J asonLewi s M O D E L A C T O R S T O R Y T E L L E R
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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Paul Altieri Caroline Day Alexander Marais Irina Ungureanu Coleman Thomas James Riven Colleen Glennon Franco Salzillo Brian Bielanski Gloria Bass Elliot Figueira Rory Lovern Ramona Davies
STORY SUBMISSION EDITOR
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PUBLISHER’S NOTE Dear Gentle Reader, It is with great pride and gratitude that I present the winter edition of Hills Views & Valleys. Once again, the final work has exceeded my expectations, taken me in directions I could never have imagined, and planted the seeds of inspiration for many issues to come. After relocating from a successful career in the financial services industry on the East Coast, and embarking upon a new life and locale in West Hollywood through my professional capacities, my inspiration for this publication was the beauty of the areas in which we live and the joys, and luxuries, of everyday life that are all around us. As a resident of the area for over a decade, I realized how life so quickly passes, and what wonderful venues for worldwide entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle are created and centered in this sprawling metropolis that we lovingly call home. As we all realize at some point, we have but one life to live. We all aspire to live the best life possible and Hills Views & Valleys is the ultimate compendium for that journey. My aspiration was to create a stylish, useful magazine that could serve as inspiration for people actively looking to upgrade their life. My dream is that Hills Views & Valleys will provide much-needed insight into the range of lifestyle opportunities that abound, alongside stunning photography, and thoughtfully written articles on wellness, fashion, entertainment, and the finest things in life. In serving as publisher of this elegant and exciting luxury lifestyle magazine, it has been a remarkable journey. While it has been long days and very late nights, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank the team of writers, photographers, designers, agents, talent, vendors, and advertisers for their dedication and belief in me as the magazine has evolved. While this publication delivers a most remarkable physical appearance with its oversized format and silk-laminated pages, it also offers a wonderful digital presence for those on the go. Our web address is hillsviewsandvalleys.com. There you can find the momentum for the ultra-luxury that defines the creative energy of the magazine, and dive deeply into topics that will contribute to enhancing your personal lifestyle. It has been a joy to create this issue and I look forward to positively influencing your life and times, now and in the future.
Otis W. Jones Founder / Publisher @hillsviewsandvalleys
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EDITOR’S LETTER To Our Readers,
It is indeed an honor to serve as editor-in-chief of this most amazing publication. If you are reading an online version, the planet thanks you. But if you are fortunate enough to hold this luxury publication in your hands, you will understand the meaning of phrases such as first-class, top shelf, and par excellence. This publication is not only about luxury; it defines luxury, in and of itself. Yet living a luxurious life is not found only in the bounty of material possessions, but is, in great part, being able to be at peace with one’s self and the world in all of its forms and challenges. With each day, we choose our path. While we all face adversity in varying forms, hurdles bring us growth and personal development, perhaps more easily seen in hindsight. As in life, with each issue of Hills Views & Valleys new paths are forged and new relationships developed. Like pulling a thread, one feature leads to inspiration for another and plans for works in coming issues. While this has been a debilitating year, the resiliency of the human spirit has allowed the publication to move forward almost as expected. My thanks are extended to the writers and artists who have continued to give their all, and who magically transform ideas and images into thought provoking text and breathtaking visual works. Via connections made with international businesses and growing relationships with local luxury brands, the vision for Hills Views & Valleys continues to emerge and expand. Plans for expansion into other regions are on the drawing board and moving into focus. This issue is filled with the treasures of travel that await, unique and remarkable dining, artful shopping, emerging fashions and their creators, architecture, and spectacular automobiles that are cutting edge and, in many ways, dreams come true. It has been a pleasure to contribute to, and to edit, this collection of features carefully assembled for your life and lifestyle.
To your best life...
CathyLyn Brooks Editor-in-Chief @hillsviewsandvalleys
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CONTENTS HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
12 | Publisher’s Note 16 | Editor’s Letter
Rolex Submariner The Complete History of the Submariner Watch
36 | Pasjoli
Your French Connection to Dining
86 | Jason Lewis ON THE COVER
Chocolates – To Die Live For
A Game Changer Lucid Motors Brings Luxury to Electric Vehicles
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Matthew Kenney’s Cuisine
Holistic Organic Meets Innovation
60 | A Cut Above Your Guide To Selecting A Diamond
76 | Fashion Forward
Emerging Fashion Designers Find A New home On The Digital Runway
68 | Top 5 Apex Cars
The Top 5 Cars That Redefine Luxury
96 | Made in the Shades
In the land of luxe, owning several pairs of finely crafted shades is de rigueur.
122 | 128
The Ritz Carlton
An Unforgettable Experience
A New American Landmark
100 | KMW Interiors
Designing with Charm, Elegance, and a Unique Personal Touch. HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 19
104 | Architect The Beauty Around Us that is Built to Endure
144 | Magical Montage
The Montage Kapalua Bay provides an authentic Hawaiian experience you will remember forever.
156 Working Remotely? Exquisite places to “Work-ation”!
Marie Voyer 162
Six Senses Shaharut
Five-Star Luxury Hotel and Resort in the Negev Desert 20 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
Expert Luxury Concierge
DEPARTMENTS DEAPARTMENTS CHEF’S TABLE | FASHION | DESIGN LIFESTYLE | PEOPLE & PLACES REAL ESTATE | DESTINATIONS
T H E C O M P L E T E H I S T O RY O F T H E
ROLEX SUBMARINER WAT C H
There is a long list of adjectives you will come across when reading anything about the Rolex Submariner, nearly always preceded by the word ‘most’ (or another superlative of the author’s choosing). It can reasonably be described as the most iconic, most recognizable, most influential, most emulated, and most important sports watch of all time. Add to that the dubious honor of also being the most counterfeited and you have a pretty impressive spread. Today, just as Rolex itself has transcended the notion of being merely a watchmaker and has evolved into the ultimate illustration of attainment and luxury, so too has the Submariner moved to a higher plane. The Rolex Submariner is now just a watch in the same way that The Beatles were just a band. Yes, technically, but everything that has come after has (in some way) been shaped by it. Through its long and eventful life, one awash in fascinating detail and rich with cultural significance, the Rolex Submariner has evolved to become an essential milestone for any serious watch collection – in either its modern incarnation or one of its many hyper popular vintage examples. That ‘new versus old’ concept raises an interesting point. Even for a Rolex, a brand famous for how little it changes its designs over the years, the Submariner is one of the least visually altered models in the company’s history. Nearly every fundamental physical element from the first reference is to be found on the very latest model, with only the internal movements going through any sort of radical overhaul. That is the benefit of getting things right the first time. But how did it all originally come into being? Below, we trace the creation and progression of the dive watch to end all dive watches.
by PAUL ALTIERI
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ROLEX SUBMARINER HISTORY ROLEX SUBMARINER TIMELINE 1953 – Rolex introduces the Submariner dive watch. 1959 – Case increases to 40mm and crown-guards are added. 1967 – Switch from gilt to matte dials. 1969 – Rolex introduces the Submariner Date; first gold Submariner. 1979 – First sapphire crystal on a Submariner watch. 1984 – Switch from matte to gloss dials with white gold markers; first two-tone Submariner. 1988 – Switch form 316L to 904L stainless steel for the Submariner 2003 – First Submariner with a green bezel (ref. 16610LV) 2010 – Ceramic bezel and Super Case design introduced. 2020 – Case increases to 41mm and lugs get redesigned. Before The Rolex Submariner Rolex’s relationship with the sea goes back long before the first Submariner surfaced. The company had been tackling the challenge of waterproofing its watches almost from the formation of the brand at the turn of the 20th century, finally coming up with the famed Oyster case in 1926. This, and the self-winding Perpetual movement that it perfected in 1931, transformed both the utility and, crucially, the image of the wristwatch. They could now legitimately be seen as a male accessory, whereas before they had been worn solely by aristocratic ladies and were largely viewed as fragile and woefully inaccurate pieces that were little more than jewelry. Rolex’s twin innovations saw to it that the new breed of wristwatch was robust and convenient enough for men to wear and effectively sounded the death knell of the ubiquitous pocket watch, which was traditionally the way a gentleman told the time for centuries. In fact, the two inventions were so ahead of their time they still form the backbone for the vast majority of the brand’s output today, nearly one hundred years later.
A PURPOSE-BUILT DIVE WATCH Rolex’s two key technologies also found their most effective home to date in the brand’s first fully-fledged dive watch. The idea for the Submariner was hit upon by the company’s thenPublic Relations Director, René-Paul Jeanneret sometime in the early ‘50s. A passionate diver himself, it was Jeanneret who was responsible for much of the work in formulating the tool watch
concept – the idea that a watch could do far more than merely display the time. This concept led to a mass of legendary names all being released within a few years of each other, including the earliest references of the Explorer, GMT-Master, Milgauss, Turn-OGraph, and (a little later) the Daytona, all ushering in the first true ‘golden age’ for Rolex. However, above all these was the Submariner. The idea of diving for recreation was still very much in its infancy, and was building on technology developed during the recently concluded Second World War. A French naval officer and underwater pioneer named Jacques Cousteau, together with associate Emile Gagnan, a compressed gas engineer, had designed and built the first Aqua-Lung in 1942. A step up from the pure oxygen re-breathers used by military divers, which delivered a continuous airflow, the Aqua-Lung supplied air only on demand, greatly increasing the amount of time the user could remain submerged. It was Cousteau’s remarkable films of the undersea world that helped cause the explosion in popularity of Scuba diving and, as a close personal friend of Jeanneret, he was also enlisted to consult on what was needed to make the perfect dive watch.
THE FIRST ROLEX SUBMARINER Despite its position as the most famous dive watch in the world, the Rolex Submariner was not, as is occasionally touted, the very first dive watch ever created. Depending on your definition, that honor could be attributed to either the Omega Marine from 1932, or even the Panerai Radiomir from 1936 (a watch made for the Regia Marina, the Italian Special Forces diving unit, and one which, coincidentally, used Rolex cases and movements). However, it was another model designed in conjunction with the navy, the French one this time, that can most reasonably claim to be the first modern dive watch as we would recognize it today. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was the model that really set down what a working underwater timing device needed, devised as it was by two military frogmen, Captain Robert ‘Bob’ Maloubier and his second-in-command, Lieutenant Claude Jean Riffaud. Between them they set up the Nageurs de Combat, or combat swimmers division, for the French Ministry of Defense in 1952. With little to no suitable equipment in existence, they were forced to create their own, leading to them drawing up a set of sound guidelines for a battle-ready dive watch. Among the stipulations were a black dial with white HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 25
indexes and handset for high contrast readability, an automatic movement so the crown (traditionally the weakest point in any waterproof watch) would need to be used as infrequently as possible, a rotating bezel to help track immersion times, and (naturally) a robust waterproof case. Unfortunately for Rolex, who was proceeding along almost identical lines, Blancpain was first to the punch by mere months. The Fifty Fathoms was released in 1953, the same year the initial Submariner was built, but it wouldn’t make it into full production until the following year, making its entrance at the 1954 Basel Fair.
THE REFERENCE 6204 The ref. 6204 (generally accepted as the debut Submariner, although there is some debate) was an instant hit and shared the majority of the same attributes as the Fifty Fathoms. The dial (either gilt or honeycomb) was jet black and ringed with the same mix of dots and batons for hour markers and an inverted triangle at the 12, that you will see in the current-production examples. All were filled with plenty of lume (still radium in this era). The hands had not yet graduated to the Mercedes style present on most Rolex sports models these days and were a plain stick or pencil type. As for the bezel, it was marked for 60-minutes as usual but was missing the hashes for the first 15. These were included on later editions and helped wearers more accurately record the end of a dive, when the precise timing of safety or decompression stops becomes more critical. However, it did have one minor and unavoidable drawback. Blancpain held the patent for the unidirectional bezel (as in one that turns only counterclockwise). The idea was the brainchild of the brand’s CEO Jean-Jacques Fiechter, another keen diver, and acted as a rudimentary failsafe. The unidirectional bezel ensured that if the surround got accidentally moved underwater, it would only over-read the supposed time spent submerged, thus helping divers avoid the potential dangers of decompression sickness. With the copyright belonging to Blancpain, the Submariner had to make do with bidirectional bezels all the way up until the 1980s. However, Rolex did own the rights to an arguably more important innovation of its own, one the brand expanded on expressly for the Submariner. Part of the Oyster case construction from the mid-1920s was a specific winding crown system, where the crown was fitted with a gasket that would screw into a tube inside the watch case. It provided an 26 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
impressive amount of protection against moisture and various other debris getting in and jamming up the movement. For the new purpose-built dive model though, it was obvious this was going to have to be beefed up significantly. The eventual result was the Twinlock crown, an arrangement which utilized two sets of O-rings to form a pair of watertight seals within the winding stem assembly, enabling the Rolex Submariner to be the first dive watch rated down to 100 meters (330 feet). A DECADE OF FINE-TUNING The Rolex Submariner had hit the ground running (or swimming), but even though it had captured the imagination of a wide and appreciative audience, there was still plenty of work to do. The next six years saw a total of eight total references of Rolex’s dive watch being released, some running concurrently with others, and each with some kind of alteration intended to perfect the overall design. Without getting into the exhaustive detail, the models which followed on from the ref. 6204 were: Ref. 6205 – (1954): Slightly thicker case than the ref. 6204 and marginally larger crown. Ref. 6200 – (1955-1956): Thicker case with an 8mm crown, making it the first of the so-called ‘Big Crown’ Subs. Waterproof to 200m. Ref. 6536 – (1955-1959): A thinner case and small crown, but given the Cal. 1030 movement rather than the Cal. A296 or Cal. A260 found in former models. Ref. 6536/1 – (1957-1960): More or less identical to the ref. 6536 but available with a chronometer-rated caliber. Ref. 6538 – (1956-1959): Another Big Crown, this too was available as a chronometer-rated model and found eternal fame as the ‘Bond Sub’ after Sean Connery wore one in Dr. No. Ref. 5510 – (1958): Identical to the Bond Sub, except the ref. 5510 was the first Submariner to house the Cal. 1530) Ref. 5508 – (1958-1962): A small crown version which replaced the ref. 6536, and the first ‘Superlative Chronometer’ Submariner. THE ROLEX SUBMARINER SETTLES DOWN Following its turbulent first few years, the Submariner reached a point of some consistency in 1959, when the ref. 5512 emerged. With the arrival of this reference, all the pieces fell into place so effectively that the underlying architecture of the watch remained the same for the next half century. The model was the amalgamation of all the various elements that had worked from the previous eight versions of the Submariner, joined together for the first time. The reference 5512 had a 40mm case, the Mercedes handset, the complete markings on a redesigned bezel, as well as its most significant previously-unseen addition, the introduction of crown guards. In fact, everything you will find on the modern-day version of Rolex’s iconic dive watch had its start here. So successful was the outcome that there was essentially nothing left to do as far as the core aesthetic was concerned. Right up until 2010 with the arrival of the Super Case, most of the major alterations to the Submariner collection pertained to either improved materials, updated movements, or minor revisions in design. However, there was one exception. The ref. 5512 and its non-COSC certified sibling, the ref. 5513, were both extremely long serving references. The ref. 5512 ran from 1959 to 1980,
while the ref. 5513 from 1962 all the way up to 1989. With that in mind, they were not the only Submariner watches around during that time. In 1969, Rolex split the Submariner range, and the opinions of the watch’s legions of fans, by releasing the first Submariner with a date, the reference 1680. ROLEX SUBMARINER DATE WATCHES In most other respects, the ref. 1680 was practically identical to the 5512/5513 references. However, it brought a date function to the series for the first time. For many critics, that one relatively modest inclusion signaled the end of the Submariner as the purpose-built dive watch and heralded the start of its ascent into status symbol territory. According to critics, real divers had no need of a watch that tells them the date of the month. Despite the naysayers, the Rolex Submariner had always been styled elegantly enough to be more than just a dive implement. Its sophisticated minimalism matched with everything from t-shirts and jeans all the way up to perfectly tailored tuxedos – just ask the greatest advertisement any timepiece ever had, James Bond. Agent 007 wore a Submariner in a total of nine outings, starting with Connery in 1962’s Dr. No, and the watch was paired with everything from a wetsuit to dinner suit. In truth, the Submariner has always been bought by far more non-divers than divers, and it is the same story for most of the brand’s models. You won’t see all that many Rolex Daytona watches in the paddock of the average speedway or Explorer watches on the summit of Mount Everest either these days, for example. As for Rolex, the brand decided to embrace the status symbol tag wholeheartedly with the ref. 1680’s arrival. Along with being the first Submariner with a date complication, it would also be the first released in 18k yellow gold as well. That piece also debuted a blue dial and bezel option, representing the first time that it had appeared in anything but all-black. Ever since the arrival of the ref. 1680, Rolex has poured far more variety into the Submariner Date than the No-Date models, gifting them with a host of new metal combinations and different colorways. The no-date Submariner has remained as it always was, an exclusively stainless steel creation, still loved by the purists. ROLEX SUBMARINER DATE WATCHES Below is a list of the different Rolex Submariner Date watches, their movements, and approximate years of production.
