July 2013

bookletia

July 2013

MODERN MANILA

Gateway to the Philippine archipelago

VOICES OF VILNIUS

Where history is written on every wall

SYDNEY SNAPSHOT

24 hours in the Emerald City

TORONTO TRIO

Three stylish new hotels

CANNES UNCOVERED

VIP at Cannes Film Festival

MOUNTAIN HIGH

Conquering Mount Everest

French Riviera

The Côte d’Azur is the essential summer travel destination

SUITE DREAMS

Mondrian Los Angeles

SPEND IT

Voyages of a lifetime

MERCEDES-BENZ

SL 500 Roadster


INSPIRATION HAS ARRIVED

For the movers and shakers and rainmakers. For the ones who make

it happen on the go and on the ground. Who accomplish great things

without losing sight of the important things.

For you, we’re Marriott.

marriott.com


Contents

title Sectiony

July 2013

On the cover

46 Summer on the Riviera

From hilltop villages to beachside towns, the

Côte d’Azur is the essential summer escape

56 Vilnius uncovered

The epic history of the Lithuanian

capital is written on every wall

64 Modern Manila

A sophisticated luxury scene is

emerging in the Philippine capital

72 The Hideaways Club

Equity investment travel clubs

are making a comeback

76 Winter in Sydney

Even in the cooler months, there’s

plenty to do with 24 hours in Sydney

76

Harbour views from

Park Hyatt Sydney

dotwnews.com December 20XX 17


Contents

July 2013

85

In the news

26 Retrospective Audi claims the podium at Le Mans

34 42

28 Europe St. Petersburg celebrates a luxury renaissance

30 Middle East & Africa Wolfgang Puck heads to Dubai

34 Asia & Oceania Art hotels rival museums in China

38 Americas Tuck into NYC Restaurant Week this summer

40 Debut Hot hotels, chic boutiques and exclusive new resorts

42 Interview Sheikh ‘Moe’ Al Thani conquers Mount Everest

80

Inside

78 Diary Out and about this month? Don’t miss these events

80 Spend it Plan your ultimate luxury escape this month

85 Suite dreams Join the party at Mondrian Los Angeles

87 Review Get pampered at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai spa

88 On the road The latest luxury vehicles for your shopping list

90 Ignition Behind the wheel of the Mercedes SL 500 Roadster

95 Grapevine Gossip and insider knowledge from the hotel world

96 VIP Behind the scenes at the Cannes International Film Festival

98 Connoisseur Three stylish new hotels in Toronto

dotwnews.com July 2013 19


Letter from the Editor

Wherever you are in the World, summer

usually means travel. For some, it means jetting off

to enjoy warmer climes. For others, on the contrary,

it means journeying in search of cooler weather.

Whichever applies to you, chances are you’re looking

for a healthy dose of glamour in your prospective

destination this summer, in which case you couldn’t

do much better than the south of France.

The beachside towns of the Côte d’Azur are infused

with a sense of charm and grandeur that has attracted

the world’s elite since travel first became a leisurely

pursuit, rather than a means to conquer, and it’s no

wonder that well-informed and discerning travellers

such as yourselves return there year after year.

It’s difficult to walk more than a few kilometres on

the Côte d’azur without stumbling across a timeless

village or picturesque town, inevitably strewn with villas

owned by celebrities and business magnates, whose

superyachts bob in glistening marinas along the coast.

When you visit the French riviera, it helps to know a

little bit about the area and its most notable residents.

With this in mind, we sent Jo Foley to explore some of

the region’s most prestigious locales to find out what

makes this part of the world so alluring (page 46).

Further along the coast, Anna Zhukov was rubbing

shoulders with the A-list during the Cannes

international Film Festival, where she immersed

herself in the whirlwind of celebrity excess at starstudded

events as well as some of the Riviera’s

top fine-dining restaurants (page 96).

Another fan of the Côte d’Azur is sheikh mohammed

bin abdulla al thani, who usually spends a few

weeks each summer cruising the coast on a chartered

yacht. This indulgence is a reasonable reward, in my

opinion, for his other pastime – conquering mountains.

When I interviewed him in early June he had just

returned triumphantly from mount everest, where

he became the first Qatari to reach the summit of the

world’s highest mountain (page 42). The endeavour

is indicative of the increasingly diverse and extreme

travel habits of the men and women who work in highpowered

executive roles. The old adage “work hard,

play hard” just doesn’t cut it any more. Today, it’s more

a case of, “work hard, play hard, climb a mountain and

then reward yourself with a few weeks of travel bliss.”

With that idea in mind, we also visited sydney this month, where

erstwhile resident Rebecca Haddad discovered the best way to

spend 24 hours in the emerald City (page 76), and I spent a riotous

weekend partying with the Hollywood in-crowd at mondrian los

angeles (page 85). Our man in Europe, Andy Round, took a walk

around the Lithuanian capital of vilnius to explore the history of

the city, as told by half a millennia of architectural styles (page 56),

and Caitlin Cheadle had a taste of what it’s like to be a member of

the hideaways Club by trying out one of the equity investment

travel club’s luxurious properties in London (page 72).

If all that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, we also took the new

mercedes-Benz sl 500 roadster out for a spin (page 90) and

tried out the luxe ‘Jewels of Arabia Journey’ at JW Marriott Dubai’s

recently opened saray spa (page 87). Whatever your travel plans

are in the coming months, there is sure to be something in this

issue to inspire you this summer.

Joe Mortimer

Senior Editor

joe@dotwnews.com

Endless summer

The clear skies and

blue waters of the

Côte d’Azur at Hôtel

du Cap-Eden-Roc

20 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Contributors

Rebecca Haddad

It was only a few months ago that our new

deputy editor Rebecca Haddad decided to pack

up her life in Sydney to chase the sun and sand

in Dubai. Her thirst for adventure has taken her

around Mediterranean Europe and her own country,

Australia, but its the exotic Middle East that’s long

held her fascination. Despite swapping life in the

‘Emerald City’ for the glitz and glam of the ‘City of

Gold’, Rebecca will always have a soft spot for her

hometown – discover the best ways to see it

in 24 hours with her insider’s guide on page 76.

Jo Foley

Jo Foley is a freelance writer, editor and media

consultant who lives in London. A former magazine

editor for Woman, Options and The Observer, Jo has

also worked on newspapers including The Times and

the Daily Mirror. Despite a busy travel schedule, Jo

always jumps at the chance to revisit the Côte d’Azur,

where, she says, you are never far from a quaint

hilltop village, an opulent villa, or one of the Riviera’s

magnificent beachside towns. If all that fails, there

is always the region’s fine-dining restaurants and

luxurious hotels to visit. Read her story on page 46.

July 2013, Issue 85

Publisher Anna Zhukov

anna@dotwnews.com

Senior Editor Joe Mortimer

joe@dotwnews.com

Senior Deputy Editor Caitlin Cheadle

caitlin@dotwnews.com

Deputy Editor Rebecca Haddad

rebecca@dotwnews.com

Deputy Online Editor Simon Harrington

simon@dotwnews.com

Editor-at-Large Andy Round

andy@dotwnews.com

Contributing Editor Mary Gostelow

Art Director Kris Karacinski

kris@dotwnews.com

Multimedia Graphics Manager Haitham El Shazly

haitham@wnnlimited.com

United Kingdom Sales Representative

David Hammond

david@dotwnews.com

Circulation department

circulate@dotwnews.com

Cover image

The French Riviera - Getty Images

Andy Round

Andy Round works between the Middle East

and Europe, and somehow finds the time to look

after three children as well as writing for several

international publications. Andy has worked as the

editor of a daily newspaper in Malta, managed a

portfolio of magazines in Dubai and got lost looking

for gorillas in Rwanda. He is currently travelling

around Europe exploring its creative hubs, fashion

capitals and architectural gems, including the

Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius, where history is

written on every wall. Read the story on page 56.

Rowena Marella-Daw

Rowena Marella-Daw is a UK-based freelance writer

specialising in luxury and honeymoon travel. After a

stint working for a leading UK wedding magazine,

she now writes for high-end lifestyle and travel

publications. Her most memorable travel experience

was a 10-hour train journey from Budapest through

the Carpathian Mountains to meet a genuine

Transylvanian count. A native of Manila, Rowena has

also lived in New York and Los Angeles. She recently

revisited her hometown to uncover the lesser-known,

high-end side of the Philippine capital (page 64).

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the World News is published monthly by WNN Limited and

distributed globally to the world’s premier airport lounges, our

subscriber network and a select number of five-star hotels

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Published by

22 July 2013 dotwnews.com


LONDON’S

CALLING.

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offer, wih 40% off our best available rate.

Hilton London Syon Park marries the best of contemporary London with

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hotel offers a peaceful retreat from London's cosmopolitan centre.

For more information visit www.londonsyonpark.com or call:

Bahrain 8000 4058 | Kuwait 222 56 200 | Oman 800 78 788

Qatar 800 20 222 | Saudi Arabia 800 82000 10 | UAE 8000 20000 11

STAY HILTON. GO EVERYWHERE.

London Syon Park | Isleworth | Middlesex | TW76AZ | UK

©2012 Hilton Worldwide


etrospective

Under the gleam of green lights, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro of driving team

André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer tears up the tarmac during

the qualifying rounds of the Le Mans 24 Hour Race at the Circuit de la Sarthe,

Le Mans in north-western France last month. But it was the fellow Audi team

of Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish who went on to win the final race – Audi’s fourth

straight victory and 12th title overall. The race, which celebrated its 90th anniversary this year, is

an extreme test of endurance as teams race to complete the most laps in 24 hours to claim victory.

Due to the nature of the race, it’s also considered one of the most dangerous; this year’s event was

marred by the death of Allan Simonsen of Denmark, whose Aston Martin spun out at high speed

just 10 minutes into the race. He was the first driver to die in the race since 1997.

www.24h-lemans.com


07.13 NewS

New arrivals in St. Petersburg

It’s a year of renewal in St.

Petersburg, where restoration has

brought about a new era for some of

the city’s most treasured buildings.

Adjacent to St. Isaac’s Cathedral,

Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

is set to reopen this month

after a painstaking restoration.

Immortalised in Alexander Pushkin’s

1833 poem, The Bronze Horseman,

the 200-year-old building retains

architect Auguste de Montferrand’s

original design, including two stone

lions that guard the entrance. The

151 rooms and 26 suites have been

restored with period furnishings.

Grand Hotel Europe, part of

Orient-Express, has unveiled a

newly restored façade and main

entrance (above) following a major

renovation, in which artists used

old photos and architectural plans

to restore it to its original grandeur.

Old paintwork was removed and

replaced, marble surfaces were

cleaned, and the wooden doors of

the main entrance were completely

restored and preserved. The

completion of the façade marks the

end of a renovation that also saw the

addition of 10 unique suites in 2009,

all themed after famous guests.

Meanwhile, Rocco Forte’s Hotel

Astoria celebrates its 100th

anniversary with the completion

of its renovation, which includes

50 new junior suites and a new

signature Czar’s Suite. Designed

by Sir Rocco’s sister Olga Polizzi,

the suite features antique items

including candelabra returned to the

hotel from Putin’s Konstantinovsky

Palace, and splendid views of St.

Isaac’s Square.

St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage

Museum is also beginning a new

chapter: with designs inspired

by the Winter Palace, the State

Hermitage Hotel (left) will be

dripping with opulence when it

opens this summer, with 126 rooms

and suites. Originally built in the

year 1830 for the family of a wealthy

merchant, the building became

the St. Petersburg Railway Club

in 1912, before being converted

into the House of Culture, a centre

of performing arts that regularly

hosted performances from singers

including Vladimir Vysotsky.


Europe

News

mARY sAYs...

The latest in

luxury travel

Montenegro: jewel of the Adriatic

sinCe Aman Sveti Stefan

opened in Montenegro in

2011, the Balkan country,

perched on the shores of the

Adriatic, has undergone a

dramatic transformation.

The Porto Montenegro

marina development is

attracting more and more

wealthy yacht and property

owners to the area, and the

opening of the super chic

Purobeach club last year put

the resort on the map among

Europe’s young, affluent elite.

The opening of the five-star

Regent Porto Montenegro

boutique hotel and residences

next summer will bring

a splash of international

hospitality to the project, as

well as lucrative investment

opportunities. The five-storey

palazzo will feature 35 hotel

rooms, 45 suites (above) and

49 serviced residences.

Thirty minutes’ drive

south, Aman Sveti Stefan

has unveiled the final stages

of its renovation, including

its Aman Spa, set back from

the beach in a grove of pine

trees, with treatments in six

individual spa cottages, and a

second swimming pool.

Built in a restored 15th

century fortified village

on the tiny islet of Sveti

Stefan, the resort now

features 50 rooms and suites,

spread across the restored

cottages of the island and

Villa Miločer, an exclusive

retreat just across the water

on the mainland.

Eyeglasses are not only in vogue but

also an investment. Agnelli heir Lapo

elkann plans to float his company

Italia Independent, which produces

carbon glasses, on the Milan Stock

Exchange. Other aficionados swear by

tortoiseshell frames made by Parisbased

Franck Bonnet. Each pair takes

three months to complete.

www.italiaindependent.com;

www.maisonbonnet.com

Shoe-lovers in the know may go for

John Lobb in London, but they also

know Double monk in Melbourne.

