OLTRE - Volume 5: The Ooh La La Issue

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TRAVEL BEYOND ÓL • TRE

Ooh La La!

Welcome to the newest volume of OLTRE, our exclusive quarterly magazine filled with inspiration and ideas for your next trip — and beyond.

This issue celebrates wow-worthy hotel stays, dining, shopping and more that will make you say “Ooh la la.”

JOIN US ON OUR REIMAGINED SHIPS FOR A VOYAGE OF A LIFETIME

BOOK ONE OF OUR EXCEPTIONAL ITINERARIES BY CONTACTING YOUR PREFERRED TRAVEL ADVISOR. PART OF ABERCROMBIE & KENT TRAVEL GROUP

Effortless exhilaration. Discover the Continental GT Convertible Azure. Visit BentleyMotors.com to learn more. The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2024 Bentley Motors Inc. Model shown: Continental GT Convertible Azure.

AT A GLANCE

Spring 2024

WHITE GOLD

Monte Carlo, Monaco

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Southampton, England

An artist finds inspiration for portraits in the rivers and crossroads of vintage maps.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

PEARL JAM

Paris, France

Our Volume 5 playlist channels the after-dark grooves of the see-and-be-seen Blue Gin bar and lounge.

GRID SKIPPER

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

The Big Island’s Kona Village is back — and setting a new standard for sustainability in the Aloha State. 42

Aspen, Dubai, Los Angeles, New York... Caviar is the new charcuterie. It’s everywhere. But look closer: This isn’t your grandfather’s old-school beluga. Here’s where to find some of the world’s rarest and most interesting new caviars.

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES
SOUND/BAR
18 20
French interior designers have perfected the aesthetic art of ooh la la. Here are the five modern masters defining the look of luxury around the world today.
60 54
HOSPITALITY À LA MODE
50
How a designer pivoted from pearls to cotton and created one of the country’s hottest rising-star brands.
THE OOH LA LA ISSUE 4

Thompson hotels connect guests and locals alike to culture - from the classic to the contemporary, from the world-renowned to the underground. Inspire and be inspired at the place where culture lives.

ATLANTA • AUSTIN • CABO SAN LUCAS • CHICAGO • DALLAS • DENVER HOUSTON • LOS ANGELES • MADRID • MIAMI BEACH • NEW YORK • PALM SPRINGS SAN ANTONIO • SAVANNAH • SEATTLE • WASHINGTON D.C. • ZIHUATANEJO
Hyatt®, Thompson Hotels® and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation and/or its affiliates. © 2024 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR PREFERRED TRAVEL ADVISOR TO BOOK YOUR NEXT THOMPSON STAY
culture lives here
OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES THE OLTRE GUIDE: PARIS, FRANCE 68 We’ll Always Have Paris THE FRENCH CAPITAL BECKONS. ARE YOU COMING? 72 Putting on the ritz: Lights, camera, cocktails! 74 Eat here: The ultimate neighborhood bistro 76 Where to stay in style with all the VIP perks 79 Go behind the scenes at the most exclusive fashion houses THE OOH LA LA ISSUE 6

It’s christening season with lots of new ship launches. We’re on board, and we have opinions!

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES THE ARTS
NEWS & BUZZ The hottest hotels, from Athens to the Andaman Sea. Plus: cool museums, destination dining and other fabulous detours. AIR NEWS IMPRINT CONTRIBUTORS PERSPECTIVE 10 12 14 Florence, Italy 46
22 34
Etched glass, ceramics, jewelry, cashmere and more: how The Place of Wonders helps the ancient Florentine crafts to thrive.
Around the World
lounges,
Tulum, New York...
LEGEND
RESTAURANT REVIEW
VIP
updated terminals and the airport we thought might never actually open.
THE
Kaisers, kings, sultans and movie stars have waltzed around this Southeast Asian grand dame for more than a century. Its glory days might be right now.
Los Cabos, Mexico
90
CRUISE NEWS
Dining on the Sea of Cortez has become one of the best food experiences in Mexico. And at one resort in particular, it’s a fascinating, never-ending feast.
Singapore
36
84 THE OOH LA LA ISSUE
At Sea
OLTRE
THE
Q&A
96 8
The South of France “Trying to light your house with a chandelier? That’s like putting earrings on because you’re cold.”

ALWAYS A

You never forget your first trip to Paris. Mine was decades ago, when I was young, on a budget and eager but clueless. Even though (or more accurately, because) I overwhelmed myself with reams of research, I saw the sights but still felt like the city’s secrets eluded me. I second-guessed everything, settling on one bistro but wondering if an even better option was just around the corner. Many visits and years later, I’ve learned a few lessons:

Information overload can be paralyzing : Research and preparation are important, but curation is the key. Consider your travel advisor your personal curator.

Insider access elevates everything : From skipping the admissions queues to opening doors otherwise closed to the public, who you know matters. (See your personal curator above.)

Enjoy the moment : Even when you’re lost, even if the meal isn’t the best, remember, you’re on vacation — life is good. (You may need to set that reminder on repeat this summer.)

GOOD IDEA

I have so many favorite memories of Paris now — thanks to my network of travel advisors and their connections (and admittedly a bit more discretionary funds for travel as well). From a guided scavenger hunt through the Louvre, which was just as fun for the adults as it was for the kids, to an appointment with a perfumery to craft a personal fragrance, a private cooking class with a Michelin-star chef and a behind-the-scenes tour of a fashion atelier, a travel advisor made those memories happen.

Our “Ooh La La” issue focuses on all things Paris, French and fancy. Our destination guide is a keeper: You’ll want to save it as a little black book on where to stay, where to eat and what sorts of over-the-top experiences your travel advisor can arrange.

There’s much more, including our signature playlist (this issue’s soundtrack is a collaboration with Monaco’s MonteCarlo Bay Hotel & Resort), what it’s really like dining at a luxury all-inclusive resort, a look at the caviar bar trend and more — all with a sprinkling of designer fashion throughout our pages.

Paris may always be a good idea, but we like to say the same thing about travel. Here’s to globetrotting in style, wherever you go.

Senior Vice President, Content Elaine Srnka

Evens Leandre
OLTRE VOLUME 5 NOTED PERSPECTIVE 10

Cruises Destinations

Hotel Marketing

Hotel Programs

In-Country Partners

Partner Marketing

Advertising Sales

Pam Young

Brian Hegarty

Senior Vice President, Content Vice President, Publishing Editorial Director

Design Director

Copy Editor

International Correspondents

Contributors

Elaine Srnka

Laura Sport

Brad A. Johnson

Devin Duckworth

Jennifer Weston

Sara Lieberman (Paris), Kathryn Romeyn (Bali), Chris Schalkx (Bangkok), Laura Schooling (London), Marina Spironetti (Milan)

Stella Berkofsky, Michael Bui, Tanvi Chheda, Beata Duvaker, Adam

Erace, Quentin Farriol, Rebecca Hall, Seanna Harris, Elizabeth Heath, Maria C. Hunt, Leslie Kirchhoff, Louise Loctin, Emmanuelle de Luze, Katherine McGrath, Chelsea Miller, Jen Murphy, Don Nichols, Joann Pai, Gwen Poitevin, Karoline Robl, Marijana Sarac, Ramona Saviss, Chloe Schlossmann, Clara Tuma, Florent Vindimian

Advertising & Marketing

Account Management

Alexandra Rivera

Dennis Grunden

Haisley Smith

Stephen McGillivray

Lisa Calderone-Spierings

Laurelei Papajani

Madelyn Roberts

Chief Executive Officer

President, Global Travel Collection

President, Travel Leaders Group

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Information Officer

Marni Becker

Marshall Davenport

Melissa Dobmeier

Giselle Garvey

Catherine Johns

Ronald Laing

Pam Massey

Sinead O’Connell

Loyde Pires

Becky Serdar

Jeanne Watters

Danielle Whitmore

Direct advertising inquiries to advertising@oltremag.com

Internova Travel Group

J.D. O’Hara

Angie Licea

John Lovell

Robert Klug

Jeremy Van Kuyk

Internova Select and Curated Hotel & Resort Rate Key

$ = Under $500

$$ = $500 - $1,000

$$$ = $1,000 - $1,500

$$$$ = Over $1,500

Categories reflect average midseason rate for standard room. Your travel advisor can secure complimentary Internova Select or Curated perks such as perks such as hotel credits, breakfast for two, early check-in/late check-out (based on availability) and other extras.

ON THE FRONT COVER:

Shot on location at Le Grand Mazarin, Paris, France. Photography by Florent Vindimian.

ON THE BACK COVER:

Shot on location at the Seine in Paris, France. Photography by Stella Berkofsky.

Database Marketing

Executive Vice President, Partner Relations

Executive Vice President, Partner Relations

Senior Vice President, Public Relations

Jocelyn Acosta

Elizabeth Broehl

Felipe Castro

Adam Kemerer

James Nathan

Daniel Tennant

Katarzyna Turska

Albert Herrera

Peter Vlitas

Elizabeth Gaerlan

OLTRE is published quarterly by Internova Travel Group, one of the largest travel services companies in the world. Internova brands represent more than 100,000 travel advisors in more than 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries. Publisher assumes no responsibility for representations or changes to travel information and pricing described herein, which are subject to change and availability, and restrictions may apply. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written consent of Publisher. Direct editorial and subscription inquiries to editors@ oltremag.com and advertising requests to advertising@oltremag.com.

Internova Travel Group is headquartered at 1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019; Internova.com. Copyright © 2024 Internova Travel Group.

IMPRINT
HUMANS
12
Chris Schalkx

HUMANS OF VOLUME 5

Spring 2024
OLTRE VOLUME 5 HUMANS CONTRIBUTORS 14
L-R: Brad A. Johnson Editorial Director (Orange County, California) ; Devin Duckworth Design Director (Los Angeles, California); Tanvi Chheda , Writer (Los Angeles, California) ; Beata Duvaker , Producer (Paris, France) ; Adam Erace , Writer (Philadelphia, PA); Rebecca Hall , Writer (Athens, Greece) ; Elizabeth Heath , Writer (Umbria, Italy); Maria C. Hunt , Writer (Oakland, California); Sara Lieberman , Writer (Paris, France) ; Katherine McGrath , Writer (Paris, France) ; Jen Murphy , Writer (Maui, Hawaii); Joann Pai , Photographer (Paris, France; Don Nichols Reporter (Dallas, Texas) ; Kathryn Romeyn Correspondent (Bali, Indonesia); Ramona Saviss , Writer (Los Angeles, California); Chris Schalkx , Correspondent (Bangkok, Thailand) ; Laura Schooling , Correspondent (London, England) Marina Spironetti , Correspondent (Milan, Italy) ; Clara Tuma , Photographer (France & Switzerland) ; Florent Vindimian , Photographer (Paris, France).

Venture to the South Pacific and Beyond

This year, travel to rarely visited frontiers spanning all seven continents with A&K Luxury Expedition Cruises, including an expedition to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands — a paradise of stunning coral reefs, remote tropical islands and diverse Indigenous cultures.

Every A&K voyage is led by our acclaimed Expedition Team on an exclusively chartered — and luxuriously all-inclusive — small ship, each featuring all-balcony accommodations, a fascinating enrichment program and an intimate guest capacity that never exceeds 199.

Ready for the ultimate adventure at sea? Contact your preferred travel advisor today.

29–Aug

Wonders of Japan Sep 20–Oct 3, 2024

10–22, 2024

® ©2024 Abercrombie & Kent, USA, LLC CST #2007274-20
Italy Cruise: Hidden Treasures from Florence to Venice Sep 13–24, 2024 North Pole Expedition Cruise: e Ultimate Frontier Jul 10–27, 2024 Arctic Cruise Adventure: In Search of the Polar Bear Jul 12, 2024 Antarctic Cruise Adventure Dec
FOUR SEASONS THE PEARL QATAR
NEW PLACE
CONTACT A TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE BENEFITS AVAILABLE WHEN BOOKING FOUR SEASONS HOTELS AND RESORTS
with
of
that
to
of a destination.
A
TO BELONG
See the city from a new perspective
Four Seasons. Our collection of hotels and resorts across the globe offers curated experiences, Michelin-star dining, and a celebration
local culture
takes you
the very heart
Ink drawing over a vintage map of Brooklyn, New York RADAR FIRST IMPRESSIONS 18

OVER THE MAP

HE DREAMED OF BECOMING A CARTOGRAPHER, BUT ULTIMATELY FOLLOWED HIS PASSION FOR ART INSTEAD. IN A WAY, HE DID BOTH. MAPS BECAME ED FAIRBURN’S SIGNATURE CANVAS.

WRITING: BRAD A. JOHNSON

Southampton, England

Everything changed when artist Ed Fairburn paid 20 pence for a vintage road map of Munich in a thrift store. He bought it because he liked the colors and patterns — but then got an urge to interject his own ink and layer a story onto what was already there. He’s been collecting and “collaborating” with maps ever since. For most commissioned portraits, he sources the maps himself, which can take time. It has to be old, and some cities just won’t work. “I don’t see faces in maps,” he says, “I only see potential.” edfairburn.com

ALL
Ink drawing over a vintage map of Pisa, Italy
19

SOUND/BAR

MONACO AFTER DARK HAS A DISTINCTIVE GROOVE, LARGELY INFLUENCED BY THE STYLINGS OF DJ NICOLAS SAAD AT BLUE GIN, THE WATERFRONT BAR AT MONTE-CARLO BAY HOTEL & RESORT.