Ref. 1680 – (1969-1979): Cal. 1575. Ref. 1680/8 – (1969-1979): Cal 1575 (18k Yellow Gold) Ref. 16800 – (1979-1988): Cal. 3035 (First high beat movement; 28,800vph) Ref. 16808 – (1979-1988): Cal. 3035 (18k Yellow Gold) Ref. 16803 – (1984-1988): Cal. 3035 (First ever two-tone Rolesor Submariner) Ref. 168000 – (1988-1989): Cal. 3035 (First Submariner in 904L steel) Ref. 16610 – (1989-2010): Cal. 3135 Ref. 16618 – (1989-2010): Cal. 3135 (18k yellow gold) Ref. 16613 – (1989-2010): Cal. 3135 (Yellow Rolesor) Ref. 16610LV – (2003-2010): Cal. 3135 (50th Anniversary Edition, in steel with green bezel, aka the Kermit) Ref. 116610 – (2010-2020): Cal. 3135 (First appearance of the Super Case, with lugs and crown guards roughly twice the thickness of before) Ref. 116618 – (2010-2020): Cal. 3135 (18k yellow gold) Ref. 116613 – (2010-2020): Cal. 3135 (Yellow Rolesor) Ref. 116619 – (2010-2020): Cal. 3135 (First Submariner in white gold, with blue dial and bezel, aka the Smurf) Ref. 116610LV – (2010-2020): Cal. 3135 (Green bezel and dial, aka the Hulk) Ref. 126610 – (2020-Present): Cal. 3235 Ref. 126610LV – (2020-Present): Cal. 3235 (Green bezel and black dial) Ref. 126618 – (2020-Present): Cal. 3235 (18k yellow gold) Ref. 126613 – (2020-Present): Cal. 3235 (Yellow Rolesor) Ref. 126619 – (2020-Present): Cal. 3235 (18k white gold, with blue bezel)
THE ROLEX SUBMARINER IN THE MODERN ERA In 2003, the Submariner reached its half century. Rolex commemorated the occasion with a new stainless steel edition, the ref. 16610LV, with the ‘LV’ standing for Lunette Verte, or “green bezel” in French. Although a popular color for Rolex as a manufacturer, this was the first time it had used green in the design of its world-class diver. Immediately nicknamed the Kermit by collectors, it has since become one of the most sought after variants of the Submariner’s neo-vintage era. The following generation, the ref. 1166xx series brought about the biggest change to the watch’s appearance since the ref. 5512 in 1959. To start with, the model’s bezel insert was now crafted from Cerachrom, a proprietary ceramic material that had recently debuted on the 50th anniversary GMT-Master II. Both HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 27
fade-proof and scratch-proof, it is pretty much guaranteed to stay looking brand new forever. Even more than that, in response to increasingly vocal calls for a larger example of the Submariner, with some suggesting 40mm was too small for a modern sports model, Rolex brought out the Super Case. While still the same dimensions on paper, the lugs and crown guards were made significantly thicker, giving it the impression of being a far bigger watch. Just as with the arrival of the date feature, the Super Case also divided fans. Many appreciated the upturn in wrist presence, while others missed the flowing lines of references past. It would take until 2020 until Rolex found a way to keep both sides happy. The new ref. 1266xx range is the first to have grown past the Submariner’s self-imposed 40mm limits, even by just 1mm. However, the Super Case’s bulky, squared-off elements have been softened, returning to a case that with a more elegantly sweeping silhouette, while still keeping the more angular design of the previous generation. More importantly, the movement has finally been upgraded. The Submariner Date had been driven by the Cal. 3135 for more than 30-years by the time the latest iteration of the watch hit the stores. A superb caliber though it is (and it is recognized as one of the finest mass-produced movements ever made) it’s time was up long ago, with many of Rolex’s other models having already received their next generation of mechanisms. The latest time-and-date standard for Rolex, the Cal. 3235, has replaced or improved upon around 90% of the components from the outgoing Cal. 3135, resulting in a world beating movement for a new age.
MILITARY INTERVENTION The clearest sign of just how good the Submariner was can be found in how quickly the military started knocking on Rolex’s door. As early as 1956, the British Ministry of Defense came looking for a new standard-issue timepiece for the Royal Navy’s fledgling Special Forces combatants. They were given around 50 examples of the civilian version of the ref. 6538 (the Bond Sub), pieces which were subsequently given the most rigorous field testing imaginable. In 1957, the MOD returned, respectfully asking for just a couple of minor adjustments to the off-the-shelf watch available to everyone else. The biggest change was a slight reshaping of the bezel, which the navy divers were finding hard to turn while wearing gloves. Rolex responded by increasing its diameter so it overhung the sides of the case, and by altering the edging, from its coin-edge style to the serrated type we know today. Rolex also 28 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
made the insert from nickel silver rather than the previous plated brass so it was less likely to crack under impact. Other than that, along with a request for the standard spring bars to be replaced by a solid bar soldered between the lugs to more securely hold the NATO straps, the Rolex Submariner had more than proved its reputation as the toughest diver’s watch on the planet. Those models, rechristened the A/6538, served with distinction right up until 1967, when the navy switched briefly to the Omega Seamaster. However, the Royal Navy was back to Rolex in 1971, adopting three more references for its unit, the ref. 5513, the double stamped ref. 5513/5517, and the straightforward ref. 5517. Together, the four iterations have become known as the Rolex MilSub watches and represent some of the holiest of holy grails in all of vintage Rolex collecting. BUYING A ROLEX SUBMARINER More often than not, a Submariner is the first port of call for anyone starting their journey into Rolex collecting. In fact, the Sub is frequently the reason the journey starts in the first place. So how much will you need to spend? The good news is, probably less than you think. Entry point ballpark figures are around $7,500 to $8,000. For that, you will likely find an example of the ref. 16610 (or the no-date equivalent ref. 14060) from the 1990s, a pre-Super Case watch with most modern-day attributes (the key exception being a ceramic bezel), a faultless internal mechanism, and the most identifiable form horology has to offer. Lucky enough to have an absolutely enormous amount of money to throw around? Don’t worry, there are plenty of Submariner options at the top end too. Some of the earliest vintage references are incredibly rare and consequently cripplingly expensive. The first of the Big Crown Submariners, the ref. 6200, better known among fanatics as the King Sub, was in production for less than a year and it is thought only around 300 were ever made. Even more unusually, the dial has the 3/6/9 hour markers more commonly associated with the Rolex Explorer. The last time one was sold was in 2017, changing hands at auction for $579,000. Fortunately, in-between those two extremes, there is a model for just about every pocket. Two-tone Rolesor pieces remain extremely popular, each one with the choice of either a black or blue dial and bezel. For the quintessential 1980s throwback vibe, the ‘Serti’ dials were sometimes fitted to these and the all-gold watches, featuring gemstone indexes. These too can be bought for surprisingly realistic figures, with starting prices hovering around the $10,000 mark. FINAL REMARKS It is almost strange to think that a timepiece that was originally designed to be a purpose-built underwater timing tool for the budding recreational scuba diving crown has evolved to become one of the most famous and instantly recognizable luxury watches in the world. However, the Rolex Submariner is so versatile and successful in its core design that this drastic evolution seems entirely appropriate – even almost expected. The Rolex Submariner remains eternal, a timeless example of immaculate industrial design and a watch that will forever be the benchmark by which all others are measured. So, are you ready to add one to your collection?
CHOCOLATE TO DIE LIVE FOR
by CATHY LYN BROOKS
hocolate. That solitary word can evoke a flood of desire, in any language. Universally adored, chocolate has been clinically proven to actually make you feel good. The scene of a tearful break up being assuaged by a box of chocolates is well known, and as it turns out, scientifically appropriate. Certain components in chocolate improve mood, while others are proven to alter brain patterns. A selection of countries are known for producing the finest chocolates in the world. While approximately 70% of the cocoa is grown and harvested from Africa, the countries that craft the sweets each are known for offer unique styles and innovations.
BELGIUM The first signs of chocolate trade date back to 1635 in the city of Ghent where pharmacists, as a sideline, sold chocolate as a tonic. Later in the 19th century Belgian chocolate maker Berwaerts created the first pressed chocolate, figurines, and pastilles. In this era, chocolate makers emerged with such well-known firms as Neuhaus, Côte d’Or, Jacques, and Callebaut. Innovations in sweets from Belgium include the invention of the praline, and chocolates with a soft filling. In 1915, Louise Agostini, the wife of Jean Neuhuas created the first ‘ballotin,’ a box designed to hold pralines. When Charles Callebaut perfected the transport of liquid chocolate, the world of chocolate expanded once again. In fact, Belgium is home to more chocolate factories than any other country in the world. To be labeled Belgian chocolate, the law requires the chocolate to be 35% pure cocoa, and may not contain vegetable based, artificial or palm oil based fats. Godiva is a well-known fine Belgian chocolate that is available in the United States. The country is home to over 2,000 shops that specialize in only chocolate. Another unique characteristic of Belgian chocolate is found in the processing. Belgian chocolate is cooled only at the end, and no machines or production lines are utilized in the creation of these fine confections. They are made exclusively by hand.
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SWITZERLAND The Swiss are famous for their chocolate and their population consumes more chocolate than any other nation. The country imports 40% of all the chocolate consumed, and they export twice as much as they consume. Milk chocolate is most favored, comprising approximately 70% of the total consumption, followed by dark chocolate at 25%, and 5% choosing white chocolate, which actually contains no cocoa, but is still quite delectable. Teucher Champagne Truffles are perhaps the most wonderful thing ever created, and Toblerone, a snack that accompanies many on international flights, is actually a relatively healthy chocolate bar. It is difficult not to eat the entire bar, so the preferred quality is appreciated. The most expensive chocolate in the world is found in Zurich and has attained a Guinness World Record. Attimo Chocolate Zurich captured this honor in late 2019 with an 80 gram bar of “La Chuorsa” containing 68% Chuao chocolate from Venezuela, crystallized orange crisps, and saffron grown in the Swiss village of Mund. The bar sold for US$645 and should seriously ease any heartbreak imaginable. FRANCE Traditional French chocolate dates back to 1615 when King Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, daughter of the Spanish king. Anne introduced hot chocolate to the French court, and while French chocolate also has its origin in the Belgian methods, the French have their own love affair with the delicious delight. In Paris alone, you will find over 300 chocolate shops. Some of the most remarkable artisan chocolatiers in France are Jean-Paul Hévin, Christian Constant, and Pierre Marcolini. Léonidas, Jeff de Bruges, and l’Atelier du Chocolate are industry leaders, and each smaller town will have their local independent chocolatier, as in Lyon the well-known Voisin. The chocolate found in France is the least sweetened in the world. While it contains the typical cocoa content range from 62% to 86%, the French use less butter, sugar, and cream in their confection, making this the lightest version and lower in calories.
Yet nothing is too extravagant for a chocolate lover, and when you find yourself in Paris at the renowned Georges V, you must indulge in the chocolate massage if it is being offered in the season near Easter or Valentine’s Day. There they will scrub and wrap you in a smooth chocolate coating and follow with a nourishing cocoa shea butter massage. Year round, this luxury can be savored at Dans le Noir Spa in the 2nd Arrondissement. Heaven on earth, indeed.