Owned by Christopher Schaerf and

his brother Nicholas, the shop’s

bestseller is The Cavendish, a classic

tassel loafer.

www.doublemonk.com

Daugavpils is the place to go for a taste

of Latvian art and culture. Artist mark

Rothko was born Marcus Yakovlevich

Rothkowitz in Daugavpils and the mark

Rothko Art Center was opened earlier

this year in his honour. Still in Latvia,

the six-room Villa Ksenija is owned

by rope producers Yuri and Tatiana

Dovoretsky. The villa is named after

the couple’s daughter.

www.rothkocenter.com; www.villaks.lv

The world’s trendiest bouillabaisse can

be found in its hometown of Marseille.

Chef Lionel Lévy’s bestselling fish stew

at Les Fenêtres, at InterContinental

Marseille – Hotel Dieu, is a twist on the

classic. A leaning glass is half-filled with

lemon-coloured fish puree and topped

up with delicious brown fish broth.

www.marseille.intercontinental.com

Rome never fails to surprise and delight, constantly reinventing itself without losing the grandeur and

historical charm for which it is famous. The latest addition to its inventory of outstanding hotel suites is the

Roman Penthouse at the Regina Hotel Baglioni. The 560 sq m suite was designed by Milanese architects

Rebosio+Spagnulo, and features Murano glass chandeliers by Venetian glass masters Vistosi and LU

Murano and a 290 sq m terrace with views across the Eternal City. Guests have access to a dedicated

in-room concierge, plus a private chef and barman for a three-hour period daily, as well as a limosine service.

www.baglionihotels.com

In Spain, enjoy Yamuna body-rolling

week from July 12-15, at SHA Wellness

Clinic, 40 minutes from Alicante airport.

Yamuna Zake will be personally hosting

private and group classes in the ‘Yamuna

method’, a self-massage technique she

invented. Small soft balls are used, for

instance, to give relief to back pains or

to loosen leg muscles.

www.shawellnessclinic.com;

www.yamunabodyrolling.com

mARY GosTeLow

dotwnews.com July 2013 29


News

Middle East & Africa

Desert island escape

Like your wilderness safari with

a slice of beachside luxury on the

side? Anantara has just opened

its second resort on the UAE’s

Sir Bani Yas Island, a protected

conservation area just off the

coast of Abu Dhabi’s western

Al Gharbia region that’s home

to wildlife including Arabian

gazelle, oryx and cheetahs.

Anantara Al Yamm Villas

includes comprising 21 onebedroom

standard villas (right),

and seven one- and two-bedroom

villas, each with private plunge

pools. All villas look out to the

beach or the lagoon, which is

home to mangrove forests and

resident flamingos. The resort will

complement the existing facilities

at Desert Islands Resort & Spa,

together providing the only

resort facilities on the island.

Al Yamm guests will be

introduced to the flora and fauna

of the island during a briefing

from their own wildlife guide

when they check into their villa,

and can participate in any of the

activities available at the other

Anantara property including

wildlife drives, kayaking, scuba

diving and horseriding.

www.al-yamm.anantara.com

Spinning decks

at Six Senses

Zighy Bay

Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman will

be hosting a new luxury retreat

for aspiring DJs. From September

20-27, and again from December

6-13, guests can book a four- or

six-night retreat, learning how

to spin the decks courtesy of DJs

Matty Wainwright, Brendon P and

Stephen Day. Those who complete

the retreat successfully will then

have the chance to show off their

new skills with a solo spin session

during the limited-entry Farthest

From Earth event on Friday

September 27 at the resort’s

mountain-top restaurant,

Sense on the Edge (right).

www.sixsenses.com

30 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Sectiony News Middle title East & Africa

Paramount attraction

The new Paramount Pictures movie-themed hotel, set

to open in Dubai in 2016, will be the first property from

Paramount Hotels & Resorts, and it’s setting the bar high.

The hotel will not only house a high-end luxury theatre

with lounge seating, but also in-room entertainment

including home-theatre surround systems in all

guestrooms, including a wide selection of, you guessed

it, Paramount films.

www.paramounthotelsandresorts.com

Delicacy in Doha

Four Seasons Hotel Doha is now serving the deadly Japanese delicacy fugu

at its pan-Asian restaurant Nusantao: Sea Kitchens. Fugu (Japanese puffer

fish) is revered for its sweet taste and unique texture, however much of

the fish, including its eyes, blood, liver and intestines, contains a poison

called tetrodotoxin that is 1,200 times more potent than cyanide. According

to Japanese law, the fish can only be exported once it has been cleaned and

stripped of its toxic parts, arriving in Doha inside specially packed, sealed

containers. It can then only be prepared by a chef who has undergone

years of intense training and exams as per stringent Japanese laws.

Nusantao: Sea Kitchens is now serving a variety of fugu dishes including

Tora Fugu Sashimi, Tora Fugu Nigiri and Tora Fugu Prepared Three

Ways, under the guidance of Nusantao’s certified chef, Toshikazu Kato.

www.fourseasons.com

Dubai makes the CUT

With locations in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas,

Singapore, and London, Dubai will be next

destination for acclaimed chef Wolfgang

Puck’s award-winning steakhouse CUT,

which is set to open at The Address

Downtown Dubai (left). The menu is

based on Puck’s signature contemporary

interpretations of American classics, with

dishes featuring prime dry- and wetaged

beef from the US and Australia,

and Japanese Kobe beef.

www.theaddress.com

32 July 2013 dotwnews.com


BEACH HOUSE

COLLECTION

CRAFTING

THE EXTRAORDINARY


News

Asia & Oceania

Hotels

moonlight

as galleries

in China

Mandarin Oriental Pudong

Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel

“As the artcollecting

trend gains

momentum,

hotels are

becoming

extensions

of some of

China’s major

museums”

HOTELS DOUBLING as gallery spaces isn’t a new concept, but it is a

trend that is taking off across China, with hotels becoming caretakers

of some very pricey collections. The Hotel Éclat (above) in Beijing has

more in common with The Louvre than just its glass pyramid exterior.

It is also home to an extensive collection of art from names such as Dali

(the largest private Dali collection in China) and Warhol. With a dozen

or so of these artworks in the lobby, the space is more like a minimuseum

than a typical hotel lobby.

The new Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai features an art

collection curated by Art Front Gallery, comprising some 4,000 original

works throughout its corridors and suites. Visitors can also come to the

lobby to admire a small selection of sculptures and the mammoth mosaic

version of Miao Tong’s Sound of Wind series, made of 71,459 tiles, which

dominates the back wall and was created especially for the hotel.

As the art-collecting trend gains momentum, hotels are actually

becoming extensions of some of China’s major museums. The Regent

Beijing’s owner, Madam Chan Lai Wa, is curator of the nearby China

Red Sandalwood Museum. Because of this connection, the hotel features

some impressive examples of rare ornate sandalwood furnishings and

the larger museum is free of charge for guests. Similarly, Jumeirah

Himalayas Hotel in Shanghai – and its art collection – is part of the

Himalayas Centre, a cultural hub featuring a performance space and

more art. The hotel even offers visitors and guests an audio-guided

tour of the art on display around the lobby.

34 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Sectiony

title

Photo: Ben Crawford

Snow season

arrives in NZ

Ski season has well and truly

kicked off in New Zealand, with

one of its most popular ski parks at

the famous Remarkables mountain

range (left) opening for another

season. With a wide variety of

terrain and runs for all abilities,

plus some of the best back country

and black diamond runs, it is no

wonder this area, just an hour from

Queenstown on NZ’s South Island,

is one of the most popular among

powder hounds near and far.

Want to add a little thrill to your

skiing? Try heliskiing, where a

helicopter carries you to isolated

trails so you can enjoy skiing

the slopes minus the crowds.

www.newzealand.com

Foodies flock

to Hong Kong

Hong Kong is holding steady as

a top foodie destination, with

two restaurants making it into

San Pellegrino’s ‘The World’s 50

Best Restaurants List’ in 2013.

At number 36, Amber, in The

Landmark Mandarin Oriental, is

a two-Michelin-starred restaurant

that dishes up classic French

meals under the eye of Dutchborn

chef Richard Ekkebus. Not

far behind at number 39 is 8½

Otto e Mezzo Bombana, which

has earnt three Michelin stars and

a place on the list in just three

years since its opening. Three

other Hong Kong eateries made

it into the top 100: Caprice, Lung

King Heen and Bo Innovation.

www.theworlds50best.com

Hokkaido Sea Urchin from Amber

Photo: Getty Images

Free WiFi in Taiwan

Taiwan recently became the first destination in the world to

make free public WiFi available to tourists on such a large scale.

A total of 4,400 “iTaiwan” hotspots have been rolled out at major

attractions, transport hubs and government offices across the

island. Upon landing in Taiwan, tourists can register for internet

access by visiting any tourism bureau office or visitor

centre – all they need is their passport to sign up.

itaiwan.gov.tw


News

Americas

Third rebrand for Vegas hotel

Trump arrives

in Vancouver

After just recently signing his name

to a mega resort in Dubai, American

business magnate Donald Trump

continues to grow his portfolio of

hotels and resorts, officially adding

Vancouver to his list of forthcoming

properties. Trump International Hotel

& Tower Vancouver is scheduled to

open in summer 2016, and will be a

world-class address with a 147-room

hotel and 218 luxury residences.

Housed in a US $360-million twisted

tower designed by the late Canadian

architect Arthur Erickson, the hotel

will also be home to Vancouver’s first

pool bar nightclub.

www.trumphotelcollection.com

Ravella at Lake Las Vegas reopened this month as Hilton

Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. It’s the third rebranding

of the resort in 10 years, after Ravella took over from

Ritz-Carlton in 2011. The resort is a secluded escape 32

kilometres from the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip, in

Henderson, Nevada. With a private marina, and rooms

and suites boasting views to the lake and desert mountains

beyond, you’ll find it easy to forget where you are. That

said, hints of Sin City are not too hard to find; Casino

Monte Lago is nearby, while Cappella Di Amore – the only

over-water chapel in Vegas – is located on the property.

www3.hilton.com


title

Sectiony

Le Méridien

to debut in

New Orleans

Five-sTar luxury will combine

with some ol’ fashioned Southern

hospitality next year, with Le

Méridien making its debut in New

Orleans. The current W hotel,

located near the city’s famous

French Quarter, was recently

bought by Chesapeake Lodging

Trust, which will embark on a

US $29 million renovation. Le

Méridien New Orleans will feature

410 guestrooms, a rooftop pool

and 10,000 square feet of upgraded

meeting facilities, all rebranded

to reflect Le Méridien’s signature

style. The hotel is expected to open

in the first quarter of next year.

Photo: David Mehr / nycandco

Taste of NYC

From July 22, 300 of New

York’s restaurants will open

their doors for lunch and

dinner deals for the city’s NYC

Restaurant Week, including

Dos Caminos (pictured).

Foodies will be especially

pleased to learn that the

dates have been extended

until August 16, giving them

almost a full month to sample

the diverse cuisine of the city

that never sleeps. Beginning in

1992, the event has increased

in popularity each season so,

reservations are essential. Be

sure to book your tables when

the hotly anticipated final list

of participating restaurants

is revealed July 8.

www.nycgo.com

Tour California’s vineyards with JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts has introduced a new service for its guests to savour the aromas and tastes of their

Californian holiday long after they’ve gone home. The JWM Wine Club has been established to introduce guests

to the most iconic labels of California’s wine country, such as Beringer, St Clement and Chateau St John. A sample

serving of four wines will be shipped to the guest’s preferred US address each quarter at a cost of US $150 per

shipment. Members will then select their two favourites and receive a full-size bottle. The service doesn’t stop there,

however – included in each shipment are wine tasting notes from a JW Marriott wine ambassador, as well as recipes

to pair with the wines to fully enjoy their flavours. www.jwmwineclub.com

dotwnews.com July 2013 39


DEBUT

Hot hotels | chic boutiques | exclusive resorts

© Destinations of the World News – The World Wide Web


Andaz Maui at Wailea

Maui, Hawaii, USA

The new Andaz Maui at Wailea

proves that Hawaii isn’t all about

kitsch, Polynesian-themed resorts.

Accommodation at Andaz’s first ever

resort ranges from guestrooms and

suites to seven villas with open-plan

designs and private verandahs to

watch Hawaiian sunsets in peace.