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort

The iconic, 332-room resort commands its own private peninsula, with front-row seats to the Grand Prix. Your travel advisor can secure Select perks, including a $100 food and beverage credit. $$

“Dare To Love” by End of Code

“Tales Of A Music Salesman” by Mazze

“Stellar” by Érratic, Basic 96 (Ludowick Remix)

“Waves Of Love” by Antrim ft. Juan Fernandez

“Juno Love” by Nico Morano

“Story” by Pablo Bolivar ft. Alexandra Savvidi

“There Is Some Magic Traveling” by Luca Cociuffo

“Nurani” by Matur

“Nagarr (Pieces)" by Namatjira ft. Beautiful Errors

“Move Your Booty” by Fabian Krooss

“Sugar Street” by End of Code

“Tailor Made” by El Payo and Osunlade ft. Ziyon (Yoruba Soul Mix)

“Azzure” by Somelee

“Dolores” by The Soul Brothers

“Secret Of The Nile” by Ventt & Keparys (Nacho Varela, Cruz Vittor Remix)

“Voodoo Child” by Zuma Dionys

“Espectros” by Molac and Nicolas Viana

“Over You” by Nastic Groove (MusiQ Monks Remix)

“New Dawn” by Brentford Leisure

“Moving To The Future” by End of Code

Nicolas Saad — DJ, composer, producer and half of the electro duo End of Code — rose to acclaim spinning vinyl in the clubs of Paris. He still does that from time to time, just as he occasionally keeps the dance floors buzzing in Warsaw, Stockholm, Geneva, London, Las Vegas and beyond. Most nights, however, he's ensconced behind the turntables at Blue Gin, the only alfresco waterfront bar in the principality that’s open year-round.

WRITING: BRAD A. JOHNSON

PHOTOGRAPHY: CANABAE

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES
to open our playlist in Spotify.
Scan
Blue Gin 01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
RADAR PLAYLIST 20

Sip. Savor. And awards galore.

Our restaurants serve up dreamy ocean views and meals cooked to order, inspired by the vision of our Michelin-star chef collective. Wine and dine in an old-school steakhouse or throw back bibimbap at our Korean BBQ spot on board — all our 20+ eateries are included in the cost of your voyage, tips and all.

CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR TO LEARN MORE. Best Overall Cruise Line Best Dining Best Cabins Best Service Best ValueFor-Money ©2023. Travel + Leisure® is a registered trademark of Travel + Leisure Holdco, LLC, a subsidiary of Wyndham Destinations, Inc. Travel + Leisure® World’s Best Awards is used under license. Travel + Leisure® is published by TI Inc. Affluent Media Group, a Dotdash Meredith company, which is not affiliated with Wyndham Destinations, Inc. or its subsidiaries.
Dazzle
APPLE CAKE Dining Fabulously Now we’re
Razzle
RUM

Now – July 21

WHAT’S ON

SAVE THE DATE: THESE ARE THE TOP EVENTS, EXHIBITS AND FESTIVITIES ON OUR AGENDA THIS SEASON.

Florence, Italy

Anselm Kiefer “Fallen Angels” exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

June 29 – indefinite run

Hong Kong

I. M. Pei

Retrospective: “Life Is Architecture” at M+, West Kowloon Cultural District

Now – November 24

Venice, Italy

Venice Biennale, 60th International Art Exhibition

June 27 – August 18

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen Music Festival, one of the world’s top classical music celebrations

May 11 – 15

Seoul, South Korea

Lotus Lantern Festival and parades celebrating Buddha’s birthday

June 22 – indefinite run

London, England

“NAOMI” the Naomi Campbell lifetime exhibit at the Victoria & Albert museum

May 24 – June 15

Sydney, Australia

Vivid Sydney: 23 days and nights of art, technology and music

June 12 – 16

Le Mans, France

Nonstop 24 Hours of Le Mans racing, followed by days of concerts

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES
Bartosz Klukaczewski, Damiano Baschiera, Srikant Sahoo, Jet Dela Cruz, Kael Bloom, Charrel Jalving and Crystal.
RADAR NEWS & BUZZ
22
ELEVATE YOUR BEACH DAY *Perfect Day and CocoCay are registered trademarks of Royal Caribbean. All ship features, experiences and itineraries are subject to change without notice. ©2024 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ship’s Registry: The Bahamas. 24013117 • 02/15/2024 Floating Cabanas — Coco Beach Club SM Sail to private destination Perfect Day at CocoCay and discover how every moment is elevated at the exclusive Coco Beach Club ® . Drift between poolside and seaside in an infinity pool overlooking the ocean. Savor gourmet flavors from fried lobster to filet mignon from the Caribbean chic restaurant. And for the ultimate beach day upgrade, kick back and cue the views of endless blue from Overwater Cabanas with a hammock, your very own slides, and personalized attendant service. And when the day is done, the adventure’s just begun back onboard the world’s most incredible ships. Come Seek the Royal Caribbean ® Contact your travel advisor to learn more

NOW OPEN,

VACANCY

HOTEL JUNKIES, TAKE NOTE.

One & Only Aesthesis

Glyfada, Greece

One & Only Aesthesis opened in November on the bustling Athens Riviera (just south of Athens). It’s the brand’s second Greece opening of late. The secluded, 52-acre beachfront estate — formerly the site of a 1950s-era beach club — pays homage to its history with retro-inspired design in a curved main building and 107 freestanding bungalows, some right by the sea with their own terraces and pools. In-room extravagancies include Ésophy chocolates and Montroi beauty products. The property has three restaurants (Greek, Peruvian and Spanish), a Guerlain spa (the first in Greece) and a see-and-be-seen pool facing a private, adultsonly beach.

Koh Yao Yai, Thailand

Guests arrive by speedboat to Anantara Koh Yao Yai , a secluded island paradise that opened in October in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. The 148 suites, villas and penthouses are minimalist and generously sized, with balconies that frame views of the limestone islets in the distance. Villas and penthouses feature private plunge pools, but there’s also a common infinity pool that’s pure serenity.

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES
Anantara Koh Yao Yai
RADAR NEWS & BUZZ
REPORTING: TANVI CHHEDA AND REBECCA HALL 24

The World’s Most Awarded Safari Company.

A safari is unlike any other experience and Micato Safaris is unlike any other company: For every safari sold, we send a child to school. Contact your travel advisor for details.

TEN -TIME #1 WINNER:

World’s Best Safari Outfitter, Travel+Leisure. Micato is the only tour company in the Travel+Leisure Hall of Fame

London, England

With an enviable address overlooking Hyde Park Corner and the Wellington Arch, the new Peninsula London Belgravia sits close to many of the city’s top sights, such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. The hotel’s 190 bright and sprawling rooms were designed by Peter Marino and outfitted with mahogany paneling and onyx stone baths. There’s also a cigar lounge, plus a rooftop restaurant and Ayurveda-focused spa. The hotel operates its own fleet of Rolls-Royces and Bentleys but also boasts an impeccably restored vintage Austin FX4 taxi.

New York, New York

Just before the holidays, The Four Seasons Downtown unveiled six new signature suites designed by Bill Rooney Studio (whose legendary namesake architect/designer passed away in August). Made to feel like elevated residences, the suites evoke Tribeca’s artsy roots, with velvet jewel-tone fabrics, mid-century-inspired furnishings, original modern art and prized one-of-a-kind pieces such as a mahogany polyhedron bar cabinet by French designer M. Vuillermoz.

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES
The Four Seasons New York Downtown
RADAR NEWS & BUZZ 26
The Peninsula London Belgravia
YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR TO PLAN YOUR NEXT VACATION
CONTACT

HOT SHOTS

NEWS FLASHES FROM AROUND THE WORLD: WHAT TO DO, WHERE TO EAT AND MORE.

MODERNIST CUISINE, 2.0

Cala Montjoi, Spain – Chef Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli, easily the world’s most influential restaurant of modern times, has quietly reopened — with a twist. The kitchen no longer serves olive-sphere martinis, air baguettes and smoke foam to people who either won the lottery or have deeply powerful connections. Now dubbed elBulli1846 , the former temple to modernist cuisine has become a museum and research center that serves up the philosophy, ingredients, tools and staff (aka Bullinianos) that allowed this tiny restaurant in Spain’s Costa Brava, two hours outside Barcelona, to transform gastronomy. It’s open only seasonally, and reservations might prove just as difficult to come by as when this place served dinner. Wandering from the sleek former kitchen filled with photos of some of their 1,846 past dishes and ingredients (like soy lecithin and La Lechera condensed milk) to the upper gallery filled with wavy plates, pipettes and Adrià’s product collaborations, you realize you’ve been eating El Bulli style all over the world, even if you never had the fortune to spend an evening in this rustic dining room overlooking the Mediterranean. elbullifoundation.com

CHINATOWN SECRET

Singapore – An exclusive new restaurant-within-arestaurant opened in Singapore’s atmospheric Chinatown in December. But it’s not Chinese. It’s Japanese. Chef Kenjiro “Hatch” Hashida unveiled the minimalist, six-guest kappo salon called Abura Kappo inside his eponymous Hashida (reducing the original’s capacity to merely 18 diners at a time). In the intimate Abura, the boundarypushing chef serves a 13-course tasting menu inspired by kappo traditions (creative small plates) married with what he calls “grandma-friendly” flavor profiles: Hokkaido wagyu tempura, duck salad with persimmons and turnips, a tartare of lamb and squid, and even shiitake gimbap (Korean-style sushi). Menus from $150. @hashida.abura

PAST FORWARD

Paris, France – If the wall murals and stained-glass ceilings at 3 Rue Royale could talk, they’d have some stories to tell. Since its founding in 1893, Maxim’s has hosted guests such as Jackie Onassis, Jane Birkin, and Man Ray, all of whom rubbed shoulders in the exquisite art nouveau dining room. A few months ago, the Paris institution reopened under new management (the group behind Girafe, Gigi Rigolatto and Monsieur Bleu) with impressive restorations that still maintain the storied glitz, glamour and caviar. restaurant-maxims.com

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES
elBulli1846 Abura Kappo Maxim’s
RADAR NEWS & BUZZ 28
Romain Ricard (Maxim’s)

FRENCH POLYNESIA COLLECTION

PARADISE, À LA CARTE

Silversea invites you to savor a new experience of paradise with a collection of 17 extraordinary itineraries that reveal French Polynesia in all its vibrant color and character. Choose from 7-day voyages to discover the “Cradle of Polynesian Culture”, Raiatea, and 14-day voyages that allow you to linger longer in the Society, Marquesas and Tuamotu islands. A wealth of possibilities to explore the hidden treasures of French Polynesia and create your very own version of paradise.

CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR TO PLAN YOUR NEXT VACATION.

THE VIENNESE WALTZ

Vienna, Austria – Johann Strauss II often played and conducted at the historic Casino Zögernitz, a gorgeous building with checkered marble floors, elaborate ceiling frescoes and a concert ballroom, all of which have begun their second act. The landmark was recently reborn as the House of Strauss museum and concert hall. Along with original rooms to wander, the Strauss family’s legacy is presented in a multimedia fashion, allowing visitors to digitally participate in operettas and engage with interactive stations to develop a deeper appreciation of the waltz king’s music. houseofstrauss.at

ISLAND SHORTCUT

Hana, Hawaii – Getting there is half the fun, and the 52mile road to Hana, on the island of Maui, is one of the world’s great road trips. But it takes up to four hours to get through those 600-plus hairpin turns. Solution: The HanaMaui Resort has launched a new transfer service by private 10-seat Cessna, and the aerial approach — be it from the Kahului, Kapalua or Honolulu airport — promises to be just as dramatic. If you still itch to drive a few of those g-force curves, the resort offers Jeep rentals on-site.

ROMANCE ON THE RAILS

Paris to Portofino – In June, Belmond's Venice SimplonOrient-Express launches a very limited engagement, departing from the heart of Paris, then winding through the French Riviera and Ligurian Coast to Portofino, Italy. It’s a short ride, just shy of 24 hours, but that’s not the end of it. Tickets for this exclusive journey come with a two-night stay (longer, if you want) at Splendido , A Belmond Hotel , along with a five-course dinner at La Terrazza by chef Jean Imbert. Starting around $8,500 per person. This one’s not bookable online, so call your travel advisor.

GREEN CAT DETOUR

Modena, Italy – Massimo Bottura strikes again. The backdrop for the star chef’s latest restaurant/gallery, Al Gatto Verdi , is the inner courtyard of a restored acetaia (vinegar facility), where barrels of balsamic sit alongside contemporary artwork. Idyllically located at Casa Maria Luigia, the guesthouse he runs with wife Lara Gilmore, the ‘green cat’ is all about one-of-akind, “not barbecue” wood-fired feasts, challenged and elevated with conceptual, Bottura-style cooking techniques and sustainable practices. The kitchen is helmed by Canadian chef Jessica Rosval. Menus from $150. casamarialuigia.com

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES REPORTING:
MARINA SPIRONETTI
TANVI CHHEDA, MARIA C. HUNT, DON NICHOLS, BRAD A. JOHNSON AND
Sima Prodinger (House of Strauss), Ludovic Balay (VS Orient-Express) House of Strauss
RADAR NEWS & BUZZ
Al Gatto Verdi Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Hana-Maui Resort
30

Experience the Paci c Coast & Hawaii, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean in vibrant, European luxury.

