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©2020 CHANEL®, Inc. *White gold with a thin layer of Rhodium plating for color.

IT WAS UNLIKE ANY OTHER CRUISE... We thought the shoreside experiences would be the highlight; we had no idea how much Regent’s Inside Alaska program would bring aboard. I loved being face-to-face with the adorable pygmy owl from the Alaska Raptor Center, and the local catch of the day was always fresh and perfectly prepared. But my personal favorite was getting to hear the story of Tlingit weaver Lily Hope. Her connection to her peoples’ tradition is as beautiful as the patterns she creates. It was really moving. The entire experience is unforgettable.




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Issue 23


18 THE FRONT PAGES WHAT’S WHAT From art, culture, and design to hotels, adventure, and travel.

24 WATCHES EVENING SPARKLE Dressed-up timepieces.

30 JEWELRY THE CHAIN GANG Chunky gold bracelets are a standout look this season.

34 THE LUXURY LOOK TRAVERSING THE LINKS Walk the fairways or ride?

40 TECH LISTEN UP The best headphones.

42 TECH HURTS SO GOOD Technically innovative fitness tools.

44 GETAWAYS VOLLEYS AND VINES Tennis and wine retreats.

52 GETAWAYS SPORTS FEVER How to get access.

54 ONE PLACE, TWO WAYS LOUISVILLE Traditional tastes and Southern surprises.


Lucky Move Collection | #TryYourLuck

BOUTIQUES NOW OPEN Aventura Mall, MIAMI | Westfield Century City, LOS ANGELES


56 NATURE SAVE THE SPECIES, SAVE THE WORLD The human toll on animal extinctions.

68 TRAVEL MAD FOR MADAGASCAR New efforts in sustainable growth tourism.

88 AUTOS SHOCK TREATMENT Performance cars get a new boost from electricity.

94 FASHION COMFORTABLY CHIC The right look is whatever feels good.


76 ADVENTURE RAPID OBSESSION Packrafting Mexico’s hidden Rio La Venta.

118 ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN RESORT LIVING Residences with hotel amenities and services.


128 FURNISHINGS JUST SAY OM Zen-like simplicity.

FLEURS DE JARDIN RAINBOW BY JACOB & CO. The new Rainbow version of the ground-breaking Fleurs de Jardin adds varying hues to this stunning feminine complication. Designed to recreate a beautiful garden of flowers on your wrist, this amazing timepiece is powered by a delicate butterfly tourbillon movement. The tourbillon, time display and upper level multicolored Sapphire flowers all turn around the dial clockwise, while the Mother-of-Pearl base set with Rainbow Sapphire flowers below turns counter-clockwise. The 18K Rose Gold case features a bezel and inner ring set with Rainbow Sapphires, and sitting atop the movement is a 288-facet Jacob-cut Tsavorite. According to legend, treasure is found at the end of the rainbow, but with the new Fleurs de Jardin Rainbow, you need look no further than your wrist. N e w Yo r k 4 8 E a s t 5 7 S t re e t , N e w Yo r k , N e w Yo r k + 1 . 2 1 2 . 7 1 9 . 5 8 8 7 F o u r S e a s o n s H o t e l D e s B e r g u e s G e n e v a 3 3 , Q u a i d e s B e r g u e s , 12 01 G e n e v a , S w i t z e r l a n d + 41 2 2 316 0 0 9 6 jacobandco.com


132 WELLNESS TRAVEL DESERT OASES Morocco is a mecca for sport and fitness.

138 WELLNESS RETREATS TAKE A HEALTH ESCAPE Fitness retreats worldwide.

160 WELLNESS FITNESS GREAT MINDS Groundbreaking therapies are making brains the new brawn.

164 WELLNESS FITNESS THE HEALTH CLUB REVOLUTION The new must-have memberships.

166 WELLNESS BEAUTY TREATMENTS TRENDING Self-care and well-being rituals and products.

170 SPORTS THE A TO Z OF POLO An international affair.

178 GOLF CLUBHOUSE RULES The new generation of private golf clubs.

188 REAL ESTATE CHANGING CITY SKYLINES Super-tall residential buildings are reshaping urban landscapes.

192 ARTIST PROFILE NATURE STUDY Painter Kirby Fredendall.

204 THE LAST PAGES WHAT’S NEXT Restaurants, bars, shopping, books, food, and drink.


152 WELLNESS FITNESS INTO THE WOODS The Japanese practice of forest bathing.

156 WELLNESS FITNESS COMPETING INTERESTS Amateur triathletes up the ante to win.

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On the Cover


irby Fredendall painted abstractions for more than a decade before recently switching to landscapes. She is a native of Pennsylvania, where she still resides, but many of her compositions are based on the view from the porch of her family’s lake house in the Adirondack Mountains. Her pictures emphasize certain features, particularly the chromatic vibrancy of the sky and reflected light on the water. Fredendall paints in oils, sometimes on canvas, but more interestingly also on sheets of tin treated with acid. The chemical bath leaves stains and drips that show through the oil paint. One example is Finding a Path 11, the work reproduced on the cover. Completed in February 2020, the 16- by 20-inch painting on tin depicts a lake leading to a distant shore beneath salmon clouds and a turquoise sky that are mirrored in the water. The piece is part of an ongoing series that explores light glimpsed through tree trunks. Two trees in the foreground are acid-blotched with a spotted effect that convincingly suggests birch bark. But, Fredendall is more concerned with the general impression than the details. She wants her paintings to convey the state of mind she has when immersed in landscape: a feeling of calm, contentment, and inspiration. LUXURY MAGAZINE’s profile of Kirby Fredendall begins on page 192.



9 F LO O R S , 9 S U I T E S


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PUBLISHED BY LUXURY CARD PUBLISHER Audrey Arnold audrey@luxurymagazine.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Deborah Frank



Jorge S. Arango

DETROIT Dan Flavin Dflavin@flavinandassoc.net

Rebecca Baldridge Chris Brinlee Jr. Jackie Caradonio Alexandra Cheney Roger Cox Amanda Eberstein


Mark Ellwood


Jason Edward Kaufman

PHOTO EDITOR Kristen Hill CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Frankie Batista Jack Guy Jonathan Pozniak CONTRIBUTING STYLISTS Marie-Lou Bartoli Paul Frederick Heidi Meek

Mark Hacking David Keith Irene Rawlings Ted Alan Stedman Alix Strauss Shaun Tolson Frank Vizard Shivani Vora COPY CHIEF Jennifer Ashton Ryan COPY EDITORS Jocelyn Winn Jenna Sims

DUBAI/UAE Alexandra Young Alex@konexinternational.com ENGLAND/UK Rick Plata Gravitas Sales & Marketing Rick@gravitassales.com ITALY Silvermedia, Ferruccio and Filippo Silvera Info@silvera.it SOUTHEAST Katherine Matthews Katherine@robinsonmedia.net WEST COAST Wanderlust Media Nicole Bordges Nicole@wanderlust-media.com Lisa Magnus Lisa@wanderlust-media.com

Produced exclusively for Luxury Card members. All contents of LUXURY MAGAZINE are the intellectual property of Black Card Mag LLC and/or Black Card LLC d/b/a Luxury Card (“Publisher”) and/or the respective photographers, writers, artists, advertisers, and advertising agencies; areprotected by intellectual property laws; and may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcast or otherwise exploited in whole or in part in any manner without the express written permission of the intellectual property owners. © 2020 Black Card Mag LLC and Black Card LLC d/b/a Luxury Card. All rights reserved. Views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher, which makes reasonable efforts to verify its content. Publisher expressly disclaims and does not assume responsibility for the validity of any claims or statements made, including content errors, omissions, or infringing content. Any reliance placed on such content is strictly at reader’s own risk. Advertisements and offers are the responsibility of the individual advertising entities, and do not constitute a legal offer by Publisher. Publisher is not responsible for price fluctuations. Prices are based on those accurate at press time. Please consult with a Luxury Card Concierge for current prices. Luxury Card marks are property of Black Card LLC. BLACKCARD is a registered trademark used under license. Luxury Card products are issued by Barclays Bank Delaware pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated, owner of registered trademarks MASTERCARD, WORLD ELITE MASTERCARD and the circles design. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2020 Black Card LLC.

STEALTH UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS, CROSS CLASSICS HAVE A SLEEK NEW LOOK. Introducing our black micro-knurl finish. So quietly compelling and rewarding in hand.



Built to showcase the outstanding modern art collection of the Turkish billionaire Erol Tabanca, the wood-and-bamboo Odunpazari Modern Museum in Eskisehir, Turkey, was designed by celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (who also did the stadium for the Tokyo Summer Olympics). omm.art Ballerina: Fashion’s Muse (right) chronicles the influence of classical ballet on haute couture—Dior, Balenciaga, Balmain—from the early 1930s to the late 1970s. The exhibition at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology is accompanied by a catalog of archival photos by Avedon, Steichen, Beaton, and Man Ray (Vendome Press, $60). Through April 18. fitnyc.edu



The Chatwal has created the Love is a Broadway Show package, including a two-night stay, Frozen-themed afternoon tea, pre-theater dinner at The Lambs Club, four tickets to Frozen, and a backstage tour of St. James Theatre. $1,595 for four people; thechatwalny.com

Ansel Adams: In Our Time displays Adams’ iconic work alongside 20 contemporary photographers, exploring the changing American landscape. At the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, May 23–September 7. crystalbridges.org One of the most important private collections of French modernist art, assembled between 1907 and 1936, is being shown together for the first time in Vienna in Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, Hodler: The Hahnloser Collection. At the Albertina Museum in Vienna through May 24. albertina.at

See the career-spanning exhibition of 90-year-old artist Yayoi Kusama’s installations, paintings, and iconic dot sculptures (many on display for the first time in the United States) in Kusama: Cosmic Nature (above) at the New York Botanical Garden, May 9– October 1. nybg.org

A unique look at one of the UK’s most important living artists, David Hockney: Drawing From Life displays 50 sketches dating from Hockney’s art-school days in the 1950s to the present. At the National Portrait Gallery, London, through June 28. npg.org.uk

Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection showcases classic cars from the Metallica guitarist’s immense garage. Showstoppers include a 1934 Packard Aquarius (above) and a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr. At the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles through October. petersen.org 

Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Bottom Right: James Hetfield Collection; FIT; The Museum of Underwater Art; NYBG

The Museum of Underwater Art (right) launches in April in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Townsville, Queensland. The first installation, a sculpture named Ocean Siren, changes color to reflect critical rises in ocean temperature. moua.com.au

Eclipse at Half Moon (above) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, has 57 new rooms and suites, adding to the Half Moon brand’s 210 accommodations. Rose Hall Villas features 28 five- to seven-bedroom villas, each with a private butler, housekeeper, and cook. The rooms are tall and airy with expansive outdoor living spaces and Caribbean views. From $699; halfmoon.com

Smart, sharp, and comfortable, Hotel Calimala opened in 2019 in a historic building in the center of Florence. Boldly revamped by renowned Israeli architect Alex Meitlis, the interiors are a sophisticated mélange of marble, terrazzo, and contemporary furnishings. A rooftop terrace (perfect for an aperitivo) overlooks the Centro Storico neighborhood. From $254; hotelcalimala.com More than 13 years in the making, Charleston’s Hotel Bennett (below) has 179 gracious and classically Southern guest rooms, a French patisserie, two charming bars, and a rooftop pool overlooking historic Marion Square. From $499; hotelbennett.com

In a cinematic setting between beach and jungle on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, the newly opened Palmaïa - The House of AïA (above) offers swim-out suites, an open-air gym, and a dedicated wellness program dubbed The Architects of Life with its in-house shaman. It features an array of ancient rituals and practices for the mind and body. From $1,200/ person/night, including meals; thehouseofaia.com



Building on its well-deserved reputation for easy elegance and a life-in-balance wellness philosophy, One&Only opens Nyungwe House (stay among the tree tops) and Gorilla’s Nest (above), both in Rwanda. Other 2020 openings include Desaru Coast in Malaysia, Portonovi in Montenegro on the still largely undiscovered western coast of the Balkans, and One Za’abeel in Dubai’s business district (the first One&Only Urban Resort). oneandonlyresorts.com An eye-catching, architectdesigned boutique hotel on Isla Holbox (the hip Yucatán beach destination), Punta Caliza has 12 rooms with doors that open wide onto private plunge pools. A block from the water’s edge; a staff member carries your chair and umbrella over. From $240, including breakfast; puntacaliza.com

Sacromonte has been open more than a year but is still a well-kept secret of Maldonado, Uruguay. Four small, designforward houses (eight more will open in 2020) with smoked-glass window walls look out onto vineyards. Farmto-table restaurant. From $450; sacromonte.com Global Expansions, the partnership between actor Robert De Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, shows no signs of slowing down. Their first Nobu Hotel opened in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace seven years ago—blending old-Japanese influences with ultra-modern design. The newest properties are in Los Cabos, Barcelona, Chicago, London Portman Square, and Warsaw. The best part: Each hotel restaurant features Nobu signature dishes. nobuhotels.com 

Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Bottom Right: James Hetfield Collection; FIT; The Museum of Underwater Art; NYBG

What’s What HOTELS


Where every detail makes luxury seem simple, and a life of beauty, balance, and grace still thrives. This is life defined.

8 5 0 . 2 13 . 5 5 0 0 — A L Y S B E A C H . C O M


The Scott Dunn Polar Explorer Antarctica Ski Tour offers keen ski adventurers a chance to take on the slopes in an off-the-map part of the world where few have skied before and find the thrill of retracing the route of legendary polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. November 2020, 19 nights. From $24,500/person; scottdunn.com/us During the Second Annual Motor Valley Festival in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region, book a private visit to Ferrari, Ducati, and Lamborghini (with test drives on a closed track), attend an expo of classic cars, or watch the Mille Miglia, a historic reenactment of what Enzo Ferrari called “the most beautiful race in the world.” motorvalley.it Fairmont Hotels partners with Airsprint Private Aviation to debut The Origin of Spirits. Choose among three very different experiences: Ultimate Rum Run (Barbados and Bermuda); the Perfect G&T (London); Tequila ‘n’ Takeoff (Mexico and Scottsdale, Arizona). Packages for six guests from $320,000; fairmont.com



Serious oenophiles will want a seat on TCS World Travel’s private jet expedition, Wines of Australia and New Zealand. Led by top Australian wine expert Peter Bourne, the trip includes exclusive access to top wineries, private tastings of rare vintages and old-vine varietals, and stays at five-star resorts like The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Just 15 guests, November 8–21, 2020. $81,950/person; tcsworldtravel.com Fans flock to the annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering (below), a Peninsula Hotels’ Signature Motoring Event, to celebrate beautiful design, innovative engineering, and general camaraderie among fellow aficionados. Historic bikes and iconic off-road rides line the pristine lawns of Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California. This year’s event scheduled for May 16 toasts the 50th anniversary of Harley-Davidson’s XR750. Tickets from $90, including lunch; signatureevents. peninsula.com

The Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages’ first cruise ship, sets sail with adults-only cruises from Miami to the Caribbean and the Riviera Maya. Featured stop: Virgin Voyages’ new private island resort, The Beach Club at Bimini. Top hospitality designer Tom Dixon created the retro-futuristic Rockstar suites. virginvoyages.com

Ponant debuts two ultra-luxe expedition yachts—Le Bellot (above) and Le Jacques Cartier— for exploring the world’s most remote regions. Each yacht has 92 cabins and suites with private balconies or terraces. Crowd favorite The Blue Eye is an under-the-waterline lounge for cocktails accompanied by undersea views. From $3,790/ person/seven days; us.ponant.com —Irene Rawlings u

Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Top: Natural Selection; Ponant; Quail Motorcycle Gathering/Tosh Monday

Angola Flying Safaris (left) transports groups of guests and National Geographic scientists to glimpse Africa’s most remote wildlife. Travel the Okavango Delta via dugout canoe to see hippos, elephants, and crocs. On dry land see lions, leopards, giraffes, and rhinos. 12 days. Itineraries customized for 2–10 guests. From $20,500/person; naturalselection.travel


On the white sands of Nassau’s Cable Beach, the next era of Bahamian sophistication has arrived. So, too, has this opportunity for unique residential ownership. At Baha Mar, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts ® and SLS Hotels offer a limited collection of turnkey, ocean-facing one- to six-bedroom Residences and waterside Villas. Indulge in the life that these exceptional Residences can bring: unsurpassed comfort, personal service, and a spectacular array of experiences and owner entitlements, all with the stunning beauty of the archipelago’s islands at your doorstep. Complement your legacy with a home at Baha Mar. Prices from $726,500 to $25 million An array of tax, residency and financial benefits may apply

+1 242 788 8866 residences@bahamar.com | residences.bahamar.com BAHA MAR CASINO




S E N S E ®, A R O S E W O O D S PA

These materials do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy to residents of any jurisdiction where prior qualification is required unless the Developer has previously met such qualifications and no marketing or sales literature will be knowingly forwarded to or disseminated in such jurisdictions. Offers may only be presented and/or accepted at the sales center for Baha Mar. Any offering or programs contained herein are void where prohibited by law. Notice to New York Residents:  The complete offering terms are set forth in the New York Offering Plans, as amended, for Luxury Residences and Hotel at Baha Mar and Lifestyle Residences and Hotel at Baha Mar available from the Sponsor.  (File Nos. CP13-0215 and CP13-0216. For New Jersey Residents - This advertisement is a solicitation for the sale of Units in: Luxury Residences and Hotel at Baha Mar: N.J. Reg. No. 19-33-0006; and Lifestyle Residences and Hotel at Baha Mar: N.J. Reg. No. 19-33-0007. For California Residents - WARNING: THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE HAS NOT EXAMINED THIS OFFERING, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE CONDITION OF TITLE, THE STATUS OF BLANKET LIENS ON THE PROJECT (IF ANY), ARRANGEMENTS TO ASSURE PROJECT COMPLETION, ESCROW PRACTICES, CONTROL OVER PROJECT MANAGEMENT, RACIALLY DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES (IF ANY), TERMS, CONDITIONS, AND PRICE OF THE OFFER, CONTROL OVER ANNUAL ASSESSMENTS (IF ANY), OR THE AVAILABILITY OF WATER, SERVICES, UTILITIES, OR IMPROVEMENTS. IT MAY BE ADVISABLE FOR YOU TO CONSULT AN ATTORNEY OR OTHER KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSIONAL WHO IS FAMILIAR WITH REAL ESTATE AND DEVELOPMENT LAW IN THE COUNTRY WHERE THIS SUBDIVISION IS SITUATED. Any purchase of a Residence should be for personal use and enjoyment and should be without reliance upon any Brand identification or potential for future profit, rental income, economic or tax advantages. Baha Mar is not owned, offered, marketed, sold, constructed or developed by Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, L.L.C. (“Rosewood”), SBE Hotel Management, LLC (“SBE”) or any of their affiliates (collectively, the “Brands”) and the Brands do not make any representations, warranties or guarantees whatsoever with respect to the Residences, Baha Mar or any part thereof. There exists no joint venture, joint enterprise, partnership, ownership, agency relationship, broker relationship or similar relationship between the Developer and Rosewood or sbe as to the Residences or the development, offering, marketing, sale or solicitation of Residences. The Developer’s use of the names of the Brands (Rosewood, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, sbe and SLS) is pursuant to limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable and non-sublicensable licenses from the Brands (the “Licenses”). The Licenses may be terminated or may expire without renewal and without the consent of, the Association or any owner of a Unit at the Condominium, in which case neither the Residences nor any part of Baha Mar will be identified as branded project affiliated with such Brand. ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF DEVELOPER. Prices are subject to change without notice. All illustrations and depictions are artist renderings used to depict lifestyle only and are not intended to be scenes from or within Baha Mar. Actual improvements may be subject to change and views may not be available from all Residences. Future development can limit or eliminate views from a particular Residence. Any description or depiction of furnishings or fixtures is intended to be illustrative of the quality of furnishings and fixtures to be provided in the Residences and is not intended to display what will be available in the actual Residences. Copyright © CTF BM Operations Ltd. One Baha Mar Boulevard, Nassau, Bahamas 2019 - All rights reserved.

Evening Sparkle

Timepieces dressed up with diamonds add a touch of flash to the night. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JONATHAN POZNIAK MARKET EDITOR PAUL FREDERICK



ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Blacklight, $83,500; rogerdubuis.com Opposite: GRAFF Inspired by Twombly diamond watch, price upon request; graff.com



PARMIGIANI FLEURIER Kalpa Piccola Snow, $82,600; parmigiani.com L.U.CHOPARD Flying T Twin Baguette, price upon request; chopard.com Opposite: VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Sweet Alhambra, $14,700; vancleefarpels.com





CORUM Miss Golden Bridge, $34,100; corum-watches.com CARTIER Baignoire Allongée High Jewelry watch, price upon request; cartier.com Opposite: PATEK PHILIPPE Men’s Calatrava, $40,600; patek.com





The Chain Gang

Chunky gold bracelets, worn alone or layered, are a standout look this season. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JONATHAN POZNIAK MARKET EDITOR PAUL FREDERICK

POMELLATO Iconica bracelet, from $24,000; pomellato.com Opposite, from left: DAVID WEBB Bent Nail bracelet, $12,300; davidwebb.com TIFFANY & CO. HardWear link bracelet, $4,600; tiffany.com VERDURA Curb-Link bracelet watch, $25,500; verdura.com





CHANEL Première Chain watch with diamonds, $26,900; chanel.com MONICA RICH KOSANN Elizabeth link bracelet, $6,500; monicarichkosann.com JACOB & CO. Cuban link bracelet with diamonds, $68,000; jacobandco.com



Westfield Garden State Plaza


Visit our website for a full store directory.


Traversing the Links

Walk the fairways or ride? Whichever you prefer, there’s a golf cart, golf shoe, and stand bag to do it with style. PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANKIE BATISTA STYLING BY HEIDI MEEK


ark Twain is widely given credit for once opining that “golf is a good walk spoiled.” Were the American author still alive to see the Garia Via, he might have changed his mind. Built upon a lightweight aluminum chassis, this street-legal low-speed vehicle (LSV) flashes custom, 12-inch aluminum wheels; a premium instrument cluster; sport seats; and a built-in, dash-mounted refrigerator. An optional Masonry package further enhances the interior with clearcoated, carbon-fiber accents, and the brand’s signature, angled golf bag compartment at the



rear provides players with easy access to clubs. For purists who like to walk, the Vessel Player 2.0 Stand Bag is the best choice. As the golf bag manufacturer for some of the PGA Tour’s top players (including Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood, and Jordan Spieth), the San Diego company has established an almost-decade-long reputation for crafting premium, understated products. The Player 2.0 is configured in either a 6-way or 14-way top and made from a microsuedebacked synthetic leather that is both durable and easy to clean. This latest version of Vessel’s top-selling bag now features reverse tape-coated waterproof zippers,

interchangeable straps, genuine leather handles, and carbon-fiber legs. Also appealing to walkers are TRUE OG Premium shoes. Featuring a breathable, waterproof construction and made from soft, supple full-grain leather, the edition (as the name suggests) is the most luxurious made by TRUE linkswear, a Tacoma, Washington– based company co-founded by PGA Tour pro Ryan Moore in 2009. A pair weighs less than 13 ounces and sports a natural-width toe box and a zero-drop platform, which replicates the sensation of standing and walking barefoot. As the brand’s slogan suggests, “enjoy the walk.” —Shaun Tolson 



VESSEL Player 2.0 Stand Bag, from $345; vesselbags.com TITLEIST clubs, $1,399 for a set of eight; titleist.com G/FORE polo, $125, trousers, $165, shoes, $225, and glove, $35; gfore.com Previous page: TITLEIST iron, $175; titleist.com G/FORE sweater, $195, polo, $125, and hat, $35; gfore.com



GARIA Via, from $19,682; garia.com GALVIN GREEN vest, $199; galvingreen.com J.LINDEBERG polo, $95; jlindebergusa.com HUGO BOSS pants, $158, and hat, $78; hugoboss.com PUMA belt, $50; pumagolf.com TRUE OG Premium shoes, $179; truelinkswear.com G/FORE glove, $35; gfore.com



A Walker’s Paradise

Check into this coastal retreat where the game of golf is played as it was originally intended.

Since its grand opening 21 years ago, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (bandondunesgolf.com)— set along the sandy dunes of Oregon’s southern coast—has delivered an ever-growing lineup of authentic links courses that reflect developer Mike Keiser’s vision of the sport. That includes the resort’s commitment to being a walking-only golf destination, one that allows golfers to experience the game in all possible conditions. During his first week at the resort in 2005, Steven Borror, the director of golf, had to help a group of four friends buy the appropriate gear to play in the rain, but then felt badly a couple of hours later when the weather really turned for the worse, raining harder than he had ever seen. Borror went out to meet the group on the 18th green and was ready to apologize for sending them out in such extreme conditions, but before he could even utter an “I’m sorry,” the golfers gushed about how much fun the experience was and asked if they could play nine more holes.



“It was in that moment that I realized I was in a completely different place,” he says. “When guests gear up and go out and play, that’s what they tend to talk about and remember the most. “There’s more intimacy and there’s greater camaraderie when you’re walking a golf course with your friends,” he adds. “It gives you that time to really enjoy each other and every moment as you go along. That’s the Bandon experience and why it’s so magical.” Scottish course architect David McLay Kidd, who designed Bandon Dunes’ first eponymous 18-hole course, shares Borror’s beliefs. “We’re all striving for authenticity and experience,” Kidd says, “and when you play golf in a beautiful place without walking, you’re getting neither. You don’t get to take in the fresh air or see the view or laugh with your buddies as you walk the fairways. “Want to play golf the way it was meant to be?” Kidd asks. “Put on some comfortable shoes, put an extra pair of socks in your bag, and go walk.” —S.T. u

Escape to the fabled



H O R S E S H O E B AY R E S O R T R E S E R VAT I O N S 87 7. 611. 0112


E X C L U S I V E C L U B M E M B E R S H I P 8 3 0 . 598 . 784 6

4 5  M I N U T E S W E ST O F A U S T I N | M E M B E R S H I P @ H S B R E S O R T. COM | C L U B H S B R E S O R T. COM


Listen Up

For every action, there is a sound reaction—and these headphones let you hear it best. BY FRANK VIZARD






Sennheiser HD450BT Headphones with active noise cancellation are de riguer for combating high-noise environments like airplanes. And while Sony and Bose have dominated this space, German headphone maker Sennheiser debuts the folding HD450BT model as an effective and stylish alternative. Users manipulate an equalizer on the phone app to optimize sound quality for speech content like podcasts, and although there is a wireless Bluetooth link, an old-school wired connection is available if signal interference occurs and requires a plug-in. $199; en-us.sennheiser.com

JBL Club 700BT If you’re not comfortable with the in-ear fit of headphone buds, then a lightweight alternative is on-ear headphones like the new Club 700BT. Most headphones are tweaked to sound good rather than accurate, but JBL’s Club wireless headphones adhere to music studio performance specifications, and a Personal-Fi feature lets you plot an equalization curve like a professional musician. For extra versatility, you can converse with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Metal hinges ensure durability. $150; jbl.com

Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro Apple’s Airpod in-ear buds spawned hordes of bee-sized competitors, and the best among them are identified by their technical prowess. Soundcore’s Liberty 2 Pro aligns a tiny Knowles balanced armature driver dedicated to mid- and upper frequencies with a circular, bassspecific driver. This coaxial arrangement is common in home and car speakers, but it is a first for wireless earbuds designed with feedback from Grammy Award–winning engineers. A phone app lets you customize the experience. $150; soundcore.com

HifiMan Ananda-BT With large, comfortable ear pads, the wireless Ananda-BT is surprisingly lightweight for its size. It also reproduces sound differently than most dynamic models, using instead a planar magnetic tech that yields lower distortion. This approach favors minute sonic detail, stereo imaging tools, and an appreciation for instrument placement over deafening volume. The model is made for music lovers, and it also appeals to gamers (boom microphone included) wanting sound positioning to gain the slight edge required for victory. $999; hifiman.com


INTENSE WORKOUT Audio-Technica ATH-SPORT90BT The ATH-SPORT90BT might be the standard against which all other fitness headphones can be measured. A switchable ambient noise control blocks out indoor distractions while allowing environmental sounds through for safe outdoor use. The headphones are water-resistant and washable, and wirelessly pair with a smartphone via Bluetooth, though the built-in 4 GB music player means you don’t have to carry a smartphone while working out. Voice alerts signal when features are activated or battery power is low. When not in use, magnets in the earbuds keep them secure around your neck. $159; audio-technica.com

Courtesy Imaes, From Top: Audio-Technica; Neuvanna. Opposite Page, Courtesy Images From Left: Sennheiser; JBL; Soundcore; HifiMan

STRESS RELIEF Neuvana Xen If music to your ears can help reduce stress, then Xen should be part of your wellness program. Developed by Dr. Richard Cartledge, chief of cardiovascular surgery at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Florida, Xen stimulates the vagus nerve—the major pathway between brain and body—with a small electrical current via the left ear that creates a calming effect. It operates in three modes: one that syncs with your favorite music (song selection and musical genre choices affect the frequency of stimulation), a second that uses programmed patterns, and a third that uses ambient noise obtained via your phone’s microphone. Cartledge recommends 15-minute sessions twice daily to reduce stress, improve sleep, and aid digestion. Some caveats: The wireless Bluetooth connection is a bit cumbersome, as you have to pair both the headphones and the Xen unit separately for each use. And there may be issues for those with pacemakers or sensitive skin, for example, so a consultation with a physician is advisable. $399, plus $4/month premium app fee; neuvanalife.com u




Hurts So Good

Specially designed apps and technically innovative fitness tools are today’s personal trainers: counting calories, tracking objectives, pushing us to move smarter, telling us when to slow down, and preparing us for success in reaching our goals. BY ALEXANDRA CHENEY


The double-walled stainless steel LARQ Bottle self-cleans and purifies water using a proprietary UV-C LED technology. Built into the cap, the mercury-free portable sanitization system turns on every two hours for 10 seconds to eradicate germs via 280 nanometers of UV light (a technique used to sterilize hospital rooms). Water tastes better and is safer to drink, no matter where you fill it up. The new LARQ Bottle Movement, a lighter, single-walled version, can hold more water and comes in a soft, silicone sleeve. The USB rechargeable battery lasts up to a month. $78–$118; livelarq.com



The body sculpting fitness program P.volve targets hard-to-reach, overlooked muscles. Longtime trainer Stephen Pasterino (the P in P.volve) and his wife Rachel Katzman reach clients remotely via a streaming class platform that teaches their functional, form-focused movement method using proprietary fitness products: travel-friendly bands, balls, weights, gliders, and a slant board. Their promise of results without pain uses neuromuscular and functional science alongside low-impact, anti-pulse training. $20/month for unlimited streaming, $175 for the equipment package; pvolve.com

The JaxJox KettlebellConnect saves both space and time with six different weight options, adding or dropping from 12 to 42 pounds in 6-pound increments in three seconds flat. Lift the weight and a 6D gyro accelerometer with six-axis motion sensors activates. During workouts, weight amounts and rest times are measured. The proprietary app pairs with Apple Health and compares data across workouts. An LCD digital screen on the front allows it to be programmed for up to nine different users, each of whom can trace the quality and quantity of their every movement. $299; jaxjox.com

Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Top: Oura Ring (2); Theragun; Joovv. Opposite Page, Courtesy Images From Left: LARQ; P.volve; JaxJox


Install or hang a modular Joovv panel virtually anywhere to bask in medical-grade LEDs that deliver concentrated wavelengths of natural light (with no harmful UV rays) to your skin and cells. This in-home red and near-infrared light therapy device is the first of its kind. Research has shown that it can help speed muscle healing, reduce joint pain and inflammation, and boost collagen. The body-wide, head-to-toe panels and a handheld travel option called Joovv Go (a white metal case with 12 LEDs on the front) are FDA-cleared and registered as class II medical devices. $295–$5,995; joovv.com

Theragun, a handheld device that treats deep-tissue muscles using percussion therapy, delivers a rapid, repetitive motion at two varying speeds (either 29 or 40 percussions per second). Benefits include increased blood circulation and oxygen distribution as well as a highly targetable manipulation due to different-shaped foam attachments, such as a cone, wedge, or ball. Use it on yourself or others thanks to its ergonomic triangular shape, which also holds an industrialgrade Japanese motor and USB rechargeable battery. $249–$599; theragun.com

Considered the most accurate sleep tracker on the market, Oura Ring is based on fingertip pulse oximeters commonly used in hospitals. Housed within it are a 3D accelerometer and gyroscope to detect activity, infrared LEDs to measure blood volume pulse, and an NTC temperature sensor to sample a pulse 250 times per second, tracking heart rate variability and strength. The longer you wear the ring, the richer the data cache and lifestyle recommendations, such as setting a daily move goal, knowing when to push versus recover, and keeping to an ideal bedtime. $299– $999; ouraring.com u




Volleys and Vines

Where to go when your passion for playing tennis matches your enthusiasm for drinking wine. BY ROGER COX


reat wine is one of life’s pleasures,” tennis legend Roger Federer told Wine Enthusiast about his role as Moët & Chandon’s brand ambassador. Savoring it, he says, has much in common with the joy he gets from competition: “Playing in a really great tennis match can be like tasting a well-matured, vintage wine.” Your own matches may not quite live up to the premier grand cru quality of Federer’s, but like him, you can count tennis and wine among life’s pleasures. A handful of resorts make it easy to pursue both. 



