— Vol. 9 No. 1 —
Fairmont Magazine —
turning moments into memories
Big Bold Baku
Why art reigns in Azerbaijan –
London’s Abbey Road Studios Design Special: Singapore & Sonoma Switzerland’s watchmaking trail
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THE ORIGINAL – THE LUGGAGE WITH THE GROOVES In 1950, RIMOWA issued the first suitcase with the unmistakable grooves. Since then, it has evolved into a cult object in its own right. To this day, the original RIMOWA luggage has lost none of its fascination. It remains the luggage of choice for all those who seek the extraordinary – including models Alessandra Ambrosio and Johannes Huebl. RIMOWA Stores North America: Honolulu, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Guam, San Francisco, Toronto
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36 photo: Gunnar Knechtel
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Arts on Fire
Ignited by architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest stars and a nascent art scene, Baku, Azerbaijan, is ablaze with possibility. By Ellen Himelfarb
D E PA RT M E N T S
16 Contributors 17 Check In
Travel, fashion & lifestyle.
Istanbul’s newest architectural showpiece. f eat u res
Ticket to Ride
A tour of London’s Abbey Road Studios and The Savoy, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. By Brett Schaenfield
Empress of the Night
Catherine the Great considers her latest political move in this historical novel excerpt. By Eva Stachniak
Inside two hotel redesigns on opposite ends of the world. By Andrew Braithwaite
52 PAST MEETS PRESENCE A modern mosaic comes to life at Fairmont Singapore, where renovations take local cues.
58 SENSE OF PLACE The refreshed Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa delights each of the five senses. Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona
A journey along Switzerland’s historic watch making trail sheds light on what it takes to make the best timepieces in the world. By Carol Besler
30 19 On the cover Baku-based artist Farid Rasulov in “Carpet Interior,” an installation he originally created for the Azerbaijan Pavillion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Previous page: Baku’s newly opened carpet museum.
14 76 78 80 82 84 86 88
President’s Letter Suites & Penthouses Arts & Entertainment Spa & Fitness Food & Drink Shopping & Style Leadership & Philanthropy Fairmont Destinations
photos: adam rodriguez (arizona); Terry O’Neill/Getty Images (beatles)
Fa i rm o nt H o te l s & R es o rts
President’s Letter —
t a Fairmont hotel, you never have to look out the window to know where you are in the world. Fairmont prides itself on its unrivaled local presence, which means that whether you’re visiting us in Dallas or Dubai, no two properties will ever feel the same. A sense of place permeates every aspect of your stay, from the design of your room to the garnish in your cocktail. Making genuine connections with our guests is important to us – with a goal of creating powerful memories that last long after you’ve left a Fairmont hotel or resort – and this issue of Fairmont Magazine is all about celebrating these connections. First, on our cover, meet Azerbaijan artist Farid Rasulov in one of his impressive art installations, which play on traditional carpet patterns. Discover the work of Azeri artists among the hundreds of pieces in the new Fairmont Baku, each a tribute to the city’s ascent into the international contemporary art world. The hotel is a work of art in itself – it’s located within the Flame Towers, a dazzling trio of fire-inspired buildings visible throughout the city and illuminated every night with an incredible light show. From there, we take you to London and two of its most important musical institutions: Abbey Road Studios, where superstars like The Beatles, Radiohead and Adele have recorded, and The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel. Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the five-star hotel has long been a home-away-from-home for iconic musicians from Maria Callas to Madonna, not to mention movie stars, heads of state and international royalty. Next, we head to Montreux to learn about Switzerland’s most famous export – luxury watches – by visiting private ateliers and even constructing a timepiece movement, all while exploring the region that shaped the industry. With that eye for detail in mind, we also reveal the inspiration behind two recently renovated properties on opposite sides of the world. In California, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa’s resort-wide refresh caters to every whim of the wine country traveler. At Fairmont Singapore, the city’s unique mix of cultures played muse to its designers, and is revealed in everything from tiles printed with Peranakan lace motifs to cocktails brimming with hyperlocal ingredients. As Fairmont opens new doors around the world, from Chengdu to Riyadh, and gets set to welcome hotels in Amman and Moscow over the next few years, two things will never change: the genuine connections you will make and the memories you will take home with you.
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Creative Director Quebec native Nathalie Cusson’s award-winning design and art direction has graced the pages of Glow, Food & Drink and Air Canada’s enRoute. For Fairmont Magazine’s cover shoot she traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan, by the Caspian Sea, where she was delighted to find a mix of old and new around every corner. “Every building and monument in the city lights up at night, like rides at a giant fair.”
Vol.9 No.1 Editor
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Contributors Cedric Angeles, Carol Besler, Andrew Braithwaite, Guillaume Brière, Ying Yi Chua, Noah Fecks, Candice Fridman, Grant Harder, Ellen Himelfarb, Gunnar Knechtel, Virginia Macdonald, Stephanie McBride, Joss McKinley, Andrew Moore, Renée Morrison, Robert Reck, Brett Schaenfield, Jesse Semko, Eva Stachniak, Natasha V. © Copyright 2014 by Spafax Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission of the publisher is prohibited. Fairmont Magazine is published twice per year by Spafax Inc. Points of view expressed do not necessarily represent those of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject all advertising matter. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return or safety of unsolicited art, photographs or manuscripts. Printed in Canada.
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Photographer German-born, Barcelona-based photographer Gunnar Knechtel captures destinations around the world for magazines like Dwell and Condé Nast Traveler. In this issue of Fairmont Magazine he documents Baku’s burgeoning art scene and its rising stars, both on the cover and in “Arts on Fire” (p. 36). Next, he plans on spending his summer vacation on Costa Brava.
Writer Born in the US, raised in Canada and currently based in the UK, Ellen Himelfarb is accustomed to traveling the globe as a contributor to Wallpaper, Elle and the Sunday Times Magazine. For “Arts on Fire” (p. 36) she flew to Baku to investigate Azerbaijan’s art scene. “I got a real lesson in life there, the creative spirit of the people.”
Photographer Award-winning Sarajevo-born photographer Natasha V. regularly shoots for clients including InStyle and Fashion and her work has been featured in Applied Arts and STEP magazine. In this issue she captured the beauty of black soap (p. 22) and portable perfume vessels (p. 24). Next up, she hopes to work on a dream project: “I’m a runner, and I would love to shoot a photo essay about young runners in Ethiopia.”
photo: Virginia MacDonald (nathalie cusson)
Editorial Associate Editor
Check In tr avel, fashion & lifest yle
Live the experience ——
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Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the oldest capital city in the United States, and forward-minded architects help preserve
photo: robert reck
the status of “The City Different” by drawing on its unique natural topography as inspiration for their work. The Santa Fe Opera’s open-air Crosby Theatre perches on a mesa with the rocky-peaked Jemez Mountains to the west and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (the Rockies’ southernmost subrange) to the east. The desert’s dramatic skyscape serves as a living backdrop to the performances, which are timed to begin at sundown. The building’s current iteration, designed by James Stewart Polshek and Partners and opened in 1998, enhances every sound with two curved roofs, joined by a clerestory window, that follow the trajectory of the acoustic reflections from the performance stage to the audience seating. Candice Fridman
VEGGIE COCKTAILS (p. 18), India-inspired fashion (p. 19), CALGARY’s BEER SCENE (p. 20), BLACK SOAP (p. 22), RUNNING CLUBS (p. 23), PORTABLE PERFUME (p. 24), CHAMPAGNE star (p. 25), WINE TIPS (p. 26), chic HEADPHONES (p. 27), ARIZONA Wellness (p. 28) Fairmont Magazine
Cocktail culture wants you to drink your vegetables.
ucumber slices, celery sticks, tomato juice from a can. Once upon a time, that was as close as most veggies got to a cocktail glass. But now bar-chefs, people who focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as their kitchen counterparts, are moving from the orchard to the vegetable patch in search of inspiration. “When I find myself saying ‘There is no way I can put that in a cocktail!’ it only drives me further,” says Tom Hogan, lead bartender at Fairmont Singapore’s new Anti:dote bar. The mixologist’s mission has led him to concoct corn liqueur, parsnip tinctures and squashinfused rum, as well as the Blood of Dillinger, an earthy, beet-based tequila cocktail made especially for Anti:dote. Hogan isn’t the only one trying to squeeze veggie cocktails into your five servings a day. Molecular magician Tony Conigliaro’s book The Cocktail Lab (Random House) includes a recipe for Pumpkin Bellinis, and you can find him infusing green beans in vermouth at his North London “lab,” 69 Colebrooke Row. In New York, the prohibitioninspired Apotheke Cocktail Bar serves up drinks bursting with unexpected ingredients, including roasted corn and edamame pods, while the Margarita de Remolacha at Gran Electrica (pictured) is brimming with beet juice. Order a Garden Variety cocktail at The Wayland in the East Village and you’ll get a dose of everyone’s favorite superfood: kale. Calling it “nutritious” may be a bit of a stretch, but with strong. sweet notes of ginger and lime, it is definitely delicious.
photo: Noah Fecks
see anti:dote bartender tom hogan in action at everyonesanoriginal.com/ fairmont-magazine
Passage to India
Summer looks get a bold burst of color inspired by Jaipur’s crafts and festivals.
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1. Lakshmi Goddess print, Malgorzata Kistryn; 2. Spring/Summer 2014 collection, Valentino, valentino.com; 3. Anna Eye clutch, Sunita Mukhi, US$340, sunitamukhi.com; 4. Thakoon for NARS nail polish, NARS, US$19, narscosmetics. com; 5. Amber balls (20–300 grams), L’Artisan Parfumeur, US$90–$550, artisanparfumeur.com; 6. Large Selma Studded Satchel, Michael Kors, US$428, michaelkors.com; 7. Fleur Elbamatt shoes, Liam Fahy, US$795, liamfahy.com; 8. Red Thread Kerala necklace, Amrapali, US$227, amrapali.com; 9. Silver Mystic Jaali earrings, Amrapali, US$81 Natacha Medeiros Fairmont Magazine
Street View NATIONAL
Calgary, Canada’s love of a tall cold one has given rise to a hopping beer scene in the city’s Beltline district.
Best for Microbrews With 72 craft beers on tap, National claims the city’s largest selection of microbrews, all of them hailing from North America. Select beers are rotated into the mix every two weeks and displayed stock-market style on a digital ticker tape. In the basement of the 10th Avenue location, find an eight-lane bowling alley, where you can roll a few strikes while enjoying a perfect pint. 550 17 Ave. SW and 341 10 Ave . SW., NTNL.CA
Best for the Beer-Garden Vibe
With communal tables tailor-made for downing a stein with friends (old and new), Wurst Überkitchen Wunderbar provides an authentic German experience complete with indoor trees strung with lights, a live oompah band and Bavarian fare such as pretzels, schnitzel and, of course, wursts. 2437 4 St. SW., WURST.CA
Best for International Selection
Travel the earth from the comfort of your bar stool at Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub by signing up for the “Around the World in 80 Beers” passport. Taste-test your way around the globe within a year and your name will be immortalized on a plaque on the watering hole’s wall of fame. 140 10 Ave. SW., BOTTLESCREWBILL.COM
Best for Happy Hour Celebrating its centennial in 2014, The Live the experience ——
pag e 79
Fairmont Palliser in Calgary has always been the downtown destination for the after-work crowd. The hotel’s elegant Oak Room is where the city’s oilmen, hockey players, politicians and socialites meet for live jazz and selections from the city’s best stills (including a special 100th anniversary ale). Try tasty local brews from Village and Wild Rose. 133 9 Ave. SW., FAIRMONT.COm/palliser-calgary
photo: BRYCE MEYER (wurst)
Best for Pairings
When done just right, beer can complement food as well as any wine. Two places that make it easy are 1410 World Bier Haus and 1600 World Bier Haus – their menus spell out exactly which brews match up well with which dishes. You can’t go wrong with an AAA top sirloin and a Fuller’s. 1410 17 Ave. SW and 1600 90 Ave. SW, 1410BIERHAUS.COM; wurst
In Balance Live the experience ——
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she used to wash her face eight hundred times a day
with black soap. Don’t ask me why.” So says a bewildered Woody Allen in Annie Hall as he holds up the object in question: a bar of Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Soap. Introduced at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1952, it was an instant cult favorite, garnering devoted fans like Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. Other luxury skincare lines have since made the move from ivory to ebony – Marseille’s Marius Fabre makes a liquid version, Origins’ Skin Diver soap gets its hue from antibacterial clove oil, and Carriage 44’s handcrafted No. 1 bar includes activated bamboo charcoal.