Amenities and on-site entertainment

options include two restaurants (book

in for an authentic Japanese meal at

Morimoto Maui, headed by Iron Chef

Masaharu Morimoto) as well as a

retail market, spa and several infinity

pools. You’re also a stone’s throw

from a championship golf course

and Mokapu Beach. Bliss.

maui.andaz.hyatt.com

The Langham Chicago

Chicago, USA

The London-born hotel group makes

its mark on the Windy City this

month. Housed in a tower designed by

German-American architect Ludwig

Mies van der Rohe, the hotel features

316 rooms and suites, most boasting

views over Lake Michigan. Expect all

the Langham touches, including a

22,000-square-foot Chuan Spa and

the Langham Club with its library and

dining options. While the night lights

beckon, it’s worth booking a table at

the hotel’s restaurant, Travelle – head

chef Tim Graham is a local culinary

celebrity, having manned the kitchens

at some of the city’s top eateries

including Tru and Paris Club.

www.chicago.langhamhotels.com

Shangri-La Bosphorus

Istanbul, Turkey

Balancing old-world opulence with

modern-day luxury is this second

Shangri-La in Europe, in the shopping

hub of Istanbul. All 186 guestrooms

and suites have been decorated

in a warm palette of earthy tones

accentuated with bold pops of red or

chic hints of black, reminiscent of the

colours of the famous spice markets

dotted across the city. Total relaxation

is at the forefront of your stay – from

the marble-clad bathrooms with

Bvlgari products to the hammam

treatments on offer at the spa, this

is the place to unwind. For the full

live-like-a-king experience, arrange a

limousine transfer from the airport.

www.shangri-la.com

The Oberoi Dubai

Dubai, UAE

Dubai’s buzzing Downtown district

welcomes the first Oberoi hotel to

the UAE this month. Situated in The

Oberoi Centre complex close to Dubai

Mall and the towering Burj Khalifa,

this new hotel is a perfect fit for its

surroundings. All rooms and suites

feature floor-to-ceiling windows,

media hubs to connect audio and

video, as well as a personalised butler

service. Elsewhere in the hotel,

six bars and restaurants, as well as

a 24-hour spa and fitness centre,

await. In Dubai on business? Then

make use of the meeting rooms

on the 26th floor, or the business

centre located in the lower lobby.

www.oberoihotels.com

Mandarin Oriental Pudong

Shanghai, China

The opening of this hotel comes with

a few ‘firsts’. For one, it’s the first

Mandarin Oriental in the city, located

along the Huangpu River in Shanghai’s

financial district. For another, it’s the

first hotel in Shanghai to offer al fresco

dining at all six of its restaurants and

bars. Firsts aside, it features all the

standard luxuries of Mandarin Oriental

hotels, including a luxe spa, spacious

rooms and suites (362 in total) and

innovative dining options. Book into

the Presidential Suite on the 25th

floor and enjoy 788 square metres

of living space complete with a

private wine cellar, meeting room,

dining room and butler service.

www.mandarinoriental.com

dotwnews.com July 2013 41


Interview

On top of the world

At the age of 30, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani became the first

Qatari to summit Mount Everest, with his climbing team, Arabs with Altitude

Interview: Joe Mortimer

Five years, ago, as Sheikh Mohammed

bin Abdulla Al Thani floated down a

river in Nepal on a rafting expedition,

an idea was born. The shadow of

Mount Everest formed an indelible image

on his mind, and he knew he had to climb it.

Five years later, he became the first Qatari to

summit the world’s highest mountain, when

he and his climbing team, Arabs with Altitude,

reached the top of the peak on May 22, a month

before his 31st birthday.

Also in the team were his friends, Masoud

Mohammad and Raed Zidan, as well as

27-year-old Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi

Arabian woman to climb the mountain.

Together they were raising funds for the

charity Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), a Qatarbased

charity that supports educational

projects in Asia.

When he is not climbing mountains, Sheikh

Mohammed is the director general of Sharjah

Statistics Centre, the managing director of

Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club, the founder

of Musafir.com and a member of the Board

of Directors at Sharjah-based Air Arabia. We

caught up with him 10 days after he reached

the summit, to find out what drove him to the

highest point on the planet.

Tell us about your recent adventure

— how did it all begin?

My recent adventure was to the highest point

on Earth – Mount Everest. It started when

I went river rafting in Nepal five years ago.

We had a guide who told us everything about

Nepal – he told us about the culture, the

community and the political instability. It

was just after the overthrow of the King, so he

was talking a lot about that. Then he started

talking about Everest. Every time he talked

about Everest, I wanted to know more about

it. I told him I wanted to climb that mountain

and he told me, “You can’t climb it – you are

from the desert. What do you know about

climbing mountains?”

Did you see that guide again?

Yes, I invited him to our hotel after we came

down from the mountain. We were in a press

conference in Kathmandu and he was sitting

there. I said, “Five years ago there was a guy

who told me I can’t climb Everest and this

guy is sitting in the room today. I just wanted

to tell him that I climbed it and I want to

thank him for telling me I couldn’t do it.”

Then I added, “Please, don’t tell me I can’t

do anything else!”


Interview

What was going through your head

when you reached the summit?

For some reason I got very energised at the

end. I was standing there and I was really

happy. Usually I tear up or cry, but for some

reason on this summit I didn’t – I was just

thanking God. I was standing there looking at

the prayer flags on the summit and I couldn’t

believe that I was there. It was like winning my

gold medal and standing on the podium. You

can’t explain the feeling. It’s pride, it’s joy, it’s

happiness – it is everything at the same time.

What was the worst moment?

The scariest moment was when we experienced

an icefall right next to us. I was crossing a

ladder over a ravine. As I was on my last step

the whole mountain next to us collapsed. A

whole iceberg three floors high just turned into

snow. We started running but we were roped

up and there was another ladder in front of us. I

thought that everything was going to go. Luckily

it stopped just next to us. That was terrifying.

Were there other Arab climbing

teams on the mountain?

We were the first ever Arab team. We were

really famous on the mountain; everyone

knew us. There was also a Moroccan guy

who was the first Moroccan to summit.

What luxury item did you take

with you to the summit?

A flag. The flag was the most important thing

on the mountain for me. When I got back I

realised I had forgotten it at Camp 2 with my

stuff. We left some of our stuff for the sherpas

to bring down and I had left it up there. Every

day I was calling them and they said “Don’t

worry, you will get your bags,” and I said, “I

don’t care about the bags, I just want the flag.”

Many senior executives manage

a busy work life and still find the

time and energy to do things like

this — how and why do you do it?

For me it is very peaceful, and I’m sure it is

the same for others as well. When I climb,

I am only focusing on one thing and that is

reaching the top. You forget about everything

else. You never have a clearer mind than

when you summit a mountain. All you have

been thinking about up until that point is the

mountain, and then the mountain goes away,

so your mind is empty. You think of your

family a lot. You prioritise your life and when

you come back home, you know exactly what

is important to you. But that fades off and

after four or five months, I go back to my old

habits and I think to myself, “let’s do another

mountain”. So I go and do another mountain.

After every mountain I have created a new

business or made big changes. I set challenges

for myself in advance to work towards

reaching them. If there is no challenge then

it is always “one day...” Nothing has happened

yet this time, so watch out.

How do you fit training into your

busy work schedule?

I make the training something I do as part

of my life, rather than something extra. It is

something I wake up and do, like brushing my

teeth. My training time is my training time;

I don’t put off training for meetings, I put

off meetings for training. I learnt this from a

good friend of mine, [Indian cricketer] Sachin

Tendulkar, my partner in Musafir.com. I had a

meeting with him once. It was a very important

business meeting but when it got to 5pm, he

looked at his watch and said, “Sorry, but I

have to go train,” and he stood up and left.

Tell us a bit more about the charity?

I am a brand ambassador for Reach Out To Asia

(ROTA), which is a non-profit charity based in

Qatar – part of the Qatar Foundation. ROTA

believes that education is a right and not a

privilege for each individual in the world. They

build schools in distressed areas all over Asia.

My project was to raise a million dollars as part

dotwnews.com July 2013 43


of our climb, and that is ongoing. That money

will go to a fund and the money generated

from that fund will go towards a scholarship

programme. It will help thousands of kids from

Nepal to get out of the slums and do something

with their lives. For me, personally, I know

that I can give something back. They gave me

Everest and I will give them something back in

return. It makes me really proud to do that –

not just climb their mountain and walk away.

When you are not climbing, what

kind of holidays do you take?

I enjoy the beach a lot so I tend to go on

beach holidays such as the South of France.

We usually charter a yacht every summer. My

second option would be Los Angeles. There’s

lots to do, especially for the kids. And there

is lots of shopping to do. It is very suitable

for the whole family and Emirates made it

very convenient for us to go there direct. The

Mondrian is my favourite hotel in LA. It is

one of Philippe Starck’s first hotels in the city.

I don’t consider London travel, because I

spend a good two months there every year.

I have a house there so it is like home. In the

summer it is basically an Arab town!

What are your travel indulgences?

The Black AmEx card. It is extremely useful,

especially in the States. It gets you things that

are usually impossible to get, like reservations.

Once, there was this restaurant we wanted

to go to. My brother told me I had to book it

three weeks in advance and we were a group

of 15 people. I called AmEx and said I want a

booking at this restaurant and I need it today.

Fifteen minutes later they called back and told

me they had booked a private table. Whatever

you need in any part of the world: if it is

available and cash is not a problem, they

will get it for you.

What did you take away from the

Mount Everest experience?

I already miss the mountain in some ways.

I don’t miss the hard work but I miss the

life there. The simple life. There is nothing

you worry about – you are on the mountain

and the only thing you worry about is whether

it is going to be a good day to climb or not.

The world is full of politics and wars and

everything else that fills your head. Over

there, it is just you and the mountain.

Some people tell me I am a dreamer. Well,

yes I am, but I also try to make my dreams

come true. I don’t wait for them to happen

on their own, I work to make them happen.

Everest didn’t come easy – I worked really

hard to climb this mountain. My dreams were

big, but at the same time I worked really hard

reaching them.

So, my message to others is: have dreams,

work towards reaching them and then realise

them. There is nothing in the world that feels

better than that. n

To find out more about Reach Out To Asia visit

the website at www.reachouttoasia.org

44 July 2013 dotwnews.com


CÔTE D’AZUR

WHERE THE GLITTER NEVER LOSES ITS SPARKLE

Set like a string of jewels along the edge of the Mediterranean,

the Côte d’Azur has lured the rich and famous to its sparkling

shores for almost two centuries

WORDS: Jo Foley


Côte d’Azur

Luxe

dotwnews.com July 2013 47


The medieval village of Eze

Photos: Getty Images

Saint-Paul-de-Vence


Côte d’Azur

Luxe

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

Fashions and fashionable places come

and go, but there is one part of the

world that’s never really out of vogue.

It’s that stretch of coastline in the

southeast of France that starts at Hyères and

runs to the Italian border. To some, particularly

the British, it is known as the French Riviera,

but to most it is known as the Côte d’Azur.

Even though it is viewed as the beach, yacht

and sunbathing haven of the wildly rich, the

seriously famous and the notoriously infamous,

the Côte d’Azur is much more than just a stretch

of coastline. The coast goes inland to some of

the prettiest, most lauded and most desirable

small towns, hamlets and villages in Grasse the world.

Veer off the coastal road for 10 minutes or

so and you will be enchanted by the villas and

villages hidden among trees, behind creamy

stone walls or set among exquisite gardens.

And while it has attracted visitors, pirates,

invaders and even popes (the alternative to the

Vatican was established in Aix-en-Provence

in the 14th century), it was mostly populated

by fishermen and olive growers until the early

19th century, when a passing English aristocrat,

Baron Henry Brougham, was forced to stop

and stay during a journey to Italy. Brougham

liked the area so much that he built a villa

near Cannes and suddenly, a whole new

playground for Europe’s elite was born.

dotwnews.com July 2013 49


F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote much of

The Great Gatsby in Saint-Raphaël

And how appropriate that in this year of The

Great Gatsby, the Côte d’Azur is as rampantly

fashionable as ever: it was at a rented villa in

Saint-Raphaël that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote

most of his iconic novel.

Only a few weeks ago, one of the most lavish

weddings in recent history was celebrated at

one of the most lavish hotels in Europe, when

Tamara Ecclestone, daughter of Formula One

supremo, Bernie, tied the knot at the Grand-

Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat. At a reported cost of GBR

12 million (US $18.5 million), it included three

days of partying, music from Lionel Richie

and Elton John and 150 of Tamara’s closest

friends, not to mention some of the hedonistic

behaviour for which the area is famous.

Should you wish to visit this ultra-luxe

establishment during your next sojourn in

the area, a sun lounger for non-guests will

set you back EUR 90 ($118) for the day, but

then you could rub shoulders with any of the

Monaco royals, Tom Cruise or even Madonna,

who has practised her asanas on the pier.

The area is well known for weddings.

Some have been small with just a few people

in tow, like that of Mick and Bianca Jagger,

who married in 1971 just on the outskirts of

Saint-Tropez. Others have been lavish like the

Ecclestone affair, and the much-awaited, but

very private wedding allegedly being planned

in the hills above Mougins at Château Miraval

– the French home of Brad and Angelina.

“Monaco has

attracted visitors

and residents not

just because of its

climate and glitz,

but also because

of its beneficial

tax arrangements”

50 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Discover the romance of Imperial Russia with Orient-Express at

St Petersburg most luxurious hotel since 1875.


Monaco Marina during this

year’s Monaco Grand Prix

Photo: Getty Images

There will be no worries about outsiders

gaining access – the drive is five kilometres

long and the château is surrounded by a moat.

Quite the opposite was true at the villa to

which the Jaggers retired to after their nuptials,

Villa Nellcôte near Villefranche-sur-Mer, which

was rented by Keith Richards at the time. One

of the Rolling Stones’ greatest albums, Exile on

Main St, began life here in the 1970s, and it was

later the subject of a 2010 documentary about

the band. Apparently anyone could get into the

house, even though it was hidden away behind

a forest of trees, and many did – some making

off with some of the band’s instruments, others

arriving with gifts for the villa’s inhabitants.

In the end, the French police had to

intervene and the album was finally finished

in Los Angeles. Three years ago the villa was

bought by a Russian oligarch for the small sum

of EUR 100 million ($131 million). Needless

to say, visitors are no longer welcome.

Now, the Russians are some of the biggest

spenders in the region, but they are by no

means new arrivals: Russians have been coming

to this tiny hotspot since the middle of the 19th

century, when Czar Alexander II was a regular

visitor. And, while they may be shy about their

properties on land, it is not the same in the

waters along the Côte d’Azur, where some of

the largest yachts are owned by Russians.

Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea

Football Club, has five of the most lavish,

including the Eclipse, which is reported to have

cost over a billion dollars and is the secondlargest

private yacht in the world. Its amenities

include two helicopter pads, and it can be seen

from most points along the coast with one or

two of its sisters.

