Beyond 06Beyond, The St. Regis Magazine Issue 6 - Fall/Winter 2015

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T H E S T. R E G I S M A G A Z I N E

B E Y O N D , T H E S T. R E G I S M A G A Z I N E ISSUE 6


Dénoué Saphir necklace in white and yellow gold, diamonds, sapphire and emeralds.

Last one back makes breakfast. The new Continental GT.

For more information call +1 855 378 8131 from the USA or +44 (0)1270 448 462 from the UK and elsewhere. #NewContinentalGT Continental GT Speed fuel consumption – EU Drive Cycle in mpg (l/100 km): Urban 13.0 (21.8); Extra Urban 27.4 (10.3); Combined 19.3 (14.6). CO2 Emissions 338 g/km. The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2015 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Continental GT Speed

T H E S T. R E G I S M A G A Z I N E

Cover photographed by Daniela Federici, with thanks to Doug Camp and the team at The St. Regis Washington, D.C.

Editorial Editor-in-chief: James Collard, Editor: Lisa Grainger Sub-editors: Tim Pozzi, Damon Syson Design: Vanessa Arnaud Fashion: Nadia Balame, Picture editor: Lyndsey Price Assistant picture editor: Emma Hammar , Editorial director: Gill Morgan Publisher: Crispin Jameson, Project manager: Sarah Glyde

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AM ER IC A’S CU P. B R ITISH TIM EKEEPI N G . Bremont has been appointed the Official Timing Partner of the 35th America’s Cup – and of the defending champions, ORACLE TEAM USA. To celebrate, we’ve created four limited edition timepieces. The Bremont ACI and ACII are inspired by the legendary J-Class yachts of the 1930s. While the Bremont Oracle I and Oracle II set new standards in technical innovation, precision and durability. So the question is, which of these fine watches should you choose? Sorry, you’re on your own.

CONTENTS 14 The Magnificent Seven – The World in Seven Objects –

From the purple potato that’s taking the food world by storm to the exquisite antique kimono, we tell the story of desirable objects from around the world with a tale to tell

32 Trip Tease – The Journey –

For centuries poets, artists, kings and aristocrats have journeyed to Rome to mine its rich layers of life – and love. Stanley Stewart follows in the footsteps of the great romantics

41 Hidden treasures

56 Power Dressing

Tastemakers share with us their secret haunts, from the Los Angeles vintage shop favored by fashion designer Georgina Chapman to a hip restaurant in the heart of historic Istanbul

Washington, D.C.’s imposing architecture provides the backdrop for a selection of strong, sleek pieces with elegant accessories that will make you feel like the ultimate First Lady

44 Carmen Dell’Orefice

64 Women in the Frame

No other woman has managed to model for seven decades, and remain a fashion icon into her eighties. The international fashion illustrator David Downton pays tribute, in words and paint, to the New York beauty

Just 50 years ago, the art world was almost entirely dominated by men. Today, female curators, collectors and gallerists are stamping the global scene with their imprint. Rachel Spence reports on art’s most influential women

49 Smart Packing

68 The St. Regis Atlas

Whether you’re heading for a city break in China, an active holiday in Mauritius, a ski-trip to Aspen or a beach adventure in Puerto Rico, we select some essential pieces to take with you

Our international network of hotels and resorts, from Mexico to Mauritius, Bali to Bal Harbour, plus the Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis, to help you make the most of your stay

– Fashion –

– A Little Place I Know –

– Culture –

– Interview –

— The Directory —

– Vacation Style –

Cover: Blumarine sheer sequin dress, $10,205; Fallon drop earrings, $195 Above: Jason Wu silk scarf blouse, $995; Jason Wu wool high-waisted pant with belt, $995; Alexis Bittar gold cuff, $295



70 Into the Groove

86 The Empire Builder

When pianist Jamie Cullum isn’t touring the world as a jazz musician, and moonlighting as curator of the Jazz Legends at St. Regis program, he’s sourcing vinyl for his extensive collection. Matt Munday tunes into his passion

Rivalry between John Jacob Astor IV and his cousin led to the creation of the most elegant hotels of their age. Richard Grant tells the tale of the founder of The St. Regis New York, from his privileged birth to his demise on the Titanic

72 City Slickers

92 Look Smart

There is so much more to Bangkok than temples and markets, if you know where to look. Our resident expert Ashley Niedringhaus offers an insider’s guide to eight of the city’s most glorious experiences

Wearable clothing is currently a $5 billion business and predicted to increase tenfold in five years. Steve King reports on the boom in shoes, shirts and accessories that can not only help to improve your fitness, but run your life

76 Knight of the Realm

94 Kitchen Confidential

Sir Howard Hodgkin, one of the greatest living abstract painters, talks to Nonie Niesewand about capturing Indian light, seas and scenery on his colorful canvases

Michelin-starred chef Wolfgang Puck talks about cooking for the Queen of England, drinking with Peter O’Toole, and tasting tinned pineapple for the first time

82 Paper Tiger

96 John Malkovich

– The Connoisseur–

– The Back Story –

– Style Hunting –

– Technology –

– Art –

– Food –

– A Life in Seven Journeys –

Hand-painted wallpaper created by master craftsmen in China is once again having a moment, as home-owners and hoteliers rediscover the beauty of the ancient craft. Rachel Loos celebrates its revival

The actor and director offers a glimpse into the journeys that have shaped his life, from taking a road trip to a Baptist Bible Camp and filming The Killing Fields in Thailand to witnessing a country at war in Peru

Wallpaper by Paul Montgomery

– Interiors –

Cover: hair & make-up: Michael Johnson; digital assistant: Paul Pesquet; photographer assistant: Robert Cardena; model: Heidi Harrington


CONTributors Steve King Writer Steve King has worked for The Economist, Vanity Fair and is currently now editor-at-large of Condé Nast Traveller. For Beyond he writes about wearable technology, a subject he was able to research recently in his (current) favorite city, Shanghai. When he’s not exploring urban environments, he’s trekking in such empty spaces as the Simpson Desert in Australia (the country of his birth) and the Samburu District in northern Kenya (former home of his wife). Daniela Federici The Australian-born, New York-based fashion photographer Daniela Federici, who created our fashion story in Washington, D.C., has worked for some of the world’s biggest brands, from Chanel to Coca-Cola, and styled personalities from Lenny Kravitz to Chloë Sevigny. The place she’d most like to be is Capri, with its “whitewashed houses, cascading bougainvillea, lemon groves, blue skies and deep water. It is quite unique; no wonder Emperor Tiberius chose to live on the island instead of in Rome.” Georgina Chapman Fashion designer Georgina Chapman, who writes about her favorite vintage shop for Beyond, travels extensively, when she’s not in her Marchesa studio in New York or the Westport home she shares with her film-maker husband Harvey Weinstein. She started exploring the world at 19 and has since lived in Thailand, trekked in Peru, and been on safari in Africa: “When the plane landed on a dirt strip, we were surrounded by giraffe and zebra, and when we stopped for wine, there were about a dozen lions around us.” David Downton The sought-after illustrator is employed by publications worldwide to capture personalities with his paintbrush, from Paris couture beauties to designers such as Paloma Picasso and the legendary model Carmen dell’Orefice, about whom he writes for us. His dream trip? “Sailing ten minutes from Franco Zeffirelli’s former villa in Positano to Da Adolfo, a nearby restaurant, where I would feast on mozzarella on lemon leaves with Callas and Nureyev, Taylor and Burton, all of whom stayed at the villa.”

Ashley Niedringhaus Two years ago this Travel+Leisure correspondent traded her home in New York for Bangkok (about which she writes in this issue) and has quickly become a local, even commuting by motorcycle taxi. Favorite travel experiences, she says, usually involve eating, whether that’s steak at Botswana Butchery in Queenstown, New Zealand or fresh blue crabs in Krabi, Thailand – although watching the sun set at Simatai West on the Great Wall of China is pretty high on her list, too.


Rex, Getty images

Stanley Stewart Few men have seen as much of the world as this award-winning travel writer, who has encountered headhunters in Borneo, witch doctors in China and bandits in Uganda, on his journeys aboard icebreakers, camels, canoes and motorbikes. For us, he explores Rome, the city he calls his second home. “Rome is the best city in the world through which to meander,” Stewart says. “There is beauty and probably a masterpiece or two around every corner. And always a perfect café from which to admire it all.”