While these brands helped set the modern trend, variations of black soap have been in use for centuries around the world. In West Africa, it is traditionally made from plantain skins and cocoa pods. The name and recipe vary from region to region, though the final product – often more golden than black – is always touted for its skin-clarifying properties. Meanwhile, no Middle Eastern hammam experience would be complete without an application of the region’s own form of black soap, a dark paste made from crushed olives. Just have a steam, apply, wait and exfoliate. Or, book a treatment at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai’s Willow Stream Spa and let an attendant do it for you. The result? Skin so smooth you’ll see the light. Eve Thomas
photo: natasha v. (Crabtree & Evelyn black sea mud & seaweed soap)
Black soap may be the next big thing, but it has long been a part of the world’s best beauty regimes.
o n L o c a t i o n
Run with It
Stay in shape wherever you travel with tips from Fairmont running club leaders.
p r o t i p s
experience level, ensure that the run follows an aerobic curve. That means a steady and progressive warm-up, a main jog or run, and then a cool down followed by a post workout stretch.”
Assistant Director, Recreation Fairmont The Palm, Dubai
“Try to run
in nature. In Boston we are very fortunate to have a lot of green space right in the city. I find that I’m better able to let my mind relax when I’m not dodging cars or pedestrians.”
Fairmont Gold Supervisor The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston
“Stick with it!
Have you ever heard a song for the first time and thought it was just okay, and then had it become your favorite song? The same thing will happen with jogging once you feel the endorphins.”
Manager, services & catering Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Montreal
Live the experience ——
illustrations: guillaume brière
t o p
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g e a r high-tech design meets durability. REEBOK Men’s ZigTech 3.0 shoes, US$100, reebok.com
Layer up and look your best. LACOSTE Lightweight taffeta windbreaker, US$175, lacoste.com
hydrate on-the-go. NATHAN QUICKSHOT PLUS, US$20, NATHANSPORTS.COM
Tired of a spritz on your wrist? These perfumes hidden in accessories are as pretty as they are portable.
9 Live the experience ——
1. Scratch The Notebook’s aroma-infused paper to release a whiff of Santal 26, Le Labo, US$50, www.lelabofragrances.com; 2, 3, 4. A collaboration between jeweler Tom Binns and perfumer Lisa Hoffman, the Brushed Gold Pendant, Rose Gold earrings and Rhodium Cuff hold refreshable scented beads, Tom Binns for Lisa Hoffman, US$200–$300, lisahoffmanbeauty.com; 5. The Artemesia Solid Fragrance Compact is perfect for popping in your carry-on, Penhaligon’s, US$80, penhaligons.com; 6. This glass Amulette holds just enough perfume for a day’s worth of reapplications, Talon, US$250, talonnyc.com; 7, 8. The Madagascar Orchid Necklace and Japanese Agarwood Earrings are inspired by, and designed for, travel, Lisa Hoffman, US$65; 9. The Amulet hides a ceramic insert infused with your choice of perfumed oil, Le Labo, US$70 Eve Thomas
photo: natasha v.
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The Business of Bubbly When Champagne house president Cécile Bonnefond talks travel, she keeps nothing bottled up. First trip — I was born in Paris by mistake, so I was about 15 days old when I traveled back home to Évian, France, with my parents. Best travel tip — When I was a little girl, I was told that the only word you need to know when you travel is “No,” to keep safe. Now that I’m older, I think the only word you need to know is “Yes,” to take advantage of opportunities. Jet-lag remedy — I don’t get jet lag, but I’d recommend a glass of good red wine and some sleep for anyone who does. When traveling, I wear — Something relaxed. But I’m still French, so that’s French-relaxed. No Crocs! Best way to get to know a destination — Walk, walk, walk. I love architecture, so I like to look at doors, gates and buildings. Plane, train or automobile? — I love short trips on the train and long trips on the plane. Twelve hours on a plane is just lovely because there’s no phone reception.
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Fondest travel memory — Hiking on my own around the mountains in Banff and Jasper [in Canada] for a week. I didn’t tell anyone that I was going. I was warned about the bears, so I kept making loud sounds to keep them away. Favorite city — If I say Paris, that would be boring, right? I also love Florence, Italy. It’s got Old Italian charm and an enormous amount of beautiful art, architecture and food.
With a sparkling track record in the bubbly business, Cécile Bonnefond now works her magic as head of the Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne houses.
From proper storage to serving etiquette, get the best out of your bottles with Dean & DeLuca wine director Kerrin Laz.
1/ Store wisely
If you don’t have room for a cellar, a wine refrigerator will do. “Some people even use a closet for storage,” reveals Laz. Just be sure to keep the bottles on their sides (so the cork doesn’t dry out) and away from fluctuating temperatures, like those found in the kitchen.
3/ Serve efficiently
Opt for a stone holder instead of an ice bucket: “They don’t chill but, rather, keep the wine temperature stable.” It’s also not necessary to have a different glass for each varietal. So-called “universal glasses” have a large enough bowl that reds can open up and whites don’t get lost in them. Candice Fridman
photo: virginia macdonald (top image)
Gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca has partnered with Fairmont to create Fairmont Vintages, a wine club that brings the best of Napa Valley to your door. The offer is open exclusively to Fairmont President’s Club members in the US.
Try matching rather than contrasting the notes in a wine. If you love a citrusy sauvignon blanc, opt for a roast chicken with Meyer lemons, or poached seafood with citrus-olive oil. “Many people try to make [the process] more difficult than it is, but matching the nuance is a solid way to have something pair well.”
Whether you want to shut out the world or show off your style, there’s a pair of headphones for every situation.
Clockwise from top right: MOLAMI Pleat look as good as they sound with Napa leather and a face-framing shape designed to highlight your cheekbones, US$300, molami.com; URBANEARS Re:Plattan are assembled using parts left over from other headphones, and purchasing a pair helps preserve the Costa Rican rainforest, US$49, urbanears.com; COLOUD The Knock have an ultra-lightweight design and a patented “lasso system” for keeping cords tangle-free, US$30, coloud.com; MARSHALL Majors are made from the same vinyl used in Marshall’s iconic vintage amps, US$120, marshallheadphones.com; BOSE Quiet Comfort 15 are a favorite of frequent travelers for their noise-canceling technology, including an ear cushion that creates an acoustical seal, US$330, bose.com; JABRA Revo Wireless use Bluetooth technology to sync with your smartphone, US$250, jabra.com Eve Thomas
3 co c k ta i l s t o h e l p yo u b e at t h e h e at
1/ Cranberry Presbyterian Infused vodka meets ginger ale.
2/ Prickly Pear Margarita The sweeter side of cacti.
3/ Thai Grapefruit Martini Basil and citrus combine with a kick.
photos: adam rodriguez (left); ryan stewart/corbis (market); AlexiHobbs (taliesin)
Healthy living comes naturally in Scottsdale, a laid-back city devoted to fresh food, spa days and the great outdoors.
Old Town Farmers’ Market Start the day with a morning stroll at this fast-growing farmers’ market. Come with an appetite – vendors are generous with samples – and discover stalls full of organic local produce and unique products, from handmade hot tamales to artisan ice pops in strawberrybalsamic and lavender-lemonade flavors. Afterward, you can check out the neighborhood’s Western wear shops or the more than 100 galleries in the nearby Arts District. azcommunitymarkets.com
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Expect more than just manicures and mud masks at the hotel’s Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa. You’ll also find the wellness tools of tomorrow, including TRX suspension training, aerial yoga and the Bod Pod, which uses airdisplacement plethysmography to measure your body’s ratio of fat to muscle. Resident specialists will help you set health goals and stick to them long after your visit with follow-up calls and suggested lifestyle apps. fairmont.com/scottsdale
10 a.m. Desert Botanical Garden Don’t let the dry desert landscape fool you. Arizona is rich in flora and fauna, and you can learn all about it at this Phoenix-based botanical garden, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Navigate the plants with a docent or audio guide. Among the saguaro cacti you’ll find stunning Chihuly glass sculptures, seasonal live butterfly exhibits and classes on everything from growing agave to tasting tequila. dbg.org
4 p.m. Taliesin West After a bout of pneumonia in the 1930s, Frank Lloyd Wright made the arid Sonoran Desert his new winter home, as well as the site for his studio and architecture school. Tour the late starchitect’s iconic 550-acre estate and you’ll find the campus still in use by former apprentices and current students. The latter even build their own housing as a first project – they’ve been called the “hippest dorms in the world”– using local materials such as stone and sand. franklloydwright.org
Scottsdale Quarter This shopping district is home to a West Elm and an Apple Store, but you’ll also find indie yoga studios, spas and boutiques such as Verde’ Maison, which only carries natural cosmetic lines like Ren and Dr. Hauschka. For a meal that’s good for you without being too “granola” (think skinny margaritas and bison burgers), make reservations at True Food Kitchen, a trendy restaurant developed in partnership with holistic health guru Dr. Andrew Weil. scottsdalequarter.coM Eve Thomas
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7 p.m. Fairmont Magazine
R ide A backstage pass to the savoy and abbey road studios means living like a legend – at least for 24 hour s.
By Brett Schaenfield
the beatles – ringo starr, george harrison, john lennon and paul mccartney – rest between takes of “She Loves You,” recorded in july, 1963, in abbey Road’s studio two
look familiar,” says Jonathan Smith, senior vice president of studio operations, as he leads me into the client lounge in Studio One. Anyone who has been to The Savoy’s legendary American Bar will appreciate the studio’s Fairmont-led redesign, including art deco touches like smoky glass tabletops and silver cocktail shakers. Smith happily indulges all of my geekiest music questions, opens up the closet in which The Beatles laid down a track (“They liked the acoustics”) and even lets me test out a microphone that John Lennon once recorded with (“It’s still used today”). Before I can tire Smith out, I’m ushered inside the hallowed space of
abbey road is
a bit like St. Peter’s in Rome is to a Catholic.