Courtesy Algodon Wine Estates (2)

The winery at Argentina’s Algodon Wine Estates Wellness Resort and its tennis courts (opposite)



MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY St. Helena, California Romantically tucked away in a secluded, tree-lined valley, just minutes from downtown St. Helena, Meadowood Napa Valley bundles the sophisticated amenities of a boutique, world-class resort with an intimate knowledge of the region’s wines and winemakers. For nearly four decades, it has hosted the annual Napa Valley Wine Auction; ongoing guest experiences range from nightly wine tastings to sessions on food and wine pairings, tastings from the resort’s extensive cellars, and private local tours with Meadowood’s resident sommelier. No less appealing are the resort’s extensive amenities. Most of the 99 guest rooms, suites, and villas have wood-burning fireplaces and either private patios or balconies. These have been tucked into 250 acres of lawns and forest along with a nine-hole golf course, an award-winning spa, a fitness center, three pools, croquet lawns, hiking trails, and, not incidentally, a Michelin three-star restaurant. Completing the layout are seven terraced tennis courts (quite a large complex for such a small resort). Tennis professional Doug King, a former UC Berkeley No. 1, has maintained his tenure at Meadowood since 1984, running an active weekly calendar of tennis clinics, drop-in round-robins, and private lessons, many of which afford the opportunity to meet and socialize with local members who share their interests in both wine and tennis. Room rates from $750/night; wine experiences from $100/person for a food and wine pairing theory class to $1,250/couple for a private, full-day sommelier-guided excursion. meadowood.com 





Courtesy Images, Counter-Clockwise From Top Left: The Restaurant at Meadowood/Kelly Puleio; Meadowood Napa Valley (4)

Georgia’s Château Élan Winery & Resort



From Left: Courtesy Algodon Wine Estates; iStock; Courtesy Château Élan Winery & Resort. Opposite: Courtesy Château Élan Winery & Resort




Set amid 200 acres of its own vineyards in the heart of Argentina’s celebrated Mendoza wine district, the resort/ residential development of Algodon Wine Estates is an oasis of tranquility and wine enthusiasm, 25 minutes outside the city of San Rafael. The snow-capped Andes loom in the background, supplying glacial meltwater for the property’s seven varieties of grapes, some of whose vines date to 1946. The on-site boutique winery produces a variety of award-winning red, white, and rosé wines, among them eco-friendly, organic blends of the iconic Argentine Malbec and rising star Bonarda. An aura of exclusivity envelops the property. The tiny hotel at the core has three suites in the original 1921 adobewalled farmhouse, each with its own fireplace, and another five, slightly larger and more modern, in a newer lodge, which has fireplaces in its gallery. Comfortable rather than posh, the lodging comes with a wealth of resort amenities, including a nine-hole golf course woven into the vineyards and an alluring tennis complex, rare for having three surfaces—hard, red clay, and natural grass—all handsomely laid out through a grove of olive trees. The courts are free for guests to use, and there is a pro on call for those wanting lessons. The on-site restaurant serves traditional Argentine cuisine, including the resort’s own olive oil, optionally paired with its wines. A two-night Wine & Wellness package ($750/couple) includes all meals, tennis, golf, bicycles, a one-hour massage, and a bottle of wine. algodonhotels.com

Vineyards cover nearly 3,000 acres of Washington State’s Walla Walla Valley, sharing that fertile terroir with wheat fields, strawberries, and famous Walla Walla sweet onions. A designated American Viticultural Area (AVA), the region is home to more than 120 wineries. For the past nine years, Walla Walla Tennis & Wine Camps have helped showcase some of the best of the local vintners as part of three- and four-day packages devoted to tennis, wine tastings, vineyard tours, and winemaker dinners while also serving as a fundraiser for the Whitman College tennis program. The camps devote the morning hours to tennis under an exceptional team of instructors: Greg Patton, who works with rising Americans as a US Tennis Association National Coach (past charges have included Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and Michael Chang), and Whitman’s men’s and women’s tennis coaches, Jeff Northam and John Hein (joined in October by members of the teams). In keeping with the camp’s generally convivial vibe, the three-hour instructional sessions lean toward games-based play rather than hard-core drills. In the afternoon, local wine expert Tom Sawatzki gives tours of vineyards and wineries. In the evenings, winemaker dinners are often served outdoors in the vineyard itself. Three- and four-day packages on select dates in June, July, August, and October start at $995, including tennis, wine excursions, and all meals; lodging additional. tennisandwinecamps.com

Architecturally inspired by 16th-century French castles, the 3,500-acre Château Élan is nonetheless very much a 21stcentury resort, having undergone a $25 million makeover in 2019. In addition to having a full range of resort amenities, it stages a monthly Taste of Georgia tapas and wine-tasting event; hosts Vineyard Fest, a November festival of wine making, craft beer, local cuisine, and live music; and it’s home to one of the most acclaimed wineries in the Southeast. Some of its accolades can be traced to the resort’s vineyards of sweet Georgia muscadine grapes, which thrive in the Southern climate. But by sourcing other varietals in California, the award-winning Italian winemaker Simone Bergese produces a diverse portfolio of signature wines. You can sample just how varied by ordering a flight of its limited-release Fingerprint Collection, which includes gold- and silver-medal cabernets, chardonnays, tempranillos, and red and white blends. All available to pair with dinner in any of the several restaurants. Château Élan also has a long history as a tennis destination. Former world No. 1 Stan Smith designed the complex, giving it his signature spacious layout. Set amid the trees, it has two clay and three hard tennis courts and four pickleball courts. British-born Matt Kirkham of Cliff Drysdale Tennis caters to guests’ needs with a series of weekly clinics, including some for kids as young as age 4. Customtailored packages are available for groups. From $459. chateauelan.com  LUXURY MAGAZINE SPRING 2020










The iconic Colorado Springs resort wins high praise for everything from its Old World elegance to an abundance of activities, tennis among them. Play in the invigorating mountain air on the apron of the Colorado Rockies, as the resort stages several tennis camps each year to enhance the experience. In 2020, the resort will stage two combined tennis-camp and wine-tasting weekends, offering 12 hours of lively drills and play around an evening of appetizers paired with wines chosen by the resort’s sommelier. August 7–9 and October 9–11, twonight packages from $1,000/ person, double occupancy, including 12 hours of tennis, lodging, resort fees, wine tasting, and a welcome gift. broadmoor.com

Dramatic red-rock walls can make it hard to keep your eyes on the tennis ball at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, and easy to while away hours on your casita patio with a glass of wine or after a rejuvenating massage at the resort’s award-winning Mii Amo spa, a destination in its own right. Still, tennis is a reason to visit, never more so than during two weekend camps put on by resort director and former ATP and WTA coach Nelson Banes and enhanced by a wine-pairing dinner hosted by the resort’s chef. The two camps, May 15–17 and October 23–25, include 10 hours of tennis, lunch, and a Saturday dinner with wine pairing for $645; casita lodging from $515/ night. enchantmentresort.com

The Lonestar State’s fastgrowing wine trail runs through the Texas Hill Country not far from this sprawling, multidimensional resort/ residential development on LBJ Lake, northwest of Austin. Half a dozen times a year, tennis director Michelle Stallard, the personable former University of Texas standout, takes advantage of that proximity to stage threeday weekend Ladies’ Tennis and Wine Getaways. Hosted on the resort’s red clay and hard courts, the sessions mix drills and social tennis with an afternoon of wine tasting at one of the notable local wineries. Select dates, March through October, from $559/ person, including all tennis, socials, a wine tour, lodging, and a lunch. hsbresort.com u


Courtesy Images, From Left: The Broadmoor; Enchantment Resort; Horseshoe Bay Resort

These resorts offer wine and tennis weekends on select dates during the year.

Our Members return each year as faithfully as the tides.

From the moment you enter the palm-studded harbor, touch down on the runway or pass through the gates of Ocean Reef Club, you begin to sense a very Unique Way of Life. One that has been attentively upheld, polished and passed down to succeeding generations of Members. Situated on the northern reaches of Key Largo, beside America’s only living reef, Ocean Reef Club boasts a world-class marina and yacht club. Its own private airport and accompanying flying club. Two championship golf courses. A tennis and games center. An art league and cultural center, croquet, racquet and rod and gun clubs. A museum, library and theater, medical center, restaurants and gracious residences. Even a school for your children and a vet for your pet. In essence, all the comforts and services of a small but sophisticated town. There are also comforts of a different kind. Among them, a tangible sense of privacy, security, tradition and values, and perhaps most important, a sense of belonging unlike any other club on earth. There are only two ways to experience Ocean Reef Club’s Unique Way of Life – as a guest of a Member or through the pages of Living magazine. Visit OceanReefClubLiving.com or call 305.367.5921 to request your complimentary copy.


Sports Fever

You want a good seat at the big event? And access to the VIP after-party? Check into a luxury hotel. BY FRANK VIZARD


hen it comes to sporting events, there is nothing like being there, especially if you get close not only to game-day action but to exclusive festivities connected to the event. While several sports travel organizations like Roadtrips have long organized travel to top sporting venues, luxury hotel brands like the Waldorf Astoria and Marriott are now getting into the game by partnering directly with sporting bodies ranging from Aston Martin Racing to the NCAA. These beyond-the-room arrangements also extend overseas with experiences tailored around British Premier League soccer matches, the Monaco Grand Prix, the French Open in tennis, and Summer Olympic Games in Japan, for example. Other top-flight attractions include the Kentucky Derby, the PGA golf tournament, US Open tennis, and the Super Bowl. This type of service even extends to a more local level. Hotels like the Pendry San Diego, for example, will get you luxury seating at a Padres baseball game. In short, whatever your favorite sport, there is a luxury accommodation connected to a special experience waiting for you. We sampled a few of these sporting experiences to see if they lived up to their billing. They do.



From Left: Courtesy The Ritz-Carlton/Iris and Light; Xinhuad/Alamy; Waldorf Astoria. Opposite: Courtesy Waldorf Astoria




Famed Formula 1 race car driver Lewis Hamilton has a strong grip, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise as he has steered his Mercedes-Benz car to six world championships. Guests of the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal experience the seriousness of Hamilton’s handshake at a small group meeting hosted by the RitzCarlton during the Montreal Grand Prix. The prestigious address, which first opened in 1912, brings a sense of European chic to Formula 1 racing culture. A grand and decadent red-carpet ball is the hot ticket for Montreal’s elite. At the 2019 event, participating guests were privy to an exclusive cocktail reception, a Grand Marnier tasting, and fine dining prepared by renowned French chef Daniel Boulud at Maison Boulud. Meanwhile, nearby avenues were closed off for Grand Prix street parties with music and refreshments as the entire city caught F1 fever. Out at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track, where the qualification rounds and the race itself were held, the Ritz-Carlton’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas meant guests watched the exciting action in the team’s lounge overlooking the pit area and listened to the racing commentators that Mercedes employed for exclusive, onscene insights. Tours of the paddock area and a peek into the garage can be arranged by request. ritzcarlton.com

“Who let the short guy into the building?” A question asked in jest by a fan, but, in truth, the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament seems like a convention for tall people. The players loom large in stature and reputation, but most of the fans in attendance look like they got game as well. It’s March Madness for hoopsters of all levels of experience and ability. Marriott International is the official hotel partner to the NCAA for all 90 championship collegiate sports events, but the Final Four is the jewel in the crown with Marriott loyalists in a bidding war with their points for a coveted spot. As a sporting event, the NCAA Final Four has an atmosphere difficult to beat, with well-behaved fans from participating colleges adding a ra-ra element to the host city’s life. At the 2019 Men’s Final Four, the W Minneapolis - The Foshay, was conveniently located to all the events. These included libations at the hospitality suite, a pre-game CBS/Turner tailgate party, concerts by the Jonas Brothers and Katy Perry viewed from a balcony box at The Armory, and access to VIP areas at the stadium itself, plus transportation. For dedicated hoopsters, though, a big highlight was the intimate coaches breakfast with Villanova head coach Jay Wright, widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the game. marriott.com

If the roar of racing engines is sweeter to your ears than the sound of crickets, then the glamping experience organized for the 24 Hours of Le Mans by hotelier Waldorf Astoria and the British racing team Aston Martin Lagonda is extraordinary. Le Mans is the most storied endurance race on the planet since its start in 1923, attracting nearly a quartermillion fans in 2019. Waldorf Astoria takes the Le Mans annual event to another level with a luxury campsite just 2.5 miles from the Circuit de la Sarthe track. The tent is a walk-in model about the size of a standard hotel room and relies mostly on candles and tiny fairy lights run up the center pole for nighttime illumination. The bed is super comfortable and other amenities include monogrammed robes and slippers and Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries, plus the most desired luxury camping item of all— charging stations. And while ear plugs are supplied, a pair of noise-canceling headphones is a smart addition to your kit. But make no mistake: The 24 Hours of Le Mans is completely immersive. The sound of racing engines is all-pervasive. Access to the Aston Martin hospitality suite trackside means you are always close to the action for the duration and a glass of Champagne is never far away. waldorfastoria.com u



One Place, Two Ways Louisville



Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. Founded almost 130 years ago more than 125 miles from its current location, the distillery’s whiskey was one of the few available for medicinal purposes during Prohibition. A revival in 2015 began with a straight rye whiskey (released in 2017), and now a series of limited-edition bourbons is in the works. kentuckypeerless.com Jack Fry’s This classic Southern restaurant serves not-to-be-missed shrimp and grits and spicy fried oysters. In its early days of the 1930s, the sportsman’s hangout hosted amateur boxing, horse racing, and gambling. Once the location of a backroom bootlegging operation, the restaurant is frequented by local distillers. jackfrys.com



The Silver Dollar If you’re seeking a celebrated or hard-to-find Kentucky whiskey, this bar and restaurant housed in an old firehouse is your best bet. Choose from among more than 300 Kentucky whiskeys, ranging in price from $5 to $238 a pour. whiskeybythedrink.com Frazier Museum Housing a permanent collection of notable American artifacts, including Teddy Roosevelt’s “big stick” and General Custer’s pistols, the museum’s staff of teaching artists is inspired to produce daily performances that reinterpret historical stories. As of 2018, the Smithsonian-affiliated museum is also home to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center. fraziermuseum.org

Belle of Louisville Christened the Idlewild when it launched in 1914, this classic steamboat originally sailed the Mississippi River. Now on the Ohio River, which runs right through Louisville, it operates river cruises from March to November. Her slightly smaller sister Mary. M. Miller is newly available for private hire. belleoflouisville.org STAY: The Brown Hotel Standing 16 stories tall with almost 300 guest rooms, this nationally registered Georgian Revival hotel hearkens to the early 1920s. It’s famous for the Hot Brown (an open-faced turkey sandwich covered in bacon and Mornay béchamel sauce) and its English Renaissance–style lobby and bar. From $150; brownhotel.com

Clockwise From Top Left: Courtesy Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co./Shaun Wilson; iStock; Courtesy Belle of Louisville/Amy Newman; Courtesy The Brown Hotel; Courtesy Frazier History Museum/Rachel Waters; Shutterstock

The unofficial bourbon capital of the United States and one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains delivers on classic charm.

Clockwise From Top Left: Courtesy Holy Grale/Jessica Fey; iStock; Shutterstock; Courtesy 21C Museum Hotels; Courtesy Copper & Kings; Courtesy Hell or High Water/Andrew Hyslop

SOUTHERN SURPRISES Dubbed the new capital of the South, Kentucky’s largest city serves up much more these days than its legendary bourbon.

Holy Grale This Highlands neighborhood taproom in what was once a small Unitarian church built in 1905 celebrates Old World brewing. It features 27 taps and sells an extensive variety of bottled imports: European styles, many artfully brewed in Germany, Belgium, and Holland. holygralelouisville.com Hell or High Water In a small white room on Whiskey Row, a magnetized rear wall conceals a staircase that leads to the secret entrance of this hidden establishment. Jazz music plays for patrons sitting on red velvet banquettes, sipping modern libations. Boozy offerings make up the “Hell” page of the menu, while “High Water” concoctions are informally tikiinspired. hellorhighwaterbar.com

Mega Cavern Explore 4 million square feet of indoor space. The underground expanse houses a zip-lining course, a bike park spread across more than seven acres, and the world’s only subterranean aerial ropes course. Guided walking, biking, and tram tours take visitors through 17 miles of corridors that extend beneath the city. louisvillemegacavern.com Copper & Kings The 5-year-old distillery specializes in American brandies, gins, absinthes, and liqueurs, and they’re all exceptional. See where the spirits are born; in the subterranean warehouse, brews are aging in former whiskey, tequila, wine, and beer barrels. copperandkings.com

Hammerheads The spicy duck tacos and BBQ lamb ribs can validate an entire trip to Louisville. This basement eatery, located on the edge of the residential Germantown neighborhood, is a harmonious marriage between a gastropub and a smokehouse. louisvillehammerheads.com STAY: 21c Museum Hotel Five former warehouses built during the 19th century along downtown’s West Main Street now feature 91 thoughtfully designed guest rooms, each with tall ceilings, broad windows, and sleek, contemporary décor. The property contains 9,000 square feet of art gallery space on the floors below. From $220; 21cmuseumhotels.com u



Save the Species, Save the World

A recent UN report predicts unprecedented rates of animal extinctions and the outcome is entirely dependent on human behavior. BY TED ALAN STEDMAN

The photos featured are from Photo Ark, a documentary project to save species and habitat founded by photographer and National Geographic Fellow Joel Sartore. Since the project began in 2006, Sartore has shot nearly 10,000 documented species.




n 2019, the Australian Koala Foundation declared koalas functionally extinct. Sad social media memes multiplied. Panic ensued. And then, a most important parsing of words. Not yet gone entirely the way of the dodo or the mammoth, koalas live on. Quite different than actually extinct, functionally extinct means that scientists believe the population has grown too small to produce future generations. In the case of koalas, even this claim is being debated, as conflicting conclusions were drawn in the wake of last year’s devastating fires in Australia. There is much to be learned from that moment of regret rendered at the thought that koalas were in fact, really, gone. And yet the experience is likely to become more frequent. Last year the conclusions of 455 experts forecasted an unprecedented species extinction rate. The alarm was poignant and potent—a call to action that reverberated worldwide as the United Nations released a landmark report. The cryptic conclusion was that “1 million of Earth’s 8 million species are threatened by extinction because of humans.” Rebecca Shaw, World Wildlife Fund chief scientist and senior vice president, links the loss of animal species to our fate. “Healthy functioning ecosystems provide clean air, water, and raw materials, but we’re utilizing these at an unsustainable rate. It’s clear that if we don’t do something soon with the degradation of nature, including loss of species, we will struggle to survive.” There are more than 105,700 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the world’s most comprehensive inventory of biological species. Koalas are listed as vulnerable, which is three categories away from being classified as extinct (endangered, then critically endangered, then extinct in the wild are the three categories in between). The list cites more than 28,000 species threatened with extinction (40 percent of amphibians, 33 percent of reef corals, 25 percent of mammals, and 14 percent of birds). In the United States, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 is used as a tool for establishing species viability and recovery efforts. For most threatened species, it’s not too late; following is the latest intel on eight beloved populations on the IUCN and/or EPA lists. 

Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark (2)

Snow leopard






Status: Vulnerable (IUCN)

Status: Endangered (ESA)

As the flagship species of high-mountain ecosystems, snow leopards are at a critical juncture.

Captive breeding programs help rescue the most endangered gray wolf in North America.

In the highest mountains of South and Central Asia, snow leopards prowl, feed, and live mostly alone, existing as fleeting apparitions and creatures of local myths and legends. Rarely seen and difficult to spot due to thick fur camouflaged to mimic their rocky habitat, the species has low densities (estimated at less than one adult per 39 square miles) compared to other big cats. Their exact numbers are unknown, ranging from as few as 3,920 to no more than 6,390. And while snow leopards have coexisted with mountain people for millennia, the species may now be close to extinction as a result of conflicts with humans. “The snow leopard is considered the most enigmatic and iconic of all large cats,” says Dr. Charu Mishra, executive director for the Snow Leopard Trust (snowleopard.org), the world’s largest and oldest snow leopard conservation organization. “They have a precarious existence in the extreme cold and vertical mountain environments of 12 Asian countries.” Their populations are naturally low, he says, because of their harsh environment and the available number of wild sheep and goats they prey upon. Snow leopard landscapes that were once considered remote are increasingly being accessed by road developments, railways, and infrastructure projects, exposing high-mountain ecosystems to new threats that diminish the species’ ability to successfully hunt and reproduce. “Snow leopards have shared their habitats with livestock herders almost since the end of the last ice age, but they’ll kill livestock if given the opportunity, causing herders to retaliate,” Mishra says. To help mitigate conflicts, the Snow Leopard Trust and other conservation organizations are partnering with communities and providing education and tools to help offset livestock kills, while creating sustainable development programs that help diversify income streams. “There also needs to be greater integrated efforts among governments, enforcement agencies, and local communities to disrupt illegal trade of snow leopard pelts and bones, which has risen over the past decade,” Mishra says.

El lobo once occupied the height of North American lore, a supernatural entity respected as a warrior symbol and cunning predator in Pre-Columbian Mexico. But the Mexican gray wolf (a subspecies of the gray wolf of more northern latitudes) was extirpated in the wild during the mid-1900s, largely through government-sponsored hunting, trapping, poisoning, and the removal of pups from dens. Once numbering in the thousands, wild wolves were functionally extinct in the United States by the mid1970s, with just a handful existing in captivity. In 1976, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the species under the Endangered Species Act and collaborated with Mexico to capture all remaining wolves in the wild. Four males and one pregnant female were captured alive in Mexico and used to start a captive breeding program that led the 1998 release of 11 Mexican wolves into recovery areas in Arizona and New Mexico. By 2018, 131 wolves in 32 packs were documented in the wild, while 240 wolves existed in captive breeding. The recolonization of their former historical range had begun—but not without concerns. “Mexican gray wolves were eradicated because of conflicts with livestock,” says Craig Miller, senior Southwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “Their numbers have grown slowly, but their future remains uncertain because of compromised genetics from small populations and human intolerance.” As advocates for the survival of Mexican gray wolves, Defenders of Wildlife (defenders.org) works side by side with wolf country ranchers and wildlife managers to help reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock. When conflicts do occur, effective management strategies and compensation for rancher losses are saving wolves’ lives. “The partnerships around collaborative work have resulted in improved trust and communication with stakeholders—and unexpected friendships,” says Miller. “We don’t agree on everything, but we do agree on collaborative problemsolving to support long-term solutions allowing people and wildlife to coexist.”

SEE THEM: Voygr Expeditions (voygr.com) bills its Snow Leopard Tours as a “rare opportunity” to spot the elusive species in the high, 10,000-foot-plus altitudes of the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau. Much of the 14-day trek is based in Hemis National Park in the Ladakh region administered by India, home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of snow leopards.

SEE THEM: WolfHorse Outfitters (wolfhorseoutfitters.com) is a Native American guide service specializing in pack horse adventures into the Gila and Aldo Leopold wilderness areas, both strongholds of Mexican gray wolves. Beginning in Silver City, New Mexico, multiday rides journey along the old Apache “Drag the Wolf Trail,” while guides are attentive to the evidence of wolves. 




Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark



HAWKSBILL TURTLES Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN) A survivor since ancient times faces increasing adversity and extinction.

Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark

The hawksbill marine turtle is a prime example of extraordinary evolutionary success. Sea turtles belong to the classification order Testudines, whose first specimens date back to about 230 million years. Their remarkable antiquity makes them one of the most primitive groups of reptiles that have survived Earth’s mass extinctions and still inhabit Earth. Not only have hawksbills endured but over millennia have propagated, with worldwide distribution that includes Atlantic and Indo-Pacific subspecies. But the species’ evolutionary attributes might well be causes of its decline at the hands of humans. With a flattened body shape, protective carapace shell, and flipper-like limbs adapted for swimming in the open ocean, hawksbills are distinguished from other sea turtles by their sharp, curving beak and serrated appearance of the shell perimeter. Also unique to the hawksbill is its shell that changes color depending on water temperature, imbuing a beautiful palette prized by fishermen. It has been the primary source of tortoise shell material used for decorative purposes—a lethal

consequence largely responsible for their declining populations. In the past 100 years, the hawksbill sea turtle has lost 90 percent of its population, 80 percent of which has been lost in the past 10 years, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill sea turtles and products derived from the species. Precise statistics are difficult to calculate, but the IUCN estimates that there are only five populations worldwide comprising around 8,000 turtles, with only 1,000 females nesting annually. In the global scheme of a species’ survival, those numbers are critically low. “Hawksbills today exist at population levels so low they no longer can fulfill their ecological role,” says Dr. Karen Bjorndal, distinguished professor and director of the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida (accstr.ufl .edu). Hawksbills were killed for the meat and eggs, but the most intensive harvest was for their beautiful tortoiseshell. Additional threats are posed by the loss of coral reefs, their primary habitat.

SEE THEM: Hawksbill turtles make frequent appearances in the clear waters off St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. To catch the underwater action, N2theBlue Scuba Diving leads divers and snorkelers to beaches, reefs, and fishy grottoes that are known turtle habitats, including Buck Island, where the sea turtles are known to nest. 





Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark

BLACK RHINOS Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN) The hook-lipped rhinoceros faces the real threat of extinction within two decades. Tragically, Africa’s black rhino is perhaps the most emblematic example of near extinction at the hands of humans. Some 60 years ago the black rhino population totaled roughly 100,000, but from 1960 to 1995 numbers declined by a catastrophic 98 percent, plummeting to a record low of 2,300 in 1993. Today, their numbers tally at about 5,500. The net decline, experts say, is traced to two main threats facing the black rhino (and, in fact, all five species of rhinos): habitat loss and poaching. “The black rhino is facing the threat of extinction during our lifetime,” says Simon Jones, founder and CEO of the Helping Rhinos Organization (helpingrhinos.org), a nonprofit that forges conservation, community, and education initiatives to ensure the long-term survival of the species in its natural habitat. “With its trademark horn, rhinos are one of Africa’s most iconic species. Sadly, it’s the rhino’s majestic armament that is the origin of its demise.” Black rhinos remain critically endangered because of demand for the rhino horn, valued on the black market as one of the most expensive commodities in the world. The powdered horn is typically used in folk remedies by Asian consumers, particularly in Vietnam and China, and is considered by some to be an aphrodisiac (it’s not). South Africa has been especially hard-hit by poachers; an increase in illegal activity reached an apex in 2014 when 1,215 rhinos were poached there. Although poaching has slowly decreased (594 were poached in South Africa in 2019), the illegal killing of black rhinos continues to drive the species toward extinction. “There needs to be a paradigm shift and education aimed at the root causes of poaching,” says Jones. “If we can help remove the economic incentive and preserve critical habitat, black rhino stand a much better chance of survival as a species.” SEE THEM: Ol Pejeta Conservancy (olpejetaconservancy.org) has East Africa’s largest population of black rhino (more than 130) and works with Helping Rhinos and other organizations to provide a safe haven for the species. Visitors at its tented camps and lodges have supervised close encounters with some of the guarded animals and can explore remote regions of the 90,000-acre private reserve in Kenya’s Laikipia District. 






Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN)

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN)

Thought to be in irreversible decline, the world’s rarest sea mammal receives a slight reprieve.

Rescued from the brink of extinction, Bolivia’s “Blue Beard” macaw maintains a precarious existence.

In the Upper Gulf of California, where the Baja Peninsula converges with mainland Mexico, an unexpected discovery this past summer revived hopes for the salvation of the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the endemic vaquita porpoise. During conservation patrols, the crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s M/V Sharpie photographed two vaquitas in August, followed by another four sightings in September. The six vaquitas documented were “adult and appeared to be in good health,” according to the report—a boon for conservationists who estimate that just 19 to 30 individuals exist. It was a remarkable, though guarded, turn of events for the enigmatic, elusive Mexican porpoise, which World Wildlife Fund predicted could be extinct by 2018. Spanish for “little cow,” the 4.5-foot-long porpoise with distinctive dark circles around its eyes is the smallest in the cetacean’s order, which includes whales and dolphins. When scientists first identified the species in 1950, they soon realized it was on the road to extinction. Vaquitas were regularly drowning in gill nets used to catch shrimp and totoabas, a fish whose swim bladder is prized as a delicacy in China. In 1975, Mexico outlawed totoabas fishing, but illegal fishing persisted, with bycatch deaths of vaquitas being an unintended consequence. By 2005, numbers of vaquita had plummeted to as low as 200 individuals, and the Mexican government reacted to scientists’ outcries by designating part of the gulf a vaquita refuge. A subsequent effort to protect them in captivity proved a failure after two females showed signs of stress in swim pens, with one eventually dying upon release. The consensus on recovery now is enforcement of fishing-net bans, which has become a primary charge for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (seashepherd.org). Through its Operation Milagro, Sea Shepherd has patrolled the Upper Gulf for the past five years to monitor poaching and retrieved 990 fishing nets roughly 120 miles long. Additional efforts include those of activists and undercover agents. “It’s very important to document live vaquitas,” says Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd’s founder and executive director. “Our crews have been working tirelessly to remove the gill-net threat from the vaquita’s path. ”

The blue-throated macaw is perhaps the rarest of birds, a magnificent species so obscure that scientists thought it had vanished in the wild until its rediscovery in north-central Bolivia in 1992. Found only in small nesting colonies, Ara glaucogularis is not a forest-dweller like other macaws. The highly adapted species is specialized only to the islas (islands) of palm trees that poke above the level grassland plains of Beni savannas that flood annually. With its dramatic plumage and limited nesting habitat for reproduction, the species’ fate seemed preordained. “They were nearly extinct due to intensive poaching for the international pet market,” explains Rodrigo Soria, executive director of Asociación Armonía (armoniabolivia.org), a Bolivian nonprofit supported by the American Bird Conservancy. “The threat was reduced considerably by the early 2000s, thanks to Armonia’s education campaign, conservation work, and political decisions to protect the bird. Now the most relevant pressure is the extensive, unsustainable management of the Beni savannas for cattle ranching.” Known by locals as barba azul, or “blue beard,” the rare macaw is known for its distinctive blue patch beneath its bill and was sought after during the illegal parrot trade craze in the ’80s. While the unique birds were thought to be extinct in the wild, somehow they continued to arrive in foreign markets, their origins unknown. Bolivian conservationists turned to old trappers in the bird’s historic habitat, who helped map out islands of palm trees where a population of about 50 blue-throated macaws managed to survive. Today, the species’ population is on a slow upswing. Recovery efforts last year by Asociación Armonía received a tremendous boost with the establishment of the Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Reserve in the Beni savanna. Together with the existing Barba Azul Nature Reserve, 11,680 acres of protected land are now dedicated to the species. Within the past two years, 81 blue-throated macaw chicks have fledged from artificial nest boxes, making a significant contribution to the species’ total population of about 450 birds.

SEE THEM: With such a critically low population, vaquita porpoise sightings in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez are exceedingly rare and have no tour operators. However, nonprofit Viva Vaquita (vivavaquita.org) conducts periodic boat expeditions to the Upper Gulf to conduct research and document sightings, and often accepts inquiring participants.

SEE THEM: Established by nonprofit Asociación Armonía, the Barba Azul Nature Reserve lies in Bolivia’s remote Beni savanna region and protects habitat for endemic blue-throated macaws. It offers visitor cabins and includes meals, boat excursions, horseback rides, and fullreserve access (popular with bird watchers and photographers). 




From Top: Carlos Navarro/BluePlanetArchive; Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark

ORANGUTANS Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN) One of our closest relatives symbolizes the right for survival in the face of “progress.” The data is startling: Approximately 80 percent of the world’s orangutan population has been lost in the past 75 years. Once widespread through the forests of Asia, orangutans are now found only on two Indonesian islands, Sumatra and Borneo. One hundred years ago there were thought to be 315,000 orangutans in the wild. Conservation organizations now say there are less than 14,600 left in Sumatra and less than 54,000 in Borneo. “As Indonesian forests are being increasingly ravaged by industrial pulp and paper timber estates, palm oil plantations, and human population growth, conflicts between people and native wildlife have escalated,” explains Orangutan Foundation International (orangutan.org) President Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, recognized as the world’s foremost authority on orangutans. As a result of poaching and habitat destruction, viable orangutan populations are on the edge of extinction and could be gone within the next 50 years (outside of national parks and reserves). Galdikas says, “The destruction of pristine primary rainforests has led to the devastation of wild orangutan populations that face losses due to poaching, starvation, and being stolen and trafficked into the illegal pet trade.”

Deforestation poses the largest danger to orangutans, an arboreal species that spends most of its life and finds 95 percent of its food in trees. Fires used to clear lands for agriculture decimate habitats and directly kill orangutans. Those that manage to escape are often killed by plantation workers as agricultural pests. Disturbingly, hunting for meat continues to threaten the species as well. Mothers are often killed for their babies, which are sold on the black market for pets. Infants fortunate enough to be rescued are rehabilitated by volunteers for eventual reintroduction into the wild. The largest orangutan population is in southern Borneo’s Tanjung Puting National Park, where 1,174 square miles of lowlying swampy habitat sits on a peninsula that juts into the Java Sea. This park is where Galdikas established Camp Leakey, named after her mentor, Dr. Louis Leakey, the famed paleoanthropologist known for his work documenting the evolution of humans. The camp’s primary function is to provide a base for scientists, staff, students, and park rangers to study orangutans. But the sanctuary continues to be under assault. Since 2016, large numbers of poachers and traffickers have returned, targeting not only orangutans but songbirds, sun bears, and other primates.

SEE THEM: Adventure Indonesia (adventureindonesia.com) ferries guests on multiday river safaris in Tanjung Puting National Park to witness the world’s most observable orangutans. Located in Kalimantan Tengah (central Borneo), Indonesia, the park is the site of renowned Camp Leakey, where guests accompany rangers to see older orangutans reintroduced into the rainforest.



SEE THEM: On the shores of Canada’s Hudson Bay, polar bears congregate near the town of Churchill, where Lazy Bear Expeditions (lazybearlodge.com) hosts excursions from its spacious lodge to see polar bears, which are one of North America’s largest predators. Depending on the season, lodge guests have the chance to see bears by boat, shuttle vehicle, or in the custom Arctic Crawler tundra vehicles that facilitate intimate encounters.

POLAR BEARS Status: Vulnerable (IUCN)

Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark (2)

The Arctic’s apex predator is on thin ice (and the outlook for survival is dreadful). Perhaps no other endangered species in the Northern Hemisphere is as synonymous with the effects of global climate change as the polar bear. Its plight is well documented, a direct consequence of rising temperatures and loss of Arctic sea ice, which they use for hunting, mating, migrating, and, in some places, denning. As the Arctic warms, polar bears also become increasingly vulnerable to starvation. The species obtains the vast majority of its energy intake by hunting seals, and the loss of their habitat in the spring (their main hunting season) is particularly devastating. The bears use this time to put on massive fat stores that carry them through the summer when sea ice isn’t available. Polar bears lose about two pounds per day when they’re not feeding, and the longer they can hunt into the summer, the better their chances for survival before the ice returns. Andrew Derocher, Ph.D., a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and an advisor to

the nonprofit conservation organization Polar Bears International (polarbearsinternational.org), says climate data and population studies create a worrisome forecast for the species’ survival. “We’re working to understand how little sea ice in a year bears can survive. Our estimates show that if conditions are ice-free for more than 180 days a year, populations will start to decline due to low survival and reduced reproduction. Above 210 ice-free days, survival and reproduction will be so low that a population will head into extirpation,” he says. “Our best analyses suggest that polar bears will persist to the year 2100 in the high Arctic of Canada and in northern Greenland,” explains Derocher. “There are 19 populations of polar bears across the Arctic and 19 different scenarios playing out at different rates. Some populations are losing sea ice at a rate of 30 days per decade, while others are only losing 6–12 days per decade. We have clear indications of population declines in 3 of the 19 populations.” u



Mad for Madagascar

As the world’s fourth-largest island battles widespread deforestation, population growth, and environmental change, new efforts in sustainable tourism are allowing its beauty to shine through. PHOTOGRAPHED AND WRITTEN BY JONATHAN POZNIAK


aobabs are known in Madagascar as “the roots of the sky.” Like the ancient cedars of British Columbia, the giant sequoias of California, and the dragon trees of Yemen, the magnificent baobabs put the country on the map for horticulturists and tree huggers alike. The local myth tells of God making them the most beautiful trees in the world, but the devil was so envious that he decided to plant them upside down to admire them from hell. In light of Madagascar’s rampant deforestation and environmental concerns, the devil has never looked away. And yet all is not lost. Thick, primary rainforests shrouded in mist crawl with all that’s wild and unknown, giving way to sun-strewn beach towns where painted fishing boats slow time in a juxtaposition of colors layered between the lines of sea and sky. Much of the scenery here remains remarkable. Over 150 million years ago when Africa and India were conjoined, rebel Madagascar was stuck in the middle. The land broke away as the continents drifted apart and became the world’s fourth largest island, a world-renowned vagabond of nature’s untamed frontier. The wildlife cultivated in this biodiversity hot spot can be found nowhere else on earth, yet current estimates report that up to 90 percent of the island’s native habitat has been destroyed. Flying into the tourist town of Morondava on the country’s arid west coast reveals an expanse of red earth with endlessly straight dirt roads punctuated by baobab trees. The town’s laid-back, beach-bum vibe has a way of saying: Spread your roots and turn your gaze to the sky. The ever-photographed Avenue of the Baobabs has an almost alien feel: enormous trunks; backward proportions; short angular branches growing outward into contorted, modernist sculptures, each one striking its pose for more than 600 years. Even with deforestation running rampant, baobabs have been spared because of their sponge-like interior and an outer layer 





GETTING THERE The award-winning tour operator Wild Frontiers (wildfrontierstravel.com), founded in 2002 by writeradventurer Jonny Bealby, has taken small groups and solo travelers to some of the most remote corners of the world. The company seeks out intrepid cultural experiences, authentic hotel stays, and meetings with skilled artisans. Destination specialists curate bespoke private tours and small group trips of like-minded travelers. Itineraries are created with responsible tourism in mind, taking into consideration tours’ impacts on cultural ethics, local ecosystems, and carbon footprints. The Wild Frontiers Foundation uses its philanthropic platform to build schools, address reforestation, foster economic growth, and support disaster relief.

of calcium just under the bark to keep them standing strong. Growing at a rate of only one centimeter in diameter per year on average, they’re among the oldest and rarest trees on earth, thriving along the west coast’s hot-dry climate. By comparison, northern Madagascar is the land of diversity. The popular beach resorts of Nosy Be island give way to endless stretches of rice fields and forests, and long dirt paths of electric orange earth lead to remote villages only accessible by wooden cattle carts. Where the mangroves meet the sea is Time + Tide Miavana (timeandtideafrica.com). Opened in 2017 as one of the world’s most remote and exclusive private island resorts, the oasis defines the great contrast between living in complete oneness with the elements of nature and being completely protected from the forces that threaten it. Each of the 15 modern stone villas faces the ocean, open on all sides to the wind and sun. The walls are made of fast-growing ravinal wood and the floors of a recycled wood composite. All of the wooden furniture is designed by locals in the capital. The project was conceived as a monument to sustainability, as luxury travel of this caliber begs the question of how to reconcile spending over $3,000/night in the eighth poorest country in the world. Taking this route of sustainable tourism meant building a supply chain and bringing both work and education to people who would otherwise have close to nothing. The resort works directly with local farmers and fishermen and employs more than 250 local Malagasy people, who now have access to education, medical care, and the opportunity to develop skills, all while cultivating the finest farm-to-table food scene in the country.  70




Nosy Ankao, the tiny island Miavana sits on, belongs to a remote archipelago surrounded by reef, making it an ideal spot for divers, fishermen, and windsurfers. The wild reigns supreme in this rarely visited corner of Madagascar. The island’s family of crowned lemurs swings through the forest, and chameleons strut across the bike paths. Neighboring Nosy Manampaho is home to over 90,000 nesting terns from May to September. These coralline islands give them a safe spot to raise their chicks before the strong winds guide them back across the sea. Paying homage to this local universe is the Cabinet Des Curiosities, Time + Tide Miavana’s natural history museum. An 800-year-old skeleton of the Elephant Bird and its full-sized egg sits alongside an enormous butterfly and insect collection. Natural history books identify the creatures outside the villas, including bluespotted rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and, in the trees, lemurs. Madagascar’s flora and fauna started forming 65 million years ago. Lemurs hit the scene 15 million years later when a runaway pre-lemur species drifted across the Mozambique Channel from Africa. They arrived to a land with no competition from other primates and over 50 million years have evolved into the current 112 species, which today are the most endangered animal group in the world. A horrific event a few years ago involved poverty-stricken locals poaching 62 crowned lemurs and selling them to a restaurant for $1.50 each. The greatest threats to lemurs remain poachers and slash-and-burn deforestation. In November 2017, Time + Tide Foundation completed its first lemur translocation of five crowned lemurs to Time + Tide Miavana, where their team of local conservationists



monitor their progress daily. Partnering with local NGOs Fanamby and Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, lemur conservation and reforestation programs have taken top priority, as well as social programs for female empowerment and health care. Their key to progress is to work with local communities directly, educating them about the importance of reforestation and how to do it, teaching them to be guides, and generating new sources of income. Next on the agenda is a baobab translocation to help restore the extremely rare Perrier’s Baobab, endemic to Madagascar’s northernmost tip. Time + Tide Foundation has offered a nursery on Nosy Ankao to grow seedlings and is already doing soil tests on the island. Slash and burn has been happening for the past 200 years, but the demand for farmland and a means to cook food are not the only reasons it’s happening. Illegal logging of precious wood, such as rosewood, is done not out of poverty but as a strategic desire for profit. One truckload of rosewood by the “Madagascar Mafia” can fetch over $1 million in China (which doesn’t honor conservation laws). Thanks to these efforts and Time + Tide’s many partners, the message about the need for conservation is getting out. The direct influence of each guest at Miavana means the supply chains with local farmers and fishermen survive, conservation work continues, and the network of protection is solidified for the plants, animals, and people relying on it. Understanding this jewel of the Southern Hemisphere can tip an understanding of the natural world on its side and inspire movement to tip it right-side up again—all as the baobab seemingly forever stands its ground. 



WHERE TO STAY Each of the 15 beachfront villas at Time + Tide Miavana comes with its own 24-hour butler, beach, pool, bikes, and electric golf cart. Any kind of watersport, plus land activities, is on offer, as well as day trips into the heart of nature and treks to observe a family of crowned lemurs. Head chef Clinton Drake uses local Malagasy meats and fresh produce to create original menus each day that are as healthy as they are indulgent. Being so remote means procurement is a challenge, yet each meal rises to the occasion with creativity and a distinctly French touch. The chef and a sommelier work with guests to acquire a sense of their palettes, and steer their senses through tailored food and wine selections. Private helicopter transfers to the island are available from Nosy Be and Diego Suarez. A few international flights arrive in Nosy Be; otherwise head to the capital Antananarivo for the night, then take a two-hour flight onward to Diego Suarez. miavana.com Nosy Be, a kind of Waikiki for Italian tourists, makes an ideal stop en route to Time + Tide Miavana. The place to stay is Home The Residence, a collection of 20 villas and apartments tucked away within a protected area. The resort’s Banyan Spa offers a menu of Ayurvedic massages and energy healing. home-the-residence.com For those arriving in the capital Antananarivo, the new Relais des Plateaux hotel is located just minutes from the airport, with comfortable rooms and excellent food. relais-des-plateaux.com



The Call of the Lemur Lemurs are the most endangered animal group on earth, and nearly 90 percent of their native habitat is gone.

If the forest were a cathedral, the indri lemur sings its hymns. It’s the largest type of lemur with a siren-like call that echoes through the forest and is nothing short of haunting. Known fondly in the Malagasy language as “babakoto,” the indri got its name when a French scientist came to the forest and asked his local guide what it was. The guide pointed and said “indri indri,” meaning “over there?” in Malagasy. Their calls can be heard from miles away, but when they erupt into an a cappella song directly overhead, the sound bath adds an unforgettable energy to the forest. In the lush rainforests of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, the indri and 10 more species of lemurs leap through trees wrapped in wild orchid vines. Look for fun-loving collared brown lemurs, cartoon-like black-andwhite-ruffled lemurs, and the ultra-rare red-bellied lemurs hanging out in the trees above. On the other side of the country and an hour from Morondava is the Kirindy Private Reserve, a nearly 200,000-acre expanse of protected wilderness. Here, the snow white Verreaux’s sifaka and the playful but shy red-fronted lemurs jump and sing. u





Rapid Obsession

Packrafting Mexico’s hidden Rio La Venta is an adrenalinepumping adventure through deep canyon walls with thick jungle canopies and many secrets to discover. PHOTOGRAPHED AND WRITTEN BY CHRIS BRINLEE JR.




n almost inaudible roar emits from the canyon; its volume increases with each passing minute. The sound means one of two things: another set of whitewater rapids or a spectacular waterfall. Sitting up in the packraft—an inflatable, one-person whitewater boat—it’s time to ready the paddle in anticipation of what is just around the next bend. Nestled deep within the Mexican state of Chiapas (closer to Guatemala than Mexico City) and characterized by rainforests dotted with ancient Mayan ruins, the Rio La Venta winds for 50 miles through a narrow canyon with walls taller and steeper than Manhattan’s One World Trade Center. Enter the natural labyrinth on a rafting expedition, and the only way out is a week away. “Around every bend of the river it feels like you are Indiana Jones traveling back in time,” says independent professional guide Jacob Moon (moonmountainman.com). “Eventually you become so immersed in the adventure that you forget that there is a busy, modern world outside of the narrow biome that you’ve floated into.” What makes Moon’s expedition even more unique from the typical whitewater trips run throughout Mexico and other parts of Central America is the vessel he and his groups use to navigate the river: the small and mighty packraft. These compact, relatively lightweight inflatable boats allow paddlers the ability to access bodies of water that would normally be too cumbersome to reach with traditional hard-body kayaks; they’re also small enough to pass through sections too tight for full-size rafts. All the while, they are durable enough to handle multiday or -week expeditions and



tackle serious whitewater. In short, there’s nothing else like a packraft for paddling the Rio La Venta during its low season in the North American spring. While local operators run occasional whitewater rafting trips down La Venta during the high-flow rainy season (North American autumn), paddling the river in March, April, or May provides a couple distinct advantages. The first is that the river, which requires a local permit to enter, becomes relatively accessible. Since parties

Enter the 50-mile natural labyrinth of Mexico’s Rio La Venta on a rafting expedition, and the only way out is a week away. that enter the river must remain committed (due to the imposing nature of the canyon walls), lower river flow means smaller rapids, which makes the entire course doable for even novice paddlers, providing that they have a good degree of fitness. Moon says, “Experienced adventurers who embrace the unknown—and don’t mind leaving behind the comforts of modern life for a week at a time—will feel right at home.” The second advantage is that the lower water level reveals countless sandy beaches, which make for exceptional campsites. The journey begins in Tuxtla, Mexico, the

vibrant capital of the southern state. Here Moon meets the expedition group, stocks up on last-minute supplies, and gets a fix of fresh tacos before heading into the wilderness for an entire week. An hour’s drive leads to the canyon rim; a partial descent by van foreshadows what comes next: a thousand-foot vertical hike down on a switchback formed with concrete steps. The jungle’s canopy is thick, as if guarding La Venta’s secrets. Packs—loaded with a week’s worth of food, camping gear, and packrafting gear—weigh heavily upon hikers’ hips, backs, and shoulders. In less than an hour the path levels out and opens up onto the beach. A glance up and the weight in the pack disappears, along with the air in the lungs. The canyon is stunning. To the right, the emerald river vanishes around a bend; unfathomably tall walls, striped with streaks of red, orange, yellow, and white, box it in. Upriver to the left the water flows around a series of boulders, which have fallen from hundreds of feet onto the sandy bed during some ancient event. The sun glistens through a 100-foot-tall waterfall. Closer inspection reveals a series of caves, tunnels, and pools behind it, forming a natural waterpark. It’s time to play. The river’s canyon and banks are a wild paradise; and this place is home for the night. After a leisurely breakfast the next morning, camp is broken down; packrafts are inflated; gear is loaded; and the paddling begins. The Rio La Venta’s gentle current is alive with mystery; a rainbow of jungle hues punctuate the all-enveloping emerald canopy, the shape of which is redefined with every bend. A flock of fluorescent green parrots dance along the canyon rim, their gravitydefying aerial display taking place 1,000 feet 



Camp is set up for the night on a sandbar under a blanket of stars.





above the river. There must be 30 parrots juking through the sky; as quickly as they came, they are gone. What never changes are how ambitiously the vertical walls stretch out toward the heavens. The packrafts provide visual perspective: Tiny, colorful dots serving as a reminder that you are truly small—and committed to drifting the labyrinth for the next week. On the second night, camp is set up on a sandbar across from a cascading turquoise waterfall, this one even taller than the one at the start; beneath the powerful spray is a pool perfect for swimming. The fall also serves to increase La Venta’s flow, making the packrafts float a little higher over sections of low, rocky rapids (often referred to as being “boney”). The additional volume makes navigating both the rapids and standing water even easier. The third day blends into the fourth; with each stream and waterfall passed, conditions on the river improve. The first couple of days are challenging while everyone is becoming accustomed to paddling their rafts through tight rapids, but by the middle of the trip, it’s easy to find the groove. “The river shifts from tranquility to adrenaline-inducing almost perpetually,” says Moon. “The contrast always keeps you engaged and excited to explore what comes next.” When a roar suddenly grows from inaudible to imminent, around the bend a most impressive rapid run beckons. Ample volume makes it navigable; a three-foot drop leads into a pool. From there, a quick right turn leads to another rapid before emptying out to a section of flat water. The plan determined after scouting the rapid, the team will enter from the shore one at a time. With a visual of the line in the forefront of their minds, paddlers hop into the packrafts, secure the sprayskirt around the coaming of the boat’s deck, and push off the shore. Time to send. The rafts go right in, buck up high, and then get sucked straight through the center of the rapid into an eddy. There’s hardly time to recompose before getting drafted in again. This time, it’s around 82



PACKRAFT Alpacka Raft (alpackaraft.com) revolutionized the sport and the Gnarwhal (from $1,500) represents a whitewaterspecific evolution. Handcrafted and made to order from Alpacka’s Mancos, Colorado, factory, the boat’s 12-inch-diameter Rally Hull provides excellent stability in rough waters. A self-bailing floor design means that the raft won’t fill up and sink. PADDLE Designed specifically for packrafting, the Aqua-Bound Tango Fiberglass ($350; aquabound.com) breaks down into four sections for easy transport into the backcountry. Its blade shape caters to powerful, low-angle paddle strokes, perfect for shallow depths. PROTECTION Without restricting movement, the NRS Ninja PFD ($130; nrs.com) and WRSI Trident Composite Helmet ($180) keep people afloat and protect their heads from impact while paddling rough whitewater sections.

FOOTWEAR An amphibious shoe offers more protection than sandals, and the Adidas Terrex SUMMER.RDY Voyager Water Shoe ($80; adidasoutdoor.com) features mesh construction and drainage holes for maximum performance. TENT The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Bikepack Tent ($380; bigagnes.com) is light, durable, and easy to pitch. Designed specifically for bikepacking (a close cousin of packrafting), its poles fold into a much shorter length than a traditional tent. Innovative features like an external helmet pocket and durable, lashable stuff-sack round it out. SLEEPING SYSTEM During the dry season, the Rio La Venta has hot, humid days and cool nights. The versatile and lightweight Therma-Rest Vesper 32F/0C Quilt ($320; thermarest.com) and Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad ($195) will provide a comfortable night’s rest.

DRY BAGS On a river trip, whitewater spray will soak everything. Protect the bulk of your gear from moisture with SealLine Baja View Dry Bags ($21–$30; seallinegear.com). An OtterBox Yampa 35 Dry Duffel (from $250; otterbox. com) strapped onto the raft’s bow will keep essentials totally dry and accessible while allowing the raft to be carried like a backpack. APPAREL Nobody likes getting bit by insects. Craghoppers Insect Shield apparel line (craghoppers.com)—Pro Adventure Pants ($120), Adventure II Shirt ($100), and Adventure II Jacket ($160)—is effective even after numerous washes. The kit also boasts SPF protection and plenty of useful utility pockets. SUNGLASSES Revo (revo.com) collaborated with Bear Grylls on the Forge Sunglasses ($160), featuring a flexible frame and tough, impact-resistant lenses. 



a tight bend, then a straight drop into the mirror-like stillness ahead. Lazily, the rafts drift forward, a total contradiction to the previous 30 seconds— then someone from the group explodes into the sky from a blocky, overhanging cliff band 25 feet above the surface of the river. He rotates backward for as long as gravity will be defied; time slows down as he sails over the boat and lands harmlessly in the deep emerald waters to the right. Moon shores his raft in a small sheltered cove across from the cliff jump. A series of elevated, flat, blocky platforms—just large enough for tents—punctuate the bank. A rock peninsula juts out into the river, creating two small bays, a perfect place to park the boats—and hang out. Looking up rewards with an impressive view of the 1,500-foot canyon wall, its horseshoe shape enveloping the bend on both sides. As the light begins to fade, music from insects, birds, frogs, and bats echoes around and the stars come out. The fire rages and larger-than-life shadow play ensues. It’s juvenile at first, but the stories evolve into entire scripted sections, projected all around. Stories circulate; hours pass. As the leaping flames recede into smoldering coals, so too do the sounds of jubilee. On the last leg of the trip, hydraulics come more into play, which requires careful navigation, scouting, and spotting. The team tackles a few portages, hiking around sections of the river deemed too technical, voluminous, or debris-riddled to safely paddle through. Although the difficulty of the river has increased, so has paddlers’ confidence and skill level; paddling through sections that may have seemed impossible during the first couple of days are now tackled with relative ease. Unlike whitewater rafting, where each paddler is part of a boat team, packrafting requires individual paddlers to make it down 84


river. But the sport is not practiced alone, as teams help each other out by watching each other and providing assistance. On the last morning, percussive beats pat down on the river. Resting paddles across their laps, group members relax and drift through the rain. Questions like, “Is this real life?” “How can a place like this exist?” and “I wish I could stay in this moment forever” find space to surface. Like all good things, this too must come to an end—but La Venta isn’t finished yet. Past a waterfall, the canyon continues to narrow until it forms a fully enclosed arch. Therein lies the Arco Del Tiempo, an extended archway carved over a period of 80 million years; its ceiling close to 600 feet high. A local adventure guide rappels 45 feet down to the river on a climbing rope and the escape plan becomes clear, as he anchors to a tree at the mouth of the Arco Del Tiempo. This is the first feasible exit point since put-in; exfiltration from the canyon is achieved by ascending the guide’s rope using a special aid-climbing device called a jumar. Ascenders can slide freely up the rope, but the jumar locks into place to prevent them from sliding back down. “Can this be it?” The team climbs up one at a time; then hauls the gear, and it’s over. A steep hiking path leads out of the canyon; thick jungle canopy threatens to envelop the well-trodden track. As the terrain flattens, the path widens to accommodate old farm trucks. Reminders of real life, livestock grazes clearings; hounds run alongside the fenced-in plots. Entrance into a small village yields hot, handmade corn tortillas, beans, and queso—along with sweet Mexican Cokes. The aromatic flavors are fleeting, but the impression from the canyon will stay. The city walls will inevitably close in, and the perspective from the packraft will be there. u LUXURY MAGAZINE SPRING 2020



This former cargo facility has been repurposed into an 11-room, FBO-style terminal, where all formalities take place.

The Ultimate Preflight Amenity

Obviously, the best option for jetting around the world is a private plane, but sometimes commercial can be quicker and more convenient. When you have to transit via a major hub, you can book into one of the elite suites that have sprung up in the past decade. Often located in stand-alone terminals, the facilities at a commercial airport are transformed into an ad hoc, upscale fixed-based operator (FBO). In fact, most have better services than the often-skimpy, onground arrangements at private airports. Here, the top VIP check-ins across the world, from London to Los Angeles. BY MARK ELLWOOD

VIP Touches The two-person daybed in every suite is ideal for a complimentary in-room massage or manicure, or you could even book a checkup with a concierge doctor. Once you’re ready to board, a chauffeur-driven BMW takes you across the airfield. Cost This membership program is aimed squarely at bold-faced frequent flyers: Annual dues are $4,500 per person, in addition to the $3,150 charge each time you use it for up to four people. Exclusivity Each member receives a private TSA screening, so you’ll never know who else is hiding behind the other 10 doors. reservePS.com



From Left: Courtesy Heathrow; dpa picture alliance archive/Alamy; Courtesy Ben Gurion Fattal Terminal; VIP Lounge. Courtesy Images Opposite, From Left: Ben Gurion Fattal Terminal; PS





Book to depart LHR and a BMW 7 Series will whisk you from home to the hidden entrance of this 14-suite private wing for check-in, security, and tax refunds. Indulge in a menu by Michelinstarred chef Jason Atherton.