The World in Seven Objects


THE WORLD IN SEVEN OBJECTS Photography by Louisa Parry

EXTRAORDINARY, BEAUTIFUL objects tell THE storIES of their AGE, whether colored crystal wine glasses crafted in france or skateboards handMADE in texas. here, FOR YOUR APPRECIATION, we present A ‘MAGNIFICENT SEVEN’ FROM around the world



The World in Seven Objects


The colored glass Oenophiles – that is, wine lovers – normally purse their lips at colored wine glasses. Some claim it makes the wine taste worse (something to do with the messaging system between the eyes and the taste buds), while others consider them merely vulgar. As Marion Von Adlerstein put it in 2007’s The Penguin Book of Etiquette, “Avoid colored glasses for alcoholic drinks, especially beer and wine, as they change the perceived color of their contents, and detract from the presentation.” Well, perhaps. But these purist pundits are disavowing a deep and noble history. Colored crystal glasses were popular with the Romanovs, the French Court and Britain’s Georgian dandies, and now they’re back in vogue. Versace, for example, has brought out wine glasses with arabesque patterns and yellow-tinted glass heads, while the antiques market is aflame with colored glasses from names like Moser, Heckert and Baccarat. Europe’s oldest glass studio, with roots in the 16th century, is the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint-Louis in Lorraine, France. “The first colored pieces were created at Saint-Louis in the 19th century,” says Jérôme de Lavergnolle, the glassmaker’s CEO, who describes the creation of a colored crystal glass as “a kind of alchemy”. “Today, we have ten colors in our palette, from the iconic Saint-Louis blue to luminous chartreuse-green.” It should go without saying, but colored wine glasses should be made of colored glass: that is, glass with color contained within its crystal, rather than sprayed on. Get it right, and a toast with colored crystal will turn any occasion into a real event. As M. de Lavergnolle notes, “Each colored crystal glass turns a dinner into a celebration and gives a little extra to the ordinary.” Let’s drink to that.


The World in Seven Objects


The kimono As recently as 80 years ago, the kimono ­– “something to wear” – was still commonly worn in Japan. An outer garment sported by both men and women, it can be adorned in different ways. Men’s kimonos might be embellished with paintings of great warriors. Women’s are traditionally embroidered and delicately painted with natural scenes and, to reflect the modernization of society in the 20th century, bright graphic prints. But whatever the imagery, a kimono was historically a symbol of power. In her autobiography Geisha: A Life, Mineko Iwasaki recounts how she would routinely buy several kimonos a week, at a cost of $7,000 each. Today, kimonos are mostly worn for formal occasions, but demand for them endures, with designers such as Anna Sui and Yohji Yamamoto launching contemporary versions as well as kimono-inspired dresses. Ichiroya, a Japanese family-run company that deals in traditional cultural items, says many of its customers buy the jackets to wear with modern dress. In the West, too, the kimono is enjoying a comeback: at festivals from Coachella to Bonnaroo it has become a fashion item, and celebrities ranging from Elizabeth Olsen to Rihanna – wearing a version by Balmain – have all adopted the easy-to-wear jackets. Collector Marilyn Ratcliffe, who scours Japan for classic kimonos, believes its resurgence is partly due to the fashion for vintage clothing. “Even if you don’t wear the kimono itself, the fabric is beautifully hand-painted and embroidered, and so wonderful for creating a look that is exotic.” Or as kimono dealer Ceri Oldham from Wafuku puts it, “Kimonos are wearable textile art and have an otherworldliness that one finds in no other garment. It is impossible not to feel elegant while wearing one.”;




The World in Seven Objects


The skateboard Skateboarders and surfers might not immediately strike one as being kin. The former inhabit urban environments – spaces surrounded by concrete and Tarmac, graffiti and skyscrapers – while the latter ride the wild ocean waves. But skateboarding was born out of Californian surfers’ desire to ride a board whatever the weather: by attaching wheels from roller skates on to pieces of wood, they could ride year-round, and today the best skateboards are still, like surfboards, hand-crafted from wood. This natural material is partly popular, says Texas-based maker Jake Eshelman, because skaters still take inspiration from 1960s pioneers “who would make boards in their garages, using planks and their dad’s power tools, in a way that was rather beautiful and naive”. Eshelman’s Side Project Skateboards are made from found hardwoods that are not endangered, the most popular being cherry maple and walnut. Some boards, inlaid with strips, might contain up to 35 different pieces, on to which are added American-made ball bearings, seismic wheels and Chromexcel leather. The end product, he says, “is in a bracket somewhere between functional art and design”, and has earned him fans from all over the world. “Skateboarding is pretty ubiquitous across all cultures as a form of physical creativity and has influenced artists from painters and fashion designers to musicians,” he says. So the boards appeal to all ages, “from six-year-olds in Afghanistan to 60-year-olds in Santa Cruz trying to keep fit”, and all riding styles. “Some people race on them, some skate halfpipes, some jump over the Great Wall of China. The variety of things people do with their boards is virtually endless.”


The World in Seven Objects


The hot potato The potato is often referred to as “humble”, a support act rather than a star. Indeed, phrases like “meat and potatoes” position the potato as a synonym for the humdrum. But there’s something cooking in carbohydrate land, and the potato is climbing up the ladder of gastro success, as chefs focus on the right kind of potato for each dish, and whether it is to be served mashed, boiled, baked, fried, sautéed, dauphinois… For, like people, potatoes differ: some are smooth and waxy, others fluffy and floury. They also come in many colors, including red, like the Burgundy Highland Reds pictured here and blue varieties thought to be close to their Andean forebears. Much of the new interest in potatoes is driven by farmers’ markets and experimentation by artisanal growers, who are titillating customers with these new ranges, some of them “heritage” potatoes, revivals of old names. Forget the handful on sale in supermarkets. There’s now a growing list of about 200 different types of potato available – Peru is said to have around 4,000 varieties – and savvy diners are starting to understand the difference. Andrew Roche, executive chef of The St. Regis Washington, D.C., has noticed the emergence of potato connoisseurs in the past few years. “What I see is that people enjoy the meal, then ask questions – and it’s about the potatoes, not the lamb or the sea bass. So they don’t care about the potato until they try it, and then they want the recipe. And if it’s a purple potato, it’s a novelty.” Washington’s creative growers have helped with this rediscovery, Roche adds, as have the increasing numbers of people who eschew wheat. “We have so many diners on gluten-free diets that we provide a potato option at banquets,” he explains. For all kinds of reasons the potato is no longer being taken for granted.




The World in Seven Objects


The nature book Ask the international book dealer Bernard Shapero why there’s such a demand for rare old natural history books and he’s quick to answer. “People love to be surrounded by things they know, and everyone knows what a bird looks like, or a plant or an animal,” he says. “In addition, they’re also usually extremely beautiful.” They certainly are. When large-scale natural history books, such as Daniel Giraud Elliot’s The New and Heretofore Unfigured Species of the Birds of North America shown here, were printed in the 1800s, each illustration was hand-painted. The time invested in creating the books, says Shapero, “made them extremely expensive”. One of the most valuable books ever sold, The Birds of America by John James Audubon (1785-1851), reached $12 million at auction, and contained 500 hand-tinted watercolors. Audubon’s The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, of which 500 copies were made, is slightly more affordable at $600,000 from Donald A. Heald in New York. Shapero himself owns one of the most coveted of natural history works: a complete 43-volume set of John Gould’s bird books, worth $2.5 million. Although they can easily deteriorate, books remain valuable assets because, as Shapero says, “Investors are seeking alternative opportunities.” Travel, historical discovery and natural history books are popular, although he cautions that they rarely yield a quick return. Those interested in dipping a toe into the market should look to dealers, who have hundreds of rare books for sale about natural history, with subject matter ranging from butterflies to shells. The website of the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller lists dealers and fairs around the world.;


The World in Seven Objects


The flat shoe When officials turned away women who weren’t wearing high heels at a gala screening of Todd Haynes’ Carol at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, there was outrage. Actress Emily Blunt was particularly disappointed. “Everyone should wear flats,” she railed. “We shouldn’t wear high heels. Just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality...” In fact, the organizers were arrière-garde. While most women at redcarpet events are compelled to wear high heels, to show off long gowns created by designers for 6ft-tall models, over the past few seasons there’s been a noticeable return to flats. On the catwalks, designers from Prada to Louis Vuitton have embraced flats, from wedges and Audrey Hepburn-style ballet pumps to the edgy green point-toe Nicholas Kirkwood shoe photographed here. While some starlets have refused to adopt the trend, accepting discomfort in return for the arched back and protruding derrière that only a high heel can bring, others have taken Catherine Deneuve’s lead. The actress became the Queen of Flats after wearing a pair of Roger Vivier pumps in the 1967 movie Belle de Jour. They became a huge hit, and Vivier sold 200,000 pairs in one year to customers including Jackie Onassis and the Duchess of Windsor. Such flat shoes are popular, says the label’s designer Bruno Frisoni, because “they are like jewels for the feet: subtle and powerful, sexy but never garish”. But then, as Deneuve herself pointed out in 2013, women of her class and era would never have dreamed of wearing heels. “One cannot walk properly in very high heels,” she said. “But also, we believed that having a natural allure was the most important thing.” Moreover, “a simple, well-made shoe makes us feel free, emancipated, as if we can deal with life’s challenges.” Cannes, take note.