The Côte d’Azur has long been synonymous

with yachts. Anybody and everybody who could

afford a vessel sailed along this coast, from

King Edward VII to Paul Allen (the co-founder

of Microsoft), in his megayacht Octopus, to

fashion and retail mogul, Sir Philip Green with

his yacht Lionheart.


Côte d’Azur

Luxe

Joël Robuchon

DINEWITHTHESTARS

La Colombe d’Or

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

From its earliest days as a café-bar where locals would come

to drink and dance, through the 1940s and ’50s, when it

was a popular hangout for artists and thinkers, to its current

incarnation as one of the most famous restaurants in the

world, La Colombe d’Or has always been associated with

the arts. Today, it is home to an impressive art collection

acquired over the decades – some donated by artist friends,

other pieces from artists such as Picasso, given as payment

for board or meals. Serving traditional Provençal food, locals

and visitors flock to its large outdoor terrace in the summer

months and the interior dining room in the winter.

www.la-colombe-dor.com

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Joël Robuchon

Hôtel Metropole, Monte-Carlo

French masterchef Joël Robuchon’s restaurant at Hotel

Metropole in Monte-Carlo serves Mediterranean-style

cuisine prepared in an open-plan kitchen, creating an

intimate dining experience. Try the 10-course Joël Robuchon

Experience taster menu for EUR 199 ($261) per person

or the chef’s table experience with head chef Christophe

Cussac, where you and your guests enjoy a culinary

spectacle as Christophe and his team prepare your fourcourse

meal, accompanied by wines selected by resident

sommelier Frédéric Woelfflé, for EUR 150 ($197) per person.

www.metropole.com

La Chèvre d’Or

Château de la Chèvre d’Or, Eze

The wide terrace at La Chèvre d’Or in the medieval village of

Eze has one of the finest views in the Côte d’Azur, and it is

worth the visit for that reason alone. But as well as the vista,

the two Michelin-starred restaurant, now run by head chef

Ronan Kervarrec, also delivers quality seasonal gourmet

cuisine, and has done since the restaurant opened in 1954.

Choose from a six- or eight-course tasting menu or pick

from the à la carte selections. Make sure you leave room to

taste the caviar, which is made and packaged in the restaurant

and can be sampled with any number of dishes from the menu.

www.chevredor.com

Photo: Getty Images

Each European summer, lifestyle magazines

are full of glamorous pictures of Kate Moss,

Naomi Campbell, Sharon Stone and the like

day-tripping on a yacht somewhere between

Cap d’Antibes and Monte-Carlo.

Even those who don’t wish to own one of

these money-guzzlers are definitely prepared

to rent them. In fact, the Côte d’Azur sees 88

percent of the world’s superyachts sail through

its harbours each year. If you don’t have one

of your own, Steven Spielberg can lend you

his for a week or so, as could Roberto Cavalli.

Indeed, Tamara Ecclestone’s honeymoon yacht,

the Silver Angel costs a mere GBP 300,000

($463,000) a week to rent.

It is well known that a holiday here doesn’t

come cheap, which is why the Côte d’Azur

has seduced several notable bankers over the

decades. John Pierpont Morgan was one of its

earliest aficionados, buying art by Fragonard in

Grasse and gambling in Monte-Carlo. He was

followed by the Rothschilds, who established

one of the most spectacular villas above Cap-

Ferrat. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild now plays

host to some of the smartest parties in France

and is home to possibly the most beautiful

gardens in the Côte d’Azur.

The area may now be colonised by the

seriously rich but it has always attracted the

creatives, the penniless and the wannabes.

Consider La Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul-de-

Vence, possibly the most famous restaurant

in the area. It was a small local restaurant in a

smallish local village until some artists staying

nearby began to barter some of their pictures

for meals, since they didn’t have any money

to buy food. Now, the restaurant’s walls are

festooned with Picassos, Matisses, Bonnard

and Legers, which in turn, have brought anyone

of note to visit during the last century.

Before dining, it’s worth exploring the town,

which is an arts centre in its own right. Visit the

Fondation Maeght, which has an extraordinary

sculpture garden with a labyrinth created by

Miró, as well as a Giacometti courtyard.

dotwnews.com July 2013 53


Luxe

French Riveira

CannesheisT

It is a rule of the wild that where those with plenty

gather, those with little also congregate, and the Côte

d’Azur is no exception. In May, thieves infiltrated a lavish

party thrown by Swiss jewellery company de Grisogono

at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc (below) during the

Cannes International Film Festival and made off with

a necklace worth EUR 2 million ($2.6 million). While

guests including Sharon Stone and Ornella Muti sipped

bubbly, the thieves made it past local police and 80

security guards to escape with the necklace, which was

part of de Grisogono’s 20th anniversary collection.

This event was the latest in a series of high-profile

thefts that rocked Cannes during the festival. In a

separate incident, thieves stole a wall safe containing

more than $1.4 million worth of Chopard jewellery from

the room of an employee of the Swiss company, which

also makes the coveted Palme d’Or award. China Film

Group boss Zhang Qiang was also robbed during the

event, when thieves apparently broke into his rented

apartment and made off with all of his luggage.

Photo: getty images

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

While you’re in the area, you must also visit

Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire, which

he considered his masterpiece.

According to art connoisseurs, it is the clarity

of the light in this area that attracted artists

here in the first place. It brought Van Gogh

to Arles and eventually to the asylum in Saint-

Rémy, a time that also coincided with one of

his most productive periods: while staying in

Saint-Rémy, the artist produced more than 150

paintings. Rubens and Cézanne, on the other

hand, preferred the environs and light of Aix.

Saint-Rémy is a beautiful town and attracts

thousands of visitors in high season, but it is even

more attractive in the spring and early autumn.

Among its other claims to fame, Saint-Rémy is

where Nostradamus was born and was home

to Princess Caroline of Monaco for many years.

And then, of course, there’s Monaco itself,

this year celebrating its 150th anniversary. The

city-state is home to the most expensive real

estate in the region, the biggest yachts, the

most reckless gamblers (remember ‘The Man

Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’?), the

most glamorous race on the Formula 1 calendar

and the prettiest royal palace – a pale pink

confection overlooking the principality.

Monte-Carlo perhaps reached the peak of

its glamour when Princess Grace (movie star

Grace Kelly) married into the ruling Grimaldi

family. Her son, Prince Albert II, now rules the

principality, and the world waits eagerly for

the release of the biopic of his mother’s life,

starring Nicole Kidman, later this year.

Once described as “a sunny place for shady

people” by author Somerset Maugham,

Monaco has attracted visitors and residents not

just because of its climate and glitz, but also

because of its ideal tax arrangements. Movie

stars, sports stars and fashion moguls live here,

while the rest of us come to watch and absorb.

It seems fitting that in an area brimming with

the ostentatious, the quickest way to arrive is

by helicopter. A seven-minute trip from Nice

airport is all it takes to find yourself in this

luxe paradise. n

Thegoldenbook

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Tel: +33 4 93 61 39 01

www.hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

Tel: +33 4 93 76 50 50

www.grand-hotel-cap-ferrat.com

La Réserve, Ramatuelle

Tel: +33 4 94 44 94 44

www.lareserve-ramatuelle.com

Château de la Chèvre d’Or

Tel: +33 4 92 10 66 66

www.chevredor.com

54 July 2013 dotwnews.com


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Register now on mymasamigos.com to start earning points.

Daily rates based on Double occupancy per room. Breakfast included. Offers available for travel between 1 June and 30 September 2013. Subject to availability.


Vilnius City

CapiTaL

aTTraCTion

The secrets of the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, can

be unlocked by exploring its historic architecture

WORDS: Andy Round

© European Commission

2

3

4

1


22-23 OCTOBER 2013

Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi, Russia

RHIC

RUSSIA & CIS

HOTEL INVESTMENT

CONFERENCE

BUILDING THE BIGGER PICTURE

JOIN US IN SOCHI FOR THE 9th RUSSIA & CIS

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Vilnius

City

Photo: Ezequiel Scagnetti

(Above) Sacred sight The Bernardine Church offers a key insight into Vilnius' history (Previous page) 1 Standing watch You'll find The Three Muses outside the Lithuanian

National Drama Theatre 2 Old meets new The historical buildings of Vilnius are old on the outside, but breathe with new life inside 3 Looking up The blinding-white Vilnius

cathedral 4 Guardian angel One of many stucco figures in the Church of St Peter and Paul

Photos: Getty Images

Vilnius is a small city with a

big history, and that history

is at its most eloquent

in the Old Town. In the

Chapel of the Gate of Dawn, the silver

offerings nailed next to the miraculous

icon of the Madonna speak of centuries

of devoted pilgrimage.

In the bohemian city district of

Užupis, a ‘Constitution’ plaque (right)

underlines the area’s eccentric character

by promising, ‘A dog has the right to be

a dog’ and ‘People have the right to be

unhappy.’ In the dusty basement of the

capital’s former KGB headquarters, bullet

holes speak of inconceivable terrors.

To stroll Vilnius barely takes a few

hours, but you need more time to read

the history that is written on every wall.

Take Bernardine Church, for instance.

Here history stacks up like the devoted

bones that filled its dry crypts and the

layers of paint that hid its extraordinary

cloister frescos. During the Soviet

occupation of the 20th century, the

church’s sacred interior was ripped

out to convert the building into a

warehouse, but the power of all those

historic layers remained undiminished.

dotwnews.com July 2013 59


Photo: ezequiel Scagnetti

Photo: ezequiel Scagnetti

Baroque

androll

A good example of

Vilnius' Baroque

style is in the Church

of St Peter and

Paul. Depending

on your view, the

2,000 stucco

figures and ornate

finishes (above) are

either an assault

on the senses or

a masterpiece of

Baroque ambition.

Maybe both.

“I came for mass for the first time

in 2002 and there was only a wooden

altar,” says guide Sandra Krušnaitė. “But

there were a lot of people here and it felt

incredibly powerful. Incredibly special.”

Peering from the church’s nowrestored

loft, the view of the towers,

spires and cupolas that punctuate Vilnius’

Old Town skyline is beyond special. It’s

magical. No wonder it is a UNESCO

World Heritage site. Explore the crooked

medieval streets of the Old Town and

the vibrant architectural legacy of the

European religions that made Vilnius

their home quickly becomes apparent.

“In the 14th century while the Grand

Dukes of Lithuania were celebrating

pagan gods up in Vilnius Castle,

Orthodox believers and Catholic

Germans were building their houses

of worship down below,” says Marija

Drėmaitė, secretary general of UNESCO’s

Lithuanian National Commission.

Sky-high detail

(top) Elaborate

carvings and frescos

decorate the ceiling

of the Church of St

Peter and Paul

Spiritual heart

(bottom) Aerial

view of historic

Vilnius Cathedral

“In Vilnius there are 21 monasteries

and 20 Catholic churches, four Orthodox

churches, one Lutheran, one Evangelical

and former Jewish houses of worship

that formed the layout of the town.”

And every house of worship has a story

to tell: “When Napoleon saw the rare

brick Gothic of St Anne’s Church, he said

he wanted to take it back to Paris in the

palm of his hand,” laughs Vilnius’ mayor

Artūras Zuokas. “It still makes me smile

every time I think he didn’t get his way.”

“I’m fond of Vilnius Cathedral

even though it doesn’t appeal to me

aesthetically,” says Gediminas Technical

University’s architecture professor Jūratė

Jurevičienė. “I appreciate the way it

encapsulates important historic layers.

“From the top to bottom there is

history. Installed above are the new

statues that replaced those demolished

during 20th-century occupation and

buried below are ancient pagan structures.”

Historical strata stack up everywhere

in Vilnius. Beneath the Amber Museum-

Gallery in the Old Town, guide Eglė

Mickevičienė reflects on the excavations

of 16th-century ceramic kilns.

“You can see how the layers of the city

grew above them,” she says, pointing at

the rocky walls. “About a metre deep for

every hundred years.”

Nearby is Vilnius’ Old Town Renewal

Agency, which is dedicated to preserving

the capital’s architectural legacy. When

director Jūratė Raugalienė walks the city,

stories unfold at every corner. She reveals

how the Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance

buildings of the 500-year-old university

became “an important centre of learning

in Central and Eastern Europe.”

She explains how Teutonic Knights

from Riga in Latvia gave Germans

Street its name and how an Italian

Duchess brought both pasta and a

new Renaissance style to the city.

60 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Vilnius City

The gothic steeple

of St. Anne's Church


Vilnius

City

“Explore the crooked

medieval streets

of the Old Town

and the vibrant

architectural legacy

of the European

religions that made

Vilnius their home

quickly becomes

apparent”

Frozen in time (top) The pretty streets of Vilnius' Old Town Bite-size (bottom) Traditional café in the Jewish Quarter

Then, of course, there is Vilnius’

famous Baroque style: “It was

introduced as a result of the great

fires of the 18th century,” Jūratė says,

referring to a series of massive fires that

destroyed many of the city’s buildings

during the 100-year period. “Austrian

architect Johann Glaubitz arrived like

an answer to the city’s prayers. He

renovated the churches and his style

quickly became influential across

the continent.”

But it is the capital’s sweeping

panoramas that cast a spell over this

Vilnius-born director. “I love the views

from the Hill Of The Three Crosses, but

I also spent the first five years of my life

close to the tallest building in Vilnius,

the 68-metre-tall St Johns bell tower.

It’s still inspiring.”

Another Old Town view that is

well worth savouring is from the top of

the ‘New Town’ 21st-century municipal

building that houses Vilnius’ Planning

Department – and its director,

Artūras Blotnys.

