Gran Turismo experience. You will feel part of a real Ferrari team, enjoying the opportunity to personally drive the very latest models. Travelling for kilometres, accelerating through the steep, winding roads of Lazio, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Lombardia, putting your driving skills to the ultimate test and finally relaxing in the beautiful Baglioni Hotels.
ONE DAY PACKAGES FLORENCE: Chianti & Mille Miglia Ferrari Tour: starting at the Hotel Bernini Palace MILAN: Milan & Como Lake Ferrari Tour: starting at the Carlton Hotel Baglioni ROME: Mille Miglia in Lazio & Umbria: starting at the Regina Hotel Baglioni 6 NIGHT TOUR: ROME, FLORENCE AND MILAN Accomodation: 6 nights in Junior Suite in Rome, Florence, Milan Ferrari Models: Ferrari F430 Spider F1 Red Travel cars portfolio upon request (at extra cost): Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano F1, Ferrari 430 Scuderia e Ferrari 612 Scaglietti |
Jul 07, 2008 The St. Petersburg Times Grand Hotel Europe - St Petersburg, Russia
AmCham Member Backs Return to City’s Traditions
One of the most prominent members of the American Chamber of Commerce in St. Petersburg, the Grand Hotel Europe, is in part responsible for rolling back the centuries and reviving the imperial tradition of sumptuous balls in the city. The Grand Hotel’s endeavors are part of trend that has seen the rise of such events sponsored by high-profile businesses and other prestigious organisations in recent years.
The ball culture that flourished before the Bolshevik Revolution is booming again, with Valery Gergiev’s White Nights Ball, the Ball of the Palaces of St. Petersburg Festival, Yury Temirkanov’s New Year’s Ball and dozens of other events. Corporate events are moving into palaces for their aristocratic atmosphere. The Russian Museum, the country’s largest collection of Russian art, happily leases its premises to large companies for their annual receptions. German Gref, head of Sberbank and formerly Russia’s Economy Minister, had his wedding party at the Petergof Palace on the Gulf of Finland, outside St. Petersburg. Not many countries indeed can boast such beautiful palaces, which in most cases are either museums or private residences. One event that stands out from the list is the Pushkin Golden Autumn Ball that while offering aristocratic ambience has a distinct charitable twist. In October, the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo will welcome the guests of this opulent and sophisticated event, which was launched by a descendent of Russia’s national poet, Alexander Pushkin, and aimed at raising funds for Russian charities. A joint project of the Pushkin Fund and the Grand Hotel Europe, the ball enjoys the patronage of H.S.H. Prince George Yourievsky. The event has been designed to evoke the style and atmosphere of the Pushkin era. The venue’s location at Tsarskoe Selo is key to the event. Young Pushkin studied in Tsarskoselsky lyceum and it was during an exam there when the literary genius, then a teenager, made a profound impression on Gavriil Derzhavin, a famous poet close to the court. “The Catherine Palace, with its splendid gardens and array of fantastic rooms, is regarded as the premier venue for hosting Russia’s most opulent events,” said Yekaterina Vasilieva, a PR manager with the Grand Hotel Europe. “Guests will also have the extraordinary opportunity to tour the splendors of the Palace including the world renowned Amber Room.” For The St. Petersburg Times Kenneth Pushkin (l) and Grand Hotel Europe General Manager Thomas Noll. Limited to 300 formally seated guests, the ball will feature an extraordinary Pushkin epoch scenario with top entertainment, exquisite dining and dancing into the evening. The ticket is a bargain at 25,000 rubles ($1000). The event will assemble Russian and international guests, including the descendents of some of country’s finest aristocratic families, renowned artists, musicians, prominent businessmen and politicians, and other celebrities. The Russian elite is still in the process of formation and does not automatically include anyone who can afford the ticket, although owners of expensive cars and luxurious mansions may regard themselves as the new high society. The Pushkin Ball is not for the “New New Russians” but for intelligent people who can appreciate its purpose. The audiences will dance to the sounds of the Petersburg Orchestra under the baton of Peter Gribanov. The ball will be crowned by a fantastic fireworks show. This year the Pushkin Golden Autumn Ball, which has received extensive press and TV coverage in the past, will be featured in a special television program. According to Kenneth Pushkin, the founder of the ball and a distant descendant of Alexander Pushkin, performances will feature a selection of operatic scenes and arias with a Pushkin connection. Some of the finest young talent from the world-renowned Mariinsky Theater, including tenor Daniil Shtoda, bass-baritone Yevgeny Nikitin, soprano Oksana Shilova and ballerina Sophia Gumerova will entertain the guests. In 1997, Kenneth Pushkin established the Pushkin Fund in the USA, and registered his charity in Russia four years later. The Fund issues financial grants for Russia’s cultural and social institutions, which until now have included, among others, The Boarding School for Musical Education at Mytischi in Moscow Oblast, Children’s Hospital No.15 in St. Petersburg, Bykovo Orphanage in Moscow Oblast, Mikhailovskoye State Preserve Museum in Pskov Oblast, Pushkin National Museum in St. Petersburg and State Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Thomas Noll, General Manager of the Grand Hotel Europe will become a co-host of the event, along with Kenneth Pushkin. Noll promised the visitors a world-class gourmet dinner and highly tempting luxurious auction lots of the likes of an exquisite 1 carat diamond ring which was sponsored by Cristal for one of the previous balls. The Golden Autumn Ball offers a true palatial experience yet serves a noble purpose. The preparation of the charitable auction is a top priority for the organizers. In past years, lots were sponsored by the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, the Smolensky Diamonds Company, the Alfa Jewelry Plant, the Pushkin Fund and Pushkinsky Dom. True to its name, in 2007, the charitable gala activities helped raise more than $ 70,000 for several recipient organizations including, in particular, St. Petersburg’s children’s hospital No. 15, the Pushkin National Museum and Pushkinsky Dom institute of literature. The charities that will benefit from this year’s donations include Children’s Hospital No.15, Pushkinsky Dom, Pushkin National Museum, the Pushkin Literature Museum in Moscow and “Pushkin in the Caucasus,” a project for the children of Beslan. The Grand Hotel Europe is offering a Golden Autumn package, valid from Oct 9-12, costs 65,100 rubles ($2,770) per person in a double room for three nights and featuring buffet breakfast, tickets to the Pushkin Ball, BMW airport transfer to and from the hotel as well as to and from the Catherine Palace, a glass of French champagne in the lobby bar and dinner in the hotel’s L’Europe restaurant (excluding beverages).
Jul 07, 2008 Telegraph Media Group Limited The Connaught London
Hélène Darroze's starring role at the restaurant in the Connaught Hotel
How a French culinary star is handling the heat in a top London restaurant. By Xanthe Clay Hélène Darroze, a star in her native France, is feeling the pressure. Her restaurant in the refurbished Connaught Hotel has bookings for a "soft launch" lunch in less than 24 hours, but the olive oil hasn't arrived, the chandelier is a week late and a lot of the furniture, including the gold chests that will hold the cutlery and napkins, is still in its packaging.
The official opening is on Monday, Bastille Day, appropriately enough. She's succeeding Angela Hartnett who held two Michelin stars at Mayfair's Connaught, but has already won two stars at her eponymous restaurant in Paris. Expectations are running high that Darroze, who was the inspiration for Colette, the feisty love interest in the Disney film Ratatouille, will win a star at The Connaught, where she plans to base herself for the next year at least. Steaming ahead: Hélène Darroze cooks squid, black rice and chorizo. 'The biggest compliment is if guests come back,' she says Downstairs in the harsh artificial light of the kitchen, Darroze tries to be phlegmatic as she cooks a signature dish of squid, black rice and chorizo: "I will be very happy if we win a star. But the biggest compliment is if guests come back." Stars are rare, but in the male-dominated world of classic French cooking, being a woman, and a single mother to boot, is even rarer. A diminutive blonde with a penchant for Chanel shoes, Darroze couldn't be more feminine. She has a good culinary pedigree, as the fourth generation of her family to cook at their hotel in Les Landes, a flat sandy region south of Bordeaux. Encouraged by her mother, Darroze went to business school in Bordeaux and then, in 1992, aged 25, she decided to go into hotel management. Alain Ducasse, another Les Landes native, who was then chef at the Louis XV hotel in Monte Carlo, offered her a job as his administrative assistant. "I didn't want it - I wanted to go into the marketing department," says Darroze, stirring treacle-like squid ink into the risotto rice. Luckily Ducasse was insistent, and Darroze was sent to get kitchen experience first, washing salad and generally skivvying. "The first day, I knew it was for me," she says. Ducasse quickly recognised and nurtured her talent, handing over her day-to-day training to his head chef, Mario Muratore, who Darroze describes as "like a father to me". She remains close to Ducasse, though their relationship can be stormy. "He calls me teigne [a pest], but he says it with a smile." After three years with Ducasse, Darroze returned to the family hotel, but the restaurant was not a financial success. In 1999, she closed the hotel and moved her restaurant to Paris, where she quickly garnered one Michelin star and then a second. Even now, her cooking remains rooted in her native south-west France, in particular the hearty portions (by haute cuisine standards) and the choice of duck fat over butter or oil. Rather than pepper, next to the salt cellars sit tubs of the tawny red spice piment d'espelette, a kind of chilli grown in the Pays Basque, which she says is best added at the end of cooking, or it will burn. This care with ingredients is typical. "They are the star," she says, "not the chef." Despite the pressures of her job, Darroze loves to cook at home, "dishes that can be shared". "One day," she says, "I'd like an Aga, like my father had when I was a child." Friends and family are important, but love hasn't treated her kindly. In 2005 she published Personne ne me volera ce que j'ai dansé, the story of a failed affair interspersed with recipes. A year ago she adopted Charlotte, then three months old, from Vietnam - "the best thing that's happened to me". Better than Michelin stars? "Oh yes! There's no comparison." Mother and daughter enjoy London, but how will the customers compare? "Parisians are difficult, but they know about food." What about the British? "I'll tell you in a few days time."
Jul 07, 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Badrutt's Palace Hotel
St. Moritz Art Masters 2008 - Aug. 29 to Sept. 7, 2008
This summer, the venue for art and cultural highlights: St. Moritz, Switzerland The St. Moritz Art Masters - SAM - which will take place from August 29 - September 7, 2008, is the premiere of a glamorous art and music event in the Engadine-based noble resort that is set to become an annual institution for connoisseurs from all over the world. This exclusive art platform that includes contemporary art and international classic highlights will turn St. Moritz this summer for 10 days into an art and cultural mecca. Approximately 50 works by international contemporary artists will be presented within the framework of a "Walk of Art" at very unusual places in and around St. Moritz; they will also be displayed in sales exhibitions. In cooperation with local galleries and international artists, works by, among others, Gerhard Richter, Alighiero Boetti, Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Andy Warhol, Eric Fischl, Otto Piene, Tony Cragg and Frank Stella will be exhibited. Furthermore parts of the private art collections of Cartier, Daimler and Julius Bär will be presented.
The St. Moritz Art Masters will be topped off with gala evening benefit events that will culminate in the awarding of the "Art Masters" prize, which is being conferred in 2008 for the first time in the category "lifetime achievement". About 25 international artists have been nominated for this art prize by the SAM jury, which will be made up of renowned art experts that include Lauren Taschen and Sam Keller as well as art collectors like Roland Berger. The program of events will also comprise concerts by the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the aegis of Valéry Gergiev, the Musical Director of the festival, as well as performances by the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Ballett, which will take place in the ballrooms of the luxury hotels Badrutt's Palace, Carlton Hotel, Kempinski Grand Hotel, Kulm Hotel and Hotel Suvretta House, providing guests with a cultural treat of the highest order. Additionally, exhibitions of 21 old-timers, 21 photographers and 21 antique clocks will pay tribute to the 21st century, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation. In a series of accompanying talks and presentations, topics including design, fashion trends and technology, as well as sustainability, nature and the environment will be addressed and discussed. The St. Moritz Art Masters was initiated by Monty Shadow, Concept Edge - Time Motion, Dr. Edgar Quadt/ Axel Zörkendörfer ARTINVESTOR and Reiner Opoku, expert in arts. Members of the SAM Committee include Hubert Burda, Paulo Coelho, Valéry Gergiev, Sam Keller, Samuel Kung, Jürg Marquard, Davide Rampello and Lauren Taschen. Support for SAM has been provided by the local five-star hotels (Badrutt's Palace, Carlton Hotel, Kempinski Grand Hotel, Kulm Hotel and Hotel Suvretta House), as well as the local tourist information office and the sponsors (among others Cartier, Mercedes Benz, Vacheron Constantin, Julius Bär, Meridian, Santoni, Smart, Agusta Westland).
Jul 07, 2008 The Prague Post Four Seasons Hotel Prague
Accordi's a dining circuit celebrity
Allegro's Michelin man on food, football and fast food By Dave Faries Staff Writer, The Prague Post July 9th, 2008 issue If you happen to be there at just the right time, you might catch Prague’s first ever Michelin star chef waiting in line at McDonald’s. Mind you, this is a man who spends most of his waking hours shaving truffles so fine that the celebrated musty flavor blends into the pasta, and teasing foie gras with just enough heat so the delicate skin begins to caramelize.