The World in Seven Objects


The thank-you note In our brave new world of laptops and smartphones, one might be forgiven for thinking that writing by hand is in danger of dying out. But the art of the thank-you letter is coming back, and the impetus is coming from such companies as Thornwillow. As Thornwillow’s founder Luke Ives Pontifall explains, the writing of letters and thank-you notes, on beautiful paper, with a good pen, has become more relevant than ever. “In this age, when you delete your correspondence and literally turn off your book, a hand-written note is a powerful mode of communication that can be saved and passed on. It is a miniature time capsule, a memorial of a moment, and, unlike an email, it communicates your thanks with lasting intent.” Thornwillow produces elegant stationery, printed on huge vintage presses in upstate New York, that echoes the golden age of letter-writing in the 1800s. In turn, St. Regis has created special library-like environments in its Manhattan and Washington hotels that are conducive to thank-you letter writing. The revival needs all the encouragement we can offer. A survey of 1,400 children found that just one in five had ever received a handwritten letter. But educators now believe that early hand-writing is a good indicator for later success, and such is the importance being placed on writing that in 2012 a groundbreaking summit, Handwriting in the 21st Century, was convened in Washington, D.C. So, writing a thank-you note is not just a pleasant, thoughtful and downright elegant thing to do; it’s also good for your mind, encouraging planning, strategic thought, reflection. Are there any people who troll with hand-written letters? No.


A Riva is a Riva. Always.



Aquariva Super

a Ferretti Group brand

Iseo • Aquariva Super • Rivarama Super • Rivale • SportRiva ��’ • ��’ Vertigo • ��’ Virtus • ��’ Ego Super • ��’ Venere Super • ��’ Domino • ��’ Florida • ��’ Duchessa • ���’ Mythos


rome with

love Words by Stanley Stewart Photography by Ferdinando Scianna

from shelley TO GOETHE, Hawthorne to henry james, travelers HAVE BEEN FALLING IN LOVE WITH the eternal city SINCE THE DAYS WHEN IT WAS ‘THE GREAT crown of the grand tour’

On top of the world Previous page: the Arch of Septimius Severus, constructed in AD 203, in the Roman Forum. This page: the Gianicolo hill offers stunning panoramic views of Rome’s ancient landmarks



To Rome With Love

hen Mary Shelley sat down to write her letters home in the early spring of 1819, she had already fallen in love. The author of Frankenstein and the wife of the famous poet had arrived in Rome a few days before, and the city had seduced her. Basking in the warm Roman sun, contemplating countless masterpieces across two and a half millennia of history, she was enthralled. “The delights of Rome have had such an effect on me that my past life appears a blank,” she wrote breathlessly, “and now I begin to live.” Mary knew well the Piazza del Popolo, the square in which I am sitting at the Caffè Canova, enjoying a croissant and the best coffee in the world. A wide oval, the piazza is framed by curving balustraded roadways and centred on fountains spewing curtains of silver water. To the south, twin churches mark the entrance to the city. On the opposite corner, by the Dal Bolognese restaurant, where film stars dine on Saturday evenings and cardinals have Sunday lunch, two carabinieri pose in uniforms that are more Gilbert and Sullivan than constables on the beat. Two nuns glide by, twins in wimpled black, passing a young couple locked in an embrace on the rim of the central fountain. The shadow of the obelisk that Augustus brought back from Egypt after defeating two of the great lovers of antiquity – Antony and Cleopatra – stretches across the cobblestones to touch my feet. Cavalcades of ghosts roam this piazza. Before trains and airplanes gave us more mundane backdrops, the square was the grand stage for Roman arrivals. For more than 17 centuries, all those who made the journey to Rome from elsewhere in Europe – kings and popes, armies and emissaries, merchants and pilgrims – entered the city through the great Porta del Popolo opposite. Martin Luther lodged here while formulating ideas that would lead to the great schism of the Protestant Reformation. Queen Christina of Sweden – libertine, libertarian and lesbian – rode through Porta del Popolo opposite, waving to welcoming crowds, believing she was escaping the constraints of a northern throne for the freedoms of southern indulgence. Bonnie Prince Charlie – pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland, and born in this city – paused here to splash his face in the fountains after another drunken night. But the journeys and the arrivals that fascinate me are those of the early tourists, the travelers on what came to be known as the Grand Tour, a phenomenon of the 18th and 19th centuries in which gentlemen and sometimes ladies of means toured the continent to add some polish and sophistication to their manners and education. With its wealth of artistic treasure, Italy was always the highlight of these European journeys, and Rome, the “Great Crown of the Grand Tour”, the ultimate destination. Among them were famous writers and artists. John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron all hurried across the cobbles of Piazza del Popolo. Stendhal, Algernon Charles Swinburne, William Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens – all went “reeling and moaning about the Roman streets”. Henry James echoed Mary Shelley’s passion for the city. “For the first time,” he wrote to his brother on the evening of his arrival, “I live.”

The journey to Italy and to Rome started with the Alps, “those uncouth, huge, monstrous excrescences of nature”, according to one 18th-century traveler. Some visitors, like Horace Walpole, whose King Charles spaniel was carried off and promptly eaten by a wolf, rode mules along the snowy precipices. Others, like James Boswell, were carried in palanquins by sure-footed porters. Boswell was said to have crossed the Alps “with mingled feelings of awe and adulterous anticipation”. Italian women were one of the attractions of any journey through Italy. Boswell was probably anticipating Venice, whose courtesans were famous. The Frenchman Charles de Brosses described them as a cross between fairies and angels; heroically, he tried eight in order to get a decent sampling. But nuns were generally considered to be the most passionate lovers in Venice; there was a famous incident of a nun fighting a duel with an abbess over a mutual lover. Someone should have told Boswell. His adulterous intentions towards a promising Venetian woman “of some social standing” met with a sad rebuff. From Venice our travelers crossed the Apennines to Florence. The journey could be difficult (in one wayside inn William Beckford was offered a dinner of mustard and crow’s gizzards) but everyone loved the city on the Arno. As always, there seemed to be too much to see: one 18thcentury guidebook listed 160 public statues, 152 churches, 18 guildhalls, 17 palaces, six columns and two pyramids, without even mentioning the countless paintings. Tired of the sights, Sir Horace Mann was fortunate to catch the Carnival with its masked balls and its bacchanalian amusements. “I have danced,” he cried. “Good Gods! How have I danced!” As the travelers turned south to Rome they followed the Via Cassia of the Roman legionnaires and the Via Francigena, the centuries-old pilgrim route to Rome. Both led directly to the Porta del Popolo, where, stretching their legs, they marveled at the theatrical entrance to the city. But the piazza was hardly journey’s end. Rome, which Lord Byron called “the city of the soul”, awaited them. I finish the last of my croissant and coffee and set off to follow the travelers on their ramblings around the city they knew as Caput Mundi, the Capital of the World. A short walk round the corner into the Via del Corso, once the scene of riderless horse races, brings me to the rooms where Goethe lodged. The great German writer came to Rome in search of classical art. But in the humble rooms in Via del Corso, where he once lay writing verses on his lover’s naked back, he found love, passion and erotic emancipation. By his own account, Rome and his love affair with his Italian mistress changed his life. “Eros has arrows of various kinds,” he wrote. “Some seem just to scratch us… others, strong-feathered and freshly pointed and sharpened – right to the marrow they pierce.” His love nest is now a small museum, the Casa di Goethe, and its exhibitions trace the transformations of the man known as the German Shakespeare. Pick up a copy of his Roman Elegies; erotic poetry was never so exquisite. From Goethe’s apartment I cross to Via del Babuino and the entrance to Via Margutta, one of the most charming streets in Rome. Long associated

In the churches, Mary Shelley wrote, “we see the divinest of statues and hear the music of angels”. Percy Shelley loved to wander the city alone by moonlight, when the evening breezes brought sweet aromas from the country


with visiting writers and artists, it was home to people like Sir Thomas Lawrence, the president of the Royal Academy of Arts, who lived here in the early 19th century. It is the street itself, as well as its associations, that is so seductive. Rising rents have forced most artists to look elsewhere for studios, but this pedestrian backwater, with its small galleries and antique shops, retains the atmosphere of an earlier Rome. The tiny Osteria Margutta at number 82 is my favorite place for romantic candlelit dinners. Bring along a copy of Goethe’s Elegies to read over the dolci. Back in Via del Babuino I’m on the trail of Keats, the tragic young poet who arrived in Rome in 1820. At the end of the street I emerge in the Piazza di Spagna, where the Spanish Steps, strewn with flowers, rise to the double spires of the church of Trinità dei Monti. In the 18th and 19th centuries the area was known as the English Ghetto. As early as 1740, Horace Walpole was complaining that the English in Rome seemed numberless; the Italians had taken to calling them milordi. Just to the left of the Spanish Steps is one of their favorite haunts, Babington’s Tea Rooms, still serving English afternoon teas between the beveled mirrors and the palms. Not far away, in fashionable Via Condotti, is another of their haunts, the Caffè Greco. After two and a half centuries, the fittings and the paintings still evoke the long-lost world of the Grand Tour. Hard by the Spanish Steps is the Keats-Shelley House, now a museum to the two Romantic poets. Already suffering from tuberculosis, a lovelorn Keats came to Rome in the hope that a sunnier climate might provide a cure. With its book-lined rooms, the house is a wonderfully atmospheric place. I climb the stairs to the narrow chamber where Keats lay day and night gazing at the ceiling that his friend, the painter Joseph Severn, had decorated with flowers for him. He died here, on a dark winter day in February 1821, barely 25 years old, still dreaming of his beloved Fanny Brawne, left behind in London. It remains one of the most moving places in Rome. Back outside I climb the Spanish Steps to the district of the visiting French. Architects routinely praise the way the steps are visible from all angles. But the builder, Francesco de Sanctis, did not have aesthetic considerations in mind. “I will make the steps visible from everywhere,” he sniffed, “because the reverend fathers [of the French church atop the hill] have alerted me to the gross indecencies committed on that shrubbery slope by couples who often hide there.” The French always have an eye for the best real estate, and the area at the top of the steps enjoys some of the finest views in Rome. I follow the Viale Trinità dei Monti to a wonderful Renaissance creation, the Villa Medici, “acquired” by Napoleon for the French Academy. Visiting artists are still granted studio space here, but for the general traveler there are tours of the apartments and the gardens that feel like a secret retreat. A little farther along the Pincio Hill is the Casina Valadier, named after the man who designed the Piazza del Popolo. Its elegant terraces are the ideal place for lunch with a view over Roman rooftops where domes rise like hot-air balloons. Away to the left, you can see the white “wedding cake” creation of the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, commonly called the Vittoriano, and just behind it, the Forum of ancient Rome. In the days when Latin and Greek were still part of a normal school curriculum, most travelers on the Grand Tour had read Cicero and Virgil, Ovid and Horace, and were thrilled to be wandering the streets where they had lived and died. Many enlisted the services of guides to show them around ancient sights.