Studio Two, the main recording studio used by The Beatles. I’m here to watch a group of corporate clients record their own ensemble version of “Help!” but before I know it I’m being handed a lyrics sheet and told I’ll be singing along. I practice my best Liverpudlian under my breath. This might be the closest thing to a big break I’m ever going to get. After nibbling on canapés and sipping nerve-settling prosecco, we are directed to our respective chairs and headphones. The thumbs-up is given from the recording booth and vocal coach Kim Chandler talks us through some basic breathing exercises. She’s worked with everyone from Sarah Brightman to Ozzy Osbourne, so she’s nothing if not flexible. There’s some nervous laughter as we attempt a first, slightly clumsy version of the legendary song – most of us barely need to refer to the lyrics – but Chandler keeps the mood light. As the track is broken up into chorus, verses and harmonies, our group gradually gains confidence. (A second glass of bubbly doesn’t hurt.) Once our final segment is complete, there’s a round of applause and we are treated to a studio playback of our rousing performance. The evening ends on a happy note as professionally mixed copies of the track are provided to everyone as a reminder that there may still be time to get the old high school band back together.
experience in itself would be more than enough for most music fanatics, the pop idol lifestyle doesn’t end there. Upon arriving at The Savoy I find another refined, recondite museum of musical history. World famous artists might record at Abbey Road, but this is where they spend the night. After checking into a suite with a picturesque view of the Thames
from top left: famous guests who have checked into the savoy include composer igor stravinsky, supermodel naomi campbell, the rolling stones, rocker alice cooper, bob dylan (who shot a music video in the alleyway behind the hotel), pop star rita ora, jazz legend lena horne (pictured with husband lennie hayton) and diva maria callas
photos: Terry O’Neill/Getty Images (previous page); Nick Harvey/WireImage (naomi campbell); Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images (the rolling stones); photos: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Fin Costello/Redferns (alice cooper); David M. Benett/Getty Images for Rimmel London (rita ora); Popperfoto/Getty Images (lena horne)
here are two signs that you’ve arrived at the most famous recording studio in the world, even before you’ve reached the main entrance. The first is “the shrine” – a wall covered in handwritten lyrics and love notes from fans eager to pay homage to England’s most renowned musical export, The Beatles. The second is the zebra street crossing. The one made so famous by four British lads in lockstep that, in 2010, it was designated a British heritage site, alongside the country’s castles and cathedrals. The one so popular it is available to view online via 24-hour webcam. The one I find myself striding across slowly, arms swinging, much to the delight of four giggling Japanese women on the opposite side of the road, all lined up and waiting for their turn to pose. Any twinge of embarrassment is tempered by my inner music nerd’s exhilaration at stepping inside Abbey Road Studios, whose claim to fame goes well beyond its association with the Fab Four and their eponymous album. Name any of the most popular musical acts of the 20th and 21st centuries and there’s a good chance they’ve spent time in one of the three studios behind this white Georgian townhouse. Pink Floyd, U2, Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Adele. Then there are the timeless film scores recorded here – John Williams’s soundtracks to all but one of the Star Wars movies and the Howard Shore-helmed Lord of the Rings trilogy – as well as the music for the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Suffice it to say, any self-respecting pop culture obsessive would see the opportunity to visit Abbey Road Studios as less a visit than a pilgrimage. English rocker Chris Rea summed it up best in the 1997 documentary The Abbey Road Story: “The honesty of it is, it’s a bit like St. Peter’s in Rome is to a Catholic.” The biggest difference between the Basilica and Abbey Road? Not just anyone can get in to the studios. Considering the fact that a simple tour is normally elusive to the average (and fervent) fan, Abbey Road Studios’ partnership with The Savoy – celebrating its 125th anniversary this year – becomes even more remarkable. Through the Abbey Road Studios package, visitors get a backstage pass and the chance to stay and play like a pop star: first by touring the studios, then unwinding in the lap of luxury at a second London landmark, The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, like so many musicians have done before them, from Frank Sinatra to Rihanna.
(quite literally – Monet and Whistler painted similar vistas while in residence), I meet with Savoy archivist Susan Scott to get the lowdown on the hotel’s famous musical guest list. Although she is adamant about protecting the privacy of current clientele, Scott is happy to chat about illustrious former guests as she takes me on a private tour. Our first stop is the gilded space of the new Beaufort Bar, located just off the Thames Foyer. A popular destination for the pre- and post-theater crowd, she informs me that the bar itself stands on the hotel’s former cabaret stage, which was graced in the 1920s by such luminaries as the Savoy Orpheans dance band and pianist Carroll Gibbons. (Fortunately for my guide, a quiet business meeting in a corner booth prevents me from breaking out into my best Lindy Hop.) We make our way down to The Savoy’s restored Edwardian Lancaster Ballroom where, in 1925, the BBC aired the premiere British broadcast of Rhapsody in Blue – live. Unknown to most is that only a few minutes prior to the broadcast, George Gershwin was nowhere to be found. “There was quite a bit of panic on the stage,” says Scott. “Imagine being the musician who would have to ‘wing’ playing Gershwin’s part on the piano during the broadcast!” Thankfully Gershwin, who’d simply been mingling in the crowd, made it to the stage moments before they went to air. Sensing that I’m still a bit heady from my recording experience at Abbey Road (mainly because I won’t stop talking about it), Scott promises me the next stop on the tour will be a bit more rock and roll. “This is where The Beatles visited Bob Dylan when he was in residence,” she explains as we step into… an alley behind the hotel. A bit less luxurious than the ornate ballroom I was expecting. Then it hits me. My guide smiles and nods. This is the spot where Dylan and D.A. Pennebaker filmed what is widely considered the world’s first-ever music video. I can see it before me in black and white: “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” the opener to Don’t Look Back, a documentary of Dylan’s 1965 tour of England. There’s a 24-year-old Dylan in an unforgettable singlecamera shot. He’s flipping through a series of handwritten cue cards, made with help from fellow hotel guest and girlfriend Joan Baez. All keywords from the song: basement, medicine, pavement... Amazing. I notice that my host is slightly less enthusiastic about standing outside in the brisk morning air, and she politely asks if I might continue to be amazed inside. Back in the Thames Foyer we sip our tea and nibble on shortbread,
1885 125 Years of The Savoy London’s first luxury hotel has welcomed everyone from George Bernard Shaw to Lady Gaga. Here are just a few of the historical highlights – with many more to come.
then it hits me.This is
the spot where Bob Dylan and D.A. Pennebaker filmed the world’s first-ever music video. the genteel setting making for an interesting contrast to a list of some of the hotel’s more unusual musical “firsts”: first celebrity flood (Elton John, who went to make a phone call and left the bath tub running); first musical contract signed on the back of a Savoy menu (Richard Tauber, an Austrian opera singer); first pink-themed celebrity wedding (Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes’ 1984 marriage to Julie Anne Friedman). “Duran Duran was here for two days in 2011 to film the video for their single ‘Girl Panic!’” says Scott, so I pull it up on my phone. The clip follows supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, Eva Herzigová and Yasmin Le Bon as they parade around the hotel acting the parts of the band members, strutting in spots I visited barely an hour earlier. It makes the walk back to my room surreal, to say the least. Sufficiently saturated with enough musical trivia to craft a pub quiz, I absent-mindedly start to sing a few lines from last night’s recording session while waiting for the lift. I look up to find one of The Savoy’s butlers walking toward me with a smile on his face. “Not quite McCartney but not the worst we’ve heard around here, sir,” he quips with a wink. I smile sheepishly. Sure, he’s being incredibly polite, but I decide to take him at his word and quietly hum a few more bars. Besides, what would rock and roll be without its critics?
Richard D’Oyly Carte debuts The Savoy hotel, adjacent to his Savoy Theatre, famous for its Gilbert & Sullivan productions.
1930 new look
hotel as muse
The hotel design keeps up with the times, adding art deco touches from checked flooring to Kaspar, the hotel’s lucky black cat statue.
Claude Monet visits for months at a time and paints now-famous views of the Thames from his room.
Harry Craddock is hired as head bartender, eventually creating The Savoy Cocktail Book, still in print today. Other legendary staff include César Ritz and chef Auguste Escoffier.
1945 return to glory
When the wartime blackout ends in London, The Savoy is the first public building to turn on its lights.
London, England Stay This year The Savoy, A Fairmont
Managed Hotel, is celebrating its 125th anniversary in style. Since opening, the famed address has played host to icons such as Maria Callas and Marilyn Monroe. After a multimillion-dollar restoration in 2010, London’s legendary luxury hotel is once again a home-away-from-home for the stars (and anyone who wants star treatment). fairmont.com/savoy-london
Dine Afternoon Tea at the Thames Foyer is a must, with traditional homemade scones and an impressive selection of cakes.
Head to the American Bar for art deco design or try one of the Character Cocktails at the Beaufort Bar – four concoctions created as tributes to the hotel’s former famous guests: Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra. Each cocktail is garnished tableside and served in era-specific vintage glassware.
Do Inquire about the bespoke abbey
road studios package in advance. You can also ask a hotel concierge about arranging sightseeing tours, transfers to The O2 or charters to popular riverside attractions leaving from the hotel’s private Savoy Pier.
american bar clockwise from top: a doorman at the entrance to abbey road studios; pop star jessie ware performs at a fairmont event; new studio lounges inspired by the savoy’s art deco style; see more photos at everyonesanoriginal.com/fairmont-magazine
The general manager rings a bell to mark the official closing of The Savoy – the first time in the hotel’s history – in order to begin a restoration of the entire building.
Scenes from the romantic comedy Notting Hill are filmed in the hotel – just one in a long line of movies shot there including Goodbye, Mr. Chips and The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
On October 10 (10/10/10), The Savoy officially reopens. Its first guest: actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry. HRH Prince Charles is on hand to mark the occasion with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.
2014 birthday party
The Savoy celebrates 125 years of hotel history and legendary hospitality with a year of celebrations as well as special deals and offers for guests.
fairmont baku occupies a section of the iconic flame towers, a trio of mixed-use buildings, designed by londonbased architectural firm hok
F i rE Ignited by architecture's biggest stars and a nascent art scene, Baku, Azerbaijan, is ablaze with possibility. By Ellen Himelfarb â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Photos by Gunnar Knechtel
an otherwise quiet dining room in Baku’s cobbled old city, Farhad Khalilov and his son Bahram, deep into their third glass of shiraz, are debating their preferred exclamation when clinking glasses. Farhad, at 68 the elder statesman of contemporary Azerbaijani art, uses the Russian “Opa!” perhaps a carryover from his days roaming art circles in Soviet Moscow. Bahram, educated at New York’s Pratt Institute and a youthful 43, prefers the Scandinavian “Skål!” Cultural ambiguities are common in this 23-year-old republic, fought over and occupied for centuries by Persians, Arabs, Mongols and Russians. In the past century alone, the national script has switched from Arabic to Latin, Turkic, Cyrillic and back to the present Turkic. But here in Baku, people are forging a new, vibrant identity and there’s much to look forward to. “Cheers!” we all agree as we drain our glasses. Farhad, for one, is busy. The next morning he’ll depart for his mountain dacha to work on a series of ethereal landscapes. And in a week he’ll be back at his desk at the Union of Azerbaijan Artists, which he’s chaired since the last days of the Soviet era. It’s a big job. Azerbaijan’s nascent art industry is experiencing unprecedented attention. Bahram does his part from the grassroots. His AZgallery liaises between Western and other buyers and Azerbaijani artists. His office, inside the crenelated walls of the wind-blown old city, is brilliantly placed for exploring other galleries that have grown up around this UNESCO World Heritage Site, like the Centre of Contemporary Art and Yay! Gallery, facing the sun-bleached 12thcentury Maiden Tower. Azerbaijan has, perhaps more than any other former Soviet republic, enjoyed a robust modern-art renaissance. When it gained its first, fleeting independence, in 1918, Azerbaijan was the Muslim world’s first democratic state. In the mid-20th century, the Soviets nurtured visual artists and sent legions to Moscow to study and exhibit. In the 1970s, under the deified leader and trained architect Heydar Aliyev, artists began looking outward to their cohorts in Europe, gleaning new ideas from creatives in Hungary and Dresden and ultimately receiving political support. “Moscow played a big role in my life,” Farhad rasps through his luxuriant moustache. “The grand artists, the underground music concerts, the good times...” Evidence of this rich artistic history is everywhere in the revitalized city center, its vast beaux arts facades scrubbed to Monaco perfection, their interiors shrouded in hand-knotted silk rugs and elaborate tapestries. If you can negotiate the wide boulevards, where C-Class Mercedes are replacing the old Ladas at a remarkable rate, you’ll find a quirky street sculpture for every bronze statue of a statesman. Plus, there are more art museums than is plausible for a city of two million. Baku is swiftly transforming from a Soviet outpost to a slick, fast-paced city with a dazzling future. Just two decades ago the resident “skyscrapers” were an unambitious nine stories. No sooner had the country gained its second independence, in 1991, than Baku reignited its plans for a TV tower on the crest of a hill that made its 1,000-plus feet appear more like the 2,700-pluss feet of Dubai’s Khalifa. As any Bakili will tell you, though, the skyline’s most significant change is one you can spot from your plane’s approach. The Flame Towers, housing the Fairmont Baku, emblazon the city’s high ground with the national emblem. Called the Land of Fire, Azerbaijan got its name from natural gas reserves so abundant that flames literally spew from fissures
clockwise from top left: The baku eye observation wheel stands 200 feet (60 meters) tall; The ateshgah Fire temple is located in the suburb of surakhani where natural-gas-fueled fires once erupted spontaneously from the ground; artist faig ahmed holds up "pixelate tradition," one of his works in handmade woolen carpet; the lobby of fairmont baku, featuring "Unions," a work by farmboy fine arts
Artist faig AHMED My favorite placeâ&#x20AC;Ś Ateshgah fire temple. It inspires me because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the most ancient places here. It was constructed and added to by different cultures in different ages, which is proved by the Sanskrit writings on the walls and other ancient symbols.