Enjoy a spacious ocean-front suite with a private terrace, nine inclusive culinary experiences and our ocean inspired wellness and tness programme on a collection of journeys, starting from 7 nights with the exibility to extend to 14 or 21-night explorations.

The Explora Journeys team looks forward to welcoming you on EXPLORA I, now sailing, or on EXPLORA II, launching in 2024.

Spotlight Journeys

Journey from Venice to Athens 7 NIGHTS • EXPLORA I EMBARKATION VENICE (FUSINA), ITALY JULY 12, 2024 DISEMBARKATION ATHENS (PIRAEUS), GREECE JULY 19, 2024 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR
Journey to Soulful Sicily and Southern Greece 8 NIGHTS • EXPLORA I EMBARKATION BARCELONA, SPAIN JUNE 19, 2024 DISEMBARKATION ATHENS (PIRAEUS), GREECE JUNE 27, 2024 SAIL IN TOTAL LUXURY OUR SECRET MEDITERRANEAN, BEAUTIFULLY REVEALED
A
A

A JOURNEY YOU’VE NEVER IMAGINED

Sitting at the intersection of past, present and future, Saudi Arabia is a destination that beckons with ancient history, captivating cuisine, a rich culture and spectacular natural wonders. With attractions ranging from six UNESCO Heritage Sites to world-class resorts along the pristine Red Sea, visiting Saudi Arabia is easier than ever.

Your travel advisor can help you discover an adventure thousands of years in the making.

Souq Al Qaisariya Jeddah Beach Club At-Turaif District in Diriyah Elephant Rock, AlUla Traditional Co ee Ceremony Old Town Jeddah

Airport Chronicles

EXCLUSIVE LOUNGES, UPGRADED TERMINALS AND THE ONE WE THOUGHT MIGHT NEVER ACTUALLY OPEN.

THE CHASE IS ON

Good news if you fly out of New York: In January, Chase unveiled two beautiful airport lounges. First, The Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club opened at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B, followed a week later by a more intimate lounge at John F. Kennedy International’s Terminal 4.

The 21,800-square-foot LaGuardia facility is a two-story stunner, with specially curated art and designer furniture from Italian brands Cappellini and Moroso. If you want privacy — and don’t mind paying $2,200 for a three-hour visit — you can book one of the three Reserve Suites, which can accommodate eight guests each. They come with dedicated attendants, stylish seating areas and en-suite bathrooms and showers, as well as special meals, caviar service and an upgraded wine list. The lounge also has wellness rooms, an on-site esthetician, a game room and a kids’ playroom.

At JFK, The Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club with Etihad is a redesign and relaunch of the former Etihad lounge, which had been shuttered since early in the pandemic. At 7,600 square feet, it’s much smaller than LaGuardia’s iteration, but its sleek furniture and eye-catching artwork give it plenty of appeal, too. Amenities include three shower suites and two reflection rooms that double as prayer rooms.

AND FINALLY...

After years (decades?) of delays, the Tulum International Airport opened in December, giving U.S. travelers easier access to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula well beyond Cancún. The airport initially opened with only Mexican carriers, offering a web of domestic connections. But international service began in March, with American, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit and United all lined up to offer flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and beyond. The airport includes an FBO terminal with executive-level facilities for private aircraft.

And in Singapore, Changi Airport ’s Terminal 2 reopened in November after several years of construction and playing musical chairs with the lounges. The dramatic makeover enlarged the terminal by about 226,000 square feet. New offerings include a two-story, duty-free wine and spirits store, with a sampling lounge where guests can sip 18 whiskeys. The hall’s main attraction is a 46-foot-tall digital waterfall that cascades over megalithic boulders and is flanked by vertical gardens. In the departure transit area, a new garden called Dreamscape features a variety of plants, a landscaped backdrop and a digital sky that changes colors throughout the day.

WRITING: DON NICHOLS

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Class Action: The Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club at LaGuardia Airport.
© 2024 Hertz System, Inc. All rights reserved. CS 224108 The best travel moments start here Hertz. Let’s Go! Contact your travel professional to book today.

COMPANIONSHIPS

IT’S CHRISTENING SEASON — EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE!

ABOUT THAT NEW QUEEN

In May, cruise pioneer Cunard will launch its first new ship in 14 years. The 2,996-passenger Queen Anne will spend its maiden season sailing around the British Isles, Canary Islands and Western Mediterranean. With designer Adam D. Tihany as the project’s creative director, the company has given the Queen Anne a more contemporary vibe and bolder look than the brand’s other ships. Tihany is well-known for his love of color, for example. Yet the company stresses that guests will still know they’re on a Cunard ship — just the next iteration. New on the culinary front are Indian, Japanese, Mediterranean and steak restaurants. Chef Michel Roux, who owned the two-Michelin-star Le Gavroche in London, is working with Cunard’s chefs to develop a new gala menu for the Queens Grill and to revamp the menu for the Golden Lion gastropub. Also debuting are a wellness studio on the top deck, a revamped Royal Court Theatre and a cabaretstyle show bar for live entertainment. Rates from $849.

ALSO SETTING SAIL...

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has taken delivery of two new river ships (formerly built for Crystal Cruises) under a three-year charter agreement with the ships’ new owners. The first vessel, rechristened the S.S. Victoria , started plying the Moselle and Rhine rivers in March, pampering up to 110 guests with a fine-dining restaurant, bistro, rooftop bar and grill, massage room and gym. The identical second ship, renamed the S.S. Elisabeth , will float on the Rhine next year. Rates from $3,199

In April, Avalon Waterways unveils its 102-guest Avalon Alegria with eight-day sailings along Portugal’s Douro River, a new destination for the company. Passengers can visit hillside vineyards, explore historic villages and learn to bake Portuguese pastries. Thirty-seven of the ship’s 51 cabins are 200-square-foot Panorama Suites, with river-facing beds and floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows that open 7 feet wide, creating open-air balconies. An Avalon first: This ship has a pool. Rates from $3,299

Ilma , the second superyacht from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection , is set to debut in September, cruising first in the Mediterranean before repositioning to the Caribbean. With 224 suites (each with its own private terrace), it’s larger than its sister ship, the 149-suite Evrima . It will also have an expanded deck with a mezzanine level — as well as five restaurants, six bars, a wine vault and a spa. Rates from $5,800 .

WRITING: DON NICHOLS

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Succession: (Above) Cunard’s Britannia Restaurant and a Grand Suite living room aboard the Queen Anne

The Lobby Bar makes an impressive opening statement. Spanning decks 4 and 5, the bar’s atrium is one of the first things I see upon boarding Explora I . Brightly backlit shelves glow with liquor bottles and crystal art pieces. Contemporary chandeliers drip from high above. Italian designer sofas and chairs, neatly arranged around marble coffee tables, invite me to pause and lounge. “This isn't what the lobby of a cruise ship is supposed to look like," I think. It reminds me more of a posh Manhattan hotel, especially with a pianist tickling the ivories of a Steinway Spirio. The Cartier, Panerai, Piaget and Rolex shops bordering the bar reinforce the impression of sheer elegance, as does a slick boutique with curated items — leather handbags, silk scarves, felt hats — from 30 high-quality, mostly European artisan brands.

When the MSC Group announced Explora Journeys in 2021, the company promised an all-inclusive luxury lifestyle brand that would redefine the luxury ocean experience. Aiming to attract discerning travelers who typically vacation in tony hotels on land, the company focused on designing a yacht-like ship with a boutique hotel feel. And for the same reason, it eschewed standard industry terminology: Its cruises are called ocean journeys, crew members are hosts, passengers are guests, and cabins are suites.

The ship’s 371 suites, 67 penthouses and 23 residences are all oceanfront with floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces. The rooms are spacious, ranging in size from the 377-square-foot lead-in suites to the 3,014-square-foot Owner’s Residence. They bring on the luxury, too. Highend furnishings and subtle lighting by elite Italian brands like Molteni&C, Manutti and Astep give them a rich, sophisticated look. Additional upscale touches include custom beds, heated bathroom floors, walk-in wardrobes, Frette bed and bath linens, Illy coffee machines, Swarovski binoculars and Dyson Supersonic hairdryers, which are often a topic of conversation around the ship.

Spaciousness is a recurring theme. There’s a 7,500-squarefoot spa and more than 67,000 square feet of outdoor space, including four heated swimming pools — the largest of which, at 13,000 square feet, boasts a retractable glass roof for all-weather use. My favorite, the Astern infinity pool, entices with a dreamy location at the back of deck 4, just above the ship’s wake. The daybeds set in shallow water prove irresistible.

A cruise wouldn’t be a cruise without booze, of course, and for that there are nine different bars. At the Malt Whisky Bar, you can sample rare pours such as 30-yearold Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky (for a surcharge). And on the dining front, Explora has put an upscale spin on a cruise standard, the buffet. The Emporium Marketplace features 18 cooking stations, including made-to-order pasta and freshly baked pizzas (another frequently overheard topic of conversation). Bucking another cruise trend, Explora does not offer a large signature restaurant. Rather, among its 11 culinary experiences are five beautifully appointed and intimate dining venues. Each serves a different cuisine, from modern French to Pan-Asian fare. I found the service to be incredibly attentive. My favorite, Anthology, is the only dining option that costs extra. Its menu changes constantly because of the rotating roster of guest chefs, such as Emma Bengtsson, who earned two Michelin stars for Aquavit in New York City.

WRITING: DON NICHOLS

Insider Insight:

“The maître d’ at Anthology was charming and approachable, and our server was informative and kind. The service here was Michelin-star level."

ALTERED REALITY

EXPLORA JOURNEYS, AN ENTIRELY NEW CRUISE BRAND, LAUNCHED RECENTLY. SO, WHAT’S IT LIKE ON BOARD?

Details:

Explora I sails the Caribbean, Central America, Pacific Coast and Hawaii in 2024, with itineraries ranging from 6 to 21 nights, starting at $2,500. Your advisor can plan a detailed journey, including pre- and post-cruise hotels and experiences.

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES RADAR CRUISE REVIEW
Buffer Zone: The atrium Lobby Bar on MSC Group’s Explora I.
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HILTON HOTELS & RESORTS

YOUR GATEWAY TO THE TREASURES OF EUROPE

Home to a wealth of illustrious artworks, historical landmarks, alluring natural wonders and diverse cultures, immerse in the wonderment of Europe. Stroll through picturesque cities, celebrate local customs and traditions, savoring vineyard wines, unique delicacies, and delectable handcrafted cuisines. Journese ® offers a world of infinite possibilities and one-of-a-kind experiences with expertise and value, for an authentic journey. Together with Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ most luxurious brands featuring upscale amenities, signature service and modern inspiration with a touch of adventure, your European travel dreams await.

CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR TO PLAN YOUR NEXT VACATION

® ® Not responsible for errors or omissions. [Journese acts only as an agent for the various travel providers shown above.] CST 1007939-10. Florida ST# 37983. Copyright ©2024 Hawaii World, LLC (dba Journese®). All Rights Reserved.

The Invariable Likeness of Viking

ANOTHER NEW SHIP, SATURN, JOINED THE BRAND’S FLEET LAST YEAR. WE FOUND IT INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM ALL THE SISTER VESSELS. THAT’S THE POINT.

If you loved the veranda stateroom on your last Viking Ocean cruise, but your next Viking itinerary comes with a different ship, don’t worry. You can book the exact same room — right down to the checkered throw pillows and striped headboard — on any of the company’s nine oceangoing vessels. Still savoring the salmon fillet from that Rhine cruise last summer? You’ll find it — with identical garnish — on any European river cruise you book with the brand. The artfully assembled sushi, the location of the forward elevators, the infinity pool on the rear deck, your favorite booth at the clubby Torshavn bar, the atrium-style Aquavit Terrace bar, the afternoon tea trays of macarons and finger sandwiches… They’ll be the same.

If it seems derivative, that’s by design. Painstaking consistency across ships is a hallmark of Viking. Nothing is left to chance. One can imagine a mountain of case studies, prototypes and user surveys behind the end results. The onship experience — from breakfast menus to the (gloriously high-pressure) showerheads to the pleasant, barely perceptible fragrance in the elevators — all feels intentional. Viking does what it does very well and replicates it, over and over again. And for Viking’s many repeat guests — more than 50 percent are returning customers — that consistency is the appeal.

“The design is exciting,” says passenger Lee Anderson, who, after nine Viking cruises, tells me she still notices some new detail on every voyage. “Yet I know exactly where I am [on board].”

My husband and I can relate. We both concluded that we needed one cruise just to learn our way around the 930-passenger ship, and another one to take full advantage of both its amenities and the whole Viking ecosystem.

Five-time Viking veterans Pat and Jeb Bock booked another cruise while still aboard Saturn , in the exact same stateroom — same floor, same side — but on a different ocean ship. “There’s a lot to be said for consistency,” says Jeb, “and the continuity of the whole Viking operation.”

But for Anderson, the Bocks and the passengers I surveyed anecdotally, the identical deck plans and color schemes and those yummy chocolate-chip cookies in the World Cafe are not what they appreciate the most. Their highest praise was, overwhelmingly, heaped upon the staff.

“What’s comforting to us is the quality of the staff,” says Anderson, who has already booked a 10th cruise with her husband. “They are so consistent, trip after trip.” After nine cruises, the Andersons have had some time to reflect on what they like best about Viking. She says her husband put it best when he said, “‘Viking is just good enough ' — in the best sense of the phrase. Why would anyone need anything more than this?”