SPAIN While there is no agreement about how chocolate arrived in Europe, it is accepted that it first arrived in Spain. Some say Columbus intercepted a trade ship en route to America; another tells the tale that Cortes brought it from the Aztecs at Montezuma’s court. The Spanish created their own version of hot chocolate with the addition of cane sugar, cinnamon, and other spices and flavorings. While visions of chocolate may not bring the country of Spain to mind, the history of Spanish chocolate is rich and vibrant. Today there is a bridge between traditional and modern passions and products. The Spanish chocolatiers endure and thrive as some of the worlds most creative and innovative. The Avant–garde products, luscious flavor combinations, and breathtaking visual designs bring Spanish chocolates to the attention of the world. Among the traditional chocolate producers in Spain is Chocolates Matías Lopez, with enchanting vintage style packaging; Clavilenno, a staple for drinking chocolate; and Chocolates La Colonial de Eureka of Madrid, offering a traditional chocolate line as well as a modern brand that incorporates ingredients such as mango, quinoa, and pink peppercorn. 34 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
ITALY Italy has a long association with chocolate and chocolate making. While Turin actually became the first capital of chocolate, other centers of excellence include the Sicilian town of Modica, which still produces by following an original Aztec recipe, and the Chocolate Valley found in Tuscany, between Pisa, Prato, and Pistola. Also well known for historical chocolatiers are the cities of Naples and Perugia. Italy is also home to some of the world’s most elite chocolate fairs that bring producers and consumers together for annual discoveries and celebration. Italians are the inventors of many chocolate dishes such as chocolate dessert soup, chocolate custard, and chocolate sorbet, which was first, created in Naples in the mid 1700’s. Italians were also the first to combine coffee with chocolate in both baked goods and beverages. This alone is an act of grace that has benefited the world in so many scrumptious ways. In Turin, the drink called bicherin, which translates to “little glass” is a chocolate drink topped with a layer of espresso and a layer of cream. Created in 1678, the popular beverage is still served today. The leading manufacturers of chocolate in Italy are Majani, which began as a chocolate laboratory in 1796; Caffarel, the firm that inspired the Swiss to produce chocolates on an industrial scale; Venchi, that specializes in dark and gianduia (hazelnut) sweets; Novi, famous for chocolate and toffee candies, and last, but not least, Perugina, known the world over for Baci, the charming silver and blue wrapped chocolates that celebrate the word, “kiss.” A few of the fine artisanal chocolatiers that bring innovation and fame to the Italian industry are Le Tre Fontane produced in a monastery; Amedei, which began as a producer of pralines; Gobino, that has developed award winning sea salt and olive oil chocolates; and Domori, whose chocolate is made with the rarest and most delicious chocolate bean, the Criollo. Finally, there is a truly traditional creation by cioccolato di Modica who crafts a grainy, crumbly textured chocolate following the original recipe for xocoatl of the Aztecs. Heated to no more than 40 degrees Celsius, and prepared in the famed Modica area of Sicily, this is thought to be the worlds very first chocolate. While it is said that money cannot buy happiness, it can buy the world’s finest chocolates and, for many, that is one and the same.
Te a R o o m s • 3 0 0 + Te a b l e n d s • Te a a c c e s s o r i e s • C a t e r i n g H o l l y w o o d • L i t t l e To k y o • P a s a d e n a • To r r a n c e
Pasjoli C’est le bon! by ALEXANDER MARAIS
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Nestled into an historic brick-laced shop front, fortunate patrons can slip into Chef Dave Beran’s Pasjoli. Charming interiors framed by love cooking French, but I love the markets,” says Beran café-curtains on the inviting with a laugh. “Everything we do is based on my team bringing things back and saying, ‘What are we going to do windows beckon diners into an with this?’” intimate bistro with magnificent exposed brick walls, open beamed Like many businesses in Los Angeles County, the ceilings, and simply the freshest restaurant suffered a devastating setback when the and most uniquely prepared cuisine Covid-19 pandemic hit, but now has re-opened for this side of the Seine. service, offering takeout and outdoor dining from This is not your mother’s French menu; Wednesday to Sunday every week. Beran has proven the cuisine is elegant yet innovative. Not to be himself in his revered approach in the culinary world and missed menu highlights include the canard bordelaise (duck has earned three nominations for the James Beard Award confit and preserved cherry bread pudding), steak au and achieved the coveted one- star award from Michelin. poivre, halibut meuniére, and the suprêmes volaille à champagne “The human element impacts you on so many (poached chicken breast, roasted skin, asparagus, and levels,” he said. “It’s not just about the food; it’s about champagne-chicken jus). the social decorum. To really stand out, it’s not just “I was shown an entirely different form of French about the preparations, but how they’re served to you. cuisine from the Parisian markets,” Beran stated in an Someone has to serve that connection.” You can see his exclusive HVV interview. “It was clean and elegant, not attentiveness to detail in the specific designs of the Hors heavy or rich. Very technique-driven. Once you’re in D’oeuvres - whether it is something as simple as the salade France and away from the stereotypical foods, it’s a very irma dressed with radish and lemon vinaigrette, or the delicate and market-driven cuisine. What I fell in love with sumptuous display of the ragoût d’oignons caramélisés was not beef bourguignon, but the lightly sautéed (caramelized onion tart with gruyère cheese vegetables with lemon at the local bistro.” This and herb salad). For Beran, it’s not just approach led Beran to combine French about providing quality food to his recipes with ingredients culled from customers, it’s about the feelings he can It’s not just southern California’s organic scene. “I evoke. “Not many experiences can
about providing quality food to his customers, it’s about the feelings he can evoke.
connect a large group of people together,” he says. “Art obviously can, but if we’re comparing this to art then this is a form you can experience with all your senses.” It’s this form of conscientiousness that not only has Pasjoli modifying clientele operations, but also encouraging them to make a difference in the process. Launched on Twitter with the hash tag #CheffingForChange, Pasjoli has offered extensive culinary rewards based on consumer receipts donating to organizations related to The Black Lives Matter movement. These causes include The Equal Justice Initiative, The Black Male Institute, and STEM to the Future. “We were careful not to make it overtly political,” Beran said about the initiative. “This was about promoting endeavors everyone could understand.” In many ways, this sentiment reflects the values defining Beran’s career. Having worked for fourteen years in the business, one of the most important aspects has proven to be collaboration. “It’s all about the human element,” Beran has said. “Learning how to work with people to achieve an end goal will work way better than getting people to work for you.” HVV
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Matthew Kenney’s Cuisine: Holistic Organic Meets Innovation by COLEMAN THOMAS
ailing from Searsport, Maine, Matthew Kenney is a chef celebrity whose considerable influence is breaking all the rules on the culinary frontier. Creating meal plans based upon plant-based diets, Kenney is an effective blend of modern culinary innovation mixed with socially conscious activism. He stands strong as someone who has, and will continue to, impact the way we view and enjoy food as it relates to every aspect of our lives. After co-founding the vegan establishment Plant Food + Wine, and opening several culinary schools, Kenney expanded his operation considerably. In 2012, he launched Matthew Kenney Cuisine, a conglomerate consisting not only of holistic consumer choices, but also educational tools and services for improving food intake and lifestyle aesthetics. Matthew Kenney Cuisine dishes include traditional, five-star restaurateur meals, but with a delightful vegan slant. With several dozen establishments both nationwide and internationally following his mantra, delectable offerings include a Cacio E Pepe cleverly enhanced with kelp noodles and dried olives, a squashthemed Carpaccio, and a Chocolate Caramel Crunch
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He is not only taking the food industry in new directions, but is laying the groundwork for more people to deliciously join the fight against climate change.
dessert with soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free iterations. As Kenney brilliantly summarized in an Observer op-ed, “Nobody needs a 46-oz. steak to get through a day trading stocks”. In the spirit of this sentiment, the educational portfolios on Kenney’s site revolve around an extensive online cooking class teaching students worldwide the joys of plant-based cuisine. This alone put Kenney in the cross-hairs of other famous vegans, such as filmmaker James Cameron, who famously noted, “By changing what you eat, you will change the entire contract between the human species and the natural world.” Kenney’s meticulousness to vegan normalization is especially complimented by his attention to detail. At one of the cuisine’s premier restaurants, Plant Food + Wine in Venice, California, it isn’t just seen in the artistic presentation of signature dishes such as Heirloom Tomato + Zucchini Lasagna, or the Chickpea Frittata, but rather the location design as a whole. The venue provides a contrastingly homey yet polished dining room area, adorned with avant-garde portraits, and custom-made pottery. Al fresco dining is enjoyed on a pebble-laden, heated outdoor seating area, shaded by weeping HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 41
willow-styled greenery. Presentation is everything in cuisine and the locations where patrons are served are the stunning canvas upon which his cutting edge cuisine is showcased alongside a stunning selection of bio-dynamic wines. Kenny excels at making plant-based cuisine a more in-demand dining choice due to the creativity and satisfaction that he builds into every dish. He is not only taking the food industry in new directions, but is laying the groundwork for more people to deliciously join the fight against climate change. It is widely considered that transitioning into a dairy-free and meatless world can be a contributing factor in mitigating environmental changes. Kenny’s brilliant and sustainable approach creates genuine appeal and desire for even the most traditionally habitual diner as his cuisine is simply so irresistible. This is a true win-win for his patrons as well as for the planet. This truly is the future of food. HVV
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13720 GRAMERCY PLACE | GARDENA, CA 90249 WWW.SAVGOURMET.COM
Californian Winemakers: Looking to the Rhône by JAMES RIVEN
lthough California alone is the fourth largest wine region globally, we can’t deny French wine’s importance and influence. From Bordeaux, we’ve got the famous Cabernet Sauvignon, the juicy Merlot, and to some extent, the gentle Sauvignon Blanc. From Burgundy, we’ve inherited the elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The most planted grapes in America have a French heritage. Of course, French wine is as varied as wine can be, a nd amongst the most cherished styles, you’ll find the fermented grapes coming from the Rhône Valley. The arid and wild wine region champions the aromatic white grape Viognier, and the inseparable red team led by Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Despite the fact that Rhône varieties comprise less than 4% of California’s rolling hills, the Golden State has huge Rhône fans. THE RHÔNE RANGERS The Rhône Rangers is America’s leading organization promoting Rhône wine styles favoring the twentytwo Rhône native grapes led by Syrah, or as the organization calls it, the 800-pound gorilla. Wines made from Syrah are full-bodied and layered with distinctive spice aromas reminiscent of black
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pepper and a rustic, yet elegant taste. When blended with its stable-mates, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, the wine really brings out the decadent flavors of the red-soiled Rhône. Central Coast’s Paso Robles is the hottest spot for Rhône-style wine in the state, where the weather and soils are not dissimilar to the Rhône basin, but fantastic wine hails from the famous Napa Valley and Northern Sonoma. BRINGING IT HOME Talented American grape growers and winemakers are taking inspiration in the Rhône Valley, but they’re not imitating; they’re making the style their own. The ripe flavors, proper of California’s warmth, show on the nose and palate and contrast greatly against their French counterparts marked by austerity and tartness. California’s Rhône wines are marvelous at the table, pairing seamlessly with equally wild and intensely flavored food, including lamb, barbecue, smoked brisket, boar, venison, slow-cooked meat, and hearty stews. When not even the boldest Cabernet is up to the task, there’s the Rhône, and the pairings are heavenly. Expand your palate and give Rhône wine styles a chance; you might find yourself falling in love with the category’s untamable, rustic charm. One thing is for sure; you’ll never see this wine in the same way. HVV
Try These Fabulous Rhone-Inspired California Wines: Darioush Signature Viognier, Napa Valley, CA Variety: Viognier Nose: Honeyed white peaches, saffron, and white flowers. Palate: Dry, with immense depth and a long, perfumed aftertaste. Average Price: $52 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit De Tablas, Paso Robles, CA Variety: Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Counoise. Nose: Blackberries, tobacco, spaded earth, and sweet hickory smoke. Palate: Medium-bodied, nuanced, with an intense mid-palate and a spicy finish. Average Price: $57 Cayuse Vineyards Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, WA Variety: Syrah Nose: Black raspberries, black pepper, withered violets, and smoke. Palate: Full-bodied and coating with a tight acidic backbone. Average Price: $359
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Decanter World Wine Awards
he world’s largest wine competition, the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is now in its 18th year. Judged by top wine experts, including recognised Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine from across the globe, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process.
DWWA medal stickers offer reassurance that the wine has been judged by regional experts and specialists before receiving its medal.
Discover the world’s best wines
Rooted in regionality, wines awarded a medal at DWWA are judged by regional specialists that evaluate the wines based on typicity, quality, style and price. Wines are re-tasted up to four separate times in the judging process, and be it Best in Show, Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, consumers can be assured that a wine with a DWWA medal has been critically assessed and awarded by top wine experts, and endorsed by Decanter - the world’s leading wine media brand before receiving a medal. Results for the 2020 competition, including scores, tasting notes, stockists and wine details from the 16,500+ wines judged, are available to view now on Decanter.com alongside weekly DWWA features to highlight award-winning wines worth discovering.
Best in Show ‘Best in Show’ medal winners represent the top wines of the competition. Just 50 wines, making up 0.3% of the 16,518 wines tasted at the 2020 competition, were awarded this prestigious accolade, including three wines from the USA: Alpha Omega, ERA, Napa Valley, California 2017 98 This Cabernet with just a little freshening Malbec stood out from the bunch for the lifted fragrance of its aromas, as well as for the astonishing depth, texture, purity and length of the palate. This is a wine of drama, yet it is also refined, even elegant; it is a wine of extravagant amplitude yet without an ounce of excess weight. Revel in the resonance of its mulberry, blackberry, dark chocolate and incense spices. Alc 14.8% Domaine Serene, Mark Bradford Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2016 97 This wine stood out for its overall composition, its refinement and its poise: nothing overdone, nothing missing, everything appealing, everything in balance. The wine has admirable textures which seem to owe as much to sheer wealth of flavour as they do to tannic mass. There’s a soft but sustaining acidity. It’s a Pinot which seems to melt in the mouth, yet the flavours linger: bravo. Alc 14.5% Trefethen, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, California 2017 97 The wine is a dark opaque black, but its soft, respiring resins and calmly ordered fruits alert the drinker from the aromatic profile alone that the wine has nothing monstrous or disproportionate about it. It’s ripe but supple and graceful, with as much juicy acidity as textured tannins: drinkable, accessible and fresh. The Napa hallmark of opulence is there in the succulent grain of the fruit, but in every other respect this is deft, finely judged midweight. Alc 14.2%
@decanterawards Visit www.decanter.com/decanter-awards to learn more and search all award-winning wines.