Artist SITARA IBRAHIMOVA My favorite placeâ&#x20AC;Ś Baku Boulevard. This is probably the only place in the city where you can just spend time alone with your thoughts while walking in the park and enjoying the sea.
clockwise from top left: Photographer Sitara Ibrahimova, part of the Yarat art collective, at le CafĂŠ in the old city; view of baku boulevard and the world's tallest flag at 230-by-115 feet (70-by-35 meters); the lobby of the fairmont baku features a towering crystal chandelier; exterior of the heydar aliyev cultural center; "Seven Beauties" teacup sculpture by Nail Alakbarov near the old city wall; The rolled-tapestry-inspired State museum of azerbaijani carpet and applied arts
in the earth – a phenomenon that likely inspired the Zoroastrians, or fire-worshippers, of the first millennium BC. The buildings’ architects at the London-based design firm HOK referenced this heritage with a trio of torch-like structures that light up after dark with thousands of LED luminaires embedded in the buildings’ skin. The contrast between the new Baku, with its sinuous, iconic architecture, and the old, with its austere, 20th-century constructions, couldn’t be starker. In 2012, the fearless architect Zaha Hadid unveiled her colossal cultural center named for former president Heydar Aliyev, who brokered the country’s independence (and fathered current leader Ilham Aliyev). Otherworldly and startlingly white, it undulates like an arctic ice field. Meanwhile, at the water’s edge, the recently opened national carpet museum unfurls over a seafront park like Aladdin’s magic rug. Its Austrian architects, Hoffmann-Janz, achieved what has become the city’s modus operandi: a contemporary icon that references a millennium’s worth of cultural cues. A further showpiece is the work of architect Jean Nouvel: the Museum of Modern Art, where the vaulted white walls tell Azerbaijan’s story in works by experimental artists of the past 70 years. To really see how far the city’s art scene has come, take the free funicular up to the Flame Towers’ base. Fairmont Baku, occupying the northernmost building, developed its enviable art collection by acquiring work from local ateliers and international galleries alike. The objective was to offer a cultural experience to time-poor business travelers who might never have imagined the depth of the regional art world. “Our collection is an authentic way to connect to the city,” says Ariel Grue Lee, business development director at Farmboy Fine Arts, an art consultancy, based in Vancouver, Canada, that curated the Fairmont’s collection. “Each piece has a specific story, which juxtaposes with the grand, luxurious surfaces.” Also evocative of Baku’s cultural shift is the gracious interior by Hirsch Bedner Associates, both luxurious and rooted in the country’s artistic traditions. In the seven-story lobby, a Czech-designed chandelier with more than three miles of crystal-bead strands descends from a ceiling plastered in platinum leaf. And yet at eye level are delicate works of art that engage intimately with the viewer. Behind the reception desk, a vast contemporary installation incorporates dozens of architectural brass finials, or alems, found around the world, representing a coming-together of cultures and tribes. You will not escape the art here, even in the elevators. Hanging in a corner of the lobby is Faig Ahmed’s “Restraint,” an ornamental “rug” that dissolves into running drips of paint. And on a plinth in the mezzanine is an irreverent bronze sculpture by Mahmud Rustamov. “That the collection is eclectic is important as well,” says Grue Lee. “It isn’t decorative. It could have been assembled over decades.” Most of the artists in Farmboy’s stable are young “ones to watch,” but even the more established names are affordable. Collectors should act fast, too, because the profile of Azerbaijani artists is soaring. The most influential advocate of art in Baku has to be First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, who heads the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which supports the flourishing community. Every year the government invests in painting and sculpture for state buildings around the capital. And the non-profit Yarat Contemporary Art Space, founded by artist Aida Mahmudova in 2011, pursues lucrative sponsorships for exhibitions of Azerbaijani artists in venues like Yay! Gallery and even the Venice Biennale. “There’s a lot of money going into getting these artists exposed,” says Grue Lee, “and they have great people promoting them.” Fairmont Magazine
Left and Below: original artwork at the fairmont baku, including "10750 Pages" by Iranian artist Hadieh Shafie (made up of thousands of rolled-up farsi texts) and "Untitled (three moons)" by Egyptian-canadian artist sherin guriguis; Above: A room with a view of the city and caspian seafront at Fairmont baku
n the top floor of a seven-story apartment block, equipped with its first elevator five years ago, Huseyn Haqverdiyev wrestles with a PC to scroll through digital images of his latest limestone sculptures, commissioned for a new park to the city’s north. He is the son of a successful propagandist and a veteran of the Baku arts scene who came up in the 1980s, an era of political support for new directions in art. “In the old days,” he says, “we were trapped. Artists got money for creating portraits of Lenin, so that is what everyone wanted to do. Today it is much more experimental.” His modernist abstract paintings, inspired by the Russian avant-garde, hang in galleries and his epic mosaics can be seen at British Petroleum’s Sangachal Terminal on the Caspian shore. Between orders he targets every surface of his warren, stripped back to the studs, with thick splashes of paint, inspired by the view – domes and minarets in the middle distance and, beyond, the sea stretching out toward Turkmenistan. As recently as 2012, when he traveled to London to show in the Fly to Baku exhibition at the Phillips de Pury gallery, Haqverdiyev couldn’t have imagined how little time he’d have for house painting. Last year he was the focus of an exhibition at Yay! and shortly thereafter he sold three works to the collection at Fairmont Baku. When I ask him if he advises other artists – like 36-year-old Emin Asgerov, who, in a studio down the hall, paints vast, emotional canvases celebrated in exhibitions from Tashkent to Turkey – he chortles and with a dramatic sweep of his hand declares: “Of course,” like the godfather of this increasingly influential family. He was taught well. His friend and mentor Farhad Khalilov spent generations fighting for the freedoms enjoyed by his contemporaries. Eventually Khalilov lived to see his boom. And as he offers me a lift back to the hotel I notice he’s got the Land Rover to prove it.
On the cover
Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, is an architectural monument, art museum and hotel in one, located at the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest point and visible for miles (an added benefit: you'll never get lost). A free funicular takes you from the waterfront to the complex, which is equipped with an ESPA spa facility set over two floors, and indoor and outdoor pools with views across the old city. For an exclusive lifestyle hotel experience, a stay on the Fairmont Gold floor promises special privileges and extra-attentive service, designed to meet the needs of the most discerning guest.
Dine Within the Fairmont Baku,
Artist FARID RASULOV My favorite placeâ&#x20AC;Ś The old city. Poets and writers are often inspired by its timeless beauty. Artists have been dwelling in this area for years. Some are so fortunate as to own a studio amidst ancient minarets and mosques. The atmosphere here draws you in right away and infuses you with creative energy. As I wander these streets, I become more and more aware of who I am: an artist and a dreamer.
we photographed artist Farid Rasulov in his work "Carpet interior." The installation, a room papered entirely in printed textiles, had just returned to baku from the 2013 Venice Biennale. much to our surprise, Rasulov, who also designs a clothing line called Chelebi (a blazer from the collection is pictured, right), offered to fashion a suit from the same material. What else could we say, but "Yes, Please!" See the installation as it is being constructed and more images of baku at everyonesanoriginal.com/fairmont-magazine
fashionable Bakili congregate at Alov Steakhouse, a contemporary dining room with a southwestern American theme and an open kitchen headed by chef Orkan Mukhtarov. They also head to the Alov Jazz Bar, which features live music every evening (Baku is a regional center for jazz), along with light bites and classic cocktails. Designers Hirsch Bedner Associates kitted out the Nur Lounge with a bar of textured champagne glass and a cutting-edge M. Liminal grand piano by Fazioli.
Do Meander through the old city to
shop for fine carpets, silk scarves and shaggy lambskin hats, a Bakili tradition. Or drive southwest to Gobustan, where pre-historic peoples embellished their environment with a rich cache of petroglyphs, discovered by quarry workers in the 1930s.
photo: andrew moore
Empress of the Night Destination Reading In partnership with Penguin Random House
She throws herself into work. One can be too
successful, too bright, too visionary. In European games, power is thrown on the apothecaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scales. If they do not balance, trouble ensues. Russian victories have made the Prussians uneasy and the Austrians frantic. The coded dispatches sent from court to court demand curtailing Russian gluttony. From the novel by Eva Stachniak â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Photos by Andrew Moore & Cedric Angeles
ow much would she give up for not fueling Turkish wrath? She is tempted to give up nothing. For months, she pores over maps, adds and subtracts the numbers. How much does a war cost? How much does it bring in return? These are not crass calculations. Prussia and Austria want chunks of Poland. The Empress of Russia can help herself to her share, too. A lion’s share, Frederick of Prussia tempts. Far greater than what we get. It’s a hard bargain. Isn’t Poland hers already? Isn’t Stanislav doing what she instructs him to? How much shall she pay for peace? She cannot wage two wars, can she? Giving up chunks of Poland? Is it worth it? What if she stalls? Refuses? The Empire is like an old quilt in need of constant tending. As new patches are added, old ones thin and tear. In the Urals, a Yaik Cossack is gathering disgruntled mine workers and runaway serfs. They have just attacked yet another estate. Robbed the cellars, stole the gold and silver and ran away. At the foundling hospitals, the mortality rate is 99 percent. Doctors give her long lectures on the balance of humors and declare the medical art helpless against the immoral habits of the poor. Paul, her son, has reached the age of majority and hints that Maria Theresa is teaching her son and heir how to rule. The throne is a lonely place. From Gatchina, Grigory Orlov is sending emissaries. Brothers, cousins, even his old servants, whose toothless mouths blend pleas and spit. Grigory wants to see her, his beloved matushka, the only joy of his life, one last time. Only one. How can she deny it to him after all that has joined them? How can she be so cruel? In her inner rooms, the timid lover’s voice quivers. Vasilchikov’s body gives off a whiff of stale cheese. He hasn’t seen her for three full days. She has not replied to his latest question. She walked away while he was still speaking. The memory of his touch grows faint and fleeting. The lover’s hour is for caresses not accusations. My mistake, my fault, she thinks of him. Made of desperation. Should she not have listened to Panin? Should she have sent for him, instead? He, Potemkin, is at the Turkish front. There is nothing they say about him that she doesn’t know already. Nature has made Grisha a Russian peasant, and he won’t ever change. He fears bad omens. Trails after charlatans and tricksters. Chews on raw turnips. He’s moody. Indolent. Slovenly. Vain. So why does he make friends faster than kvass breeds flies? Her desk is piled high. Letters, proposals, petitions, drafts of treaties she needs to analyze and amend. Reports on the dyeing of silk, the feasibility of building a china manufactory, summaries of books she has no time to read. Five secretaries work around the clock and yet the tidal wave of papers does not diminish. “Still think you are better than me, Catherine?” the late Empress’s voice mocks. “That you can do it all alone?”