On-site at the main airport, the 60,000-square-foot building features private lounges where a dedicated team handles check-in, immigration, and security, and has a special duty-free boutique.

Operated by the Fattal hotel chain, the $5 million, 14,000-square-foot lounge adjacent to Terminal 1 opened in time for Israel’s stint hosting the 64th Eurovision Song Contest last May. It is a major upgrade over Ben Gurion’s previous, rather tired VIP facility, the Masada Lounge.

Inside the B transit zone, the 13,000-square-foot area is an unexpected boost to VIPs from the egalitarian Germans. Alongside a shared lounge with a pinball machine, foosball table, and other distractions, a raft of eight private suites.

VIP Touches Black netting on windows stymies long-lensed snoopers; the doorman in top hat and tails evokes an oldfashioned, upscale vibe. Cost Around $3,600 for up to three people—or $166,000 to buy out the whole wing, as often happens. Exclusivity The service originated in the 1960s as a government-run fast-track for British diplomats en route overseas and foreign leaders arriving at Heathrow, though since 2013 it’s been open to all. heathrowvip.com

VIP Touches No smoking? Not in the cigar room stocked with something for every taste, including Cubans. Curl up in a MetroNaps sleep pod installed in the relaxation room, though the live piano player’s tunes might be all you need to relax. Cost Built into the fees to rent a plane from Jetex, which costs around $11,000 per hour. All private jets flying to Al Maktoum airport and being handled by Jetex can enjoy full access to the VIP terminal. Exclusivity This is as close to a private airport experience as you can get. jetex.com

VIP Touches Enjoy the cigar lounge or, better yet, hole up in one of the six private rooms, where a butler caters to your every whim, from making a bed for a nap to bringing you food from the on-site kitchen. Cost $475 for two hours for the first person, and $330 for a companion. Exclusivity Given how tortuous and long security lines can be in Tel Aviv, the shortcut fasttrack here is one of its major upsides. fattal-terminal.com

VIP Touches Tarmac transfer by a fleet of luxury cars. Cost Tiered pricing system is named like a diamond: carat, color, clarity, and cut. The last of which, the ultimate option, costs around $1,900, and includes everything from a private Royal Suite to personal shopping assistance. Exclusivity Beyond bypassing the local hoi polloi, the service has secured partnerships around the world to ensure discreet end-to-end travel without luring gawkers. vip.frankfurt-airport.com u



Shock Treatment BY MARK HACKING


hough the planet is at a proverbial intersection, propelled to the point of no return by an ever-increasing focus on the environment, all is not lost—for the world at large nor for car enthusiasts in particular. More and more, automakers are turning to electrification to engineer high-speed thrills without all the residual guilt. The truth be told, the signs were already there. The first wave of hybrid hypercars from Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche proved that electrification had arrived—and that it was a good thing. More attainable performance hybrids such as the Acura NSX and BMW i8 nudged the needle along even further. The result: Electrified cars now boast increased all-electric range, quicker acceleration, and, in many cases, a more inspired kind of performance. The wait right now is for the latest electrified hypercars from the likes of Aston Martin, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG et al. The world also can cool its heels while new and renewed carmakers such as Lotus, Pininfarina, and Rimac prepare to mix it up with the more established players. Until that time comes, these three compelling performance cars—and one all-electric race car—drive faster than ever toward the future. 



Courtesy Lexus

Performance cars get a new boost from electricity.

Lexus LC500h



Electrified vehicles are better than ever across the board and, although hybrids have been around for more than 20 years, they’re still improving with age. Case in point: the Lexus LC500h. Taking inspiration from the legendary Lexus LFA, the LC is a new kind of GT, one that combines strong dynamics, an electrified powertrain, and stratospheric levels of luxury and technology. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 gas engine paired with an electric drive motor to produce a combined 354 hp and very quick response. The 60 mph marker appears in 4.7 seconds, perfectly in keeping for a GT that leans toward composure over neck-snapping performance. The powertrain features a 4-speed continuously variable transmission that’s tuned to mimic a 10-speed in manual



mode, so the act of toggling through the gears using the paddle shifters is more entertaining than might be expected. All the power is routed to the rear wheels, giving the feel of an authentic GT (no mean feat considering the hybrid powertrain elements add around 150 pounds to the curb weight). Despite its weight and performance credentials, the LC500h is an incredibly fuel-efficient ride, returning an estimated 30 mpg in combined driving scenarios. To round it all off nicely, even when driving through car-obsessed California, the Lexus turns heads like a screwdriver. The model looks like a concept car that somehow escaped a darkened design studio—onlookers stop, stare, and selfie with reckless disregard for safety in its presence. $97,510; lexus.com

Courtesy Lexus. Opposite: Courtesy Polestar

Lexus LC500h

Polestar 1

If the idea of owning the Polestar 1 sounds interesting, act fast—only 1,500 of these GTs will be built over three years. Not familiar with the car or the brand? Here’s the 500-foot overview: The Polestar brand stands alone, jointly owned by Volvo and Hangzhou-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The company is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and has a building on the Volvo campus; all production takes place in China. One more thing: Everything is electrified. While the Polestar 1 is a plug-in hybrid, all future vehicles from the brand will be entirely electric. Until that happens, there’s much to admire about this 2+2 coupe—beginning with the powertrain that links a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine and two

electric motors. Net result: a combined output of 619 hp and 738 ft. lbs. of torque, as well as up to 78 miles of all-electric range. In many ways, the Polestar 1 is unlike anything on the road today. It’s a grand tourer, in the spirit of a Porsche 911 or an Aston Martin DB11. It’s a hybrid (and a tremendously efficient one to boot), but it’s also a real performance machine. The steering is ultralight at low speeds and more connected as those speeds rise. The ride is fantastic. And the all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring makes for brilliant cornering capabilities. In many ways, it’s a shame that the Polestar 1 is available only in limited numbers—because this is a true GT that will help define the future of electrified performance cars. $155,000; polestar.com 



In the earlier part of the 21st century, a vehicle with as much onboard electrification as the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant would have been called a “mild hybrid.” But none of the badges on this thunderous performance wagon even hint at what’s going on under the surface. To be fair, the car’s 48-volt architecture is not the star of the show— that role is reserved for the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 wedged under the hood. With 591 hp and 590 ft. lbs. of torque, the RS6 Avant is as far removed from the prototypical family wagon as you can get. The Audi accelerates to 60 mph in well under 4 seconds and can hit a top speed of nearly 190 mph—with five passengers along for the ride. Here, electrification is employed simply to boost efficiency: a second battery powers some of the accessories, provides assistance to the engine under light loads, or allows it to shut down completely when coasting. The car also incorporates cylinder deactivation and



an engine stop/start system to further increase efficiency. While the RS6 Avant is an absolute legend overseas, this fourthgeneration version is the first to land in America. It’s been worth the wait: In addition to supercar-like acceleration, the Audi carves corners like a champ, as evidenced during a rousing drive one fine day through the Santa Monica Mountains. The car’s stellar handling is the result of the all-wheel drive system to generate increased traction, as well as torque vectoring at the rear wheels and a rearwheel steering system to help perform side-to-side transitions with the greatest of ease. Then, for those times when you just want to drive at the speed limit, this wagon responds with a high-tech interior that’s more than comfortable over the long haul. The Audi RS6 Avant is a brilliant car, full stop, and it makes nearly every high-performance SUV on the block seem outdated and tame all at once. From $109,000; audi.com

Courtesy Audi. Opposite: Courtesy Jaguar Land Rover USA

Audi RS6 Avant

Win on Sunday, Recharge on Monday The race is on for production-based EVs.

The Jaguar I-PACE, the first allelectric vehicle from the stately British carmaker, is also the star of its own race series: the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY (fiaformulae.com). A support series for the FIA Formula E Championship, the first races were held in late 2018 and the event was the very first championship to utilize a production-based EV. The series draws teams from all over with drivers competing to win the title in either the professional or amateur class. In each race there’s also a guest driver, a one-off race seat allocated to anyone possessing the necessary FIA license. On the final race weekend of the 2018 championship, staged in Brooklyn, the seat was taken for the first time by an automotive writer (who, ahem, shall remain nameless).

While the weekend did not go entirely as planned, it was one of the best experiences of his life. The I-PACE eTROPHY is a different breed of race car—but it has strong acceleration and prodigious braking performance, so, as is the case with any race car, it’s incredibly fun to drive. To make matters all the more interesting, racing through the mean streets of Brooklyn bordered on the surreal. The original plan was for the writer to race in both ends of the doubleheader, but an incident in the opening race forced him to the sidelines too early. He made a great launch at the start of the opening race and managed to make a pass going into the first corner. Things were going well: He was keeping pace with the field, but toward the end of the race he was tapped by

first one driver, then another, and the steering on his car called it a day and forced him into the wall. From there, it was more misfortune: The damage inflicted to the I-PACE couldn’t be repaired in time for the race the following day. His approach was to gradually increase speed throughout the practice sessions and the first race, then be competitive for the final race. But it wasn’t meant to be. The I-PACE eTROPHY is more than just another race series, it’s a technological proving ground that’s helping make EVs better. As a result, the newest I-PACE has up to 12 miles more of all-electric range from the same 90-kWh battery pack. Current owners can score the increase through an over-the-air software update. From $69,500 (nonrace version); jaguar.com






Comfortably Chic

Whether heading out, lounging around, hiking, or meditating, the right look is whatever feels good. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JACK GUY




NANUSHKA bodysuit, $200, and shorts, $180; nanushka.com FENDI shoes, $750; fendi.com JENNIFER FISHER earrings, $650; jenniferfisher.com Previous page, him: JAMES PERSE polo, $115; jamesperse.com MR PORTER jeans, $280; mrporter.com ADIDAS shoes, $80; adidas.com SAINT LAURENT sunglasses, $380; ysl.com PANERAI watch, $17,100; panerai.com LOUIS VUITTON bag, $1,980; louisvuitton.com Previous page, her: ZARA top, $25; zara.com ALEXANDER WANG skirt, $385; alexanderwang.com A. EMERY sandals, $140; aemery.com OLIVER PEOPLES sunglasses, $380; oliverpeoples.com BOTTEGA VENETA bag, $2,250; bottegaveneta.com



JOHN ELLIOTT shirt, $118, and pants, $228; johnelliott.com



NAKEDCASHMERE shirt, $125; nakedcashmere.com MR PORTER jeans, $235; mrporter.com CASTAÑER shoes, $125; castaner.com



HUNZA G swimsuit, $180; hunzag.com CHANEL sandals, $850; chanel.com





Her: FENDI swimsuit, $650; fendi.com CELINE sunglasses, $440; celine.com JENNIFER FISHER earrings, $595; jenniferfisher.com Him: JAMES PERSE shirt, $325, jamesperse.com VISSLA shorts, $60, vissla.com RAY-BAN sunglasses, $154; ray-ban.com


NORMA KAMALI dress, $645; normakamali.com K. JACQUES sandals, $270; kjacques.fr JENNIFER FISHER earrings, $150; jenniferfisher.com



JAMES PERSE shirt, $195; jamesperse.com JOHN ELLIOTT shorts, $168; johnelliott.com ADIDAS shoes, $70; adidas.com


OSÉREE swimsuit, $237, and robe, $525; oseree.com



NAKEDCASHMERE shirt, $125; nakedcashmere.com SATURDAYS NYC shorts, $145; saturdaysnyc.com RAY-BAN sunglasses, $154; ray-ban.com




CULT GAIA swimsuit, $418; cultgaia.com GUCCI sunglasses, $480; gucci.com


SILVIA TCHERASSI bodysuit, $325, and skirt, $480; silviatcherassi.com



JAMES PERSE T-shirt, $70; jamesperse.com FRAME jacket, $950; frame-store.com LEVI’S jeans, $80; levi.com


Her: ZARA shirt, $13; zara.com ALEXANDER WANG shorts, $295; alexanderwang.com NIKE shoes, $190; nike.com PRADA bag, $850; prada.com OLIVER PEOPLES sunglasses, $492; oliverpeoples.com



Him: JAMES PERSE T-shirt, $75; jamesperse.com PATAGONIA pants, $89, and backpack, $89; patagonia.com HOKA ONE ONE shoes, $145; hokaoneone.com Y-3 hat, $80; adidas.com

Him: ALO T-shirt, $58, and shorts, $118; aloyoga.com

Her: ALO tank, $72, and leggings, $118; aloyoga.com




Him: JAMES PERSE shirt, $145; jamesperse.com FOLK CLOTHING shorts, $150; folkclothing.com Her: NANUSHKA jumpsuit, $535; nanushka.com CARTIER watch, $19,800; cartier.com


Her: SAVANNAH MORROW shirt, $129, and pants, $149; savannahmorrow.com JENNIFER FISHER earrings, $350; jenniferfisher.com Him: JAMES PERSE T-shirt, $70; jamesperse.com



Him: THEORY shirt, $195, and pants, $325; theory.com CASTAÑER shoes, $140; castaner.com Her: BOTTEGA VENETA dress, $3,580, shoes, $1,270, and earrings, $720; bottegaveneta.com




Her: NAKEDCASHMERE sweater, $235, and pants, $250; nakedcashmere.com BIRKENSTOCK sandals, $100; birkenstock.com Him: NAKEDCASHMERE shirt, $395; nakedcashmere.com JOHN ELLIOTT pants, $348; johnelliott.com UGG shoes, $100; ugg.com


Resort Living

The allure of high-end amenities and vacation-style concierge services accounts for an almost 200-percent growth rate of branded resort residences around the world. Here, some standout choices. BY JORGE S. ARANGO

Courtesy Oil Nut Bay

Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands




Courtesy Oil Nut Bay. Opposite: Courtesy Baha Mar Residences


Brand: Victor International Corporation, victorintl.com Architecture: Ken Kao Interior Design: Victor Interiors (through Oil Nut Bay, oilnutbay.com) Square Feet: Up to 15,000 allowed Bedrooms: 5, plus a 1-bedroom guest villa (this home) Baths: 6.5 (this home) Scope of Project: 107 homesites



Pricing: $2.95 million (1 acre)–$45 million (existing home) Special Features: A fullservice resort ($61,000 annual fee, or $31,000 if the home is put into the rental program for hotel guests); a homeowner-only clubhouse and a state-ofthe-art, on-site medical clinic. The locale is also in close proximity to Anegada island, which features one of the largest reefs in the Caribbean.

David V. Johnson has built 43 developments over 40 years and he considers Oil Nut Bay “my grand finale.” It’s a paradisiacal setting where, he says, “I am dedicated to creating a unique multigenerational community in harmony with nature.” Though homeowners have the freedom to create their dream home here, they must incorporate a certain amount of local stone and fit organically into the landscape. Johnson’s own futuristic house, Halo, was designed with a 7,450-square-foot green roof, integrated boulders and glass by the late Ken Kao, and outfitted inside by Johnson’s wife, Pamela, in conjunction with French luxury furniture firm Roche-Bobois. It also has a state-of-the-art Gaggenau-appointed kitchen and landscaping by Raymond Jungles. The house and guest villa, named Rainbow, are for sale as is, with three additional villas to be built within the year. “This is what the site wants to be,” believes Johnson. “The beauty is in the land and the sea.”


Brand: Baha Mar Residences, residences.bahamar.com Architecture: Michael Hong Architects, mhongarchitects.com Interior Design: (Rosewood) Wimberly Interiors, watg.com; (SLS) Avenue Interior Design, avenueid.com Square Feet: 752–6,400 Bedrooms: 1–6 Baths: 1–6, plus powder rooms Scope of Project: 198 residences Pricing: $726,500–$25 million Special Features: VIP benefits at places such as Nexus Club and Baha Mar Casino’s Club Blu; the 213-foot superyacht Eternity I; a print of owner’s choice from The Current, the resort’s gallery and arts center; and the opportunity to apply for residency in the Commonwealth.

Bahamian architecture and culture informed the design of the residences at the nearly 1,000-acre resort complex Baha Mar. For the SLS residences, says Ashley Manhan, principal designer for Avenue Design, “The use of pastel colors in the surrounding buildings, mixed with classic architectural elements, acted as a perfect backdrop for clean white interiors and colorful whimsical accents.” The effect is youthful and hip with a regional twist. For the Rosewood residences, Wimberly Interiors chose a more layered and plush design, with furnishings that reside somewhere between contemporary (tailored sectionals) and traditional (wingback forms, albeit made of beachier rattan) with a more-neutral palette and lots of textures. The interiors feel elevated yet still island casual and are in no way stuffy. In their separate ways, SLS and Rosewood appeal to multigenerational occupants, albeit from different perspectives. 



Brand: Six Senses, sixsenses.com Architecture & Interior Design: Studio RHE, studiorhe.com Square Feet: 7,535–15,070 Bedrooms: 3–5 Baths: 3–5 Scope of Project: 28 villas Pricing: $5.4–$12.43 million

Zil Pasyon is the local dialect for “island of passion,” and it’s clear the cosmic architect who conjured this archipelago—its dramatic black granite outcroppings and lush foliage— poured a lot of creativity into the physical landscape. This backdrop was Richard Hywel Evans’ touchstone for the contemporary villas he designed using the same black granite. “The concept for the residences seeks to integrate their forms and materiality seamlessly with this environment, to the extent that they are virtually unseen from the sea,” he says. “Built sans excavation or foundations, the building form is a direct result of the topography.” The interiors, which filter light through glass-bottomed swimming pools overhead and also feature dramatically lit outcroppings that rise right through the floor, are appointed with what he terms “natural modern” furnishings and fittings that are “timeless and classic.”



Courtesy Six Senses. Opposite: Courtesy Beach Enclave

Special Features: Ownership comes with full access to resort amenities—including the branded Six Senses spa— at no extra cost, as well as a variety of outdoor activities in one of the world’s most pristine environments.


Brand: Beach Enclave, beachenclave.com Architecture: SWA Architects, swa.tc Interior Design: Domino Creative, domino-creative.com Square Feet: 10,000 Bedrooms: 4–7 Baths: 4.5–7.5 Scope of Project: 1 remains Pricing: $9.65 million Special Features: The threemile-long Grace Bay Beach has been consistently voted the World’s Leading Beach Destination by the World Travel Awards and also ranks highest on Trip Advisor’s list of the best beaches in the world.

Properties on this pristine white-sand beach don’t last long. Beach Enclave, a homegrown brand with three projects in the archipelago, has only one parcel left at Grace Bay. Taylor Drotman, director of Domino Creative, says the interiors there were guided by a question: “What is the best version of yourself on vacation? There’s a lot of ease for people around that self,” she says. “The hand of everything is soft because you’re less dressed on vacation. The villas are very desaturated because the intention is not to grab your eye with a colorful pillow; everything is neutral to be more harmonious and relaxed.” The soothing effect of this is entirely intentional. Drotman continues, “The houses are easy to use and easy to enjoy.” Beach Enclave has just broken ground on four new villas in Long Bay, where the brand also has villas available for resale, as they do in the nearby North Shore Villas. 


Courtesy Andaz. Opposite: Courtesy Montage Residences


Brand: Andaz, andaztcresidences.com

Pricing: $450,000–$6.8 million

Architecture: RAD Architecture, Miami, radmiami.com

Special Features: Bight Reef, just to the west of Grace Bay, is called Coral Gardens for a reason. Teeming with marine flora and fauna, it’s the most popular spot for snorkeling in the area.

Interior Design: Modus Operandi A+D Inc., modusoperandiinc.com Square Feet: 492–6,411 Bedrooms: Studio–4 Baths: 1–4.5 Scope of Project: 74 residences



“Each Andaz resort has to have a story,” says Francisco Jove, founder of Modus Operandi, which designed these residences and others for the brand in Mexico and Costa Rica. “This island had a mix of different cultures and peoples. Historically, the main economic activity came from salt pans [or flats]. So we picked up that color on the floors.” Jove looked to indigenous clothing patterns that featured multicolored stripes and explains, “We translated that onto walls behind the beds that have a series of variously sized slats in four different tones of wood.” Woven rugs and lighting fixtures reflect the local artisan culture, as “Andaz is the hippest of the company’s brands,” Jove says. He also mixed in mid-century furniture forms and West Indies art with the island’s African-based cultural influences “to make interiors feel sophisticated yet not too rustic.”


Brand: Montage Residences Los Cabos, montageresidenceslos cabos.com Architecture: Idea Asociados, ideasociados.com Interior Design: Twin Dolphin Los Cabos, twindolphinloscabos.com Square Feet: 2,783–3,610 Bedrooms: 2–3 Baths: 3–4

Scope of Project: 52 residences Pricing: $1.75–$3.85 million Special Features: The 40,000-square-foot Spa Montage; three restaurants; 20,000-square-foot multilevel swimming pool (Twin Dolphin Club membership: $75,000 initiation fee; $20,000 annual fees)

“While a lot of developments have design coordination services,” notes Anna Ruby, design director for Twin Dolphin Los Cabos, “we offer in-house customization levels that are really versatile. You can start with a base package or enhanced package and use our team to further customize. We can create a completely new environment, but we’re also happy to be the on-site extension of a homeowner’s own design firm.” Two design packages that currently exist are a more neutral program that boasts “massive amounts of layers and artwork, and another that’s a fun, young Malibu-surf-chic vibe with lots of color and art.” Both, she says, have the same finishes and millwork, locally sourced indigenous materials, and “a lot of bohemian global textures and fabrics.” And, Ruby adds, “The millwork is a standout. We play off that too.” 


Courtesy Mandarin Oriental. Opposite: Courtesy Ritz-Carlton Residences/Kim Sargent


Brand: Mandarin Oriental, mandarinoriental.com; moresidenceshonolulu.com Architecture: [au]workshop architects+urbanists, auworkshop.co; Architects Hawaii Ltd., ahldesign.com Interior Design: Dianna Wong Architecture + Interior Design, diannawong.com Square Feet: 1,542–6,629 Bedrooms: 2–4 Baths: 2–4



Scope of Project: 99 residences Pricing: $3.5–$35 million Special Features: Largest spa on Oahu; two Michelinstar-chefs’ restaurants (one public; one resident-only); located in the midst of city’s arts and culture scene.

“A favorite metaphor of the architectural and interior design process,” says Dianna Wong, “is the creation of an exquisite perfume within a crystalline bottle: We gathered exotic materials and curated all the bestin-class elements to create a beautiful new essence that will represent The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Honolulu.” One of those elements is Molteni&C|Dada kitchens, which, she observes, bring “a form of high-fashion couture to interior design,” along with Gaggenau cooktops (programmable in 30 languages) and Sub-Zero refrigerators. Wong also bucked the usual white-on-white aesthetic that, she notes, “often comes to mind when you think of design in tropical locations. Because this development is not at the ocean’s edge, but offers an elevated, urbanized perspective of Hawaii with panoramic ocean views, we created a refined interplay with contrasts: dark woods against white marbles, jewel tones, and dark stones with white veins.”


Brand: The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, theresidencesmiami beach.com Architecture and Interior Design: Piero Lissoni, lissoniassociati.com Square Feet: 2,000– 10,000+ Bedrooms: 2–5 Baths: 1.5–6.5 Scope of Project: 111 condominiums, 15 villas

Pricing: $2–$40 million Special Features: World’s first residential art studio; 36 private boat dockages; private on-site captained day yacht; ecological food forest and garden; half-acre pool deck.

Adaptive reuse of buildings is always complex, and reimagining the former Miami Heart Institute (before it, the Nat King Cole Hotel) into private homes as “a new Portofino town,” says Piero Lissoni, was no exception. But, “Restrictions are what provoke innovation and lead to truly unique solutions…they invigorate my thinking.” The fruition is residences that exude personal character in a way atypical of branded real estate. “There is a common design language that emphasizes simplicity and elegance,” he says. Within that there is much individuality that makes rooms feel like private homes rather than formulaic pieds-à-terre: built-in bookshelves, unique art and artifacts, varied furnishings, and lighting. “But a person’s home is theirs and must always be a reflection of their personal tastes and style. There will be turnkey residences that have the interiors curated, or… you can buy it as a blank slate to furnish yourself.” u



Just Say Om

The simplicity of these objects—many inspired by organic forms and made using natural materials—gives them a Zen-like presence.

All Images Courtesy of Listed Supplier


Melbourne native Pippin Drysdale, represented by Adrian Sassoon gallery, colors and embellishes ceramic rock-like forms inspired by Australia’s landscape in her Mulga Spinifex Mosaic. You can almost feel their Chi. Around $100,000 for the set of 12; adriansassoon.com



Andrea Anastasio’s Madre lamp for Foscarini clearly references Greek fertility vessels, but reinterprets the form through a simple, unadorned silhouette, and doubles as an actual vase. References to nature and creation are understated yet obvious. $1,476; foscarini.com

Atlanta-based Skylar Morgan Furniture and Design’s Bowlful offers a Zen twist on chips and dip. The surface has a depression ready-made for a dip of your choice, while the rest is flat for crackers, crudité, chips, etc. Available in maple or walnut. $195; skylarmorganfurniture.com

Taking inspiration from the Japanese art of origami, this pair of decorative cranes from Ethan Allen is made from hand-poured ceramic, rather than the art form’s traditional folded paper designs, and glazed in a creamy white. $120; ethanallen.com

Liaigre’s Orient suspension lamp was created for a palace in New Delhi, but it resembles nothing so much as a Japanese lantern, this one made out of bronze and black patinated brass, brass mesh, and aquarelle paper. $26,625; liaigre.com

Armani Casa’s Oriental Landscape plates pick up a motif (reminiscent of Asian ink paintings) from the firm’s Okinawa fabric and reproduce it on hand-painted ceramic against a gray or light-blue background. $135–$285; armanicasa.com

The Chaaban tabletop collection of vessels, vases, and bowls from atelier showroom Una Malan brings together two classic Zen typologies. The turned natural forms are hewed from a solid block of wood, which is then cast in bronze. Pricing available to the trade only; unamalan.com

Lladró’s Koi collection is a new range of table accessories inspired by the fish, which symbolize love and friendship, frequently represented in Chinese and Japanese art. In China koi symbolize perseverance and strength; in Japan, good fortune. $115 for these chopstick rests; lladro.com

Each year, Heath Ceramics develops limited-edition glazes available for one season only. The summer collection showcases bright colors and overlaid glazes on classic shapes. It will be available only from April 1 to September 30. $23–$295; heathceramics.com 


Alpine Zen


The shape of the Mendocino tub from Native Trails is simple and elemental. Made sustainably from natural jute fiber and cement, it weighs 40 percent less than the concrete it emulates. Available in four finishes: Ash, Slate, Earth, and Pearl. $8,800; nativetrailshome.com

Designer Andrew Mau’s Moana mirror for O&G Studio is clean and contemporary. It’s suspended within a steam-bent ash frame held together by a solid brass stretcher across the top. Available in two sizes, each piece is made completely by hand finished in any of O&G’s signature pigment-based stains or solid walnut. $633–$1,583; oandgstudio.com

Duetto is a collaborative collection, initiated by Katja Hirche, director of Bernd Goeckler gallery, between two masters of contemporary Italian design: artist and furniture designer Roberto Rida and glass artist Simone Crestani. The Hamami table exquisitely encases a glass cherry blossom tree in a clear, thick glass box. $21,500; berndgoeckler.com


All Images Courtesy of Listed Supplier

Alexa Hampton’s Newport Collection for The Shade Store brings natural materials (reeds and bamboo) indoors and softens the light coming in from outside. The look is simple yet luxurious. Starts at about $505 for a standard double-hung window; theshadestore.com

Los Angeles–based Montalba Architects (montalbaarchitects.com) has designed the new 660-square-foot Zen Suite for the Whitepod Hotel, a high-end ecoresort featuring geodesic dome rooms in the Swiss Alps. The new suite includes a traditional recessed Zen bed and a Japanese-style soaking Furo tub. Wuxing movement theory, which originated during the Han Dynasty in China, postulates that everything is connected and everything has energy. Five kinds of Chi are expressed in various materials and the natural setting— wood, earth, fire, water, and metal—and describe interactions and relationships between phenomena of all kinds. There is also a central pod that accommodates a breakfast room, massage area, sauna, and bar. $775–$1,585; whitepod.com

Cabinet Caché

The big biannual kitchen introductions happen at EuroCucina next year. In the meantime, many famous and lesser-known brands continue innovating and tweaking. Each is completely custom, so prices range widely.