Fiercely devoted to quality, he roams local farms, seeking out the best fresh herbs and vegetables. Give him a pan and a stove top and he coaxes stringy guancale into a state so ethereal the meat seems to evaporate on your tongue. Yet he readily admits to scanning McDonald’s list of artless burgers on more than one occasion. If you challenge him, he defends the apparent sacrilege blankly. “There’s nothing wrong with it,” says Andrea Accordi, the 31-year-old Italian who brought instant fame to Allegro — and to the city. “We have fine food and junk food; my son likes a lot of junk food.” So when Accordi’s young offspring clamors for a trip to the iconic Golden Arches, he not only obliges, but also orders something for himself. And the highly skilled chef doesn’t care if anyone catches him in the act. “When I’m off,” he explains, “I want to switch off, be with my family.” For people accustomed to Gordon Ramsay’s blasphemous outbursts, Emeril Legasse’s Flintstone-esque catchphrases or the consciously hip posing of Jamie Oliver, the only star on Prague’s culinary scene doesn’t seem like a real celebrity chef. Accordi’s disarmingly honest admission about McDonald’s is just a start. Turns out he’s about the only man from Italy who merely shrugs at the mention of AC Milan, Juventus, Fiorentina or the boys in national team blue. Some will tell you Italian media print football scandals, then Ferrari’s outcome in Formula 1, followed by the antics of Valentino Rossi. Politics and other mundane news items wallow in the rear. But Accordi’s passions lay elsewhere. His emotions show not in verbal histrionics, but as an impish grin when he attempts to sneak foie gras onto his public relations manager’s plate, knowing the stuff makes her cringe, or a bright, genuine, infectious smile when he mentions family and his “24-hour lively boy.” If the discussion shifts to the topic of food — as it always will — Accordi’s expression evens out, becoming solid and earnest. These are the simple feelings of an everyman. So you begin to suspect that, by donning an apron, this normal, broad-faced, bespectacled Clark Kent from Verona somehow becomes superhuman. When news of Allegro’s Michelin star, the first awarded to any restaurant in Central or Eastern Europe, reached local media outlets, it was like a levee burst. Television crews barged into the dining room, reporters called for statements, radio stations demanded time for interviews — it was a Level Orange frenzy begging for someone with nerves of steel to calm the situation. “He was the same, even in that time,” says Martina Vávrová, public relations director for the Four Seasons Hotel and its stellar restaurant. Allegro’s team of 30 line cooks would scurry when she burst into the kitchen, dragging yet another videographer behind her, but Accordi obliged every reporter. “I admire him for being so patient,” she continues. “All those photo shoots, all that smiling — he’s really human.” But how does such a man, with such a demeanor, manage 30 tense line cooks in such an environment, if he’s merely human? “I can see in the kitchen they admire him,” Vávrová adds. “He says something, and they do it.” “He doesn’t yell.” So much for the superhero idea; And, really, Accordi’s just a quiet, self-assured, regular guy — except for many years of training and a virtuoso’s feel for bringing ingredients together into a singular expression of taste and texture. After sitting in on hundreds of interviews, Vávrová can recount much of the chef’s life story verbatim. In fact, he’s happy to leave the table, warning her to “be careful what you say.” Accordi took over the helm at Allegro at the end of August 2007, replacing longtime Prague favorite Vito Mollica. The chef’s parents pushed him into culinary school despite some backtalk from the boy. “I wanted to help my father with his job,” Accordi recalls — Vávrová uses the exact same words in third person. The elder Accordi dealt in the timber industry, shipping and receiving wood for commercial projects. “From the point of view of my father, it was a tough job,” Accordi says this time, taking his life back from the PR realm. No life for a talented boy who first helped out in professional kitchens at the age of 14. “But I must say …” the thought trails off into a chuckle. In most cases, only the insane or the superhuman choose cooking as a profession. The hours vary between horrendous and all-consuming, Cuts and burns are common occurrences. Kitchens swelter with heat. Equipment breaks down, egos flare, purveyors deliver wrong orders, guests demand this and that. Accordi bounced around between gigs in London, Bangkok and France, but the real process of becoming a chef began in Florence, at Onice in the Villa la Vedetta. “We had a beautiful product, but it was very expensive, as well,” he recalls. “We had very few covers for the first six months.” Trial by fire Restaurants shut down all the time, even in the heart of Tuscany. Sluggish traffic is generally enough to cause impatient investors to pull the plug, although many slash food costs and salaries, stretching death throes out for several months as service and quality plummet. “We decided to cut costs, but keep the same quality,” Accordi explains. “This is very tough.” Only 26 at the time, the chef plunged into the minutiae of purveyor contracts and employee schedules. He rummaged through busboy trays to find out if portions and side dishes were right. By checking prices at competing restaurants, he worked out what locals expected to pay for certain dishes — all the glamorous duties they rarely portray on television cooking shows, but which account for the success or failure of an establishment. “After a year, we increased our covers to 30, then 40,” he says. Accordi picked up a little souvenir from Michelin in the process, but apart from allowing a glimpse of pride in the achievement to slip through in the form of a quick, bright gleam, he discounts accolades earned then and now. “Part of being a famous chef with a Michelin star, without a Michelin star, whatever — sometimes the non-Michelin kitchens cook better — it takes dedication and passion,” he says. “And it’s very important for chefs to get this message across to the cooks.” So he shows up in the morning, checks the orders, berates a supplier if necessary (a moment hard to imagine), helps prepare for lunch and then begins a continuous program of staff training. Before dinner, it’s the same thing, along with inventory, new orders and whatever issues pop up during the evening. Home, family and the queue at McDonald’s act as refuges from this stormy life, but these things demand the same passion Accordi shows for his cooking. “It’s quite difficult when you work in the kitchen all day and get home late at night,” he admits, “not only for me, but most of the chefs.” Days may slip by before there’s time for a lazy conversation. The kids are often in bed by the time chefs make it home and out the door before chefs are fully awake in the morning. Burdens — ironically including the cooking — fall on spouses or partners. “They have to choose a very good wife,” Accordi says of men who cook for a living. He met and married Korrokod in Thailand. She worked in one of the top hotels and the bond formed around the usual feelings, of course. But her feel for the demands a professional kitchen makes on a person mattered, as well. Roman Paulus, chef at Alcron in the Radisson (and before that, at Hilton’s CzecHouse) believes mutual respect for long hours and intensity is critical for a successful relationship. Like chef Accordi, “I am lucky to have my wife working in the hospitality industry,” he explains. “She has an understanding for my job.” Thus, Accordi, like any other chef, considers that rare free day so important. It keeps him human, allows him to breathe for a moment. And if he chooses to spend that moment grabbing a pre-processed burger at McDonald’s, so be it. For a regular guy living a hectic life of cooking, bossing, talking and everything else that goes into a Michelin star restaurant, even the most mundane, normal act is one of passion. If things ever settle down, he says, “maybe I’ll watch football.”
Jul 07, 2008 Planetlemans.com Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
FIA GT and Moscow sign deal for race from 2010
On July 7th, Stephane Ratel and Patricia Kiefer visited the site of the future Eurasia Autodrome Domodedovo, which will be located near the Domodedovo Airport, 35 km South of Moscow, along with Eurasia Project Manager Pavel Volkov, Clive Bowen, Apex Circuit Design Managing Director, and Jolyon Price from Ridge & Partners. The visit was followed by a press conference at the hotel Baltschug Kempinski in Moscow, announcing the construction of the Eurasia Autodrome Domodedovo, as well as the signature of an agreement to host a round of the future FIA GT1 World Championship from 2010 onwards.
Arthur Trofimov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eurasia City, presented the project to the press, explaining that it is part of a unique and impressive innovation and high technology park in the city of Domodedovo. The circuit, which will be finalised in 2010, will host rounds of the FIA GT1 World Championship from 2010 onwards, and is also aimed at providing sportscar enthusiasts in Moscow with a test track, in order to drive their cars in the best safety conditions. The circuit will be located 37km south of Moscow, 10 km west of Domodedovo Airport and will be conveniently located between two motorways leading to Moscow, the M2 and the M4. The circuit will be 3km long and should benefit from a FIA Grade 2 license. Stephane Ratel said that “Russia has become a key market for luxury brands and a race in Moscow is a major step in making the FIA GT1 World Championship an appealing project for all GT manufacturers worldwide. Eurasia and SRO will also work on the involvement of a Russian team with Russian drivers which will be one of the keys in the success of the event”. Clive Bowen, Apex Circuit Design Managing Director, who will be working in cooperation with Ridge & Partners and Scott Wilson on the construction of the circuit, said : “The site for the circuit is very small but has the three key attributes I would always seek : first; it is well served by road access and provides two opportunities to arrive and depart, second; there is space enough for a decent main straight ; in this instance we have managed to engineer 700m with a key overtaking opportunity engineered at the end of that straight, and third; there is some really helpful natural topography which has allowed us to engineer three key sections of circuit which rise and fall at important racing locations and enhance the driving and racing experience. We wanted to avoid too many low speed corners, though on a site as compact as this it is impossible to have fewer than three; and we have one really good section of flowing race circuit with speeds ever increasing all the way from Turn 1 to Turn 7. As for the buildings, Ridge have come up with extremely interesting and innovative architecture. The principal circuit facilities include garages, a hospitality pod with a 360 degree view of the circuit, race and circuit administration and a commercial atrium.” Mr Dimitry Gorodetsky, Head of Domodedovo, and Michael Bonch-Osmolovosky, Head of the RAF (Russian Automobile Federation) Circuit Commission, also attended the press conference and confirmed their support and involvement in the project. Roman Rusinov, driver of the Spartak IPB Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Murcielago, was present as well and confirmed the team’s intention to enter the future FIA GT1 World Championship.
Jul 07, 2008 showbiz spy The Dorchester Hotel London
Jennifer Aniston Lets John Mayer 'Take Control' at London Hotel
Jennifer Aniston let new boyfriend John Mayer call all the shots during their recent trip to London, a source has revealed. Mayer was in the UK performing a series of gigs, and Jennifer accompanied him on tour. The pair checked into the prestigious Dorchester Hotel, and stayed in the same suite used by 60s icons Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, reports Britain's New! magazine.
A source tells the publication, "When they checked in, Jen was happy to let John take control, even though she's the bigger star. "Throughout their stay, she was quite willing to defer any questions to her man, and later, dining in the restaurant, she was hanging on his every word." The pair also paid a visit to London's Theatre Royal Haymarket to watch musical love story Marguerite, and also did a spot of shopping at posh food store Fortnum & Mason during their stay. The former 'Friends' actress' relationship is clearly getting serious; last week, speaking of her relationship with the 'No Such Thing' hitmaker, Aniston gushed, "I believe you have to wait to find something good in your life. There are lots of bumps along the way, but now [there's a] green light."
Jul 07, 2008 Broadway Review Wynn Las Vegas
Spamalot dies July 13th in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas production of Monty Python’s Spamalot will close the curtains one last time on July 13th 2008. The show has been going on at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. It began running on March 31st 2007, and will come up just below 510 shows when it performs for its final show.
The play comes from the the movie the Monty Python and the Holy Grail which is a spook of King Arthur and his quest for none other than the Holy Grail. The Las Vegas production features John O’Hurley who is known for his role in Seinfeld as the whacky boss “Mr. Peterman.” It will continue its national tour in other cities which theater fans can check out schedules on the web.
Jul 07, 2008 The Prague Daily Monitor and Monitor CE, The Czech News Agency (ČTK) Four Seasons Hotel Prague
Coffee Museum opens in Prague
Prague, July 7 (CTK) - A new Museum of Coffee was opened in Prague's historical Lesser Town neighbourhood Monday, offering a variety of information about the popular hot beverage's history and its current growing, procession and use, Malgorzata Ebelova, who owns all of the museum's exhibits, told CTK.
The exhibits on display include historical coffee machines, coffee sets and information about the countries where coffee is grown. "The museum mainly shows the path of coffee, what is gradually becoming of it from a grain to a cup of coffee. The visitors can learn how coffee is roasted and what the correct method of grinding is. They can also read legends related to coffee. They can learn a lot of things about coffee which they do not know," Ebelova said. Ebelova said she had bought the current exhibits in antiquity shops all over the world. "I've been interested in coffee for ten years. I collect old exhibits related to coffee. Recently I found out that I have a big amount of them and it would be a pity to keep them hidden. That is why I've opened a museum," said Ebelova, whose oldest exhibit dates back to 1830. She said people like drinking coffee but know very little of it. Apart from legends and posters, the museum visitors can also see a map of the world highlighting the regions where Arabica and Robusta, a higher- and a lower-quality types of coffee, are grown. The most valuable type originates from Indonesia where the grains are "processed" by small predators, the civets. At nights, they pick the most ripen coffee berries which grow in the wild. After the civets excrete them, the grains are collected by the locals. "Coffee prepared of the 'civet grains' is of exceptional taste...It is considered the best in the world," Ebelova said. The museum offers a wooden civet for visitors to try and prepare such coffee. They have to pour coffee grains in the animal and pull its tail, thus making the grains "leaving" the animal. Out of Prague restaurants, civet coffee, about 600 crowns a cup, is offered, for example, by the Allegro restaurant in the Four Seasons hotel, the first Czech restaurant to win the prestigious Michelin star this March.
Jul 07, 2008 fiagt.com Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
08/07/2008 Moscow to host round of future FIA GT1 World Championship from 2010
On July 7th, Stephane Ratel and Patricia Kiefer visited the site of the future Eurasia Autodrome Domodedovo, which will be located near the Domodedovo Airport, 35 km South of Moscow, along with Eurasia Project Manager Pavel Volkov, Clive Bowen, Apex Circuit Design Managing Director, and Jolyon Price from Ridge & Partners. The visit was followed by a press conference at the hotel Baltschug Kempinski in Moscow, announcing the construction of the Eurasia Autodrome Domodedovo, as well as the signature of an agreement to host a round of the future FIA GT1 World Championship from 2010 onwards.
Arthur Trofimov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eurasia City, presented the project to the press, explaining that it is part of a unique and impressive innovation and high technology park in the city of Domodedovo. The circuit, which will be finalised in 2010, will host rounds of the FIA GT1 World Championship from 2010 onwards, and is also aimed at providing sportscar enthusiasts in Moscow with a test track, in order to drive their cars in the best safety conditions. The circuit will be located 37km south of Moscow, 10 km west of Domodedovo Airport and will be conveniently located between two motorways leading to Moscow, the M2 and the M4. The circuit will be 3km long and should benefit from a FIA Grade 2 license. Stephane Ratel said that “Russia has become a key market for luxury brands and a race in Moscow is a major step in making the FIA GT1 World Championship an appealing project for all GT manufacturers worldwide. Eurasia and SRO will also work on the involvement of a Russian team with Russian drivers which will be one of the keys in the success of the event”. Clive Bowen, Apex Circuit Design Managing Director, who will be working in cooperation with Ridge & Partners and Scott Wilson on the construction of the circuit, said : “The site for the circuit is very small but has the three key attributes I would always seek : first; it is well served by road access and provides two opportunities to arrive and depart, second; there is space enough for a decent main straight ; in this instance we have managed to engineer 700m with a key overtaking opportunity engineered at the end of that straight, and third; there is some really helpful natural topography which has allowed us to engineer three key sections of circuit which rise and fall at important racing locations and enhance the driving and racing experience. We wanted to avoid too many low speed corners, though on a site as compact as this it is impossible to have fewer than three; and we have one really good section of flowing race circuit with speeds ever increasing all the way from Turn 1 to Turn 7. As for the buildings, Ridge have come up with extremely interesting and innovative architecture. The principal circuit facilities include garages, a hospitality pod with a 360 degree view of the circuit, race and circuit administration and a commercial atrium.” Mr Dimitry Gorodetsky, Head of Domodedovo, and Michael Bonch-Osmolovosky, Head of the RAF (Russian Automobile Federation) Circuit Commission, also attended the press conference and confirmed their support and involvement in the project. Roman Rusinov, driver of the Spartak IPB Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Murcielago, was present as well and confirmed the team’s intention to enter the future FIA GT1 World Championship.
Jul 07, 2008 Baltschug Kempinski Sales Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
Play golf in Moscow
Enjoy golf weekend including the following: Access to the Moscow City Golf Club Access to the "Members only" area of the Club, that includes: - cloakrooms with individual lockers, showers and saunas - lounge area with cigar room, library, conference room, billiard hall and restaurant with a summer terrace Golf equipment (set of the golf-clubs, bag and trolley) Playing on the driving-range with unlimited amount of golf-balls Reservation of a tee-time for the golf course Baltschug-branded T-shirt, cap and 3 golf balls 10% discount on all extra services of the Club
Accommodation at the hotel from RUB 11,900: Complimentary buffet breakfast for two at the Restaurant Baltschug Gift upon arrival Complimentary use of swimming pool and Health Club Complimentary Sunday sightseeing tour Late check out The offer is valid on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights 2008. The rate is subject to 18% VAT, on availability and upon request. Minimum two nights stay.
Jul 07, 2008 culinarydegree Le Meurice Paris
Eating Your Way Around the World
Culinary arts colleges are for aspiring professional chefs and also for many of those who want to improve their home cooking. Culinary arts college can be a lot like camp and a fine hotel stay at the same time, mainly because you are able to have a great time and still learn about food and learn skills to make your life a lot easier. Yes, there is a lot of fun to be part of culinary school...
