When it comes to luxury hotels and resorts – bigger does not necessarily mean better. A wave of smaller, so-called ‘boutique hotels have been the preferred choice of the elite in the past decade because of the unmatched level of privacy, executive service and personal attention they can provide to their guests. Their charm and intimate ambiance is the epitome of tailored service whose focus is solely on the clients’ comfort and pleasure.
Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris
With prices starting from £1195 for a night of blissful relaxation, this Parisian jewel is just a 5-minute walk from Avenue Champs Elysées and exhibits elegant accommodation and a number of amenities – Dior Institute spa, 5-restaurant and a cocktail bar. Guests can choose from 80 drinks for the personalised minibar and 5 pillow types to ensure their stay is as comfortable as possible.
Blantyre, Lenox, MA
The secluded mansion offers a total of 21 rooms and completely redefined the meaning behind a simple country Inn or Bed & Breakfast. Guests are able to enjoy candlelight dinner under the accompaniment of a live pianist while being treated to sublimely-prepared meals. Some of the offered amenities include gold, hiking and an exquisite SPA. The Relais & Chateaux member deserves its status as a Forbes 5-Star award winner and one of the most acclaimed small luxury hotels.
Mukul, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua
Located on a piece of pristine coastline, the dream resort offers 37 accommodations in the form of freestanding casitas, with private plunge pools on the decks, walk-in double rain showers and mini bars. Plenty of amenities provide diverse entertainment for guests.
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
With less than 30 accommodations, most of them include stunning infinity pools to marvel the surrounding scenery. Different combinations of living spaces combine excellent service with views of the Caribbean and St. Lucia’s famous twin mountain peaks for an unforgettable experience.
St James’s Hotel and Club, London
Starting at £1,200 a night, the member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a sophisticated retreat close to popular burrows Mayfair and Piccadilly. 60 beautifully designed rooms offer complete exclusivity with Murano glass chandeliers, silk wallpapers and with glossy, black lacquered furniture.
The newest Apple Watch Hermès line is the result of the highly-successful partnership between two brands that symbolize cutting-badge thinking, uncompromising quality and seamless design. The range of unique timepieces s designed with functionality and contemporary design in mind to bring out the best in Apple’s bold innovation and Hermés traditions of elegance.
Standing out with simplicity and beautiful design, each of the models come with a stainless steel case that features an etching of the brand’s signature and boast exclusive dial designs. The three models – Clipper, Cape Cod, and Espace – sport the iconic Hermés leather bands and Apple’s love for architectural minimalism.
The “Single Tour” starts at $1,100 and exhibits an elegant nod to Hermés equestrian roots through its buckle that mirrors the straps of a horse’s saddle. Available in 38mm and 42mm stainless steel cases, the model comes with leather bands in Fauve and Noir.
The “Double Tour” comes with an extra-long band that wraps twice around the wrist elegantly. It comes in a 38mm stainless steel case and the Hermés leather band is available in four distinctive colours: fauve, étain, capucine, and bleu jean. The price of this model starts at $1,250.
The third model of the series “Cuff” comes with an interesting feature that allows for the constant monitoring of the wearer’s heart rate. The leather band is designed in a way that permits the heart rate sensor to stay in contact with the wrist at all times. This model comes in a 42mm stainless steel case with a Hermès leather band in fauve and its price is $1,500.
Although the two companies have seemingly nothing in common at first glance and operate in very different industries, their unusual partnership has produced products of striking elegance, utility and comfort. Both brands are motivated by creating products of outstanding quality and cutting-edge elegance.
The spectacular Palazzo di Amore went on the market in November for the staggering amount of $149 million. Also offered for a lease at $475,000 a month, the stunning mansion is situated across 35,000 square feet of living space with a total of about 53,000 square feet, including an entertainment complex and a detached guesthouse.
Recent additions to the lavish home include a $1 million grand entry complete with a new gate, turnabout and guard station and lounge area that connects the tennis court to other recreational facilities. With a total of 12 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms, Spanish-style house provides plenty of space that has been designed and furnished to exceptional standards of luxury and architectural aesthetics.
Original stained-glass windows, wood floors and a wood-burning fireplace in the living room are amongst some of the period details that bring a certain Mediterranean charm to the property. The 5,426 square feet of living space include family, living and dining rooms, a breakfast room, library, soundproof media room, a steam room, four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The entertainment complex boasts a 50-seat theatre, a bowling alley and a disco/ballroom with a revolving floor, a DJ booth and a laser-light system.
The estate has its own label – Beverly Hills Vineyards – produces 400 to 500 cases of wine a year and there are two private wine cellars that can store a combined of 13,000 bottles. Recently a two-acre organic farm has been added.
Other amenities include a spectacular 128-foot reflecting pool and fountain, a waterfall, a swimming pool, a spa and a barbecue area. The entertainment complex can house up to 250 guests and sports state-of-the-art video and audio equipment.