Lignum et Lapis is one of Arclinea’s most iconic kitchens. But last year the new Pocket system of doors was developed that allows the work and storage areas of the kitchen to completely disappear when not in use. arclinea.com

Piero Lissoni’s Combine kitchen for Boffi, he says, “is like a multifaceted game” played with “mono-blocks” devoted to washing, cooking, and prep. Material combinations include natural stones, woods, metals, engineered surfaces, glass, and ceramic. boffi.com

Promemoria continues expanding its palette of materials for Angelina, arguably the most luxe custom kitchens around. Pick from fine stones, woods, polished or brushed finishes, bronze, Murano glass, leather, and fabric. Sky’s the limit. promemoria.com

Parma, Italy–based Matteo Gennari’s completely bespoke kitchens entered the US market through Global Kitchen Concepts’ umbrella, a New York showroom specializing in European brands that might be lesser known yet brings new perspectives to kitchen design that are not represented among the bigger names. globalkitchenconcepts.com

Rational kitchens from Germany are all about handsome elegance and horizontality. The Uno accomplishes this with a warm, organic effect by combining ecologically sound oiled oak with matte-black aluminum. To maintain the all-important emphasis on purity of line, it comes with handleless drawers and cabinet doors. rational.de

Five years ago, Christopher Peacock debuted his Lambourne Collection kitchen, inspired by a local church and Lambourne Hall near his home northeast of London. Now he has relaunched it with new hand-forged hardware selections, cabinetry panel options, and oak details from ancient trees excavated from underground. peacockhome.com u


Desert Oases

More than its famous medinas, Morocco is a mecca for sport and wellness. Follow this guide to find refuge, relief, and places to play.


esterners want to lose themselves in Morocco. It’s those romantic, sepia-stained photographs enrapturing visitors eager to wander the labyrinth-like medinas of Fes and Marrakech. The alleyways lit by shadowthrowing copper lanterns, the stacked-tothe-ceiling Berber rugs, the spice-scented clouds rising up from simmering tagines, all popularized by culture icons like American author Edith Wharton (ceremonially spellbound in her 1920 travelogue In Morocco), French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix (he painted the red city only months after his return to France), and French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent



(who lovingly called Marrakech his second home for 40 years). Geologically, the country boasts astounding diversity; the Atlas Mountains form a crooked spine that separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts from the Sahara Desert in the south. Some 1,200 miles of jagged shoreline attract long-period autumn and winter oceanic swells. Thrill seekers visit for the world-class surfing, skiing, rock climbing, hiking, trekking, and mountain biking. Bespoke travel concierge Scott Dunn (scottdunn.com) arranges everything from private hikes and personalized bike tours to rooftop yoga classes and traditional hammam treatments. Just off Morocco’s backbone in the

Middle Atlas Mountains, Fes prospered as the learning center of the Arab world. Today, detail work practiced by skilled hands shows in the intricately tiled madrasas and stonewashed palaces. Within the steep, car-free medina, potters, coppersmiths, and tanners practice pre-digital trades. It’s common around the central tannery to rub your hands with fresh mint to cut the odiferous tang hanging in the air. Hiking up Jbel Zalagh reveals fragrant olive groves and the rolling hills of the Sebou River valley. Descend to a limestone face that’s been a rock-climbing and bouldering destination since the 1970s. Much like the palaces of the Fassi nobility who once inhabited the region, stays at Palais Amani 

Courtesy Marrakech Insiders/Yassir Charak. Opposite: Courtesy Palais Amani


Bespoke travel concierge Scott Dunn arranges private hiking experiences, while Marrakech Insiders takes visitors around in vintage sidecars (opposite).


(palaisamani.com) and Riad Fès (riadfes .com) transport guests into a world of wantfor-nothing tranquility. The Fez Cooking School (fezcookingschool.com) utilizes Palais Amani’s rooftop kitchen to teach traditional Sephardic cooking workshops. At Riad Fès, the Physiotherm Infrared Cabin housed in the spa relies on infrared technology to apply heat gently but deeply thanks to its patented ceramic radiator filled with lava sand (a welcome après-hike activity). To stay active around Marrakech, cross the Ourika River and go through the Toubkal National Park woods before heading to Kasbah Tamadot (virginlimitededition.com)— Sir Richard Branson’s and his mother Eve’s High Atlas Mountain retreat. There are 10 Berber tents, complete with Murano glass chandeliers, roll-top baths, and private patios. Opt for a few matches on the AstroTurf tennis courts or take out the resident mules. Berber guides facilitate a trek and tea experience, which takes participants into the neighboring village of Tansghart. A longer trek with a private guide reveals the confounding Atlas Mountains, peppered with rustic villages. The landscape shows myriad texture and color: burnt ferric red boulders and verdant rolling hills clotted with snow. The scene seems impossible and infinite all at once, especially considering that bustling Marrakech is less than an hour away. Visitors can head off the intensity of the city at The Oberoi, Marrakech (oberoihotels .com), a newly constructed property on 28 acres of Mediterranean citrus orchards and centuries-old olive groves. The resort is best experienced via hotel bicycle on alternating paths of pavement and gravel surrounded by uninterrupted vistas of the Atlas Mountains. Located a half hour’s drive from the medina,



the desert air remains pure, unencumbered by smells of petrol. Wi-Fi-enabled house cars shuttle guests into the center. The old quarter of Marrakech is a flat maze of palaces, mosques, souks, riads, and shops. Thomas Chabrières, founder of Insiders (marrakechinsiders.com), takes passengers through the area via a vintage Ural sidecar. The medina whizzes by in a blur of brightly colored baskets and men

In the old quarter of Marrakech, tours of the Islamic gardens, the El Bahia Palace, and Saadian Tombs with local guides surpass expectations. getting roadside straight-razor shaves. Neighborhoods like Guéliz (the French quarter) and Sidi Ghanem (an industrial zone) are slowly transforming into chic artist communities and becoming easily accessible. A long-established wellness practice, the ritual of the hammam removes toxins, purifies the skin, and increases lymphatic movement and blood flow. Farnatchi Spa (farnatchispa .com) offers a deep scrub with a body wrap of aromatized ghassoul (a blend of seven plants to brighten and nourish the skin). The city’s crown jewel is a medina within a medina: Every room functions as a riad of

one’s own at Royal Mansour (royalmansour .com). Owned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the opulent Moorish retreat features Balenciaga bedside clocks and Christian Louboutin babouches, not to mention monochromatic, sun-drenched alleyways spread over 12 acres. Swapping city for seaside, stroll along the cobblestone promenade or go for a run through the fort, as many of the locals do in the fishing village of Essaouira. In its miniature version of Marrakech’s medina, shop owners allow onlookers to browse unbothered. Galerie d’Art Frédéric Damgaard (galeriedamgaard.com)—a Danish furniture designer turned gallerist—promotes the local Gnawa painters, while L’Atelier Madada (lateliermadada.com) functions as a coffee shop and local artisan concept store. Roughly two hours south lies Taghazout, a waterman’s mecca. Surf spots abound, alternating between striated sandy beaches and rocky peninsulas. Additional activities like stand-up paddling, fishing, camel adventures, and kite surfing teem in Taghazout. Partners Gabriela Matti and Mounir Bouallaq perpetually add to Munga Guesthouse (mungaguesthouse.com). The 15room duo of properties celebrates the couple’s love of travel and sustainability, incorporating salvaged antiques into every detail. From the hollowed-out boat-turned-bed in one room to a tree ladder, pair of date palms, and matching olive presses in others, each room is wholly unique. Home to The Surf Academy, Munga supplies its guests with wet suits, surfboards, and, for the more advanced students, video review sessions. At Anchor Point, the finest surf spot in the region, a call to prayer echoes off the water, diverse spiritual practices uniting under a single sun. 

Courtesy Marrakech Insiders/Simon Saliot

Tour operator Insiders takes passengers through the area via a vintage Ural sidecar.


Tagine dishes abound.



Healthy Appetite

When it comes to cuisine, soups and stews, tagines and couscous abound. Although steeped in tradition (and spices), Moroccan gastronomy is not limited solely to its past. Here are some highlights from across the country. CASABLANCA Don’t miss Pâtisserie Bennis Habous (patisseriebennis.business .site), a family-owned bakery creating Maghrebi pastries like almond macaroons and crescent moon–shaped cornes de gazelle from the same recipe for the last four generations. FES Café Clock’s (cafeclock.com) simply but beautifully made Berber eggs, baked in a spicy tomato sauce, achieve the perfect breakfast balance. It’s difficult to beat the ambience of the Ruined Garden (ruinedgarden .com), an indoor/outdoor greenhouse brimming with potted plants where tapas meet tagines. Everything on the menu is house-made daily, including the seven-hour lamb mechoui. MARRAKECH An endless supply of sweet mint tea remains status quo; enjoy lighter fare like the stuffed poussin with vermicelli and sultanas in a harissa sauce at Le Trou Au Mur (letrouaumur.com). The mille-feuille of organic eggplant, tomato, and chèvre at El Fenn (el-fenn.com) explores the boundaries of nouveau dining. Overlooking an outdoor souk, Nomad (nomadmarrakech.com) serves a Moroccan gazpacho with melon and ginger that derives inspiration from neighboring Spain, much like the city’s architecture. Sisters Myra and Saida Chab own Al Fassia (alfassia.com), equally known for its all-female staff and sweetly spiced chicken. ESSOURIA A stone’s throw from the North Atlantic, Les Bretons Du Sud (+ is one of a dozen tiny restaurants that compose the local outdoor fish market. Throughout the day, fishermen drop off the day’s catch, which is always prepared à la minute and served with a simple green salad or crisps.


The vegetarian and vegan options at Kameleon (kameleoncafe.com) impress, as do its weekly holistic workshops. TAGHAZOUT In an old mud-brick Berber village in the Souss-Massa-Drâa region, a single (unpaved) road winds through town. An undulating waterfront walkway mimics the coastline, snaking between quaint cafés like Surf Berbere (surfberbere.com) and the ocean. Café Mouja (mouja.ma) boasts an all-day smoothie bar and an impressive collection of single-origin coffee offerings. u





Take a Health Escape

Courtesy Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Fitness retreats worldwide are an integral part of the global wellness revolution, offering clean eating, clarity, and conscious enlightenment. Here, the best experiences in every type of setting.

Competing in the Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley




estled into the forest like a chic mountain lodge, the new Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat, Woodside (canyonranch.com) features a winding entrance feng shui’d to perfection and lined with a handful of rocks, each painted with a word to create the sentence: How. Far. Down. The. Rabbit. Hole. Are. You. Willing. To. Go? It’s a question that lets visitors know this destination spa, set on 16 acres among California coastal redwoods, offers a wellness program unlike any other—its sister properties included—and begs the answer be given through the course of a guest’s stay. The curriculum here is anything but hard-core, skipping the intense privations and no-option philosophies of die-hard destinations for a gentler approach to getting healthy. Take a class or skip it. Indulge in dessert (or wine—a very welcome new offering for Canyon Ranch) or pass. Hit the yoga mat or hit your mattress for a midday nap instead. There’s no strict mandate here (though pack an eye mask, as a lack of curtain shades on the floor-to-ceiling windows in your room will certainly cut down on that coveted naptime). For the burnt-out, the overworked, the just plain tired, this version of Canyon Ranch is a breath of fresh air. More than programming, Woodside focuses on facilitating an experience in the great outdoors. The resort is a mere soupçon of the intense experience Canyon Ranch junkies go for in Tucson and Lenox. Instead of 30 options per hour—from boxing to Watsu to cooking classes to archery—there are only three or four: a hike, yoga, and a lecture on work/life balance, for example. The spa is an intimate, cozy cocoon where your therapist is waiting on you, not the other way around— and the training zone is oddly peaceful too, left vacant



during much of the day as personal trainers and yoga masters take their students into the woods or out on the terrace to sweat and stretch it out. For the unapologetic go-getters, however, a visit to the small Performance Lab offers a pod-like contraption that screens body composition to horrifying accuracy, and trainers who test oxygen consumption via intense treadmill workouts. Where Woodside overachieves is in the restaurant. Led by Executive Chef Isabelle Jackson Nunes, a former athlete with the requisite tattooed forearms (including an avocado strategically placed on her left elbow) and a resume that includes both Michelin-starred kitchens and Silicon Valley cafeterias, The Hearth turns out the kind of organic, flavorful, and fresher-than-fresh cuisine that is all-too-often missing from the menus at most wellness resorts. It doesn’t hurt that Nunes sources almost everything within 50 miles, from the catch of the day (wild-caught by local fishermen and paired with fresh ginger and miso or homemade tomatillo sauce) to the vibrant greens (of which there are plenty, spiced up with chili oil or dressed with ginger and almonds). That everything at Woodside is pretty laid-back is, ultimately, its greatest asset. Very few clients report needing more scheduling in their lives. The freedom to breathe in the forest air, to soak in the hot tub past the point of pruned fingers, and to settle into a chair by the bonfire and gaze out at the treetops for as long as desired are what make Woodside so brilliant a concept. Here, Canyon Ranch is teaching its latest wisdom that sometimes the best thing to do is to stop trying to achieve at all—to let go and without expectation tumble over the edge into whatever and wherever the rabbit hole is leading. —Jackie Caradonio 


Courtesy Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat Woodside (5)



o enter the L.Raphael (l-raphael.com) flagship on Geneva’s chic Rue Du Rhone is to walk into a destination resort in the heart of a bustling city; one can easily get lost in this metropolitan island of tranquility for hours, even days. The same can be said for the Swiss skincare brand’s hidden jewel-box of a spa in the Four Seasons New York on East 57th Street. Yet, most of L.Raphael’s loyal, international clientele are successful entrepreneurs with busy schedules that don’t allow for hours of personal pampering. That’s when founder and beauty guru Ronit Raphael steps in. “We try to maximize your time,” says Raphael, “because most clients want and need everything, but don’t have enough hours in a day to get it. I am talking about time for the mind and soul, as well as physical time.” And the way Raphael schedules this time is through the most efficient and effective methods that incorporate her core philosophy, Seven Foundations of Beauty: an integrated lifestyle approach based on medical programs, nutrition, physical activity, age management, aesthetics, stress management, and leisure time. Each location—as well as her spas at hotels in Beverly Hills, Cannes, Tel Aviv, and Almaty, Kazakhstan—offers three-, four-, five-, and seven-day retreat programs that focus on anti-aging, detoxing, slimming, and overall wellness. Depending on a client’s needs, a typical day may start with yoga and meditation or, at the Geneva location, highintensity electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) training, which involves wearing a thin workout suit that has a network of electrodes



attached to zap the body with electricity for increased muscle activity during exercise. EMS is meant to cut a 40-minute workout down to 20 minutes with the same results. Exercise is followed by a skincare treatment, such as the Oxy Cure C + 4D facial, L.Raphael’s signature “facelift without surgery.” Then, perhaps a session with the nutritionist and lunch on the terrace of the Geneva flagship, the city’s famous water fountain, Jet d’Eau, in the distance. In the afternoon, a body treatment, such as three-zone sculpting, which uses radio frequency and tightening and vacuum therapy to reduce cellulite, shape the silhouette, and firm skin. At certain locations, more skin treatments may include micro plasma, skin-cell therapy, and the brand’s exclusive diamond mask in collaboration with Chopard—all part of a tight itinerary devised by Raphael and her staff. “It’s like a recipe,” Raphael explains, “We know what our clients need, so we take control.” Although the brand has an extensive collection of potent skincare products, Raphael is known for saying, “Go ahead, put on a cream, it’s not going to change you.” It’s her belief that a cream will have effectiveness after a few weeks, but only when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, its full benefits are lost. “You need to drink 1.5 liters of water a day for glowing skin,” Raphael says, “if you don’t, you are only doing half the job. It’s all about maintenance and taking the time for ourselves. I don’t believe it’s one time, and you’re done.” —Deborah Frank


Courtesy Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (2). Opposite, Courtesy L.Raphael (3)


efore a mega fire seven times the size of Singapore closed Wollemi National Park in 2019, visitors of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (oneandonlyresorts.com) hiked through the park’s tunnels of glowworms. The seven-mile, half-day trek served as a showpiece for the beauty of the World Heritage–listed Greater Blue Mountains (that the adventure is a serious calorie-burn is an afterthought at best). But it was only one of several active excursions offered at the resort, a three-hour drive from Sydney. Hiking through the Wolgan Valley Reserve and Morning Nature Walks at the 1832 Heritage Homestead with a knowledgeable field guide are also available. Plus, hardcore exercise fanatics can up the ante with the monthly Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge. Back at the 40-villa resort, meals include big salads made with locally grown organic produce, sustainably sourced and simply grilled meats and fish, and vegan and glutenfree sandwiches on house-baked bread. On an afternoon stroll spot kangaroos and wallabies, both of which hop freely around the property, or head to a restorative treatment in the freestanding spa (six treatment rooms, hot and cold outdoor pools, an aromatherapy steam room). Set on a conservancy untouched by the fires that spans nearly 7,000 acres between Wollemi National Park and Gardens of Stone National Park, the property attracts two kinds of travelers: Sydney and Melbourne residents seeking a weekend getaway and international guests getting over jet lag or recovering from a hectic vacation. At the spa, a two-hour signature service called Wholeness combines a warm bath and aromatherapy massage. The most impactful option is the 60-minute Power of Sound session where sound therapist Sonia Tymecka, who hails from a family of musicians, plays copper gongs, a chime, a conch, and other instruments in a slow, rhythmic pattern for guests who are cocooned with blankets on a massage table and lulled into a state of profound calmness and relaxation. “I often have to wake up people at the end,” says Tymecka. —Shivani Vora 




n 2012, billionaire technology entrepreneur Larry Ellison purchased a 90,000-acre Hawaiian island off the coast of Maui. Lanai has become known for its picturesque beaches, rugged terrain, golf courses, and two Four Seasons resorts: one on the beach at Manele Bay, and one in the mountains among the pine trees. The Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, a Sensei Retreat (sensei.com) reopened in November after a years-long closure. The new Sensei branding recasts the property as an all-inclusive wellness destination that rivals the best in the world. The idea behind Sensei—a partnership between Ellison and Los Angeles–based physician David B. Agus—began after the death of their close friend Steve Jobs (Agus treated the Apple founder toward the end of his battle with pancreatic cancer). The two set out to establish a health-minded company with the mission to help people live longer, fuller lives. Through years of careful research and development, Ellison and Agus created a philosophy based on three basic principles: Move (“how we interact with our environment”), Nourish (“what fuels us”), and Rest (“how we uncover and grow”). The duo has plans to open several such properties, with Lanai being the first. “Sensei retreats introduce a customized experience designed to incorporate healthy practices during your stay and throughout your life,” says CEO Kevin Kelly, formerly of Arizona’s Civana Wellness Resort and Spa. Before arriving, guests are matched with personal guides to assist in crafting comprehensive itineraries (Sensei requires a minimum three-night stay). Whether their goals are to address specific health issues, increase fitness, or simply unwind, they can schedule physical activities that range from yoga and meditation to fullbody strength circuit classes and hikes around the island. One-on-one sessions include personal training, nutrition



consultations, and stress management. Each guest is offered unlimited spa treatments—from massages and facials to thermal body mapping and water shiatsu. Guests arrive on the island either via a 45-minute ferry from Maui or by plane (Ellison launched his own airline, Lanai Air, which flies out of Honolulu) and are then driven up to Koele in a Tesla SUV. The 24-acre, 96-room resort’s original plantation-style architecture remains, but the interiors have been transformed by designer Todd-Avery Lenahan into a serene oasis, anchored by a great room awash in organic materials and a calming palette of cream and tan. Outside, lush grounds bloom with more than 1,000 species of tropical plants, accented by contemporary art sculptures and walking paths that wrap around a swimming pool and a small man-made lake. Ten individual casitas have been created for spa treatments, each with its own indoor and outdoor showers, infrared sauna, steam room, Japanese soaking tubs, and private plunge pools. The heart of the property is its restaurant, Sensei by Nobu. The collaboration between famed sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Agus is housed in a striking glass-walled pavilion that overlooks a reflecting pond. Its ambitious cuisine follows a science-based approach to diet with a focus on clean foods that are also bursting with flavor. The menus change daily—including a five-course tasting dinner served every night—with mouthwateringly fresh dishes such as Kauai shrimp and tomato gazpacho, Nobu’s signature black cod marinated in sweet soybean paste, and perfectly prepared A5 Wagyu. Much of the produce is grown at Sensei’s own pioneering hydroponic greenhouse farm, which provides both food and jobs for the surrounding community. “Sensei’s innovative and evidence-based programs create an environment for discovery and renewal,” says Kelly. “It is a place to grow well.” —Amanda Eberstein 


Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, A Sensei Retreat (5)



$10 million, one-year metamorphosis has transformed the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort (carillonhotel.com) into a destination spa with new-age medical offerings. The hotel, which opened as Canyon Ranch Miami Beach in 2008, had an existing treatment space that Carillon has now built out with the latest medical equipment and high-tech tools. The all-suite resort sits on a white-sand beach with 150 one- and twobedroom ocean-view units. Day passes to the spa cost $65 and membership programs range from $7,500 to $10,000 for its wellness-yourway approach. And there are so many ways. Expanded fitness offerings include more than 120 classes per week, everything from an indoor rock wall boot camp to off-Broadway dance and buff ballet booty to TRX strengthening. Also available in the 70,000-square-foot space are over 40 spa treatments, ranging from deep tissue, Swedish, and Himalayan salt stone massages to specialty treatments such as a ginger-coconut-argan sugar glow, quartz massage performed on a crystal quartz bed, a rejuvenating sea wrap, and sound therapy. A European-inspired hydrotherapy circuit with nine hot and cold thermal experiences includes a vitality tub and an igloo. “All of our special modalities are under one roof,” says Elaine Kroytor, the Carillon’s holistic therapist who specializes in electrosound lymphatic therapy. “We’re considered a nontraditional spa with services like salt float bath therapy with 800 pounds of magnesium, whole-body cryotherapy, and infrared sauna.” Carillon’s on-site team of specialists includes two energy healers, an acupuncturist, an executive life coach, a nutritionist, and a plastic surgeon who offers Botox, injectables, laser treatments, and reconstructive surgery. Treatments include NAD and IV therapy, hypno-puncture, cupping, meridian imaging diagnostics, and gua sha (an ancient scraping technique for muscular pain). “Guests who come here are overstressed. They don’t get enough sleep and they don’t consume the right products they need to detoxify,” adds Kroytor. “If we don’t reverse, avoid, and prevent, we will not have a healthy quality of life.” —Alix Strauss




Courtesy Shou Sugi Ban House/Fredrika Stjarne (2). Opposite, Courtesy Carillon Miami Wellness Resort (2)


irst impressions upon arriving at Shou Sugi Ban House (shousugibanhouse .com), a wellness destination in New York’s Hamptons, are of calm sereneness with a landscape inspired by the local dune scape and Japanese gardens. A key design accent throughout is the resort’s namesake, Shou Sugi Ban treated wood—an ancient Japanese method used in building material whereby wood is charred, scraped, then oiled to make it resistant to fire and decay. It dovetails beautifully with the stone and biscuit color palette. The three-acre retreat, with its 13 guest studios, is unlike anything in the area, nonetheless anything that’s a two-hour drive from Manhattan. When founder Amy Cherry-Abitbol conceived it, she was more concerned with anti-aging. “I didn’t have the wellness concept in mind,” she explains, “until I looked into longevity science, which is preventative as well.” Her intent to create an intimate setting to experience the intersection of the scientific, the spiritual, and the intellectual has snowballed into something greater. It has taken on a life of its own beyond every thoughtful detail, like the pebble floor of the shower and the radiant heating; the Japanese soaking tubs and pipedin music; the filtered water from the spout and the custom-made mugs and plates from a potter in the Adirondacks. The welcoming crystal left on the nightstand and the seasonal evening soak at turndown are there to relax and rejuvenate guests. The therapeutic bodywork and hydrotherapy sessions at the spa heal sore muscles, especially after a functional movement class that’s more than the typical high-intensity interval training. The early morning tea ceremony, dawn beach walks, and meditative yoga set intentions for a stress-free day. And the nutrient-rich meals designed by Chef Mads Refslund, formerly of the lauded Noma in Copenhagen, support the gut and show that clean eating can actually satisfy cravings. Everything here has a purpose and nothing is wasted, right down to the vinegar made from stone fruit. It’s all in an effort to impart not just a healthy lifestyle but a meaningful one. —D.F.  LUXURY MAGAZINE SPRING 2020 147



Courtesy California Health & Longevity Institute and Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village (5)



ituated on 11 manicured acres between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the California Health & Longevity Institute and Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village (fourseasons.com) is the brainchild of David H. Murdock—who owns the Dole Food Company. After losing both his mother and wife to cancer, Murdock made it his life calling to offer preventative care and a healthier, more holistic approach to living. Originally located in Santa Monica, the California Health & Longevity Institute moved to its present location in 2006. Now at the Four Seasons, which just completed a two-year renovation, clients can stay among the 230 guest rooms and 39 suites and enjoy new restaurants such as the California brasserie Coin & Candor; OnyxNYX, a rebranded sushi bar; and the Prosperous Penny, a weekend speakeasy. Dotted throughout the property are works of art indigenous to Murdock’s travels, like the pagoda from China held together without nails or glue and large boulders from River Kwai in Thailand. The tranquility pool, a sun-soaked oasis, is adults-only and surrounded by 10 private cabanas. The wellness institute is about scientific innovation, time-tested healing traditions, and embracing a team of experts to facilitate a holistic wellness approach, including tailored treatments, services, and medical care. “Anyone can put together a group of services. We differentiate ourselves with lifestyle and behavior changes, leading to physical and mental transformation. Everything we do is qualified and everyone is qualified as an expert in his or her field,” says Victoria Nickle, executive director of California Health & Longevity Institute. “One needs to be able to make and move toward a better life. We believe that can be done with Kaizen, which means small steps toward sustainable change.”

Those small steps are accomplished through the property’s five pillars of wellness—medical, nutritional, life balance, fitness, and spa—which were created to work cohesively with one another. Their team offers full medical practices from internal, imaging, and radiology to dentistry, dermatology, chiropractic, and acupuncture. There’s even an exercise physiologist and sleep psychologist. Want bio-compatible fillings, porcelain veneers, or metal-free crowns? You can have that taken care of as well. Day passes are priced from $299 and packages such as the all-inclusive Signature Retreat—a threenight, four-day stay with organic meals, workshops, mindfulness practices, yoga, and body composition and metabolism assessments—is $2,999. The spa is 40,000 square feet, which is the largest and busiest facility of any Four Seasons property globally, and offers 28 treatment rooms to perform a variety of massages plus 30 face and body treatments such as a chakra balancing ritual, lavender milk and honey cocoon, ginger lime sugar glow, medical hypnotherapy, swift lift firming facial, and DNA growth factor exfoliating facial. The fitness program goes beyond classes and outdoor hiking and cycling. Additional offerings include posture, movement, target heart rate assessments, personal training, and fitness consultations. The cooking classes, demonstrations, and lectures round out this wellness experience. “Our life balance offers meditation, yoga, stress management, counseling, and life, family, and marriage therapists,” adds Nickle. “This is not a quick weight loss program or just a spa. We’re not just white robes and gurus. Our goal is that people leave healthier than when they arrived. Then we give them the tools to live a healthier and better life, which is the real cure in preventative health care.” —A.S. 




t used to be that women went to spa resorts and men went to Las Vegas. In 2005, men composed only 29 percent of spa clients. By 2017 that number had shot up to nearly 50 percent. Are mani-pedis and cucumber masks replacing alcohol-laden casino trips? Not exactly, says a study prepared by Miraval Resorts (miravalresorts.com). Instead, more men are practicing “self-care,” engaging in behavior that supports their well-being. Spas like Miraval, in Tucson, Arizona, and Austin, Texas, even have “guy’s guys” figured out. They won’t be getting their eyebrows waxed (unless they want to), but they will eat healthier, work out better, test their mental and physical limits, and clear their heads in ways they might not expect. And there’s always a deep tissue massage. In addition to typical spa activities such as meditation, group hiking, and yoga classes, Miraval offers a range of mental and physical challenges to recharge and renew energy levels and raise consciousness. In Austin, men take classes in mindfulness, stress management, parenting skills, and even digital management. As a sign on one of the walking paths asks, “Are you paying attention to what you’re paying attention to?” The use of digital devices at Miraval is severely restricted so that people focus on their journey, not their Instagram accounts. Addressing the body, the sports classes are not forgiving. Mountain biking sessions include basic skills, along with singletrack and sand rides. Miraval Austin offers kayaking, stand-up paddling, and attempting yoga on stand-up boards (for those who want to find balance while falling into the water). Trail running in Tucson is accompanied by a knowledgeable guide describing the



surroundings. To challenge the body and mind together, Face-to-Face, a tandem exercise, has people moving in pairs across tightropes to learn balance and mutual support. Going deeper into self-testing, Quantum Leap asks guests to jump off a 25-foot-high pole (with a safety harness) to push them out of their comfort zones. Complete the Out on a Limb challenge by crossing a log suspended 25 feet in the air. Make it all the way across, and the instructor says to now do it backward. Groups become invested in each participant’s success, cheering and encouraging each other. There are culinary classes, wine classes, and even a beekeeping experience completed with a beekeeper’s suit. Fresh honey, warm from the hive, is the reward. Introduction to Mindful Horseback Riding is an introspective session atop a horse to focus on bonding with the animal. During the Equine Experience, facilitators and specially trained horses perform basic equestrian skills that reveal insight into personal patterns. The most inspiring session at Miraval, however, involves a mundane and seemingly menial task. It’s Not About the Horse teaches people more about themselves than they thought possible. Groups begin with instructor Wyatt Webb describing how humans are born with only two simple fears: loud noises and falling. (Everything else comes later, along with self-doubt.) Webb is good at therapy because he has the unique ability to look past people’s façades. And this gruff, sort of scary cowboy knows how to get people to see what he sees. As he says, “So what we will do today is not about discovering who you are. It’s about remembering who you are.”