Lieutenant Potemkin appears at court unannounced. He throws himself at her feet, like the thespian he has always been. Her ladies-in-waiting scamper away, lean against the walls, blend into tapestries on which nymphs escape their pursuers, hunters aim arrows at giant stags. A lean, pale face. A black patch over his left eye. A Cyclops, she recalls Grigory Orlov’s old taunt. Blacksmiths, she has since learned, cover one eye to minimize the power of flying sparks to blind them. The same cleft chin, full lips. No longer a boy but a man toughened by hardships. Attacked and outnumbered by the enemy, he was the hero of the victory. Still in love with her after twelve long years. You can see my zeal. You will never regret your choice. I am Your Imperial Majesty’s subject and slave. Let it be, she thinks. I won’t fight it anymore. In her mind, for some time now, she has been making amends to the timid lover. An estate, a generous pension, a few trinkets from her latest Parisian shipment. How long will it take to move Vasilchikov’s things out? A day? Then another day for Grisha to move in. She already has her first gift to him: a promotion. The simplicity of these arrangements tickles like an ostrich feather. “Stand up, Lieutenant-General Potemkin,” she orders. “Your Empress is extremely grateful for all you have done for Russia. You are very, very dear to her heart.” He rises with awkwardness, which amuses her greatly, and gives her a pained look. “Why is my Sovereign dismissing me?” he asks. “Dismissing you?” Has she not just given him a sign? Could it be that she has not been clear enough? But deep inside her, she knows that he has read her thoughts and found them wanting. His good eye doesn’t let go of her. He shakes his auburn hair. He abhors coyness. He doesn’t care about promotions, but now that his Empress has just given him one, he is going back to the south to earn the honor. He thanks God Almighty that the peace treaty with the Ottoman Porte has not yet been signed. That there are still skirmishes on the border. Her shoe grinds against the carpet. There will be a hole there, afterward, matching the size of her heel. Grisha Potemkin does not flinch against her anger. His last words to her before he leaves are: “Step on me, obliterate me, or take note of my love.” You won’t think of him, Catherine orders herself. It is that simple. Not easy, perhaps, but it can be done. There is her son’s wedding to plan and arrange. Guests to receive. To dazzle with how much she has achieved already. If this is not enough of a distraction, in the Urals, the Yaik Cossack declares himself Peter III. “With the help of a faithful servant I’ve escaped my wife’s murderous hands,” he announces, clearly with someone’s expert help. “I’ve come back to free my people from this sinful German usurper. I’ve come to put my son on the throne that is rightfully his.”
photos: cedric angeles
Empress of the Night
About the author
Eva Stachniak was born in Wrocław, Poland. She moved to Canada in 1981 and has worked for Radio Canada International and Sheridan College, where she taught English and humanities. Her debut novel, Necessary Lies, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award in 2000. Her first novel of Catherine the Great, The Winter Palace, was included in The Washington Post’s 2011 list of most notable fiction. Stachniak lives in Toronto, where she is at work on her next novel. evastachniak.com Destination Reading
There is nothing quite like reading a book to get excited about an upcoming trip, or to immerse yourself in a destination once you’re there. In partnership with Penguin Random House, Fairmont has built a carefully curated reading list inspired by its hotels and resorts around the globe. Start Empress of the Night (you can order titles right from the website) and you’ll be ready for a visit to Moscow, Russia, set to welcome a Fairmont in 2016. fairmont.com/randomhouse
left: the opera house in irkutsk, the “paris of siberia”; below: members of the bolshoi ballet warm up before a performance; previous spread: a guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier by the kremlin wall; saint basil’s cathedral, a church turned museum in red square; Opening spread: rotari’s gallery in the peterhof grand palace, sometimes known as the “russian versailles”
Excerpted from Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak Copyright © 2014 by Eva Stachniak. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher; photos cedric Angeles (ballet); Andrew moore (opera house)
In this historical novel from Penguin Random House, Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. randomhouse.com, randomhouse.ca
Fa i r m o n t M a g a z i n e
De s ig n Spec i a l Two hotel redesigns on either side of the Pacific Ocean have much in common. First and foremost, the desire to bring guests into the 21st century while respecting – and highlighting – each property’s rich history.
Discover a thoroughly modern refreshment that draws inspiration from five key elements of Singaporean culture.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Let your senses guide you through the redesign of this resort in California wine country.
De s ign Sp ecial
De s i g n Sp ec i al
P A R T 01 singapore
Pa s t M e e t s P r e s e n c e A modern mosaic comes to life at Fairmont Singapore, where renovations take five distinctly local cues from the city-state’s complex culture. By Andrew Braithwaite
For centuries, Singapore remained a remote jungle settlement at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Then, in the age of seafaring, it transformed into a key battlefield for global empire-builders, passing from hand to colonial hand by Siamese, Javanese, Portuguese, Dutch and British rulers until its independence – merdeka, in the Malay language – in 1965. The Singapore of today is a dense blend of cultural influences, a tropical rainforest turned concrete jungle. Designed by I.M. Pei and opened in 1986 between Marina Bay and the downtown core, Fairmont Singapore stands at the crossroads of this colorful, complex nation. But as Singapore’s
cityscape evolved at lightning speed, so too did the lifestyles of hotel guests, highlighting the need for renovations that would both cement the hotel in the modern world and pay tribute to the city’s unique history and population. To strike the right balance, Fairmont engaged the local teams of two international design firms – Engstrom Design Group (EDG) and Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) – to remake the hotel lobby, refresh 371 guest rooms and create Anti:dote, a chic new cocktail bar. The result is a redesign that draws authentic inspiration from five key elements of Singaporean culture.
traditional peranakan tile
01 Peranakan Craft Peranakan is the name for the centuries-old ethnic mix of colonial Chinese and Malay peoples, and the visual motifs of traditional Peranakan craftwork – ornate, complicated patterns normally seen on textiles and clay tiles – dot many of the hotel’s renovated surfaces, from carpets to curtain sheers. “We wanted to reinterpret Peranakan patterns in a modern, luxurious way,” says Michael Goodman, EDG’s senior director for Asia, whose studio designed the new bar and lobby. Anti:dote shows off Peranakan patterns in the black concrete floors and via doublelayered etching along the glass-tiled countertop, while a modern chandelier by Czech lighting design studio Lasvit renders traditional diamond-patterned motifs by alternating more than 26,000 hanging amber and transparent borosilicate bars.
Bl ack & White Bunga lows Singapore’s era of British colonial rule remains visible in heritage architecture across the city, particularly in the so-called “black-and-white” style of bungalow built to house colonial families. HBA added a touch of history to Fairmont Singapore’s guestrooms by incorporating wooden, plantation-style window shutters, painted black and operable by a traditional rod switch. “It’s rare to see new examples of the black-and-white style in Singapore today,” says Sheila Cayetano, HBA’s lead designer on their renovation of the guest rooms and corridors. The firm also partnered with a young Singaporean artist, Andre Tan, who created three editions of canvas pop art prints to hang above the headboards. The black-andwhite pieces incorporate images of key local colonial-era buildings, such as the Old Parliament House and the Fullerton Building.
03 Forces of Nature Nicknamed “City in a Garden,” Singapore takes its connection to nature seriously, with a city-wide focus on integrating the environment into urban areas. Find a natural touch in the chandelier created by Lasvit for the main lobby. Titled “Playing with Wind,” the piece, done by designer Petra Dickova, features 800 hand-blown glass “bubbles” suspended chaotically on spindly stainless steel branches, evoking what Lasvit calls “the lightness and elusiveness of the wind.” This fixture hovers next to a wall that EDG covered with wooden “fins,” pitched at angles to mimic tree branches. In Anti:dote, where several walls were removed to introduce more natural light, Canadian sculptor Ken Gangbar covered a matte-black wall with a dense, angular swath of protruding white marble discs. “From afar, it looks like wind blowing through a field of grass,” says EDG’s Goodman.
almost half the city is made up of green space
Festive Color The centerpiece of the new lobby reflects Singapore’s colorful cultural fusion. Swiss artist Claudia Caviezel tapped into the bright colors that dot this city with a huge, 25-by-15-foot print on canvas. Mounted behind the check-in desk, the work is an explosion of crimson, violet and aquamarine – hues that one might see in the Chinese lanterns of the Mid-Autumn festival, the airborne powder of the Hindu Holi festival in Little India or a fireworks display over Marina Bay. “We probably went through 15 sketches with Claudia before we really felt like the piece expressed that mix of cultures,” says Goodman of the print, which also features leaves, vines, insects and snakes hidden among the intense clash of colors.
paper lanterns hang in singapore’s chinatown
05 Modern Skyline With the city’s historic past and lush, colorful present accounted for, Fairmont nods to Singapore’s future with two murals mounted behind the concierge and bell desks. In an abstract mosaic of black and white porcelain tiles, the pattern suggests “a multitude of skyscrapers,” says Goodman of EDG, expressing the relentless pace of modern building that continues to transform Singapore into a 21st-century commercial capital. He continues: “We have a particularly exceptional skyline here, so it’s something we wanted to acknowledge.” With a fresh new interior for I.M. Pei’s own contribution to the concrete jungle, Fairmont Singapore is poised to retain its place of importance on the horizon.
De sig n S p ecial
sonoma mission Inn & Spa
De si g n Sp ec i al
P A R T 02 sonoma
S e n s e o f P l ac e A thoughtful redesign of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa offers enticements for each of the five senses. By Andrew Braithwaite — Photos by Grant H arder
The lobby of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the property’s beating heart. It was designed to charm the senses. From the inviting caress of its majestic leather armchairs, the fire in its limestone fireplace tickles the skin with warm licks of air; a swirl and sip of Stag’s Leap S.L.V cab sauv suggests blackberry bushes in late summer and sends silky tannins dancing across the tongue; and throughout the grand space, between Spanish Mission-style archways, there’s the gentle buzz of like-minded visitors comparing tasting notes at the hotel’s nightly wine hour. Everything that taste, touch, sight, smell and sound might desire, it turns out, is right here within this room. So when it came time to renovate the Inn last year, there was no doubt that this particular space would play a leading role. The challenge was in refreshing the beloved gathering place without altering its classic, sensory appeal. Sonoma is often thought of as the unpretentious side
of California Wine Country, and any perceptive guest wandering the pathways and corridors of the Fairmont will feel this comfortable charm, as well as a strong pull between past and future. For hundreds of years the area has attracted visitors in search of its healing thermal waters, leading to the first hotel established on the grounds, built by H.E. Boyes in 1900. Since then, the property has lived many lives, reinventing itself after fires (however extensive the renovations, its iconic water tower remains), surviving the Great Depression and serving as an R&R site for the Navy during WWII. The current Mission Inn is composed of more than a dozen separate buildings – including a 40,000-square-foot spa still fed by the warm, mineral-rich waters. In 2013, Historic Hotels of America named the Inn to its prestigious register of properties that have “faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place and architectural integrity.”