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NAMED #1 RESTAURANT IN ORANGE COUNTY MONARCH BEACH RESORT 949.234.3900 | MONARCHBEACHRESORT.COM/BOURBON-STEAK
AN EASY GUIDE TO CIGARS
There’s No Virtue Without Vice by FRANCO SALZILLO As Mark Twain said, “Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man’s enjoyment of his cigar.” If you’ve lit a few cigars in your life, you know what Mr. Twain meant. There’s immense pleasure in puffing on a stogie. 48 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
Not all cigars are the same, though, so knowing the basics is key to understanding the complex world of wrapped tobacco leaves. Here’s an easy guide to get you started:
The wrapper, the binder, and the filler. A cigar is made of three parts: the wrapper, the binder, and the filler. The wrapper or the outer leaves give cigars their color, from green to red to dark brown, and here’s where you find the terms claro, colorado, maduro, or oscuro. The wrapper matters because 75% of a cigar’s flavor and aromas come from the thin outer leaves. The darker the color, the higher the oils and sugar, meaning sweeter and stronger flavors. Shade-grown tobacco is generally lighter, and thus, milder. Tobacco plants exposed to the sun and heat are darker and stronger in flavor. The filler gives a cigar its strength, meaning nicotine levels. Quality fillers comprise whole leaves tucked tightly within the binder and can come from different countries. The strength, though, depends on the types of leaves used. The leaves growing closer to the ground are called volado, and since they don’t get much sunlight, they’re mild. The
middle leaves, called seco, have medium strength while the higher leaves, the ones with the most sun exposure, are called ligero and make robust cigars. The wrapper’s color and the filler’s strength are paint in the cigar maker’s palette and these aspects allow producers to create a myriad of styles of all flavors and strength levels. The Shape. For cigars, the color, and strength are essential, but the size and shape matter too. First, there’s the ring gauge, measured in 64ths of an inch. The thinner the cigar, the fewer filler leaves, and the more you enjoy the wrapper’s flavors. Larger gauges are all about the filler’s flavor. Finally, there’s the length of the cigar, and that depends entirely on time. As they say, “Smoke what you have time to enjoy.” A 6-inch, 42 ring gauge Corona might take you 45 minutes to appreciate, while a 7-inch 48 gauge Churchill might take you over an hour. HVV
Here are some fabulous starter cigars to get to know: Romeo Y Julieta Capulet, Churchill Wrapper: Connecticut Shade Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua Length: 7 in Ring: 50 Medium strength, mild, caramel
Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne, Robusto Wrapper: Connecticut Shade Filler: Nicaragua Length: 5 in Ring: 54 Medium strength, flavorful, coffee
Montecristo No. 2 Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra Filler: Dominican and Nicaragua Length: 6 in Ring: 52 Medium strength, fragrant, espresso, almonds HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 49
A Game Changer Arrives in Beverly Hills
Lucid Motors Brings Luxury to Electric Vehicles
by BRIAN BIELANSKI
new luxury car company has arrived in Beverly Hills and it’s red carpet ready. You may not have heard of Lucid Motors, but when the Bay Area based company’s first cars come off the production line in 2021, it won’t take long for the buzz to grow. The company’s electric cars combine luxury with remarkable performance, from the standpoint of range, sheer power, and speed. The limited run Lucid Air Dream Edition will deliver performance numbers that would make any sports car enthusiast salivate. 1080 horsepower, zero to 60mph in 2.8 seconds, and a quarter mile time under 10 seconds. Speaking about how Lucid’s electric vehicles stand apart from the rest of the EV market, Lucid’s Director of Retail Operations, Zak Edson says, “The acceleration is just mind blowing. Not just zero to 60 (mph) but like 60 to 150 is where it really is going to blow people’s minds in terms of… I thought hyper cars could do that. I didn’t think EVs could do that. That’s going to shift a paradigm.” Here’s what makes those numbers even more
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People & Places
All that performance comes with a battery range that’s an EPA estimated 517 miles on a single charge, and those batteries can be recharged in 20 minutes to give you an additional 300 miles.
otherworldly. All that performance comes with a battery range that’s an EPA estimated 517 miles on a single charge, and those batteries can be recharged in 20 minutes to give you an additional 300 miles. The technology behind those batteries is race proven. Lucid’s batteries are used to power all the cars in the International FIA Formula E Race Series. There’s also a big focus on safety, utilizing a best-in-class advanced driver assistance system. All models will come with 32 sensors, including a front facing LiDAR system. This provides for automatic emergency braking, lane change warnings, and other safety features. It’s also upgradable for future updates. Now, let’s talk about luxury. The Lucid Air Dream Edition is on display at the company’s new Beverly Hills Studio. They don’t call it a showroom or a dealership. The Studio is located at Wilshire Blvd. and Wetherly Drive, and when I sat in the vehicle it was obvious the car was made for people with discerning tastes. The car sports an elegant leather interior and has three digital displays that illustrate to the driver all of the important information without having to dig too deep into menus. Those displays are user configurable and each driver’s preferred configuration -- along with seat and steering wheel positions -- can be programmed into the car’s memory for easy recall. Lucid’s twin motor, all-wheel drive design and compact batteries allow room for a passenger compartment that’s noticeably larger than you would expect from a car with a modest sedan footprint. Not only is there room in the back seat for someone who could play point guard for the Lakers, the car passes my two sets of golf clubs and two suitcases test with flying colors. The studio experience is all about luxury. The moment you walk through the door you get the sense that Lucid is a company that pays attention to the details. The staff is knowledgeable and gives off the vibe that they understand the customer is about to drop some serious coin, and they’re going to treat them that way. Part of the buying process puts customers in a virtual reality setup that allows them to experience the car they are ordering. Each interior and exterior color combination is loaded into the system and, with a few clicks; the salesperson can show you exactly what you are getting. All of Lucid’s cars will be built to order after the buyer hand selects its features. Lucid’s service model is a “come-to-the-customer” approach, but if you do need work that can’t be done at home or the office, their Beverly Hills service center would be the envy of any Formula One mechanic. Lucid plans to go to market with four models starting with the Lucid Air with a base price of $77,400 before tax credits, and run the gamut to the top of the line Dream Edition that begins at $168,000. HVV 56 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
Lucid’s twin motor, all-wheel drive design and compact batteries allow room for a passenger compartment that’s noticeably larger than you would expect from a car with a modest sedan footprint.
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YO U R GU I D E T O S E L E C T I N G A D IAM O N D The beauty of a diamond is seen not only in the color and cut. The shape of a diamond can enhance its beauty in many ways. Diamonds come in a wide range of different shapes, and their famous durability is matched only by their versatility. Whether you are shopping for the first diamond of your life, or adding to your collection, shopping for diamond jewelry can be an overwhelming experience because so many options are available. Putting aside the all-important factors of clarity, and color, there are many different cuts and shapes to choose from. Hills Views & Valleys recently connected with Canada Diamonds to get the professionals take on all of the different shapes that can be fashioned from a diamond. by ELLIOT FIGUEIRA
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EMERALD Emerald shaped diamonds are some of the most rare, and only 3% of all diamonds can be styled in this shape. They feature an elongated form and linear facets, which results in less sparkle
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A CUT ABOVE Located in Vancouver, Canada Diamonds is a wholesale diamond distributor with customers around the world. Many of their diamonds are sourced locally from Canadian mines. Canada plays a large role in the global diamond industry, and Canadian mines produced 23 million carats of diamonds in 2017 alone, with a net market value of $2.6 billion. Canada is also famous for its ethical mining practices, which makes these diamonds an attractive option for those who want to avoid what are termed “blood diamonds.” Let’s briefly review the various shapes that are available to diamond lovers today.
PRINCESS Inspired by French design cues, a princess shape typically features four pointed corners with a square or rectangular shape. This type of diamond has been increasing in popularity over the years since its introduction during the 1960s. When used in the square shape, they fit together beautifully for use in pave designs. RADIANT
ROUND BRILLIANT In speaking with Salima, Marketing Sales Manager of Canada Diamonds, she was quick to answer that the round cut is the most popular shape for diamond buyers today. “The round cut is the most sought-after cut on the market right now, and hence it is the most expensive. It has the most cuts in the stone, or facets. Because of this, many believe that it’s the best at reflecting light - otherwise known as brilliance.” EMERALD Emerald shaped diamonds are some of the most rare, and only 3% of all diamonds can be styled in this shape. They feature an elongated form and linear facets, which results in less sparkle. On the other hand, the fact that these diamonds are cut more simply makes it easier to appreciate the color of the stone with a fusion of light and dark planes.
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As the name suggests, radiant cuts are famous for their radiance and brilliance. In fact, radiant diamonds offer the most brilliance of all rectangular or square cuts. These diamonds are popular for those who love princess cuts, but perhaps want a little more brilliance and shine. OVAL Oval cuts are popular for those who appreciate the brilliance of round diamonds but want something a little different. Oval diamonds are simply elongated versions of the typical round shape, which gives a unique design to the stone and is a design that works well in traditional or modern settings. ASSCHER Asscher diamonds are octagonal, with a square overall shape that features layered facets. A great deal of work goes into creating Asscher shapes, and the price reflects this. In addition, jewelers create considerable amounts of diamond waste as they craft these precious stones.
CUSHION The cushion shape offers a similar overall aesthetic compared to round diamonds, but with less brilliance. Cushion-shaped diamonds adopt a square shape, but with rounded corners. While these diamonds lack the brilliance of round cuts, larger facets create incredible colors, also known as “fire.” THE VALUE OF THE SHAPE
MARQUISE The marquise shape is a classic shape that incorporates elements of both pear-shaped and oval cuts. Rather shaped like a football, the end result is a unique diamond that has fluctuated in popularity over the years, although many believe the marquise is going through something of a resurgence in recent times.
Salima divides diamond shapes into two different categories. “Everything that isn’t a round cut, is called a ‘fancy cut,’ as the round cut stands alone in it’s own separate category. The reason for this distinction is twofold. First, round cut is by far the most popular type of diamond, especially for couples who are getting married. The second reason is that ‘fancy cuts’ generally have fewer facets compared to round cuts.” “Both of these factors - popularity and the number of facets - impact the overall cost of the diamond. In other words, round cuts are always more expensive compared to fancy cuts.” Salima is of the opinion that popularity is the biggest contributing factor to the increased price of round cuts. “It’s just that round is the most popular cut, and the price reflects that.” You might assume that since a round shape involves more cuts, the additional workmanship and effort also increases the price, but that isn’t really the case. The price of round cut diamonds is driven upwards by increased popularity more than anything else. JUDGING A DIAMOND’S QUALITY Salima tells us that the way in which a diamond is cut also has an impact on the overall quality. In other words, you need to think about who is cutting your diamonds, rather than simply focusing on the shape or style of the cut.
PEAR Pear-shaped diamonds are a combination of both round and marquise cuts, resulting in an oblong silhouette with two ends - one pointed, and one round. Pear-shaped diamonds offer considerable brilliance, and they’re often significantly more affordable than other options. HEART While heart-shaped diamonds aren’t for everyone, they’re definitely unique. The French point on the bottom of the heart increases the brilliance, and this diamond is essentially a statement piece for those bold enough to carry it off. Although these diamonds often appear in wedding rings, they also make excellent pendants.
“You want to have a diamond that is independently graded by a lab. There are two labs that are the strongest on the market - you can take their grades to the bank, and they are what they say they are. These are the GIA and AGS labs.”Salima considers other labs to be “soft” on grading, which means that they typically give diamonds grades that are too high. “If one of these labs graded a stone an ‘F,’ AGS or GIA would more than likely grade that same stone a ‘G’ or an ‘H.’” That said, Salima mentioned that softer lab reports can be acceptable in some situations. “The softer lab reports are for people who are more budget conscious, or people who don’t really care about the qualities of the stone. They just want the largest, cleanest stone they can get. So if you’re looking for a diamond just for size, sometimes a softer lab report works out. As long as it looks good to you, and to the naked eye, do you care if it’s an F color or an H color?” HVV
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Provident Jewelry has been family owned and operated since opening the door of our original location in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1993. Over the past 27 years, we have expanded to seven locations in Florida becoming one of the most respected and trusted buyers and sellers of fine estate jewelry, rare gems and luxury timepieces in the country. Discover the perfection and professionalism offered by Provident Jewelry by visiting one of our exquisite showrooms in West Palm Beach, Naples, Jupiter, Fort Myers, Palm Beach, and Wellington.
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FL AWLESS LIKE HER P R O V I D E N TJ E W E L R Y. C O M
Top 5 Apex Cars that Redefine Luxury
by RORY LOVERN
ver the past decade, the word luxury has taken on a new meaning. There was a time when handstitched leathers and rich designs were enough to become an elite member of the luxury auto market. Those days are long gone. Today, established titans and young lions are pushing the envelope of performance and design. It is no longer enough to be the best in class; these vehicles must define their class. Here, we offer and describe our list of the top 5 vehicles that redefine luxury.
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Koenigsegg Jesko The Koenigsegg Jesko. This, without a doubt, is the fastest and most performance-focused vehicle on our list. With a reported top speed of over 300mph, the Jesko enters the unchartered waters of mega cars. Powered by a 5.0-liter twin turbo V8 engine, the Jesko produces an earth shattering 1280hp when powered with only regular grade gasoline. When run on biofuel, that number increases to an unfathomable 1600hp. But Koenigsegg is not stopping there. Up and coming variants of the Jesko are reportedly pushing those limits even further.
Pagani Huayra Roadster The Pagani Huayra Roadster. We start our list off with one of the newest editions to the Pagani lineup - the Pagani Huayra Roadster. At a whopping 2.4 million dollars, and with only 100 examples ever made, this stunning hyper car is one of the most rare on this list. With an AMG-produced, twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 engine that churns out a staggering 764 horsepower, one will not be lacking in performance or responsiveness. Where the Huayra Roadster really shines, however, is in its stunningly beautiful design. From every visible angle the Huayra Roadster appears to be in motion. The beautiful and sweeping lines, the mid-quad exhaust, and the impeccable attention to detail, make this the new “bedroom poster” of the luxury car world.
Beauty Photo by Ethan Haynes
Rolls Royce Phantom The Rolls Royce Phantom. Like a fine vintage, the original epitome of luxury has only grown more wonderful with the passing of time. The Rolls Royce Phantom is the result of over 100 years of craftsmanship and continuous refinements. It is said that one does not simply ride in a Rolls Royce, one wafts. Driving the Phantom is likened to floating on a cloud due to its incredible suspension and whisper quiet cabin. And this is not just any interior cabin. This is a cabin that is adorned with illuminated stars that defy cloudy nights every day of the year. Each Phantom is handcrafted to the buyer’s specifications, and can include such things as custom artwork and custom stitching details. Powered by a Rolls Royce V-12 engine that delivers a magnificent 541 horsepower and provides a remarkable amount of power. The Phantom makes our list as the truest expression of luxury and elegance in the automotive world. 70 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
The beautiful and sweeping lines, the mid-quad exhaust, and the impeccable attention to detail, make this the new “bedroom poster” of the luxury car world.