When the 11-person group comes inside the barn to meet Crackers the horse, the exercise sounds almost ludicrous: Lift the horse’s hoof and scrape it clean with a brush. But Crackers will only lift his hoof for an honest approach. This does not mean participants start talking to him. Instead, they have to be honest with themselves about their fears. Webb talks to each person as the others listen and asks about fears. Emotions surface and they speak truth first to Webb, and finally to themselves. They walk toward Crackers and lift his hoof to scrape it and their own emotions clean. Participants reach out to touch Crackers, lay their heads against his withers, and walk back to the group, drained. The newfound honesty stays with them for a long time. For the rest of their time at Miraval, whenever they see a fellow “horse person,” there’s a moment between them. While the Equine Experience can be lifechanging, the retreat can be life-giving. The enclave of residences atop the resort includes studios through three-bedroom units. Private infinity pools and hot tubs overlook the Santa Catalina Mountains. Among full kitchens and a “sleeping bag” for cell phones to facilitate digital escape, experience an in-room massage treatment and a chef-prepared healthy meal. Spa cuisine here would be welcome at a bachelor party. The menu has a Southwestern tint, with Mediterranean influences, and there is even cheesecake for dessert. By day two, the men who arrived questioning why they skipped Las Vegas are walking around in their robes without their phones, heading from a spa treatment to a challenging workout, an enlightening session, or a consciousness-raising experience. Next time, perhaps it will be a pedicure. —David Keith u


Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Top Right: Miraval Arizona (3); Miraval Austin (2)


Into the Woods


et’s get this out of the way quickly: Forest bathing doesn’t require any special swimwear. And it’s not going to burn a lot of calories. In fact, the all-season activity requires walking as slowly as possible. In winter, strap on a pair of snowshoes. Otherwise, just wear sensible shoes. At the end of the experience, stress levels drop and moods improve. One simply becomes healthier than before. The roots of forest bathing can be traced to Japan where the practice is known as shinrin-yoku, a term coined in 1982 by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Since then, the beneficial effect of forests on human health has become a focus of scientific research, especially as more



people live in urban areas often devoid of trees and spend more time indoors. Forest bathing, meanwhile, has slowly spread to wellness centers around the world and has become a popular fitness activity offered by hotels, even ones in less-than-remote locations. Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel (marriott.com) in downtown Minneapolis, for example, will arrange a forest bathing excursion into the Minnesota forest, a 15-minute drive, with a certified guide/instructor. The science behind forest bathing is still ongoing, but here is what we know so far: As noted by New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation and other organizations, exposure to forests boosts our

immune system. When we’re in a forest, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne compounds that plants use to ward off invaders. Our bodies react to phytoncides by increasing the number and activity of white blood cells that act as natural killers (NK), which kill tumor and virus-infected cells in our bodies. A three-day, two-night forest-bathing trip, for instance, can boost NK activity for between a week to a month, depending on a person’s physiology. Japanese researchers are currently investigating whether forest bathing can help prevent certain types of cancer. Different types of trees produce different types of phytoncides, so research continues regarding the varying effects of species like pine, birch, and oak, for example. 

Courtesy Mohonk Mountain House (2)

Linked to cancer prevention and better overall health, the Japanese practice of forest bathing is turning hotel stays into tree-loving wellness escapes.

The hiking trail at Mohonk Mountain House (opposite) in New Paltz, New York


Just how critical phytoncides are can perhaps be measured by their absence. The emerald ash borer is a beetle that kills ash trees. In communities where the destruction caused by this insect left streets treeless, significant jumps in lung disease and heart disease were subsequently recorded. Researchers have found that forest bathing has other measurable effects as well: It reduces the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline, plus anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, and fatigue, while also lowering blood pressure, increasing energy levels, boosting creativity, and improving sleep. But forest bathing is about more than just taking a deep breath in the woods. For practitioners like Nina Smiley, Ph.D., director of mindfulness programming at the Mohonk Mountain House (mohonk.com) in New Paltz, New York, the benefits of forest bathing are enhanced by a meditative approach that focuses on the sense of well-being that comes from immersing oneself in nature. “Stress can be a habit,” says Smiley, a diminutive woman who favors tiny, silverwing earrings that give her an elvish air. The landmark Mohonk Mountain House is a castle-like, 151-year-old hotel that feels like a tranquil wilderness retreat with hilly forest paths circumnavigating a beautiful, glacial lake. Smiley is a member of Mohonk’s founding family that still operates the resort. Her forest-bathing instructions put one in mind of the Jedi training Yoda passed to a young Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Smiley, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton University, describes the work as



creating new neural paths that calm the mind and reduce stress. Her goal is the same as Yoda’s: develop a sense of inner peace in a world full of stressful challenges. So welcome to life in the very slow lane. For Smiley, the goal is not completing a walk around the lake in the fastest, heartracing time possible; it is experiencing natural surroundings in the here and now while letting modern distractions float away: moving at a snail’s pace, slowly placing one foot down after another, focusing on the feeling of your foot coming into contact with the earth. The emphasis is on building an awareness of the senses. This may mean simply focusing on the sounds of the forest with eyes closed or hearing the wind rustling branches or the cries of a passing bird, all the while sucking in those phytoncides with deep breaths. Forest bathing Smiley-style also means looking hard at what normally rates for a passing glance, such as the differing patterns in a pair of leaves or the way exposed roots curve around stone. If 10,000 steps a day has been a fitness goal, 100 is pushing it in forest bathing. The experience is like sunbathing for your senses and accommodates virtually all fitness levels. Numerous hotels and resorts now offer forest bathing with guides certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (natureandforesttherapy .org), while countries like South Korea have a dedicated National Center for Forest Therapy (daslim.fowi.or.kr). Not all are strictly uniform in their approach, with the addition of yoga as the most common variant. Some

locations, such as The Lodge at Woodloch (thelodgeatwoodloch.com) in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, The Ranch at Rock Creek (theranchatrockcreek.com) in Montana, Virginia’s Primland (primland.com), and Armathwaite Hall (armathwaite-hall.com) in England’s Lake District, offer forest bathing as part of an overall spa program. Others like the Blackberry Farm (blackberryfarm .com) in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains include forest bathing as part of a larger “Wellhouse” program that includes endurance hikes. Still others take advantage of local opportunities. For example, the Trout Point Lodge (troutpoint.com), a luxury property in Nova Scotia, adds foraging walks to discover edibles in a pristine Acadian forest. And in Minneapolis, the Hotel Ivy includes a custom “forest” cocktail using nonalcoholic Seedlip distilled spirits as part of the post-walk wind down conducted by ANFT-certified guide David Motzenbecker. L’Auberge de Sedona (lauberge.com) in Arizona includes a tea ceremony and a keepsake journal as a parting gift. The Lodge at Spruce Creek (sprucepeak.com) in Vermont makes forest bathing a central feature of its winter Mindful Snowshoe Tour. Also available are independent guides like Adirondack Riverwalking (adirondackriverwalking.com) in Lake Placid, New York, which partners with various local ski centers. Rates vary depending on the duration of the experience and the number of people in a given group. At the Mohonk Mountain House, for instance, a 50-minute private program goes for $165. —Frank Vizard u

Courtesy Blackberry Mountain

At Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, forest bathing is part of an overall wellness program.


Competing Interests


erry Frewin is a 45-year-old fund manager—and parttime champion athlete. He’s represented his country, the UK, at multiple international Ironman and triathlon events, and squeezes training in around a high-pressure job and family life with two young children. To do so, Frewin rises at 5 a.m. three times a week, fits in lunchtime and evening sessions to train, and has hired a professional coach to help finesse techniques and improve his times. “I’ve got this crazy ambition to succeed. I just love succeeding,” he laughs. He estimates that he spends around $19,800 per year on coaches, equipment, travel, entry fees, and other triathlon-related needs. He’s unabashed at the expense. “I’m not spending



on other things, like getting drunk. You can’t overinvest in your health.” Frewin isn’t alone. Triathlons, once the preserve of nerdy fitness nuts, are now a staple among C-suite executives and have created a new category of competitor in these races called MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men in Lycra). Midlife crises once involved fast cars or first tattoos; now they’re just as likely to center on foregoing liquor and training for a triathlon, an Ironman, or an ultra-run. Indeed, there are almost 20,000 of these supersized marathons worldwide each year, a 100-fold increase over 20 years ago. Triathlon coach Matt Dixon of Purple Patch (purplepatchfitness.com) points to a shift in office culture as the Great Recession hit. “That’s when CEOs started realizing that

physical and mental well-being is central to performance at work. And as a result, people started to look for [hobbies] that were attractive, results-driven, and ongoing.” Another factor is that anonymity is appealing for C-suiters constantly under scrutiny. “In our swimming pool, we have the pros at one end and high-performing executives at the other,” says Dixon. “And we have a culture of all being treated the same—as we are all the same when dressed in a Speedo.” Will Usher of Precision Coaching (precision-coachingr.co.uk) emphasizes the social aspect; instead of sitting in a bar with your buddies drinking a beer, why not hit the pool? “People see it’s great to be around the banter and the community, and think, ‘I train to be in that community, so I might as well 

Courtesy Precision Coaching/Phil Hill (3)

From hiring private coaches to attending ultra-luxe training camps, amateur triathletes are upping the ante—and the cost—to win.


race too.’” And those social connections on the running track can be useful back at the office: Call it sweatworking. The fact that the events themselves are held in such far-flung locations, like an Ironman in Hawaii or an ultra-marathon in the Swiss Alps, is appealing as well. In the Ironman Executive Challenge XC (ironman .com) series of races, half of the competitors are either presidents or CEOs. One recent study found that participants spend an average of $3,800 per year on the hobby, though many spend as much as Frewin, if not more. A former elite swimmer and professional triathlete, Dixon charges each of his amateur athletes upward of $1,500 per month for his hands-on coaching, and focuses on time-starved fitness enthusiasts. As he’s based in the Bay Area, Dixon specializes in working with Silicon Valley elites; though understandably discreet about his client list, he mentions one standout athlete, Sami Inkinen. Under his tutelage, the multimillionaire founder of the real estate website Trulia became amateur Ironman world champion. “The sport attracts those who are performance-driven, and our real sweet spot is working with the athlete who’s juggling a whole lot of stuff in his life. Inkinen was training for less than 50 percent [of the time] of most other amateurs.” Usher is another need-to-know name. The UK-based former special ops officer came



to prominence as the mastermind of Chef Gordon Ramsay’s radical transformation (he’s also Frewin’s coach). He charges around $300 a month for a remote or in-person coaching program; services such as physiotherapy and nutrition can be added for up to $650 a month. Usher emphasizes the flexibility clients have while working with him. “Our methods allow people to have a life,” he says. “We have an overarching picture for a threemonth block of training, but we deliver the program one week at a time. ” Travel is central to the sport too—and not just globetrotting for competitions. Industry data indicate that one-fifth of amateur triathletes attended a training camp last year. Nikhil Kapur, another veteran Ironman athlete, runs a triathlon program in India at the resort he owns, Atmantan (atmantan .com). For about $1,800 (four-, seven-, and ten-day programs are available), the program applies Ayurvedic principles to training and focuses on restorative physiotherapy. Equipment costs can also add up. All aspects of the Cervélo PX-Series triathlon bikes (from $12,000; cervelo.com) are designed to enhance speed, from the wheel shaft and braking cables to the aerodynamic water bottle holder. The Yonda Ghost II men’s wet suit ($714; yondasports.com) reduces friction in the water, is easy to take off, and can be worn without lubricant. The carbonfiber plate in the midsole of the Hoka One

One Carbon X ($180; hokaoneone.com) is light but softens impact on joints while running; the rocking chair–like sole claims to improve forward propulsion. Athletes are also signing up for sweat tests with Precision Hydration (precisionhydration .com). The firm uses technology originally developed to test for cystic fibrosis to analyze the sodium content in patients’ sweat at its labs around the world. This is crucial data, as founder and former elite-level triathlete Andy Blow explains, as it can help prevent hyponatremia; this condition, when the salt content of blood is too low, can cause fatigue and cramping. Once athletes know their sweat profile, Precision Hydration prepares different strengths of what’s essentially a bespoke alternative to Gatorade; these multi-drink mixes and mildly flavored tablets, which dissolve in water, replenish the appropriate amount of sodium the individual loses in his or her sweat. New tools and technologies in the racing industry, and executives’ drive to channel stress into something productive will continue to fuel the fire in the coming years. “This used to be an insurmountable fringe sport for people who were slightly deranged,” says Dixon. “But many executives are using this training, the physical resilience, and the emotional lessons to help them thrive in the workplace and be the best version of themselves.” —Mark Ellwood u

All Images Courtesy of Listed Manufacturer. Opposite, Courtesy Purple Patch Fitness (2)

From left: Cervélo PX-Series triathlon bike, Yonda Ghost II men’s wet suit, Precision Hydration drink mix, Hoka One One Carbon X shoe.

Bay Area–based triathlon coach Matt Dixon trains amateur athletes on the track and in the pool.


Great Minds

Mind over matter? These groundbreaking therapies are making brains the new brawn.

From top: Mind training combines with holistic practices at REVÄŞVĹŒ Bali.



Courtesy REVĪVŌ (2)


or all of our hard work on our physical selves—we want to look thinner, stronger, younger, fitter—we have a bad habit of neglecting our most powerful body part: our brains. At no time in history have human brains been more preoccupied and under more pressure to perform than today. Busy work lives, hectic social lives, nonstop emails, and ceaseless screen time are taxing the muscle like never before. As humans evolve to live longer (some research predicts the average life expectancy will rocket to 125 years by 2070) we also face the inevitable question not only of what we are going to look like but also of what we’re going to think like as we age. Picking up the occasional crossword puzzle or reading The New Yorker from cover to cover can help, but until recently, there’s been few known

tools that keep our minds as lithe as our bodies. “The brain has been overlooked for so long,” says Dr. Richard Carmona, chief of health innovations at Canyon Ranch, 17th Surgeon General of the United States, and author of 30 Days to a Better Brain: A Groundbreaking Program for Improving Your Memory, Concentration, Mood, and Overall Well-Being. “We pump our biceps and triceps and work on our cores, but the computer that controls all that has largely been ignored.” While there’s no Soul Cycle for the mind or an Equinox for anxiety (yet), there is a new cabal of wellness retreats and resorts aiming right at that big space between your ears, offering new ways to rewire, reboot, and reinvigorate your brain. Check in at one of these mind-enhancing properties and you’ll check out clearer, calmer, and smarter (you might even lose a few pounds in the process). 






Last year, the ultra-modern retreat in Alicante, Spain, known for its macrobiotic diet plans and demanding fitness programs expanded its offerings to give clients’ minds a makeover too. Led by Dr. Bruno Ribeiro, SHA’s brain treatments are as cutting edge as it gets, using the dual power of NASA technology and Harvard research to whip your head into shape in record time via a stateof-the-art helmet that sends lowintensity electrical currents and infrared-light wavelengths to various parts of the brain. Called Brain Photobiomodulation, it jump-starts lazy parts of the mind to improve everything from memory and concentration to hormone regulation. For those parts that are on overdrive (you know, the ones that make you stressed and anxious), currents can also decrease negative activity. The painless, noninvasive treatment is backed by hundreds of clinical studies and has been used to treat brain injuries and other trauma. In healthy individuals, it can improve cognitive function, enhance learning capabilities, and boost mood. It’s like a massage for your mind, working out the kinks that are slowing you down and getting you in peak form for your next big challenge. shawellnessclinic.com

A series of brain-health weeks called Boost Your Brain Power is built on the concept of “neuroplasticity”— the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual’s life. The program’s workshops, lectures, and activities focus on four pillars known to optimize and enhance cognitive ability: sleep, nutrition, social relationships, and physical activity. If it seems fairly uncomplicated, that’s because, well, it is. Sleep, for instance, is a vital component to maintaining neuroplasticity. “It’s so important because it’s when most of the storing and manufacturing in your brain takes place,” says Dr. Richard Carmona, Canyon Ranch’s chief of health innovations. To help guests optimize their sleep habits, Canyon Ranch dispatches its sleep medicine specialist for one-on-one clinics and guidance. The same goes for the other pillars: Nutritionists, personal trainers, psychologists, and other experts are all part of guests’ tailored “brain gyms.” It’s a crash course for the mind and the body that Carmona expects will become more common as neuroplasticity catches on. “Soon we’ll see these kinds of programs in classrooms and doctors’ offices to optimize our brains and, ultimately, our lives.” canyonranch.com

This Koh Samui, Bali, resort has a reputation among devout yogis for its dozens of retreats throughout the year, hosted by celebrity health gurus and meditation masters. Now, the property is bringing sci-fi technology to its lo-fi beachfront setting with its Brain Health Upgrade Program. Ranging from 3 to 10 days, it combines advanced brainwave and biofeedback therapies with traditional yoga, breathwork, nutrition, workouts, nature, and meditation. The experience begins with a redlight and near-infrared-light therapy session that delivers an instant boost. The red light brings healing to the skin while the near-infrared light targets mitochondria in cells for increased energy production and brain function. Next is Audio Visual Entertainment, a treatment that delivers pulses of lights and sound frequencies via headphones and a pair of dark eyeglasses to induce a deep meditative state, increasing cerebral blood flow and neurotransmitters, and boosting levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. The relaxing factor of both treatments is huge—and nearly instant—priming guests for EEG biofeedback meditation, which measures brainwaves in real time to show if the brain is in a calm or engaged state. samahitaretreat.com


All Images Courtesy of Listed Retreats




For a mental health tune-up with some real medical heft, try the Body & Mind Balance package at this spa and medical center in the Swiss Alps above Lake Lucerne. It’s based on the study of psychosomatic medicine, which explores the relationships among social, psychological, and behavioral factors on the body. Dr. Verena Briner, Waldhotel’s medical director, argues that the modern demands of life have increased to such a degree that we rarely have time to cope with stress and normal emotions, such as sadness or grief, which can manifest in mental and physical ailments if left unaddressed. “For people who do not find the way out of the hamster wheel,” she says, “the body may react with exhaustion, sleeplessness, weight loss, stomach ulcers, depression, and so on.” To treat everything from burnout to sleep conditions to depression, the program combines mental coaching, psychotherapy, relaxation techniques, and craniosacral massage, which uses gentle pressure on the skull and spinal cord to improve circulation of the fluid around the brain to relieve pain and dysfunction. Combined with physical activities—something Waldhotel’s natural surroundings excel at providing—Briner argues this protocol is a new path to a healthy lifestyle. buergenstock.ch

Sometimes to whip your brain into shape you need some tough love. That’s what you’ll get at LifeWorks, a new retreat in Montana that puts clients through four-night, Monday through Friday, brainhealth bootcamps to enhance brain performance and cognitive function. The science behind the LifeWorks Brain Performance program is based on noninvasive brain mapping, a technology that measures brainwaves at 19 distinct points to determine activity—or inactivity—in zones that control behaviors and functions ranging from concentration and comprehension to anxiety and excitement. Based on analysis of this baseline brain map and additional cognitive testing, LifeWorks’ neuroscience team develops individualized plans for each of its clients combining cognitive exercises and habit coaching with yoga, outdoor activity, meditation, nutrition, and sleep analysis. Whether the goal is to be sharper and more focused or to overcome more serious issues such as dementia or brain injury, the changes LifeWorks initiate are most significant for their lasting power. Guests leave with a customized brain report and plan to help them achieve a brain-healthy lifestyle. whylifeworks.com

When Laurie Mias set out to create a new kind of wellness retreat in Bali, she realized she was up against some serious competition. Meditation and massage are about as plentiful on the Indonesian island as sun and sand, so the French yoga instructor and wellness expert created a resort that focuses on “mind training” to transform guests’ physical, mental, and emotional selves. “If you really want to create some change, you have to transform the way you think,” Mias says. Like any kind of training, Mias says, mind training requires practice and repetition. “Everything we do is about being 100 percent present,” she explains. Of course, thinking about nothing but right now can be harder than it sounds, so REVĪVŌ’s coaches guide guests whether they’re sitting down to a meal or working out. REVĪVŌ’s Emotional Balance & Mind Training retreat combines all of this mental work with holistic treatments, including Reiki and chakra balancing, personalized yoga, and Pranayama breathing sessions. Mias hopes that through the repetition, mind training will become a skill that guests use in their everyday lives. “Changing your mind,” she says, “is how you change your life.” revivoresorts.com —Jackie Caradonio u


The Health Club Revolution

There’s a new must-have membership on the rise—and its goal is to help you live your best life.


chieving wellness in 2020 can be a full-time job. There are doctors to see, from the family practitioners and medical specialists (both Western and Eastern, of course) to the acupuncturists, chiropractors, and, ahem, the occasional cosmetic experts. But that’s only scraping the surface: We take yoga and Pilates, we juice and we cleanse, we sauna and we meditate, we have personal trainers and reflexologists and



aestheticians and masseuses. There are new health studies to consume, preventative measures to take, and supplements to consider. If it all sounds more stressful than it’s worth, private wellness clubs are offering the closest thing to a one-stop health shop, combining everything from heart-health checkups and blood-sugar tests to raw-food classes and full-service spa facilities. Here, four of the newest good-for-you membership clubs promoting the future of wellness.

All Images Courtesy of Listed Club. Opposite, Courtesy Lanserhof at The Arts Club





The 18,000-square-foot club that launched last September in Manhattan’s Union Square neighborhood combines integrative health care with other popular wellness services, such as fitness studios, meditation centers, and spa facilities. It offers a 360-degree program, with a $375 monthly membership fee that covers everything from unlimited yoga, movement, and meditation classes to monthly sessions with dedicated health-care coaches who work together to tailor programs that achieve members’ goals. It’s one stop for the gym, the doctor’s office, the meditation studio, and so on—and it’s all done in a welcoming space that’s beautifully designed and encourages members to drop in daily, whether it’s for a private training session, a facial, a workshop on healthy eating, a doctor’s appointment, or a nourishing meal made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in the organic restaurant. the-well.com

Bridging the gap between medicine and wellness, this medical membership club looks more like an artist’s loft or chic boutique than it does your average doctor’s office. For a subscription fee of $150 per month, a team of doctors, registered dieticians, health coaches, and other gurus give members a tailored evaluation of their well-being—physical, mental, even emotional— using advanced diagnostic testing and targeted physician assessments that take into account everything from fitness and nutrition to stress and sleeping patterns. Far from a revolving door, Parsley ensures each of its members spends 75 minutes with his or her doctor on the first visit to create a lifelong plan that connects all the dots of a healthy lifestyle, treating concerns that range from insomnia, infertility, and IBS to hormonal imbalances and autoimmune conditions, all with constant feedback. parsleyhealth.com

Launched in 2017, this membership club has set its sights on becoming the Apple of health care with its futuristic business model. Founded by former executives of Google and Uber, Forward touts some seriously modern AI, from a 3D body scanner that produces biometric data in mere seconds to examination room monitors that “listen” (much like Amazon’s Alexa) to consultations to provide real-time diagnostics, facts, and resources. The $149 per month dues give access to unlimited in-person doctors’ visits and newfangled medical devices, such as a cardiac ultrasound machine and a DNA sequencing program. The club has even elevated the classic doctor’s appointment garb, replacing paper gowns with Lululemon clothing that’s more comfortable (and modest). As Forward expands, it hopes to replace not only the outmoded doctor’s office visit but eventually the hospital visit as well. goforward.com

The Arts Club is a legend in London’s social club scene and last summer the venerable society became the leader in a new VIP frontier bringing Austria’s acclaimed Lanserhof institute (known for its intense privations and detox methods) to a cosmopolitan setting for the first time. Six floors of health and wellness space house medical facilities with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment as well as spa treatments. For about $8,500 per year (plus a $1,970 joining fee and an additional $1,300 annual fee for optional butler services), each member receives a personalized analysis and protocol based on the results of high-tech tools like a full-body MRI and 3D body scan. There’s also a cryotherapy chamber and organic meals made according to each member’s nutrition plan. On the penthouse level, members can hook up to a vitamin IV drip while sitting in an infrared-heated chair. theartsclub.co.uk —J.C. u



Treatments Trending

As the definitions of self-care and well-being continue to expand, an array of procedures to stave off injectables and surgeries are the latest obsessions.



ong relegated to grooming products consisting of head and facial care revolving largely around hair, the landscape of the male beauty ritual is shifting. With tougher, oilier, and generally thicker skin, men confront a different set of skin challenges. Veteran chemist Marie Veronique Nadeau and skincare specialist Kristina Holey debuted men’s skin health brand Louis Pierre | M. Veronique ($12–$65; marieveronique.com) in summer 2018 to satisfy demand. “Having studied men and their skincare habits for years, we discovered an unrecognized phenomenon: most men either don’t know, or think they’re not supposed to care about their skin,” explains Holey. Their suppositions were originally cemented during the launch of their first collaboration, Marie Veronique, a skincare line of biomimetic reparative serums crafted for their largely female clientele. Created using ingredients organically found in the skin, Louis Pierre (named for Nadeau’s father) offers a five-step program—cleanser, shaving oil, aftershave tonic, finishing oil, and sunscreen. “Healthy skin is just as important for men. Plus, a good complexion is a handsome thing,” says Holey.





kin health isn’t skin deep according to Christina Mace-Turner, founder and CEO of Mab & Stoke (mabandstoke .com), a direct-to-consumer company that formulates herbal dissolvable tablets called Mab Tabs ($78 for a 28-day supply). While the epidermis plays an important role, Mace-Turner looks internally to “amplify wellness,” she says. Culled from over two dozen highly concentrated organic herbal extracts, each tin of Mab Tabs is engineered with a specific user in mind. Prepared from the results of a playful yet telling Mad Libs–style online questionnaire, each daily supplement features a unique blend. Although not exclusively marketed to men, Mace-Turner explains that she purposefully sourced herbs that can be dialed up for men’s Mab Tabs like Oatstraw, a stress regulator that “can be helpful for skin due to its macronutrient content. Burdock, which aside from general support for skin health, is also frequently used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Ashwaganda, an adaptogen, has anti-inflammatory benefits that aid skin health and is also cardioprotective, so it’s especially useful for men over the age of 40.”


he field of genetic wellness posits itself around a singular question: What health changes would you make if you knew your body’s genetic shortcomings? That call to action is the core of the California Health & Longevity Institute’s Genetic Wellness Program (from $3,100; chli .com) at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. This series of screenings differs from the bevy of available genetic testing thanks to the idea that specific assessments in five categories—cardiology, cancer, nutrition and fitness, telomere length, and pharmacogenetics (how people react to different drugs based on their genetics)— can disclose information vital to bridging the gap between genetic health and physical well-being. Including genetics within an individualized fitness and lifestyle program helps identify an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Plus, the more one knows about how their body tolerates food, or what predisposed genetic limitations already exist, the more a truly personalized health and wellness program can be created. Test results from blood samples and cheek swabs take anywhere from two weeks to a month to receive.


From Left: Courtesy Skin Five (2); iStock. Opposite: All Images Courtesy of Listed Supplier.


kip the heavy lifting and enlist Emsculpt (bodybybtl.com), a noninvasive bodysculpting and toning device that uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to contract muscles 20,000 times in 30 minutes. Employing a proprietary technology delivered via two flat paddles, the machine is strapped to either the derriere, abdominal region, arms, or thighs; alternating pulses and contractions build muscle fibers by about 16 percent, according to BTL Aesthetics, the device’s parent company. “They took it from rehab and moved it into the area of antiaging and aesthetics, so it’s not necessarily experimental,” says Dr. Suzanne Levine of Manhattan’s Institute Beauté (institutebeaute.com). “It was developed for people who had neuromuscular diseases and they noticed it built up the muscle to avoid atrophy. The device is based on magnetic energy, which is far stronger than electrical stimulation.” But, according to Levine, those with cardiovascular issues cannot undergo treatment and it’s not for weight loss. “It has to be used on someone who is physically fit. If a person has a lot of fat in a specific area, it won’t be able to penetrate down to the muscle layer to be effective.”

Designed to burn fat, tone, and lift, Emsculpt, according to Dr. Ava Shamban of Los Angeles’ Skin Five (skinfive.com), is also “ideal for people with low-back or

Designed to burn fat, tone, and lift, Emsculpt produces alternating pulses and contractions to build muscle fibers by about 16 percent in 30-minute sessions. knee issues needing help with strengthening their core.” Levine says, “We’ve been getting amazing results on the inner thigh, and I do the treatment in combination with an anti-cellulite machine to make the skin look smoother.” Four sessions (from $899/30 minutes) scheduled two to three days apart, with quarterly follow-ups, are recommended for lasting results.


iami-based Camila Perez (movabycamilaperez.com) and her daughter Lais have a massage for cellulite. Coined Massage High Definition (from $250/60 minutes), the treatment uses lymphatic drainage—a technique originally conceived to ease postoperative swelling—to target small blood vessels and soft tissue just below the surface of the skin. Unlike a Swedish, Thai, or deep-tissue massage, the aim isn’t to detangle knots or stretch, but instead to wheedle fluid out of soft tissue. Water weight sits in soft tissues. An expert drainage will signal to the lymphatic system to release the excess water via the small intestine and skin. “A full-body lymphatic drainage will produce results, especially if you retain a lot of water,” explains Perez, adding that her proprietary massage stimulates fat tissue and releases the fascia. Although every body is different insofar as the immediate effects, she notes that “every single one” of her clients has noticeable before-and-after changes. It’s possible to drop five pounds overnight or have cellulite disappear after a series of treatments, notes Perez, who also has outposts in New York and Los Angeles. —Alexandra Cheney 



ong-heralded as the mother ship of the vaunted French beauty brand Biologique Recherche, the Paris-based Ambassade de la Beauté (ambassadedelabeaute.fr), a threestory traditional maison tucked just off the Champs-Élysées, continues to redefine personalized treatment with the debut of a new high-definition skin analysis tool, the VisioLab. The machine scientifically photographs the face to analyze in greater detail a handful of criteria including pores, dark spots, skin tone, and wrinkles. It complements the company’s Skin Instant Lab, a five-probed machine that measures corneometry (skin hydration), elasticity, melanin, sebum content, and the efficiency of the lipid barrier. Although Biologique Recherche’s facials are known to be highly tailored, the addition of this painless diagnostic analysis allows clients an à la minute understanding of their skin’s present condition. VisioLab’s scientific findings allow for product and treatment modifications, seeing as imbalances of the epidermis frequently shift depending on environmental and hormonal triggers. —A.C.




ith its research, development, and production taking place in its labs in Tuscany, Italy, the nutrient-rich skincare brand Seed to Skin ($72–$287; seedtoskin .com) features formulations extracted from sustainable sources. Five years in development and launched with 16 products, it’s a line that defies convention, offering one-of-a-kind formulas such as a spray-on serum called The Alche’Mist ($185). “It’s about what really works for the skin,” says Jeanette Thottrup, creator of the brand. “Nowadays, everything is about the molecule size, and anything that’s oil-based has bigger molecules than water-based formulas. So, I never understood why a serum is not water-based. We had to find another way of thinking about it, so we based the formula on thermal water to extract molecules from olive leaves for a really strong base that allows the product to seep into the skin quickly.” Thottrup is also the founder of the five-star boutique hotel and wellness concept Borgo Santo Pietro, which has a 300-acre organic farm from where many of the products’ natural raw ingredients are

sourced. The Seed to Skin Spa at Borgo Santo Pietro features a facial ritual that takes full advantage of the products’ advanced molecular system, which targets specific skin layers to deliver potent polyphenols, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals where they can be best absorbed and retained. Spas at Park Gstaad in Switzerland, the Liberty London department store, and Hawaii’s Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele also incorporate the line into treatments. The individually handmade products are assigned batch numbers and are sold at Borgo Santo Pietro’s on-site skincare lab, in select European stores and spas, and online through the company’s website and Net-A-Porter. —Deborah Frank


t’s inevitable that a few of the 43 muscles in the face will be problematic. Some settle into expression patterns while others require myofascial release. In 2017, Valérie Grandury discovered the ancient Chinese practice of gua sha—a treatment using a traditional handheld tool to massage the face and sometimes the entire body, promoting tissue drainage, the breaking down of fascia,

Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Top Left: Biologique Recherche (2); Seed to Skin; Odacite (2); Wildling


It’s inevitable that a few of the 43 muscles in the face will be problematic. Some settle into expression patterns while others require myofascial release.

and muscle relaxation. Stagnant energy is released at the same time as pain and tension, skin looks tighter and more contoured, and circulation and detoxification are improved. Grandury has created her own gua sha tools, made from hand-carved crystals and sold in conjunction with her cult organic skincare line Odacité (odacite.com). “We started with rose quartz, which is the stone of unconditional love,” says Grandury, who was born and raised in Paris, and resides in Los Angeles, where her company is based. “Blue sodalite is the crystal of harmony, which is fabulous to realign energy. And green aventurine is perfect for when you need the universe to help you seize opportunities or just bring a little luck your way.” To correspond with the products’ release last year, the Odacité Gua Sha Facial is offered at Paris’ Le Bon Marché department store. The 20-minute treatment combines the crystal tools with Odacité’s potent serums, made from plant extracts and all organic, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients. “The aromatherapy benefits of the serum concentrates allow for a deep relaxation,” says Grandury.