01 sight So when Fairmont hired two California design firms to update the buildings – BraytonHughes Design Studios of San Francisco began work on guest and meeting rooms in 2011 and L.A.’s KNA Design tackled the lobby and connected dining spaces starting in 2012 – the designers had a tall order. “Our job was to update these spaces without reinventing them,” explains KNA principal Kirk Nix. The result is a minimalist approach to modernization, with 21st-century touches overlaying the hotel’s historic character. “We were always mindful of maintaining that California-Spanish feel wherever possible,” says Rachel Fischbach of BraytonHughes. The lobby, says Nix, “is where every visit begins and ends, so we treated it a bit like the hotel’s living room.” The goal, he explains, was to “animate the space,” with its broad floor plan and dramatically high, wood-beamed ceiling providing an ideal canvas. An open front porch was glassed in so that the concierge desk could be moved next to the entryway and out of the room’s center, a gentle suggestion that the room is for much more than checking in and out. In its place: soft chairs and sofas by L.A.based A. Rudin, arranged in intimate clusters to further draw in guests. Two taller communal tables, set beneath rustic iron-and-glass lighting pendants by Holly Hunt, frame the room and encourage conversation between strangers. “We wanted people to linger, to say ‘Sure, I’ll have that second glass of Russian River Pinot because I’m having a good time,’” says Nix. That grand old limestone hearth required a bit of sandblasting and a fresh coat of paint and now the hotel staff keeps the fire stoked behind a new screen, an iron gate dotted with colorful, cross-cut geodes that was designed by metal artist Philip Nimmo. To complete the refresh, KNA commissioned British-born artist John Rose to design an abstract art showpiece for atop the mantel: “Vibrations,” a bright red fluid form inspired by strands of DNA (pictured left). “It’s eye candy,” says Nix. “A bit of bling, for lack of a better word.” Along with the striking backdrop for the concierge desk – a sparkling cacophony of copper and terra cotta-glazed porcelain tile – the lobby provides both a warm welcome and a lasting impression. Fairmont Magazine
De s i g n Sp ec i al
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02 smell Set to the right of the fireplace is an entirely new addition: the wine bar 38º North. Its name is a reference to the 38th parallel that runs through Sonoma Valley as well as other global wine regions, including Calabria in Italy and Alicante in Spain. It’s a clever way of linking the evolving region (and the property) to the world at large. While the wine bar’s amenities are thoroughly modern – high-tech wine coolers deliver fresh bythe-glass pours from some 50 labels (including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Screaming Eagle) – the room succeeds in feeling imbued with history. The flooring is a marriage of old-new: An engineered European oak hardwood features zigzag patterns in two dark tones of hard-wax oil treatment, but the fine-sawn finish also gives the surface underfoot a distressed feel normally earned with age. Hovering above the black granite bar is a long, glass-and-iron chandelier, its heavy metal and warm light suggesting a candelabra, a contemporary take on something you might see in a Spanish Gothic tavern.
De s i g n Sp ec i al
04 taste Even the menu at 38º North reflects a modern twist on tradition, with gourmet versions of comfort food and bar snacks. Order the Grown-Up Mac and Cheese and you’ll be rewarded with pasta shells spiked with morsels of lobster, fragrant black truffles and Fontina from the Italian Alps. A heartier appetite receives its reward at Santé, the hotel’s flagship for fine dining and a sensory journey unto itself. The Michelin-rated, prerenovation Santé struck Nix as a space that didn’t quite reflect the ambitions of its kitchen. “It felt like a place where you could just as easily be serving breakfast,” says Nix, “but Santé is only open for dinner. So we tried to make it a little more dramatic.” Cinematic lighting sets the tone as you enter. A custom LED chandelier composed of five slender rings finished in hand-rubbed bronze hovers overhead. LEDs also dot the wall-length wine cooler, illuminating bottles visible inside this tempered glass box. “Guests enjoy watching you pull out the exact bottle they’re going to drink that night,” says sommelier Marc Irving. He was brought in from Las Vegas to rebuild the wine list and ended up adding 45 new labels to the California-focused cellar. With the theatrical new lighting in place, KNA deepened the tone of the walls so that the focus was squarely on chef de cuisine Andrew Cain’s works of culinary artistry, exhibited atop the white tablecloths for diners to admire before their first bite. In Sonoma, there is always something fighting for your attention: the smell of lavender, the sun setting over the vineyards. The trick to enjoying it all is balance. In that way, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the perfect base for exploring the region, for enjoying a feast of the senses – even before you have left the lobby.
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Sonoma, USA Stay Tempt your senses in California
wine country at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. The historic property originally attracted visitors for its natural mineral hot springs, which still feed the resort’s pools and the 40,000-squarefoot (3,700-square-meter) Willow Stream Spa. Discover a mix of minimalist design and mission-style architecture in recently renovated rooms, Wine Country suites and common areas perfect for socializing.
Dine For haute bar snacks and 50 different wines by the glass, take a seat at 38˚North in a lounge just off the main lobby. Book a table at Santé Restaurant for chef Andrew Cain’s fine dining menu built around locally sourced, seasonal cuisine.
Do In addition to wine tastings at the
Inn, ask the concierge for information about regional wine tours and for a map to the best vineyards in Sonoma (and neighboring Napa Valley). Ask the concierge about guided hikes and bicycle rides starting off from the property, as well as playing golf on the resort’s championship 18-hole course.
Ti m e Tra v e l
A journey along the historic watchmaking trail
sheds light on the tiny miracles of micro-engineering that make Switzerlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s timepieces the best in the world.
By Carol Besler â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Photos by Joss McKinley
A watchmaker and his work at Montblancâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s institut Minerva de recherche en haute horlogery in villeret, Switzerland
photo: victor go (chillon castle)
lesson in the workshop of Lionel Meylan’s Swiss atelier begins with the following advice: “A watchmaker needs four things: good eyes, good nerves, the patience of a saint and,” Meylan concludes, a twinkle in his eye, “good knees.” True to this insight, my worktable consists of a pair of pin-tipped tweezers, a set of tiny screwdrivers and the impossibly miniscule components required to assemble a movement. A watchmaker, it seems, can spend as much time under his desk as at it. The trick, I discover, is a light touch. On this bright summer’s day, when most visitors to Montreux are taking in the larger-than-life splendor of Lake Geneva and the magnitude of the Alps, the irony of peering at miniature objects through a loupe is not lost on me. Yet, for anyone drawn to the artisan nature of these tiny mechanisms, there is no more beautiful sight. For centuries, tourists have come to this swath of glamorous shoreline – known as the Swiss Riviera – in search of pleasure. The Swiss are as renowned for their excellence in the art of hospitality as they are in the art of watchmaking, and Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, a local landmark and my home base for this trip, embodies the area’s luxurious pedigree. Built during the Belle Epoque as an authentic resort in the old-Europe sense, it was a place where guests stayed for several weeks or months, hiking the Alps’ glittering glaciers by day and dancing in its glittering ballrooms by night. (Indeed, its corridors retain their original 13-foot width, allowing two women in hoop-skirted gowns to pass without touching.) I am not here for this particular combination of action and glorious inaction, however, but for a special journey into the heartland of Switzerland’s most famous export – mechanical timepieces. My first stop, Meylan’s workshop, is designed to gain a further appreciation for the precise choreography of a movement, the watch’s counting mechanism. Le Montreux Palace recently partnered with Meylan in response to requests from guests who wanted to learn more about the horology process. Since a good timepiece can easily cost six figures, it’s natural for buyers to wonder what’s under the hood. Meylan’s workshop offers a glimpse into the mystery. Warning: You really do need the patience of a saint. At one point I mangle the hairspring, the heart of the mechanical movement, which, together with the balance wheel, literally makes it tick. Fortunately I am working on a “practice” device, and Meylan patiently guides me through the process a second time with a new spring. We are in the midst of what is widely referred to as the second golden age of watchmaking, the first being roughly between 1780 and 1870, when all of the devices of mechanical timekeeping were invented: chronograph, tourbillon, minute repeater (conceived in pre-electricity days to signal the time at night), perpetual calendar, annual calendar. All of them start with the crucial hairspring and balance wheel, known together as the escapement. The greatest challenge to mechanical watchmaking came in the 1970s and ’80s when quartz watches, driven by a small battery and tiny crystal, nearly killed the craft. Quartz’s low cost and undeniable accuracy made watches more accessible than ever. In the late ’90s, however, a resurgence of interest in the old-fashioned gear-train method of telling time inspired watchmakers to tinker with and reinterpret the traditional Clockwise from top left: horology lesson at meylan’s; mechanisms. This reinvigoration of the craft has resulted in a montblanc craftsman bevels more innovations in mechanical watchmaking over the past a tourbillon Bridge; parts and fittings; the 12th-century 20 years than in the previous 50. chillon castle on lake geneva
We are in the midst of what is
widely referred to as the second golden age of watchmaking.
photo: Carol Besler (Gentian)
y suite at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace is called Quincy Jones, after the music impresario who has paid many a visit to this quiet sanctuary during Montreux’s renowned annual jazz festival. The expansive room features two terraces, one facing the sunrise in the east, the other the sunset in the west. I consider this poignant symbol of time as I set off by car to the Swiss Jura, an hour and a half northwest, near the French border. On my approach, the mountains rise up around me as I travel through the green pastures and sleepy mountain villages where watchmaking took hold in the 18th century. Local farmers, seeking occupation during the long winter months, manned the cottage industry. (Their wives, meanwhile, tatted lace.) The activity gradually migrated to the nearby town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, where, after the entire village burned down in 1794, the Swiss, with their seemingly inborn sense of exactitude, decided to rebuild the town entirely around the craft. They designed the streets in a grid formation (an anomaly at that time in Europe), in parallel tiers that climb a mountain slope, each street slightly higher than the last, following the angle of the sun as it rose. These terraces allowed the maximum amount of light to penetrate every building for the maximum amount of time – a watchmaker needs good eyes, after all, and sunlight in the pre-electrical age was essential. Inside, these spaces contained living quarters alongside workshops, each specializing in a particular part: hands, dials, bracelets, movement components. The parts were gathered by an établisseur who issued the orders and then assembled the basic movement in his own atelier. So successful was this early assembly-line system that nearby Le Locle was later redesigned the same way. By 1915, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle made half the world’s watches. Compare that with today: While the region now produces only around three percent of the world’s watches, that small portion represents 50 percent of total production value. Many of world’s elite brands, including Cartier, Montblanc, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Corum, are located here in modern manufactures. In 2009, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle were recognized as UNESCOprotected heritage sites because of this unique industrial-residential integration. If you venture to the 14th floor of the Espacité tower in La Chaux-de-Fonds, you can see a panoramic view of the sloping grid. While some of the buildings are still used as workshops, most are luxurious apartments, with elaborate gardens filling the gaps between rows. And despite their proto-industrial origins, the buildings incorporate the beautiful flourishes of the Swiss version of Art Nouveau. Style Sapin, or “fir-tree style,” gives a nod to the majestic pine trees that cover the slopes of the Jura and which figure into the decorative motifs of the buildings’ twirling wroughtiron stairwells and the etched glass that punctuates doorways. Interspersed among the apartment blocks are beautiful villas, the former residences of the établisseurs and factory owners. I tour one of them, the Villa Turque. Designed by Le Corbusier, who was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds and whose father was a watch engraver and enamelist, the villa is now owned by the watch brand Ebel, who maintains it for visiting executives and company events. It is a breathtaking example of Le Corbusier’s form-follows-function philosophy. So exacting are the proportions, it could be considered the bricksand-mortar embodiment of the Swiss watchmaking ethos. I experience another example of Swiss precision in the evening at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace’s Willow Stream Spa, where my entire body is thoroughly scrubbed and polished using a pumice Clockwise from top left: flower stems are used as polishing tools; combined with that most emblematic example of Swiss watchmaking implements resemble flora, edelweiss (or “cloud flower,” as the locals poetically those of a century ago; style sapin doorway at Fairmont le montreux refer to it because of its delicate, silvery white leaves). palace; antique minerva dial
One craftsman does the
final polish using an unusual tool, the stem of a gentian flower.