“It’s a beautiful combination of art and technology.” Chris Green National Brand Manager - Pagaani Toronto pfaffauto.com
Photo by Ethan Haynes
Powered by an 8.0-liter W16 engine, the Chiron can produce a mind-bending 1,479 horsepower and an, electronically limited, top speed of 261mph. It is a true marriage of power and luxury, and driving the Chiron is unlike driving any other vehicle ever made.
Today, established titans and young lions are pushing the envelope of performance and design.
Photo by Ethan Haynes
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Tesla Roadster The Tesla Roadster. It is hard to deny where the future of luxury automobiles is heading. Electric vehicles can produce more power, faster acceleration times, and are more sustainable than their combustion engine counterparts. Tesla once dominated this space through their presence alone, but now, newcomers in the electric automotive world have given rise to a very competitive landscape. Tesla’s response to its younger rivals is the all-new Tesla Roadster. This is a car that is reportedly capable of a 0-60mph time of only 1.9 seconds. If that is not fast enough, Tesla is offering the additional option of rocket-boosters! From the sister company of SpaceX, the Tesla Roadster is shaping up to be less of a road car, and more of a road rocket ship. The Tesla Roadster earns this spot on our list as the luxury automobile for the future.
Future Bugatti Chiron
Photo by Ethan Haynes
The Bugatti Chiron. Simply put, the Chiron is a marvel of engineering and design. Powered by an 8.0-liter W16 engine, the Chiron can produce a mind-bending 1,479 horsepower and an electronically limited, top speed of 261mph. These numbers are staggering when one considers that the Chiron weighs in at over 2,600lbs. The Chiron is astonishing from start to finish and is what happens when one of the largest car manufacturers in the world chases automotive superiority. In addition to being one of the only supercars capable of reaching almost 300mph, it meets every crash, noise, and emission standard set worldwide. It is a true marriage of power and luxury, and driving the Chiron is unlike driving any other vehicle ever made. With a mile-long list of record-breaking numbers, a stunningly beautiful design, and unique drive-ability, the Chiron reigns steadfast atop our list.
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Citizen of A lot of people fled NYC, but not us.
New York We the people, We’re still here.
Many industries have had to endure great hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the most impacted is the fashion industry. Before the pandemic, the fashion industry was characterized by consistent growth, buoyed by a boom in online shopping, and success in the Asian market. However things have changed drastically, as a result of the virus, resulting in considerable implications moving forward. While many fashion retailers are worried about their sales figures, the effects of the lockdown are also expected to impact the fashion calendar, people’s personal styles, and overall consumer behavior.
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Emerging fashion designers find a new home on the digital runway by RAMONA DAVIES
Photo Courtesy of Love Binetti
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. Social distancing and travel restrictions have certainly had an effect on the anticipated “fashion weeks.” It seemed likely that such events would move to being digitally streamed, including catwalk displays, with a no-guest policy for an indefinite period of time. Yet no one could have imagined how fashionably the transition could be made. CANCELLED EVENTS A prominent example setting this new standard was the 2020 Milan Fashion Week, with major brands attempting to rebound as communities around the world moved in and out of the stages of the Covid-19 lockdown structures. When the pandemic first erupted, it collided with Milan’s Fashion Week in late February. It was also a period that saw thousands of buyers, including the Asian
Fashion is always on the cutting edge, and leads the world in so many ways, that other industries can look to the fashion world for methods of adaptation that can be employed across related, and possibly unrelated, industries. market, being denied access to the shows, resulting in some designers presenting .their shows on the runaway with no audience. This forced a strategic revision to numerous “performance style” shows in other creative fields that also play a role in fashion. Music and tech festivals such as Coachella and SXSW had their own share of disruption. The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Australia, scheduled to run in May was cancelled, as was the New York Fashion Week Resort 2021, along with Men’s Fashion Week. Paris Fashion Week AW 2020 was postponed after major brands such as Giorgio Armani, Gucci, and Versace pulled out delivering yet another blow to the participants and fashion followers. Photo Courtesy of Love Binetti
Organizers explained, with heavy hearts, why they had cancelled many of the planned round of runway shows and events in response to the virus. “Due to heightened circumstances and health concerns, at this time we have decided to postpone Los Angeles Fashion Week,” Art Hearts Fashion International President, Erik Rosete, wrote in an email. EMERGING TRENDS AND EMERGING DESIGNERS Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing designers back to the drawing board to design more than a new line. This set back is lessened by the rise of technological innovation, particularly the necessary popularization of online streaming and digital presentation. The Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA), an organization that is devoted to established lines and supporting and nurturing emerging talents, has developed an innovative digital platform to support designers by bringing together every aspect of the launch of a collection. Developed by New York based multi-faceted design studio, DE-YAN, the platform, called RUNWAY360, includes every aspect of the designer trade, from the show to the press, the sales, and consumer activations. While the CDFA includes talent from Anne Klein to Tom Ford, the roster proves that there is a never ending supply of creativity. THE NEW RUNWAY Via RUNWAY360 designers can present their collections using a modular page for storytelling and digital activations. The portals support AR/VR 360 degree capabilities, live streaming, e-commerce, consumer shopping, and even integration with social media. The designers can host virtual press
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Photo Courtesy of Love Binetti
conferences and showrooms, share press kits, release and display collections to the public or exclusively with wholesale buyers and the press. With major events being cancelled, and no confirmation being provided for replacement dates, the fashion industry is poised to set the standard for innovation in presentation mediums until showcasing their designs live, and in such sought after social settings, can return. The CFDA supports and presents so many artists in the world of emerging fashion. Of particular note are Frѐre, a magnificent
“The fashion industry is poised to set the standard for innovation in presentation mediums...” example of truly innovative menswear designs for men and women, Mikhel Alexander who presents a gender inclusive modular approach to leather bags and folios, AKNVAS by Christian Juul Nielsen who offers thoughtful, well designed contemporary clothing, FIFTH & WELSHIRE debuting a line of clothing that is simply sophisticated for the bride, or any woman, seeking to be the most noticed person in the room, and LOVE, Binetti by Diego Binetti of Argentina, who inherited his passion for design from his beloved mother. Fashion is always on the cutting edge, and leads the world in so many ways, that other industries can look to the fashion world for methods of adaptation that can be employed across related, and possibly unrelated, industries. The saying, “The new fashion,” has never been more on point as the world adapts to the challenges of our time. HVV
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Hills Views & Valleys expresses our appreciation to Jason Lewis for graciously posing for the cover of our winter edition. He took time away from his busy schedule to speak with our editor in chief and senior writer about his life on our planet, his past, his plans, and for what in life he is grateful. While known worldwide for his role on Sex and the City as kind and caring Smith Jerrod, the only man who could break through Samantha’s (Kim Cattrall) steely emotional resistance, Jason may soon be known for another staggering success. Recounting his youth, as a “geek, who grew up hiding in libraries,” we are pretty certain that there are girls from high school wishing they’d paid more attention to the boy with all the books. Inheriting a love of travel from his beloved grandparents, Jason set out to explore the world at a relatively tender age. He took an opportunity to visit Paris, and while there worked at that opportunity as he “wanted to eat and did not want to go home.” Working and living there for a few years, he turned his life into a business and began his modeling career. Soon he became one of the top male models in the world. In ad campaigns and on the runways for Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, and GUESS, he showed men, and women, how to be fashionable. by CATHY LYN BROOKS
Physics—A Storyteller Emerges
he relates that he has learned so much from prose. His writing is his way ‘to participate in the passion of storytelling and perhaps bring the light of enjoyment to others’ that he has so greatly, and gratefully, enjoyed himself.
What drew him to acting was the storytelling. In films, on stage, and in television, every medium tells a story. Immersed in books ranging from Hemmingway, Asimov, and Tolkien to biographies of notables as a youngster, he grew to love a good tale from the premier novelists of all time. After starring in NBC’s Midnight, Texas, as fallen angel Joe Strong, he is no stranger to the horrors and thrills that the special effects of movies and television can portray. Midnight, Texas was based on the book series by Charlaine Harris, who gave us sleepless nights with the captivating otherworldly hit, True Blood. With a career on stage, in films, and in television spanning over 20 years, and a dramatic list of acting credits, Jason is now seriously at work on a series of novels; six of them. Move over, J.K. Rowling. His dream project consists of six books that are an epic fantasy, with a bit of science fiction and a creative leap into future worlds. Called The Source Chronicles, and featuring tales of magic and mayhem, the stories are set in the not too distant future, and in periods of the future so far, far away that we need his words to aid our imaginations. Undergoing intense editing right now, Jason is planning to have a first draft of the first book by spring of 2021. Featuring 3 timescapes and a grand scope, these works are not his first. Authoring The Rules of Magic, a sort of bible in the laws of conjuring, brings to mind his starring role as Dex Lawson on the longrunning, good-witch tale Charmed. His viewpoint that, ‘as an actor, he is in the service of something greater… the story,’ is what propels him to write these electrifying fictional fables. Enjoying refuge in literature his whole life has given him ‘a place of fulfillment, as opposed to self-importance.’ Stories are such an incredible tradition to him, and
Jason Lewis is a man whose interests would surprise most of his fans. Hailing from Newport Beach, California, of course he surfs and loves the water, paddle boards, kite surfs, and has a history with most water sports you can name. He also climbs rocks. Big rocks. Yet what he enjoys most about rock climbing is not the climbing itself, but the way ‘he can take a person with no experience at the sport, and gently coax and encourage them’ to do something that they are, quite frankly, feeling a degree of fear about. For him, climbing is about the competition with one’s self. He finds joy in helping others with this accomplishment, and sees and admires this in the climbing ‘community.’ He is remarkably kind and incredibly warm in spirit. He laughs easily, will make you laugh, and says thank you often. Blessed with an ‘amazingly grounded grandfather, a Dust Bowl baby,’ who he describes as ‘decent to all the world, and who understood kindness at an incredible level,’ Jason speaks reverently of him and the impact on his childhood. It is clear that nature, or nurture, has passed onto him the kindness he so admired in this man, and how he feels so fortunate to have had him in his life.
“I think it is so easy to judge things, and that is not an actor’s position.”
Teasingly, he will tell you that he reads a lot. But that’s no joke. In reading, he loves to ‘pull the thread’ found in one concept that leads to another, and to another, and discover all the while. Currently he is reading a lot about string theory. String theory, in particle physics, is a theory that attempts to merge quantum mechanics with Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. He speaks of matter and subatomic particles as casually as he speaks of his life philosophies, fashion, and performance art. His affinity for travel is meaningful to him in that he can immerse himself in other cultures. Filming on location can take him away for long periods of time, and while it is a bit hard to be away from the people he cherishes, he is a person who simply sees the possibility for personal growth in every situation whether it is one of great loss, great adventure, or great fortune. Jason Lewis is a man who is a true gentleman, a leading man, and a man anyone would be privileged to call a friend. Read on as he submits to an exclusive, and spontaneous, Q & A for our readers.
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HVV: You have had a wide variety of roles in your expansive career. Who in the trade inspires you? JL: Honestly, my favorite of all time - Paul Newman. But I love so many of the greats. Laurence Olivier, of course. Robert Downey, Jr., for a more current actor. I could go on for days… I’ve been watching Jude Law in The New Pope. I don’t know if you’ve been watching it, but I am just inspired by good story telling, and those who show a passion for the craft. HVV: I don’t see that you have played a villainous character in your credits. Is that a role that would appeal to you? JL: Oh, I would love to. I think it is so easy to judge things, and that is not an actor’s position. I think that getting inside the head of a villainous character would be more of a curious investigation, rather like a game of chess, to see their thoughts and why they live their life like that. Because people don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘ Naa ah ah…I’m evil.’ People wake up and feel justified that if they don’t act that way, the world will take advantage of them, or even just that they are right in behaving the way they act. HVV: If you were King of the World, with all the resources, money and power at your disposal, what is one thing on the planet that you would fix? JL: Our desperate sense of inadequacy that we hold that leads us to all of our poor decisions. HVV: Wow! That’s way better than my ‘Rescue all the animals in shelters.’ JL: Well, funny enough I am down in Mexico right now with a buddy of mine who started a Baja rescue organization for dogs. In fact, we just picked up a little pup that will be sent to the states with several others. HVV: Do you practice sustainability in your life? JL: Yes. As we all are finding new and difficult choices in this modern world, buying locally is very important to the planet. Organic farming is more sustainable, so farmers’ markets and gardening and planting your own food is important and worth us all participating in. HVV: You began as a model. Is fashion a big thing for you now?
“I wake up early, and get to my writing, and those other things just get in my way.” 90 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
JL: I love fashion. I prefer clean lines and no frills. I don’t tend to spend an enormous amount of time on fashion, but I love creativity in any form. Last year we went to the New York shows and there are just some fantastic artists, Christian Lacroix to name only one, and in Los Angles there is a designer, Scott Studenberg, who I like. The world is so much about perception, and for many people what they wear is how they present themselves to the world. Yes, I enjoy fashion. HVV: What is the best thing in your closet? JL: Board shorts. Sure, I have suits and all, but I am most comfortable in a pair of board shorts and a pair of flip flops. HVV: Do you have any bad habits? JL: Well let’s see what my current bad habits are. Probably that I talk too much. But I really don’t drink or smoke. I enjoy wine or beer occasionally, but I am a working guy. I wake up early, and get to my writing, and those other things just get in my way.
HVV: If you could acquire one super power, what would you like it to be?
PHOTOGRAPHER Christopher Beyer
STYLIST Alex Clough
MUA Tamieka Gardner
CREATIVE DIRECTOR André Hammonds
JL: Wow, that’s a good one. Flight is an easy choice, but I am writing a world where people do have powers and abilities, so I would say the ability to transmute matter into anything I want it to be. Then I could get any other powers that I wanted later. For example, I could change the density of air to create flight. HVV: If you could spend the day with one historical figure, who would you choose? JL: Ghandi. His was the first biography I read when I was about 12 or 13. I was so fascinated by a man, well-educated, who was on a Colonial British path, and completely re-invented himself because he saw a truth that all people mattered and decency mattered. To have the courage and convictions to buck the norms, to see things in a different way, and to hold on to those convictions, with such great result, it would be amazing to share his thoughts on life. Or Jane Goodall, because, man, that woman! And Alexander the Great, because I am curious. Again, this is why I love reading. Because you get a chance to sit down with these incredible minds, to digest them at a pace that serves you, and I really love that. HVV: You are so right. Reading is such a valuable tool, and a lifetime habit that really is limitless in the gifts it can bestow. You are a lifetime learner and we hope that you have inspired others to take time to explore the vast collection of knowledge that is at all of our fingertips. We appreciate your time to share a bit of your life, your philosophy, and your plans with our readers. We look forward to seeing you in your next role, as a leading man, an author or directing your new project.