The great German guide Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who became the leading 18th-century authority on classical art, was much sought after. He was a man of considerable tact. Showing John Wilkes around the Forum, Winckelmann kindly pretended not to notice when he and his mistress, overcome by lust, disappeared for some moments behind a ruin. All the more obliging, Wilkes commented later, because he had to pass the interval with his mistress’s mother, “who had as little conversation as beauty”. But no visitor is more closely identified with ancient Rome than Edward Gibbon. I climb the long steps to Michelangelo’s glorious Piazza del Campidoglio, centred on the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. Just beyond the piazza in the far left corner is a balcony overlooking the ruins of the Forum. Gibbon came here one fateful evening in the autumn of 1764 in reflective mood. The sound of the friars chanting litanies in the Church of Santa Maria d’Aracoeli wafted across the piazza. As he looked down on the Forum “where Romulus stood, or Tully spoke, or Caesar fell”, he conceived the idea of writing The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, one of the seminal works of European history. Keats’ great friend Shelley also found inspiration in Rome’s sprawling ruins. Shelley adored Italy and spent several years here, where his curious domestic arrangements – in addition to his wife Mary he seemed to travel at different times with two mistresses – didn’t seem to raise any eyebrows. The spring of 1819 found him lodged with Mary, Claire the “nanny”, and his son William in the Palazzo Verospi in the Via del Corso, not far from where Goethe had lived some decades earlier. The Shelleys spent their mornings exploring the ruins and the art collections and their afternoons riding through the gardens of the Quirinale and the Villa Borghese, the latter still Rome’s great green oasis. In the churches, Mary wrote, “we see the divinest of statues and… hear the music of angels”. Shelley loved to wander the city alone by moonlight, when the evening breezes brought sweet aromas from the country. His favorite destination was the vast Baths of Caracalla, the most spectacular of Rome’s ruins. It was here, beneath the arches, that he wrote Prometheus Unbound. I hop on the No. 3 tram from Trastevere to the Protestant Cemetery, one of the stops on Shelley’s moonlight rambles, by a southern gate of the city, close to the Pyramid of Cestius. “It might make one in love with death,” he wrote, “to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.” Pines and cypresses separate the rows of tombs. The colony of cats that has lived here for generations has its own charity box just inside the gate. You can find Keats’ grave in the far left corner, shaded by trees, inscribed with a single line: “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.” In July 1822 Shelley drowned after his boat capsized in a storm off the coast at Livorno. Mary accompanied his ashes across the Piazza del Popolo and through the city to burial in the cemetery. His gravestone is inscribed with Ariel’s lines from The Tempest: “Nothing of him that doth fade/But doth suffer a sea change/Into something rich and strange.” It reads like an epithet for the city itself, the Eternal City, still rich and strange, still unfaded after the many sea changes over two millennia. For generations of visitors, Rome has been a revelation. No city in the world has been the destination of so many journeys, or has transformed the lives of so many travelers. Your address: The St. Regis Rome

The city of the soul Previous page: spiral staircase in the Vatican Museums. Right, clockwise from top left: lovers on the Pincio Hill; catching up with the news outside the Pantheon; statue of Paolina Borghese at the Villa Borghese; the Colosseum, a Roman landmark since 80 AD


Magnum Photos

The Journey







A Little Place I Know ADdress-book secrets from luminaries of the worlds of fashion, food and art

A bar for all moods in Singapore by Maria Grachvogel Kilo Lounge, 66 Kampong Bugis,

Because I now have a shop in Singapore, I’m there quite often, and this bar is my favorite. It’s in a little backwater called Kallang, close to the river in an old storage warehouse, so it’s very much off the beaten track and not easy to find. I only discovered it because a couple of years ago a friend suggested we meet there one evening. To be honest, when the taxi dropped me off, I wondered if I had come to the right place. It was only when I heard noise coming from the minimalist warehouse ahead that I ventured in. The room has a raw, industrial look with polished concrete floors and relaxed seating that give it the feel of a homely loft. It’s also open on two sides, which allows a cooling breeze to waft through. Although they cook great Eastern food here, it’s the cocktails that my friends and I enjoy most. I usually have a spicy margarita with jalapeño-infused tequila and citrus salt, or the fresh but complex mojito, which is infused with coriander, basil and mint. As well as friendly and attentive staff, Kilo Lounge has a lovely atmosphere. In the early evening it’s very relaxed, an ideal place to meet friends for a cocktail. Later, they have amazing music, and sometimes club nights, which are great fun for people like me who love to dance. What makes it special is that it offers so many different experiences in one place, so there’s something to do whatever mood you’re in.

A vintage fashion boutique in Los Angeles by Georgina Chapman

Fashion designer Maria Grachvogel’s elegantly draped pieces are sold in boutiques around the world, from Laguna Beach and Dubai to Singapore Your address: The St. Regis Singapore

LILY et Cie, 9044 Burton Way, Beverly Hills,

Burton Way, the boulevard on which this beautiful vintage shop is situated, is the Park Avenue of Beverly Hills. The building itself dates back to 1923 and has wide windows that are known for their creative displays. Beneath 18ft-high ceilings are stunning architectural columns and wonderful Art Deco details, such as 1920s lanterns from I. Magnin. But of course it is the inventory that makes this shop remarkable. The racks are filled with important pieces from every great label and brand, all in immaculate condition. The owner, Rita Watnick, worked for Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier as well as for prestigious fashion houses, so the store’s jewelry is equally fabulous. Watnick works alongside her husband Michael Stoyla, and the seven-strong staff have been together for a very long time. The collection of haute couture is unparalleled. They currently own one of the only two Alexander McQueen Oyster gowns (the other is at the Met in New York), the Black Swan dress worn by Nicole Kidman for the cover of Vogue in 2003, and the amazing YSL cheongsam shown in the Through the Looking Glass exhibition at the Met. But not everything in the shop is as precious; there is lots of fabulous daywear and eveningwear at very approachable prices, as well as bathing suits, sunglasses, shoes and bags. I once bought a pair of beautiful 1950s DeLillo earrings here which I wore to the Oscars. There is really no store like it anywhere. Georgina Chapman is co-founder of the fashion label Marchesa Your address: The St. Regis Monarch Beach 41

A Little Place I Know

A marvelous museum in Doha by Edward Dolman The Museum of Islamic Art, Waterfront, Doha,

This museum isn’t really a “little place” since it’s not diminutive in any shape or form. But it is full of so many little treasures that anyone visiting Doha just has to go and visit it. The building is on an island in the bay; you get to it via a long bridge from the corniche, through an avenue of palm trees. From afar, it looks like a medieval fortress. But get up close and you recognize the genius of I. M. Pei, who has designed the building so that light and shade play constantly against its many planes, making its architecture appear timeless. The inside is equally impressive. The entrance hall is a giant domed atrium, with vast windows on all five floors that give spectacular views over the Gulf and West Bay area of Doha. Set around the atrium, in galleries of porphyry and Brazilian lacewood, are masterpieces of Islamic art from the 7th to the 19th centuries. The museum also hosts several exceptional exhibitions each year, of rare and priceless loans as well as pieces from its own treasures, of which there are many including a fabulous collection of Iznik ceramics, whose colors are so vibrant it is hard to believe that many were created more than 500 years ago. It’s not just the exhibitions that attract: the members of staff, drawn from many nationalities and cultures, are highly knowledgeable, gracious and welcoming. Plus, there’s a shop that sells high-quality replicas of some of the treasures on display, and around it a park which is a lovely environment in which to relax. What’s really unique about this building, though, is its architecture; there is no other structure like it in the world. Just strolling up the palm-lined promenade at dusk is a wonderful experience, and being able to access its world-class collections at midnight during Ramadan is magical.