It's said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. This idiom doesn't apply only to men. Place a well cooked, well presented meal that she didn't have to prepare, in front of a woman and you're half way to conquering her soul. Especially if an extraordinary dessert follows the meal, such as caramelised milk chocolate hazelnut tart or raspberry white chocolate coupe. Each city in the world has restaurants that can be divided into three types: the dives, the family restaurants and the elegant dining rooms where eating is an experience to be savoured. It was only a matter of time before some idle souls declared themselves culinary experts, and earned reputations as food critics who could either make or break a restaurant. They are both feared and revered as they create lists of the top restaurants in the world and lists of the worst restaurants in the world. One of the most well known restaurant guides for international restaurants is the Zagat guide, also famous for its numerous citations in the book and movie version of American Psycho. In New York one the best restaurants, described as an "in-vogue lounge", is The Rein Bar and Bistro. The décor is warm and sophisticated as well as pleasantly eclectic in its use of colour and texture. The restaurant is situated just left of the Garden City Hotel's main lobby. The cuisine is American and Continental. The Rein is open for breakfast, lunch and supper seven days a week. They provide nightly entertainment and a late menu for New York's night owls or workaholics. The Rein's executive chef is classically trained Steven De Bruyn, who specialises in breakfasts ranging from smoked Norwegian salmon to thick challah French toast. His appetisers include buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese, apple and celery jicama as well as warm goat cheese tart with onions and walnuts, arugula salad and balsamic vinaigrette. Main meals vary from exotic guava barbecue chicken to ginger marinated grilled shrimp with mango-red pepper jam. The Tamarind Restaurant was the first Indian restaurant to receive a coveted Michelin Star in 2000. To date it's the only Indian restaurant in the UK to have received a Star and to have held it for five years. They use only the freshest ingredients in creating their exotic Indian dishes. They are well known for their subtly attentive service, while their patrons never want for anything. In the heart of Rome, just two blocks from the Vatican, is the Hotel Atlante Star. The 6th floor of this hotel plays host to the magnificent Roof Garden Restaurant "Les Etoiles", which offers a 360 degree, panoramic view of the city. Seating is available indoors and outside to suit the changing seasons, but the view is equally as picturesque no matter where you happen to be seated. The cuisine on offer at Les Etoiles is classical, traditional Italian fare combined with innovative and creative culinary ideas. All ingredients used in the restaurant are natural and fresh. The menu at the restaurant varies according to the seasons and what produce is available. The ingredients in the dishes are chosen for their contrasting textures or the way they balance delicate flavours. Some examples of this innovative approach to cooking include: artichokes stuffed with ricotta and pecorino cheese and Venetian style risotto with squid ink. France as a country is legendary for its culinary skills. Its well-trained and talented chefs are in great demand all over the world. Paris is a city particularly blessed with culinary variety when it comes to fine dining. Shining through all the brilliance of its rivals, the legendary Le Meurice sparkles with centuries of 5-star luxury and Parisian confidence. In February 2007 it was announced that the Head Chef of Le Meurice, Yannick Alleno, had been awarded three Michelin Stars. After his first six months of working at the hotel he was awarded two Michelin Stars, an honour seldom given after such a short period of time in one kitchen. Recently he was given the title of "espoir", which is a new Michelin category to distinguish chefs that are on their way to their third star, which is the chef's Holy Grail. At just 38 years old, Alleno is not only one of an elite group of chefs to have achieved three Michelin Stars, he is also one of the youngest to do so. There are so many clever and often quoted adages regarding the eating of food being a joyous occasion; one to be celebrated and shared with loved ones; one to be lingered over and savoured. There aren't too many that involve popping a box meal in the microwave, plonking yourself in front of the TV to wolf it down, while your eyes glaze over and your brain falls asleep. You need not travel to Rome or Paris to enjoy a lovely meal at a restaurant. Any place where the service is good, the atmosphere is comfortable and the food melts in your mouth is going to be worth the visit. If your idea of a great place to eat out is somewhere where you can wear beach shorts, no shoes and the food comes wrapped in newspaper, lift your beer in the air because this toast is to you.
Jul 07, 2008 Malibu Times The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul
A total Turkish delight
By Pamela Price / Special to the Malibu Times After a 24-hour flight between Los Angeles and Istanbul, what could be more delicious than a sublime 50-minute Sultan's Royal Six-Handed Massage at the Laveda Spa, hidden away at the 244-room Ritz Carlton? It's a treatment a smart traveler can reserve in advance, symbolizing a new style of traversing the globe while coping with jetlag.
Located in the heart of Istanbul's Dolmabahce district, the Ritz-Carlton's legendary service takes over. Arriving guests will find tantalizing apple tea in the lobby, and dishes filled with Turkish Delight. The Ritz-Carlton Club Level, a private floor with 57 guestrooms, is dedicated to guests and presents an impressive five complimentary cuisine and beverage service throughout the day. The buffet is so tempting it might keep you from exploring the endless restaurants clustered throughout the popular Sultanahmet neighborhood. Capturing the essence of Ottoman culture, guestrooms are works of art with cobalt blue Iznik tiles in marble bathrooms, where guests will find personal toiletries in silver boxes. You won't find a chocolate on your pillow here, as turndown service means scented olive oil soap or a sachet of fresh lavender instead. When you transition to the hustle bustle of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar 4,000 shops compressed under one roof, you know the current unrealistic luggage allowances are a looming menace. This is when you realize you should pack light to visit this remarkable city, and save one suitcase for leather fashions, Evil Eye souvenirs, boxes of Turkish sweets and fine jewelry, and have the oriental rugs and kilims shipped home. At Urartu's showroom in Sultanahmet, a short walk from the Four Seasons Hotel, Ali Altun courteously and expertly pointed out the nuances of authentic Turkish carpets. Door-to-door, free "house delivery" included in the price of your carpet makes the bargaining ritual more palatable. A mere two days in Istanbul merely scratched the surface of this city, where the past and present blend with seamless style. Experience it from the highs to the lows by starting at the Galata Tower where a platform has a 360-degree view of the entire city. An underground view can be experienced at the Basilica Cistern, to the west of the Hagia Sophia Square, where visitors walk on elevated platforms meandering though 336 columns, most in the Corinthian style, arranged in 12 rows of 28 each. There's even a restaurant where you can contemplate this Phantom of the Opera style cistern of brick and cross vaulted structure built during the reign of Justinian (517- 565 AD). Whirling Dervishes aside, it's comforting to rejuvenate for a few hours at the Ritz-Carlton's Laveda Spa, where a sensational treatment they call the "Hot Chocolate Seduction" takes over. There is one magic moment when the fragrance of chocolate blends with soothing heat. This spa treatment will prepare you for the next day of fast-paced sightseeing and bazaar browsing. In contrast, the next two weeks cruising along the Aegean Coast was like an endless dessert of turquoise water, secluded beaches, alfresco dining and star-filled nights. A one hour flight from Istanbul to Antalya brought us to the Celebi Marina where our friend's yacht, the M/Y Star Sapphire, with a crew of five was standing by to take us on the Blue Voyage (Mavi Yolculuk), a cruise sailing to unspoiled and sheltered bays and villages that a traditional cruise ship cannot navigate. We spent sunshine filled hours stopping at Kekova, first. A rickety courtesy boat provided by Hassan's Restaurant brought us to the shore for a midnight dinner of fresh lobster, crispy French fries (the frozen variety don't exist here) and plates of cherries with sweet watermelon for dessert. Kalkan, Kas, Gocek, Marmaris and Bodrum followed. Charter boats at the marina in Gocek present a choice for private yachters. We saw several groups of six to 20 passengers boarding "gullets" for what has become a best-selling cruise concept in Turkey. If you can handle the unpredictability of sailing with the winds, and maybe ending up one afternoon at Cleopatra's private beach, this is the way to go. The only sign of traffic was the occasional gullet (wooden boat), many chartered, that glided by during the day. Visiting Turkey is still a bargain when compared to the cost of the Euro these days. Combining a few days in Istanbul before or after the Blue Voyage is what a magic carpet vacation is all about.
Jun 06, 2008 Charleston Communications The SIGNATURE at MGM GRAND
Las Vegas Trip Reports
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada At the hotel, we got our room with the balcony we requested. The Signature is a condo hotel, and our room (22-617) was really nice. Large bathroom with two sinks, TV, huge whirlpool tub, shower, and a separate room for the toilet. The bed was very comfortable with 300-thread count sheets. The kitchen had a fridge, cook top, microwave, blender, toaster, coffee maker, and the cupboards and drawers had all the necessary stuff such as dishes, glassware, cutlery, cooking supplies, etc. There was also a sitting area with a desk, coffee table, chairs, sofa, etc. During our trip, we picked up bread, juice, butter, jam, pop, etc. and were able to eat in our room when we didn’t want to go out for some overpriced snacks or pay for room service.
One thing I’ll clear up right now. On tripadvisor.com, we had read time and again about the incredibly long walk (20 mins.) from the Signature to the casino at MGM. For the record, it takes less than three minutes to cover the distance to MGM, which includes walking on the moving walkways. If you stand on the walkways, it takes about 5 minutes. It then takes around 3 minutes to walk through the shopping area of the MGM to get to the casino. Yes, I had a timer feature on my watch and I used it!
Jun 06, 2008 Boarding Area Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel Paris
OpenSkies to Paris, Part Two
We got to the IC Le Grand Paris at around 8:30AM. As I’ve mentioned before, I booked this hotel on points, for 40,000 points/night. At first I was a bit hesitant about booking this hotel, because technically InterContinental as a chain doesn’t honor Royal Ambassador benefits on award stays, which means the hotels are not required to give room upgrades, club access, or free minibar consumption, and the basic room (Classic Room) is about 200 square feet at the IC Le Grand! Also, I love modern hotels, and am usually not a fan of 100 year hotels, even if they are classics. Nonetheless I’ve heard nothing but stellar reviews of this property, including from Royal Ambassadors on award stays, and my experience couldn’t have been better!
I went to the reception desk and was greeted by a very charming lady. First let me start with my bad stereotype. Based on my experience in Paris, there are three types of customer service personalities: those that don’t care one way or another, those that have what many of us would consider an anti-customer attitude, and those that have an attitude in a positive way with incredible charm. The lady checking me in without a doubt fit in the last category. She was nothing short of amazing, and was a great start to my stay. For example, one gripe I always have about hotels as an elite is when they don’t recognize status, so you’re left wondering whether or not you should ask for an upgrade. The lady checking me in said with a smile, “Mr. Lucky, as you are a Royal Ambassador with InterContinental we have taken the liberty of upgrading your accommodations to an Executive Room, and you’ll also have access to our exclusive club on the fifth floor.” She went on to explain all the details of the club, asked me whether I would like late check-out on Sunday, and asked me if I had any questions. Never have I had such a professional check-in experience, and from that moment on it was clear to me that this hotel was nothing short of “Grand,” as the name suggests. I walked around the lobby for a bit to snap some pictures, and found it to be very nice. Café de la Paix I then headed to my room, and while it wasn’t a massive suite, I couldn’t have liked it more. It had high ceilings, probably around 20 feet, and was extremely elegant and aged, yet still felt “fresh.” The room was the perfect size, and thanks to the high ceiling felt huge. I’m pretty sure my bathroom was about as big as the standard room here, as it was also a very good size. The bathroom amenities were L’Occitane, my favorite. Lastly, and most importantly, the minibar was impressive, with great champagne, white wine, beer, all kinds of soft drinks, and snacks. Best of all, everything, including the snacks (which usually isn’t the case at IC’s) were free! I then headed up to the club floor, where my friend was waiting since his room wasn’t ready (although he was promised a nice suite, so it all worked out in the end). The club lounge is also fantastic. While small, it’s never crowded and is very elegant. The buffet is on the main club floor, along with the club concierge and a small seating area, and then there’s additional seating along with computers on the floor above. The offerings were excellent. As the letter I received states, here are the club offerings: Buffet Breakfast 0:700-11:30hrs Lunch with sweets and savouries 12:00-14:30hrs Tea time with French home made pastries 15:00-17:30hrs Cocktail with Open Bar, sweets and savouries 18:00-20:00hrs Soft drinks, champagne, and wine with sweets 20:00-22:00hrs Afternoon lounge nibbles and drinks Later on I went back to my room, only to find out on the way that OpenSkies’ office is located in the IC. When I got to my room I found the Royal Ambassador welcome gift, consisting of two bottles of Vittel mineral water in nice glass bottles, a plate of fruit, a nice card from the managing director of the hotel, and a box of chocolates from Café de la Paix. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about this hotel. Every employee I interacted with was sincere, friendly, warm, gracious, welcoming, and beyond professional. I am convinced this hotel is the single best use of points in the whole Priority Club system for Royal Ambassador members, since they don’t treat award stays any different than revenue stays. I took a shower, and at around 11:30AM the other FlyerTalker (Sev) and I staying at the InterContinental started walking towards the Hilton Paris, where we were meeting up with other FlyerTalkers. Sev is in Paris a lot, so was able to basically provide a guided tour along the way, which was great. Nothing beats having someone that’s basically a local in a foreign city. During our walk to the Hilton Paris we had three people try the “ring trick” on us, which Sev explained to me. They drop a ring right by your feet which they claim to have just found, and talk about how valuable it is (it might say 18K on the inside, for example). They convince you to take the ring, say they’re in a rush, and just ask for a little bit of money so that you split the profits somewhat. Of course the ring is totally worthless, but I guess some people actually fall for it. After a brisk 45 minute walk we made it to the Hilton Paris, which was quite underwhelming, or at least the lobby was. Only one FlyerTalker decided to join us, and we started walking. Since I’m not really an expert and would prefer not to butcher any names, I’ll let the pictures do the talking here. As was a recurring theme during the weekend, we stopped at street cafes frequently, a quintessential part of experiencing Paris, in my opinion. By 5PM we were back at the IC and enjoyed the club for a while. Shortly thereafter we had a few more FT’ers join us for a mini-minibar party. The others went to dinner, but I decided to go to bed since I didn’t sleep at all on the flight and was dead tired.
Jun 06, 2008 Paradise Philippines Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas Where You Should Be
This five-star, plush hotel sits right on top of the Mandalay, occupying its top four floors. Guests receive prime privileges, most popular of which is the use of the award- winning water park at Mandalay Bay. You for sure will receive the white collar treatment from staff that are both professional and friendly, so your stay at The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas will be a memorable one. There are all together 338 guest rooms and 86 suites which are all come with either L'Occitane or Bulgari bathroom amenities.
Every afternoon, there is high tea offered in the lovely Veranda. With your own private entrance away from the tourists, you are able to come and go in the privacy you deserve. Where To Go and How To Get To The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas You will find the following information most useful if this will be your first trip to Las Vegas. The first three casino hotels discussed are connected to a free monorail system that is located right out front to the east of the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, right on the strip. People movers drift you toward the casinos after you get off the monorail. What To Do In Mandalay Bay When you are here, make sure you go to the coral reef exhibit that puts you underneath the up close to the killer sharks and stingrays. You can even walk from the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas to the reef because it is just a short walk. Luxor It is another exciting place you should be, take the free monorail which is available. It is a big black pyramid, with its Egyptian theme, has a huge beam of light coming out of the top headed for outer space. Excalibur This is going to be your last stop of the free monorail. What you do is just follow the people mover and inside where you will see people sitting and enjoying their food, with their bare hands, while watching jousting matches below in the sunken pit with the Knights of the Round table at the Excalibur Casino and Hotel. The pedestrian walkway to the north is New York New York which is located right apposite. The entire front side of of this building is made up of skyscrapers, and a huge roller coaster running through and around it. For those who are not too weak-kneed should go on, ride that roller coaster. MGM Grand This giant green complex is located right across the street on the northeast corner of the intersection. Walk over the pedestrian sky bridge, go into the casino and take the escalator down where you will be greeted by wild lions lounging on giant boulders separated only by a very thin piece of glass. Tropicana it is located on the southeast corner of the intersection and it is Las Vegas' oldest casino. You have to begin your journey from the top after you have crossed the sky bridge. A giant slot machine where you receive a free pull on is waiting for you. You should go down into the casino if you either want to view the live shows or go to the museum. By now, it's time to return to the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Cross that sky bridge and take that free monorail home. That should be sufficient activity for the first day. Hope you are going to enjoy your stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
Jun 06, 2008 independent.co.uk The Dorchester Hotel London
Speak out on London visit, Nelson Mandela urged
By Claire Soares Tuesday, 24 June 2008 As condemnation of Robert Mugabe grew louder yesterday, Nelson Mandela checked in at the Dorchester Hotel in London, ahead of his 90th birthday celebrations. The former South African president is often cast in the role of Africa's moral guardian, but on the subject of Zimbabwe he has been notable by his silence. "Every voice is needed now," said William Gumede, a South African political analyst. "And Mr Mandela's is one that can hardly be bettered in terms of moral authority." So why has Mr Mandela shied away from commenting publicly on the crisis engulfing South Africa's neighbour?