“If you were an architecture student,

you could come here and study every

era from early Gothic to 20th-century

architecture,” says Artūras, surveying the

forest-fringed city beneath him. “That

in itself makes the city special, but the

atmosphere on the streets, well, that is

completely unique.” n

www.readyforeurope.com

Thegoldenbook

Kempinski Hotel

Cathedral Square

Tel: +370 5 220 1100

www.kempinski.com

dotwnews.com July 2013 63


MANILA GATEWAY TO PARADISE


2

3

1

Manila is a city brimming with soul and energy, where everything from the people

to the cuisine are infused with the joy of life and the spirit of hospitality

WORDS: Rowena Marella-Daw

dotwnews.com July 2013 65


City

Manila

(Above) Moment of silence The frenetic pace of the city slows down when the sun sets over picturesque Manila Bay

(Previous page) 1 Night lights A view of the busy skyline of Makati City Manila 2 Vintage icon A reconditioned Peninsula Jeepney drives past

the National Museum of the Philippines 3 Green in the city Lush tropical gardens at Makati Shangri-La Manila

A

heartfelt smile is never too much effort for

a Filipino, so it comes as no surprise that

the Philippines consistently ranks as one

of the friendliest countries in the world. Yet

despite its reputation, you don’t often find the country, or

its capital, Manila, in your typical luxury travel magazine.

Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing, especially for locals

and regular visitors who prefer to keep this archipelago of

7,107 magical islands and islets their precious little secret.

The gateway to the country’s breathtaking landscapes,

Manila is one of Southeast Asia’s most enigmatic cities and

arguably the region’s most free-spirited capital — where

else do you find an electronics store salesman belting out

a ballad on a karaoke machine during working hours to

drum up business?

Manila has plenty of attitude and it makes no excuses

for its shortcomings. Three hundred years of Spanish rule,

American occupation and a strong Malay heritage helped to

shape the character of the people, whose spirit, resilience

and hospitality are beyond question. In the sprawling urban

jungle of Metro Manila is nearly 11.5 million inhabitants.

English is widely spoken alongside Tagalog, the mother

tongue, derived from Austronesian languages such as

Bahasa Malay, but laced with Spanish words. Life here is

defined not just by hard graft. More importantly, it revolves

around food — the bigger the spread, the better. Fresh

seafood, roast suckling pig, the best mangoes in the world,

and traditional dishes influenced by Chinese, Spanish and

Malay cuisine are just a few gastronomic delights the rest

of the world is missing out on. And, tempting as it may

be to head straight for the pristine beaches in the Visayan

region, it’s worth spending a few days exploring this vibrant

metropolis to experience joie de vivre, ‘Pinoy’-style.

So, what makes Manila tick? The heartbeat of the capital

is found in Makati City, the financial district and leisure

hotspot, where five-star hotel brands like Shangri-La, The

Peninsula and Fairmont are gathered. Converging within

this glamorous hub are the designer boutiques of the

Greenbelt shopping centre, shopping malls, museums, art

galleries, cinemas and a plethora of fine-dining restaurants,

all within walking distance of each other.

The high-end real estate market recently witnessed

the opening of several exclusive investment properties,

including Raffles and Fairmont properties that comprise

both hotel rooms and serviced residences, and the exclusive

Trump Tower Manila, among others.

66 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Straight Up The rooftop lounge bar at Seda Hotel is one of many trendy hangouts in Manila’s Bonifacio Global City

“The gateway to the country’s breathtaking landscapes,

Manila is one of Southeast Asia’s most enigmatic cities

and arguably the region’s most free-spirited capital”

Nearby, there is friendly competition from the

burgeoning Bonifacio Global City or BGC, the new hub

for affluent lifestyle and global business. BGC’s onekilometre

High Street is a traffic-free promenade buzzing

with retail outlets, trendy restaurants, patisseries, bars and

cafés. Seventh Avenue is the place for mingling, peoplewatching

and alfresco dining. Adding excitement to the

dining scene are young, talented chefs bringing exiting

flavours, textures and flair to the table.

Feast on local delights at Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino,

Abe Restaurant, or head for Burgos Circle for other finedining

options. At Market! Market!, flower and food

stalls imbibe a lively atmosphere, and a chance to sample

typical delicacies from every region in the Philippines

will be hard to resist.

Manila’s nightlife rocks until dawn, even on weeknights.

The party crowds gather at Seventh High, while the more

sophisticated prefer to chill out at Straight Up, the rooftop

lounge bar of Seda Hotel. Next door, the Skye W lounge

bar and restaurant on the roof deck of W Building attracts

a much younger clientele. Another trendy place to dine,

drink and be seen is Buddha-Bar Manila on Kalayaan

Avenue, a short drive from the centre of Makati City.

Venture beyond Makati’s glitz and glamour to discover

a different side to Manila. Navigate the scenic route along

Roxas Boulevard towards the Manila Bay area, where the

Mall of Asia beckons shopaholics and Resorts World’s

impressive casino entices high rollers. Then, head

towards Luneta Park and soak up the bohemian vibes

in the old district of Malate.

For a dose of history, take a walk around the old walled

city of Intramuros, which was the seat of the Spanish

government during colonial times. While here, ride the

kalesa, a horsedrawn carriage that was used for transport

in the old days. Learn more about the country’s history at

the National Museum of the Philippines, before crossing

Quezon Bridge to arrive at the iconic Quiapo Church,

where devotees flock by the thousands to worship the

Black Nazarene (a life-size sculpture of Jesus) on January

9 each year. Finally, treat yourself to tea and a feast of

dim sum in Chinatown before catching the glorious

sunset along Manila Bay.

The seasoned traveller will easily accept the sharp

contrasts surrounding them. From honking 'Jeepneys' (Jeepstyle

buses) and street vendors to crumbling buildings, the

smells, sights and sounds of Manila will amaze, bemuse,

and even overwhelm the senses. This, in essence, this what

forms the very fabric of the city, setting it apart from the rest

of Southeast Asia. Even the tallest skyscraper, the cleanest,

safest streets or the richest enclaves can fail to make a

lasting impression, because what counts most is whether a

city has personality. The vibrant soul and infectious energy

of Manila will surely linger in your memory long after

you’ve boarded that plane back home. n

68 July 2013 dotwnews.com


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M anila BEYOND THE CITY

Raffles Makati and faiRMont Makati

Manila

Part of a prestigious new development, both the Raffles Makati and the Fairmont Makati

are located in the same luxury tower at the heart of Manila’s financial district, next to

the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Greenbelt shopping centre. Opened in February

this year, the contemporary-style Raffles Makati has 32 luxurious suites, each with floorto-ceiling

windows overlooking the city. The Raffles Residences Makati has 237 one- to

four-bedroom residences for private ownership or extended hotel stays. Located in the

same tower, the Fairmont Makati is home to 280 deluxe rooms and the hotel’s signature

Willow Stream Spa, a 1,200-square-metre oasis of tranquillity incorporating a beauty

salon, mineral pool, five treatment rooms, and an outdoor pool.

tel: +632 555 9777 or +632 555 9888

www.raffles.com/makati or www.fairmont.com/makati

MandaRin oRiental Manila

Manila

There are 413 spacious rooms and 29 suites occupying the highest floors of this

tower hotel, which is situated in the heart of the business district of Makati. The

hotel describes itself as “a luxurious base from which to explore the city”, and with its

breathtaking views and elegant features, the property offers an air of sophistication.

Choose to spend an evening in one of the hotel's seven restaurants and bars (including

a specialty jazz bar), or unwind with a luxe treatment at the Thai-inspired spa located

at the very top of the hotel. If you prefer to be in the thick of all the action of Manila,

you don't have far to go — the main shopping district is just five minutes away, while

the beautiful Manila Bay (and its famous sunset) is a 30-minute drive from the hotel.

tel: +632 750 0968

www.mandarinoriental.com/manila

abaca boutique ResoRt

Mactan Island, Cebu

This tropical island hideaway has just nine rooms (six suties and three villas) located

right on the beach. A 30-metre black tiled swimming pool with submerged seating is the

perfect setting for sundowners, and the oceanfront Abaca restaurant serves Australian

chef Wade Watson’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The spa offers a range of Filipino

treatments and Abaca’s own natural spa products, with exotic ingredients including

bamboo, walnut and mother of pearl. The price of your stay includes airport transfers,

breakfast, an evening cocktail and butler service, which includes everything from

newspaper delivery to excursions outside the hotel. There is great diving and snorkelling

in the waters around this quiet, secluded island, so make time to see what’s beneath.

tel: +63 32 495 3461

www.abacaresort.com


Manila

City

Discover the Philippines’ many facets through its breathtaking landscapes,

pristine beaches, and a dazzling collection of indulgent hotels and resorts

amanpuLo

Pamalican Island, Palawan

Aman resorts tend to adapt to their surroundings, so it’s no surprise that this

particular property, in the stunning Cuyo Islands in Palawan province, has made

the most of its island location. Perhaps one of the resort’s most cherished features is

its stunning Aman Spa, situated on a hillside overlooking the Sulu Sea, with private

treatment pavillions featuring deep-soak tubs and steam showers. Guests stay in

luxurious casitas (traditional Filipino huts) located on the beach, in the treetops

and on the hillside, and each comes with its own buggy to explore the island at

leisure. There are plenty of open-air spaces, plus tennis courts, a sea sports hut,

dive centre, and beachside bars and restaurants.

tel: +632 976 5200

www.amanresorts.com/amanpulo

the Farm at San Benito

Lipa City, Batangas

A luxury holistic resort, The Farm at San Benito offers a beautiful natural setting for

guests to regain balance. Situated on a former coconut and coffee plantation, the

eco-friendly resort tailors wellness programmes to the needs of its guests, including

detoxification, healing, and lifestyle management. The spacious villas are beautifully

decorated, and many feature private pools. The cuisine focuses on delivering maximum

nutrition without compromising taste. The menu at Alive! vegan restaurant is sourced

from the on-site organic garden, consisting mainly of plant-based, raw ingredients.

Luxurious amenities include the nearby golf course, Mount Malarayat Golf & Country

Club, as well as the spa and healing sanctuary, and integrated medical treatments.

tel: +632 884 8074

www.thefarm.com.ph

Shangri-La Boracay reSort & Spa

Boracay Island, Visayas

Set in an eco-reserve with villas spilling down a lush tropical hillside that overlooks

the white sands of Puka Shell Beach, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa is a great

option for families, with tennis courts and plenty of water-based activities including

ocean kayaking, parasailing and deep-sea diving. But there is also lots for couples with

romance on the agenda. CHI the Spa is located on a rocky peninsula overlooking a

private bay, the perfect setting for one of the authentic treatments on offer. Sirena is

a stunning open-walled cliff-top seafood restaurant with dramatic views looking out

over the ocean. The 219 rooms, suites and villas all feature balconies and daybeds,

while the villas also feature private pools and butler service.

tel: +63 36 288 4988

www.shangri-la.com

dotwnews.com July 2013 71


The

high

life

If you’re looking to

invest in a holiday

home overseas,

joining a fractional

ownership fund is

a smart option

WORDS: Caitlin Cheadle


London

Invest

It’s nice to see how the other

half live, and while in London

recently I had the fleeting

pleasure of spending a weekend

in a luxury Bankside apartment, just a

five-minute walk from the Tate Modern

and the Thames. What a tease.

It is often said that to really enjoy

living in London, a certain amount of

wealth is required. Having never lived

there myself I cannot confirm this, but

I can certainly say I am a fan of visiting

London when I have a swanky threebedroom

apartment as my home base.

Padding into a gorgeous open-plan

kitchen each morning to prepare an

espresso and gaze out at the view of the

Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral over

breakfast? Yes, I could get used to this.

And if I were a member of The

Hideaways Club, I would be used to it.

The brainchild of Fitness First founder

Mike Balfour, The Hideaways Club is

a fractional ownership fund whereby

members have an equity investment in

a portfolio of luxury properties across

the world. Until they sell their share in

the company, members have access to

these properties for their holiday needs,

plus the services of a private concierge

team to manage bookings and stays.

The Hideaways Club consists of two

components: the property company,

which is wholly owned by the club’s

members (equity investors), and the

operating company, which manages

the properties on behalf of the

members. When joining the club there

are different types of shares available,

which differ in price according to usage

requirements. Members buy a share in

the property company at the current

share price, which is revalued at least

once a year. The investment can be

in a portfolio of villas and ski chalets,

known as the Classic Collection, or in

luxury two- and three-bedroom city

apartments in the City Collection.

So, for example, for a Premium

Membership in the Classic Collection

at a cost of GBP 250,000 (US

$386,000), you will get a full equity

share in the Classic Collection Property

Fund. You will then pay an annual

membership fee of GBP 14,000

($22,000), and this gets you four to

six weeks per year in any of the Classic

Collection properties around the world,

plus the use of the concierge team to

book and manage your stays.

If you decide to leave, you can sell

your share at the current share price.

There is a 10 percent administration

cost for shareholders exiting before

three years of membership and the

exiting shareholder receives 80 percent

of the capital gain at the time of selling.

After three years of membership, the

sales fee is reduced to five percent.

a better way to travel?

Fractional ownership is a relatively

new concept and it generally offers a

more stable alternative to independent

second-home ownership and timeshare

options, but be sure to complete your

due diligence before committing. There

are agencies such as the UK-based

Fractional Ownership Consultancy

(www.fractional.net) to help with this.

Fractional ownership schemes were

first made popular in the late 1990s

by American developer Rob McGrath,

who created his Private Retreats

vacation club after interviewing 2,500

potential timeshare investors in the

mid-1990s. He found that most would

have preferred to invest in a variety of

homes across different destinations

rather than tying themselves to one

property or committing to a timeshare.