For those looking for something more in-depth, Odacité has created the Temple of Beauty facial, a fully customized, hourlong treatment that combines gua sha with aromatherapy, cleansing, exfoliation, and extractions using signature products such as the Blue Aura Cleansing Water, Bioactive Rose Gommage, and a bespoke combination of detoxifying, age-defying, and hydrating serums. “Skin is much more than the surface of the body, it is the reflection of our innermost self,” Grandury says of the treatment, which launched at the spa at Malibu’s Calamigos Ranch last June. “We take into consideration all of the factors that affect the skin and custom blend each facial to adapt to the uniqueness of each person and specific needs.” The facial has proven to be so popular that it is now offered at the new Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas in Mexico, La Silolière in Courcheval, and Le Fouquet’s hotel in Paris. The beauty of Odacité products is that they are spa-quality yet can easily be incorporated into an athome routine. Grandury recommends pairing the gua sha stones with her All-Embracing

Serum, made of watermelon and hibiscus, and massaging either first thing in the morning or before bed every night. Wildling Beauty (wildling.com) has made the ancient ritual of gua sha accessible to the modern man as well. Directly translated, gua means scrape and sha means sand, so the trio of Wildling co-founders sought out Bian stone, a black, near-impenetrable amalgamate of more than 40 minerals, as their facial tool. A proprietary design, their five-edged Empress Stone ($65) combines with a pair of products, a brand-made tonic and facial oil, for peak experience. “Facial tension caused by stress is real and men and dads feel it too,” says Jill Munson, Wildling’s herbalist and master product developer. In the name of erasing fine lines and activating collagen production, lifting, and clearing skin by detoxifying the lymphatic system, Munson stresses regularity as key to improvement. Each week, the partners release a new three- to five-minute online gua sha tutorial meant to educate those both unfamiliar and practiced with the techniques. —Amanda Eberstein and A.C. u LUXURY MAGAZINE SPRING 2020 169

The A to Z of Polo

An international affair, the sport of kings remains a ticket to the world for both the players and the tony crowds who follow the matches each year from Switzerland to Aspen to Argentina. BY REBECCA BALDRIDGE


hile the elegance and celebrity of a polo match can be as heady as the bubbles in a glass of Champagne, the drama on the field offers another mind-blowing experience. The polo player is a modern-day gladiator mounted on a highly bred and meticulously trained steed, and the action is fast and aggressive. Horses thunder down the field at 30 mph, making the risk of serious injury a real possiblity. In the world of high-goal polo, both player and mount are superior athletes who share a warrior mentality. The ancient game originated in Persia and was spread through colonization. More than 2,000 years ago it was played as an element of cavalry training and then found its way to India via the Muslim conquest of the 13th century. When the British colonized India, polo became a favored occupation of English cavalry units, given its utility in training mounted troops. Colonial cavalrymen took polo home with them, and by the late 19th century it had become popular among the royal family and nobility. By 1875, matches in London attracted thousands of spectators. Shortly thereafter, polo was introduced to the United States and became fashionable in New York. British landowners took the game to Argentina, where the broad, grassy Pampas and cattle-ranching lifestyle made it the perfect pastime. Today, Argentina is the dominant force in international polo and the sport rivals football in popularity. All of the world’s 10goal players are Argentine. One of history’s best-known enthusiasts may be Sir Winston Churchill, who began his polo career as a young subaltern and found fame as a player during a posting to India. “A polo handicap is a person’s ticket to the world,” he famously said—the sentiment still ringing true today. Professional polo players, as well as amateurs and fans, follow an annual trajectory that takes them around the globe. Enter the polo world and you’ll find that it’s small indeed. Any “polo person,” even a neophyte with a minus-two handicap, can find entrée into a select social milieu. 




From Left: Courtesy Mark Beaumont; Jasmine Abel



Courtesy Snow Polo St. Moritz/Reinhardt & Sommer. Opposite, Courtesy International Polo Club in Palm Beach

The international season gets off to a glittering start with snow polo. The French ski towns of Val d’Isère, Megève, and Courchevel all host tournaments, but the Snow Polo World Cup (snowpolo-stmoritz.com) in St. Moritz, Switzerland, is the top ticket. Conveniently, the tournament comes on the heels of the annual Davos World Economic Forum, a short train or private jet ride away. The players clash on a snow-covered frozen lake, while an international crowd of spectators snuggle into their Moncler jackets and sip Perrier-Jouët in the VIP tents. Once the sun sets on St. Moritz, it’s off to balmy South Florida, also in January, to see some of the finest polo the sport has to offer. The United States Polo Association (USPA) sponsors its Gladiator Polo (gladiatorpolo.com) series at the International Polo Club of Palm Beach (IPC). This nearly 250-acre stadium is hallowed ground for enthusiasts, where members and their guests can watch the action from boxes high above the field. The US Open Polo Championship (uspolo.org) is one of the biggest days at IPC, and the chic Palm Beach crowd is always spectacularly turned out. Usually held around Easter, the tournament sees spectators resplendent in Lily Pulitzer and the vibrant hues of South Florida. Another essential match is the annual Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge (uspolo.org), which fields two teams of 10-goalers to benefit the Polo Players Support Group, an organization that provides financial assistance to injured or ill players and grooms. A highlight of the President’s Day weekend, it’s some of the best polo you’ll see outside of Argentina. The World Polo League (worldpolo.org), founded jointly by Marc and Melissa Ganzi and Bob Jornayvaz in 2019, features the highest-goal polo outside of Argentina, with 26-goal

Understanding the Game

It’s more exciting the more you know. The Field: Polo is played on a grass field that is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide, with goal posts at each end.

defends the goal, while the number three, usually the best player on the team, plays both offense and defense.

The Teams: Every team consists of four players, each of whom is assigned a handicap. Handicaps range from minus-two for a rank beginner to a high of 10. Around two-thirds of all players are ranked at two or below, while there are only a dozen players with a handicap of 10.

Scoring: The object of the game is to score goals. For spectators, it’s crucial to know that when a goal is scored the teams switch ends and go toward the opposite goal. If you aren’t aware of this fact, the game can then become pretty confusing.

Handicaps: Handicaps are used to put together teams similar in collective ability. For example, a team of all 10-goal players would have a handicap of 40. If the 40-goal team plays a 38-goal team, the lowerranked team starts the match with two goals on the board. Level of Play: Matches can be high-, medium-, or low-goal. High-goal polo is the fastest and most exciting polo to watch, as it is typically played by professionals with team handicaps of 18 or above. Medium-goal polo is played by teams with handicaps of 12–16. The Match: A polo game is divided into periods called chukkers, each lasting seven minutes. Low-goal matches are typically four chukkers, while high-goal can be six to eight chukkers. At halftime, spectators are invited onto the field for the traditional divot stomp. The Positions: Players are numbered one through four, and each position plays a particular role. The one and two are forwards, responsible for moving the ball down the field. The number four

Right of Way: The rules and regulations of polo exist for the safety of the horse and the player. The most important of these involves right of way. The direction the ball is traveling creates the line of the ball. A player who has established right of way along this line cannot be crossed by a player from the opposing team. This rule exists to prevent collisions, and any instance of crossing the line is considered a foul. Riding Off: Players using their horses to push another player out of the way is permitted. However, the ride off can happen only when horses are traveling at the same speed in the same direction, and the target cannot be approached at a dangerous angle. Hooking: A player may use his stick to hook another player’s stick, provided he is on the same side as the ball or directly behind the player being hooked. Sticks must be below shoulder level. Umpires: There are typically two mounted umpires as well as a referee in the stands. Umpires determine when fouls have been committed and whether or not a penalty shot will be allowed. 




THE TOP POLO TOURNAMENTS AROUND THE WORLD, MONTH BY MONTH Snow Polo World Cup, St. Moritz, Switzerland, January All-Star Challenge, World Polo League, Wellington, Florida, February C.V. Whitney Cup, International Polo Club Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida, February Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge, International Polo Club Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida, February Dubai Silver Cup, Habtoor Polo Club, UAE, February Palm Beach Open, World Polo League, Wellington, Florida, March Triple Crown of Polo, World Polo League, Wellington, Florida, March–April US Open Polo Championship, International Polo Club Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida, March–April International Gay Polo Tournament, International Polo Club Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida, April Cartier Queen’s Cup, Guards Polo Club, Windsor, UK, May–June Open de Paris, Polo de Paris, Paris, France, June Monty Waterbury Cup, Greenwich Polo Club, Greenwich, Connecticut, June–July

Courtesy Mark Beaumont. Opposite: Antony Jones/Getty Images for Cartier

Polo Hamptons, Bridgehampton, New York, June–July

matches. The South Florida–based World Polo League was created to offer superior play with simplified rules that drive a faster, more spectator-friendly pace. Matches are held at the Ganzis’ Grand Champions Polo Club, just down the road from IPC, or at Jornayvaz’s nearby Valiente Polo Farm. When the Florida season winds down, the polo exodus heads to England, where venues like Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park and Cowdray Park Polo Club host some of the biggest events in England’s summer social season. For the quintessential English polo experience, look no further than the Cartier Queen’s Cup (guardspoloclub.com) in May and June, where the crowd is quite aristocratic. The Queen attends, watching the match from the Royal Enclosure, and presents the prizes, which include a Cartier watch for each member of the winning team. The King Power Gold Cup (cowdraypolo.co.uk), held at Cowdray Park Polo Club in July, is the season’s other premier event. Only about 53 miles southwest of London, the tournament boasts a glittering crowd and atmospheric countryside setting. Polo has been played on the grounds for more than 100 years, and the ruins of the old Cowdray Castle offer a breathtaking backdrop to the field. During the summer season in the United States, top East Coast matches can be enjoyed at Peter Brant’s Greenwich Polo Club, located within easy striking distance of New York City. The Hamptons, a traditional polo destination now making a comeback, boasts the tony Polo Hamptons (polohamptons.com) events in Bridgehampton in June and July. They’re typically one of the hottest tickets of the season and sell out quickly.

King Power Gold Cup, Cowdray Park Polo Club, Easebourne, England, June–July Pacific Coast Open, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, Santa Barbara, California, August Torneo Internacional de Polo, Santa Maria Polo Club, Sotogrande, Spain, July–August Coupe D’Or, Deauville International Polo Club, Deauville, France, August Open de Soleil, Saint-Tropez Polo Club, Saint-Tropez, France, August East Coast Open, Greenwich Polo Club, Greenwich, Connecticut, August–September Tortugas Open, Tortugas Country Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina, October (final) Hurlingham Open, Hurlingham Polo Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina, October (final) Argentine Open, Buenos Aires, Argentina, December (final) St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship, Aspen, Colorado, December 




iStock. Opposite: Jasmine Abel

You may not associate polo with Colorado, but it’s becoming an important destination via the Aspen Valley Polo Club, also owned by the Ganzis. The marquee event of the summer is the annual Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation fundraiser Chukkers, Champagne, & Caviar (aspenvalleypoloclub.com), which in 2019 generated more than $1 million for the cause. On the West Coast, the most elegant venue is the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. Prince William played there several years ago, and August’s annual Pacific Coast Open (uspolo.org) is the match to attend. Santa Barbara and the nearby Santa Ynez Valley are also home to a number of beautiful private fields, including the Piocho Ranch. At the end of summer, the action in Europe moves to Spain and France. For high-goal polo, the key destination is the Santa María Polo Club in Sotogrande, Spain, where in July and August you’ll find the world’s top-ranked players. The Torneo Internacional de Polo (tip.santamariapoloclub.com) has been raised to 22 goals and is now considered one of the most important tournaments in Europe. The Costa del Sol location adds the allure of the Mediterranean to the high-goal scene, and there’s enough golf and nightlife to keep even the weariest jet-setter entertained. Deauville (where English player Arthur “Boy” Capel helped set up Coco Chanel in her first shop) hosts the best in French polo. The town’s Coupe d’Or (deauvillepoloclub.com) is the match to attend in August, with the Open du Soleil (polo-st-tropez.com) in Saint-Tropez being another popular option. But there’s nothing like polo in Argentina. Argentines live and breathe the game; the national sport is also big business. The Tortugas and Hurlingham Opens are two of the biggest tournaments, but the season’s culmination, the Super Bowl of polo, is the Argentine Open (aapolo.com). The experience at Pilar stadium for polo fans cannot be matched anywhere in the world. Passionate fans are riveted by the play, and the energy in the stands is electrifying. The Argentine Open is barely over before the star players are off to Aspen to compete in the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship (aspenvalleypoloclub.com). The Ganzis started the tournament seven years ago and it’s grown into a holiday tradition. Jointly hosted by the Ganzis and Nacho Figueras (renowned professional player and St. Regis Ambassador), the tournament sees an avalanche of bold-faced names descend on the town. While the game and the sideline show are entertaining, watch the action long enough and you may develop the urge to pick up a mallet and take a whack. Few sports are more fun to play (maybe Formula 1 can top it for adrenaline rush), and a more practical benefit is socializing. The sport’s network of well-connected friends provides introductions globally. While it’s no secret that business deals are made on the golf course, plenty are sealed on the polo pitch too. And few venues are better for entertaining clients or hosting corporate events. Polo is not for everyone, of course. It’s expensive: Horses are about 75 percent of the game, so you’ve got to have good mounts—and as anyone in equestrian sports knows, horses eat money. Riding itself, to say nothing of swinging that mallet, is physically demanding. Be warned, though: If you take a lesson and like the play, it may become an obsession. As the old adage goes, “Polo’s not just a sport, it’s a way of living.”

Learning to Play

Here are some of the best places in the United States to pick up a mallet. You don’t have to be an expert rider either. Many amateur players have started out learning to ride and play polo simultaneously. Hobe Sound Polo Club, Hobe Sound, Florida Pro Pablo Dorignac (currently a five-goal handicap, formerly seven) comes from a long line of Argentine polo royalty, but nothing gives him greater pleasure than introducing new players to the joys of the game. He’ll have you up on a horse and playing in no time, even if you’ve never ridden. 845.337.6824 Grand Champions Polo Club, Wellington, Florida The club’s polo school has a unique Polo on Demand program. Pro Juan Bollini will take students from beginner to the highest level they aspire to reach. The school can customize a complete playing experience, including horses, pros, and certified umpires, in addition to lessons and practice sessions. gcpolo.com Houston Polo Club, Texas HPC’s polo school is one of the fastest-growing and largest programs in the country. It offers introductory clinics, an eightweek polo school in the spring and fall, and private lessons. houstonpoloclub.com Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, Santa Barbara, California USPA Certified Polo Instructor and Polo Academy Director Jeff Scheraga offers instruction, plus beginner private/group lessons, introductory clinics, coaching chukkers, and tournaments that are specially designed for new players. sbpolo.com u


Clubhouse Rules

The new generation of private golf clubs is relaxed, casual, and (shhhh!) fun. Leading the way are two standout properties where nonmembers can sometimes get through the gates.

The sixth hole on the Bluff course at Champions Retreat draws striking parallels to holes at Augusta National where Rae’s Creek comes into play. Left: The Champions Retreat clubhouse.



Martin Miller. Opposite: Courtesy Champions Retreat




or more than a century, private golf clubs in the United States have garnered a reputation for being both formal and stoic—thought of as bastions of tradition, overrun with rules, and conceived by the Old World for old money. Although no less exclusive, today’s private clubs are creating cultures that consider fun to be a primary objective. Two leaders in the category offer discerning, would-be members the opportunity to preview that membership experience. During one magical week in April, when all eyes in the golfing world are on the Augusta National Golf Club, it’s advised to get into a car and drive 15 miles northwest of Magnolia Lane to the gate house at Champions Retreat (championsretreat.net). The 365-acre private golf club just outside Augusta’s city limits opens its doors and fairways to the public for one week only, offering golfers and guests a chance to play three distinct nine-hole courses that collectively provide a golfing experience not found anywhere else in the world. The genesis of the club was more than 20 years ago at the Masters Champions Dinner in 1999, when Gary Player recruited Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to join him in designing 27 holes of golf at a nearby private club initially developed by a fellow South African businessman. At that time, the three golfing legends had never collaborated on a course together. Furthermore, no resort or club included individual layouts designed by all three. (That remains the case today, with the exception of Champions Retreat.) “With all of the golf courses that we built in our individual companies, which must be over 600 among the three of us,” says Player, “there’s no other place where you have a



course that we designed together.” Made up of three distinct parcels of land appropriately named Island, Creek, and Bluff, the Big Three drew cards to assign its divergent canvases. “We each tried to outdo each other, obviously,” says Player. “That was the challenge. It was that competitive spirit that we all had.” Avid golfers and connoisseurs of modernday course design can easily identify each man’s architectural signatures (such as aggressively contoured putting surfaces on

It’s a chance to play three distinct nine-hole courses that collectively provide a golfing experience not found anywhere in the world. the Nicklaus-designed Bluff layout). Each course is strewn with topographical features that remind members and guests of the club’s location, most notably its proximity to Augusta National. “If you were to identify what is iconic at Augusta National, you would say there is rolling terrain, you would say there are some long vistas, and you would say that there are towering Georgia pines,” says Cameron Wiebe, the club’s general manager. “You’ll be able to see a little bit of that here on each of the nines.” Individual holes draw striking resemblances. From the tee, the opening holes

of both the Bluff and Island courses, with their rolling fairways lined with those slender Georgia pines, conjure visions of holes 3, 7, 8, and 17 at Augusta National. The short, dogleg right par-4 sixth hole on Nicklaus’ Bluff introduces a creek that one could easily believe is Rae’s; while the Creek course’s par-5 fifth hole, designed by Player, shares considerable DNA with Augusta National’s famous par-5 13th. Beginning one week before the final round of the Masters and continuing through the Monday following the tournament’s conclusion, visitors can book tee times at Champions Retreat for $1,500–$3,000 per foursome, depending on the day and time they wish to play. The rates include food and beverage until 5 p.m., access to the practice facility, caddie fees (excluding gratuities), and merchandise credits in the pro shop for each player. The club’s four- and eight-bedroom cottages can also be rented for the entire week; however, the club will only reveal those rates upon request. “Masters Week is the best time for anyone to experience Champions Retreat,” says Wiebe. “They have full access to all amenities with no limitations, so they can be a member for the week.” Unlike some private country clubs that offer a bevy of amenities, Champions Retreat is resolutely dedicated to golf. So while you won’t find tennis courts or swimming pools, the food-and-beverage program has recently grown stronger thanks to two key additions: Executive Chef David Ross, who previously worked as the tournament chef at Berckmans Place during the Masters (including a role as lead chef for Ike’s Restaurant within Berckmans Place); and Advanced Sommelier Fariborz Rouchi. Together, Ross and Rouchi are orchestrating Michelin star–worthy 

Courtesy Champions Retreatt

Across its 365 acres, Champions Retreat offers plenty of idyllic spots defined by the area’s natural beauty.


dining experiences in the club’s Grille House and through private dinners set in the club’s cottages. Currently, Champions Retreat membership comprises about 400 domestic and international members, and Wiebe believes that number will continue to grow. Yet, even if that were to happen, Wiebe remains dedicated to preserving the club’s relaxed—though always respectful—culture. “We talk often about lowering the barrier to comfort,” he says. “We want you to come here, to bring your friends, to stay in a cottage, and to have a good time. If that means having a few cocktails, telling a few jokes, having a few cigars, and eating a big steak, fantastic. You can do all those things. You don’t have to wear a jacket and tie. You can wear a button-down and jeans and be comfortable. And if you want to take a telephone call, you can do so. If you want to listen to music out on the golf course, you can do so. In fact, we have speakers in our golf carts just for that reason. “What we identified very quickly is that our members are connoisseurs and people who are passionate about the game and they love it and they play it,” Wiebe continues. “Champions Retreat is built on a foundation of respect and decorum, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” About 1,900 miles away, on the northern outskirts of Scottsdale, Arizona, Scottsdale National Golf Club (sngc.com) embodies similar ideals. The club’s transformation began in 2013, when it was acquired by Bob Parsons, a successful businessman and golf enthusiast. The serial entrepreneur had made headlines two years earlier, selling GoDaddy for more than $2 billion, and he was in the market for one of two things: a



Scottsdale National’s second clubhouse, the PXG House, features sophisticated and modern entertaining spaces.

Courtesy Scottsdale National Golf Club/Mark Boisclair

sports franchise (preferably an NFL team) or his own golf club. When news that the property—then called The Golf Club Scottsdale—was up for sale, Parsons swept in and purchased it. Immediately, he made a lot of changes. He started with the purchase of a housing development that had broken ground on land adjacent to the original club. That extended the club’s total footprint to 700 acres and provided Parsons with the requisite territory to build another 18-hole layout, cheekily named The Other Course, a links-inspired layout stretching to 7,165 yards that offers expansive rolling Bermuda grass fairways. He also built a second, swanky clubhouse with a more modern, contemporary vibe; a row of 15 four-bedroom villas; a fully equipped fitness center, including a spa and salon; and The Bad Little Nine, a diabolical, nine-hole, par-3 course arguably comprising the most challenging 972 yards of golfing terrain found anywhere in the world. When holes are cut in the most difficult positions on these greens, even PGA Tour pros have difficulty making par. Scottsdale National’s two championshiplength courses and their surrounding vistas—enhanced by 3 million acres of protected national forest and the Sonoran Desert—rightfully capture a lot of attention, but The Bad Little Nine is the club’s hidden jewel. “We’ll have members bring a group to a course and they’ll play 18 or 36 holes on the championship courses, and then they’ll go over to The Bad Little Nine, order a round or two of cocktails, and hoot and holler and laugh,” says Parsons. “They line up all day to take an ass beating. They’re expecting that it’s going to be brutal for them—and it absolutely is—but it becomes a fun thing.” 




(and are serious about it) can potentially earn an invitation through an exclusive PXG equipment-fitting opportunity at the club (see “A Fitting Experience” on the next page). To date, Parsons has invested more than $300 million into Scottsdale National. It’s a sizable sum and one that the 69-year-old doesn’t expect to recoup. The club is clearly Parsons’ passion project, and he’s introduced amenities based on experiences that he and his wife, Renee, have enjoyed in their personal travels. Leveraging her background in hotels and hospitality, Renee spearheaded the construction and subsequent interior design for each of the club’s villas, as well as the public and private dining spaces in Scottsdale National’s newest clubhouse. In fact, the PXG House features a private chef ’s table that offers views into the kitchen and was inspired by a similar dining experience that the Parsons enjoyed at the Addison Restaurant at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego back in 2013. “It was immaculate,” Renee recalls. “[During that dinner], we were talking about what we wanted to do here [at Scottsdale National], and we agreed that we had to incorporate a chef ’s table in the new clubhouse. Everything was so pristine. It was such a fun experience. “Overall, our vision for Scottsdale National has always been to make it beautiful and five-star, but not stuffy or in your face,” she says. “We want it to be a home away from home for a select few individuals who are enthusiastic golfers and who enjoy the finer things in life. So, from that standpoint, we look at it a little differently than just a private golf club. It’s really a five-star, private resort with amazing golf.” 

Martin Miller

Beyond the courses, the clubhouses, the world-class practice facility, and the members’ villas, what Parsons is most proud of at the club is the relaxed culture that he’s created, one that emphasizes fun and a friendly camaraderie. “We have no rules. None,” he says, pausing to reflect on that statement. “Well, we have one rule: that nobody gets in the way of anybody else. No member shall ever impinge on the good time of another member. That’s it. That covers a number of things. But it also leaves a lot open. So, if you want to have a cell phone or play music on the course and you’re not bothering anyone, we don’t care. If you want to bring your kids to the range, have at it.” Constructing a private club made up of fewer than 200 members who all share an easygoing spirit might seem a daunting task, yet Parsons has achieved it by first conceiving his own ideal for what a private golf club should be, then offering membership (by invitation only) to like-minded individuals. Annual membership dues at the club cost $60,000 and come with a $300,000 initiation fee, and Parsons employs a straightforward method for determining who within that select group of financially qualified applicants makes the cut. “I gotta want to hang out with ’em,” he says. “If I don’t want to hang out with ’em, I don’t care what they got or who they are. But if I want to hang out with ’em, then they’re in, baby.” He continues, “They have to be friendly. They have to be thoughtful. And how do they treat the staff ? How do they treat other people? Are they just a good soul? That’s what we’re after.” Membership at Scottsdale National is effectively closed, but those who wish to join

The Island course at Champions Retreat, designed by Arnold Palmer, could easily convince golfers that they’re playing in South Carolina’s Low Country.


The 11th hole of The Other Course, a linksinspired layout at Scottsdale National

A Fitting Experience

Three days spent living like a Scottsdale National member, a full-time membership-consideration opportunity, and a fully flushed-out bag of state-of-the-art PXG golf equipment await those who apply for this exceptional club-fitting opportunity.

Exclusive and immersive multiday PXG club-fitting packages hosted at Scottsdale National Golf Club aren’t new, but plenty has changed since the first iteration was rolled out in 2016. For starters, PXG has effectively established a national (and international) network of clubfitters, making it easy for consumers to be properly fit while staying close to home. However, traditional Scottsdale National membership channels are now closed, so The Xperience at Scottsdale National— as the package is now called—is the only way for prospective members to gain consideration. “The only way we’ll discuss membership with someone is if they do that experience,” says Bob Parsons, the founder of PXG and owner of Scottsdale National. “But not everybody gets to do it.” Participation in the three-day event, which costs $30,000 per golfer,



Courtesy Images, From Left: Scottsdale National Golf Club; PXG

begins with an application and an upfront deposit. As Parsons acknowledges, that initial application process and deposit weeds out those who aren’t serious about joining. From there, applications are reviewed and those who make the cut are invited out to the club; those who don’t are refunded their deposit. “It’s our screening for membership,” Parsons explains. “If an applicant is a good fit, we’ll go forward with the process.” Moving forward means three days of membership-level access to Scottsdale National Golf Club, including a two-night stay in one of the club’s villas. Participants will be custom fit for a full set of PXG clubs on the first day, their clubs will be built overnight, and they’ll have two subsequent days to play unlimited holes of golf to test out their new equipment (tweaks can be made to those clubs during that time). Additionally, participants enjoy salon and spa treatments, a custom apparel fitting, and exemplary dining experiences, such as a personalized and private chef’s table dinner that includes wine pairings. Simply put, The Xperience allows participants to enjoy the club as members do. It also offers them the most exclusive opportunity to be fit for PXG equipment, including its GEN3 irons—clubs that are forged from strong 8620 soft carbon steel and feature a new impact reactor technology with two distinct proprietary polymer core materials. That advanced engineering produces ball speeds that are 2–3 mph faster (on average) than PXG’s previous generation of irons, which translates into 5–8 yards of added distance. Best of all, PXG’s GEN3 irons retain the brand’s signature soft feel at impact. In fact, the feedback is even softer than the brand’s first generation of irons. As Parsons describes it, a wellstruck shot with the brand’s latest irons is “like spreading warm butter on a hot biscuit.” u



Changing City Skylines

Super-tall residential buildings are reshaping urban landscapes across the globe. Dubai, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Taipei, and Hong Kong have long embraced skyscraper living, and now the West is joining the race for the top. BY IRENE RAWLINGS


n many of the West’s largest cities, the standard of living is going up—literally. Stronger concrete, faster elevators, more sophisticated computer modeling, and a better understanding of aerodynamics are enabling developers to plan taller and taller buildings. The boom is most apparent in New York City: Among the new Manhattan super-talls (measuring between 900 and 2,000 feet) are adjacent towers 30 Hudson Yards (1,269 feet) and 35 Hudson Yards (1,010 feet); Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s Central Park Tower (1,550 feet); and above the Museum of Modern Art is Jean Nouvel’s 53 West 53 (1,050 feet). After completing the 35-story 200 East 59th this year, developer Harry Macklowe unveiled plans for the 96-story, 1,556-foot Tower Fifth, which, when built, will be the second-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. In architecturally conservative Boston, One Dalton (a Four Seasons hotel topped by 165 condos) leads the new wave of luxe hotel-and-condo hybrids offering striking design and resort-like amenities. “It is the tallest building to be built in Boston in the last 40 years … a real game changer,” says Richard L. Friedman, president and CEO of Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Carpenter & Company. The building’s unique design gives most residences views of both sunrise and sunset and, on a clear day, cinematic vistas extend all the way to the Berkshires and Cape Cod. The condo boom in Toronto has sparked literally hundreds of mixed-use commercial and residential skyscrapers in the pipeline. Union Park, a four-acre development anchored by 85-story The One Residences, is helmed by Oxford Properties, a partner in New York’s Hudson Yards. Luxury hospitality brand Nobu breaks into Canada with 700 branded condominiums, a hotel tower, and, of course, a Nobu restaurant. Australians build tall, pencil-thin residential towers: Sydney’s World Tower has 84 floors and Melbourne’s Eureka Tower tops out at 91 floors, 974 feet. Designed but not yet built in central Melbourne, a daringly slender, 1,187-foot-tall residential tower dubbed “Magic” will sit on a triangular site that’s barely 1,862 square feet. If built, Magic will set the standard for the newest generation of super-tall, super-slim buildings.