He may be calculating that his words will have little effect. Mr Mandela has long been demonised by Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party, so there is little chance of him being able to sway party leaders towards a more conciliatory line. In fact, given the long history of rivalry between the two figureheads of southern Africa's liberation struggles, any words from Mr Mandela could make Mr Mugabe simply dig in his heels. But another consideration is the loyalty Mr Mandela has to his successor President Thabo Mbeki, who has been mediating the stillborn negotiations between Mr Mugabe and the Zimbabwean opposition. The two men have an unwritten agreement whereby Mr Mandela does not tread on Mr Mbeki's turf. The one occasion Mr Mandela violated that pact was over South Africa's spiralling HIV crisis in 2000, and Mr Mbeki reportedly refused to speak to him for two years, although the government's Aids policy did eventually change. Questions about Zimbabwe are likely to dog Mr Mandela during his birthday celebrations, which culminate on Friday with a three-hour concert in Hyde Park. At his age, Mr Mandela may well feel he deserves a rest.
Jun 06, 2008 lifeistravel Hotel Gritti Palace
Best European open air restaurants
Restaurant La Terrazza in hotel Il Splendido, Portofino is recognized the best open air restaurant. The view on harbor, bewitching the cities of Portofino (Italy), is fine addition to the pastes filled by local sauce pesto and amazing fresh seafood. Club del Doge in hotel Gritti Palace, Venice, where members of the royal families often stop, popular writers and stars of cinema, is on the second place. Here you will enjoy magnificent view from terrace of restaurant. Local cuisine is rich in excellent dishes from a fish, risotto and wines.
Bom Jardim (Lisbon) - is without any excesses, however, here you can try the best in Portugal fried hen and potato. Restaurant in hotel Ajia, Istanbul at passage Bosporus, is on the fourth place. Here you may take pleasure in a wonderful view on the city, the unusual and refined dishes of the Italian kitchen. Here it is possible to try excellent risotto, paste and spicy seafood dishes. OXO Tower Restaurant and Brasserie (London) is located on the eighth floor of tower OXO Tower. From a terrace view on the Thames - from Sacred Paul’s Cathedral up to Modernist Style Museum opens. Here you will be offered excellent lunch from three dishes, 800 marks of wine and evening jazz concerts. Forbes Traveler also advises to visit such restaurants as Can Majó (Barcelona), Pražské Selàtko (Prague), La Rotonde (Paris), Le Bristol (Paris) and others.
Jun 06, 2008 Johnston Press Digital Publishing The Lanesborough London
Festival wants budding chefs
Budding chefs are being given the chance to have one of their culinary creations served up at a five-star London hotel. As part of the Taste Of Diss food festival, July 12-19, one lucky winner of a cookery competition will be invited to work for the day at the Lanesborough Hotel with top chef Paul Gaylor.
Michelin-starred chef Freddie Jones, who runs Fredricks Fine Foods in Diss, has agreed to be the number one judge for the competition, which will be held at the Corn Hall on July 19. There will be three levels of entry – category one is for professional chefs, category two for over 16s and category three for under 16s. "I know only too well there are great professional chefs cooking in restaurants in the area and I want to know who can make the best dish – that special meal," said Mr Jones. "It's not only professionals though. I know there are great amateur cooks/chefs out there because many come and talk to me in my shop." For the first category, Mr Jones will be inviting the top chefs from restaurants across the area to enter their signature dish, which will go before an independent panel of judges. Gold, silver and bronze medals will then be awarded to the top three dishes. The winner of category two – over 16s – will have their dish on the menu at the Lanesborough Hotel for a day and on sale at Fredricks Fine Foods for a week. In the third category – for the under 16s – winners will receive signed copies of the latest Gordon Ramsey and Phil Vickery cookery books and a Fredericks Fine Foods apron. "I think it is important children learn how to cook good food from an early age and I look forward to tasting some creative cooking from the kids in the area," said Mr Jones. All entrants will receive a commemorative Taste Of Diss plate. To enter any of the categories fill out the coupon, left, and drop it off/send it to Fredericks Fine Foods, Norfolk House Yard, Diss, IP22 4LB or email suzannekayne@yahoo.co.uk All entries must be received by Friday, June 27. There will be plenty of other activities on offer at the Corn Hall on July 19, including children's workshops on making lavender pockets and cooking activities. Local producers will have stalls selling everything from pickles to pork and cheese to chocolate and there will be an exhibit of World War food called Digging For Victory.
Jun 06, 2008 Harpers.co.uk The Connaught London
Connaught installs new 7,250 bottle capacity wine cellar
London's Connaught Hotel has installed a brand new 7,250 bottle capacity wine cellar as part of a £1 million expansion of its Mayfair address. The installation was completed by Sorrells Wine Racks but was a difficult project due to space and time limitations at the 5-star hotel.
The Connaught Hotel required a temperature-controlled storage for some 7,250 bottles of wine within 2 adjacent irregular shaped rooms with a combined floor space of only 21 square metres. Additionally it was required that the wine storage be visually impressive with a small tasting station that could be used by guests whilst selecting their wines. Tim Lewis. Sorrells managing director, said: "We are a real family business with a lot of combined experience. In these situations everyone just does what has to be done to get the job completed.”
Jun 06, 2008 Catering in Scotland : Scottish Catering, Hospitality & Tourism magazine Claridge's
Craft Guild of Chefs Award-Winners Announced
The Balmoral's Craig Sandle was among 14 winners at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards in London earlier this week. The full line-up of winners included:
Apprentice Chef - Derek Wright, Sodexo Prestige sponsored by Blue Arrow Catering Banqueting Chef - Stephen Ashburn, Rudding Park sponsored by Reynolds Competition Chef - Vincent Cottam, Westminster Kingsway sponsored by Electrolux Professional Contract Catering Chef: Andrew Aston, Restaurant Associates sponsored by Peros Cost Sector Chef: Lynette Tinney, Derbyshire County Catering supported by California Raisins Development Chef: Tony Murphy, Eurest sponsored by Focus 'Check On' Education Chef: Michael Coaker, Thames Valley University sponsored by Aramark Ethnic Chef: Angelo Collaco, Café Spice Namaste sponsored by Cobra Beer New Restaurant of the Year: Purnells, Birmingham sponsored by Exclusive Ranges Pastry Chef: Nick Patterson, Claridge's Hotel sponsored by Compass Group Pub Restaurant Chef: Matt Van Wyck, Rose and Crown sponsored by Creed Catering Supplies Restaurant Chef: Craig Sandle, The Balmoral Hotel sponsored by Alliance Special Achievement: Steve Scuffell, Crown Moran Hotel Group sponsored by Sodexo Young Chef: Graham Squire, Claridge's Hotel
Jun 06, 2008 Vancouver Free Press The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Killam prize awarded to UBC English professor Sherrill E. Grace
A UBC English professor was awarded a coveted Killam Prize in a ceremony on June 16. Sherrill E. Grace, whose influential writings include explorations of Canadian cultural identity as well as studies of Margaret Atwood and Malcolm Lowry, was presented with the $100,000 prize at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, in recognition of her work in humanities.
“It’s a mark of recognition for all of the arts in this country,” Grace said of the prize. “By recognizing my work, particularly my work on the North and Canadian theatre, it’s a way of showing that the North and the culture of Canada and the arts of Canada, music and literature and painting and film, are valued and recognized as important.” Grace was one of five Canadian university scholars, and the only British Columbian, to receive a Killam Prize on Monday. The awards recognize outstanding career achievements in engineering, natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and health sciences. Grace said she had not yet decided how she will spend her prize money, but that she plans to donate it in a way that benefits the arts in Canada.
Jun 06, 2008 ASIA Travel Tips.com Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul
Four Seasons opens Hotel in Istanbul and Florence
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has opened two hotels in Europe. The group's second property in Istanbul, on the European banks of the legendary Bosphorus strait, and the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze in Florence, Italy. The Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus imbues a 19th century Ottoman palace with a contemporary elegance that reflects the changing face of modern Istanbul.
The hotel has 166 rooms within the original palace building, complemented by two new wings. Light, understated interiors reflect the coastal location, while decorative Turkish touches and traditional artworks allude to the Bosphorus as the former summer retreat of the Ottoman elite. Extensive outdoor amenities – including heated pool and whirlpool, bar pavilions and the Wedding Garden – are located along a 190 m (623 ft) waterfront terrace, framed by the Bosphorus and its ever-changing landscape of boats, yachts, cruise-ships and ferries. Beneath the terrace is a 2,100 sq m (22,605 sq ft) spa, sky-lit from above, featuring three hammams / Turkish baths. Function facilities include two ballrooms, which can accommodate receptions for up to 1,000 people. The hotel’s main restaurant, Aqua, takes its inspiration from the Bosphorus, accenting dishes from Mediterranean, coastal territories with rich, local elements. The restaurant is relaxed and unpretentious, designed to maximise the languid enjoyment of the waterfront location. There is also an al fresco Pool Bar and Grill and contemporary and comfortable Lobby Bar and Lounge. The hotel marks a distinct change from the company’s first property in the city, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet – a converted neo-classic prison in the heart of the city’s Old Town. The service, however, remains unmistakably Four Seasons, offering a seamless continuation of the standards for which the original property is so revered. “The Bosphorus property has the same winning combination of Turkish hospitality and Four Seasons care as its Sultanahmet sister,” said Marcos Bekhit, General Manager and Regional Vice President. “And with many of the Hotel’s features and nearly a quarter of the accommodation featuring views across the Bosphorus strait to the hills of Asia, it has a relaxed, coastal feel – the perfect base from which to experience the vibrancy and elegance of modern Istanbul.” Following seven years of meticulous restoration, the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, is the group's second property in Italy. The hotel is located on the edge of the city’s historic centre and occupies two protected Renaissance palaces, the 15th century Palazzo della Gherardesca and the Conventino, a 16th century Palazzo, which was once a convent. Between them lie Florence’s largest private garden – the 11 acre (4.5 hectare) Giardino della Gherardesca – one of the most beautiful and undiscovered green spaces on the right bank of the River Arno. The palace’s ornately painted and crafted interiors offer guests the rare opportunity to view 15th – 19th century artworks in their original context. Frescoes, bas-reliefs, stuccoes and silk wallpapers have been carefully restored to reveal vivid detail dating back over five centuries. Original Florentine art and craftsmanship can also be found in several of the hotel’s 117 bedrooms, suites and bathrooms. In addition, each bedroom and suite has individual dimensions and window-sizes and many also showcase idiosyncratic original features such as skylights, staircases, fireplaces and stoves. The hotel honours the city’s culinary and cultural heritage. Il Palagio, the main restaurant, uses Tuscan ingredients sourced direct from local producers; the two-storey spa features bespoke natural products created by Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (one of the world’s oldest herbal pharmacies, dating back to 13th century Florentine monks) and room amenities have been custom-made by Florence-based Lorenzo Villoresi. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, Fitness Centre, Library/Reading Room and vast, sun-lit Atrium Bar. At the far end of the gardens, the Conventino (set to open in September) provides an arrangement of 37 rooms and suites – a ‘hotel within the hotel’ – served by its own reception, concierge, breakfast room and business centre. The garden location offers a restful alternative to the main Palazzo building. “Opening a property as historic and beautiful as this, in my home region, is a dream come true,” said Patrizio Cipollini, General Manager. “But despite the grand interiors, we have made every effort to ensure that guests feel relaxed and welcome. Florence is like a village; it’s easy to feel at home here and we want that feeling to extend into the Hotel.” The company’s other property in Italy; the first, Four Seasons Hotel Milano, is an intimate retreat within a converted 15th century convent, just steps from Milan’s couture houses and financial district.
Jun 06, 2008 Las Vegas Sun SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand
MGM MIRAGE Hospitality announces major project in Tianjin, China
MGM MIRAGE Hospitality, a subsidiary of MGM MIRAGE, along with its joint venture partner Diaoyutai State Guesthouse announced in a press release today that they have made agreements with Sinosteel International Plaza Co., Ltd. to provide developmental and management services for "Sinosteel International Plaza," a major mixed use project in Tianjin, China.
The company will develop and operate a 350 key luxury hotel that will be called "MGM Grand Tianjin," a 50 suite "Skylofts at MGM Grand," and 60 luxury MGM Grand condominium residences. There will also be spa, restaurant and auxiliary facilities. Groundbreaking for the first phase of the two-phase project is expected later this month.
Jun 06, 2008 PRWeb and Publicity Wire The Connaught London
Sorrells Complete Prestigious Connaught Hotel Wine Cellar in Record Time
UK based Sorrells Wine Racks Ltd. have recently completed a full 7,250 bottle wine cellar installation as part of the £1M+ refit of the London Connaught Hotel. Essex, UK (PRWEB) June 19, 2008 -- Sorrells Wine Racks have added the Connaught Hotel to its rapidly increasing list of prestigious customers for its wine cellar design and installation service. Sorrells offer a unique range of made-to-measure wine storage solutions manufactured from solid wood. Sorrells were selected by the Connaught because of the quality of the product and their ability to match extremely tight time scales for the cellar completion (less than 5 weeks from concept design to cellar completion!).
The Connaught in London's Mayfair is a luxury 5 Star Hotel with a long history and reputation for a special combination of supreme comfort and luxuriant style. The Connaught has recently benefited from a finely-tuned restoration, creating a unique, uncluttered and discreetly grand experience -- resulting in the ultimate London stay for genuine connoisseurs' of luxury. The Connaught Hotel requirement was quite demanding even by Sorrells' standards because of the space and time limitations. The requirement was for temperature controlled storage for some 7,250 bottles of wine within 2 adjacent irregular shaped rooms with a combined floor space of only 21 sq metres. Additionally it was required that the wine storage be visually impressive with a small tasting station that could be used by guests whilst selecting their wines. MD Tim Lewis stated "We are a real family business with a lot of combined experience. In these situations everyone just does what has to be done to get the job completed. The bespoke nature of the Sorrells wine racks provides a real benefit in this type of situation. These racks are manufactured to fit the room and this therefore provides the ability to maximise bottle storage capacity. This also inherently provides a solution that is aesthetically complementary to the room." The Connaught wine cellar designs were made using a 3D CAD system which has been specifically tailored to suit Sorrells' requirements. This generated a 3D model of the cellar and proposed wine storage solution which was then used to enable the client to visualise the proposed designs before any wood was cut. In order to minimise installation times the vertical members of the racks were prepared in the Sorrells 980 square metre factory in Essex. These were then assembled to the horizontal beams which were cut to suit on site. This method of construction provides the skilled fitters with a degree of freedom to accommodate small variations in room layout from that of the original designs. The depth of the lower level racking was made to fully accommodate two standard wine bottles end to end so as to protect them from being disturbed by knocking as people walk through. The upper level was made less deep so as to still hold two bottles but with the neck of the front bottle sticking out. This gives a fantastic visual impression as you walk in to the cellar and see 'a wall' of bottles. Sorrells have provided the Connaught with an impressive 8,000 bottle wine cellar with wall to wall hand crafted hardwood racking complete with tasting station. And this was achieved in less than 5 weeks from initial design concept.
Jun 06, 2008 The Connaught London Sales The Connaught London
Hotel Connaught opened after renovation
"There has been a great deal of interest in the Connaught in recent months as we open up what many regard as their "London home" when in town. The Coburg Bar has just been voted number one bar by London's Time Out; award-winning Hélène Darroze is set to open what promises to be the finest dining experience in town, and we also celebrate the opening of the new David Collins designed Connaught Bar. With summer and London's social season now in full swing, it is our sincere hope that we shall have the pleasure of welcoming your clients back to the Connaught to witness the evolution of a London legend." With best wishes, Anthony Lee - General Manager
Hélène Darroze at the Connaught 14th July 2008 will see the opening of an exciting new à la carte restaurant by highly acclaimed French chef, Hélène Darroze. With the interior design by India Mahdavi, 'Hélène Darroze at the Connaught' is destined to become one of the finest dining experiences in London. The two Michelin-star chef will oversee all cuisine at the Connaught, including the Gallery, private dining and, when it reopens in the Autumn, the legendary Connaught Grill. The Connaught's opulently restored rooms and suites are residential in feel, with an authentic and sophisticated English ambience, fully equipped with today's technology. Leading interior designer Guy Oliver paid careful attention to both classical and contemporary design and adhered to the Adam-style of interiors of formality, symmetry and simplicity. A wealth of luxury amenities and services are included together with 24 hour butler service and at 5.00pm the Butler's arrival with a little snack accompanied by a drink. Available both on room and suite bookings. The Gallery Morning light floods onto hand-cut Portland stone in this informal restaurant over-looking fashionable Mount Street and the atmosphere changes as the day evolves. The menu features delicious organic and seasonal dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner whilst the afternoon tea trolley will entice even the most disciplined with elegant bite-sized treats and traditional farmhouse cakes served in generous slices at your table. In keeping with its surroundings, the décor showcases a series of contemporary art.