One of the main benefits of this kind

of model is the freedom it provides. Not

only do members have access to a variety

of properties in different locations, they

will also benefit from safety in numbers.

“Not only do members have access

to a variety of properties, they will

also benefit from safety in numbers”

dotwnews.com July 2013 73


Invest

London

THEHIDEAWAYSclub

The Hideaways Club has two portfolios

and various membership options.

The Classic Collection is a portfolio of 32

luxury villas and ski chalets with a target cap

of 600 members and a member-to-property

ratio of 6 to 1. A further 250 properties are

available to members through reciprocal

agreements with similar clubs in 70

locations around the world.

The City Collection is a portfolio of twoand

three-bedroom luxury apartments in the

world’s most sought-after cities including

London, Paris, New York, and Dubai. There’s

a member-to-property ratio of 10 to 1, with

a target cap of 1,200 members. The City

Collection currently includes 14 apartments.

A further 70 apartments are available to

members through reciprocal agreements

with similar clubs in 18 cities around the

world. Members also have the option of

buying into a hybrid membership, which

grants them a share in both portfolios.

Tel: +44 20 7824 9940

Contact: info@thehideawaysclub.com

www.thehideawaysclub.com

Chalet Lune, Switzerland

Villa Vidro, Portugal

bAnkSIDEAPARTMEnT

n A 160 square-metre apartment inside a new luxury

development in London’s Bankside

n Three bedrooms (sleeps six guests)

n Three bathrooms (two en suite, one family bathroom)

n Fully fitted kitchen with high-quality appliances

n Nespresso machine and tea-making facilities

n Large living and entertaining area

n Views of the Thames, Tate Modern, the

London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral

n Molton Brown amenities in bathrooms

n Flat-screen TVs, Apple TV, Bose and iPod

music system, extensive music library in a

pre-programmed iPod, DVD player and

DVD library, iPad, Nintendo Wii

n High-speed WiFi access

n 24-hour doorman

n Secure parking

In the case of The Hideaways Club,

the properties in the portfolio are

located in different parts of the world,

so if there is a property slump in one

location it will be cushioned by the

properties in other markets.

The Hideaways Club’s portfolio has

been hand-picked by a team of property

specialists who make their selections

based on each property’s potential to

appreciate in value, as well as their

desirability as a holiday home. The

annual cost contribution (essentially

a yearly membership fee) takes care

of all the upkeep; in other words

the club absorbs the time, effort and

costs associated with maintaining and

managing a property overseas.

My experience with The Hideaways

Club felt very much like an exclusive

private members’ club. I was contacted

by the Central Concierge team before

my trip to confirm the reservation and

set up airport transfers. I could also

arrange for grocery shopping to be

done and unpacked prior to my arrival,

specifying any particular items I desired.

The concierge team can also make any

arrangements needed for club members

travelling with additional guests or

children, such as changes to sleeping

arrangements and babysitting services.

Once I arrived in London I was met

by the Local Concierge, who took me on

a tour of the apartment to show me how

everything worked, introduced me to

the 24-hour security team in the lobby,

and ensured I had everything I needed

before leaving me with the keys. She

was also on hand to make restaurant or

theatre bookings, arrange housekeeping,

or assist with anything that would make

my stay more comfortable.

The apartment is stocked with

everything you would need or want

— books, games, a DVD player and

DVDs, a Nintendo Wii for the kids, a

fully operational kitchen, flat-screen

TVs, an iPad and high-speed WiFi

access. I only stayed at the Bankside

apartment for a weekend to get a

taste of what it would feel like to be a

member of The Hideaways Club, but I

loved arriving and slipping right into a

luxurious private home set-up without

any hassle. For international jet-setters,

it’s an ideal way to travel. I think James

Bond would approve. n

74 July 2013 dotwnews.com


London

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NIGHT & DAY

Fine dining, contemporary art, designer boutiques and

spectacular views – this insider’s guide will show you

where you can find the best of them in the Emerald City

Words: Rebecca Haddad

SYDNEY

09.00

Pass through customs at Sydney Airport

(www.sydneyairport.com.au) and take a

30-minute taxi ride (or a limousine transfer

for a decidedly more glamorous trip) through

the heart of the city to Park Hyatt Sydney

(7 Hickson Road; +61 2 9256 1234; www.

sydney.park.hyatt.com), located in the

historical district known as The Rocks. In

a harbour city, a room with a view is mandatory

— no matter which room you’ve booked at

the Park Hyatt, all afford superb vistas of the

Harbour Bridge, Opera House or city skyline.

10.00

Start your day with a tour around The

Rocks. Although Sydney is still a relatively

young city, it’s worth wandering the

cobblestone streets of what was a former

slum area, now a haven of chic boutiques,

galleries and cafés. Pay a visit to The Tea

Cosy (33 George Street; www.theteacosy.

com.au) for a morning tea of fresh scones

and loose-leaf tea in a room that makes you

feel as though you’ve stepped back in time

to the days of colonial Sydney.

11.30

Back in the present day, head across George

Street for a dose of modern culture at the

Museum of Contemporary Art (140 George

Street; +61 2 9245 2400; www.mca.

com.au). The permanent collection, which

has been growing since the museum was

established in 1989, is an impressive creative

record of the evolution of contemporary art in

Australia. Temporary exhibitions are also a

regular feature; this month, see a series from

acclaimed Canadian photographer Jeff Wall.

13.00

Creative side sated, it’s time to take in

Australia’s most famous stretch of sand,

Bondi Beach, with a side of lunch. Eat with

the who’s who of Sydney’s social set at

Bondi Icebergs (1 Notts Ave; www.icebergs.

com.au). As it’s winter, enjoy a meal inside

and watch swimmers brave the icy waters of

the natural swimming pool outside.

14.00

While Melbourne often takes the crown for

Australia’s shopping capital, Sydney is hot

competition. Eschew the crowds of Pitt St

Mall for an afternoon at Oxford Street in

Paddington. On this prime strip of retail real

estate you’ll find the stores of internationally

acclaimed designers including Alice McCall,

Collette Dinnigan and Sass & Bide. The

Intersection, the group of shops at the corner

of Glenmore Road and Oxford Street (+61 2

4888 2359; www.theintersection.com.au)

is the place to invest in pieces from up-andcoming

names in Australian fashion. When

you’re done there, catch a taxi over to Queen

Victoria Building (455 George Street;

www.qvb.com.au), a stunning example of

Romanesque architecture and the place to

go for luxury accessories.

16.00

Naturally, the best way to see the harbour is

by boat, so head back up George Street, via

one of the free green shuttle buses, to Circular

Quay. Weather permitting, you’ll be able to

hire a private water taxi (www.vipwatertaxis.

com.au) to take you across the harbour

and north to the seaside neighbourhood of

Manly, where you can stop by Hugo’s Manly


O Bar and Dining

Park Hyatt Sydney

Quay restaurant

(East Esplanade; +61 2 8116 8555; www.

hugos.com.au) for a sundowner. Hugo’s

is actually famous for its pizzas, but you’ll

need to save your appetite for some seriously

gourmet fare back in town.

19.30

It’s dinner hour, and you’re spoilt for choice as

two of the country’s most famous restaurants

serve up top-notch meals on opposite sides

of the quay. Aria (1 Macquarie Street, East

Circular Quay; +61 2 9240 2255; www.

ariarestaurant.com), headed by famed

Australian chef Matt Moran, offers a sevencourse

degustation (AUD $260 or US

$250.50, including matching wines), which

is the best way to sample a variety of the best

of local produce, from the Hamachi yellowtail

and Carid prawn sashimi to the succulent

pork belly with chestnut puree. Directly across

the water is Quay (Upper Level, Overseas

Passenger Terminal; +61 2 9251 5600;

www.quay.com.au), the only Australian

restaurant on San Pellegrino’s esteemed ‘50

Best Restaurants’ list. It’s as famous for it’s

Snow Egg dessert – that’s guava shaved ice

topped with a sweet custard egg covered in

a sugary shell – as it is for its harbour views.

21.30

Sydney’s small-bar scene is enjoying growing

popularity, and, like all chic small bars, it’s a

matter of knowing where to go. Work off your

meal with a short stroll down to Bulletin

Place. Follow the staircase upstairs from

Cabrito Coffee Traders and you’ll find a bar

also named Bulletin Place (level 1, 10-14

Bulletin Place; www.bulletinplace.com). The

décor might be plain, but the bar is manned

by some of the best mixologists in the city,

so the cocktails do all the talking.

23.00

If you can afford a late check out the next

morning, visit O Bar and Dining (Level 47,

Australia Square/264 George Street; +61

2 9247 9777; www.obardining.com.au) on

the 47 floor of the Australia Square tower.

The revolving bar with floor-to-ceiling

windows means you can sit back with a

nightcap and take in the night lights of a city

that never loses its sparkle. n

STAY

Park Hyatt Sydney

Tel: +61 2 9256 1234

www.sydney.park.hyatt.com

Museum of Contemporary Art

Photo: Getty Images

dotwnews.com March 2013 77


Diary 07.13

56th Annual

Antigua Carnival

July 27–August 6

St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

Evolving from a celebration of

the abolition of slavery on the

dual-island nation of Antigua and

Barbuda, the Antigua Carnival has

grown into a 10-day showcase of

true Caribbean culture. The streets

of the capital, St John’s, seemingly

burst at the seams with music,

dances, pageants, parades and

food fairs that last all day

for the duration of the festival.

Leave your monochrome travel

attire at home because during

carnival time, colour is compulsory.

www.antiguacarnival.com

Photo: Getty Images

San Fermin Festival

July 6–14

Pamplona, Spain

Better known as the Running of

the Bulls, this festival began as a

celebration honouring San Fermin,

the patron saint of the Navarre

region, but has become better

known for this wild and dangerous

tradition of the fiesta. For the

best views of the daily morning

bull runs (and to stay safely out

of harm’s way), reserve a balcony

at one of the residences along the

route before spending the rest of

the day celebrating in the streets.

www.sanfermin.com

Independence Day

July 4

Across the USA

No matter where you are in the US

on July 4, you’re guaranteed three

things: parties, fireworks and rousing

renditions of ‘Star Spangled Banner’.

New York will host its annual Macy’s

Fourth of July Fireworks display over

the Hudson, while the National Mall

in Washington, DC, will transform

into the Smithsonian Folklife

Festival. In Chicago, celebrations

kick off a day earlier and continue

with the Taste of Chicago festival.

www.discoveramerica.com


Bastille Day

July 14

Paris, France

This date marks the beginning of the

French Revolution with the storming

of the Bastille prison and, while

bottles of champagne will be popped

and platters of fromage consumed

at parties all over the country, Paris

is the place to be. Festivities kick off

during the day, so immerse yourself

in celebrations taking place in each

neighbourhood before heading to the

Champ de Mars for a prime position in

front of the Eiffel Tower for the night’s

fireworks, which will affirm Paris’

moniker as the City of Light.

www.franceguide.com

Montreux Jazz Festival

July 5–20

Montreux, Switzerland

The sound of music will reverberate

across Lake Geneva this month for

the 47th Montreux Jazz Festival.

Over the years, the festival has

branched out to incorporate all

music styles; the 2013 edition will

take a decidedly rock edge with

Prince and Sting headlining. But for

bona fide jazz enthusiasts, there

are still plenty of performances to

enjoy around Montreux, including

sets on the famous jazz trains and

at the new Montreux Jazz Club.

www.montreuxjazzfestival.com

Photo: © 2006 FFJM - Muriel Rochat

Photo: Getty Images

dotwnews.com April 2012 63


Spend it

Itineraries

Reaching new heights in NZ

Tree houses call to mind childhood memories,

but the clever team behind Hapuku Lodge &

Tree Houses on New Zealand’s South Island

have turned these symbols of youth into very

grown-up accommodation options. Hapuku

Lodge & Tree Houses is two hours north of

Christchurch, on the quiet Kaikoura Peninsula,

but feels a world away. Five tree houses stand

10 metres in the air among a grove of native

manuka. As you would expect, these aren’t your

run-of-the-mill tree houses. Each house features

a wood-burning fireplace, heated bathroom

floor and a spa big enough for two. There’s also

a TV, iPod sound system and free WiFi to keep

you busy, but you’ll no doubt be distracted by

the breathtaking views of the Pacific coastline

and Kaikoura Ranges beyond. Book a Hapuku

Earth, Sky and Sea package to enjoy two nights’

accommodation including breakfast and dinner

daily, a nighttime astronomy experience and a

whale-watching expedition.

Available: now

Price: $2195 per couple (until September 30)

Book: +64 3 319 6559

www.hapukulodge.com

Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses

80 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Spend it

Cruise around the Caribbean, live high up in the trees

in NZ or explore the Rockies by luxury rail – by land or

by sea, there are plenty of ways to splurge this month

*All prices are subject to change. Please contact the listed companies for further information.

Caribbean island hop

It’s one thing to fly to your next island

holiday, but it is an entirely different

experience when you take to the water

on your own chartered luxury catamaran.

Live like the rich and famous by booking

a seven-night chartered island hop on

Sir Richard Branson’s own 32-metre

catamaran, Necker Belle. Tailor your

itinerary to include some of the most

beautiful places in the Caribbean

(including Antigua, St Bart’s and Branson’s

own Necker Island), invite 12 of your

closest friends, then it’s all aboard. Rates

include a 24-hour driver at each port,

plus your own crew and full use of the

watersport equipment on board. There

are plenty of activities to help you make

the most of your sun-kissed holiday,

including waterskiing, wakeboarding,

fishing and snorkelling. Still not enough

water-based adventure for you? For an

additional cost, you can also hire the

Necker Nymph, a three-person submarine.