WRITING: ELIZABETH HEATH

Details:

Viking Saturn will spend most of 2024 cruising in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and the British Isles. Itineraries range from 8 to 35 days, from $2,799. Your advisor can plan a detailed journey, including pre- and post-cruise hotels and experiences.

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Familiarity Breeds Contentment: The signature infinity-pool design on the newly launched Viking Saturn

THINK

Because small groups do big things.

Get hands-on with a destination. Collette has been leading the way for travelers like you since 1918. And our small group tours are kind of a big deal. You’ll get to know locals, access places beyond the guidebook, and get closer to culture. It’s called Explorations for a reason.

Curious? We have the details. Contact your preferred travel advisor to learn more and book.

EXPAND YOUR WORLD

Aboard specialized Zodiacs, you’ll get as close as you can to whales in northern Iceland.

Insider Insight:

“The property is stunning, and the rooms are beautiful and nicely sized. Just know that all oceanfront rooms have a ton of lava rock on the beach. It’s cool but obstructs the view."

Grid Skipper

THE BIG ISLAND’S KONA VILLAGE IS BACK, UPGRADED AS A ROSEWOOD RESORT — AND NOW COMPLETELY OFF THE GRID.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Rosewood finally made its long-awaited Hawaii debut with the relaunch of Kona Village — and, in the process, set a new bar for sustainability in the Aloha State.

Rebuilding the historic retreat, which was almost compltely destroyed in the 2011 tsunami on the Big Island's Kahuwai Bay, was no easy feat. The goal was to make the project as sustainable as possible. The result is an entirely new Kona Village, spanning 81 acres. It is entirely solar-powered, a first not only for Rosewood's portfolio, but for the Hawaiian islands, as well.

The resort worked with Duke Energy to install 8,000 solar panels across two acres — some located above covered parking lots and others among the surrounding volcanic rock. The panels help charge the resort's cluster of Tesla Megapack battery storage units, which are connected to a computer that regulates the charge amounts and maintains a usable power supply, explains Dan Kimura, the hotel’s director of engineering. “Our big contribution to the island is [staying off] the power grid,” he adds.

Kona Village's environmental stance includes a lowimpact and low-waste commitment, as well. “What we're

doing with water here is working really well,” Kimura says of the resort’s reverse osmosis and wastewater treatment plants. Even the thatched roofs of the hotel’s 150 individual bungalows, or hales, are made out of recycled plastic, and within each there are tankless gas water heaters.

It was also important to uphold the legacy of the iconic property, which originally opened in 1965 and has had legions of loyal fans for decades. Archeological sites like the on-property petroglyphs were preserved throughout the renovation, as were five legacy hales that were rebuilt on existing foundations. Nonprofit Re-Use Hawaii was tapped for the post-tsunami demolition and cleanup, salvaging and recycling as many of the original materials as possible.

Hawaii-raised architect Greg Warner of Walker Warner Architects collaborated with interior designer Nicole Hollis to lead the seven-year development. The property now includes two restaurants, two bars and a coffee shop, plus multiple pools, pickleball and tennis courts, and an Asaya spa. And many of those outlets have already been LEED-Gold-Status certified.

WRITING: RAMONA SAVISS

Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort, Hawaii

Your travel advisor can secure Select perks, including a $100 resort credit and daily breakfast for two. $$$$

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Kona Village

THE RETREAT

SO MUCH MORE THAN A SUITE

The Retreat ® isn’t a place. It isn’t an amenity. It isn’t a service. It’s all of that and more. The Retreat is an unparalleled vacation experience that includes every stunning suite, a private restaurant, an exclusive lounge, and a sundeck* that rivals any high-end resort. In fact, we’re the only premium cruise line to offer all this to every guest of The Retreat aboard any of our award-winning ships.

As a guest of The Retreat, you’ll also enjoy a long list of thoughtfully curated amenities, starting with premium drinks, streaming Wi-Fi and a dedicated team of attendants, concierges, and butlers who ensure you have everything you need for an unforgettable vacation, The Retreat is a luxurious way for you to discover the world.

*The Retreat Sundeck available on Edge® Series and Revolutionized ships. Currently not available on Celebrity Solstice®, Celebrity Eclipse®, Celebrity Reflection®. Celebrity Infinity®, and Celebrity Constellation®. ©2024 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships’ registry; Malta & Ecuador.

LEAVE YOUR WORLD BEHIND

Sandals newest all-inclusive resort in Saint Vincent—where you can step off the beaten path and explore the little-known wonder of the Caribbean. Pure and undisturbed, the island of Saint Vincent is nestled between two seas at the edge of the lesser Antilles —its natural beauty untouched and ripe for discovery. The peaceful azure waters, majestic rainforests, and stunning white-sand beaches are a richly colorful backdrop for exciting new experiences. It’s these moments of shared discovery that bring you closer together.

YOUR TRAVEL
CALL
ADVISOR
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Wonders Never Cease

HOW THE OWNERS OF ONE HOTEL IN ITALY ARE KEEPING THEIR CITY’S ANCIENT CRAFTS ALIVE.

Florence, Italy

The thick drapes of my suite draw open, and the magnificent Santa Maria Novella comes into focus. I tug the double-paned windows open to feel the morning breeze, and the streets below my balcony buzz with pedestrian traffic and people on bicycles. It feels like Florence is putting on a show.

The morning sun brings my suite into clearer view: the fabric on the headboard, the leather-topped desk, the antique wooden floors, a cashmere throw, decorative pottery and crystal chandelier.

On the one hand, The Place Firenze feels brand new. Indeed, the hotel reopened last year after a meticulous refresh. But it doesn’t feel new new. Rather, it feels like I’ve stepped back in time.

And it’s not just my suite. Everywhere I turn in this 20-room hotel, there’s an intentional reference to the Renaissance that forged Florence's reputation — from the many details of the studiolo, a delightful reading room inspired by Alberti's Basilica, to the soothing pastel color schemes throughout. It’s in the luxurious drapery and decorative plaster, the hand-etched crystal goblets and mismatched Ginori tableware. And that’s not by accident. The hotel’s owners want to connect their guests with authentic Florentine craftsmanship.

WRITING & PHOTOGRAPHY: MARINA SPIRONETTI
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Time and Place: Bedroom of the Santa Maria Novella suite at The Place Firenze. (Opposite) Detail of a vintage scagliola from Bianco Bianchi’s collection, which includes pieces that date to the early 1600s.

A few years ago, the Babini family, owners of The Place, along with general manager Claudio Meli, gave rise to The Place of Wonders foundation, a philanthropic mission to celebrate and preserve the rich heritage of Florentine crafts. And through the program, they offer guests a rare opportunity to visit workshops and historic bottegas scattered around the city and its environs — to go behind the scenes with some of the city’s most revered artisans who make jewelry, ceramics, cashmere, glass and more, with opportunities to purchase or place orders, if desired. Included are hidden gems like the small Moleria Locchi, the only surviving glasswork factory in the Oltrarno district, where crystal vases, delicate wine glasses and intricately carved goblets fill every inch of the shop’s floor-to-ceiling shelves. Hunched over ancient, whirring sanders under the glow of spotlights, artisans Enrico and Arben intently etch and carve motifs into moving pieces of glass. It feels like I’ve traveled back in time once again.

A 30-minute drive across a countryside blanketed in olive groves takes me to the workshop of Bianco Bianchi. Here, descendants of the late founder are creating scagliola, inlaid decorative plaster tiles, crests and molding. This craft dates to the Baroque period and involves a painstaking process of hammering, chiseling, pigment mixing, pouring and polishing. A single piece can take three months. The result is a smooth, marble-like surface brimming with details. It almost looks like a painting.

“My grandfather Bianco started to collect antique scagliola and soon turned his passion for this longforgotten art into a job,” explains third-generation heir Leonardo. The large showroom features pieces from various origins and dates, some as old as the early 1600s. This is another must-see.

Visits to the workshops are complimentary, but the foundation welcomes donations. Proceeds fund a grant that helps aspiring craftspeople complete their studies and apprenticeships. And The Place of Wonders just expanded to Venice, where the Babinis operate another hotel and have begun nurturing a fresh batch of Venetian artisans.

“The human being is at the heart of our world, be it a guest, a craftsperson or a young apprentice,” says Meli. That sentiment encapsulates both the hotel’s philosophy and the foundational values of the Renaissance. And in Florence, he insists, surrounded by endless beauty, it could not be otherwise.

The Place, Florence, Italy

Your travel advisor can secure Select perks, including a $100 resort credit and daily breakfast for two. $$$$

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“The human being is at the heart of our world, be it a guest, craftsperson or young apprentice."
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History Department: A quiet corner at The Place Firenze. (Opposite) Hand etching at Florence glassworks shop Moleria Locchi, and chiseling and carving a slab of scagliola at Bianco Bianchi in Pontassieve.

WHITE GOLD

HOW A DESIGNER SHIFTED FROM PEARLS TO COTTON AND CREATED ONE OF MEXICO’S HOTTEST RISING-STAR BRANDS.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

It began with a jewelry collection made from the waste scraps of a textile factory, explains Ana Holschneider, cofounder and creative director at Caralarga, a Mexicobased brand specializing in artisan-crafted pieces made from excess cotton. “I had been living in Hong Kong, and we moved to Querétaro because my husband was starting a new project to make craft beer. I had brought back some pearls and started selling them when I realized I should design and produce jewelry in Mexico.”

Within months, Holschneider met Socorro Gasca, now the master artisan at Caralarga’s studio, and the two collaborated to design a textile jewelry collection of macramé necklaces using excess raw cotton from the local textile factory as well as silk, jute and, yes, pearls. Gorgeous yet simple clothing and stunning wall hangings soon followed.

WRITING: TANVI CHHEDA

PHOTOGRAPHY: MOLLY ZAIDMAN

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SOCIAL FABRIC: Caralarga Becán Maxi dress and Revisited Gallo earrings. (Opposite) Caralarga Tenabo hat.

A decade on, Caralarga’s pieces are anything but fast fashion, and Holschneider isn’t interested in keeping up with trends. The garments, including this season’s collection of dresses, blouses and pants, are made from the same cotton waste that’s processed into a raw denim. “We focus on simplicity and comfort and always trying to have the material be the protagonist. The cotton is telling a story.”

In addition to the material itself, nature, Mexican culture and tradition, and pre-Hispanic history and symbols in particular are all sources of inspiration. In a country known for handmade artisan pieces, Caralarga takes pride in continuing and preserving a textile legacy that is slowly disappearing. Last year, the brand opened a storefront in San Miguel de Allende, 40 miles from Querétaro, to showcase its unique pieces and engage with designminded travelers. (Incidentally, the space also serves as a cervecería, or craft brewery, showcasing the beer Holschneider’s husband brews.)

A handful of young, local designers now work alongside 30 artisans to create Caralarga’s full collection of jewelry, accessories and clothing, as well as wall tapestries, which attract plenty of attention from interior decorators. The creative collaboration among her team is the magic of the company, Holschneider insists. “We are a group of people now rowing in the same direction in the same boat.”

Caralarga may be motivated by the goal of preserving and contributing to Mexico’s artisan scene, but it all comes full circle to the sustainable resource with which the brand began: Caralarga now also retails a collection of pieces made from its own waste.

“Working with a natural, raw material is pretty inspiring,” she explains. “It is a resource that is beautiful as it starts, and intrinsically sustainable. It’s presented without more manipulation and makes a statement.”

Details:

Ready-to-wear tops from about $90; pants from $185; dresses from $200; jewelry from $40. Home accents from $140; custom pieces by appointment. Correo 4, Zona Centro, San Miguel de Allende; caralarga.com.mx

Stay:

The terra-cotta-hued Rosewood San Miguel de Allende features high-ceilinged rooms outfitted with four-poster beds, fireplaces and soaking tubs. Don’t miss the sunset from the rooftop bar and restaurant. Your travel advisor can secure Select perks, including a $100 resort credit and daily breakfast for two. $$

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COTTON CLUB: Caralarga’s Campeche shirt, Seybaplaya pants and Gallo Revisited earrings. (Opposite) Carmen blouse, Seybaplaya pants, and Revisited Penacho earrings.
“We focus on simplicity and comfort and always trying to have the material be the protagonist. The cotton is telling a story.”
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Pearl Jam

CAVIAR HAS BECOME THE NEW CHARCUTERIE. IT’S EVERYWHERE, AND THIS ISN’T YOUR GRANDFATHER’S OLD-SCHOOL BELUGA, EITHER.

WRITING: JEN MURPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY & PROP STYLING: LESLIE KIRCHHOFF

ART DIRECTION & STYLING: DEVIN DUCKWORTH

BEAUTY: CHLOE SCHLOSSMANN

MODELING: CHELSEA MILLER @ WILHELMINA & MARIJANA SARAC

PHOTO ASSISTANT: SEANNA HARRIS

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A new breed of caviar bars is popping up around the globe, playfully showcasing dollops of the delicacy on everything from Vesper cocktails to twice-baked potatoes. The prized eggs of sturgeon have long been synonymous with luxury, but for years the quality of wild caviar wavered. Russia popularized caviar from wild sturgeon, but today chefs seek out boutique farms throughout Europe, the U.S., and even South America.

This onset of farm-raised alternatives has ushered in a new standard, allowing chefs to meet the farmers and sample production in much the same way a sommelier would visit a vineyard.