Jun 06, 2008 HotelChatter, SFO Media LLC Wynn Las Vegas
Everything Else Inside The Wynn Las Vegas
Since HotelChatter has stayed at the Wynn Las Vegas several times, we aren't going to bore you again with what's inside the rooms. However, we will say that we have stayed at a lot of hotels in Las Vegas and this is the one we want to keep coming back to. Part of that does have to deal with spacious rooms (strip views help too) and plush amenities but we also liked what the hotel had to offer outside the rooms.
Dining: The Wynn has some killer restaurants like SW Steakhouse, Alex, and the Daniel Bouloud Brasserie, the latter two which have received Michelin stars. We hit up Wing Lei, the fancy Chinese restaurant near the Tower Suites on the first night. This restaurant also has a Michelin star and did not disappoint. Although to be honest we stuck with fairly low-pro fare like potstickers, lemon chicken, prawns and fried rice. Still, if it's good enough for John O'Hurley, star of the in-house production of Spamalot who sat next to our table then we can't complain. We also sat at the bar the second night for dinner at Corsa which was straight-forward Italian fare. We had the spicy bucatini and the guy sitting next to us (who we just happened to be married to) had one of the pizzas. There was nothing "Oh my god" about this food but we had fun chatting with the bartenders who all sounded completely happy working at the Wynn. One of them had even been there since it opened. That's a pretty good sign here. We also received complimentary buffet tickets but that line was hellish on a Sunday afternoon, so we skipped it. Late night we hit up the 24-hour restaurant the Terrace Cafe which serves amazing comfort food for the drunk and hungry. Here is a great place to eat a good burger, or chicken fingers and watch drunk guys pass out at the table. We saw this actually happen. Even sadder, said guy was dining alone. Spamalot: Speaking of John O'Hurley, we caught the 7pm showing of Spamalot on our second night. Spamalot is a great show but we think the British humor may have been lost on the crowd. Only when the jokes turned to fart humor, did the crowd really get into it. Perhaps a telltale sign the show is not doing so well, the Wynn was giving away two show tickets as a part of its Red Card promotion for new players. If you joined up and earned 25 points, then you could swipe your card for a spin on some Red Card wheel. You could have a chance at winning thousands of dollars in casino credit or show tickets. Most people, we gather, won the show tickets. It's also a computerized wheel that activates when you swipe your card. Thus we think it's rigged to give you show tickets most of the time so that Spamalot can fill the seats. Anyways, Spamalot is closing down soon and will be replaced by Danny "Still Relevant Somehow" Gans. Sad. Spa: We hit up the spa on our last day with our first treatment, a facial, starting at 9am. We were also able to secure a late check-out of 1pm and it's been a long time since we were able to get that in Vegas. The spa is wonderful. Aside from having great treatments and technicians, the Wynn spa has a lot of goodies too. There's plenty of bottled water (free) and soothing tea options and all the toiletries we women like to use while getting ready--like razors, makeup remover, nail polish remover, powder, hair care, etc. If you like whirlpools (we don't), the spa has a good-sized one, flanked by two plunge pools, along with a steam room and a sauna. The fitness center is available to spa guests free of charge but regular folks must pony up $25. Gambling: Whether you stay at the Wynn or not, sign up for a players card and depending on how much you gamble, you can get some comps. Lower tier gamblers who like to hit up the nickel and penny slots (yes, the Wynn has them!) can always earn at least a free buffet ticket. Braving the buffet line, however, is another story. We closed out the night on Saturday playing craps which we like never do. But we had a hot table with hot shooters and let's just say that everyone earned money by the time we went to bed at 3am. Service: While we have often found many staffers in Vegas to be friendly, the Wynn crew is somehow someway better, friendlier and more helpful than all the rest. Not once did we encounter any surliness or impatience. And the attitude amongst the employees that we chatted with seemed to be, "We don't want to work anywhere else." Steve Wynn is doing something right here.
Jun 06, 2008 Passions Of A Zealot by Andrew Calvo Hotel de Crillon
Crillon Hotels & Resorts
Finally! Something about Crillon! (Even though it’s minor) Starwood Capital is working on expanding the Crillon brand - but they are taking their time. Crillon is a brand which cannot really be opened in a few hundred locations like a Sheraton or Ritz-Carlton can, due to it being a 6-star brand.
There are very very few places in the world which can pull in the constant clientele to support that type of hotel. My guesses? (And these ARE guesses) London, New York City, Monte Carlo, Havana (Give it a few years! I guarantee it.), Moscow, Buenos Aires, Dubai, and Rome. I think that Crillon’s slow growth at this point is partially due to the economic climate being as it is - it just doesnt make sense to put so much money into developing a hotel unless everything the dollars work out perfectly.
Jun 06, 2008 Cellar Tours Hotel Brufani Palace, Perugia
Summer Music Festivals in Italy’s Wine Country
All around Italy´s wine regions, summer brings an exciting wave of music festivals, especially Jazz. Great news for music and wine lovers! Here are some of the upcoming events for this summer to help you start planning your wine and music orientated vacation in la Bella Italia-
Umbria Jazz Festival 2008- one of the largest jazz festivals in Europe, this takes place in beautiful Perugia. The world’s most famous jazz artists have performed here from Herbie Hancock to Miles Davis, Gilberto Gil to Milton Nascimiento. Artists performing this year include Brazilian Caetano Veloso, Mario Biondi and Duke Orchestra, Sonny Rollins, Alicia Keys, R.E.M., Cassandra WilsonRenato Sellani Trio, Chip Wilson, Pat Martino Quartet, Allan Harris Quintet “Tribute to NAT ‘KING’ COLE” , The Good Fellas Gangsters of Swing. Venus for the concerts in Perugia include- Bottega del Vino, Hotel Brufani, Arena Santa Giuliana, Teatro Morlacchi. There are also many free outdoor concerts in the medieval squares. WHEN- July 11- 20, Perugia, Italy WHERE TO STAY- The Brufani Palace is right in the historic center, a great base if you plan to check out a few concerts.
Jun 06, 2008 Mandarin Oriental Sales Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Seasonal Suite Package 2008
We offer you a rare retreat in the quiet cobbled streets of Mala Strana. Built on the site of a former 14th century monastery, with high contemporary design blending seamlessly with period architectural features, Mandarin Oriental, Prague is a luxury hotel and a beautifully preserved piece of history.
Seasonal Suite Package This package includes: • Accommodation in a luxurious suite • Full buffet breakfast at Essensia restaurant or in privacy of your suite • First Class Limousine roundtrip transport Airport – hotel - Airport • Bottle of Champagne in room on arrival • All Virtuoso amenities included Terms & Conditions for Spring Suite Package: • Rates are quoted per suite per night, based on double occupancy, excluding 9% VAT and discretionary service charge • Offer is subject to availability • Offer is valid from May – 30th June and from 1st July – 31st August 2008 • Offer is not combinable with any other promotions • Offer must be requested at the time of reservation SPRING SUITE PACKAGE: Suite categories and Rates valid from 1st May – 30th June 2008: Suite Type Suite Rate single/double occupancy Junior Suite 806,00 EUR Junior Suite Deluxe 860,00 EUR Mandarin Castle View Suite 1.030,00 EUR Mandarin Deluxe Suite 1.300,00 EUR The Oriental Suite 1.930,00 EUR The Lazar Suite 2.560,00 EUR SUMMER SUITE PACKAGE: Suite categories and Rates valid from 1st July – 31st August 2008: Suite Type Suite Rate single/double occupancy Junior Suite 670,00 EUR Junior Suite Deluxe 720,00 EUR Mandarin Castle View Suite 865,00 EUR Mandarin Deluxe Suite 1.090,00 EUR The Oriental Suite 1.615,00 EUR The Lazar Suite 2.140,00 EUR
Jun 06, 2008 Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Sales The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
"Sanctuary In The City" - new Spa Package at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver!
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Get away from it all in the heart of Vancouver. Really! The crowds hustling on the surrounding city blocks will be forgotten the moment you step into the Absolute Spa. Relax and rejuvenate as the two of you lose yourselves in aromatherapy massages. Your indulgence continues as you enjoy delectable dining and a restful night in your sumptuously appointed room. Absolute Spa will ship you home, refreshed and re-energized, with a treat from their organics line.
The package includes: -1 night accommodation -Two 60 minute Absolute Aromatherapy Massages in the Absolute Spa -Spa Gift to take home -$50 Food and Beverage credit (can be used in Griffins Restaurant, 900 West Lounge or In room Dining in the guestroom or Absolute Spa.) Absolute Spa is dedicated to your absolute relaxation! Located in The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Absolute Spa is Canada's largest and most prestigious spa chains, and has been awarded Vancouver's Best Spa over 18 times. Also Vancouver's first spa designed for men, enjoy the "Manly Start to the Day" which includes a gentleman's facial, hot towel straight shave, nail buff and shoe shine.
Jun 06, 2008 Sofitel Le Faubourg Paris Sales Sofitel Le Faubourg Paris
New Fitness and Spa at Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg
Hotel Sofitel Le Faubourg Sofitel Paris le Faubourg is pround to annonce the opening of a brand new fitness area renovated by the talented designer Pierre Yves Rouchon (decorator of the Four Seasons Paris). The training room features the latest cardiovascular equipement with personal LCD screen and a complete weight machine. We have created a welcoming environment with luxury colors such as gold, brown and black which gives an atmosphere of elegance. The spa area, features a traditional steam bath and hydro-massage facilities to help the guest to unwind. After lounging in the purifying heat of our hammam, guests can relaxe with an energy generating massage in our massage room where guests can choose from our massage menu available 24 hours. The fitness room is opened 24h a day and freely accessible to our customers.
Location : Faubourg Saint Honoré Located a few steps from the mythical Champs Elysées avenue and at the corner of the exclusive shopping Faubourg Saint-Honoré street. The Hotel Sofitel le Faubourg is for sure the ultimate evocation of a certain parisian spirit. The hotel is made up of two 18th and 19th century edifices and is an elegant and cosy haven of peace in one of the most lively and exclusive district of Paris. The hotel has an authentic Parisian spell through its elegant guestrooms, the intimate Café Faubourg restaurant and its inner garden, the stylish Bar30 as well as the cosy library. Also, in the aim of constantly improving the luxury facilities for the well-being of the hotel guests, the Sofitel le Faubourg features a superb new fitness center, including the latest work-out facilities and a hamman. Children under 12 years stay for free in parents room. Facilities : 173 rooms including 25 suites. Restaurant, piano bar, 24-hour room service, concierge desk, safety deposit boxes, business center, interconnecting, and non-smoking rooms, brand new fitness center, babysitting. Suitable for the physically challenged. Sofitel Paris le Faubourg is pround to be part of the Virtuoso family.
Jun 06, 2008 pinknews The Ritz London
Travel on the "Orient-Express of the North"
Britain’s railways have romantic history. It began with steam trains and blossomed into a golden age of opulent rail travel during the 1930s. The heady romance may have gone from everyday rail travel, but it still lives on in the Orient-Express. The Orient-Express became an iconic form of travel in the stylish art deco era of the 1930s. It earned a reputation for comfort and luxury for both its sleeper cars and onboard restaurants, which played host to royalty, nobles, diplomats, business people and the bourgeoisie.
Although there are a number of modern Orient-Express routes operating in Europe, only a few capture the original romance of the railways in its art deco heyday. Britain is lucky enough to have three of these: the Northern Belle, British Bullman and The Royal Scotsman. The Northern Belle was modelled on the classic ‘Belle’ trains of the 1930s. It entered service in 2000 as a sister to the highly successful British Pullman train of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Known as the ‘Orient-Express of the North’, the Northern Belle provides day excursions and short breaks throughout the UK, including romantic weekends from London to destinations like Edinburgh (from £825) and the Lake District (£675). The Northern Belle combines luxurious accommodation and fine dining with some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery as the backdrop to a memorable journey. The Northern Belle passes by dramatic castles, rolling countryside, tiny villages and great cities. Another quintessential Orient-Express experience is offered by the British Pullman, named after George Mortimer Pullman, who designed the first luxurious railway carriages back in 1864 and pioneered the domination of luxury train travel in Britain. The opulent art deco surroundings of these original Pullman carriages, all built in the 1920s and 30s, transport passengers into the past. These luxury carriages would take passengers from London to the English Channel ports as part of the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express as well as travelling the length and breadth of Britain. Today, the British Pullman escorts passengers on a variety of day and weekend trips from London and other cities to spectacular UK destinations. The Orient-Express offers a short break in London combining a stay at The Ritz with a gourmet dining experience onboard the British Bullman. Guests check into The Ritz before boarding the train at Victoria Station and travelling into the Home Counties for dinner. After dinner is served, guests will soak up the atmosphere by enjoying smooth live jazz before the British Pullman slowly glides back to reality at London Victoria. Return to the Ritz for an overnight stay. This break costs £475 per person. In Scotland, The Royal Scotsman keeps the romance alive and its journey is regarded as one of the world’s greatest travel experiences. The Pullman carriages also feature a unique open-ended observation car, which allows passengers the best views as they journey to the heart of the breathtaking Highlands. Passengers can disembark along the way to visit exceptional places of interest, such as private residences or whiskey distilleries. A two-night Highland experience on The Royal Scotsman starts from £1,680, including onboard accommodation in a sleeper carriage and meals.
Jun 06, 2008 angelinajolieweb.org Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, St. Jean Cap Ferrat
Angelina Jolie: A Candid Q&A
Think it’s difficult finding a Father’s Day present for the man in your life? Try being Angelina Jolie. ”Brad is the hardest person to shop for,” she says of her partner, Brad Pitt, while checking out a window display of Corum watches at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat in the south of France. ”He has impeccable design taste. And whenever he sees something he likes, he buys it for himself.” Pitt’s most recent gift to Jolie — the gun-charm necklace she wore to her EW photo shoot — is also a tough act to follow. ”Mad, our 6-year-old, draws lots of war scenarios,” she explains. ”He’s all into war and guns. So for Mother’s Day he drew a machine gun, and Brad had it made into a necklace, which is really sweet. It’s really cute. I think it’s really good!”
Leave it to Angelina Jolie to drop the words cute and machine gun in the same breath. The 33-year-old Academy Award winner has always cultivated dual identities: On the one hand, she’s been the Mistress of the Dark (as in her fascinations with tattoos, knives, and blood); on the other, she’s the Minister of Light (her work promoting international peace). Her next starring film roles keep that dichotomy alive: On June 27 she appears as Fox, a morally driven assassin who mentors a shlubby office worker (Atonement’s James McAvoy) in the graphically violent Wanted, directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch). And in October she stars in Clint Eastwood’s latest film, Changeling, as a 1920s single mom whose 9-year-old son disappears. Changeling’s premiere at the recent Cannes Film Festival earned Jolie strong reviews, but her life off screen garnered even more attention: Paparazzi have been tailing Jolie, Pitt, and their four children (Maddox, 6; Pax, 4; Zahara, 3; and Shiloh, 2) all over southern France. And last month’s false reports that Jolie, who’s expecting twins later this summer, delivered early caused a media maelstrom. (”I just think it’s all a bit crazy,” she says of the tabloid insanity in general. ”They just have to make up stuff. We find it odd all the time because we’re probably very boring people when it comes to many things.”) Over a lunch of filet mignon and iced tea, Jolie discussed her new films and her polarizing public persona.