A modern restaurant in Istanbul by Yotam Ottolenghi This little restaurant looks like a smart French bistro, but it’s actually quite a relaxed Turkish spot in the historic district of Beyoglu. This area of Istanbul is a wonderful mix of the old and the new: although it’s steeped in tradition and quite conservative in some ways, there are pockets of creativity. So, alongside meyhaneler – the little drinking houses that serve classic mezze well into the early hours – there are fashion boutiques, hotels, galleries and, in among them, this gorgeous restaurant, owned by the chef Didem Senol. Didem studied at the French Culinary Institute and spent time working in the kitchens of Eleven Madison Park and Le Cirque, both in New York, which is why her food, although Turkish, feels like it’s had a blast of New York energy. All the ingredients Turkish people love – such as stuffed vine leaves, thick yoghurt sauces, grape molasses, olive oil, slowroasted meats – are there, but in exciting, original small dishes. She makes the type of food I really love, such as herb-packed fritters, cauliflower soup with caramelized pear, slow-cooked lamb with burnt aubergine purée, and tahini ice cream with puréed pumpkin. The decor, which is modern and light, is also great, as is the service: attentive and slick, but relaxed. So it feels chilled but confident at the same time, and modern with a hint of tradition. But then, so much of this city is like that. It’s particularly great to discover on foot, whether you’re strolling along the river or exploring the food market. It’s a city that’s full of good times.

Edward Dolman is Chairman and CEO of contemporary art auction house Phillips Your address: The St. Regis Doha

Yotam Ottolenghi is a chef specializing in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. His latest book, Nopi: The Cookbook, is published in September Your address: The St. Regis Istanbul 42

Illustrations: Emily Robertson

Lokanta Maya, Kemankes Caddesi 35a, Karaköy,

A Little Place I Know












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The line of beauty Words and illustrations by David Downton

as the remarkable Carmen dell’orefice celebrates 70 years working as a professional model, the fashion world’s leading illustrator pays tribute to an extraordinary life and career


uring fashion’s flirtation with Surrealism in the late 1940s, Carmen Dell’Orefice, still in her teens, found herself at The St. Regis New York on a wildly extravagant set designed by the self-anointed high priest of the movement, Salvador Dalí. Cecil Beaton, a friend of Dalí’s, who was working at the Condé Nast studio on Lexington Avenue that day, dropped by to check on proceedings (the photographer was the matinee-idol-handsome Horst P. Horst). Beaton had returned to New York after a tour of duty as a war photographer and was staying at The St. Regis New York, where his neighbors were Dalí, his wife Gala and their pet ocelot, Babou. Knowing that the artist was on the lookout for a model and that Carmen could use the extra money, Beaton had introduced the two over lunch at Le Pavillon – later La Côte Basque – and Carmen had agreed to pose. It’s the way things happened back then. “He was a showman,” says Carmen of Dalí. “It was all a performance, but one he very much enjoyed. He pretended he couldn’t speak English, but that was just part of the ruse.” Carmen was supposed to represent La Primavera – a painting by Botticelli also known as The Allegory of Spring – and to be naked to the waist. “That didn’t bother me,” she says nonchalantly, “and it didn’t bother him.” Of much more interest were the charcoal drawings of horses that littered the floor of Dalí’s suite. One day he offered her one in lieu of payment. “I was getting my regular $12.50 an hour, so I said I’d have to go home and ask my mother about it. Now, my mother wasn’t stupid, but we needed the money so badly. She said no.” Carmen Dell’Orefice has dozens of extraordinary tales to tell, and since she is celebrating 70 years working as a professional model, this would seem to be the perfect time to share them. Born in New York in 1931 to an Italian concert violinist and a Hungarian dancer, she began modeling at the age of 13 after a bout of rheumatic fever and a preternatural growth spurt left her too weak (and too tall) to pursue her early passion for ballet. Deemed to be “too mature-looking” for Seventeen and Junior Bazaar magazines, she began her career as a high-fashion model under exclusive contract to Vogue. Within weeks Carmen was working with the defining photographers of the era: Irving Penn, Erwin

Blumenfeld, John Rawlings and Horst. “They were mentors who provided a gateway to the rest of my life and the world,” she says. While Carmen spent her days modeling designs by Charles James and Mainbocher, life at home was somewhat different; with her father absent, she assumed the role of breadwinner and was soon paying the rent on the fourth-floor walk-up apartment she shared with her mother on Third Avenue. There was no telephone (until Horst eventually insisted she get one), so Vogue would dispatch a runner whenever her presence was required. Photographs taken in the 1950s show Carmen variously as a blonde bombshell à la Monroe (with whom she modeled hats for society milliner Mr. John), a raven-haired society swan, and everything in between. “I was a chameleon, a silent actress. I was never an ‘It girl’,” she says. Her career reached a high-water mark in 1957 when she shot the Paris collections for Harper’s Bazaar with Richard Avedon, under the fashion direction of Diana Vreeland and the all-seeing eye of graphic genius Alexey Brodovitch. Although Carmen never officially retired from modeling, in the mid1960s she scaled back her work to concentrate on family life. She had married for a third time and had a daughter, Laura (today a psychotherapist), by her first husband. When that marriage ended in divorce a decade or so later she found herself in need of a job and made tentative steps back into the industry. At a party she ran into her old friend Norman Parkinson, who declared that she “didn’t look bad for an old bag”, and flew her to Paris for French Vogue, relaunching her career. The resulting pictures were a sensation and revealed a new Carmen: sexy, silver-haired and on the brink of 50. Her old agency, Ford, opened a new division specifically to handle her, and once again she was working with the greatest photographers: Helmut Newton, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel. Things had changed radically since her heyday, with models now expected to be personalities as well as faces. Carmen quickly adapted. She wrote a beauty book, hit the chat-show circuit, took cameo roles in movies by Woody Allen and Michael Cimino, and appeared on the catwalk in earnest for the first time in her sixties. Along the way she made it into the Guinness Book of World Records (as the oldest professional model). 44


Carmen chameleon Previous page: David Downton’s first drawing of Carmen Dell’Orefice, wearing Thierry Mugler, which he drew in her Park Avenue apartment in April 2000. Above: one of Downton’s favorite drawings, made at a rehearsal for a Hardy Amies couture show in 2003. Right: a sketch made in London in 2011, with Carmen wearing a print dress by Jackie Rogers


Carmen Dell’Orefice

What makes Carmen so inspiring to draw is that she has an innate understanding of image-making. She has developed a sixth sense, so that she sees what you see and ‘edits’ herself accordingly for the page

I first met Carmen in April 2000 after pestering her agents to see if she would consider sitting for me. She eventually agreed, and we arranged to meet at her apartment on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. When I arrived she was whipping her hair into its trademark white squall, “to give you something to draw”. She posed all afternoon with Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald on the sound system, changing clothes, thinking things through, finding the line, and paying me the compliment of taking things seriously. The drawings turned out well, and since then we have worked together whenever time and tide have permitted: in London, on the catwalk for Hardy Amies; in Paris, backstage at Dior; in Florence, in a deconsecrated church for Alberta Ferretti; and, coming full circle, last year at The St. Regis New York, almost 70 years after she posed for Dalí. For the occasion we hung one of Carmen’s own paintings by the artist on the wall, and felt the magic still. What makes Carmen so inspiring to draw is that she has such an innate understanding of image-making. She has developed a sixth sense – or is it a third eye? – so that she sees what you see and “edits” herself accordingly for the page. There’s her beauty, of course, but that is just

her opening play; she is also riotously funny, ribald when the mood takes her, and has the discipline instilled by decades on fashion’s front line. Carmen has learned to be a gracious receiver of compliments, which is just as well, since they are the white noise of her life. “I know you hear this all the time,” gushed one lady of a certain age, when we were having dinner in New York recently. “I’ve never heard it from you” was Carmen’s consummate reply. And so she goes on. Standing sentinel at the age of 84 and staying true to her aim of representing her generation as positively as she is able. And although she is happy to talk about the past, she will not be pitching her tent there any time soon. There is a book to be getting on with, a documentary which is in the process of being edited, and the offers of work that keep on coming. “I am amazed by everything that is happening in my older old age,” she mused recently. “Perhaps today I am an It girl after all.” David Downton: Portraits of the World’s Most Stylish Women is published in September by Laurence King Your address: The St. Regis New York 47

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Caribou suede and rubber boots, $150, Sorel,

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bathing beauty Learning to kite-surf in Mauritius? Then pack an elegant swimsuit, cool sunglasses, strong sun protection, and accessories that are as bold as the sails themselves

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Aviator sunglasses, Linda Farrow for 3.1 Phillip Lim, $120,

city slicker

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Strolling around Tianjin, taking in the museums and temple-lined streets, requires outfits that make you feel smart yet comfortable, from the tips of your shoes to your warm felt hat

Your address: The St. Regis Tianjin

Two-tone Fedora hat, $326, Larose,

Striped silk and linen scarf, $430, Loro Piana,

VK-1 Classic Edition headphones, $499, Aedle,

Chambray shawl collar blazer, $633, Paul Smith,

Leather Alessio rubber-soled derbies, $1,680, Berluti,

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Waxed beechwood comb, $32, Hay,