Available: now

Price: US $110,000

Book: enquiries@virginlimitededition.com

www.neckerbelle.virgin.com

The long, winding road

With its varied landscapes, charming villages

and buzzing cities, Germany is an ideal roadtrip

destination. Rocco Forte Hotels is offering

the ultimate summer European getaway for

car enthusiasts, teaming up with Elite Renta-Car

to offer a road-tour package that takes

full advantage of a country as famous for its

autobahns as it is for lederhosen. Your trip

begins in Munich, where you’ll chose between

a Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari 458 Spider

or Porsche Carrera 911. Over the next five

days, you’ll wind your way to Berlin, taking

in stunning scenery and villages by day and

staying at luxe Rocco Forte hotels at night. The

trip covers plenty of must-visits along the way,

including a stop at the Mercedes-Benz Museum

in Stuttgart and a journey through German

wine country, but you can tailor the length

and itinerary to suit you. And if you prefer

appreciating a luxury car from the passenger

seat, a chauffeur is available on request.

Available: now

Price: From EUR 6,00O (US $7,818)

Book: info@eliterent.com

www.eliterent.com / www.roccofortehotels.com

Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome, Berlin


Spend it

Palace life in Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai is an

architectural record of the city’s history. The

hotel was established at a time when the

city was struggling to improve its run-down

image, and since then, has remained a leading

example of old-world grandeur in Mumbai.

Now, the hotel is bringing that grandeur to the

forefront with its new Enchantment Package.

The package includes limousine transfers to

and from the airport plus accommodation

in the iconic Palace Wing, which has been

fully restored to its former glory, complete

with artworks and antiques on display in

the corridors. While you’re here, there are

plenty of other places to explore within the

hotel, including 10 restaurants and the Palace

Lounge, which boasts sweeping views of

Mumbai Harbour. As an added measure to

ensure your stay is as relaxing as possible,

you’ll also be given 15 percent off

treatments at the hotel’s Jiva Spa.

Available: until August 31, 2013

Price: from Rs 18,500 (US $328) per night

for a minimum three-night stay

Book: tmhresv.bom@tajhotels.com

www.tajhotels.com

Rockies by rail

They say the best way to see the Canadian

Rockies is by air, but in summer, it is far

more enjoyable to tour across this rugged and

spectacular part of the world by rail – luxury

rail, no less. Book a GoldLeaf pass aboard the

Rocky Mountaineer for a four-day ‘Journey

Through the Clouds’ from Vancouver to

Jasper. You’ll take in major sites including

Fraser Canyon, Pyramid Falls, and Mount

Robson (the highest peak in the Canadian

Rockies), and enjoy stopovers in Vancouver,

Kamloops and Jasper so you can stretch

your legs with some on-foot exploring. On

board, you’ll enjoy a comfortable journey in

the double-decker GoldLeaf coach, with its

domed glass roof, complimentary beverage

and snack service, and gourmet meals. For

that extra touch to make your holiday all

that more luxurious, upgrade to the

GoldLeaf Deluxe service to enjoy hotel

upgrades in Vancouver, Kamloops and Jasper.

Available: from August

Price: From $3,099 per person

Book: reservations@rockymountaineer.com

www.rockymountaineer.com

82 March 2013 dotwnews.com


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Suite Dreams

Suite Dreams

Words: Joe Mortimer

Welcome to Hollywood

Start your A-list experience with a night at Mondrian Los Angeles

From the balcony of suite 1111 at the

Mondrian Los Angeles, you can look

out over Beverly Hills and Bel-Air

and just about make out the Pacific

Ocean in the distance. Somewhere off to the

left, the buildings end abruptly as they reach

the beachside neighbourhoods of Santa Monica

and Venice. Directly below, sculpted bodies are

dotted around the poolside, sipping cocktails,

and an excited hum fills the mid-afternoon

air. As the day turns into evening, a few more

clothes appear and the flip-flops are replaced

with high heels as the Skybar comes alive. It

looks like its going to be another wild night

in West Hollywood.

In the Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz-designed

suite, there’s a more subdued atmosphere.

Warm Californian sunshine floods the room

through the floor-to-ceiling windows during the

day, illuminating the white interior and bamboo

floor. As day turns to night, mood lighting and

polished chrome surfaces create a lounge-bar

atmosphere, made all the more authentic by

the sounds from the pool deck below.

An oversized sofa scattered with cushions sits

beneath a large mirror that covers the entire

wall, seemingly doubling the space in the already

ample suite, and a long bar area with basin and

minibar cries out for guests to entertain. You

can order meals all night long from the 24-hour

room service menu, which offers American-sized

portions of staples such as pastrami on rye.

In the middle of the room, an orangecoloured

mirror mounted on a pole has a

built-in HDTV, which can be rotated to face

any corner of the suite, but after a night

partying Hollywood-style, the best place

to watch it is from the king-sized bed with

down duvet and pillows in pure white cotton.

There’s also free WiFi, an iPod dock and a

workspace for a laptop.

In the bathroom, a stainless-steel basin and

silver-edged mirror dominate the space, with

Silestone tiles on the floor and Malin+Goetz

products at the ready.

The worst thing about this suite is that you’re

never sure whether you want to leave or stay.

The view from the balcony makes it tempting

to stay put and soak up the atmosphere with

a cocktail in hand, but the lure of the pool

deck and the legendary nightspots of West

Hollywood are hard to resist.

Like the other West Hollywood darlings, The

Standard and Chateau Marmont, the Mondrian

is an institution. Each evening, groups of

hipsters, white-collar workers and hopeful

actors queue around the corner to get into

Skybar (guests do not queue), or take a table

at the Philippe Starck-designed Asia de Cuba.

The hotel’s central location makes it an ideal

base for exploring surrounding neighbourhoods

— it’s a 10-minute drive west to Beverly Hills

and a 10-minute drive east to downtown

Hollywood. But most people in the know tend

to stay right where they are, at least until the

sun comes up and a new LA day begins. ■

The important bit

What: Balcony Suite 1111

Where: Mondrian Los Angeles,

8440 Sunset Boulevard,

West Hollywood, CA

Price: from US $439 per night

Tel: +1 323 650 8999

www.mondrianhotel.com

dotwnews.com July 2013 85


Review

All that glitters

Indulge in a spa experience fit for royalty with Saray Spa’s

‘Jewels of Arabia Journey’ at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

WORDS: Rebecca Haddad

When a spa

treatment

promises the

healing benefits

of precious stones, I’m often

sceptical. I have heard of finely

crushed gemstones being used to

exfoliate, but until recently, I had

not heard of gemstone-infused

oils. What other health benefits

can you possibly take away from

aesthetically pleasing minerals?

It is with this in mind that I

arrive at Saray Spa at JW Marriott

Marquis in Dubai’s Business Bay

district. It seems fitting that I

am going to experience the spa’s

‘Jewels of Arabia Journey’ in the

Middle East’s capital of opulence.

Taking the lift to the third floor,

my eyes have trouble adjusting

to the dark, dimly lit spa

entrance, which is surprisingly

quiet given the commotion

of construction outside.

I am ushered to a small,

candle-lit waiting area and left

for a few minutes to take in my

surroundings, which are designed

to resemble the caravanserai

(roadside inns) of the old Silk Road.

I am soon led to the changing room

and given a silk robe and amenities

kit. My therapist, Laraine, then

leads me to the dimly lit treatment

room, where the spa’s zen interior

design continues.

“We’ll start with the Arabian

foot ritual,” Laraine explains,

washing my feet in water infused

with salt from the Dead Sea,

while I press her with questions

about the precise role of the

stones in this treatment. I learn

that each gemstone (diamond,

sapphire, ruby and emerald)

possesses a different type of

energy, so the oil used in the

treatment depends on what

condition I want treated and how

I want to feel at the end. My aim

is to feel relaxed yet energised,

which means sapphire-infused

oil for the body (good for easing

muscle tension) and ruby-infused

oil for my face, to balance and

revitalise the skin.

Laraine sets to work loosening my back muscles with ease using

eucalyptus and avocado oil infused with sapphires, and it isn’t long

before my mind starts to wander. Although this treatment is described

as an Arabian journey, I find the experience rather multicultural,

from the musical mix of Oriental and Arabian sounds playing in the

background to the massage itself, which is a combination of techniques

from around the world, including Swedish and Thai massage.

Eighty minutes later, my body feels loose and relaxed. The eucalyptus

from the oil energises my skin in a similar way to peppermint oil —

though, I remind myself, that might be the healing powers of the stones.

A 70-minute facial follows, starting with cleansing and exfoliation

followed by a honey mask and then a massage with ruby-infused rose

oil. After the procedure, cooled jade stones are gently rolled over my

face. “In the Orient, jade is believed to bring good health and fortune,”

Laraine explains. Whatever the stones represent, they definitely make

a refreshing addition to the treatment.

After my 150 minutes are up, I explore the spa’s other facilities,

including sauna, circulation shower and steam room. I also have a

sneak peek at the spa’s much-talked-about Dead Sea Floatation Pool,

which is housed in its own treatment room and used exclusively in

Saray’s Signature Dead Sea Journey.

Upon leaving, I am given an aromatic candle to take back into the

bustling world outside. Regardless of whether you believe in the powers

of precious stones, the experience certainly does what it promises. And

I will definitely be making a return visit — that Dead Sea Floatation

Pool looks all too inviting. n

The important bit

What: Jewels of

Arabia Journey

Where: Saray Spa,

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Cost: AED 1,620

(US $441)

Book: +971 4 414 0000

www.marriott.com

dotwnews.com July 2013 87


ON THE ROAD

ASTON MARTIN V12 VANTAGE S

Engine: 6.0-litre V12 If you weren’t one of the

Power: 565 bhp lucky few who managed

Torque: 620 Nm to snap up an Aston Martin

0-100kph: 3.9 secs One-77, here’s a chance to get

Top speed: 330 kph your hands on the next best

Origin: Gaydon, UK thing. The new V12 Vantage

Cost: GBP 138,000 S is the fastest production

(US $212,000 vehicle to emerge from the

Aston Martin stable, with a

new seven-speed Sportshift

III AMT (automatic manual

transmission) gearbox

and a new exhaust system,

derived from the One-77,

that accentuates the roar of

the massive V12 engine. The

interior is also modelled after

the limited-edition hypercar,

and the 10-spoke alloy wheels

appear to have come straight

from the racetrack.


MASERATI GHIBLI S Q4

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 410 bhp

Torque: 550 Nm

0-100kph: 4.8 secs

Top speed: 284 kph

Origin: Modena, Italy

Cost: TBA

Despite sounding like a

character from The Lord of

the Rings, the new Maserati

Ghibli is set to become a

reality. The sporty fourdoor

is Maserati’s first

ever attempt at a mid-size

sedan, with design elements

that resemble the larger

Quattroporte and sportier

touches that hint at the

GranTurismo and the classic

Maserati A6 GCS from the

’50s. The top-spec Ghibli S Q4

has a twin-turbo engine with

all-wheel drive system and

eight-speed transmission.

dotwnews.com February 2013 89


Motoring

Ignition

THE SMARTER CAR

Sleek design, athletic-performance and a bundle of

technology make the Mercedes-Benz SL 500 Roadster

the ultimate driving companion

WORDS: Joe Mortimer

THE line between high performance

and luxury has been blurred in

recent years, as carmakers around

the world (but let’s face it, mainly

in Europe) grow increasingly

competitive. There are supercars

with luxurious interiors, and luxury

saloons that behave like sports cars,

but invariably, the carmakers fall

short in at least one aspect of these

hybrid animals. Trust the Germans

to put an end to that.

Mercedes-Benz has been

making automobiles for longer than

most, and its no surprise that they

have become very good at it. Enter

the SL 500 Roadster, a mediumsized

convertible with a hardtop

roof that disappears into its rather

attractive rear-end in seconds

to reveal a sleek and streamlined

vehicle that is a delight to behold.

The muscular front end, with

wide air intakes low to the ground

and signature SL air vents on the

hood and sides, makes the SL 500

look like a refined version of the

SLS with a few more curves and

a more mature look.

Matte-finish gunmetal grey paint

with polished aluminium accents

give the car a serious and slightly

aggressive finish, and the AMG

body kit, low-profile run-flat tyres

and sweeping lines running down

the contoured exterior give the

impression of constant motion.

Inside, the seats are upholstered

in rich nut brown nappa leather

and the dash is finished in

hand-stitched black leather

with dark brushed aluminium

trim. The central console belies

the complexity of the onboard

computer, and the optional Harman

Kardon speakers can convert the

entire interior into a surround sound

multimedia booth. It’s a masculine

environment that will appeal to

technology fans and drivers alike.

The driver’s seat can be adjusted

to provide the right environment for

various conditions: a comfortable

configuration for touring, or a firm,

upright posture for more demanding

driving, for example. Dynamic seat

controls that apply pressure in the

opposite direction to the body’s

movement when cornering can

be turned on or off at any time, as

can the in-seat massage system

with four different settings.

NUTS & BOLTS

Engine: 4.6-litre V8 BiTurbo

Power: 435 bhp

0-100kph: 4.6 secs

Top speed: 250 kph (limited)

Origin: Stuttgart, Germany

Cost: from US $116,300.

This model $141,553

Driving the SL 500 with the

Driving Assist package feels like

you have a co-pilot sat with you

every step of the way. Vibrations in

the steering wheel and on-screen

warnings alert you if you stray into

another lane, get too close to the

car in front, or if there is a car in

your blind spot when you indicate

to change lanes, allowing you to

concentrate on more important

things – like driving.