The outstanding Mediterranean home is the result of a 6-year expansion and redesign efforts that have created a true architectural masterpiece in the heart of Beverly Hills.
The 2015 edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show has seen some truly spectacular models by leading brands. Leaders in the automobile industry have taken the scene by storm with the revelation of two new models that are epitome of contemporary luxury, power and technological advancements – the much-anticipated Bentayga sport utility vehicle (SUV) presented by Bentley and the Dawn convertible by Rolls-Royce.
The powerful and exclusive cars will undoubtedly broaden the interest in both luxury brands as they are already generating some serious social buzz. At a price of £160,000 this is the first 4×4 for luxury car-maker Bentley and a bold move into unchartered territories – one which the company expects to generate 3,000 registrations per annum globally at peak. Marketed as ‘the most powerful, luxurious, and exclusive sports utility vehicle in the world’, the new Bentayga is a turning point for the company and capitalizes on the equivalent of two Range Rovers.
The car is powered by a vast 6-litre 600 bhp twin-turbo-charged W12 TSI engine, allowing it to accelerate from rest to 62mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 187mph. The latest in engineering technology allows for different modes – on or off-road terrains and there is an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and permanent all-wheel drive.
The visually-stunning £250,000 Dawn convertible, on the other hand, is part of the Ghost/Wraith family of vehicles. Nearly 80% of the exterior body panels of the Dawn are “newly designed” to accommodate the changes in shape and the evolution of design. The sleek four-seat luxury car is powered by the automaker’s twin-turbocharged 6.6-litre V-12 engine. Some of the more spectacular features include an eight-speed satellite-aided automatic transmission, adaptive headlights with glare-free technology and adaptive cruise control.
Both models are fitted with the latest high-tech, luxury ‘must haves’ and the companies are already accepting bookings for the start of the manufacturing process next year.
A new social phenomenon is rising on the Lower East Side and more and more people want to be a part of it – Magnises, a kind of social club for the aspiring entrepreneurial class. Of course, there is a catch. Not just ‘anyone’ can join. Using the infamous black American Express Card as an inspiration and model, Magnises transfers the same approach to attract aspirational 20-somethings who want the cachet of the real thing, but can’t afford it.
The original idea behind Magnises is to provide millennials with a more accessible (but still costly) version of the invite-only American Express Centurion card—or the “black card”—that carries a five-thousand-dollar initiation fee, twenty-five hundred dollars in annual dues, and a reported quarter-million-dollar annual spending limit. And in a way it is working as the alternative has become “the hot new way to spend money among NYC’s young elite”.
Technically, it is not so much a credit card, but rather a payment method since is simply takes the credit or debit card the member already uses and activates it to the metal Magnises card through the data on the magnetic strip. At the time of its launch the service was only intended for and aimed at New Yorkers, trying to make the most of life in the city. However, the start-up does plan to venture into other cities in the near future.
With an annual fee of $250, the card achieves its goal of being more attainable for 21-to-29 year olds. The perks of the card are constantly increasing with Magnises currently having 50 memberships with the end goal of enhancing the members’ social life in general. There is a wide variety of services to choose from – from private trainers in big gyms like David Barton to exclusive treatment in restaurants like La Esquina, Arlington Club, Omar’s, bars and nightclubs.
The clubhouse on Greenwich Avenue in the West Village serves as a home base for members, and provides a secluded and convenient place for discussions, casual conversations and meetings.
Displaying feminine watchmaking in its finest, the exceptional Panthère timepieces explore the beauty and power of the feline figure through mesmerizing diamond and enamel spot patterns. A true representation of independence and the untameable feminine spirit, no other timepieces even come close to reflecting a woman’s mysterious nature and gracious physique so well as evidenced by the stand-out Panthère Divine de Cartier piece – perfectly executed in in 18ct white gold, diamonds and enamel.
The large model Tortue exhibits an exquisite mosaic panther crafted onto an 18ct rose-gold dial, merging jewellery and timepiece into one sublime creation. This model is produced in a limited edition of 30 individually numbered pieces and boasts a manual winding movement. Another striking model is the damascened Rotonde de Cartier, which displays a more ferocious feline design complemented with a brown alligator strap and fashioned from 18ct white and 22ct yellow gold.
All models in the exhibition are adorned with playful and elegant animal figures, which give them a rather unusual, albeit eye-catching, allure. The sumptuous timepieces are generously embellished with diamonds, 18k yellow and white gold, black onyx and mother-of-pearl. A custom-designed, self-winding 9603 MC calibre mechanism helps recreate the elegant and ever-so-gracious movement of the panther on the dial with the animal “prowling” around the dial.
A coffee-table book for £120 details Cartier’s fascination with recreating Nature’s finest through precious stones and materials. 300 colour illustrations display the maison’s most striking creations.
When every corner of the world is an available option and money is no issue, there are quite a few places that are worth visiting. Private tropical retreats, wild safaris, lush condominium or ocean exploration – you name it, it’s all just a charter flight away.