Louis Cartier 24-hour leather bag, $3,850, Cartier,

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Clark Sun blue jelly sunglasses, $95, Sons + Daughters,

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Jason Polan illustrated espadrilles, $45, Soludos,

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Child’s play Corbis

getting set for a family holiday in Punta Mita? Make sure the kids are fully prepared for hiking in the forests, swimming in pretty pools – and of course surfing

Your address: The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort 55


sTYLE Photography by Daniela Federici Styling by Eric Niemand

Take inspiration from Washington, D.C.’s imposing architecture and combine strong, sleek pieces with elegant accessories that add a touch of femininity and fun. Then step out, feeling like the ultimate First Lady

Previous page: Max Mara camel coat, $2,590; Ralph Lauren turtleneck, $1,150; Jennifer Fisher ring $340; Jimmy Choo leopard-print bag, $3,750; Tom Ford sunglasses, $395; Inverni hat, $460 This Page: Max Mara green cashmere dress $1,090; Fallon gold necklace and earrings, $360 and $280; Jennifer Fisher gold bracelet, $3,200; Alexis Bittar gold bracelet with rhinestones, $250


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Art’s New


Fifty years ago, the art world was almost entirely dominated by men. Today, female curators, collectors, gallerists and artists are a driving force on the global scene

Words by Rachel Spence


n a spring evening earlier this year, a group of women gathered in a stunning apartment just seconds from London’s Kensington Palace. As the uniformed maid opened the door, it seemed as if we were being ushered into an über-exclusive cocktail party, a sensation boosted by the glamour of the guests, many of whom were dressed by the likes of Prada, Issey Miyake and Armani. In reality, a far more interesting event was taking place. Among these women were the crème de la crème of the international art world. There was Julia Peyton-Jones, co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery; Iwona Blazwick, who curates exhibitions for The Gallery at Windsor in Florida; our Italian hostess Valeria Napoleone, a committed collector of art by women; the artist Cornelia Parker; and Candida Gertler and Yana Peel, who set up Outset, an art fund which raises money to buy contemporary works for public collections all over the world. The women had come to support Women for Women International, an NGO that has helped more than 400,000 women affected by war and conflict. The support here is not only a sign of how many women are willing to help to rebuild other women’s lives around the world, but

of how women are becoming increasingly influential in the art world, with dozens of members keen to employ their skills, privilege and experience to help others. Such a gathering of powerful women in art would have been impossible in 1971, when the feminist art historian Linda Nochlin wrote a seminal essay entitled, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”. Drawing attention to the lack of “women equivalents for Michelangelo or Rembrandt, Delacroix or Cézanne, Picasso or Matisse, or even in recent times, for Willem de Kooning or Warhol”, Nochlin pinpointed the social mechanisms that had kept women from the studio. Culprits included institutional sexism – men controlled the academies and women were not accepted into the Paris Salon for example, a crucial showcase for 19thcentury French painters. More importantly, however, for centuries women had been primarily lauded for being mothers and castigated for traits such as creativity that were seen as masculine. Today, the situation is different. Female artists are so ubiquitous that their presence no longer raises eyebrows. This year, for example, MoMA has had exhibitions devoted to Yoko Ono and Björk; Atlanta’s High 64

Cindy Sherman untitled film still #21, 1978, courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, Michael Leckie


Women in the Frame


It’s possible that women’s strengths – their capacity for working together instead of competing, and working as a community rather than in a competitive way – make them ideal candidates for operating within arts organizations

Museum of Art has featured ceramicist Molly Hatch and photographer Helen Levitt; the Perez Art Museum in Miami showcased Brazil’s most expensive living artist, Beatriz Milhazes; major shows at London’s Tate Modern were devoted to Sonia Delaunay and Marlene Dumas, while the Museum of Fine Art in Houston showcased the collection of art historian Alice C. Simkins. Although still less expensive than their male counterparts, works by female artists are also selling for sky-high sums. In 2014, for example, a group of 21 black and white photographs by Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Stills 1977-1980, sold at auction for $6,773,000. The conceptual sculptor Cady Noland’s Oozewald (1989) fetched a similar figure at Sotheby’s New York in 2011. Across the world, female curators, gallerists and collectors are stamping art with their imprint. There are nine women in the Top 20 of Art Review’s Power List 100 for 2014. At number 13 stands Sheikha AlMayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums, who has presided over the construction of a new cultural hub in the Gulf state. Also prominent are Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk, Amsterdam’s leading contemporary art museum; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, director of this year’s Istanbul Biennial and recently appointed director of two of Turin’s major institutions, the Castello di Rivoli and GAM (Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art); and Marian Goodman, New York’s most respected gallerist. Other women to have made their mark include Dasha Zhukova, who founded the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (which recently reopened in a new building designed by Rem Koolhaas), and Donna de Salvo, the chief curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. To inaugurate the Whitney’s new Renzo Piano-designed home, De Salvo unveiled her show America Is Hard to See, and succeeded in putting an expression of “stupid bliss” on the face of the renowned critic Simon Schama. The surge in women’s influence is fuelled by myriad factors. Iwona Blazwick believes the empowerment of women in culture reflects their disenchantment with the political realm in the latter part of the last century. “The really radical stuff was happening in theatre, literature, media and art,” says Blazwick. “Only later did it percolate into the wider culture.” Opportunities for women differ from country to country. In Singapore, Emi Eu is director of the Singapore Tyler Print Institute, a non-profit organization that runs exhibitions and residencies for artists working with print-making techniques. While Singapore’s art scene is less developed than that of New York, she says, both the Singapore Art Museum and the National Museum of Singapore have female directors – Susie Lingham and Angelita Teo. This, she suggests, perhaps indicates that opportunities might occur more readily when a cultural scene is still emerging. It is also possible that women’s strengths – their capacity for working together instead of competing, and working as a community rather than in a competitive way – make them ideal candidates for operating within arts organizations. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who was director of dOCUMENTA (13), the 2012 German exhibition that was arguably

contemporary art’s most radical and important showcase, believes women’s history of caring for things helps, too. “After all they have spent thousands of years managing domestic relations!” The approach women take, it is widely agreed, is different, too, with female patrons taking a more sensitive approach. Valeria Napoleone, who has gathered around 300 works by female artists, from New York-based Tauba Auerbach to sculpture by the acclaimed Polish artist Goshka Macuga, says she believes she takes more time than many men. “I stop and think. It’s different from a competitive, rushing, speculative attitude.” Napoleone also believes that to support artists, you have to do more than buy their work: which is why she regularly hosts dinners for leading emerging talents. “Artists need time to grow, to experiment,” she says. “They need to have the self-confidence to make mistakes. In that sense, they are like children.” In spite of the rising prominence of women in the art world, the majority of the top jobs in the most prestigious institutions – the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, the Prado Museum in Madrid – are still held by men. “I think it has to do with tradition,” observes Emi Eu. “When the museums were set up [in 18th and 19th centuries], it was mostly men in the workforce. When women started to contribute, they took up more curatorial roles.” Slowly, however, the situation is changing. “There was a glass ceiling,” admits Beatrix Ruf. “But in the last few years things have changed a lot. There’s a much more equal playing field. The last director of the Stedelijk was also a woman,” she points out, referring to her predecessor, Ann Goldstein. Another top museum, the Kunsthistorisches in Vienna, also boasts a female general director, Sabine Haag. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done. Christov-Bakargiev observes that we are still living in a world where men inspire more confidence when business relations and money are at stake. “Prejudice still exists,” she continues, before confessing that she has often asked male colleagues to accompany her to important meetings, “because that presence is comforting to the people I am meeting”. Such challenges partly explain why women have made their biggest strides beyond the walls of institutions. A rollcall of the world’s leading private galleries would not be complete without, for example, Barbara Gladstone, who has outposts in New York and Brussels and represents the likes of Anish Kapoor and Elizabeth Peyton; Marian Goodman, who presides over spaces in Paris, New York and London and represents Gerhard Richter and Steve McQueen; and Victoria Miro, who represents Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, the world’s most expensive living female artist. Women also shine when they choose to start their own non-profit organizations. Just consider Dasha Zhukova, founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, and also a board member of Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Maja Hoffmann, founder of the LUMA Foundation in Arles in the south of France; and Marina Abramovic, the legendary performance artist who has now started her own American institute. 66