Jun 06, 2008 pique newsmagazine The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler
Epicurious
To market, to market… By Holly Fraughton A Sunday afternoon stroll through the Upper Village in the summer reveals a touch of the rustic in Whistler’s typically polished image. Nestled between the Fairmont Chateau and Glacier Lodge, starting this Sunday and continuing every Sunday through to Thanksgiving, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., you can browse through tables laden with tasty, fresh-from-the-farm goodies, and booths lined with handmade clothing, jewelry, and trinkets, all with the smell of fresh popcorn wafting through the air.
Rick Clare helped found Whistler Farmers’ Market, with the help of David Roberts and Bernie Casavant, almost 13 years ago, using it as a tool to draw foot traffic to the area during the quieter summer months. “Whistler not being a farming community, we had to take some liberties at first,” Clare explained, adding that they recruited farmers from as far away as 100 Mile House and Lillooet. “But it’s grown into a much better product than we had originally envisioned, actually.” When they first started the market, there were only about 30 vendors. This year, they had over 120 vendors apply for permits. And while the content of the market has stayed generally the same over the years, Clare said this year they are focusing on bringing in more entertainment to help create a livelier atmosphere. They’ve also increased their marketing and entertainment budget by 30 to 40 per cent this year. “People enjoy the entertainment, and we want to make it more of an experience, so when you come up for the weekend, if you don’t want to buy vegetables or fruit or whatever, you’ll come back because it’s a nice place to be,” he added. So far, they’ve had a lot of interest from local entertainers, and not just musicians — this year’s market may feature entertainment by a juggler and a crystal artisan. Among a few new additions to the market this year will be more food vendors from Pemberton and D’Arcy, a candy floss stand, and new local merchants, including some unique new jewelers and clothing manufacturers. Since its been a cold, damp spring, you can expect the produce side of the market to be a bit scarce at first, though Clare said they still plan to offer lots of fresh goodies, including berries and fruit that will be brought up from the Lower Mainland. “Our mandate really is to support local endeavours and to support people who have been coming there for a while,” Clare said. And there are a lot of vendors, both locally and throughout the province, who are eager to sell their wares in Whistler. Clare attributes the market’s popularity and longevity to a combination of affordable stall rentals and a great community atmosphere. The farmers’ market at the Upper Village certainly isn’t the only one of its kind in the Sea to Sky area. There is also a market held at Franz’s Trail every Saturday, and this year will be the second year for the Pemberton Farmers’ Market. Anna Helmer, of Helmer’s Organic Farm, is just one of the local farmers who will be participating in the Pemberton market, which will be held every Friday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the AG Foods parking lot to allow residents first crack at the fresh picked produce before the farmers take their wares down to other markets throughout the Lower Mainland. Helmer explained that the owner of Solstice Organics re-started the event last year after a long hiatus. But this year, the farmers will be rotating the management responsibility from week to week. “Pemberton is a farming hotbed and can grow almost anything, apart from bananas, so technically, we should be able to feed Pemberton, through the summer at least,” Helmer explained. She added that that not many local farmers, aside from her own farm and North Arm Farm, have traditionally grown anything more than potatoes. But that’s changed in recent years, with the growing popularity of ideas like the 100-mile diet, and local growers have started to diversify their crops. “I think the public are way more interested in local food,” she explained, “Once you’ve tasted a Pemberton carrot, it’s pretty hard to go back!” Helmer explained that farmers often pick fruits and vegetables before they are fully ripe for shipping, which means the produce is not at its nutritional — or flavourful — peak. “The bottom line is taste, and there’s more and more people that know that and want good-tasting food. Especially now, with research showing that food that has traveled a long distance is actually traditionally less valuable.” Pemberton Farmers’ Market isn’t just about fruits and veggies — there will be lots of locally produced baked goods and arts and crafts up for grabs, too.
Jun 06, 2008 A Luxury Travel Blog Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano
Honeymoons… Italian style
Whether you are a nature lover, an art aficionado, a wine connoisseur, or a sun-seeking newlywed, honeymooning in Italy is sure to please. Italy’s rich culture and scenery attracts honeymooners looking for quite different honeymoon experiences. From enjoying the views and sipping cocktails in Capri, to soaking up the museums of Milan, to cliff-climbing in the Dolomites; Italy has something for everyone. It’s no wonder Italy has been a top honeymoon destination for countless years; with breathtaking surroundings, delicious cuisine, and a culture rich with tradition, Italy provides a sensual destination for every couple seeking the perfect introduction to life as newlyweds. When it comes to celebrating wedded bliss, here are just a few Italian options suiting several styles:
For relaxed luxury-seeking honeymooners: Capri is one of the most romantic and magical places for couples to honeymoon, and what better place to celebrate than at Hotel Caesar Augustus on the Isle of Capri. Located cliffside, the property features 56 rooms with private balconies and breathtaking views; setting the scene for a most intimate escape. Hotel Caesar Augustus is sure to impress with their Royal Honeymoon Getaway (new for 2008) which includes a romantic “Caprese” serenade performed below your suite, gourmet dinner served at the cliff-top terrace restaurant, champagne and flowers en suite and much more. Package starts at three nights for Euro 2532.00.The island’s only Relais & Chateaux address is also ready to romance newlyweds with new open-air features including two outdoor spa treatment rooms - perfect for couple’s massages, as well as a new al fresco fitness area, Turkish bath and relaxation area surrounded by natural rocks. For cultural honeymooners: As a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, Milan is rich in art, history, and culture, making it the perfect destination for honeymooners looking for a well-rounded experience. With luxury accommodations like the Dorchester Collection’s Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano, guests receive incredible service in a beautiful, 5-star hotel. The Principe di Savoia recognizes their guests’ desire to experience the culture that Milan has to offer and so they accommodate their guests by offering packages that cater to whatever you desire may be - shopping, art, or even a day trip to visit nearby Lake Como! So whether you’re looking to admire The Duomo, take in an opera at Teatro alla Scala, shop at Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele or wander through the Pinacoteca of Brera to see masterpieces by some of the leading Italian artists, Milan and Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano can make your honeymoon a memorable one! For nature-loving honeymooners: Take your honeymoon to new heights in the Dolomites with Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina. The Dolomites are a great honeymoon location off the beaten path from the typical crowded cities of Italy, an easy side trip from Venice, and full of activities in both winter and summer. Newlyweds can explore the mountains on a myriad of hiking and mountain biking trails, climb challenging cliffs, or even play a round of high altitude golf. After all that activity, relax with dinner at the two Michelin starred restaurant, or a couples massage at the original Daniela Steiner Beauty Spa. Couples wanting extra privacy can have a private picnic or spend the night at the hotel’s exclusive mountain chalet at 6,600 feet, with panoramic mountain views. Rosa Alpina is a Relais & Chateaux property, owned by the same family for three generations, in the tiny, postcard perfect village of San Cassiano.
Jun 06, 2008 times online The Ritz London
The teabag, a British favourite born by mistake, is 100 years old
The teabag is 100 years old this year, but not everyone is celebrating. The perforated paper sachet transformed a time-consuming afternoon ritual into a five-second quickie, and saved the tea industry by fulfilling the modern imperative for convenience and instant gratification. But many tea drinkers believe that the invention has also reduced one of the world’s greatest drinks to a beige, tannic concoction that neither refreshes nor satisfies. Like many inventions, the teabag came about by accident. Struggling to cut costs, Thomas Sullivan, a New York coffee merchant who turned to tea, sent out samples in small silk sachets rather than as loose tea. His penny-pinching was misunderstood by his customers who failed to realise that they were supposed to cut open the sachet and empty its contents into a pot before brewing their tea. The result was an instant success with American tea drinkers.
The silk bag was swiftly replaced with gauze and in 1930 William Hermanson, of the Boston-based Technical Papers Corporation, patented the heat-sealed paper fibre teabag. But it took nearly half a century for the teabag to cross the Atlantic. The American invention was viewed with suspicion by British drinkers because the paper tag – attached to a short string to allow easy removal, but which often fell into the teacup or pot – had more flavour than the tea dust in the bag itself, drinkers complained. The British also objected to the American practice of dunking the bag in a cup of lukewarm water, rather than using boiling water. Joseph Tetley and Co, Britain’s largest tea-makers, introduced teabags in 1953, to a tepid response. In the early Sixties less than 3 per cent of tea sold in Britain came in teabags. The breakthrough came in 1964 with the introduction of the perforated bag. Today Tetley sells 200 million teabags a week, using enough perforated tissue to paper over 128 football pitches. William Gorman, executive chairman of the UK Tea Council, said: “Without a doubt the teabag saved the tea industry because there is no way in our busy lifestyles today that we would have had the time or inclina-tion to make tea the old way.” The UK Tea Council may be grateful, but it is not having so much as a tea party to celebrate the saviour of the industry. Sara Howe, Tetley’s spokeswoman, said that she believed Britain would be a different place without the teabag. “Persuading the British to change their tea-drinking habits from loose tea to teabags was never going to be easy,” she said. “When Tetley introduced the teabag the adverts were quite simple: teabags were the new quick and easy way to make a delicious cup of tea for only one penny. “It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the teabag. Somehow getting up in time to measure the tea leaves, brew the tea, strain it and clear away the tea leaves from the sink afterwards does not have the same appeal.” Today 96 per cent of the 130 million cups of tea drunk in Britain every day are made using teabags. One of the last bag-free institutions is the Ritz Hotel in the West End of London, where 17 varieties of leaf tea are offered. Stephen Boxall, the general manager of the Ritz, said: “It’s loose-leaf tea only here. Since we famously uphold many traditions in our historic hotel, so we respect the time-honoured distinctions of traditional English afternoon tea service. That said, may I take this opportunity on behalf of us all at the Ritz to congratulate the teabag on its 100th birthday and to wish it many more years of happy brewing.”
Jun 06, 2008 ftnnews The SIGNATURE at MGM GRAND
Expedia® Ranks Three MGM MIRAGE Resorts Among World’s Best
Expedia® Insiders’ Select™, an exclusive list of the site’s favorite hotels worldwide, ranks Bellagio, The Signature at MGM Grand and THEhotel at Mandalay Bay among its top destination resorts for 2008. The MGM MIRAGE properties are among just six chosen for Las Vegas. "The Expedia® Insiders’ Select™ list is an annual award recognizing the very best hotels, as judged by the experiences of our customers," said Paul Brown, president of Expedia. "The hotels on the list have been identified as consistently delivering excellent service, a great overall experience and notable value."
Inspired by the beautiful villages of Europe, the AAA Five Diamond Bellagio overlooks a Mediterranean-blue, eight-acre lake in which fountains perform a magnificent aquatic ballet. Within Bellagio are award-winning dining experiences, a world-class art gallery, the exquisite Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Cirque du Soleil’s stunning performance of “O,” a luxurious spa and salon and designer shopping. Located within three distinct towers, The Signature at MGM Grand provides a peaceful, non-smoking retreat offering the ultimate in service, just moments from the excitement of MGM Grand. A gated entrance, luxuriously appointed suites, most with balconies, and attentive staff provide superior comfort, privacy and service. Offering swanky accommodations within the tropical sophistication of Mandalay Bay, THEhotel features contemporary two-room suites and such chic amenities as the award-winning BATHHOUSE Spa and miX in Las Vegas, a striking restaurant and lounge by renowned chef Alain Ducasse. Enthusiastic traveler reviews for all three properties range from “Don’t think I can ever stay anywhere else!” to “Best Hotel Room EVER.”
Jun 06, 2008 Times Online Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich
Germany, but not as we know it
Smart shops, chic hotels and... surfers? Rachel Johnson goes in search of a cooler, hipper Bavaria From The Sunday Times June 8, 2008 Germany, but not as we know it Smart shops, chic hotels and... surfers? Rachel Johnson goes in search of a cooler, hipper Bavaria Rachel Johnson I’ve upgraded us to a BMW, as we’re in Munich,” my husband said. “It only cost an extra €5 a day, and I know how much these things matter to you.” We are about to embark on a romantic week’s holiday à deux in upper Bavaria, a week that is going to take in King Ludwig’s castles, the Alpine and Romantic roads, the lakes and, lastly, a two-day city break in Munich. And I am determined to discover not just the usual touristy things about southern Germany, wonderful though beer gardens, rococo palaces, bratwurst and sauerkraut undoubtedly are. My mission is to uncover the edgy, vibing, hip-hotels side of Bavaria, too. If there is one, that is.