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“I love fashion. I prefer clean lines and no frills. I don’t tend to spend an enormous amount of time on fashion, but I love creativity in any I love fashion. I prefer clean lines and no frills. form.” I don’t tend to spend an enormous amount of time on fashion, but I love creativity in any form.
CHICAGO | SAN FRANCISCO
PRIVATE APPOINTMENTS +1 (312) 265 1381 | www.DanielGeorge.com
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With the exception of the French Riviera, maybe no locale calls more for the mystery of a pair of stylish sunglasses, whether it is to hide behind, or to impress, than the sunny environs of the City of Angels.
While women’s eyewear has been in demand for decades, men’s eye fashion is seriously heading into the home stretch and gaining in popularity and demand. Men are seeking high-style in every aspect of their lives and sunglasses are an item that everyone needs more of. In the land of luxe, owning several pairs of finely crafted shades is de rigueur. Some days are for flying high in a pair of classic aviators; others are serious in oversized tortoise frames. Showcased and detailed here are some of the most on-trend styles available. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it sure can buy a drawer full of fabulous sunglasses.
by COLLEEN GLENNON
JACQUES MARIE MAGE: THE MOLINO With a limited production batch of only 750 pieces, The Molino design is thoughtful, purposeful, and executed with style. Named after architect Carl Molino, the rectangular frame pays homage to the architect’s love of stylistic angularity, sensuality, and balance. The Molino glasses are hand crafted in Japan and feature a sterling silver signature arrowhead front pin, silver custom hairline engraved wire core design, silver tension-secured custom hinge with spur-shaped rivets, silver domed 3D metal cameo logo, 6 base CR39 lens with backside anti-reflective treatment, and, of course, 100% UV protection. $575
BOLD DOTS: THE BRYANT The Bryant, designed by Bold Dots, is truly a one-of-akind set of glasses. Each pair is carefully handmade and designed in-house. The glasses themselves guarantee 100% UVA/UVB protection and proudly display a metal rivet on front and temple. The frames are made of Italian acetate and gun metal steel that hold dark grey CR-39 layered lenses. Each lens has an anti-reflective coating, and the eyewear is prescription capable. $165
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“I never go out without my trademark dark glasses. I want to watch, not to be watched,” said the late and very great Karl Lagerfeld. MOSCOT: THE GRUNYA SUN The Grunya Sun is a unisex and handcrafted frame using Italian acetate with three dot rivets and a comfortable keyhole nose bridge. They include real glass lenses in G-15 with signature acetate tips and MOSCOT temple engravings. This frame was designed and prototyped by the 5th Generation, Zack Moscot in NYC. $300.00
RAEN: THE ALAMEDA With a brushed pewter alloy frame, beveled and tapered metal temple design and polished kelp acetate temple tips, these glasses also feature a tri-band wire rim around the lenses and titanium nose pads, Monoblock hinges, and Bottle Green Gradient Mirror CR-39 lenses manufactured by Carl Zeiss Vision. Offering 100% UVA/UVB protection and 4 base curves, the Alameda glasses also include a premium hard sunglass case and a custom printed polishing cloth. $190.00
GARRETT LEIGHT: THE BROOKS X SUN One of Garrett Leight’s best-selling designs from their initial collection, the Brooks glasses return in honor of the 10th anniversary. These sunglasses are the best-of-the- best with state of the art features such as five-barrel hinges, glass lenses with UV protection, AR coating in Pure G15, and cured cellulose acetate frames with stainless steel core wire. The revamped glasses also feature anniversary temple ball and markings, anniversary edition Standard GLCO case, and an anniversary edition cleaning cloth and case wrapper. $395.00 98 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
BLUE MIND AMER YACHTS, A BETTER WORLD.
blue mind noun [U] /blu:.’maind/ a calm state of mind caused by being close to water, for example when looking at the ocean or swimming or stay on board on Amer Yachts. #evolutionarybiology #neuroimaging #neurophysiology #bluemind #amygdala #prefrontalcortex Courtesy of Dr. Wallace J Nichols
Real Estate Fashion
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ARCHITECTURE: The Beauty Around Us That is Built to Endure by OTIS W. JONES
Photo credit: Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
RCHITECTURE. It’s literally everywhere, and comprises the eclectic nature of the various eras that Los Angeles has grown through, and into. For some, architecture is to be worshipped and revered while others prefer to bulldoze and construct in the design of the time. As such, the Los Angeles area is filled with a rich architectural history and is home to some of the leading trend setters of the present. Amid the swaying palms that line the elegant streets of the finest neighborhoods, Mediterranean, Spanish, and Tuscan-inspired properties peek from behind lush hedges that give a glimpse of the casual, yet elegant style that is highly desired. These homes typically are protected by terra cotta clay tile roofs, graceful arches and curves, engaging balconies, dramatic ornamental iron work, soothing fountains, and wooden doors, gates, and trims. Most versions of this genre are whitewashed stucco walls or other light and soft shades to feature the details. For over 45 years, premier builder Michael Kavin, of Kavin Construction, has provided his customers, in the greater Los Angeles area, home building and remodeling variations on the Mediterranean theme, and done so impeccably.
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RADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE style is more formal than Mediterranean, and often more orderly and more historical in appearance. Though Traditional can refer to the materials used and not the style, many of the grand homes in areas such as Hancock Park and Bel Air are built in traditional styles. These can include Cape Cod, Craftsman, Colonial, Bungalow, Farmhouse, Cottage, Greek Revival and other classically detailed homes. Floor plans are constructed to benefit the lifestyles of the occupants, and designs often include steeper pitched rooflines, lofts, gables, posts, covered porches, and open foyers. Traditional styles can be seen in many hotel, retail, and residential developments in the area as well. A premier example is The Miramar Beach Resort, formerly the Mira Mar Beach Hotel, in Montecito, CA. The Pygmalion behind this dramatic renovation is none other than Rick J. Caruso, CEO of Caruso, whose development, The Grove, sets the new standard for neighborhood experiences. His work on the Miramar is simply unforgettable and may be the new standard by which all other Traditional architecture will forever be judged.
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ROSEWOOD MIRAMAR BEACH HOTEL
Located in Santa Barbara’s picturesque Montecito community known as The American Riviera, Rosewood Miramar Beach is situated on one of the most pristine beaches in the region.
ABOUT ROSEWOOD MIRAMAR BEACH Offering 161 ultra-luxury guestrooms and suites, including beachfront accommodations, a collection of signature suites and multi-bedroom bungalows, the resort has been designed with style, grace and glamour and perfectly balances the residential and the refined. Amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness studio, two cabana-lined pools, bespoke beach service on the sandy shores of Miramar Beach and Sense, A Rosewood Spa – the only Forbes Five-Star spa in Santa Barbara. Home to six distinct dining venues including Caruso’s, the signature oceanfront restaurant, and Malibu Farm at Miramar, an all-day eatery, Rosewood Miramar Beach is a culinary destination for locals and visitors alike. An elevated retail experience further bolsters Rosewood Miramar Beach as the ultimate retreat for the best in luxury lifestyle, with The Shop at Miramar exclusively featuring The Miramar Collection, a first-of-its-kind goop Sundries Shop, an outpost of luxury retailer The Webster, as well as a new California-inspired concept store curated by designer James Perse. Expansive indoor and outdoor event space, totaling approximately 28,000 square-feet, includes the Chandelier Ballroom with over 6,500-square-feet, and the Great Lawn, which offers infinite ocean views. MIRAMAR MINIMONY In recognition of the growing demand for intimate weddings and elopements at a time when larger gatherings remain limited, Rosewood Miramar Beach unveiled Miramar Minimony, a new offering for couples looking 110 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
to celebrate their love. Ideal for an intimate elopement of up to six people, the offering includes a private ceremony on the terrace of the couple’s very own Beach House accommodation, set directly atop the breathtaking Miramar Beach, followed by a picturesque dinner at the resort’s signature restaurant, Caruso’s. Luxurious amenities and activities such as access to dedicated cabanas and beach loungers, open-air massages and romantic bride & groom turndown services, complete the personalized experience. BEACH HOUSE BUYOUT Providing the ultimate setting for safe and controlled group gatherings and retreats, Rosewood Miramar Beach is offering added benefits for those who book all 26 accommodations in the Beach House with the Beach House Buyout program. The standalone building on the resort can accommodate up to 52 guests, with added benefits for buyout’s including private group fitness classes on Miramar Beach, dedicated access to poolside cabanas, organized bocce ball tournaments, waived resort fees and one complimentary night per 26 consumed. JET-A-WAY PACKAGE In response to an uptick in both regional and privatized travel, Rosewood Miramar Beach has introduced the JetA-Way package, an exclusive experience complete with round-trip private jet transfers between San Francisco, Los Angeles or Dallas and Montecito and a selection of luxurious on-property activities. Both in the air and on the ground, Rosewood Miramar Beach delivers a
fully customized experience, working with each guest to best accommodate them with private jet transfers at their preferred airports in the San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas. In addition to the private aviation and a three-night stay in one of the resort’s stunning suites, the experience, intended for two guests, also includes a styling session with stylists from the resort’s new retail experience, The Webster, 90-minute signature massages at Sense, A Rosewood Spa, access to the members’ only Miramar Club, an intimate dinner at Caruso’s, pro-led golf and tennis lessons, passes to Lotusland Botanic Gardens and a choice of a gourmet beach picnic or in-suite dinner. ROSEWOOD REMOTE OFFICE & REMOTE CLASSROOM Southern California’s most luxurious oceanfront resort launched the Rosewood Remote Officepackage to transform suite accommodations into fully-equipped office spaces for guests in need of an inspired environment from which to work. The customized set up includes a monitor, printer, wireless keyboard and mouse and other essential office supplies, ensuring professionals have everything they need to maximize productivity during the day. As several school districts have recently announced virtual schedules, as well, the Rosewood Remote Classroom addon has been introduced to allow the resort’s younger guests to plug in and stay connected to their lessons from the privacy of a poolside cabana. Each cabana comes equipped with a flat screen TV, Apple TV, iPad with case and stand, EarPods and classic school essentials. For lunch, children can use a $50 F&B credit to enjoy a meal delivered straight to their cabana from Scoop Shop, the family-friendly, poolside eatery serving classic American fare. Once work
and school have wrapped for the day, a host of inspired amenities – including two pools, six dining outlets, bocce and shuffleboard courts and a fully-serviced beach – allow for well-deserved R&R for the whole family. RESORT DAY PASSES Rosewood Miramar Beach is now offering day passes for those looking for a relaxing day by the pool or mini getaway, without booking overnight accommodations. The passes offer visiting guests access to the resort’s stunning Cabana Pool and family-friendly Manor Pool, complete with poolside food and beverage service from the Cabana Bar and Scoop Shop. Following a day of lounging and swimming, Day Pass guests can participate in a friendly game of bocce ball on property or make a reservation at one of the resort’s acclaimed dining outlets, including Malibu Farm or Caruso’s. Pricing for the day passes is $95 per adult and $45 per child on weekdays and $125 per adult and $55 per child on weekends. All food and beverage consumed on property is an added charge. POOLSIDE MASSAGES Southern California’s most luxurious oceanfront retreat, Rosewood Miramar Beach, unveiled a new VIP poolside spa cabana to meet the current county regulations of outdoor massages and provide a relaxing escape for resort guests. The spa cabana is located at the artfully-designed, adult-friendly Cabana Pool and guests can choose between a variety of 60-minute massages, including the Signature Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Swedish Massage. In addition to offering poolside massages, the resort also offers these treatments on the spa deck at Sense, A Rosewood Spa.
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Extraordinary journeys await with our exclusive culinary series, kid-friendly programs, seasonal pop-ups and more.
ODERN ARCHITECTURE, and its offspring, Mid-Century Modern, came into being after World War II and still endure today. The Industrial Revolution and emerging technologies were part of the post –war movement that was also seen in the arts, literature, and music of that time. Modern is believed to be a reaction to oppose the heavy and overdone style of the Victorian and Art Nouveau eras. Modern is unfettered and even stark at times, but evokes a sense of calm and order in the repetition of the geometric features.
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Modern is unfettered and even stark at times, but evokes a sense of calm and order in the repetition of the geometric features. HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 115
ONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE is seen predominantly in properties built between the 1960’s and 1970’s. Large plate glass windows, extensive use of metal, concrete, and often trims in natural wood or stone are the hallmarks of this design. More asymmetrical in form, these buildings use circular shapes along with geometric patterns. They feature and favor ample natural light through the use of sliding glass doors, and may be the original open concept floor plan design that is so loved today. Builders today are asked to re-create these appealing features in dramatically, severe modern homes, or in a gentler version that is referred to as ‘soft’ contemporary. 116 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
Photo credit: Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
Large plate glass windows, extensive use of metal, concrete, and often trims in natural wood or stone are the hallmarks of this design. HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 117
Transitional architecture is the love-child of modern and traditional architectural styles in that the design can incorporate many of the favorite aspects of both.
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Designing with Charm, Elegance, and a Unique Personal Touch by ALEXANDER MARAIS
n 2011, after working for years in marketing, another field that is heavily reliant upon design and appeal, Kita Williams set to work on realizing a new endeavor with personal significance. Entering the world of interior design, she aspired to produce homeowner environments that would meet specific client expectations, while retaining an artistic, and slightly classical, feel not often experienced in the LA housing market. “My style tends to be transitional,” Williams said, speaking exclusively to Hills Views & Valleys Magazine. “I like the juxtaposition between elegant and modern. There tends to be repetition in visual aesthetic, so I try to toss in individuality to make these environments beautiful, but
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without being inaccessible.” A key aspect to Williams’ philosophy is collaboration. “A lot of creators are very egocentric about their look,” she said. “I believe stylistically in pointing clients in the right direction. A lot of times, people don’t know what it is they like or want. It’s often like they have a vague idea or sense of intuition, and it’s my job to help pull it out of them. To both help clientele fulfill their dreams, while pushing them forward.” Part of Williams’ process isn’t just derived from client preference or her instincts as interior designer. Williams spoke extensively about her integration of astrology and Feng Shui into design plans, stating her belief that the realization of specific environments is as dependent on look as it is on atmosphere. “It’s very technical, even though I apply it to clientele with spiritual leanings,” she said. “Everyone’s astrology chart is different. So when I finalize floor plans, I can design things in a way that both compliments the chart and utilizes specific parts of the land.”