You can almost feel the

engineering that went into creating

the 4.6-litre V8 when you drive the

SL 500. It is a powerful but refined

engine that drives like a mature

city car until instructed otherwise,

at which point it will propel you

forward to the electronically limited

250 kph in very little time at all.

If I had one complaint it would be

that the big V8 engine seems too

quiet, even with the top down, and

the seven-speed tiptronic paddles

were quite slow to respond when

in Manual mode. It is at medium

speeds that the SL 500 seems to

excel, gripping the road like a track

athlete around tight corners and

lunging ahead when called upon to

do so, and even with the AMG sports

suspension, the ride is smooth.

Make no mistake, the SL 500

is not a supercar; rather, it’s a sleek,

sporty roadster that is suave and

sophisticated on the outside,

and intelligent and thoughtful inside.

Its adaptable performance means it

can be naughty or nice depending on

your mood, and it looks very, very good.

It might just be the perfect partner. ■

90 July 2013 dotwnews.com


Anantara Dhigu Resort

& Spa Maldives

The Residence, Maldives

Niyama, A Per Aquum Resort, Maldives

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, Maldives W Retreat & Spa - Maldives One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

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L i v e t h e L e g e n d a t a p h r o d i t e h i L L s


The beautiful, sun-drenched island of Cyprus is steeped in myth, legend and

tradition and has countless wonders within its shores. Nestled in the midst of a

protected forest, located just 10 miles east of Pafos and overlooking the crystal blue

waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the award-winning five-star Aphrodite Hills Resort

is one of those unique and awe-inspiring wonders. This luxurious 234-hectare

resort is magnificently positioned on two plateaux divided by a dramatic ravine, and

commands breathtaking views of the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek

goddess of love, where it is said she emerged from the waves.

The first of its kind in Cyprus, Aphrodite Hills Resort is an opulent and idyllic

escape for families and couples alike. Its diverse range of first-class facilities offers

something to suit each and every visitor; whether it’s relaxation, sports facilities,

fine dining, entertainment or top quality business amenities you desire, the resort

offers it all.

At the heart of the resort, the charming and picturesque Village Square has a

diverse selection of shops including car and bike rentals, a supermarket, Costa

Coffee and Häagen-Dazs. There is also a wonderful variety of bars and restaurants

to choose from and a 24-hour medical centre. Every year, many festivals, markets,

holidays and charity events are celebrated at the Village Square. The quaint and

enchanting St. Catherine’s Chapel, adjacent to the Square, is a blissful and heavenly

setting for the perfect wedding or christening.

The five-star InterContinental Hotel stands proudly at the heart of the resort and

fabulously blends the classic with the contemporary. Ideal for couples and families,

the hotel is the perfect getaway, offering a selection of 290 luxurious guest rooms

and suites, all complete with high-quality amenities and 24-hour room service.

The elegant interior style combines a subtle fusion of modern design and

traditional Cypriot décor and each room features private terraces with a pool,

garden, golf or sea view. Hand-carved solid wood cabinets and traditional Cypriot

ceramics crafted by local artisans introduce a natural warmth and sophistication

to each room. Suites offer the option of additional interconnecting rooms, perfect

for young families, and there’s the added choice of an outdoor jacuzzi or a private

plunge pool overlooking the golf fairways and the Mediterranean Sea beyond.

The majestic 18-hole championship golf course is spread over 6,299 metres

offering a challenging mix of terrain. Catering to all ages and abilities, the three-hole

golf academy allows both new and seasoned players to learn or improve their game

and the team of resident PGA-qualified golf professionals can provide valuable

tuition. A driving range, pitching and chipping green, clubhouse and lounge, and

a pro-shop complete the world-class golf facilities.

The resort is also home to the award-winning Retreat Spa. Expert therapists

provide the ultimate in top-to-toe pampering in an exquisite and tranquil setting

with 27 treatment rooms, a health club, hair salon, thermae, pool, sundeck, gardens

and the Spa Restaurant and Juice Bar. There is a multitude of individual treatments

ranging from cleansing and relaxation to massages, hydrotherapy, manicures and

aromatherapy.

The Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, which has nine floodlit championship tennis

courts, hosts numerous tournaments throughout the year and events and classes

for all ages and abilities, including classes by Annabel herself. The on-site pro shop

offers a diverse range of tennis equipment and clothing, while Annabel’s Bar is a

welcome haven in which to relax after a game.

There are also two nearby exclusive beach clubs at child-friendly beaches, as

well as nature trails, horse riding facilities, mountain biking, live music shows, movie

nights, outdoor evening entertainment. The list of activities, events and facilities

available at Aphrodite Hills Resort goes on, but one thing is for certain - there is

something for each and every visitor at this amazing and unique resort.

INTERCONTINENTAL APHRODITE HILLS RESORT HOTEL

Aphrodite Avenue, Kouklia, 8509 Pafos, Cyprus Tel: +357 26 829 000

n Fax: +357 26 829 001 n E-mail: ic.cyprus@aphroditehills.com

n www.intercontinental.com/aphrodite or www.aphroditehills.com


Discover.

eXPerieNce.

LUXUrY.

ILTM opens the doors to an established, global community

of the luxury travel industry in a time-efficient format;

introducing select suppliers to exclusive buyers through

bespoke appointment programmes and networking

sessions. ILTM is the solution to growing your business

across precise, lucrative markets.

If you are an international luxury travel buyer or supplier,

register your interest at www.iltm.net/cannes


On the grapevine

Contributing editor Mary Gostelow rounds up the latest news,

gossip and insider tips from the world of luxury hospitality

Maldives private island

In the Maldives archipelago, the

exclusive Velaa Private Island resort

is scheduled to open this November

under the leadership of general

manager Hans Cauchi, who is also

a minor partner in the venture.

The 43-villa resort, whose name

translates as ‘turtle’ after the native

fauna of the island, will feature a

‘My Blend by Clarins’ spa. The main

shareholder and developer in the

venture is Czech entrepreneur

and billionaire Jirí Šmejc.

www.velaaisland.com

Fairmont comes to Ajman

Nestled in a relatively undiscovered

part of the UAE, Fairmont Ajman

will open in March 2014. Under

general manager Henny Schaeffer,

the 252-room hotel will be located

between The Ajman Palace and

the Kempinski Hotel Ajman. WiFi

has been promised throughout the

2,000 square metres of indoor

function areas, as well as outdoors

and on the 250-metre beach.

www.fairmont.com

Indigo Hotels go bespoke

IHG’s boutique Indigo brand is now

designing its hotels to reflect the

theme of their immediate locale.

The Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar,

for instance, has a lobby and upper

terrace that recall the ocean, to

complement its beachside location.

Hotel Indigo Bangkok, which opens in

2014, will feature designs that reflect

the world of radio broadcasting as

a tribute to its location on Wireless

Road. Facilities at the 180-room

hotel will include a rooftop bar.

www.hotelindigo.com

Big plans for Stanley Ranch

The former Stanley Ranch, at

the southern end of California’s

Napa Valley, has been producing

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir since

1888. Now a 195-room hotel,

with extensive meeting and spa

facilities, is being planned by

recently formed SKB Hotel Group,

of which former Mandarin Oriental

CEO Robert Riley is president.

The 38-hectare site will undergo

a US $275 million redevelopment

starting in spring 2014.

www.skbcos.com

dotwnews.com July 2013 95


VIP

THE OPEN

WORLD FUND

INAUGURATION,

CANNES

Anna Zhukov

takes us behind

the scenes at the

star-studded

inauguration party

for Open World

Fund at the Hôtel

du Cap-Eden-Roc

Models showcasing Chopard jewellery

InterContinental Carlton Cannes

EVENT

I was invited to celebrate the

launch of Open World Fund,

an independent organisation

established to support and

promote Russia’s film industry.

What better place to launch

such a glamorous initiative than

the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on

the Cap d’Antibes in the South of

France? This is just one of many

high-profile events that took place

during the Cannes International

Film Festival, which makes Cannes

one of the most exciting places in

the world to visit each spring.


AMBIANCE

After the inaugural speech, the black

carpet was rolled out for demure models

draped in dazzling gowns by Yanina

and glittering in Chopard jewellery,

which infused even more glamour to the

party. The beautiful location on the Cap

d’Antibes, combined with the free-flowing

champagne, music from DJ Sylvain

Armand and endless conversations meant

that many of my fellow guests and I chose

to forgo the afterparty at Gotha, the

hottest summertime club on La Croisette.

RUB SHOULDERS WITH

Among the guests were film producers,

directors, cinema owners, media

moguls, presenters, investors and

Russian aristocracy, all hosted by the

elegant Elena Romanova, co-founder

of Open World Fund.

The Carlton Terrace

Bâoli Cannes

STAY

If you want to meet the jet set, shy away

from hordes of onlookers, but still be in the

centre of all the action, you should check

in at the InterContinental Carlton Cannes.

The elegant Belle Époque hotel is steps

away from all the boutiques and the action

on La Croisette, and is a popular hotspot

for parties and intimate meetings. Many

celebrities enjoy staying here, perhaps

because of the private beach and pier.

DINE

On the lobby level of the Carlton is the

popular Bar des Célébrités. It boasts

an incredible menu, with autographed

messages left by famous patrons.

Signature drinks include the Lady Carlton,

created in honour of an English Lady

who lived at the hotel for 25 years. Bâoli

Cannes is a superb setting to escape for a

relaxed luncheon or a chilled night out.

AFTER DARK

Music fills the air after dusk, as guests

mingle on the Carlton Terrace to savour

the unrivalled views of the moonlit Bay

of Cannes. On the night after the event,

I invited my friends to join me here for a

long soirée of aperitifs, good conversation

and an enjoyable dinner of fresh native

Belon oysters and perfectly chilled Palmes

d’Or Vintage Rosé champagne.

MUST-DO

Make sure you’re ready for your close-up

and keep your oversized sunglasses

handy – photographers are everywhere

and they’re likely to assume you are a

celebrity. You will be saying bonjour and

au revoir to the glitterati and paparazzi

from dawn to dusk.

dotwnews.com July 2013 97


Connoisseur

An insider’s guide to the most

luxurious hotels in the world

Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

Mary

Gostelow

Luxury travel

connoisseur

TORONTO

Toronto always has plenty

of boutique and lifestyle

hangouts opening or about

to open, but here are three

sparkling new hotels from recognised

luxury brands. All are central and ideal

for those heading to the city’s annual

film or jazz festivals, or those visiting for

business and the enormous wealth of art

and culture in this lovely metropolis.

In alphabetical order, Four Seasons

Hotel Toronto leads the trio. It is billed

as the flagship of the company, which

has its global headquarters here. Owning

company Kingdom Holding has spent

no small fortune on this 55-floor block,

which opened in October 2012 under

general manager Dimitrios Zarikos. The

259-room hotel stretches up to the 21st

floor, with 210 residential apartments

above. Toronto-based design firm Yabu

Pushelberg has made a statement with

this hotel. The lobby soars skywards,

emphasising vertical lines, while metrewide

dandelion mobiles hanging above

the front desk give it a feminine touch.

There is also a lady’s touch in the

mezzanine restaurant, Café Boulud, run

by Daniel Boulud. Here Rosalie Wise,

wife of Four Seasons founder Isadore

Sharpe, has gone pretty wild, with

two-metre high pop-art wall renderings

by street artist MBW (right). Rooms

are typically Yabu Pushelberg, with soft

walnut-cream colours and cream bed

linens. Head for the 17-room spa, which

features Canadian granite, and the

indoor pool, lined with blue motherof-pearl

tiles. Also allow some time

for browsing the Yorkville boutiques

within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.

www.fourseasons.com

Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, run by GM Richard Cooke, is in a 65-floor tower

in the heart of Toronto on University Avenue. The small, three-floor house behind

the hotel is home to Soho House Toronto, an extension of the ultra-trendy Londonbased

Soho House Club (hotel guests need to be Club members to access this

hangout). The 202-room hotel is on the first 17 floors, with 334 residences above.

Designer James Cheng has created a lobby that flows over glass-topped floor panels

(with real fish swimming beneath) past a Fazioli grand piano, two finches called

Ronnie and Reggie in their hanging cage and an all-day buzz of locals sitting,

talking, drinking and meeting. Room 1741, with lovely west-facing views perfect

for watching the sunset over the financial area, is decorated in beige, avocado and

aubergine. You have a Momofuku restaurant next door and all-day dining in house,

as well as a 24-hour gym and a 20-metre pool that opens at six every morning.

www.shangri-la.com

For a hotel with ‘wow’ factor, check into Trump International Hotel & Tower

Toronto. Enter the lobby of this 65-floor block and you look across a sea of black

marble to an end wall of (more) black marble, embellished with a nine-by-threemetre

collage of crystal twigs. The 261-room hotel stretches from the ground floor

up to the 34th, with 118 residences above, and is presided over by general manager

Mickael Damelincourt. Visitors and locals alike hurry to STOCK Restaurant Bar &

Lounge on the 31st floor, a brilliant Elizabeth Blau creation. The two-floor wood-andlight

restaurant, with a mezzanine at one end, is buzzing day and evening, and has

stunning food and a sensational wine list. There are also bank-breaking whiskies in

the ground floor bar. Keep fit in the two-floor Quartz Crystal Spa and the 20-metre

salt-water infinity pool, with stunning patterned marble surrounding it. Room 2214,

a corner suite finished in soft taupe and eggplant, has a working fire.

www.trumphotelcollection.com

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

98 July 2013 dotwnews.com

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