Okay, first things first. The bad news is that you may have to start in a UK airport to get to Munich. The good news is that when you arrive, it is so efficient, so modern and so clean, you could eat off the floors. (Actually, I did eat the Augsburg Airways dense, seeded brown roll that I dropped while we were waiting all of two minutes to be handed the keys to our hire car.) Berlin is brought back to life again A new photography book excites James Collard as he sets out to explore the city's history - view the exclusive slideshow On a Trabant safari of Berlin Berlin: city of dreams and spectres Get a room in... Berlin Castle capers in Bavaria Mansel and Christine Jones want to visit Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria Germany: Inside Himmler’s spooky castle Wewelsburg Castle in Paderborn was home to Heinrich Himmler and centre of the world for his SS I feel like a new fisherman in Norway RELATED LINKS Escape from Colditz So, a few minutes after deplaning, we were drilling off like a black bullet on the A3 towards Berchtesgaden, where the InterContinental chain has opened a low-slung hotel, golf and spa resort on top of a small mountain on the edge of the national park. After an hour or so marvelling at the eye-bleeding speeds that are legal on the autobahns, we were only a few miles from our destination and I suddenly saw – God knows how I could read it, the speed we were going – a little blue sign saying “InterContinental”. “Turn off, turn off!” I screeched. My husband stopped the car, left indicator flashing. “Are you sure?” he asked. “Please proceed on the indicated route,” begged the sat nav on the BMW’s dashboard. Instead, we turned up a twisty Alpine road, late-spring snow still on the ground. “As soon as you are able, do a U-turn,” came the robotic command. We carried on. “Do a U-turn! Do a U-turn!” the BMW ordered. It was me against the fembot. “I do hope you’re right,” my husband said darkly. For once, I was. After tossing the car keys to a bellboy, we entered a huge lobby hung with the biggest lamps I’d ever seen. A fragrant log fire blazed from a sunken brazier. Businessmen were hurling bar snacks down their throats, bartenders were pouring steins of dark local beer and a sultry chanteuse at a piano, straight out of Lost in Translation, was singing a song about love. Suddenly, it seemed nuts that Brits don’t do Germany (tourism in Bavaria is 90% German), and it seemed even nuttier the next morning. The hotel has a “mountain spa”, with a heated pool open to the pine-girdled peaks of the Kehlstein (where, it so happens, Hitler’s hideaway, the Eagle’s Nest, still perches 2,625ft above you). It also has herbal spas, steam rooms and a Michelin star. It doesn’t just have mountain bikes for guests, darling, it has Segways. At breakfast, we sat munching our cereal noisily and looking out of the huge picture windows framing the panorama. I pointed to a meadow, just the sort of place where you find long-lashed cows, yellow-plaited milkmaids, goatherds, cowbells and rich milk. My husband was worried we’d come too early for frisking in Alpine meadows, and I wanted to reassure him. “The hills are alive over there,” I said, pointing at the bright-green slope. “Yes,” he grunted, as the spoons clattered against breakfast bowls, “with the sound of muesli.” Nobody can leave upper Bavaria without interacting with Mad King Ludwig II or doing Munich. So we left Berchtesgaden (so close to Austria that we smugly drove to Salzburg for dinner, and found a groovy restaurant called Carpe Diem – highly recommended) and took the Alpine Road, a twisty hairpin drive that averages between 2,625ft and 3,280ft all the way. We whizzed past deep lakes, looked up at fierce mountain ranges and, after nipping back into Austria for lunch, chugged across the vast lake called the Chiemsee, in the middle of which, on an island, King Ludwig erected one of his three huge palaces. Ludwig spent only 11 days at the Herrenchiemsee. He ate from a table-cum-elevator that was laid on the ground floor, then pulled up to the first, so he didn’t have the awful bore of seeing his servants. Oh yes, and the hall of mirrors here is longer than that in Versailles, and the king’s bathtub could drown a blue whale. Even more otherworldly and jaw-dropping is his Neuschwanstein Castle, at Schwangau. It’s not edgy or hip, but I promise that even your children will enjoy it. Its über-romantic location inspired the sparkly castle in the opening credits of Disney cartoons: set high on a rocky outcrop, it seems an impossible feat of engineering, overlooking lakes, valleys, waterfalls. And inside, this Victorian folie de grandeur is so wildly, camply over the top, with every inch of every finished room painted with frescoes from the operas of Wagner, it makes the Palace of Westminster look as decorative as a Portaloo. SO, I HEAR you cry, what about the trendy, cool stuff you promised? Okay, here goes. Now I get to be the sat-nav lady. Head for Munich, but stop at Tutzing, on the Starnberger See, and go to the Buchheim Museum (www.buchheimmuseum.de), named after the photographer, painter and collector Lothar-Günther Buchheim. Its core collection of German expressionist art is renowned. Back in the car, head into Munich (45 minutes). Go straight to the Haus der Kunst (www.hausderkunst.de). Check out the exhibition within, especially the Robert Rauschenberg (until September 14), and walk around the building, admiring the intact Nazi architecture – it was built by Troost; Hitler laid the foundation stone – to the Goldene Bar at the back. Have a beer and a salami sandwich in the beautifully proportioned, frescoed and mirrored 1930s cafe, then mosey out and look at the surfer boys a few yards away, riding the wave on the Eisbach River. Yes, surfers, in the middle of a city park (the heavenly Englischer Garten) in Munich. Underneath the Goldene Bar, by the way, there’s a nightclub, called P1, where Bayern Munich football players hang with the likes of Paris Hilton. But we don’t go there, because we are staying at the Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, and, what’s more, we’re in one of the 42 redecorated, ultramodern suites, and we don’t want to leave, much. It is sublimely comfortable and has a flatscreen television that you can twirl to face the sitting room or the bed – and there’s a TV in the mirror of the bathroom, which is the sort of thing that impresses me more than anything. Yet leave the Kempinski we must, because Munich is 850 years old this year, and the city is really putting on the glitz from now until the Oktoberfest and beyond, with cultural events aplenty. For example, there’s a large Kandinsky exhibition planned to run from October until February 2009 at the Lenbachhaus. We caught the Mark Rothko retrospective at the Kunsthalle, and the vibrating clouds of colour were all the more impressive for knowing that Rothko refused to show in Germany during his lifetime because of the Holocaust. As for shopping, well, my girlie picks are: Dallmayr, on Dienerstrasse, for the 17th-century splendour and visual feast that this store, the German version of Fortnum’s, offers its 1m visitors a year; Manufactum, a brilliant shop selling all the things you didn’t think you could find any more, such as wooden badminton rackets, proper shuttlecocks and wooden stepladders; and Ed Meier, where you can have a pair of bespoke shoes made for you, by hand, in one year, for as little as £475. If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is. I’ll be back to pick up mine this time next year. Till then...tschüs!
Jun 06, 2008 IstanbulView.com Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul
Four Seasons Bosphorus opening this summer in Istanbul
The new luxury Four Season’s Hotel on the Bosphorus in Istanbul will open on june 15th. Four Seasons has restored the Atik Pasha palace on Ciragan Street in Besiktas into the Four Seasons Bosporus Hotel and gave a 19th-century palace a fresh, eclectic spirit. The Hotel has alluring facilities which include the biggest chic urban spa center of europe and fine restaurants and pools with a great Bosporus view of the Asian shore.
Hoping to live like a Sultan next time you head to Istanbul? Four Seasons offers the most expensive suite of turkey. The Atik Pasa suite, is 350 m2 with bullet proof windows and costs 20 thousand euro per night. So far there are already 50 reservation for the special suite. You can find the 2nd four season hotel of istanbul on the way to ortakoy on the European bank of the Bosphorus with a great sea view.
Jun 06, 2008 Wickaninnish Inn sales Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
June 2008 Newsletter
O Summer Day Beside the Joyous Sea! While our love of winter storm watching and of colourful gumboots has no bounds, now’s the season to slip on those flip flops for a Tofino summer and all the magic it brings, whether you’re a fan of walking rainforest trails, paddling our waters, or more epicurean pursuits.
Come Fly with Me... While the 2.4 kilometer (or 1.5 mile) expanse of Chesterman Beach exudes a humbling vastness, and you may refreshingly see more eagles than people at times, the Wickaninnish Inn is remote… but remarkably accessible. We love that the 10-hour drive from Seattle can now be edited to a 1:45 hour scenic flight with Kenmore Air, and that Orca Air is operating 5 daily flights between Tofino and Vancouver into mid-September, as well as a Victoria-Tofino route. For a true West Coast experience, fly in a Tofino Air floatplane, landing in the picturesque Tofino Inlet, a brief ten minutes from the Inn. Sweet and Savory Events No jacket is required, but we suggest a light polar fleece before you saunter down to the beach for our traditional West Coast Crab Cookout. Picture a spread of house-baked bread and freshly-made accompaniments, starring locally-caught Dungeness Crab prepared just for you and your loved one(s) – all while you take in a multihued sunset or some tide pool exploration. This casual complement to the Pointe Restaurant is offered from 5:30 to 8:00pm every summer Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening, and is available exclusively to in-house guests.
Jun 06, 2008 Go Girlfriend The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Fairmont Hotels - Luxury + Eco-Friendly = Green Travel
Sustainable luxury at the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle & Vancouver Story by Carly Milne Voluntourism, eco-friendly vacations... slowly but surely these forms of traveling are becoming the norm, but they're usually characterized by a dirt-under-your-nails charm that makes you a part of the community you're staying in. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but sometimes you just need a little luxury. So how can you travel in an environmentally-conscious way and still enjoy some top notch treatment? Take a trip to the West coast and book yourself in at the Fairmont Hotel.
The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle, offers an experience second to none. Check in is a breeze, every room has free internet, the bathroom has an area large enough Fairmont Olympic in Seattle to accommodate even the largest make-up case and the bedroom has a pillowy-soft king that begs to be jumped on (not that we condone that in a 5-diamond hotel), but where the Fairmont Olympic really pulls out the stops is in their cuisine. Chef Gavin Stevenson sticks to the hundred-mile rule and sources all of his food from locals and lets that dictate his menus for guests. One walk through Pike Market and you'll understand why this approach is so important to him. Yes, the market has the world's first Starbucks and the infamous fish-throwers, but look beyond the media Pike Market darlings and you'll find a community that's passionate about their food. Stevenson has cultivated relationships with his favorite providers, insuring the best of the best is available to him whether it's specially-grown heirloom tomatoes, super sweet dried strawberries, or his favorite, morel mushrooms. Just a 20-minute sea-plane trip away is Penfield Cove, home of a world-famous mussel and oyster farm. It's there that Stevenson sources some of the most incredible shellfish you'll ever eat. The farm's joy over Penfield Cove and knowledge of the shellfish they cultivate is infectious, and you can practically taste it in the meals that Stevenson prepares with them - mussels in a deceptively simple white wine broth designed to highlight the taste of the shellfish itself, oysters so melt-in-your-mouth delicious that you don't even need to add horseradish or cocktail sauce... this is a true food-lover's experience. Not to be outdone, the Fairmont Waterfront just up the coast in Vancouver, BC offers an equally incredible sustainable experience starting with their rooftop herb garden. It's there that they harvest everything from rosemary to strawberries for use in the dishes from Herron's restaurant. They get much of their produce from Hazelmere Organic Farm, a family owned and operated farm located in nearby Surrey featuring produce so fresh and delicious you almost want to eat it uncooked. But doing so will rob you of the sensory experience created by Chef Wayne Harris and Chef De Partie Colin Burslem. After seven courses showcasing fresh asparagus (with duck so tender you'll never question the existence of god ever again), incredible greens (in the freshest, crispiest salad ever) and a homemade palate-cleansing passionfruit sorbet, you'll be inspired to start your own garden. But the best is yet to come. At the Fairmont at Vancouver's International Airport, Executive Sous Chef Patrick Sinclair makes magic with veggies from nearby Granville Island and fish from local fisheries. Sinclair works closely with the Vancouver Aquarium to ensure he obtains fish that are farmed both consciously and sustainably. His creations are simply incredible. Two of the more notable plates in his repertoire? Try one of his scallops - you'll only need one of these hockey-puck sized beauties, seared to perfection and served on a bed of quinoa with a butter bean sauce on the side. But don't forget the halibut, cooked perfectly moist with a tender crust, sitting atop farm-fresh braised vegetables like golden beets and fiddlehead greens.
Jun 06, 2008 The Epoch USA, Inc. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Spa in the City. The age-old method of healing and relaxation is in full swing
Sono nel paradise! I'm in paradise! Today, Western spas have evolved far beyond their Italian roots. "Romance en el baneario"—romancing the spa—has flourished into health and wellness lifestyle conservatories. Spa "lingo" has been around for centuries. In the diplomatic world, "détente" is equated with a relaxation of tensions between countries. To the French, "un massage de détente"—a relaxation massage—is more up their alley of desires.
Complete the experience with a slice of French bread and cheese, a cup of chamomile, chardonnay or champagne, and voila! You have a state of plaisir —pleasure abounding. William Blake, writer-painter of the Romanticist period, is reported to have said, "Energy is eternal delight." In his time, Britons traveled south to Bath, England, for healing and renewal in thermal spring bathing pools left behind from the Roman occupation of Britain. There, entire complexes were built to provide the ultimate in bathing experience. In Europe, similar destinations of leisure and levity were known as spa towns—"une ville d'eau"—literally translated as a city of water. Their raison d'être —was to provide visitors refreshment from natural mineral springs with hot thermal baths while offering a venue for socializing and even a place for political discussions. In the 1980s, companies like Evian, Vichy, and Pelletier began packaging portions of their glistening geysers into sprays or sparkling water, perfecting the fine art of dining and adding a touch of European elegance to everyday living. A woman enjoying a pampering massage at a spa and sauna clinic. Other popular health and wellness treatments that spas offer include facials, manicures, and pedicures. (Torsten Silz/AFP/Getty Images) Evoking Relaxation and Stimulation Vancouver, though surrounded by water and possessing incredible biodiversity, may not be "une ville d'eau." However, it has become known as "Spa in the City." Sumptuous treatments and tantalizing therapy products are available in spas all across the city. While European luxury and rejuvenation used to be the domain of the leisure class, spas in Vancouver are attempting to reach beyond their borders and are as eclectic as their therapies and the neighbourhoods they serve. Whether looking for a 10-minute manicure, a prolonged pampering pedicure, or an intoxicating aromatic facial, spas are designed to help us stop awhile and feel renewed, evoking both relaxation and stimulation. At Absolute Spa at Vancouver's Fairmont Hotel, the menu is supremely elegant and inviting. Without leaving the city you can experience a "Hawaiian Tropical Vacation," one of the Fairmont's more playful promos that includes a luxuriant coconut mango massage. The aromas of creamy coconut mingled with succulent mango are so exotic, you feel like you are lying on a beach or lounging under majestic palm trees near a pineapple plantation with soft, sensual Hawaiian trade winds sweeping over you. "Moms 2 Be" is a complete comfort experience for expectant moms. Imagine lying in a bed of damask roses, soaking in rich rose oils, and being nurtured by the petals' velvety touch. Or indulge in the more adventurous "Warm Chocolate & Vanilla" aromatherapy massage. Oozing with delectability and drizzling all over your body, this rich massage is an absolutely jazzy experience! For the man on the fly, there is the "747 Y-Spa Men's Manicure" or a "Body Binge Massage." He can revel in relaxation while receiving an added perk — use of the hotel's Health Club pool, saunas, and workout area. For those who delight in experimental, edgy treatments, the modern and minimalist Skoah spa in Yaletown offers what they call "facialiscious" or "x-treme facials." All About You on Davie Street uses an all-natural St. Tropez bronzer for UV-free tranning. Ooo la la! Perhaps an oxygen steam bath is more your style, such as the one at State of Being Urban Spa Retreat on Howe Street. Cedar saunas at the Eternal Beauty Clinic and Spa in Richmond, B.C. (Anne Pillsbury) 'Balance of mind, body, and soul' Holt Renfrew is also in the mood. At its hot, new location at Granville and Dunsmuir, you can get sculptured nails by Absolute Spa Nails. After being surrounded by Holt's trendy fashions, stroll across the street and enjoy a unique lunch at The Culinary Institute. Student servers, white linen tablecloths, and experimental entrees are exceedingly popular. Reservations are recommended midday. Richmond offers its own desirable destinations. Earth Wind and Spa is a petite boutique spa that offers an array of services that go far beyond its small size. The Evergreen Spa in central Richmond offers skilled service at affordable prices by owners Stella and Mae. Around the corner from the Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Eternal Beauty Clinic & Spa is one of the city's best-kept secrets. "Eternal Spa's mission is to help clients develop and maintain natural healthy balance of mind, body, and soul using a combination of traditional and contemporary therapies in order to reveal the beauty in all of us," says manager Cecilia. The spa offers an impressive range of clinical and essential facials, Swedish and Shiatsu massages, body wraps, and exfoliation treatments. Also available are touch-for-health kinesiology, which is described as "a system of natural health care which combines muscle monitoring with principles of Chinese medicine." Delight your palate with the offer of custom-made teas or herbal Chinese soups. Then enjoy more pampering wrapped in a complimentary robe and slippers following ultimate relaxation in one of the spa's handsome cedar saunas. Spa products on display at a retail boutique (Anne Pillsbury) Natural and Charitable Even retailers have penetrated this niche market. The British boutique chain Crabtree & Evelyn has gone organic with its hit fragrance for bodycare and the home, Island Living, made from the exotic spider lily plant from the beaches of the Bahamas. Crabtree & Evelyn spokesperson India Hicks, who lives in the Bahamas, says the collection reflects her "passion for natural things." In the company catalogue she describes it as "inspired by my favourite island flower—a fragile white beauty that grows wild at the edge of the sea." The spider lily is an offbeat, ethereal, and alluring scent—so much so that last month it captured a top award at the Canadian Fragrance Awards in Toronto celebrating the best 2007 fragrance launches in Canada. Hicks also donates ten percent of her profits from Island Living toward education for Bahamian children. Competitive retailer The Body Shop has its own range of lotions, scrubs, and essential oils, incorporating revitalizing ingredients and pure botanicals into all its products. It is also endeavouring to engender community support with its newest campaign, "Get Lippy-Prevent HIV-moveyourlips.com." All proceeds from the sale of Brazilian berry Guarana lip gloss at the store go to the Staying Alive Foundation, a charity dedicated to HIV and AIDS prevention. One beneficiary of this campaign is Bulelani Mvotho, an aspiring filmmaker in Cape Town, South Africa. The Body Shop's spunky pink promo tells the story of Mvotho who is leading a team to use film to bring HIV prevention and AIDS information to the youth in their townships. 'There's no place like home' Spas can go beyond geography, and as Dorothy said in "The Wizard of Oz," "there's no place like home." At home you can set free your artsy, experimental side and turn your bathroom into a private oasis. And you don't need a jacuzzi to do it! The book Home Spa, in collaboration with L'Occitane en Provence, recommends "investing in a heated towel rail and the fluffiest towels, softest robe, and coziest slippers you can find. Decorate the room with beautifully designed fittings and finishes." Home Spa recommends this cleansing, refreshing, and purifying bath: "Add to warm running water a tablespoon of carrier oil, 4 drops of rosemary essential oil, 3 drops of bergamot essential oil, and 3 drops of rosewood essential oil." Whatever your spa style, whether you are frolicky, bouncy, or just curious, beauty and relaxation can be found through discovery and finding time out for Spa in the City.