“I like the juxtaposition between elegant and modern. There tends to be repetition in visual aesthetic, so I try to toss in individuality to make these environments beautiful, but without being inaccessible.”
It is these facets, one could argue, currently adding to KMW Interiors’ success. “Visually I want each property to have humility and groundedness,” Williams stated. “But it’s important to keep the entirety of the environment as polished and professional as possible. When you’re walking inside one of our houses, you need to feel everything was made with care, and with purpose.” To learn more about her approach, purchase Kita Williams’ book Astrology and Interior Design: Unlocking the Secret to Your Personal Style at Home on Amazon and in bookstores today. HVV
RANSITIONAL ARCHITECTURE is the lovechild of modern and traditional architectural styles in that the design can incorporate many of the favorite aspects of both. The blend can be customized for the patron and become a delightful eclectic mix that is pleasing and, in many ways, timeless. With adaptable floor plans that often bring the outdoors in, Transitional is often considered a bridge between Traditional and Modern. This mixture offers a comfortable aesthetic for most people as it evokes the past, but trends toward the future. The result is so rewarding that many aficionados of the modern look will find the blend appealing and irresistible. Arie Abekasis of Diditan Luxury Home Builders comes to the construction world with a background in the fashion industry. Inspired by his mother Rina who was a skilled tailor, and experienced in fashion and style, he particularly enjoys blending Mediterranean, Tuscan, and Modern styles into the Transitional for the pleasure of his clients.
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The blend can be customized for the patron and become a delightful eclectic mix that is pleasing and, in many ways, timeless.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ALISON HENRY DESIGN
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With adaptable floor plans that often bring the outdoors in, Transitional is often considered a bridge between Traditional and Modern.
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People & Places
An unforgettable experience in a landmark luxury hotel... by COLLEEN GLENNON
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Looming over downtown Los Angeles with its exquisite, shimmering silhouette is the world-renown Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles hotel. Serving as a landmark in downtown Los Angeles, the hotel aims to please guests with a unique, luxury experience. As Director of Public Relations Amy Campbell so elegantly writes, “The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles is an urban oasis offering unprecedented access to the city’s downtown entertainment scene, as well as a comfortable, exclusive retreat from the pulse. It effortlessly blends luxury, creativity, and a strong passion for the destination to offer memorable service and incredibly engaging, one-of-a-kind, guest experiences.” Their commitment to that one-of-a-kind experience shows in every detail. Their rooms combine sleek, modern designs and high-end accommodations such as walk-in showers and feather beds and makes The Ritz-Carlton experience simply unlike any other. Their impressive Ritz-Carlton Suite stands at a formidable 2,920 square feet, presents guests with breathtaking panoramic views, 400-thread count linens, sophisticated entertainment areas, and luxury at every turn. Yet The Ritz-Carlton experience extends past their luxurious rooms and suites. Six world-class restaurants enchant guests, the most notable being WP24: a modern Asian restaurant helmed by award-winning chef Wolfgang Puck. This restaurant delights guests with an innovative menu, a wine list of over 400 labels, and beautifully crafted, Asian-inspired cocktails. Private dining areas and multi-course tastings are also available 130 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
for special occasion dining. If you’re looking for something more casual, visit the Glance Lobby Bar. With their international wine selection plus an assortment of creative cocktails and beers, the Glance Lobby Bar is the perfect place to share a small plate with friends or colleagues. If coffee is more your pace, we recommend visiting the Illy Caffè, which is an authentic Italian cafe set in a fresh, contemporary atmosphere. For guests who wish to unwind, allow The RitzCarlton to lull you into a deep state of relaxation with their spa center. Pulling inspiration from the beauty of Southern California, as well as the rich history of Hollywood, this luxury spa experience will rejuvenate and repair. We recommend the Champagne and Shimmer Body Treatment, which uses champagne seeds and oils to fight free radicals and soothe the complexion. Whatever you choose, their exquisite treatments combined with an unparalleled spa center makes for a rewarding and memorable spa experience. Located conveniently in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, there is no shortage of activities for the adventurous tourist. For art lovers, stroll over to the world-famous Museum of Contemporary Art or hop on over to The Broad, which houses over 2,000 works of art. Enjoy the sounds of the city with dozens of live concerts, the Grammy Museum, or the Walt Disney Concert Hall, all within walking distance. Don’t forget to arrive and return in style with limousine services and luxury transportation that are available upon request.
As Director of Public Relations Amy Campbell so elegantly writes, “The RitzCarlton Los Angeles is an urban oasis offering unprecedented access to the city’s downtown entertainment scene, as well as a comfortable, exclusive retreat from the pulse. HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 131
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Of course, The Ritz-Carlton offers more than pleasure. If you’re visiting on business, The RitzCarlton is eager to meet all of your needs with their 100,000 square feet of modern event space, three ballrooms, over 40 meeting rooms, and an on-site business center. Hosting a meeting? Add a special touch to make your meeting shine with The Ritz-Carlton’s full catering menu, complete with delightful, unique dishes such as a lobster benedict on a waffle or a vanilla roasted pineapple macadamia nut cheesecake. As the world reinvents itself during Covid-19, The RitzCarlton hotel again rises above with their dedication to guest safety, health, and comfort. “We have implemented a variety of new protocols and elevated practices, keeping with our high standards of cleanliness and luxury service, which include social distancing measures, contactless services, enhanced cleaning protocols, and face coverings,” Ms. Campbell says. Some notable highlights from their new Covid-19 cleaning protocol are frequent deep cleaning and sanitation of all rooms and touch points, the use of enhanced cleaning technologies such as electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectants, and the installation of filters on ventilation systems to ensure air is not shared between rooms. These are just a few of many steps outlined in their commitment to keeping guests safe. For a complete detailing of their protocol, please visit their website. A much-needed reprieve from the city. A Southern California getaway. A sought-after venue for significant life events such as weddings or birthdays. Whatever your needs may be, allow The Ritz-Carlton in Downtown Los Angeles to sweep you off your feet with its impeccable, unique, luxury experience. HVV
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“We have implemented a variety of new protocols and elevated practices, keeping with our high standards of cleanliness and luxury service, which include social distancing measures, contactless services, enhanced cleaning protocols, and face coverings,” Ms. Campbell says.
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People & Places
A New American Landmark
by ALEXANDER MARIAS ounded in 2002 by renowned luxury mogul Rick J. Caruso, CEO of Caruso, The Grove displays ingenuity for business not just in its sprawling and diverse opportunities, but also in the specificity of its services. On-hand amenities include an exclusive concierge service that is tailor-made to each and every client’s preferences. This service was
voted ‘Best in the Nation’ by the Wall Street Journal, and it shows. A sampling of the many concierge service options offered includes event planning, concert ticket reservations, gift-giving and shopping assistance, tourism assistance, travel reservations, bellcart services, restaurant reservations, and much more.
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For Caruso, the real estate firm is in the ‘experience’ business and it is apparent on every level. Covering eighteen acres of land, The Grove checks off nearly every box when it comes to commercial amenities with the fourteen-screen Pacific Theatre complex, the nearby landmark Original Farmer’s Market, and countless in-demand retail shops such as Alo Yoga, Athleta, Apple, Lululemon, Mac Cosmetics, Nike, Michael Kors, RayBan, and Swarovski to name a few. As if that weren’t enough, they have the iconic dancing water fountain, designed by WET Design, the same company that built the famed fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. Add to that the installment of several fine dining establishments such as La Piazza, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and renowned chef and restaurateur, Curtis Stone’s Picnic Society by Gwen, a four month pop up location. Indeed, as Caruso proves, The Grove isn’t just another major American mall attraction. It’s a fully fleshed out experiential venue, dedicated to ensuring quality and quantity to each and every guest who walks its wide courtyards, tastes its impeccable food presentations, and gets lost in the worlds of its Cineplex in glorious, IMAX presentational format. Despite the vast success of the property, Caruso and The
The Grove isn’t just another major American mall attraction. It’s a fully fleshed out experiential venue. Grove have added to their prestige a surprisingly sharp thoughtfulness that’s unusually reflective. In the words of Rick J. Caruso, “Because I was not raised in the real estate industry and never intend to sell any of the properties we create, my approach to this business has been a bit different…I believe it is best to view a project from the guests’ vantage point and to build it for the long term. Only then is it possible to create places that present, and future, generations will cherish and add long-term value to the surrounding community.” In the spirit of this sentiment, he adds, “Our ultimate goal is to become part of the fabric of their community and add pleasure to the daily lives of our neighbors. To do that, we listen carefully to their needs and build what they want—never what we think they want…” In short, The Grove has fully earned its legendary status as an attraction in the West Hollywood community. And if the statements made by Mr. Caruso are any indication, part of earning that seat at the table has been their unique, but dynamic, wide-reaching approach to development. The Grove, simply put, is an example of American business at its best. It covers a wide spectrum of services, but keeps its approach grounded and community focused. Anchored by the venerable Original Farmer’s Market with a trove of delightful and historical ambiance, The Grove combines the cherished memories of the past with the innovations and luxuries for the needs of consumers today, and beyond. HVV
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Easily one of the most dazzling retail and entertainment complexes in the country, The Grove is the premier destination for everything from dining and shopping, to arts and entertainment.
Left: The Grove at night attracts onlookers to catch the hourly “Dancing Waters” by WET Design.
Left bottom: renowned Michelin-Starred chef Curtis Stone of Picnic Society by Gwen.
Bottom right: The shopping is easy at the Grove with featuring the best clothing, accessories, beauty and more.
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Montage The Montage Kapalua Bay provides an authentic Hawaiian experience you will remember forever. by CA ROLINE DAY
Prepare to be swept off your feet by the unparalleled luxury experience that is found at The Montage Kapalua Bay. Located on the coast of Maui, Hawaii, this luxury hotel and resort will astound guests with its impressive designs, delightful and unique dining experiences, and immersive Hawaiian adventures. Montage Kapalua Bay is a resort experience unlike any other. Hanna Frankel, Senior Account Executive weighs in on Montage Kapalua Bay as a unique luxury resort. “A key differentiator,” according to Ms. Frankel, “is that Montage Kapalua Bay offers the best of luxury resort life paired with the comfort of home.” “With 50 residential-style suites ranging in size from 1-4 bedrooms – each thoughtfully appointed with separate living and dining rooms, private lanais, luxurious bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, laundry facilities and walk-in closets, the intimate resort is uniquely positioned to welcome travelers seeking a spacious and comfortable haven to share with their loved ones,” Ms. Frankel continues. “With accommodations ranging anywhere from 1,250-4,050 square feet, the resort offers ample space for guests to luxuriate in privacy, which is even more critical in today’s travel climate.” Their accommodations are indeed both thoughtful and ample. The 4 bedroom Premier Ocean Grand Residence, for example, offers breathtaking ocean views, a full gourmet kitchen, and can comfortably accommodate up to ten guests. The Montage Kapalua Bay also works to ensure their experience can be enjoyed by all with specialty suites that are ADA compliant.
Feeling hungry? Visit the Maui Market where local cultures blend with the rich flavors of Hawaiian cuisine. Or try The Hideaway, where guests can dine in contemporary, casual settings and enjoy such creative delights such as the shrimp cocktail with an avocado and cucumber cocktail sauce, or the famous Wagyu cheddar bacon burger. For those wishing for a more intimate setting, allow Montage Kapalua Bay to serve you effortlessly with their popular inresidence dining option. For private events, The Cliff House aims to inspire with unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean. Nestled 146 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
into the mountains, this private dining area is the perfect location for any special occasion dining experience. With private access to the beach, uninterrupted sunset views, a full kitchen and barbecue grill, The Cliff House is standing ready to host any and all events in your life. From an intimate dinner to a grand celebration, or even a corporate event For guests who pamper themselves, a visit to Montage Kapalua Bay’s spa is not to be missed. Melt into tranquility with their eucalyptus steam room, cedar room sauna, infinity edge pool, and stunning
grounds. We recommend the Energy Ritual Vitality of the Glaciers Treatment, which breathes new life into your complexion by returning oxygen and nutrients to the dermis. Or try the Sun Recovery Treatment, which uses mineral-rich organic sea algae, cooling aloe vera gel, and antioxidant green tea extracts to reduce redness and inflammation on the skin. As a leading golf resort in the world, the Montage Kapalua Bay course mesmerizes guests with white sand beaches and coastal hikes. Additionally, the Montage Kapalua Bay offers a variety of activities that allow guests
to immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture such as coconut husking, hula lessons, and ukulele lessons. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, explore the island by helicopter, boat, or by one of the many hiking trails that weave into the beautiful mountains. Enjoy an open bar on top of the catamaran or dive deep into Hawaiian waters with a snorkeling lesson. The Montage Kapalua Bay rises against the challenges of the modern world with their extensive policies to ensure guest safety during Covid-19. “Back in May, Montage International announced its Peace of Mind
Commitment, furthering their already stringent health and safety protocols to ensure compliance with the highest standards and certifications,” Ms. Frankle states. “As part of the Montage Peace of Mind Commitment, each property has implemented an enhanced prescriptive safety program, which includes the integration of the latest cleanliness technologies, such as the use of electrostatic sprayers, UV wands and devices, and particulate level air filtration systems. Montage has partnered with One Medical, a leading national digital health and primary care organization, to offer 24/7 virtual care services.” For a further detailing on their protocol, please visit their website. Whether you are seeking a romantic getaway, a Hawaiian adventure, or a business trip, let Montage Kapalua Bay be your new Hawaiian home with their exquisite dining, their lavish accommodations, and their unrelenting dedication to the luxury guest experience. HVV
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Montage has partnered with One Medical, a leading national digital health and primary care organization, to offer 24/7 virtual care services.