In 2018, legendary chef Thomas Keller raised the profile on farm-raised fish eggs when he launched his own sustainably sourced brand, Regiis Ova, in partnership with leading expert Shaoching Bishop, former CEO of Sterling and Tsar Nicoulai. “Chef Keller and I blind-tasted many caviar grades from a variety of farms globally to determine what our offerings would be,” says Bishop. At his Napa Valley lounge, the chef serves six varieties, paired with potato blinis and classic garnishes (eggs, chives, onions and crème fraîche) or added to humble dishes like potato chips with French onion dip.

CHECK OUT THE NEXT-GEN CAVIAR DENS IN...

Aspen: Mountain Social Bar

A new bar menu at The St. Regis Aspen Resort, developed in partnership with Petrossian, complements a list of 30 Champagnes by the glass.

Dubai: Ikra Caviar Bar

The menu at this 30-person spot showcases nearly 20 caviar types sourced from Israel, Greece, France, Russia and Azerbaijan.

Chicago: After

One of the city’s most avant-garde chefs, Curtis Duffy, sources caviar exclusively from San Gregorio de Polanco in Uruguay.

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BLING IT ON: Regiis Ova Caviar and (left) Chelsea wears a Rick Owens dress, a Chanel Spring CC Logo necklace, leather chain belt, Gripoix quilted cuff, Premiere watch, all from What Goes Around Comes Around, Beverly Hills. Rings by Lizzie Mandler . (Right) Marijana wears an Another Tomorrow dress and Lizzie Mandler earrings, necklace, bracelets and rings with an Hermès Nantucket watch. (On the table) Chanel Classic Double Flap bag from What Goes Around Comes Around, Beverly Hills. (Opposite, clockwise from top left) Caviar bumps, a tin of Regiis Ova, assorted caviar brands, preparing to indulge.
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And for his new Chicago-based lounge, After, Michelin-star-earning chef Curtis Duffy traveled to a farm in Tacuarembó, Uruguay that specializes in Polanco caviar. “I like knowing that our caviar comes directly from there, with no middlemen,” he says. “During our visit, we worked with the producers to choose the size of eggs we wanted and got to adjust the amount of salt to suit our tastes.”

From caviar flights to bumps paired with bubbles, from Napa Valley to Dubai, the nuances between beluga and osetra are suddenly more exciting (and delicious) than ever before.

WHERE TO FIND THE GOOD STUFF IN...

Las Vegas: Caspian’s Caesars Palace recently debuted this 50-seat caviar bar and music lounge in an opulent art deco space just off the casino floor.

London: The Caviar Bar

Just opened in February, this jewel box in Mayfair’s Medici Courtyard boasts rare access to highly prized, very-limitedproduction white caviar.

Los Angeles: Kaviar

This temple of Japanese cuisine has a private caviar room that showcases bold, buttery kaluga, a sustainable alternative to beluga caviar.

A GIRL'S BEST FRIENDS: Polanco Caviar and Hermès Galop d'Hermès watch and vintage silver rings. (Opposite) Imperia Caviar and Chelsea wears a Paco Rabanne dress, Lizzie Mandler emerald necklace and Hermès Heure H watch. All rings (right hand) by Lizzie Mandler Chanel patent leather wallet from What Goes Around Comes Around, Beverly Hills and a vintage bracelet and ring (left hand).
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MORE, MORE, MORE...

Napa Valley: Regiis Ova Bar & Lounge

Thomas Keller’s own brand is the star of the menu and is accompanied by top cuvées from Dom Pérignon and Krug. Plus: live jazz.

New York: Caviar Kaspia at The Mark

Tucked inside The Mark hotel, this outpost of the Parisian institution offers five exclusively farm-raised options, including Royal White Sturgeon and Impérial Baeri, served as flights or atop dishes like the signature twice-baked potato.

Paris: Prunier Victor Hugo

Superstar chef Yannick Alléno recently took the helm and revamped this iconic caviar house set behind the Arc de Triomphe.

Sydney: Bridge Lane

The menu’s “caviar expeditions” section pairs bumps of osetra with fine spirits or bubbles, like vintage Dom Pérignon.

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PRECIOUS TREASURE: Kaspia Caviar and (on the table) Lizzie Mandler bracelets and ring inside a Prada silk vanity box, along with Chanel CC Coin flower pin from What Goes Around Comes Around, Beverly Hills and a vintage bracelet. (Pictured on Marijana) Lizzie Mandler bracelets.
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Atlantis The Royal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates VIP privileges. Exceptional experiences. Exclusively for you. Contact your Travel Advisor today. ELEVATE TO EXTRAORDINARY

Hospitality À La Mode

FRENCH INTERIOR DESIGNERS HAVE PERFECTED THE AESTHETIC ART OF OOH LA LA. HERE ARE FIVE MASTERS WHO DEFINE THE LOOK OF LUXURY AROUND THE GLOBE.

WRITING: KATHERINE MCGRATH

French designers have long understood living as an art form. Details we associate with elevated design — the use of quilts, oversize headrests, tassels and elaborate curtain rods, white linens and black-and-white color palettes, all of which define classic Parisian hotel particuliers and pied-àterres — can be traced back to grand French spaces.

The French approach to interiors today, with its refined eye and deep respect for history, is classic at its core, but with a twist. It’s a culture that’s forever layering contemporary touches to delicately improve upon existing design rather than radically start anew. Molding and parquet floors can be made to feel modern if paired with striking sculptures and soft lighting patterns. Sometimes viewed — accurately or not — as more refined than other aesthetics around the globe, it is unafraid to embrace multiple influences or evoke emotion, even humor.

As far as unofficial design codes go, ceilings are never an afterthought, romantic asymmetry is favored over stringent geometry, and lighting is always manipulated to coax out a space’s hidden beauty. Neutrals engender celebration, and nobody blinks when black turns up as an accent color. Furnishings move through various eras and design movements, but always with a balanced through line. These design rules are not stone-written, but upscale spaces adhere to them time and time again.

As new properties open in destinations from Brazil to South Korea, even the untrained eye can see traces of French influence in the interiors. More often than not, these five designers are the modern-day masters setting the tone.

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THE PURIST

Pierre-Yves Rochon

Renowned, Bretagne-born designer Pierre-Yves Rochon’s approach to interiors exemplifies classic luxury. He’s the visionary behind the interiors of Paris’ Four Seasons Hotel George V, a bastion of timeless elegance and the opposite of trendy. He opts for classical materials with a strong sense of craftsmanship and that quintessential French savoire faire: exquisite marble, vaulted ceilings, detailed millwork, bespoke furniture, gilding and ironwork and exceptional attention to detail (like fresh white orchids in the rooms, for when one opens the windows to be enveloped by their sweet fragrance). The George V could be considered the blueprint for the style of Louis XVI, whose design has no doubt richocheted around the globe. A few of Rochon's other notable projects include The Peninsula Shanghai, the Dorchester in London, The Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz and the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, among so many others.

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Ooh La La- aah ! A suite at Four Seasons George V in Paris.

THE MISCHIEF SEEKER

Philippe Starck

“The hotels I create are like movies, of which I am the director,” explains architect and designer Philippe Starck of his approach to world-building. He’s one of the most copied designers worldwide. A Renaissance man with a flair for innovation, Starck creates designs that are futuristic yet firmly rooted in function, taking risks with unexpected materials and shapes. In Paris, his head-to-toe redesign of Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris dressed the historic French palace in panels of mirrors and sexy shades of his signature red. Elsewhere in France, he’s left his mark on Lily of the Valley, a wellness oasis on the Mediterrean outside of Saint-Tropez, as well as the Hotel Fasano in Brazil, La Réserve Eden Au Lac in Switzerland, the Villa Borghese in Rome and the garden-covered Rosewood in São Paulo.

The Light Fantastic: A stairwell at Le Royal Monceau in Paris.
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THE BRINGER OF JOY India Mahdavi

Iran-born, Paris-based architect and designer India Mahdavi’s masterful use of vibrant color and texture consistently exudes pure joy, while still evoking that distinctly French respect for history. Her vision for storied tea salon Ladurée on Lake Geneva — with its romantic, moss-green shades and dusty-rose-velvet banquettes that evoke a garden tea party — showcases her prowess and encourages a future generation to break, just enough, from tradition. Her more traditional hospitality projects, perhaps a bit more restrained, include Le Germain in Paris, the Villa Medici in Rome and, in London, The Connaught , Claridge’s and, of course, the ever-iconic Sketch Gallery.

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In Living Color: The Coburg Bar at The Connaught, London

THE KING OF COOL

Joseph Dirand

Joseph Dirand boasts an impressive slate of hospitality projects that showcase his quiet, understated elegance. His interiors are equally edgy yet pristine and, above all, cool. Think Oetker Collection’s L’Apogée Courchevel , which epitomizes his penchant for monochrome palates and sleek materials like marble and brass while still remaining cocoon-like and comforting. But it’s also his design for hotels like the Four Seasons at The Surf Club in Florida, with its lush vegetation, light wood and travertine, as well as his softly layered yet sleek restaurant projects, such as Girafe, Monsieur Bleu and Le Flandrin in Paris or Le Jardinier in New York, all of which have surely influenced countless other designers around the globe.

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Warm and Fuzzy: L’Apogée Courchevel
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THE MASTER MAGICIAN

No one designs a hotel quite as magically as Jacques Garcia, who has made his mark on more than 70 luxury hotels around the world, each new project more dramatic than the last — La Mamounia in Marrakech, The Banyan Tree in Qatar, Maxwell Reserve in Singapore, L’Escape in South Korea. For his lifetime’s work, he’s been awarded France’s Legion d’honneur for contributions in art and design. In addition to his hospitality projects, Garcia has lent his savvy eye for details, extravagant textiles and rich color palettes to French historical landmarks as wideranging as the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and the Loire Valley’s Château de Chambord.

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Brilliant Heritage: Maxwell Reserve, Singapore

when you unlock the world with a single suite key.

Open the door to the incomparable value of all-inclusive, ultra-luxury cruising on Seabourn. You will feel right at home in our intimate yacht-like atmosphere pampered by intuitive personalized service. Ensconced in a spacious ocean-front suite, you can explore all seven continents, savor gourmet dining that rivals the finest restaurants in the world, and enjoy complimentary premium wines and spirits.

Contact a travel advisor for more information.

Have Paris We’ll Always

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FEATURE DESTINATION GUIDE
WRITING: SARA LIEBERMAN
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PHOTOGRAPHY: STELLA BERKOFSKY

THE FRENCH CAPITAL BECKONS WITH FAIRY-TALE HOTELS, RITZY NIGHTLIFE, PICNICS ON THE SEINE AND ACCESS TO THE WORLD’S MOST EXCLUSIVE FASHION BRANDS — COMPETITIVE SPORTS, ALL. THE CITY OF LIGHT IS HAVING A MOMENT, JUST IN TIME FOR THE OLYMPICS.

This summer, spectators and athletes will arrive in France to eat flaky croissants and play beach volleyball under the Eiffel Tower. For this, Paris is primed to charm.

The city — with its ethereal late-day light that shines on the Haussmannian façades, magnificent Michelin-starred meals and elaborate mansions filled with centuries-old art — has this way of making you feel like the only person in the room. Or, on the rue, as it were. In the last almostdecade I called this city home, it always felt like mine and mine alone. Even those countless times when (as a travel journalist specializing in Paris) I played visitor to review, say, the perfectly soft white sheets of Hôtel de Crillon or to giggle at the lobster-patterned wallpaper of Le Grand Mazarin (the city's hottest new arrival), I’d check out midday and then glibly take the metro back to my sixthfloor apartment, feeling that the city belonged that much more to me.

This is a silly thought, of course — mostly because everybody else (visitor and local alike) has the same one. Paris woos us. Paris befriends us. Sometimes Paris mocks us. But the city lets us all have a unique piece, and it indelibly leaves a mark.

ART DIRECTION: DEVIN DUCKWORTH

PRODUCER & CASTING: BEATA DUVAKER

STYLING: KAROLINE ROBL

HAIR STYLING: MICHAEL BUI

MAKEUP ARTIST: LOUISE LOCTIN @ BRYANT ARTISTS

MODELING: NAMARA @ NEXT, OUDEY @ NEXT, NICOLAS @ NEXT, SALIF @ GIRL MGMT

ASSISTANT: QUENTIN FARRIOL

WELCOME TO FABULOUS! (From top) Exterior of Four Seasons George V and the ultimate picnic basket from Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. (Opposite) An afternoon on the Seine, Namara (left) wears a Jil Sander dress with Marni pullover, while Salif (right) wears a Carhartt shirt with Ami pullover.
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Peter Vitale (Four Seasons George V)
“Paris woos us. Paris befriends us. Sometimes Paris mocks us. But the city lets us all have a unique piece."
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FEATURE DESTINATION GUIDE

And so it stands to reason that, no matter how long the stay, the city's seductive charm makes it all the more difficult to leave. But sometimes an “au revoir" is in order, and while Paris welcomes the world this summer, I’ll be back in the U.S., unpacking almost 10 years' worth of la belle vie from my time as a resident. But, hey, as the saying goes, “I’ll always have Paris.”

As the Four Seasons George V, The Peninsula, The Ritz, Le Meurice and so many others roll out their red carpets and pop the Grand Cru Champagne, I’ll have to settle for “having Paris” from afar. But that’s OK. I’m not sure if I’m ready to share — and share we must.