Montreux, Switzerland Stay Fairmont Le Montreux
Palace is a stately wonder on the shore of Lake Geneva. Freddie Mercury lived here; so did Vladimir Nabokov. For a special experience, book the Quincy Jones Suite with east- and west-facing private terraces from which you can catch both the sunrise and the sunset. fairmont.com/montreux
Dine La Brasserie du Palace
is decorated in the Belle Epoque style, in keeping with the architecture of the hotel itself. The menu features a combination of authentic Parisian brasserie dishes and Swiss specialties, including fresh perch from Lake Geneva and traditional Alsatian choucroute.
Afterward, I dine in La Brasserie du Palace on fresh perch fillets caught that day in Lake Geneva, which, from my table, appears inky-black in the moonlight. There should be a ceremony for this. A celebration of the fish, or perhaps of the fishermen who, like clockwork, rise before dawn to take their boats out onto the lake. I see them at sunrise from the east terrace of the Quincy Jones Suite.
return the following day to La Chaux-de-Fonds to tour the Musée International d’Horlogerie. The museum’s 4,000 watches and wall clocks, arranged in sequence, span the entire history of movement development. The early pieces are large and awkward. Over time they become smaller and less decorative, but vastly more complex. This historic visit sets the tone for the final stop on my journey: the Montblanc-owned Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie. While most watch manufactures are now highly automated, using robotic machines to punch out parts to the tenth of a micron, Minerva continues to produce all of its components by hand. Here, highly skilled craftsmen fashion only a few hundred timepieces a year, using customized tools based on those from centuries past. Each watch is slightly different and therefore custom. Most are presold to collectors. I look on as one craftsman puts the final polish on a tourbillon bridge using an unusual tool, the stem of the gentian flower, which grows in the nearby mountain pastures. Its softness and flexibility allow it to reach places no automated polishing machine could ever go. I peer over the shoulder of another craftsman manning a kind of roller, and see that he is, in fact, stretching and coiling long wires into hairsprings for the movements. Very few manufactures make their own hairsprings; instead they order them now from automated factories that specialize in this component. I flush to witness this painstaking process in action, remembering the botched spring from my own horology experiment. Alone in the car on my return to Montreux, it’s wonderful to think of the artisans of this city making a hairspring the same way for centuries – and creating the pieces that measured the seconds, hours and years of their lifetimes as today’s craftsmen are fashioning the metronomes of ours. It’s as though, in their pursuit of the most precise and elegant way to tell time, Swiss watchmakers have made it stand still.
Belle epoque flourishes meet contemporary design At Fairmont le montreux palace
Restaurant La Cheminée, located in a historic former farmhouse in La Chaux-deFonds that was built in 1703, has a romantic dining room where regional dishes, including locally raised meat, are prepared over an open grill. lacheminee.ch
Do Participate in the various steps
of disassembling and assembling a watch movement as part of The Meylan Watchmaking Experience, under the supervision of Lionel, Yannick or Julien Meylan, resident father-and-sons watch makers located in the town of Vevey. Visits are by appointment only, so book your experience through the concierge at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. lionel-meylan.ch Walking tours of La Chaux-de-Fonds start at the Espacité tower, in the center of the city. One focuses on the symbiosis of watchmaking and town planning. Another follows the Le Corbusier Trail to the architect’s famous designs. There is also a tour focusing on Style Sapin, the art nouveau movement of the region. La Chaux-de-Fonds also features the world’s largest watch museum, Le Musée International d’Horlogerie.
chaux-de-fonds.ch Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
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Suites & Penthouses
Arts & Entertainment
Spa & Fitness
Food & Drink
Shopping & Style
Leadership & Philanthropy
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise — In the late 1800s, tourists flocked to Banff National Park in Canada for its stunning scenery – and the Canadian Pacific transcontinental railway helped get them there. The park’s crown jewel, dubbed Emerald Lake by railway workers, was later renamed Lake Louise after Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter. The first hotel on its shores began as a two-bedroom log cabin that hosted 50 guests during its first year in business. By 1912, it had grown to accommodate 50,000, and was eventually renamed The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. fairmont.com/lake-louise Fairmont Magazine
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth — John Lennon and Yoko Ono caught the world’s attention when they held a Bed-In for Peace in 1969. From under the covers at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth hotel, the pair shared their message with more than 150 journalists and composed the song “Give Peace a Chance.” Modern guests who check into the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Suite will find it adorned with memorabilia that includes Lennon’s gold records as well as photos and press clippings commemorating the event, whose 45th anniversary takes place this year.
Suites & Penthouses
Classic Manhattan The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel
— Overlooking Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain, the Royal Plaza Suite has one of the best views in Manhattan. But you’re forgiven for being distracted from it by everything else the Louis X V-inspired space has to offer, including a grand piano, private gymnasium and a library personally stocked by Prosper Assouline (the cofounder of Assouline Publishing). fairmont.com/the-plaza-new-york
Suite San Fran
The Fairmont San Francisco
— So many famous faces have called The Savoy home – from Charlie Chaplin to Maria Callas – that the hotel created a series of Personality Suites dedicated to them. Decorated in either Art Deco or Edwardian style, the eponymous suites feature original artwork and photographs depicting the personality in question, as well as personal touches like Marlene Dietrich’s beloved pink roses and Winston Churchill’s favorite Champagne.
— First debuted in the Roaring Twenties, The Fairmont San Francisco’s Penthouse Suite recently underwent a restoration led by New York interior design firm Champalimaud. At 6,000 square feet (557 square meters), the suite spans the building’s entire eighth floor and features a Persian-tiled billiard room, secret passageways and original works by contemporary artist David Hockney. Famous guests have included Mick Jagger, Tony Bennett and Prince Charles.
London Calling The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel
promos Green Design
Eco-friendly designer Kelly LaPlante outfitted the Chesapeake Suite with the environment in mind. Highlights include recycled drapes by Robert Allen, salvaged birch-tree installations by Studio Jefrë and IceStone countertops made from recycled glass and concrete.
Perched on the hotel’s 34th floor, above the city lights, Fairmont Dubai’s six penthouse suites exemplify the region’s unique mix of contemporary style and lavish Arabian touches – and they all feature spectacular views of the famed Sheikh Zayed Road and city skyline.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown —
Fairmont Dubai —
Fairmont Peace Hotel —
Following a three-year restoration, Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel is proud to reintroduce the Nine Nation Suites, each inspired by a different country. Think shoji screens and tatami mats for the Japan suite (pictured) and Victorian-inspired moldings for England.
fairmont.com/peace-hotel-shanghai Fairmont Magazine
Day in the Life
â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Last September, Fairmont flew two lucky contest winners to London, England, courtesy of Air Canada, to take part in a recording session at Abbey Road Studios. For your own rock star experience, book the Abbey Road Studios package through The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel. In addition to a stay at the luxury hotel, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get an exclusive tour of the studios made famous by The Beatles. fairmont.com/savoy-london
The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel
Arts & Entertainment pag e 17
Home Sweet Home Fairmont Heritage Place, El Corazon de Santa Fe
— From the Santa Fe Opera Theatre to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the cultural offerings of Santa Fe, New Mexico, have made it a mecca for art enthusiasts. In the heart of the city you’ll also find Fairmont residences – vacation homes with the services of a luxury hotel. The property showcases Puebloinspired design, including clay plaster walls and kiva fireplaces, as well as pieces from local artists. fairmont.com/el-corazon-santa-fe
Late Show Fairmont Baku
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— In the last 100 years, Calgary, Alberta, has gone from a Prairie trading center to a major Canadian metropolis, and The Fairmont Palliser has been there to witness it all. The hotel, which was built along the Canadian Pacific Railway, is celebrating its centennial in 2014 with a series of exciting activities, including a time capsule burial. To top it all off, guests can celebrate while enjoying a local Palliser Ale made just for the occasion.
— Azerbaijan’s Flame Towers are famous for the nightly animation on their facade – the creation of lighting designer Francis Krahe and one of the largest LED displays in the world. Head inside Fairmont Baku and you’ll be just as dazzled by its more than 400-pieces fine-art collection of local and international works, curated by Farmboy Fine Arts.
Celebrate a Century The Fairmont Palliser
promos Game Room
Artist in Residence
Entirely equipped by Sony, the new Teens Room By PlayStation makes it easy to keep older kids entertained while on vacation in Mexico. Children aged 10–17 can drop by for weekly dance contests, virtual kart races and the latest games from PlayStation while parents sit back and relax.
Find ceramic artist Harumi Ota’s pieces on display at Victoria’s The Fairmont Empress – he’s the hotel’s seventh artist-in-residence. Ota’s work fuses his native Japanese aesthetic with vibrant South American and contemporary touches from his current country of residence, Canada.
If you are looking for an outstanding souvenir of your trip to India, ask your concierge about arranging visits to nearby villages. There you’ll find local artists creating and selling fine jewelry, pottery and hand-woven rugs for the perfect keepsake.
Fairmont Mayakoba — photo: Gunnar Knechtel (BAKU)
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The Fairmont Empress —
Fairmont Jaipur —
fairmont.com/jaipur Fairmont Magazine
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Steam Power â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Relax like a local at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, in the Willow Stream Spaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private hammam. The traditional circuit of steam, sauna and ice-cold water is meant to relieve muscle tension and detoxify the skin. For a truly authentic experience, try the 60-minute Classic Hammam treatment, which includes an application of black soap (a moisturizing mix of crushed olives scented with eucalyptus), exfoliation with a kese glove, a full-body mask and a conditioning hair treatment. fairmont.com/palm-dubai
Fairmont The Palm, Dubai
Spa & Fitness
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown
— The hotel’s revamped fitness center is operated by the city’s award-winning Balance Gym and boasts CrossFit Foggy Bottom, voted D.C.’s best CrossFit destination by Washington Post Express. Thanks to Fairmont Fit, Fairmont President’s Club members can train in Reebok gear delivered right to their room. fairmont.com/washington pag e 2 9
Desert Oasis Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
— Sign up for a rejuvenating weekend with the Well & Being Relaxation package and enjoy a $200 credit (per night’s accommodation) at the resort’s Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa. For a treatment designed especially for the dry desert climate, ask for a Jojoba Prickly Pear Sugar Scrub, or spend some time in the eucalyptus inhalation room.
Happy Trails The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
— Staying fit while on the road is easier when you have a beautiful backdrop. Ask your concierge about the 14 miles of running trails in nearby Stanley Park. At more than 1,000 acres, it is one of North America’s largest urban green spaces. If you need to catch your breath, stop in at the Vancouver Aquarium, where you’ll find dolphins and sea otters.
photo: Patrick Nadeau and Caroline Hamel (stanley park)
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pr o m o s
Named one of the top resort spas in Canada by Condé Nast, the Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, Canada, offers a menu of more than 85 treatments as well as a broad range of facilities, including a Hungarian mineral pool and a Finnish steam room.
Fairmont President’s Club members have access to workout essentials while they travel, courtesy of Fairmont Fit and Reebok. Hit the gym (or go for a run) with a pair of ZigLite running shoes and a pre-loaded MP3 player, all delivered right to your room.
Book the Pamper Yourself package at Fairmont Zimbali Resort in South Africa and you’ll enjoy a night’s accommodation, meals in Thandi restaurant and the Willow Stream Spa’s By the Sea treatment, which includes an algae application and body wrap.