MARIE VOYER Expert Luxury Concierge Services: “If It’s Legal and Respects The Laws of Gravity, I Will Take Care of It!” by IRINA UNGUREANU
uxury Concierge is the ultra service for the rich for anything, anyhow and anytime. It is an exclusive experience addressed especially to very wealthy individuals, but with very limited time. Instead of searching for days for that vacation they were dreaming of, they call a concierge company and it will take care of it from A to Z. In doing so, the client – businessman, business owner, CEO – can focus on their important meetings rather than dealing with day-to-day errands. A concierge may be a person or a company that takes over all these duties. A luxury concierge service is even at a whole other level and it can take care of almost anything a client might ask. What is the limit, you wonder? We were wondering the same so we wanted to talk to real experts in the field. Take a glimpse inside the magical and upscale world of luxury concierge. What do the super rich want, when they can ask for anything, anyhow and anytime? You can read below an exclusive interview with Marie Voyer, Lead Concierge at Arthur Majordome, a luxury concierge company based in Canada.
Luxury Concierge Service is definitely a deluxe experience. Can you please tell us who exactly books this type of services? What is the profile of the client that requires a luxury concierge? We cater services to very high and mostly ultra high net worth individuals and their immediate families. We also offer tailor-made “packages” that are more corporate-oriented to include personal assistants in the membership, reservations for business trips, corporate retreats, holidays parties, and more, depending on their specific needs. Contrary to typical concierge agencies, we are a club. Our member’s do not pay-per-service, once they join the select club, they are assigned their own concierge and requests are unlimited and encouraged. A first meeting is scheduled to learn more about them, their needs, preferences and who they are as unique and exceptional individuals. At our company, we firmly believe that fewer clients mean more service. This way of thinking allows us to actually “choose” our members after they chose us. We only select members who will have a natural fit with our concierges and develop a strong human connection, in order to reach our very high standards of service and differentiate the club (proactive) from the agencies (reactive). As an example, I will send a quick text 150 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
message to a member and remind him of his wife’s upcoming birthday so we can discuss what they have in mind or suggest ideas, I will reach out to a member after hearing of a restaurant opening and thinking that would be the kind of cuisine/experience they would love. These are easy ways for us to be proactive, since we know our members and their families by heart, on a personal/human level. What type of services is considered “luxury concierge” and which of them are offered by your brand? As cheesy as it may sound, the only thing that wealthy people cannot buy is time so it is at the center of all services we provide. A company owner is much more profitable running his business, his expertise, rather than wasting time trying to plan an itinerary for a trip to a destination they have never been to – our expertise. A stressed-out young CEO is much more relaxed and happy going back to a house we had cleaned and organized for him, rather than wasting his resting time doing housekeeping tasks. In the current global context, a member working from home is much more efficient and focused if we find for them the perfect tutor to help their kids doing online school, rather than trying to jungle everything. Possibilities are endless! Whenever I am asked what kind of requests do we do and which ones we do not, I always say: “If it’s legal and respects the laws of gravity, I will take care of it”. Marie, I saw you have a lot of experience in the world of concierge. Looking back to all these years, can you please tell us which were the most extravagant requests that you ever had to comply with? And most memorable ones, something that stuck to your mind until this day? I cumulate over 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry, as Concierge and Chef Concierge in highend Relais & Chateaux and Marriott (St. Regis) properties. I am honored to not only be the youngest member to ever join the closed circle of Les Clefs d’Or at the age of 22, but to have also won the Les Clefs d’Or Awards 2019 distinction, allowing me to represent Canada in the international competition in Cannes, France. Having studied marketing and visual arts, my colleagues say that my creativity and witty, unconventional thinking are valuable assets for Arthur Majordome and its members.
We cater services to very high and mostly ultra high net worth individuals and their immediate families. I once welcomed an important Korean family and had planned and detailed their entire trip, including a lot of golf outings. During one of their tee time, they saw a prey bird, asking me to get back to them with the name of the type of bird. After they left, it took me days of unsuccessful research to finally come up with an expert’s undoubtedly answer and so I informed the translator by email. A month or two later, I received an email from him with a picture. To commemorate the wonderful trip that the family had, they had a monumental bronze sculpture of the bird done and placed in the center of the roundabout driveway in front of their mansion. Needless to say, I was speechless! As Chef Concierge, being tasked with strategy and ultimate execution for all VIPs staying at the hotel, discretion and confidentiality is extremely important in this role. I cannot disclose many details on those stories, but examples included the sourcing, 130 km round-trip transportation and installation of a 500lb musical instrument for a multiple time Grammy Award winner and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As you can imagine, you never know what to expect when the phone rings! The pandemic has definitely redefined a lot of businesses. Has your company done any changes to its offer, to adapt to the current times? And what exactly? We definitely used the pandemic as an opportunity to redefine our company. I knew William Gingras, president and founder Arthur Majordome, for years and he kept an eye on my fast-arising career while I kept an eye on the company he created 3 years ago. We had a conversation at the beginning of the pandemic, sharing our passion for service and vision of what our brand could and should be. It was clear we were going to make a great team: his incredible entrepreneurship spirit and engaging personality paired with my experience, creativity and passion were going to elevate the club. This is how I joined forces with him and, together, we redefined the image of the company, its service offering and identity, in order to redefine the world of private concierge services – nothing less. We just re-launched the brand. Around the same time, we have been proudly chosen by our financial Alter- Ego, Ceos Family Office, to work as partners as well. We share the same values of cooperation and the importance of human relationships in the digital age. They help Arthur grow by bringing the expertise, vision 152 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
and wisdom essential to our mission to allow members to “lead the life you love”, our statement. This means that our members also have access to the best professionals in finance, investing, accounting, lawyers, notaries, and more. The multi family office clients also “skip” Arthur’s waiting list and become members upon recommendations. In the ultra high net worth, we believe it makes perfect sense to have our members’ “business needs” taken care of by the best, as we are the best at taking care of the “leisure needs”. Has the profile of your client changed during this pandemic? Have new people from different industries contacted you or the portfolio of your clients remained the same? We continue catering to UHNW individuals that we carefully select to join our exclusive club, however their needs have changed. Instead of planning a holiday to a sandy beach this winter, we were more looking into cottage rentals. We plan more a tasting menu with wine pairing with athome chefs and sommeliers, instead of booking restaurant reservations, and so on…We are quick on our feet, we adapt very well and we proactively suggest local and at-home activities to provide our members with plenty of options, ideas and inspirations. About Les Clefs d’Or: Marie Voyer is member of Les Clef D’Or (translated as The Golden Keys), which is a professional association of hotel concierges, with approximately 4000 members working in over 80 countries and 530 destinations, in literally every corner of the world. Easily identified by the golden crossed keys on their lapels, these members are an elite fraternity, globally connected, committed to professional development, and driven to setting new standards for guest service perfection. With roots dating back to 1929, Les Clefs d’Or was officially founded in France in 1952 as a not-for-profit organization based on two pillars: Service and Friendship. Before earning the right to wear the golden keys, those who aspire to become a member must have several years of experience as a hotel concierge, pass comprehensive testing and prove, beyond doubt, their ability to deliver the highest quality of service. HVV
“At our company, we firmly believe that fewer clients mean more service.” HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 153
Challenger 300/350 Jet Card
Jet Card is part of the Jet Card Ownership portfolio at Magellan Jets. *Image credit: Bombardier Aerospace
Working Remotely? by: IRINA UNGUREANU
he pandemic hit and knocked the world off its course, many businesses were forced to reconfigure their work practices, and fast. Working from home became de rigueur, and the speed with which large and small firms made this transition is a testament to the acceptance and development of new technology, as well as to the resilience of the human spirit. Since then, many firms have seen the benefits of having team members work remotely yield higher productivity and greater job satisfaction. For some firms, there are no plans to return to an office setting until the middle of 2021, and that date remains a moving target. Work from home means different things to different people. Depending on where and how you live, this might be a pleasure, or may be a pain. No doubt all the pets in the world are thrilled to have everyoneat-home-all-of-the-time, but it may be hard to meet their expectations for play, or keep them out of teleconferences and off of your keyboard. Skipping a dreadful commute is a plus in most everyone’s book, but needing space or quiet can be a challenge in some ‘at home’ environments. Psychologically, a change of location is considered healthy and more stimulating than always being in the same spot. The changes in location that we are used to is refreshing mentally, even if subconsciously so. 156 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
If your career allows, you can change the city, or even change the country from which to work. Some Caribbean nations are now offering incentives for people who work remotely. Bermuda, for example, allows remote workers to live on the island with a “One Year Residential Certification” of certain requirements for this program. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and work in a completely stunning locale if you can be truly remote. Who wouldn’t feel better holding a cocktail in one hand and feeling the breeze of the ocean and the warmth of the sun on your skin? Sure, you may have a laptop in front of you, but when your work day ends, a new life experience begins. Imagine after work walks on the beach, living an island lifestyle, and loving each day of this great adventure.
Exquisite Places to “Workation”!
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Mexico says “si’” to people who want to work from there with either a tourist visa valid for six months, or a special “Temporary Resident Visa” which allows up to a one year stay.
Barbados has launched “Barbados Welcome Stamp” a similar program for individuals and families to live and work there for a year. There are minimal fees and application requirements for this program as well. As in Bermuda, there are luxurious villas and luxury hotels from which to choose for your stay. 158 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
Jamaica is another Caribbean island welcoming digital nomads. They offer a six-month stay/work visa. Mexico says “si’” to people who want to work from there with either a tourist visa valid for six months, or a special “Temporary Resident Visa” which allows up to a one year stay.
If you long for Europe, or are not a fan of the beaches and summer all year long, Estonia has a great offer for you. This Baltic state is welcoming temporary residents into its territory if minimum existing salary requirements are met. Waking to the stunning Adriatic and Ionian coastlines might also tempt you.
If so, Albania welcomes all U.S. citizens to stay and work in their country for a year with only a tourist visa. Georgia is another country that welcomes remote workers, and so do the Czech Republic and Costa Rica. If you want to change the places that you see everyday, now might be the perfect time to grab your passport and create a truly memorable chapter of your life. HVV HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS | 159
Six Senses Shaharut Opening in March 2021, Six Senses Shaharut is the latest location to open under the five-star luxury hotel and resort Six Senses hospitality group. by GLORIA BASS 162 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
he celebrated luxury hotel and resort Six Senses opens its latest Israel location with Six Senses Shaharut. Slated to open March 2021, and set in the epic lands of the Negev Desert, this one-ofa-kind destination will whisk guests away to a charming, luxury resort experience. Offering a variety of specialty on-and off-resort attractions, Six Senses Shaharut will deliver a vacation experience unlike any other in this desert oasis. Guests will have the chance to stay in beautifully designed minimalistic-style suites, which complement and enhance the natural beauty of the surrounding Israeli desert. The Panorama Pool Villa will delight guests with 1,344 square feet of space, panoramic views of the Edom Mountains and the Negev Desert, plus a private pool and outdoor terrace. Or they can choose a respite in the Six Senses Suite with a plethora of accommodations including a full mini bar, complimentary snack bar, state-of-the-art coffee making facilities, and a private outdoor terrace. Six Senses Shaharut presents guests with a stunning list of top-tier restaurants, bars, and dining experiences. With a choice of dining indoors or outdoors, Midian Main Restaurant brings guests the finest in Israeli cuisine, paired with an extensive wine list and breathtaking views of the Desert Mountains.
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Striking an effective middle ground between ancient healing rituals and high-tech, sophisticated spa treatments, allow Six Senses Shaharut spa center to melt your stress away.
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For those who wish to unwind after a day of adventure, guests will be pleased to encounter The Jamilla Bar where they can enjoy an impressive list of teas, carefully crafted cocktails, and an extensive list of high spirits. Jamilla couples delightful drinks with the rich sounds flowing from original vinyl of the bar’s collection of sounds of the desert and of their deep heritage. For those seeking refuge in the villa, pamper yourself with an all-day in-villa dining experience. Design a personalized, secluded dining experience set to the backdrop of the natural beauty of the desert. A private chef will transform your dreams into reality with a hand-delivered, unforgettable dining experience in the privacy of your suite or villa. Striking an effective middle ground between ancient healing rituals and high-tech, sophisticated spa treatments, allow Six Senses Shaharut spa center to melt your stress away. Among their impressive list of treatments, we recommend the Crystal Glow Facial Treatment, which utilizes the healing powers of crystals to unearth a radiant, healthy complexion. Stop by for a session of Pranayama Yoga, which focuses on breathing techniques to remove blockages in energy channels, strengthen the respiratory system, and de166 | HILLS VIEWS & VALLEYS
clutter overactive minds. The spa center also offers an indoor pool, an outdoor lap pool, a fully equipped gym, a yoga studio, and a nail bar, extending chilled beverages to aid guests in their quest for rejuvenation. Feeling adventurous? Six Senses Shaharut offers a wide list of activities that allow guests to immerse themselves in the stunning, picturesque desert. Take nature as your inspiration with a session of yoga on the rocks, or try snorkeling in the Red Sea. Explore Timna Park with gentle, manageable hiking trails, while admiring the colorful, unique rock formations. We recommend taking a Jeep or camel to explore
the rich history of the Ruins of the Ancient Incense, a route that was popularly traversed in the second century CE. The Six Senses Shaharut experiences extend far beyond that of the individual traveler. With their dedicated staff, their commitment to perfection concerning every detail, and their impeccable design aesthetic, Six Senses Shaharut is the perfect venue to host special events such as weddings, baby and bridal showers, and other life celebrations. Guests can choose from several outdoor spaces including a 6,458 square foot amphitheater that accommodates up to 270 guests, or their indoor multi-functional
Six Senses Shaharut is the perfect venue to host special events such as weddings, baby and bridal showers, and other life celebrations...
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room that stands at 1,075 square feet. An integral belief of the Six Senses philosophy is sustainability, and Six Senses Shaharut is proud to continue this vision through their commitment to local communities and the environment. From taking pledges to eliminate all plastic by 2022, to building Earth labs that reduce consumption, Six Senses Shaharut embraces its role in sustainability and environmental responsibility. Following through on their promise of always putting guests first, Six Senses Shaharut has taken detailed measures to ensure you and your loved ones can enjoy the Six Senses experience worry-free
from Covid-19. In addition to increased frequent cleaning and sanitation, guests will enjoy increased private dining, confirming snacks prior to arrival to ensure minimal contact, temperature checks, cashless payments, required mask wearing, and up-to date protective measures. For a full detailing of their extensive protocol, please visit their website. Nestled in the stunning Negev Desert, enjoy Israel with a tailored, unforgettable vacation experience that is the magic found only at Six Senses Shaharut. HVV
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