PHOTOGRAPHY: FLORENT VINDIMIAN

ART DIRECTION: DEVIN DUCKWORTH

PRODUCER & CASTING: BEATA DUVAKER

STYLING: EMMANUELLE DE LUZE

GROOMING: GWEN JONCOUR

MODELING: JEAN DESIRE @ SELECT

ASSISTANT: VINCENT TARAUD

DIGITAL ASSISTANT: THOMAS PORTEVIN

FOREVER, MON AMOUR: (From top) In the Mazarin Suite at Le Grand Mazarin, Jean wears a Denzil Patrick pajama set; in the closet, a Balmain coat. (Opposite) Balmain shirt and trousers with Charvet scarf.
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Très

Chic

LIGHTS, CAMERA, COCKTAILS! FEW CITIES ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET — PERHAPS NONE AT ALL — CAN TRUMP THE SPLENDOR OF PARIS’ HOTEL BAR SCENE.

WRITING: SARA LIEBERMAN

PHOTOGRAPHY: STELLA BERKOFSKY AND JOANN PAI

PRODUCER & CASTING: BEATA DUVAKER

ART DIRECTION: DEVIN DUCKWORTH

STYLING: KAROLINE ROBL

HAIR STYLING: MICHAEL BUI

MAKEUP ARTIST: LOUISE LOCTIN @ BRYANT ARTISTS

MODELING: MILA @ NEXT

ASSISTANT: QUENTIN FARRIOL

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Spice-roasted almonds. Rosemary-flecked cashews. Lightly salted macadamia. Perhaps you don’t go to a bar for the nuts — at least not in America (peanuts, meh). But when it’s a luxury bar in the French capital, where chain-mail chandeliers hang from a frescoed ceiling, or a pianist performs classical renditions of Lady Gaga, and cocktails are concocted according to the constellations, you may very well stay for another round of dazzled-up dry drupes. There’s always more to just a pour in Paris. Indeed, imbibing in this town can be every bit as much of an event as witnessing the Eiffel Tower twinkle.

At Bar Les Ambassadeurs at Hôtel de Crillon , a drink — say, one of their seasonal, ingredient-led cocktails like the “Carrot” or the “Butternut” — is more than just liquid luxury in an etched crystal glass. It could be a whole meal, thanks, in part, to those nuts, some olives and the foodinspired beverages, but also a menu of high-end nibbles that includes caviar and black truffles. Save room, of course, for dessert in the form of very fashionable people-watching.

At Bar 228 at Le Meurice , opposite the bright tea salon, “a drink” like a classic dirty gin martini can also be a meeting of minds seated in mahogany armchairs and engulfed by high ceilings, while over at the Ritz ’s newly minted Ritz Bar , “a drink” of distilled fruit, plant or earth essences could be a theatrical performance: Each day upon opening at 5:30 p.m., there’s a ritual involving curtain closing, musical cues and light illuminations.

Given its name, Le Bristol After Dark (read: “Le B.A.D.”) is where to go for cocktails that have the potential of becoming a liaison amoureuse — a love affair — whether with oneself or the stranger seated next to you on the velour sofa of Le Bristol’s elegantly tricked-out lounge-turnedclub. Don’t rule out making actual history, too. After all, the meticulously styled Le Bar Kléber at The Peninsula (in another life, the library of a government mansion) boasts that its oak woodwork and gilded moldings once bore witness to Henry Kissinger as he negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending the Vietnam War in 1973, an accomplishment that forever demands a toast or two.

On the other side of town, two newcomers, SO/ Paris and Le Grand Mazarin , offer the opportunity to get high or go low. SO/’s 16th-floor Bonnie Bar — with panoramic views, glass walls and a ceiling installation from artists Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann — is ideal for sipping a highball with your head in the clouds. And over in the Marais, you’ll find a magical mystery tour of whimsy as the below-ground Mikdash at the Mazarin becomes a swanky cabaret for grooving while gulping something shaken or stirred.

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SUPER DELUXE: (Top, bottom) Cocktails at Le Bar Kléber at The Peninsula. (Center) Inside Les Ambassadeurs at Hôtel de Crillon, Mila wears a full look by Miu Miu and (opposite) a Lanvin blazer and skirt, Ermanno Scervino top, Falke tights and Givenchy jewelry and boots.

Power

Hungry

IF YOU CARVE OUT TIME FOR ONLY ONE CAN’T-MISS BISTRO, THIS IS THE TABLE TO BOOK. GOOD LUCK.

“Comment allez-vous?” asks the French server who meets me at the door 15 minutes after I was meant to arrive for my 8 o’clock reservation.

Out of breath, and eager to relax, I express my sincere apologies for being so late.

Expecting to be tsk-ed, I'm instead whisked to my whitetableclothed two-top without so much as an eye roll. Here at Parcelles, an unfussy yet refined 12-table bistro on a quiet street in the Marais, you are welcomed whenever you arrive. (Skip out on your booking, though, and you’ll be charged nonetheless.)

When it opened in June 2021, just as Paris was coming off a devasting year for dining, Parcelles proved an immediate hit. Restaurateur Sarah Michielsen says she had a “coup de coeur” (love at first sight) feeling when she first saw the shuttered space. And she aimed to maintain the origin of what had been a local’s favorite dating back to 1936.

“It was somewhere people used to come with trust,” she says of the former Le Taxi Jaune, adored for its exposed stone walls and a central copper bar, both of which remain. “I used to run a one-star Michelin,” Michielsen says, “so

when I talked with [past owner] Otis Lebert, we spoke the same language: We love good wines, good people and good products.”

All of which beget friendliness — even for latecomers. The nostalgic neighborhood location probably counts for something at this slightly buttoned-up bistro. However, it’s the convivial yet relaxed atmosphere (where cutlery is changed between courses, and the menu shifts seasonally) that makes a table at Parcelles so satisfying. Add in signature dishes, such as creamy gnocchi topped with crispy sage and a rich chocolate tarte with candied pecans and sprinkled sea salt, and you’re sure to have your own “coup de coeur.” It’s the ultimate French bistro for this moment.

And while the dining room books up weeks in advance and hosts an international crowd, Michielsen and team always save room for locals and friends. No matter where you fall within the demographic of diners who fill Parcelles' mere 38 seats, you’ll no doubt feel privileged to participate in the low din of conversation — a symphonic soundtrack to this buzzy but comforting neighborhood gem.

Details:

Reservations open one month in advance. 13 Rue Chapon, Paris; parcelles-paris.fr

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10 More Don’t-Miss Restaurants

Ambos

The thrilling intersection where Southeast Asia meets France near Jardin du Luxembourg. ambos-restaurant.fr

Bistrot des Tournelles

Classic French served with a smile in a throwback atmosphere. bistrotdestournelles.com

Espadon at The Ritz

Glamorous setting for gastronomic fare with African flare. ritzparis.com

Géosmine

Loud hip-hop, artistic plating and a hot, tatted-up chef. geosmine.com

Kapara - Balagan 2.0

New name but same location and rollicking Israeli energy. @kapara.paris

Kubri

Creative, family-style Lebanese fare from a buzzy open kitchen. kubri-restaurant.com

La Tour d’Argent

Christofle silver, juicy pressed duck, Seine and Eiffel views — iconic. tourdargent.com

Oktobre

Inventive degustation served in spacious rooms on Rive Gauche. Casual chic. oktobre.fr

Pétrelle

Delightful date spot with meticulous tasting menus over candlelight in Pigalle. petrelle.fr

Santa Silvia

Tasty Italian located down a hidden passage in an old barn. Locals hope you won’t find it. santasilviaparis.fr

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Quintessentially Parisian: (Above) The dining room at neighborhood bistro Parcelles. (Opposite) Pan-seared brill with clam sauce at Parcelles.

Hotel

BRACH PARIS

Philippe Starck designed this 16tharrondissement outpost of Evok Hôtels. Some of the elegant and modern 59 rooms have Eiffel Tower views. Bring a swimsuit for the underground pool. $$

LE BRISTOL

Oetker Collection address with 190 rooms on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Home to several Michelin-star restaurants, the city’s most famous cat, and a dreamy rooftop pool. $$$$

BULGARI HOTEL PARIS

Italian glitz and glam in the ultra-luxe Golden Triangle, where wraparound, floor-to-ceiling windows offer views for days. Some of the 76 rooms feature marble tubs. $$$$

CASTILLE PARIS

As central as it gets, with Atelier Chanel for a neighbor. Even with 108 rooms, it feels more like a private residence. Classic, 18thcentury style. $

CHÂTEAU VOLTAIRE

Trendy, 32-room destination for fashionistas courtesy of its location on fashionable Rue Saint-Roch and ties to French label Zadig & Voltaire. Look out for VIPs in the brasserie. $$

CHEVAL BLANC PARIS

Part of the reimagined La Samaritaine department store in central Paris, and still white-hot three years after its debut. All 72 rooms overlook the Seine. Dior spa is pure bliss. $$$$

LE CINQ CODET

Mod hotel with personality, between Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. Different designs in each of the 67 rooms, with SaintLuc-style furnishings. $

COUR DES VOSGES

Private mansion-meets-château. Hidden gem with 12 rooms in the Marais, overlooking one of the prettiest squares in town. Interiors feel straight out of a museum. Details, details, details. $$

ESPRIT SAINT-GERMAIN

Boutique elegance, with exposed wood beams in some of its 28 intimate rooms. Located on a small side street in SaintGermain-des-Prés. $

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HALL OF FAME: Paul Smith suit, shirt and scarf with Balmain shoes and a Brunello Cucinelli bag, at Le Grand Mazarin.

Insider Insight:

“The Suite Imperiale at The Ritz is WOW!! It's designed after Marie Antoinette's bedroom in Versailles and it is a national monument. Coco Channel stayed here...”

LA FANTAISIE

Like Alice’s Wonderland, but with wine instead of tea. A Faubourg-Montmartre paradise, showcasing 73 rooms bursting with color. Superstar chef Dominique Crenn helms the Golden Poppy restaurant. $$

FAUCHON L’HÔTEL

All of the 54 rooms highlight the color of this famed macaron maison: pink. Sweet samples are included! Location, location, location, near the Madeleine church in the 8th. $$

FOUQUET’S PARIS

Newly refurbished. Near the Arc de Triomphe. Some of the 101 rooms face the Champs-Élysées. Avant-garde decor in jewel tones. $$$

FOUR SEASONS GEORGE V

Legendary posh. The 244 rooms offer classically luxurious decor. Not one, but three Michelin-starred restaurants. Flower arrangements gone wild. Freshly revamped signature suites. $$$$

GRAND HÔTEL DU PALAIS ROYAL

Directly across from the historic garden. Of the 59 rooms, several are connecting suites. Great for families. Stunning inner courtyard for breakfast. $$

LE GRAND MAZARIN

Across from BHV department store in the Marais. Whimsical design includes lobster wallpaper in the 61 rooms. Israeli-inspired breakfast served in hot spot Boubalé. $$

HÔTEL & SPA D’AUBUSSON

Urbane 17th-century townhouse turned 50room wellness resort in Saint-Germain-desPrés on the Left Bank, with a lively jazz club/ cafe. The 4,000-square-foot spa (in-house guests only) includes an almost-Olympiclength pool. $$$$

HOTEL BEL AMI

Story time: This Saint-Germain-des-Prés hotel was the former printing factory of Guy de Maupassant’s novel of the same name. The 102 rooms are simple yet playful in design. $

HÔTEL DE CRILLON

Landmark palace gloriously revitalized by Rosewood at Place de la Concorde, with 124 rooms. The suites are named after former guests, like Karl Lagerfeld. Peep the cheeky chains on the chandeliers in Les Ambassadeurs bar. $$$$

HÔTEL DU LOUVRE

Understated chic. Floor-to-ceiling windows set this 164-room hotel near the Louvre apart. Kids’ accommodations may include bunk beds and play tents. $

* Pictured

* Francis Amiand
Athénée) and Mark
PARIS IS CALLING ! (From left) The bedroom of the Impériale Suite at Ritz Paris and the Parisienne Suite bathroom at Le Meurice.
*
(Plaza
Reed (Le Meurice)
77 ** On the cover **
—Diana Castillo, travel advisor

HÔTEL LUTETIA

Grand Dame of Rive Gauche, a block from Le Bon Marché. Boasts art deco and nouveau style, with soaring ceilings and marble bathrooms in the 184 rooms. $$$

HÔTEL MADAME RÊVE

Blink and you’ll miss this sultry spot near Les Halles. The 82 rooms either face a quiet courtyard (with terraces) or feature electric shades revealing ravishing views. $$

HÔTEL MOLITOR PARIS BY MGALLERY

Removed from the fray in the 16th. Boasts popular pools — indoor and outdoor — and hosts rotating art exhibitions. 124 subtle yet sleek rooms. $

HOTEL MONTALEMBERT

The intimate, yet spacious 50 rooms are almost cocoon-like in comfort. Near the Musée d’Orsay. Some suites have decorative fireplaces and Eiffel Tower views. $

HÔTEL NAPOLÉON

Contemporary and cozy. Many of the 96 rooms and suites have balconies or terraces, and the Imperial Suite provides swoon-worthy views of the nearby Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. Children encouraged. $$

HÔTEL PLAZA ATHÉNÉE

Beyond its signature orange window shades and matching geranium boxes, this 208-key Dorchester Collection address boasts one of the city’s most desirable interior courtyards and a restaurant by Jean Imbert. $$$$