The Fairmont Empress —
Select properties —
Fairmont Zimbali Resort —
fairmont.com/zimbali-resort Fairmont Magazine
Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten — Restaurant Haerlin reopens its doors after renovations led by London-based design firm Richmond International. The two-Michelin-starred Hamburg institution now features a chef ’s table in the heart of the kitchen, where up to eight guests can watch award-winning chef Christoph Rüffers at work. Opt for a seat in the main room and you’ll dine on specialities like baked partridge and rhubarb sorbet under a striking Lasvit chandelier, made up of over 20,000 black and white crystals. fairmont.com/vier-jahreszeiten-hamburg
Dine and Dazzle
Food & Drink
Nobu’s New Flavor
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa — Guests at newly renovated The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa can savor everything California wine country has to offer with the Food & Wine Experience package. It includes an artisan cheese platter on arrival, locally made chocolates at turndown, sampling passes for two to a local winery and a four-course tasting menu in the hotel’s Michelin-rated restaurant, Santé. fairmont.com/sonoma
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Fairmont partnership — Established in 1785, Piper-Heidsieck has been the official Champagne supplier to 14 royal courts – as well as to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Find it on Modern Classics cocktail menus in Fairmont bars and restaurants worldwide. You can enjoy PiperHeidsieck Brut NV by-the-glass or with vintage Barbadian rum, peach puree and Campari in a Sunset Splash. piper-heidsieck.com
Fairmont Monte Carlo — Celebrated chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa rang in the opening of his 27th restaurant, Nobu at Fairmont Monte Carlo, with a traditional Japanese kagami-biraki (sake ceremony), meant to bring good fortune. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco and Nobu business partner Robert DeNiro joined the hotel’s General Manager General Xavier Rugeroni to break open a sake barrel and eat mochi, traditional soft rice cakes from Japan. The new outpost features 152 seats, two private rooms and a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. fairmont.com/monte-carlo
promos Epic Brunch
The most important meal of the day should be savored. Every Friday, Fairmont The Palm prepares BreakSlow, a relaxed brunch experience that includes a mix of healthy and delicious goodies like fresh-pressed juices, a morning twist on a shawarma and pumpkin loaf to take home with you.
Exclusive to the Nur Lounge, Flaming Coffee is composed of rich liqueurs and prepared tableside. Choose your flavor, from coconut to chocolate. It’s the ideal treat to indulge in at the city’s famous Flame Towers and a perfect pick-me-up on its own or after a meal.
Experience the culinary traditions of Scotland firsthand with the Taste of Scotland package. FPC members can indulge in a traditional Scottish breakfast, take a tour of St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company (pictured) and, of course, learn about the art behind single malt whisky.
photo: Joan Ransley (cheese)
Fairmont The Palm, Dubai —
Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers —
Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland —
fairmont.com/st-andrews-scotland Fairmont Magazine
Italy To-Go — Shopping for gourmet groceries in Vancouver, Canada, is as simple as visiting Fairmont Pacific Rim. Adjacent to executive chef Darren Brown’s giovane café + winebar, the market at giovane is a one-stop shop for imports from around the world (with a focus on Italy), including olive oil, pasta, cheeses and chocolate. It’s also a great place to pick up soups, charcuterie and preserves, all produced in-house. fairmont.com/pacific-rim-vancouver
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Shopping & Style
Say Yes to the Dress The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
— Sign up for the Shopping in Luxury package and you’ll receive a $100 gift card to the capital city’s Saks Fifth Avenue as well as advice from a personal shopper (upon request) and a beauty consultation with an expert from top brands like Dior and Bobbi Brown. The package also includes transportation to and from the store as well as a room on the Fairmont Gold Floor, so you can live in luxury for your entire stay.
— Every bride will agree – the less to think about on your big day, the better. Book a wedding at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle, which has been hosting nuptials for over 75 years, and you can choose a stunning designer wedding dress or custom-tailored suit from Luly Yang Couture. Yang is an award-winning local designer whose creations are inspired by her travels in Paris aand Shanghai.
Shopping Chauffeur Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown
Boston Blowout The Fairmont Copley Plaza
— Look your best in Boston courtesy of the Step Out In Style shopping package. Kick off your shopping spree on the city’s trendy Newbury Street, with a $100 gift card from American Express, then prepare to be pampered by the team at Blo Dry Bar, who will refresh your ’do in-room before a night out on the town. fairmont.com/copley-plaza-boston
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Bring Fairmont Home
Discover what’s in fashion on the French Riviera with the Fashion Time package, available exclusively to Fairmont President’s Club members. Along with a night’s accommodation you’ll get a private, fourhour presentation of a local designer’s latest collection.
Buy groceries like a pro with the Shop with a Chef package at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market. Through a one-hour guided tour – and some tasty sampling – you’ll learn how to pick out the best ingredients, from the perfect cut of meat to the freshest fruit, all from local producers.
Do you love the scent of Le Labo’s Rose 31 shampoo? Are you craving Organic Kyoto Cherry Rose Tea? Head online to the Fairmont Store to shop for amenities, tea, pillows – even the comfortable mattress you find at your favorite Fairmont – so you can recreate your travel memories at home.
Fairmont Monte Carlo —
The Fairmont Royal York —
Fairmont Store —
fairmontstore.com Fairmont Magazine
Leadership & Philanthropy
Hotel Habitat Fairmont Royal York
Buzzing Buildings Select properties
— With rooftop hives at more than 20 hotels, Fairmont has long been commmitted to combatting the loss of bee habitat by fostering thriving honeybee colonies. Now Fairmont is expanding its efforts to create new spaces for solitary, pollinator bees. Why? Because these tiny creatures are responsible for crop pollination, and ultimately the future of the global food supply.
— Fairmont – along with partners Burt’s Bees Canada, architectural firm Sustainable.TO and conservation not-forprofit Pollinator Partnership Canada – is giving shelter to bees in need by placing a custom Wild for Bees “hotel” on the roof of the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto (pictured here, mimicking the city skyline). Bee hotels act as nesting grounds for solitary pollinator bees, whose numbers are in decline. And while you’ll never see the buzzing guests as they come and go, we hope you enjoy your next Fairmont stay as much as they do. fairmont.com/promotions/ fairmontbees // pollinatorpartnership.ca
Beauty and the Bees Fairmont partnership
— Fairmont and eco-beauty brand Burt’s Bees Canada have guests buzzing. In support of the Wild for Bees campaign, The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, Canada, is offering an exclusive product in its gift shops: Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut & Pear. For the month of June – aka “Pollinator Month” – proceeds go towards the expansion of Wild For Bees, which creates habitats for bees across Canada. fairmont.com/royal-york-toronto // burtsbees.ca
Find Fairmont Worldwide Fairmont Gold floor property
Fairmont Hotels United States Austin Fairmont Austin (2016) Boston Fairmont Battery Wharf Boston The Fairmont Copley Plaza Chicago Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park Dallas The Fairmont Dallas Newport Beach Fairmont Newport Beach New York The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel Pittsburgh Fairmont Pittsburgh San Francisco Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square San Francisco The Fairmont San Francisco San Jose The Fairmont San Jose Santa Fe Fairmont Heritage Place, El Corazon de Santa Fe Santa Monica Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Seattle The Fairmont Olympic Hotel Washington Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown Canada Calgary The Fairmont Palliser Edmonton The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Montréal Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Ottawa Fairmont Château Laurier Toronto The Fairmont Royal York Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim Vancouver The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Vancouver The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Vancouver The Fairmont Waterfront Winnipeg The Fairmont Winnipeg Europe Baku Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, Azerbaijan Hamburg Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Germany
Istanbul Fairmont Quasar, Turkey (2016) Kyiv Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Ukraine London The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, UK Middle East and Africa Abu Dhabi Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, UAE Ajman Fairmont Ajman, UAE (2014) Amman Fairmont Amman, Jordan (2015) Cairo Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers, Egypt Cairo Fairmont Nile City, Egypt Dubai Fairmont Dubai, UAE Makkah Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel, Saudi Arabia Nairobi Fairmont The Norfolk, Kenya Riyadh Fairmont Riyadh, Business Gate, Saudi Arabia (2014) Asia Beijing Fairmont Beijing, China Chengdu Fairmont Chengdu, China (2014) Jaipur Fairmont Jaipur, India Jakarta Fairmont Jakarta, Indonesia (2014) Makati City, Manila Fairmont Makati, Philippines Nanjing Fairmont Nanjing, China Shanghai Fairmont Peace Hotel, China Singapore Fairmont Singapore Taiyuan Fairmont Taiyuan, China (2015)
Fairmont Resorts United States Hawai’i The Fairmont Orchid Maui The Fairmont Kea Lani Scottsdale Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Sonoma The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa Telluride Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge Canada Banff The Fairmont Banff Springs Charlevoix Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu
Jasper The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Lake Louise The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Montebello Fairmont Kenauk Montebello Fairmont Le Château Montebello Mont Tremblant Fairmont Tremblant Québec City Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Victoria The Fairmont Empress Whistler The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Asia Kunshan Fairmont Yangcheng Lake, China Mexico, Caribbean and Bermuda Acapulco The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Mexico Acapulco The Fairmont Pierre Marques, Mexico Barbados The Fairmont Royal Pavilion Hamilton The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Bermuda Riviera Maya Fairmont Mayakoba, Mexico Southampton The Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda Europe Monte Carlo Fairmont Monte Carlo, Monaco Montreux Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Switzerland Moscow Fairmont Pekin, Moscow, Russia (2016) St Andrews Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland Middle East and Africa Dubai Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, UAE Fujairah Fairmont Fujairah, UAE (2014) Masai Mara Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Kenya Mount Kenya Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Kenya Zimbali Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, South Africa Zimbali Fairmont Zimbali Resort, South Africa
For reservations, please visit fairmont.com
Fairmont Quasar Hotel and Residences, Turkey — The density of urban development in Istanbul’s Mecidiyeköy neighborhood belies what was once there: a vast expanse of unused land that famed French modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens used as a blank canvas for his design of the Mecidiyeköy Liqueur and Cognac Factory. Since populated – and dwarfed – by the expansion of the area into an important commercial district, the 1930s building will once again take pride of place as a marvel of modern design. Set to open in 2016, Fairmont Quasar Hotel and Residences will offer luxuriously appointed private apartments inspired by the aesthetics of New York and Paris. The tower will rise 41 stories alongside the Marcel Wanders-designed Quasar Residences (pictured here, graced by his dramatic “Quasar Head” statue) at the restored distillery – a fashionable new destination for art exhibits and cultural events. Candice Fridman quasaristanbul.com/en, fairmont.com
Make your visit more rewarding.
Make the most of every moment with your Fairmont Visa Signature® Card.
Savor a gourmet meal. Relax at the spa. Or swing away. Just remember to use your card for every purchase to earn Fairmont Rewards:
• 5 for every $1 spent on Fairmont stays • 2 for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines, at car rental agencies, and on transit and commuting • 1 for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Use your card and get closer to your next Fairmont getaway.
Not a cardmember? Visit fairmont.com/card to learn more.
Accounts subject to credit approval. Restrictions and limitations apply. Fairmont credit cards are issued by Chase Bank, USA, N.A. See fairmont.com/card for pricing and rewards details.
TAKE YOUR WORKOUT ANYWHERE. EXERCISE YOUR FAIRMONT
PRESIDENTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CLUB PRIVILEGES. As a member, you can enjoy Reebok workout apparel and footwear during your stay. Learn more about Fairmont Fit and how to save 20% on Reebok merchandise (valid in Canada and the US) at Fairmont.com/fpc/Fairmont-fit