The Hamptons’ Billionaire Lane
A convenient drive-away from New York, the Hamptons has long been favoured amongst the rich as a quick getaway from the bustling city. There is something very appealing about a second holiday home surrounded by other lush estates in a never-ending demonstration of wealth and stature.
Beautiful coastal line and ancient structures give this place an irresistible allure that draws billionaires from all over the world. The unique combination of modern luxury and well-preserved history and nature makes it ideal for people who can afford it.
The notoriously private islands may scare away the general public with stories of unexplained disappearances and strange occurrences, but for the rich – this is just an added benefit to the tropical flora and beautiful scenery.
Cottar’s 1920s Camp
Cottar’s 1920s Camp’s is as good as any safari experience can get. The exclusive resort in Kenya boasts open-plan cottages that let man and nature live as one and achieve pure harmony. Spectacular sights and top-notch service make this an unforgettable experience.
The small private island boasts a number of attractions, such as a drive-in movie theatre, an arcade, a laser tag arena, and a pirate’s treasure hunt with an actual treasure. Of course, it will send guests back $20,000, but given the retreat’s exclusivity – it is something definitely worth it.
Its untamed, derelict beauty has inspired many folk tales and movies, so it’s not surprising that so many billionaires flock to rural Ireland in search of pristine tranquillity and relaxation. Remote harbour villages add a certain poetic charm to the trip with poet David Wythe being your personal guide, if you can afford it.
Superyachts have long been favoured by the rich for the privacy they provide and this one exceeds all expectations. The ultimate in relaxation and privacy as it travels the open ocean; it comes with a 3D-theater, a stage and dance floor. Summer charter rates start at €900,000 per week.
Starting at £720 a night, The Lanesborough is an opulent recreation of the regal glamour of 18th-century Regency London. Overlooking the quiet and pristine Hyde Park Corner, it is truly no ordinary hotel in terms of ambiance, luxury and provided services to its distinct guests.
The hotel in itself comprises of 93 guest rooms and suits with the Royal Suit alone consisting of seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two living rooms and a dining room – all superbly furnished to an unparalleled standard of luxury and elegance. It is unmatched in privacy and comfort, but it comes at £31,200 a night.
Paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds grace the limestone corridor and the staff is ever-present without being intruding on the guests’ privacy and quality time. Apart from its exquisite standard of accommodation, the hotel is famous for possessing the most prominent 18th-century painting collection in the world outside any gallery.
Built as a private house by Viscount Lanesborough in 1719, in present day the hotel embodies a world of wealth and wonder with a décor that will surely satisfy the most discriminating of tastes. Recently undergoing a 18-month refurbishment, the classic allure of the antiquities and furnishings has been beautifully preserved and enhanced. Embroiderers, stencillers, trompe l’oeil experts and specialists in working with 23¼ carat gold leaf came together to reimagine the decadent beauty of the building and spared no effort in ensuring every element is of the highest quality.
Every guest has three staff persons to guarantee service is impeccable. The rooms come with a set of two plasma TVs and two tablets that control the light, temperature, the curtains and call the staff. Apart from that, all other furnishings are lovely anitique-y with giant canopied beds, marble bathrooms, huge chandelier, chintz sofa and lacquered chairs.
The restaurant is Michelin-quality and there is a £65 Royal breakfast adorned with pieces of edible gold leaves.
The luxurious hotel chain Four Seasons has announced plans to open a new location in the exotic destination of Seoul. The new 5-star paradise will be located in the heart of the faraway county, in the bustling city of Gwanghwamun. The brand new building will combine clean, modern aesthetic with traditional Korean motifs for a unique experience in style and comfort.
Contemporary in design, the architecture of the new location will captivate with a blend of Asian motifs and modern luxury, and will feature 317 superbly furnished rooms with spectacular views of the surrounding scenery. Accent in every room will be the brand’s customizable bed, which is available with a plush, signature, or firm mattress topper. In addition to the lavish design guests will be treated to an array of services that offer complete relaxation and unparalleled comfort – soothing Korean SPA procedures with sauna and massage, an executive club lounge, indoor golf facilities, indoor swimming pools, state-of-the-art gym and exquisite restaurants that serves local and international delicacies.
All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TVs, and can even be fitted with a Playstation or Xbox upon request. The seven restaurants and bars cover a wide array of cuisines – Italian, Japanese, Korean and more.
The indoor golf experience boasts simulators with realistic 3-D renditions of some of the world’s best-known courses for superb entertainment. State-of-the-art Korean SPA provides comfort and relaxation through traditional massage techniques and an authentic Korean sauna.
The timing of the opening of the new Four Seasons can’t be better with the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang expected to attract around 2 million tourists to the neighbouring city. Gwanghwamun provides plenty of amenities as well as a bustling nightlife for those who wish to experience the vibe of Korean culture in its true form.
To make the experience even more special, guests can opt for the private jet service offered by the brand that will make the journey every bit as enjoyable as it should be.