FOUR SEASONS ONE DALTON Boston Forty years ago, architect Harry Cobb (Pei Cobb Freed & Partners) designed Boston’s iconic John Hancock Tower. Among his latest work is this 61-story, granite-and-glass tower, including the 215-room Four Seasons Hotel and 160 private residences on its uppermost floors. Residents have access to the full services and amenities of the hotel, including laundry, housekeeping, catering, and even turndown service. Special

features include fireplaces and bay windows that open, as well as private balconies and outdoor fireplaces in select residences. Wellness-based amenities include an indoor 65-foot lap pool; private training sessions in the state-of-the-art fitness center; a Four Seasons spa with massage, steam, and treatment rooms; and a private yoga and Pilates studio. From $2.75 million to $40 million (penthouse); onedalton.com

Courtesy Images, From Top: Brickell Flatiron/CMC Group; 200 East 59, New York; 53 West 53, New York. Opposite: Courtesy Four Seasons One Dalton

BRICKELL FLATIRON Miami Curvilinear forms and spacious floor plans constitute this slender glass tower that gracefully soars to 64 stories (above). Floor-to-ceiling windows provide endless views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline from each of the 527 furniture-ready residences. Three-story penthouses have private terraces, outdoor kitchens, and rooftop pools. Pricey penthouses and record-breaking sales have characterized Miami real estate for a decade. And that’s not about to change. The rooftop Sky Spa features a hydrotherapy circuit with steam, sauna, relaxation, and treatment rooms. There is also a rooftop gym as well as a yoga and Pilates studio with expansive Miami skyline views. From $790,000 to $8 million; brickellflatiron.com

53 WEST 53 New York Sleek, black, and cross-cut with Pritzker Prize–winning architect Jean Nouvel’s signature diagrids, this super-tall tower rises 82 stories above the Museum of Modern Art. Interiors of the 145 residences are by Thierry Despont. Residents enjoy spectacular Central Park views

200 EAST 59TH New York Following up on its 432 Park Avenue stunner, Macklowe Properties, known for pushing the boundaries of classic modernism, debuts this slender design with just two or three clean one- or twobedroom residences per floor— each with sweeping views (below). Wraparound terraces celebrate indoor/outdoor living and contribute to the sunny South Florida look. Three fullfloor penthouses are available. From $1.875 million to $18.75 million; 200east59.com  and benefactor-level MoMA memberships. Health perks include an on-site wellness center (managed by The Wright Fit), a regulation-size squash court, a 65-foot lap pool, and a golf simulator. From $5.95 million (two bedrooms) to $63.815 million (four-bedroom penthouse); 53w53.com


takes up a full floor for fitness on the 16th level, including a state-of-the-art gym, training room, cycling studio, and spa treatment room. This is one of the only residential buildings in New York with an infrared sauna, which inspires a greater release of toxins than a regular sauna. (Extell has prioritized putting infrared saunas in many of its buildings.) From $6.9 million (two bedrooms) to more than $100 million; centralparktower.com

Courtesy Central Park Tower; Opposite: Courtesy Images, From Left: MORI Building Co., Ltd.; Daniel Levin; Landmark Pinnacle; Rockefeller Group.

CENTRAL PARK TOWER New York Extell Development Company is building the tallest residential building in the world: this contemporary, 131-story interpretation of New York’s prestigious prewar classics. Construction is expected to wrap next year. Look for stately kitchens, marble bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, a billiards room, a 75-foot saltwater pool, and, at the base, a seven-story Nordstrom flagship store. Wellness component: Central Park Club



Additional Residences Worth Noting

TORANOMON-AZABUDAI PROJECT Tokyo Mori Building Company’s latest project—a massive urban regeneration—is its most ambitious since opening Roppongi Hills in 2003. President and CEO Shingo Tsuji describes Mori’s vision as a Modern Urban Village in which a super-tall tower opens to an abundance of greenery at the ground level, while integrating all of a community’s functions— offices, residences, hotels, cultural facilities, shops, and restaurants—into the complex. The relaxing environment will provide a respite among nature in the world’s largest city. Scheduled for completion in 2023. mori.co.jp

DOMINO SUGAR REFINERY New York Right on the Williamsburg waterfront with big views of Manhattan’s ever-changing skyline, the derelict Domino Sugar Refinery is being transformed into a new and hip neighborhood. Master planned by SHoP Architects, the project involves renovating the original 1882 brick factory and building several mixed-use towers on the surrounding land. One South First, topping out at 42 stories, offers studio, one- and two-bedroom residences, and includes ground-floor retail and restaurant space. A sixacre park, designed by James Corner Field Operations (of High Line fame), debuted in late 2018. shoparc.com

LANDMARK PINNACLE London Topping out at 784 feet, Europe’s tallest residential tower has 752 open-plan apartments—from studios to three bedrooms to penthouses—and is located in the dynamic Canary Wharf, London’s financial district. All have large, panoramic Thames River vistas. Most have glassed-in winter gardens from which to enjoy views and natural light in London’s changeable, often-wet weather. The Loft Collection (small but ideal for a London pied-à-terre) offers six different layouts with access to a top-floor gym and private roof terrace. From $767,400 (studio); landmarkpinnacle.com

ROSE HILL New York This architecturally significant, 600-foot condo tower with art deco influences and interior flex walls is defined by its bronze-toned façade and textured sliding glass doors. Developed by The Rockefeller Group, the original builders of Rockefeller Center in the 1930s. Perks include a fitness center curated by Fhitting Room; artisantile lined pool and dry-heat sauna; professional squash court (classes and private lessons by SquashRX); and outdoor entertaining spaces with 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. A studio suite is available for guests. From $1.2 million; rosehill.nyc u


Morning Sun Far Shore, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

Nature Study

Pennsylvania-based artist KIRBY FREDENDALL paints modernist landscapes that seek to engender the feelings of introspection and calm she experiences in the outdoors. BY JASON EDWARD KAUFMAN





irby Fredendall enjoyed painting as a child but never imagined a career as an artist. Even still, the writing was on the wall. She grew up on the western bank of the Delaware River, in a rural region known as Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was here, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, that the Pennsylvania impressionists took up residence in inexpensive farmhouses and disused industrial properties. They set about painting sylvan fields and rustic scenes along the river and the once-bustling Delaware Canal. The whole region remains a nexus of artists and craftspeople. Fredendall, born in 1966, was raised in the county, originally in Carversville, and now lives in the village of New Hope, a former mill town 40 miles from Philadelphia. She and her husband, Alex Damevski, share an 18th-century house on a sparsely populated two-lane road that cuts through the fields. Her studio is in an adjacent white-clapboard structure that once housed a general store.



She paints in the second floor of the building and uses the ground floor as a showcase for her works, mainly oil paintings of lakeside scenes. Fredendall earned a B.A. in art history from Duke University in 1988, and after a course at Le Cordon Bleu in London, returned home to work as a pastry chef. Then she befriended a group of art students from the University of Pennsylvania and began making abstract paintings, some of which were exhibited and sold locally. Because she needed a day job, she completed an M.Ed. in 1992 in art education at Arcadia University and became the visual art instructor at the Solebury School, a private collegepreparatory academy. It was around five years ago that Fredendall’s abstraction gave way to loosely rendered landscape paintings that feature trees and an expanse of water leading to a distant wooded shore beneath a luminous sky. She began repeating the subject matter, but varying the palette. Her soft-focus blend

of abstraction and impressionism conveys fleeting effects of light, seasons, and weather in a way that really lets you feel the scene. Her recording of these peaceful moments of reverie and delight in a solitary encounter with nature has struck a chord with her audience. Fredendall’s artworks have been presented in numerous group and solo shows, mainly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and she has had a one-artist exhibition at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Modestly priced, her works are now represented by Bluestone Fine Art Gallery (bluestone-gallery.com) in Philadelphia, Box Heart Gallery (boxheartgallery.com) in Pittsburgh, and Candita Clayton Gallery (canditaclaytongallery.com) in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In her New Hope studio, she discussed growing up in Bucks County, the evolution of her style and process, and how a savvy business coach helped jump-start the career she never dreamed of. 

Finding a Path 5, oil on acid-etched tin, 14 x 12 inches


FOUNDATION WORK What was Carversville like growing up? Everybody knew everybody, and everybody still knows everybody. My father grew up nearby and had a career building homes in historic styles. He and my mother, who is from Indiana, moved to Carversville because the older homes were affordable for young people and artists. They had a beautiful 18th-century stone house that cost them $8,000 in 1964. Many of their friends and neighbors were artists. The painter Charles Ward was across the street and I took piano lessons from his wife. Their house was a trip—old, dark, lots of velvet drapery, two grand pianos, and piles of Ward’s work. The sculptor Raymond Barger had a studio in a former grist mill downtown with sculpture grounds for his abstract metal pieces. Our whole family sat for portraits and had



weekend meals with Jan Cullen, another artist who lived in the other converted mill. One of my best friends was the granddaughter of the celebrated woodworker George Nakashima. We would swim in his pool, sit in his teahouse, and wander around his wood-storage house—places that people now visit on tours. The children’s book authors Stan and Jan Berenstain lived over in Solebury near James Michener, right up the road from the school where I teach. All of that is to say that I grew up in a very art-rich environment. Were your parents interested in the arts? My parents were collectors of prints and antiques. My mom was an amateur painter and her work was all over the house, and her oil paints were never off-limits to me. Local visiting artists would conduct workshops in

my school and I was the art-nerd kid, always in the art room making stuff instead of going outside to play at recess. Did you consider going to school to become an artist? I got straight As and liked math, so it was assumed I would be premed. Starting at Duke University, I was convinced that I would be a doctor and make art on the side. After a particularly bad chemistry test, I took the advice of a friend and tried an art history class, and I loved the professor. It was like he tapped into something in me that was already there, so I dropped everything science-related and majored in art history. Going to Europe was hugely important. I studied for two months in Florence and spent a semester studying British art and architecture in London. After I graduated,

Glimpse of Spring, oil on panel, 12 x 48 inches

I didn’t know what I was going to do. I loved London and didn’t want to come home. That’s when I decided to take a course at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. How did you start painting? Shortly after I came home from London, I befriended a landscape painter who was working for my dad building houses. He and his friends were making art and hanging out in each other’s studios discussing their work, and that blew me away. I would go with him on painting trips, and I started painting and even selling some work. I quit my job as a pastry chef and went to graduate school to get certified to teach painting and art history K–12. I also started helping my mom in her metal shop, where she was making lighting fixtures out of tin that she sold in wholesale trade shows.

Describe your early work. When I used to paint landscapes, I was less drawn to the vista than to the close-up—the turning shape of a branch, the textures and colors on the wood, the reflections on the water. It wasn’t so much about describing a scene as pulling out elements—the color, the light, the texture. During my teaching degree, my painting teacher, Betsey Batchelor, encouraged me to explore abstracting the landscape. The color started to get more expressive than representational. A tree would become teal and the water would become orange. I was new at painting so I started to play with it because it was fun. What were you trying to capture? I wasn’t trying to capture anything specific. Things that were visually interesting to me got internalized, and I would go into the

studio and make images that were just intuitive. Some were based on petroglyphs that I saw on a trip to New Mexico, and others were drawn from the garden. Then I completely pulled away from landscape and started painting abstractions with lots of turns and twists. All of the elements came from nature, but there was an aspect that had to do with trying to get across a sense of time and memory. We carry within us our ancestors, and every experience that we have had is still within us. In the paintings, I was trying to create layers that allow you to look in and imagine that kind of experience. I titled some of these paintings Ancestors or Memory Strands for that reason. If you sit with them for a long time, then you start to see people, and I honestly did not put them in there intentionally. 


SETTING THE SCENE How did you make the transition to painting landscapes? My family has a house on a small lake in the Adirondacks not far from Lake George, and I started painting small landscape sketches while sitting on the porch. I was still painting abstractions at home, but one afternoon I had a large canvas stretched and no great idea, so I decided to enlarge one of the small landscape sketches and I haven’t looked back since. That first landscape is now hanging in a corporate collection in Philadelphia curated by Bridgette Mayer. My work still retains the mark and color of the abstractions, but there is recognizable



imagery drawn from the landscape, mainly the lake—although I sometimes base my paintings on places I have traveled to, such as the Dominican Republic, Culebra Island, and Iceland. Were you influenced by the landscape painting tradition of Bucks County? I may get labeled a “Bucks County landscape painter,” but I don’t want to make the same landscapes that someone’s already painted. I’m more interested in artists in terms of their use of color and mark. I like to look at less representational work, like the pictures of Anselm Kiefer, or

the amazing water and trees of Mondrian. I love how Joan Mitchell manages to put every color into a painting. Do you paint outdoors? I like to be in my studio with my coffee and my music and my light and my materials. I create pencil, oil, and pastel studies on the porch overlooking the lake, and then use them for reference in the studio. But I tend to alter the landscape to my vision, and I don’t need to be outside to do that. Are you painting a particular place? The scenes have a feeling of Adirondack

Blue Twilight, oil on panel, 20 x 60 inches

lakes, but it’s important that my landscape is not about a specific place. I appreciate beautiful landscapes where people can recognize their cottage or the inn down the road, but I don’t want to be that specific. I’m painting the idea of a place to remind someone of whatever landscape is important to them. Describe your process. First, I draw with a big stick of graphite, then I mostly cover up the drawing with a lot of washes. Recently I’ve been drawing, painting, drawing, painting, and leaving lines visible in the finished composition. I

either work out of my imagination or I’ll use smaller pastel drawings or little paintings as a jumping-off point. I love that calming, flat horizon where the sky, land, and water meet. I’m often trying to knit the three together. The color on the lake is never the same. Sunsets, sunrises, the afternoon sun, being on the lake being in a kayak—a pink may not look like local color, but it absolutely has existed in my life on that lake. The light and the color are soaked into me. There’s a lot of movement and texture in the water and the clouds. Water is the element that’s most important to me. I try to get across the kind of vibration that happens in the light. That’s

where the gesture comes in, getting the texture of the water and the feeling of the water being different than the sky. Why do you use only oil paint and not acrylic? Acrylic dries really quickly and has a surface I don’t really like, nor do I like the feeling of its texture on the brush or how it feels when I put it on the canvas. With the abstract paintings I would put paint on the canvas, pour turpentine on it, and layer paper over it and pull it off. In the landscapes, there’s more actual brushwork, although I’ve started to do a little pouring and pressing 


paper onto it and pulling it off to get different surfaces. When I paint on tin, I start out with sheets of silvery metal and brush on nitric acid. The sheets are vertical so it creates drips and patterns. And then I rinse it all off and spray it with clear coat and then paint on top of it. You can see the drips through the paint. I love the wet, streaky shadows underneath the painting and the layers that happen. And I love the connection between my mom and the tin. How do you play with scale? The biggest paintings I do at the moment are 4 by 6 feet because that’s the biggest piece that fits up the stairwell. And that’s the biggest piece that I could fit into my Honda Pilot. But, I love the idea of making a really big painting. I have three new canvases that are 6 by 7 feet. I have found someone who can fabricate really large tin sheets because the biggest my mom and I can make with her shearing equipment is maybe 3 by 2 feet. With a really big metal support I can emphasize the geometry of the landscape with lines and have color as the backdrop to the drawing.

FORGING AHEAD How have you evolved professionally as a painter? A pivotal moment came when I turned 50. I was making good work and showing it, but I didn’t have a gallery or consistent sales. I decided that it was time to stop coasting so I attended a business coaching event hosted by Bridgette Mayer, one of the top gallerists in Philadelphia. I paid my $200 and sat in the front row, and when she said that she was going to take on five students as a business coach I decided to sign up. It was expensive, but I was going to either stay in one place professionally or try to make something of my career.



Bridgette came for a studio visit while I was in transition from abstraction to landscape. She wasn’t finding a cohesive idea in the abstractions; then she saw the new landscapes and said, “This is amazing! This is what you need to do.” Her encouragement put me in that direction. What did you do next? I had been in group shows, but in the past three years I have signed with three galleries. I put myself out there in a much

more proactive way. Bridgette helped me redefine how I see myself as a successful artist, which gave me the tools to take my art career to the next level. What is the price range for your work? I appreciate that art is expensive for many and love the idea of appealing to all levels of collectors. My smallest paintings start at $185 for just that reason. I recently created a commission that is much larger for $4,800.

Sunset Meditation, oil on panel, 24 x 48 inches

Who has collected your work? My open studios have created a great network of friends, and friends of friends, who collect my work. My galleries have worked to place pieces in private homes. And local art advisors and designers have been great resources for corporate collectors. Do you still teach? I am the only painting and drawing teacher in the Solebury School. I teach beginning,

intermediate, advanced, and AP painting and drawing. We’re the only high school that I know of that offers a nude figure drawing class. I only let kids take it who are super mature and advanced. Some of my kids are applying this year to RISD, Pratt, SVA, Parsons, and Tyler, and it helps that their portfolios include figure drawing, which is unusual. I have a real opportunity to work with my students on their art and to help shape their aspirations, which is a big part of my life. kirbyfredendall.com u


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New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer opens his muchanticipated D.C. outpost inside the new and nautically themed Thompson Washington D.C. Maialino Mare (right), his first seafood-centric Italian restaurant, occupies a large, airy room with high ceilings and blue gingham tablecloths that looks out to the newly cool Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Must order: Pappardelle alla Bolognese (just like Nonna’s). Ask for extra bread to sop up the meat sauce. maialinomare.com If you’re going to open a restaurant in Miami’s arty Wynwood, it better be ridiculously good-looking. Hiyakawa (below) is drop-dead gorgeous. Just 36 seats with a creative selection of highend sushi and Chef Masayuki Komatsu’s hyper-seasonal omakase menu. Regulars request off-menu items, maybe silky ramen or delicate steamed dishes like Wagyu Kakuni. wabisabibyshuji.com

On Chicago’s riverfront, the two-story RMP Seafood has enormous windows, a large main-floor patio, and second-floor mezzanine with private terraces. The seasonal menu might include king crab from Normandy or Brittany blue lobster, but the showstopper is the seafood steak: bone-in swordfish rib eye, aged, then crusted with coriander and grilled. The superb wine list offers more than 1,500 vintages and a number of wines by the glass. rpmrestaurants.com

Classically minimalist, OGATA Paris (below) is founder Shinichiro Ogata’s homage to Japanese craft and cuisine. The venture (a tea, pastry, and gift shop; an art gallery; and a fullservice restaurant) just opened in a grand, 17th-century building in Paris’ chic Marais. The prix fixe omakase menu changes daily. ogata.com

Chef Suzanne Cupps (a Gramercy Tavern alum) opens 232 Bleecker, a vegetable-centric, wood-fired restaurant. Vegetables are caramelized, smoked, charred, and ember-roasted. Regulars swear by the grilled chicken with black garlic aioli and the roasted monkfish with green curry. 232bleecker.com



Arts District Los Angeles is experiencing a culinary resurgence of marquee restaurants (Bavel, Nightshade, Firehouse Hotel, Bon Temps) and constructions (Enrique Olvera’s modern Mexican flavors at both Damian and Ditroit, and Chicago Chef Stephanie Izard’s awardwinning Girl & the Goat). At Manuela (hidden inside the sprawling Hauser & Wirth art gallery), the Southern-focused food leans rustic—barbecued oysters, blistered snap peas, and 30-day dry-aged Holstein rib eye. Rare-breed exotic chickens roost in a beautiful courtyard chicken coop and provide fresh eggs for the kitchen. Locals line up for the family-style dinners in Manuela’s on-site garden that feature a dynamic events program, including the “Salon Series in the Garden,” aroundthe-table conversations led by invited artists, naturalists, musicians, and chefs. artsdistrictla.org; manuela-la.com

Courtesy Images, From Top: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; Ladurée US; Gucci/Pablo Enriquez. Opposite, Courtesy Images, From Top: Thompson Washington D.C.; OGATA; Hiyakawa

Yakumanka at Mandarin Oriental Geneva (left) brings the unique flavors of Peruvian cuisine to the Swiss city, offering a welcome break from fondue and sausage. Designed to be like a traditional cevichería, the atmosphere is laid back and fun with an energy as stimulating as its pisco cocktails. Taste different dishes with influences from Japan, Africa, and Italy. mandarinoriental.com

Heavy hitters Enrique Olvera, Daniela Soto-Innes, and Santiago Perez team up to open Elio, a contemporary Mexican restaurant and lounge at Wynn Las Vegas. Adjacent to Encore Beach Club, the social dining concept is meant to be more than a place to have dinner, but also a destination for evening entertainment. Expect shareable entrees with a heavy emphasis on seafood and a long list of hand-selected, agave-based spirits. The golden age of Mexican cinema in the ’40s and ’50s inspired the décor. wynnlasvegas.com Cal-Mex fans in Boston will want a table at Cósmica at the South End’s Revolution Hotel. Feast on esquites, tuna ceviche, crab tostadas, and a slew of tacos (mole poblano chicken, chili-roasted brisket, plus vegetarian options). A 30-seat bar pours slushies and “vacation cocktails.” cosmicaboston.com

French pastry brand Ladurée has partnered with Californiabased vegan chef Matthew Kenney to create a full menu of plant based–only dishes at its Beverly Hills tea salon (below). In addition to a savory mezze plate, for example, Ladurée’s famous sweet macarons are being transformed into super treats with ingredients like matcha and moringa for cell renewal and the powerful antioxidant lucuma in its almond macaron. laduree.com

Food hall The Deco Food + Drink opens in New York City’s Garment District. Vendors include mom-and-pop-style joints—Brazilian barbecue from Rockaway Beach, Hawaiian rotisserie from the East Village, and tacos from the South Bronx. thedeconewyork.com When the San Francisco restaurant’s chef-owner is also an artist, expect noteworthy wall hangings, hand-blown glassware, artisan-made ceramic plates, and handforged silverware. Sensational seasonal dishes prepared by Chef Peter Hemsley and the eight-course Dinner Series also make Palette worth a visit. palette-sf.com

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Beverly Hills (below), the 48-seat restaurant atop the Gucci store on Rodeo Drive, is as chic and showy as the boutiques below with Italian marble, red velvet, and vintage-looking place settings inspired by Bottura’s Florence osteria. Playfully named dishes include Pasta Fagioli With a View of the Ocean (beans, sea urchin, and raw veggies) and Coming From the Hills (trout with hazelnuts and wild mushrooms). The menu also features the chef’s signature dishes from his Florence osteria: tortellini (simply sauced with cream made from 36-month ParmigianoReggiano and water) and the wildly popular Emilia Burger. gucci.com 


What’s Next BARS

On Saint Louis Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter, Jewel of the South (below) makes cocktails classic and robust, with snacks that run the gamut of Southern country food: crab salad, crisp tripe, and roast chicken hearts on fresh-made brioche. jewelnola.com

Walk through a vintage CocaCola fridge to enter La Botica (above), a dynamic mash-up between an apothecarythemed, Prohibition-era speakeasy and an Afro-Cuban piano bar that swings until 2 a.m. at Las Ventanas al Paraíso in Los Cabos, Mexico. rosewoodhotels.com Opening in April, The Lavaux Swiss Wine & Fondue Bar in New York’s Meatpacking District highlights one of Switzerland’s award-winning but largely undiscovered wine regions (on Lake Geneva near Lausanne). Pair mineral-flecked whites and full-bodied reds with cheese fondue prepared in the openkitchen fondue room at the back of this cozy restaurant. thelavauxwinebar.com



Find California Gold in Marin County’s San Rafael. This quintessential San Francisco Bay Area bar shows off red-leather stools, wideplank wooden floors, and a pressed-tin ceiling. In addition to offering house-created and global classics, the cocktail menu takes inspiration from The Gentleman’s Companion, Charles H. Baker’s 1939 drink travelogue. californiagoldbar.com The Sylvester (right) may be the coolest bar in Wynwood. Over-thetop cocktails, culturally influenced snacks, and a nostalgic ambience pay homage to old Miami. There’s always someone at the piano. thesylvesterbar.com

Order pitchers of local microbrews and rum-based umbrella drinks at tropicalthemed R&R to wash down coconut-fried shrimp and tilapia tacos. Locals come to the tiki-themed hideaway in northwest Portland, Oregon, for a little beach time. randrpdx.com

Expect bright aromatics and unusual concoctions (like mescal, beet juice, and citrus) at Queens Eleven in Denver’s trendy RiNo neighborhood. Rich velvet seating, an elegant wooden bar, and, if conversation falters, a staff-curated bookshelf. queenseleven.com

Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Top: Gabriel & Guillaume; Giorgio Armani; The Harmonist; Michael S. Smith. Opposite, Courtesy Images, From Top: La Botica; Denny Culbert; The Sylvester

What’s Next SHOP

Acclaimed interior designer Michael S. Smith (above) launches his new Jasper Workshop with the debut of limited-edition candles recalling the exotic scents of Spain—amber, sandalwood, neroli—and evoking the towns of Cadaques, El Escorial, and Greco’s Garden. $84; michaelsmithinc.com Taking the whole-animal philosophy a step further, pioneering farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York, introduces a line of paper-thin, bright white bone china plates made from the bones of its own grass-fed cows. Plate, $145, water glass, $200; bluehillfarm.com

Niche perfume brand The Harmonist has launched its new Prequel Collection with Moon Glory. Inspired by two forces in Chinese astrology, the intoxicating fragrance encompasses the yin energy of the moon, while Sun Force, coming out later this year, channels the yang energy of the sun. With notes like Hawaiian jasmine, Hinoki wood, and organic honey, Moon Glory (below) is a mix of aromas packaged in a sparkling Pochet glass silver bottle embellished with twinkling stars, charms, and feminine crescent moons, all designed by celebrated tattoo artist Dr. Woo. $336 for 1.7 fl. oz.; theharmonist.com

Gabriel & Guillaume (above) stages and sells collectible 20th-century and contemporary furniture and art in new premier residential projects. The company is in New York through April and opening in San Francisco in June. gabrieletguillaume.com

A Giorgio Armani boutique (above) opens on Milan’s Via Sant’Andrea. The architecturally significant building houses four elegant floors with six themed areas for immersive displays of clothing and furnishings. Find everything from accessories to prêt-à-porter to custom designs with an emphasis on fine craftsmanship. armani.com Bose Frames are stylish sunglasses with speakers built into the frame. Listen to music or make hands-free calls on the go. $200; bose.com

Each custom wooden bathtub by artist Nathie Katzoff, a former wooden boat builder, is sculpted from sustainable hardwoods and sealed with a specialized finish that makes it shiny, smooth, and, of course, waterproof. Price upon request; nkwoodworking.com Rhett Baruch Art + Design, with a forward-looking focus on contemporary makers, sells stylish furniture and art out of a 1,200-square-foot Los Angeles apartment. Dream finds: a Flemming Lassen chair, an Enrico Baleri granite table from Knoll, Emilie Carroll’s fully ceramic “space glaze” floor lamp, or a designer castoff prop from a fashion photo shoot. rhettbaruch.com 


What’s Next FOOD & DRINK

From Kuroge cattle, this D’Artagnan A5 Wagyu (above) is raised by Japanese beef masters who follow traditional methods to produce a rich and delicate beef that is recognized around the world for its marbling, velvety texture, and sweet flavor. $1,799/12 pounds, free shipping; dartagnan.com



Farmstead artisan cheeses from Calkins Creamery in the Upper Delaware River Valley are available in Barn Red Cheddar (below), Misty Morning Welsh Cheddar, and garlic-, ginger-, and paprika-studded Vampire Slayer varieties. Wheels encased in black wax. From $12/pound, plus shipping. calkinscreamery.biz

Housed in a former NYC tenement building and run by the Russ family’s fourth generation, Russ & Daughters makes traditional boiled bagels and bialys, also challah, babka, knishes, and traditional whitefish spread. Items ship nationally via gourmet distributor Goldbelly. russanddaughters.goldbelly.com

Revealing the stories behind 200 of the most exceptional Japanese prints from 1680 to 1938, Japanese Woodblock Prints (above) showcases works of 89 artists among its 600 pages and 17 foldouts. Featured selections were gathered from world-renowned museums and never-seen private collections. Taschen. $200; taschen.com Dorothea Lange is best known for her Great Depression–era photographs. Day Sleeper shows a largely unknown side of Lange and includes previously unseen photographs of her family, studio portraits, and street photography. Co-authored by Lange and American photographer Sam Contis and launching with a related exhibition: Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, through May 9 at MoMA, New York. MACK, London. $35; mackbooks.co.uk Venice Synagogues Ultimate Edition celebrates the opulence as well as the historical and spiritual significance of Venice’s ancient synagogues. The 100 color plates are hand-tipped on art-quality paper, all bound by hand using traditional techniques. Limited edition of 25. Assouline. $3,500; assouline.com —Irene Rawlings. u

Courtesy Images, Clockwise From Left: Strottarga Bianco Caviar; TASCHEN/Honolulu Museum of Art,Gift of James A. Michener, 1991; Calkins Creamery; D’Artignan

The most expensive caviar in the world comes from a tiny fish farm just outside Salzburg, Austria: Strottarga Bianco Caviar (above) from the Siberian albino sturgeon. Once harvested, the eggs are dehydrated and sprinkled with 22-karat edible gold flakes. Velvety, buttery, and sold for $113,630/2.2 pounds (enough for a party with friends). Ships or delivers worldwide. gruell-salzburg.at


Profile for Luxury Card

Luxury Magazine Spring 2020  

Luxury Magazine Spring 2020