Nikolay Zverkov © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Scene stealers Previous page, from left: Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #21 (1978); Valeria Napoleone, one of the world’s leading collectors of art by women. Above: Dasha Zhukova, founder of Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Flexibility is another factor that attracts high-achieving women to being their own boss. “I thought it would be more manageable to be a mother and work in the private sector,” recalls the gallerist Daniella Luxembourg, who co-founded Luxembourg & Dayan in a Manhattan townhouse in 2009, and this year has shown the Korean artist Minjung Kim and figure drawings by Richard Prince. Born in Israel, Luxembourg started out at the age of 23 as a curator at an ethnographic museum in Jerusalem, before establishing her own art empire in New York. “It was a pioneering culture in Israel,” she recalls, highlighting how important cultural attitudes are to the status of women in society. “Everything was new. The Prime Minister was a woman. Women participated in the army.” If the women who are shaping this world have one thing in common, it’s a profound passion for art. Iwona Blazwick recalls the first show she ever saw at the Whitechapel Gallery in East London, where she is now director. “It was by Eva Hesse,” she says, naming the celebrated Germanborn American sculptor whose emotional brand of Minimalism revolutionized the movement. “It changed everything I knew about art,” she continues, adding that she loves her role because “the excitement of

looking and learning is extraordinary. Just when you think it’s gone as far as it can go [it goes further].” When I talk to Blazwick, she is at the inauguration of the Venice Biennale. “I’ve just seen artists from Haiti staging an opera!” she enthuses. “The ability, as a curator, to provide a platform for those kind of expressions is a huge privilege. Being an artist is a very hard path. But as a curator you can define a zeitgeist and make an impact on social change.” For Valeria Napoleone, the discovery of artists such as Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger in the late 1990s proved a turning point. “Women’s art offers so much potential to contemporary culture,” she declares. “These were artists who truly spoke to me. I felt a very strong sense of connection.” A tendency to be more empathetic than men is another reason women are so valuable as curators, gallerists and patrons. It means they are able to turn their gaze outward beyond the art world to help others, as Napoleone did when she hosted the Women for Women International event. “Women take joy in nurturing and giving,” she says. “We enjoy the journey together.” Your address: The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort; The St. Regis Atlanta; The St. Regis New York; The St. Regis Doha; The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya; The St. Regis Singapore 67

The Connoisseur: Jamie Cullum

ALL THAT jazz Words by Matt Munday Photographed by Liam Ricketts

Singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum’s obsession with jazz began when he saw The Fabulous Baker Boys. He was a 15-year-old piano prodigy at the time and had just started to get paid gigs in hotels. It didn’t matter that they were in Swindon, a small English town not noted for its rich jazz heritage. Teenage Jamie was just like his hero in the movie, the brilliant jazz pianist Jack Baker, though considerably less tortured. Now 35, Cullum laughs this off as youthful folly. “When you’re a teenager, you grab on to certain icons to help you through the crippling nature of what it is actually to be a teenager,” he says. But in many ways he is still living the teenage dream. An acclaimed jazz pianist, he has released six albums and tours the world with his band. And this spring, he began a series of gigs Baker would have killed for: The Jazz Legends at St. Regis Series, an intimate set of live performances at St. Regis hotels around the world. Throughout the Jazz Age, the rooftop ballroom at The St. Regis New York played host to many of the jazz world’s biggest names, from Count Basie to Buddy Rich. Cullum has curated playlists and booked local acts to play alongside him as he celebrates St. Regis’ musical legacy. Much of Cullum’s encyclopedic knowledge of jazz comes from his compulsive record-buying habit. “I’m almost permanently on the lookout for new sounds,” he says. As a teenager he dug everything from grunge to hip hop, but also loved to mine charity shops for old records. “I started picking up jazz albums by artists like Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk almost by accident. If there was a hip-looking dude in a kaftan holding a saxophone on the cover, that usually worked for me!” This is how he acquired many of his favorite albums, such as Duke Ellington’s Money Jungle, which has “the rawness of a punk record”. He now owns somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 records, as well as about 5,000 CDs. “I’ve cut it down a little bit, but it’s actually quite a modest amount,” he says. “I know people with 15,000 vinyls, easily.” He is not one to pay hundreds of dollars for rarities – if you know where to look, you don’t have to. And thanks to all the touring, Cullum has gotten to know many of the world’s best record shops. So where’s good? “In Paris, there’s a place called Oldies but Goodies. It’s the best store for old records in the world: a floor-to-ceiling library. America has a lot of good ones, too. Like Joe’s Record Paradise in Washington – for rock, rockabilly, jazz, hip hop… all the good stuff. When I’m in New York, I spend the most at Colony Records in Midtown, not too far from The St. Regis New York. Or Bleecker Street Records, another amazing one for collectors.” One question remains. How much does his habit cost him a month? “Mmmmm, that’s a hard one!” he laughs. “I couldn’t even guess.” Your address: The St. Regis Washington, D.C.; The St. Regis New York

Style Hunting

bangkok by design Words by Ashley Niedringhaus


angkok has long been a compelling place to visit, a culturally rich Southeast Asian capital that has managed to retain a strong national identity despite rapid development. What has given the city an additional edge for luxury travelers today is that, as well as being home to gilded Thai temples, craft emporiums and markets rich in color and culture, it has developed a booming urban arts scene and remarkably sophisticated eating and drinking venues. When exactly Bangkok changed from being a hedonistic backpacker paradise and temple city into a budding food and shopping destination is difficult to pinpoint. Some argue that it was the arrival of designers such as Ashley Sutton, who created the iconic Bangkok bars Maggie Choo’s and Iron Fairies, that has propelled the city into the future far faster than other tourist favorites such as Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Pen. Others believe Bangkok’s rise to fame

as the cool kid in Southeast Asia arrived when locals started to merge hip Western trends with local culture. “All the successful launches in the last five years have been of lifestyle establishments that have involved something else,” says Daniel Fraser, co-founder of luxury tour group Smiling Albino. “For instance, open art forums at night that also work as bars, restaurants that operate as art galleries and bars that double as performance theaters.” The food, too, has evolved enormously in the city, he adds. “People always came for the street food, and still do. But now they might have street food at a market one night and a five-star dinner by a Michelin-starred chef like Joël Robuchon the next.” As in many cities, some of the richest experiences, both contemporary and historical, are best accessed with the help of knowledgeable local guides or insider information. Here we offer a handful to make the best of your stay.



flowers, flavorsome food and shops filled with artisanal crafts, from jewelry to bespoke furniture. The city of angels is rich with eastern experiences and goods – if you know where to find them

Christopher Wise

Style Hunting

Custom-made to fit Previous page: fresh fruit and flowers en route to the market. This page, clockwise from top left: learn to make a traditional curry at one of the city’s cookery schools; Thai martial arts; buying flowers at the market; Bangkok is famed for its many bespoke tailors


The Best of Bangkok

Design a custom suit A trip to a tailor is now as synonymous with Bangkok as a dizzying ride in a tuk-tuk. Just like the tuk-tuks, tailors occupy practically every corner, jockeying for business from passing pedestrians. Enter Tailor on Ten, the antithesis of the typically crowded shop lined with fake designer fabrics. Run by Canadian brothers Ben and Alex Cole, the spacious store features private fitting rooms, on-site master tailors and fine Italian fabrics by manufacturers such as Loro Piana. What keeps international businessmen and ambassadors alike returning to Tailor on Ten is the attention to detail. Customers come for three fittings during a week and Cole’s team personally selects every shoulder pad, interlining, button and thread used in the making of the shirts and suits. For men, sipping beer and crafting a new wardrobe or tuxedo gives them the ultimate kid-in-a-candy-shop feeling. Suits from $400;

Train with a martial arts star On the outskirts of Bangkok, hard-bodied Thai men in brightly colored satin shorts enter the black-and-red-checkered ring at Luktupfah Muay Thai Academy for a full day of classic Muay Thai lessons with world-renowned trainer, Chinawut Sirisompan (known as Grand Master Woody). Spending the day with the Muay Thai pioneer, who was among the first to bring the sport to the West and is the founder of the Amateur Muay Thai World Championships, is equal parts history lesson and intense physical training. A day camp starts with a brief history of the sport and a breakdown of the rules and techniques before a warm-up run through nearby rice fields and villages. Back at the gym, there’s time to spar in the ring while a videographer captures the moves. When the grunting and combat is over, students can enjoy a Thai massage, time in the sauna and lunch before returning to Bangkok in a private car – with a few bruises and a newfound respect for the ancient Thai martial arts. From $12 a session;

Fly over the city in a helicopter The noise from the churning propellers quickly rises as the helicopter lifts above Bangkok’s crowded streets. The most shocking discovery of this 50-minute aerial trek is just how disorganized the Thai capital is, lacking the city planning, wide sidewalks and defined downtown areas of many major cities. But that lack of polish and orderly chaos is exactly what gives Bangkok its buzz, its magnetism, its

charm. Whizzing above the Chao Phraya River, it’s possible to get a bird’s-eye view of the most iconic sights in town: the intricate canal systems, and the ancient Wat Arun and Grand Palace. Back on land, the journey ends with a private car back into the city. About $1,600 for two,

Take Thai cooking lessons Blue Elephant restaurant has long been Thailand’s unofficial culinary ambassador, showcasing the beauty and diversity of Royal Thai cuisine. Lessons are led by the restaurant’s leading chefs or, on request, the founder and executive head chef, Nooror Somany Steppe. Each student has a cooking station and wok, and time is spent both in the classroom and in the kitchen. A single morning’s lesson might involve taking an hour-long trip to the nearby Bangrak Market to shop for such typical Thai ingredients as bird’s eye chili and dried shrimp, then learning to cook four authentic dishes such as massaman curry with beef, pomelo salad, Thai fishcakes and a hot and sour soup. Lessons are in a beautiful colonial-style mansion, and at the end of the lesson students can feast in the elegant living room filled with dark rattan furniture and Asian artefacts. From about $150,