HOTEL REGINA LOUVRE

These 98 guest rooms offer a step back in time. Iconic façade, featured in various films. Centrally located across from the Louvre. $

HÔTEL SPLENDIDE ROYAL

A member of Relais & Châteaux, this adultsonly, Italian-inspired haven of only 12 rooms (with two on each of the six floors) can call President Macron neighbor. $$$

HYATT PARIS MADELEINE

Jaw-dropping glass atrium in the lobby of this 85-room hotel. Perfect for shoppers who love department stores: Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are blocks away. $

INTERCONTINENTAL PARIS LE GRAND HOTEL

An impressive 160 years of history spread over 455 rooms. The only Paris hotel with its own wing for heads of state. The terrace of its Café de la Paix faces the Opéra Garnier. $

J.K. PLACE

MAISON ALBAR - LE VENDÔME

Once a cabaret; now a sleek place to stay and play. Golden elements include birdcages, sconces, and mirrors over beds in the 51 rooms. $$

MAISON DELANO PARIS

Stylish and refined decor in a storied, 18thcentury mansion with 56 rooms. Detailed moldings and shiny parquet floors hint to the past. $$

MAISON VILLEROY

Ultra-private mansion with 11 exquisite apartments, suites and rooms. In the Golden Triangle at Avenue Montaigne. Butlers on call around the clock. Date-night restaurant. Spa by Holidermie. $$$ *

Italian intimacy near Musée d’Orsay. Feels like a private palazzo with only 29 rooms and cozy communal spaces. Don’t skip the healthy à la carte breakfast. $$

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WINDOW SEAT: Balmain vest, Brunello Cucinelli polo, Bluemarble trousers, Marion Godart brooch and Ouest Paris shoes, at Le Grand Mazarin.
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ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE: EXCLUSIVE & PRIVATE

Fourteen years ago when Manuel de Croutte was working in the telecom industry in Paris, a friend enlisted him to cook dinner for some American guests visiting from out of town. After their meal of homemade blanquette de veau , de Croute drove them back to their hotel and along the way gave an impromptu “Paris by night" tour. It was then he realized his true calling: creating bespoke experiences for visitors. His travel consultancy, Exclusive & Private, partners with Internova-affiliated advisors to facilitate VIP access in Paris and beyond, helping curious travelers uncover the heritage and craftsmanship of a destination or designer. “The highlight of any journey,” he says, “is meeting local people who share the same passions, so we open doors to private castles, gardens, vineyards and, sometimes, art collections.”

When it comes to shopping in the capital, he’s got the hookups, too — especially at Lanvin, which he believes has the city’s best style consultant: “He’s the only one who really cares about creating looks and not just sending pieces that don’t match,” says de Croutte, whose services include not only arranging shopping sessions, but also unveiling the brand’s history, for those interested. “We love to help our clients understand where they are. They don’t just buy a logo. They buy a story, a legend and the know-how.”

MAJESTIC HOTEL-SPA

Contemporary hotel with 57 rooms, run by a French family for four generations. Near the Arc de Triomphe. Private heated pool for guests only. $

MANDARIN ORIENTAL, PARIS

Timeless elegance on classy Rue Saint-Honoré. Some of the 135 rooms and suites are bi-level with tubs facing the Eiffel Tower. Worldrenowned spa. $$$$

LE MEURICE

Versailles-inspired design with gilded moldings in the 160 rooms. The Dorchester Collection’s newly restored “Belle Etoile” penthouse features a 360-degree view. Cuisine from Alain Ducasse. $$$$

PARK HYATT PARIS-VENDÔME

Designed by the world-renowned architect Edward Tuttle. Spa exclusively uses La Mer products. Soothing wooden furnishings with pops of yellow in the 156 rooms. And the chef’s table at Pur’? Mmm! $$$$

PAVILLON DE LA REINE

Shh. It’s located down a hidden passage, covered in greenery, off Place des Vosges in the Marais. $$

THE PENINSULA PARIS

A peaceful residential palace with a storied past near the Arc de Triomphe. Majestically reborn as The Peninsula last decade, with 200 rooms, including several rooftop garden suites. Refined mixology. Exquisite Chinese brunch on Saturdays. $$$$

KINKY BOOTS: Lanvin blazer and skirt, Ermanno Scervino top, Falke tights and Givenchy jewelry, bag and boots, at Bar Les Ambassadeurs at Hôtel de Crillon.
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*

PRINCE DE GALLES

A Luxury Collection hotel that holds up as a symbol of sophistication on the elite Avenue George V, with dreamy views from most of the 158 rooms and suites. $$$

RELAIS CHRISTINE

Charming 17th-century mansion with 48 rooms, each boasting its own personality. Underground Guerlain spa has vaulted stone ceilings. Central Latin Quarter location. $

LA RÉSERVE PARIS

Urban mansion just off the Champs-Élysées, with 40 rooms and suites — a wallpaper lover’s dream. Le Gabriel by chef Jérôme Banctel. Spa open 24 hours. $$$$

LA RÉSERVE PARIS APARTMENTS

The 10 apartments at this hideaway off Place de la Concorde highlight self-sufficient luxury. Children are welcome (and get their own organic robes and bath toys). $$$$

RITZ PARIS

Defining luxury in Place Vendôme since 1898, with 142 enchanting rooms. See-and-be-seen brunch on the ivy-covered terrace. Michelin stars for dinner. The pool is so cute. Suites are named after literary legends. Get a cocktail (and a rose!) at the Hemingway Bar. $$$$

LE ROCH HOTEL & SPA

Petite gem just off Place Vendôme with 37 rooms. Jewel tones. Sleek wooden floors. Lush terrace for drinks in the summer. Cozy fireplace in the lobby for winter. $$

ROCHECHOUART

Borders South Pigalle and Montmartre, with a rooftop overlooking Sacré-Coeur and all of Paris. Small but classic rooms with cheeky extras and the hotel’s own unique scented toiletries. $

LE ROYAL MONCEAU – RAFFLES PARIS

Designated palace and art lovers’ magnet redesigned by Philippe Starck. Among the 146 rooms are three sprawling presidential suites. Can’t miss the ruby-red art deco entrance, just off the Champs-Élysées. $$$

SAINT JAMES PARIS

A château-hotel far from the noise in the 16th. Nature is its muse, with a lush outdoor garden and poppy- or palm-covered walls in the 50 rooms. Blissfully private. $$

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80 FEATURE DESTINATION GUIDE
Leather and Chains : (From top) Chain chandelier and lounging at Bar Les Ambassadeurs.
*

CRUISING ELEVATED

Avalon Waterways has redefined cruising by going against the current and away from the ordinary. Avalon puts you in the captain’s seat to navigate your journey, fuel your passions, and steer clear of the unexpected as you cruise down the world’s most memorable and mesmerizing waterways. One step aboard our modern, luxurious Suite Ships with the grandest views in cruising and you’ll see how the tides are changing.

Welcome to a new wave in cruising. Welcome aboard Avalon Waterways.

CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL TO PLAN YOUR NEXT VACATION

SHANGRI-LA PARIS

Asian aesthetic meets French joie de vivre, a block from Trocadéro. The 100 rooms are both stately and chic. Lovely covered pool, bathed in sunlight. $$$$

SO/ PARIS

Ultra-hip decor includes a striking mirrored art piece by Olafur Eliasson at the rooftop restaurant, Bonnie. Many of the 162 rooms overlook the Seine. $

SOFITEL LE SCRIBE PARIS OPÉRA

Centuries-old hotel near the opera house, revitalized by Accor in 2020 with a full makeover. Now: 201 rooms and suites in blush pink and mustard yellow. $

SOFITEL PARIS LE FAUBOURG

Another recent glow-up from Accor, just a hop and a skip from the Tuileries, with 148 imperial-inspired rooms. $

Your travel advisor can secure Select or Curated perks, such as a $100 resort credit and daily breakfast for two, plus additional amenities at these hotels.

DARE TO DREAM: SACRÉBLEU

Mon dieu , don’t queue! At least, not when it comes to shopping for your next Chanel or monogrammed Louis Vuitton, says Stéphanie Boutet-Fajol, founder of the elite destination management company Sacrébleu, who works hand-in-hand with Internova-affiliated travel advisors to plan wow-worthy itineraries for clients looking for something beyond the usual. “We give access,” says the former lawyer, who launched her business 10 years ago. She promises, “nothing will happen to you during the week you are here” — whether that means not having to wait in line to drop thousands of dollars at Dior, not being snapped by the paparazzi if you’re camera-shy, or not being turned away from the hottest table in town.

As for what will happen? Well, that depends on what type of bespoke experience you seek. Privatizing Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s former apartments for an entire family? Oui, Boutet-Fajol has done it. Fashioning a speakeasy out of a restaurant for the cast of a major motion picture? Oui, that too. Shutting down the Louvre for 24 hours so a basketball player can lock eyes with Mona Lisa? Oui, oui, oui. She won’t sell or make promises she can’t keep, but there are few requests she hasn’t made happen. “Our contacts are very precious, and my clients are very precious,” she says.

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CHAMPAGNE TASTES: (From top) On the balcony at Le Grand Mazarin, wearing a full Balmain outfit, and the Royal Suite at Hôtel Plaza Athénée.

A Never-Ending Feast

SPOTLIGHT RESTAURANT REVIEW
WRITING & PHOTOGRAPHY: BRAD A. JOHNSON
suite
84
Baja
Fresh: Chocolate-clam ceviche at the oceanfront Roca Bar and (opposite) a pool
at Grand Velas Boutique Hotel.

DINING AT THE NEWEST RESORT FROM GRAND VELAS ON THE SEA OF CORTEZ TAKES A MORE EXCLUSIVE — YET STILL INCLUSIVE — TURN.

Los Cabos, Mexico

“Oh, these clams!” They’re so tender, sweet and briny. These are Baja’s perfect chocolate clams, their shells four inches wide, shucked minutes ago — chopped and tossed with mango, onion and gloriously ripe tomato. It’s our second round, and they disappear in an instant.

It’s barely noon, poolside at Roca Bar, on our third day at Grand Velas Boutique Hotel, the newly opened 79-suite, adults-only compound adjacent to the 307room Grand Velas Los Cabos resort.

We’ve been snacking since breakfast — and, dare I say, drinking. I can hear a band on the beach, playing a rousing rendition of Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar,” followed by a spirited delivery of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.” I’m all smiles, lulled into submission by the Mexican sun. I glance up to see the bartender watching us. He points to a bottle of mezcal — sign language for, “Another round?”

We’re sipping Sereque Fizzes, a concoction of lime juice, house-brewed ginger beer and Coyote Sotol Durango, a fascinating mezcal made from wild sotol. Each bottle is distilled from the nectar of a single plant.

Yesterday, he dazzled us with fresh pineapple, Ancho Reyes and Siglo Cero Pox, a Maya-style tequila crafted not from agave but corn, sugarcane and wheat. The bars at this hotel are beyond top-shelf.

I raise my empty glass and flash a peace sign, then tap an empty clamshell, the universal sign for, “Yes, please — and keep the clams coming.”

I’m generally not so quick to keep 'em coming, mostly because I’d still be calculating the tab in my head, fearing I’d already surpassed two million dollars. The clams are a luxury, priced at $25 a pair on the menu. But that’s merely a reference, a sort of inside joke. This place is allinclusive — and it’s what keeps me coming back to this brand time and again.

The food at Grand Velas is always, always , fantastic. That’s by design, says Juan Vela, who cofounded the concept in 2002 in Puerto Vallarta with his late brother, Eduardo Vela Ruiz. “We wanted to create [an allinclusive] hotel that could compete with the top luxury brands,” he says. To do that, “the culinary experience had to be exceptional.”

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But it was also personal. “We love to travel,” Vela tells me. “My wife and I spend more time deciding where to eat than anything else.”

That’s a common discussion among guests here, too. “Where did you eat last night?” asks a woman’s voice, coming from behind me at Roca. I spin around to see if she’s talking to me. A large straw hat obscures her face as she fondles a frozen drink.

“Frida,” I say. “The octopus tlacoyo was fantastic.” Made with blue corn masa, a tlacoyo is like a cross between an empanada and a gordita.

“And the churros!” the mystery woman proclaims, briefly flashing a glimpse of her sparkly sunglasses and pink lipstick. “Frida has the best churros.”

Frida isn’t onsite at Boutique. Rather, it’s one of the restaurants next door at the larger Grand Velas. Guests of this property get complimentary access to all of them: Frida (Mexican), Lucca (Italian), Velas 10 (steakhouse), Piaf (French) and Cocina de Autor (the marquee, vaguely modernist spot) — all decidedly posh, with Michelin intentions. But it’s a one-way perk. Staying at the larger resort does not grant access to our more exclusive enclave. We get Roca Bar, plus a fun robata grill and a couple other options, to ourselves.

“We’re hitting Cocina de Autor tonight,” I say, in case she’s still listening.

“Look out for the kampachi,” purrs the voice under the hat. “It’s incredible.”

She’s right. The kampachi (local amberjack) is layered with daikon and served in a nixtamal broth with hoja santa oil, sea beans and habanero chile. Cocina de Autor is overseen from afar by Sidney Schutte — the most famous chef in the Netherlands. The guy who brings Schutte’s vision to life for the nightly 8- to 12-course menu is Francisco Sixtos, a rising star in Cabo’s restaurant scene. Except for the Australian wagyu and French truffles, he sources everything from the Baja Peninsula and surrounding waters: heirloom corn, flowering amaranth, quelites (wild herbs), beets, coconuts, line-caught fish and all manner of shellfish. And the cellar is stocked with truly wonderful wines, many from Valle de Guadalupe, including the sommelier’s own label. It’s all included, even the wine pairings.