Jun 06, 2008 Adkisson Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
Whistler vs. Kitzbuhel
The two final competitors for the 2010 Olympic Games were Salzburg and Vancouver. If Salzburg had won, the venue for the major Alpine events would have been Kitzbuhel, and the course for the Skiing Downhill, the premier event of the Games, would have been the infamous Streif, the worlds toughest downhill, bar none. Not even Whistlers most ardent devotees would argue that the fairly tame Dave Murray Downhill bears any comparison to the Streif, but how do Kitzbuhel and Whistler compare along other dimensions?
Ski terrain, lift system and grooming Here Whistler has a decided advantage. The terrain is much larger and although there are fewer lifts many more of them are the modern high-speed quad variety, which makes for much shorter lift lines. The terrain in Whistler is also more varied, with cliff jumps and gladed runs in particular that are totally absent from the Kitzbuhel scene. Grooming is another advantage: much more of Whistlers runs are groomed daily compared to Kitzbuhel. Off-piste and powder snow Here I think it is fair to say that Kitzbuhel has the edge, not because there is more off-piste terrain, but because it last so much longer after a fresh snowfall than in Whistler, where by 11.00 a.m. almost all the fresh snow has been tracked out. In Kitzbuhel you can find fresh lines for days. Accommodation As with most Austrian resorts, accommodation in Kitzbuhel is largely offered in hotels and pensions, with relatively few chalets and condos available for self-catering accommodation. Although Kitzbuhel has a number of luxury hotels there is nothing comparable to the Four Seasons. There is, however, a very large number of Pensionen, more or less comparable to B&Bs throughout Kitzbuhel and its adjacent Villages. Whistler is much better off in terms of the range of luxury homes for rental. Village and Retail Here Kitzbuhel definitely has the edge. Both Kitzbuhel and Whistler have pedestrian-only village centres, but Kitzbuhels is a medieval walled city with the patina of ages compared to the Johnny-come-lately pastiche of Whistler. Also, whilst Whistler Village has mainly low-end sweater and ski shops, there is a glorious variety of high-end luxury retail establishments in the centre of Kitzbuhel, as well as famous Kaffee and Kche shops such as Langers. If you are a keen skier, you should definitely visit both resorts. They are very different, but you will find much to enjoy in both locations. Despite the fearsome Streif, there is definitely more expert terrain available in Whistler, but Kitzbuhel has the incomparable charm of the Austrian Alps.
Jun 06, 2008 The Travel Wizard Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
WHISTLER SKI VACATION SPECIALS
Promo Code: GG-WS FOUR SEASONS RESORT WHISTLER 4 NTS FROM $1569
$500 CAD Credit at Four Seasons Whistler Lavish accommodations and intuitive personal service are yours at this alpine-style resort, named to Travel + Leisure's 2006 'T+L 500' list. Cozy wood interiors and fireplaces lend a mountain-home feel to the rooms, which look out onto the courtyard or beyond to the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Book by 04/13/2008 Valid for Travel: 11/22/2007-04/12/2008
Jun 06, 2008 Four Seasons Resort Whistler Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
FOUR SEASONS RESORT WHISTLER…ONLY CANADIAN RESORT
Whistler, BC – November 9th, 2007 – Just announced this morning, Four Seasons Resort Whistler received the Five-Diamond Award® by the American Automobile Association – Canada’s only resort to receive the honour. This accolade places the resort on the world map as an exclusive year-round destination. “Four Seasons Resort Whistler sets a new standard for luxury mountain accommodation.” said Scott Taber, general manager. “We dedicate this award to our employees who make it happen everyday and create incredible experiences for our guests. It is their unwavering attention to detail and ongoing commitment to service that has earned us this prestigious recognition. We attract the best, we strive for excellence and we go for gold everyday.”
Representing the upper echelon of the hospitality industry, AAA Five-Diamond Award® winners make up just 0.27 percent of the 60,000 Diamond Rated® lodgings and restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. “Five Diamond establishments reflect the characteristics of ultimate luxury and sophistication,” said Michael Petrone, director of AAA Tourism Information Development. “The physical attributes of these properties are extraordinary in every manner, and personalised services for guests consistently exceed expectations of even the most refined traveller. To achieve and maintain this level of service is an amazing accomplishment, and AAA is pleased to honor these establishments as Five Diamond Award recipients.” To learn more or to experience Four Seasons Resort Whistler, call 1-800-268-6282 within Canada or 1-800-332-3442 within the US or visit www.fourseasons.com/whistler. Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. From elegant surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalised 24-hour service, Four Seasons embodies a true home away from home for those who know and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees – people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960, Four Seasons has followed a targeted course of expansion opening hotels in major city centres and desirable resort destinations around the world. Currently with 74 hotels in 31 countries, and more than 25 properties under development, Four Seasons will continue to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding. For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com.
Jun 06, 2008 Four Seasons Resort Whistler Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
Four Seasons Whistler Summer offers
SEASONAL VALUE ADDED OFFERS Stay Two Nights, Get Third Night Free Reserve our “Stay Two Nights, Get Third Night Free” package: •With this special promotion, stay with us for two paid nights and receive a complimentary third night (one per stay) •This offer is not valid for Presidential Suite or the 4 Bedroom & Den Private Residence •Complimentary night must be used in conjunction with initial minimum three night stay •Valid April 12th, 2008 – September 13th, 2008 Family Plan – 50% off second room plus additional family values Reserve the “Family Plan”: •Pay for one room at published rates and earn a second room at 50% off. •50% discount will be applied to the second room of equal or lesser value. •Children under the age of 5 eat free, children ages 5-12 eat for 50% off. •Valid January 2nd 2008 – December 19th 2008, January 4, 2009 – April 11, 2009 Length of Stay - Free Night Special _ Pay four (4) and get the Fifth (5) night free. •This offer is valid only on the room categories from Moderate to Two Bedroom Four Seasons Executive Suite. Not applicable to higher room categories. •Valid November 27, 2008 to December 19, 2008, January 4, 2009 – April 11, 2009
Jun 06, 2008 nytimes.com The Connaught London
India Mahdavi Introduces Furniture to the United States
India Mahdavi , an Iranian-born, Parisian designer and architect, recently introduced her line of furniture to the United States. The 18-piece collection of tables, chairs, stools, desks and lighting, is a sculptural mix of lacquer, wood and ceramics. Some of it was used to furnish her projects, like the new Coburg Bar and Hélène Darroze restaurant at the Connaught hotel in London.
Ms. Mahdavi began her career working for the interior designer Christian Liaigre, and has continued in a minimal yet playful vein. The Superstarr Dining Table ($27,300), for instance, is oak with four different totem-like legs made of stacked wood and black and white ceramic blocks, while the Flower Cocktail Table ($17,400), has interlocking petals of green, brown and black lacquered wood. Available through Ralph Pucci International, 44 West 18 Street (Sixth Avenue)
Jun 06, 2008 Luxury Travel Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona
Kempinski updates its family facilities in Spain
The five-star Kempinski Bahia Estepona in Spain has launched a new complimentary kids club, as well as new inter-connecting rooms for families. Kempinski Kids Club?? will entertain youngsters aged between four and 12 years old, all year round. The kids club will be stocked with games, books and toys for indoor entertainment. Outdoors, a new children's swimming pool is shaded to protect delicate skin. There is also an adventure playground at the beach and a bouncy castle in the gardens.
Activities include pottery, face painting, pirate-themed treasure hunts, sand castle competitions, water polo, bowling, sports, discos, cookie baking, flamenco dancing, Spanish lessons, educational games and excursions. As part of the hotel's Going Green programme, children can also participate in planting their own tree in the organic vegetable garden and helping the chefs gather the day's harvest.?? As part of a €7m hotel renovation, which saw all rooms and suites undergo a total refurbishment, the number of interconnecting rooms has been increased. Some suites have been joined to others by private hallways, so families in adjoining rooms can enjoy complete privacy and safety. On arrival each child receives a Kempinski VIP card, which he or she will keep throughout their stay. By following the Kempinski Route and ordering from the specially designed menu in each restaurant during their stay, children collect stamps which can be exchanged for a special gift at the end of their holiday
Jun 06, 2008 Agents Support Systems Pty Ltd The Connaught London
The world’s most unique champagne to be sold by the glass at London’s most iconic hotel
Krug in partnership with The Coburg bar at The Connaught, has launched the first opportunity in the world to purchase Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1995 by the glass. Created from a unique plot of land, Clos d’Ambonnay 1995 is Krug’s eagerly anticipated first new champagne for over two decades, of which only 3,000 bottles have been produced. The Coburg bar will hold 12 bottles enabling Krug lovers the unprecedented chance to sample this exceptional vineyard vintage. This unique experience will be available for a limited time by appointment only. Guests will be greeted by a Connaught host and escorted to a reserved table within the bar. Each party member will be offered a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée which will act as their initiation into the heart of the Krug wine making and blending philosophy. The initial glass will be accompanied by bespoke canapés accentuating the flavours reflected by the notes of the champagne.
To follow, the party will continue their exciting and unique champagne experience with a glass of Krug’s Clos d’Ambonnay 1995. Secretly nurtured in the Krug cellars for a full 12 years, this rarest of all Krug champagnes at once asserts its personality with a deep, distinctive hue: bright gold enriched with the warm gleam of copper. On the nose, Krug Clos d'Ambonnay 1995 allies charm and finesse to substance and character, offering an early hint of the superb structure to come. On the palate, it is exhilaratingly fresh and lively, while at the same time magnificently ample and mature, a resplendent harmony of brioche, grilled almonds, candied spices and lush red berries. Its finish is elegant, endless – the unmistakable signature of a great wine and a grandiose champagne. The Connaught launched The Coburg Bar in January 2008 and was designed by critically acclaimed Parisian based architect and designer India Mahdavi The Connaught launched The Coburg Bar in January 2008 honouring the original name of the hotel. The stylishly classic but contemporary bar is designed by critically acclaimed interior Parisian based architect and designer India Mahdavi and is one of the first exciting stages of the hotel’s £70 million refurbishment making it the perfect place to savour the Clos d’Ambonnay 1995 journey.
Jun 06, 2008 Luxique, by Andy Moreton Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie Rome
Hard Candy, Soft Bed
I read an article the other day: ‘Madonna’s Travel Secrets.’ Get a life, Moreton, I hear you cry. No, but listen … nearly all the places she loves to stay are on Luxique’s list of luxury hotels and boutique hotels (we knew the lady had taste). So, in case you want the chance to hang out with the Material Girl, listen up. Her love affair with the Caesar Park in Rio de Janeiro goes back to 1993 when she performed for 120,000 people at the city’s Maracana Stadium. Luxique likes this one very much too – we call it “an opulent 23-storey business hotel of fine dining and service.” When in Rome, she apparently favours the Hotel de Russie. Good choice, Madge. We’ve called it “Rome’s best hotel for those who appreciate the Rocco Forte discreet designer style.”
In 2006, she embarked on her global ‘Confessions’ tour, which spanned 60 shows on three continents. When she arrived in Miami, there was only one place she wanted to lay her head: The Setai. Luxique’s view? “A razor-sharp, Oriental-reflected designer number on South Beach with stratospheric service levels.” Madonna liked it so much, she’s been back many times. Finally, Baa Atoll in the Maldives, where the star and her family spent a ‘heavenly’ holiday over 2006/7. Luxique offers the Diva Island Resort in this paradise island. “Sumptuous villas set on stilts in a blue lagoon in one of the best diving sites in the Maldives.” All these fabulous places are bookable through our Luxique online boutique hotel booking system where, in many instances, we’ve negotiated a range of special rates or seasonal offers. One thing, though. If you do happen to be vacationing in the vicinity of Madonna and her large entourage, don’t expect camera or autograph time. She sticks close to children and husband, Guy Ritchie, and steers clear of fan worship. “I think she’s hyper-aware of security,” says Mary Cross, author of Madonna – A Biography. “She definitely wants her privacy, so even though she loves luxury and might pick a well-known hotel, she keeps a low profile and insists on hotel confidentiality.”
Jun 06, 2008 travelvideo.tv Four Seasons Resort, Whistler
More than just a pretty mountain - Four Seasons offers true value for discerning travelers in Whistler
Whistler, BC: Four Seasons Resort Whistler offers two reasons to step outside the "sandbox" and experience a mountain of adventures this summer. With a wide variety of activities designed to suit enthusiasts of all levels and ages, Four Seasons Resort Whistler has packaged two experiences that provide great value and allow guests to explore nature's paradise.
This summer, choose from one of two special promotions and make mountain memories with two or three nights in Whistler. Save on travel costs with the BC Drive to Luxury package. Starting from CAD $260 enjoy complimentary parking and a CAD $100 credit to be used towards food and beverage. Or stay longer with the Third Night Free package by reserving two nights and receive a third night complimentary. Often rated Canada's top golf destination, Whistler's four championship courses provide an unparalleled mountain golf experience. Play at signature courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Cupp and Robert Trent Jones Jr., just minutes from the Resort. The serene, natural beauty of Whistler is also the perfect setting in which to find rejuvenation, relaxation and tranquility. Experience The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Whistler with 14 treatment rooms, two of them specially designed for couples and a wide array of treatments from hot stone, to golfer's massage to First Nations inspired applications. Where possible, local oils, mountain herbs, organic and natural products are employed to provide an authentic and exclusively British Columbian experience. New this season, the Family First program will help the family create an itinerary that is both fun and educational. From experiencing Canada's untamed outdoors to discovering the culinary arts, Four Seasons Resort Whistler offers an education by experience. Mommy 'n Me mini massages, behind-the-scenes tours with Kids in the Kitchen, floating down the River of Golden Dreams and bear watching are just a few activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Jun 06, 2008 TravelandTourismNews.com. Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhone Geneva
Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhône, Geneva to complete Refurbishment in July
Overlooking the Rhône River, just a few steps from the historic Old Town, the chic Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhône, Geneva will complete a significant refurbishment this July. All public areas of the hotel have been redesigned by internationally acclaimed interior designer, Adam Tihany, giving the hotel a contemporary, fresh look and introducing two unique dining concepts, a contemporary but classic bar, and seven new, well-appointed Junior Suites.
An Indian restaurant “Rasoi by Vineet” will be an exciting addition to the Geneva dining scene offering the cuisine of Michelin starred chef, Vineet Bahtia, who specialises in delicious and creative “evolved” Indian food. The restaurant will be decorated in vibrant reds and purples, creating an authentic Indian environment, with an outside terrace providing a welcome addition in the warm summer months. An open tandoori oven, located at the entrance of Rasoi and visible from the lobby, will provide a striking centrepiece. “Le Sud”, a French-style brasserie, founded by award-winning Chef Paul Bocuse, and based on his Lyon Brasserie’s “Nord-Sud”, will provide an all day dining venue. The restaurant’s chic décor of beige, bronze and amber shades will provide a sophisticated yet informal ambience, ideal for both business meetings and casual daytime diners. At night the restaurant will transform itself with dramatic lighting, creating a more intimate dining experience. The stylish new MO Bar has been designed as a contemporary, luxurious bar experience; featuring comfortable chocolate brown and deep blue leather and velvet seating. Open daily until 2am MO Bar is expected to become a popular location for informal meetings or friendly gatherings. Talented bar staff will provide an extensive array of sophisticated cocktails, while delicious tapas-style dishes will be available through the day. Complementing the ground floor refurbishment will be six new spacious Junior Terrace Suites and a luxurious Terrace Suite with its own private spa room. Art Deco in style, featuring private terraces and Mandarin Oriental’s sophisticated guest technology, all the new suites will enjoy panoramic views of the Rhône River, Geneva’s historic Old Town and the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
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