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Mexico Modern: (From top) The dining room at Cocina de Autor, and the restaurant’s kampachi with nixtamal broth, hoja santa and sea beans.
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Tequila and Sunrises: (Clockwise) Grilled octopus tlacoyo and the dining room at Frida and the oceanfront pool deck at Grand Velas Boutique Hotel.

Fifteen years ago, it might have been unthinkable to include Los Cabos in a conversation about Mexico’s best food experiences. But the twin capes have grown up. And of the countless resorts that dot the coast between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, it’s impossible to name another property with so many great restaurants under a single roof — or rather, now, two roofs.

“Room service!” exclaims the floppy hat. I turn again. The woman lifts the brim and lowers her sunglasses to reveal blue-shadowed eyes laser-focused on my partner and me. “Have you two had room service here yet?” she asks, worming her way into my ear. “Do not leave here without ordering breakfast in your room.”

It’s hard to think about tomorrow’s avocado toast, poached eggs, mango Danishes and green smoothies yet. Our third round of clams and Sereque Fizzes has just arrived.

Also Consider

Five more of our favorite all-inclusive resorts:

Twin Farms

Barnard, Vermont

Perks at these 28 cottages and treehouses include one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in America. Plus: daily laundry and lavish picnic baskets for romps in the forest. $$$$

—Ritam Bhalla, travel advisor

Sandals

Caribbean Islands

Butler-level suites include private RollsRoyce (or Mercedes) transfers, packing/ unpacking, preferred tables at dinner, expedited room-service and unlimited water sports and golf. $-$$$

—Andrea Fermanis, travel advisor

Four Seasons Naviva

Punta Mita, Mexico

Super-private 15-tent hideaway overlooking the Pacific, with daily shamanic sound healing, boxing classes, sunset meditation, cooking classes and more included. $$$$

—Rachel Barrone, travel advisor

Bawah Reserve

Anambas Archipelago, Indonesia

Like the Maldives but better. Almost everything is included, even daily massages and castaway picnics (but alcohol costs extra). $$$$

—Ritam Bhalla, travel advisor

San Ysidro Ranch Montecito, California

Romantic 38-cottage resort with seeand-be-seen Stonehouse restaurant and the world’s largest vertical of Château Pétrus (ahem, surcharge for that). $$$$

Grand Velas Boutique Hotel, Los Cabos

Your travel advisor can secure Select perks, including a $100 experience credit and a complimentary bottle of mezcal or tequila in your room. $$$$

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Bottle Royale: 51 Bar at the lobby of Grand Velas Boutique Hotel.
88 SPOTLIGHT RESTAURANT REVIEW

The sense of warmth and camaraderie from dedicated staff.

The thrill of becoming awestruck as you arrive at a fabled destination for the first time.

The joy of celebrating life, with indulgent cuisine.

It’s the personal experiences that will last a lifetime.

THE FINEST CUISINE AT SEA®

CURATED TRAVEL EXPERIENCES.

SMALL SHIP LUXURY.

C ONTACT YOUR TR A V EL ADVISOR TO B OOK TO DAY
Positano, Italy
SPOTLIGHT THE LEGEND 90
Tropic Wonder: The historic façade of Raffles Singapore. (Opposite) The revamped interior colonnade.

STRAIT-UP ICONIC

THE SECRET TO LONGEVITY IS FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN PRESERVATION AND REINVENTION.

Singapore

Maybe it's the turbaned doorman greeting you by name as you arrive on the palm-fringed gravel driveway. Perhaps it's the handwritten welcome note and the fresh orchids in your suite. It could be the familiar faces — Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Charlie Chaplin among them — peering down from sepia-toned photographs on the walls. Whatever it is, Raffles Singapore makes you feel like a longtime regular, even if you're checking in for the very first time.

Whole books have been written about this Singapore stalwart, covering everything from the hotel's early beginnings in 1887 as a 10-bedroom bungalow, to the kaisers, kings, sultans and tzars that have waltzed around its colonnaded arcades in the century that followed. This grand dame, dubbed “ the Savoy

of Singapore," has persisted through financial hardships and the Second World War (during which the Imperial Japanese army rebranded it to Syonan Ryokan). More than a few wellintentioned overhauls have changed the hotel's appearance throughout the 20th century, until a top-to-bottom restoration in 1989 brought back the chocolate-box-pretty looks of its 1920s heyday.

But where many of Asia's grand dames dwell in their faded glory, the now 115-suite Raffles has morphed along with the times. In 2019, the hotel emerged from a two-year, multimillion-dollar makeover spearheaded by Portuguese designer Alexandra Champalimaud. Out went the rooms' stuffy clobber and much of the Victorian pomp that lingered

WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRIS SCHALKX
91

around the hotel's Carrara-marbled hallways. In came a fresh new look, one of creamy whites and jewel-hued textiles, breezy bathrooms with glossy, Peranakan-inspired tilework, and a dozen new suites carved out from underutilized corners. A giant, crystal-dripping chandelier now shimmers in the lobby. Underneath it, the hotel's oldest heirloom, a grandfather clock, still ticks like it has done since the 1800s.

In, too, came a host of new restaurants, which turned the hotel's dining lineup into a distillation of Singapore's multicultural food scene. Alain Ducasse and Jereme Leung brought their refined takes on Italian and Chinese cuisines (at Bar & Billiard Room and Yì, respectively), while the Writers Bar, just off the lobby, relaunched with a high-glam look and a gin-heavy drink list. Chef Anne-Sophie Pic took over one wing of the lobby for her posh French dining room, La Dame de Pic, which serves chichi creations with foams, spheres and bubbles from Asian ingredients, including greens grown just for her in the hotel's courtyard garden, right outside the window. The Tiffin Room, Raffles' Indian restaurant since 1892, received a brass-colored spruce-up, and, more recently, chef Jordan Keao gave the beloved Butcher’s Block wood-fired steakhouse a seafood-friendly makeover inspired by his native Hawaii.

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SPOTLIGHT THE LEGEND
Winning Ticket: (Above and right) La Dame de Pic at Raffles Singapore and the restaurant’s “les berlingots” stuffed pasta.
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Privileged Access to Private Places & People

For Ireland, Scotland, Wales & England

Charming, Authentic, Cultural Experiences…

Private Visits • Aristocratic Driver Guides • Castles • Golf

Culinary • Art & Architecture • Gardens • Genealogy • Horses

Jewish Heritage • Islands • Music • Culture • Fishing • Hiking • Biking….

Boutique & Castle Hotels, as well as exclusive use Castles & Country Estates

Tailormade Uber Lux and Nip & Tuck Itineraries

Condé Nast Travel Specialist 2024 & Travel + Leisure A-List Advisor 2024

Ireland, Scotland & Africa

Yet it's the intangible details that have lifted the Raffles into a league of its own. It's waking up with a morning coffee on your rattan-chaired veranda, overlooking the fanned traveler's palms and fragrant frangipanis that obscure the city's gleaming skyline from view. It's the crackle of peanut shells underfoot as you step into the Long Bar for a Singapore sling, and it's touring the hotel with resident historian Leslie Danker, on Raffles' payroll since 1972, to wallow in a half century's worth of celebrity shenanigans. It's knowing that some of the world's greats slept in your very suite. And even though the antique floorboards have received a fresh layer of varnish, they still creak under the weight of their fabled history.

Raffles Singapore

Your travel advisor can secure Select perks, including a $100 resort credit and daily breakfast for two. $$$$

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94 SPOTLIGHT THE LEGEND
Courtyard Romance : The edge of the Palm Garden at Raffles Singapore.

Talk about exciting and new

Sun Princess ® and Star Princess ®

What were we thinking of when we designed our next generation of ships? You. You love sweeping views, so we built our Piazza in a sphere of glass. You want immersive entertainment, so our Princess Arena shapeshifts to put you in the middle of the action. See the world in a whole new light in 2024 aboard Sun Princess® and in August 2025 when Star Princess® debuts in the Mediterranean!

The Dome

Inspired by the terraces of Santorini, this multilevel, glass-enclosed dome features a pool by sunlight, shows by starlight.

Spellbound by the Magic Castle

Blending magic and the art of mixology, Spellbound invites guests to immerse themselves in this one-of-a-kind experience inspired by the world-famous Magic Castle™.

Park19

Soar like a bird 19 decks above the waves on the Sea Breeze Rollglider®. That’s just a taste of what this brandnew wonderland has to offer.

*Legal restrictions apply. ©2024, Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Princess®, MedallionClass® and the Princess logo are trademarks of Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Ships of Bermudan and British registry. CALL YOUR TRAVEL ADVISOR FOR MORE INFORMATION!

THE OLTRE Q&A

MOVIE-SET DECORATORS, CELEBRITIES, LUXURY RESORTS AND BRANDS

like Cartier and Yves St. Laurent, even the French government: They don’t call Régis Mathieu simply for light.

While he keeps a petite atelier in Paris, the heart of Mathieu Lustrerie — the company his father founded in 1948 — nestles among the scarlet poppy fields, grenache vineyards and abandoned ocher mines of rural Gargas, an hour north of Avignon. The 15-acre campus includes his workshop, an office and two chandelier galleries, all stitched together by a meandering garden trail. “When [clients] come to see me in Paris, we share a coffee for half an hour. If you come see me here, we have a two-hour lunch on the grass. If you don’t take one day for me,” he grins, “I will not take two months to do your chandelier.”

Mathieu ducks beneath a mammoth Genoese fixture, 880 pounds of scrolling bronze frosted in Alpine crystals and lilac amulets, a 163,855-euro jewel of his father’s collection. Working with such large fixtures, he explains, is “very dangerous. You’re playing with electricity.” The Genoese’s quille, or lowest-hanging center crystal, hovers above his silver head like a luminous alien pomegranate. “I understand why people prefer to do chairs or cabinets.”

As exquisite creatures usually are, chandeliers are mercurial and needy — requiring a care team that can work metal, carve wood, cut gems, sew fabric and wire electricity. And it’s all for a product that is inherently not very functional. “Trying to light your house with a chandelier? That’s like putting earrings on because you’re cold.”

Historically found in cathedrals and castles, and, today in homes and hotels, these fixtures are less about what they do than what they convey: splendor, power, hospitality. “Imagine: For a long time, light came from oil or candles, and you would light a chandelier only for a moment, an important moment, when you receive somebody,” Mathieu says, stepping out from the Genoese halo.

“The light — it’s a present you give to your guest.”

with Régis Mathieu

How many pairs of shoes do you bring on a two-week trip?

I swear by the same three: sneakers for working out, moccasins for meetings and evenings, and a casual in-between pair for walking and exploring.

At what age did you have your first romantic getaway?

It’s the one I still cherish most. When I was 16, my now-wife and I took a trip to Germany to pick up some pieces for my Volkswagen Coccinelle. It wasn’t meant to be romantic, but her being with me made it that way — and she has that same magic over me today.

Your most recent road trip?

Last summer, Corsica, in my 1959 Porsche.

Which hotels impress you with lighting?

Plaza Athénée in Paris. Their classical French aesthetic is timeless. And Grand Contrôle in Versailles, because of their dedication to preserving the monument itself, but also its history and identity — much of which is translated by their choice of lighting.

Most memorable meal on your travels?

Goat eye in Oman. I was invited to join friends of the royal family on a trip into the desert, and they brought little goats for the meals. I was given an eye — a delicacy, and considered a great honor.

Greatest extravagance when traveling?

As soon as I check into a hotel room, I change the lightbulbs. I travel with my own Evolution bulbs, which shed the same light as candle wicks. It makes the atmosphere more cozy and homey.

Worst travel misfortune?

My last trip to Jordan was eventful. Customs required me to pay to leave the country. I got so mad, they had to call the embassy to help me get on the plane.

Most embarrassing travel moment?

I once confused a client with his bodyguard. Thankfully, it went unnoticed by the client, but the bodyguard and I had a good laugh about it later.

Any place still on your wish list?

I would love to take my wife, Hélène, on that 25-day car rally across Japan — in a Porsche, of course.

OLTRE VOLUME 5 CONTENTS ARTICLES
WRITING: ADAM ERACE PHOTOGRAPHY: CLARA TUMA
The Light Summoner : Régis Mathieu at his studio gallery in the South of France.
INTERVIEW THE LAST WORD 96

JOURNEY BEYOND LIMITS ON A

Legendary Voyage

Unearth the tales that define greatness while exploring storied lands and breathtaking fjords on convenient roundtrip U.S. sailings with overnights in Raiatea and Papeete. Encircle geological marvels through Majestic Japan or spend a night sampling Singapore Slings in the place where they were created. From Greenland’s breathtaking tundra to Norway’s majestic fjords, experience the epitome of a Legendary Voyage!

Contact your travel advisor to learn more.

SPRING

2024: THE OOH LA LA ISSUE

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PARIS: “MAI OUI!”

FASHION: SPRING BLING AND MEXICO CHIC

DINING: A FABULOUS NEVER-ENDING FEAST

CRUISING: NEW OCEAN SHIPS REVIEWED

CAVIAR BARS: THE NEXT-GEN DENS AND TINS

MONACO AFTER DARK: OUR DJ-CURATED PLAYLIST

ALSO: ATHENS, LONDON, PORTOFINO, VIENNA AND BEYOND

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