Tour the flower market Pak Khlong Talat, Bangkok’s 24-hour flower market, is a place in which almost every visitor experiences a slight sensory overload. Exotic fragrances fill the air as fast-speaking Thais quickly exchange their crumpled baht bills for bushels of flowers. An astounding number of blooms come to the market daily from around Thailand, including orchids in myriad colors, roses, lotus buds sold chilled on ice and marigold blossoms strung into garlands. Navigating the maze of passageways and warehouse rooms is best done with a guide and, better yet, a botanist. The most renowned is Sakul Intakul, the director and creator of the Museum of Floral Culture in Bangkok, who specializes in flower art and installations. A tip: it’s worth buying not just flowers but a vase to create an arrangement for your hotel room. From $800 for two;

Hunt for Asian antiques House of Chao, a slightly dusty three-story antique house, is decked out with antiques and curiosities from Thailand and neighboring Asian countries including Myanmar, China and India. Known mostly to antique collectors and aficionados of teak furniture, the 75

emporium harbors an assortment of genuine curiosities, ancient treasures, pseudo-antiques and impressive-looking replicas sourced by its charming owner, Khun Chaovanee, who also attends to their restoration. Among the ornaments, carpets, textiles, Thai silk and artwork there are some serious collectibles and one of Thailand’s largest selections of traditional Burmese furniture. Chaovanee is authoritative (and honest) on the provenance of her wares, and can happily arrange for goods to be shipped all over the world. 9/1 Decho Road, Silom; +662 635 7188

Meditate with a yoga teacher With American founder Adrian Cox at the helm, Yoga Elements Studio has garnered a reputation for being not just the best yoga center in Bangkok, but one of the best in the world. Situated on the 23rd floor of high-rise near to Chit Lom BTS skytrain station, the studio’s teachers instruct in vinyasa and ashtanga yoga in classes that run through the day from 7am until 9.15pm. Cox, a yoga teacher for more than 15 years, has devoted himself to the study of meditation, philosophy, Ayurveda and linguistics, and trained with gurus in New York City and India. In addition to taking yoga classes, he offers a meditation session to those who want to chill out completely on Saturday afternoons. For those who want to take the discipline further, he also offers a 200-hour teaching training course. From about $15 for a drop-in class;

Commission a bespoke table Belgian former antique dealers, Pieter Compernol and Stephanie Grusenmeyer, set out to create a line of bespoke, hand-crafted tables after unearthing large antique wooden boards in a remote Asian village and deciding to remodel them. The result of their creative efforts is P Tendercool, a chic studio-cumshowroom near the Chao Phraya river that sells the sort of bespoke contemporary pieces that are snapped up by top interior designers around the world. Tabletops are made from antique wooden slabs salvaged from Asian homes or kiln-dried reclaimed beams from colonial buildings. Bases and legs are hand-cast from bronze, aluminum or brass and forged by expert Thai craftsmen. Those who don’t want to design their own furniture can choose from ready-made pieces ranging from dining sets and desks to stools, benches and consoles. International shipping can be arranged. Your address: The St. Regis Bangkok



strokes Words by Nonie Niesewand

sensuous and exotic, the paINTINGS OF howard hodgkin defy interpretation, yet over six decades their emotional power and vibrant use of color have won him global acclaim



ne of the world’s greatest living painters Sir Howard Hodgkin is sitting in his wheelchair in his vast London studio. “Forgive me if I don’t get up,” he says. At 83 years old he can be forgiven for needing a little help to get around these days, yet his compulsion to paint and to travel the world remains indefatigable. In the first three months of this year he painted six new works in Mumbai, the city he first visited in 1964 and which he calls home for several months of the year. Since his return to London he has continued with his painting, standing painfully at an easel, for a major new show of works at the Gagosian Gallery in New York in 2016. India has been a recurring theme in Hodgkin’s work throughout his life. The most recent exhibition of his works, at the Gagosian Gallery in London, was of his Indian Waves series, created in 1990 and 1991 and rediscovered last year in an attic. Each of the 30 works was painted on handmade Indian khadi paper, a fluid wave of ultramarine at the bottom of each sheet representing water, an emerald arch above representing hills, and vivid impressions painted over the top reflecting places and events in India. The colors he uses capture the light and vibrancy of the country in big bold strokes. In Mumbai Wedding, joyful explosions of crimson, orange and yellow implode like fireworks in the sky. In Storm in Goa yellow lightning flashes over an electric green sky with a sultry, inky dark sea surging below. At the time he painted the series, Hodgkin admits he wasn’t sure about it, but today he confesses to being pleasantly surprised – a reaction which his patrons clearly felt, too; each of the paintings sold on the opening night for $90,000. Although knighted in 1992, the London-born painter – who was evacuated aged eight during the Second World War

to Long Island, represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1984 and has exhibited in leading museums including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Metropolitan in New York – never uses the title “Sir”. “It’s not relevant,” he quips, “unless it’s to try to get an upgrade on an airplane.” But then, not much about Hodgkin could be described as straightforward. He doesn’t like to talk about his paintings, insisting, “It’s not the way I work.” And he particularly dislikes the label “abstract artist”, preferring to use the term “representational painter”. While there are clues in their titles as to what each painting might represent, knowing that gets the viewer only so far. Hodgkin’s paintings are not true to life, being rather pictorial equivalents of their subjects, or what the director of London’s Tate Modern, Sir Nicholas Serota, describes as artworks that capture “both the tangible and intangible sensations that we retain from a fleeting experience”. Hodgkin’s visual recollection is so strong that he rarely uses sketchbooks, painting instead from memory. Describing a trip he made with his partner, Antony Peattie, in 2014 to a Sufi music festival in Rajasthan, hosted by the Maharajah of Jodhpur, Hodgkin recalls “breakfasting on the hotel terrace, a flautist improvising and posing with a peacock, dour Uzbekistani musicians the picture of grimness and, in the distance, a white marble bench”. There you have the scene, better than Instagram because you can read into his word picture what you see in your mind’s eye: a reminder that his paintings are not snapshots. New York’s Gagosian Gallery will display a selection of Howard Hodgkin’s latest works between March 4 and April 30, 2016. Your address: The St. Regis New York; The St. Regis Mumbai

Flying colors Above: Howard Hodgkin in front of his painting Border, 1990-91. Left: Hello, 20042008. As in so many of Hodgkin’s paintings, the brushstrokes spill over on to the frame, suggesting an exuberance without boundaries. Although this small work measures just 11½ inches x 13½ inches, it dominated the walls of the gallery in which it was first shown.


All artworks © Howard Hodgkin. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, except ‘Tea Party in America’. Portrait by Robin Friend

Howard Hodgkin

Š Howard Hodgkin. Image courtesy Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford


Tea Party in America, 1948 Hodgkin was just 16 years old when he painted this tea party on his first return visit to Long Island, where he had lived for three years during the Second World War with his mother and sister. Using a sable brush, he experimented with different techniques. The hand holding a jug is executed in a wash, the grey and white striped tablecloth appears combed, and white spotted beads on blouses and on wrists evoke pearls and diamonds. Enormous hands in the foreground place the painter (and spectator) at the head of the table, as a participant in the tea party, while the background recedes in a swirl of white and grey with mauve.


Howard Hodgkin

Where Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word, 2007-2008 One of 20 works completed in 2007 and 2008 when Hodgkin explored themes of American freedom and erotic intimacy – “the facts of life as visual art”, as the art historian Robert Rosenblum once described them – this boldly vibrant landscape is one of the largest in the series, measuring 80⅛ inches x 105 inches. Three horizontal fields are dominated by a polka-dotted sky with a single, smudged cloud on the horizon above a sunny yellow wave anchored upon a burnt orange ground. The viewer is drawn into a landscape that reaches out beyond the physical limits of the painting, surging with optimism for the future.



Letters from Bombay, 2014-2015 For more than 50 years Hodgkin has been inspired by India, its landscapes and its people. Even India’s monsoons sweep through his visceral canvases. Every year he escapes the British winter to spend three months in Mumbai with his partner, Antony Peattie. “I am a representational painter but not a painter of appearances,” Hodgkin explains. “I paint representational pictures of emotional situations.” Thus the viewer can be led by this missive from Bombay in whichever emotional direction it takes him or her. Emphatic dark brushstrokes, like slashes, rupture the painting; a crimson fringe surrounds the blue bay, while a golden sunrise offers new horizons.


Howard Hodgkin

Old Money, 1987-1989 Old Money appears to be a comment on the tyranny of money in the consumer society of the late Eighties: awash with coins, a lottery of numbers and expectations, fruit machines and even an ATM, it features a hand reaching out among the green wads of notes. In conversation with Antony Peattie, Howard Hodgkin says that nobody seems able to respond to art “without a gush of words… I am happy for people to talk about my pictures but I wish devoutly that I wasn’t expected to talk about them myself. The more an artist talks about his work, the more his words become attached to it. I want people to look at my pictures as pictures, as things.”



great walls

of china Words by Rachel Loos

Once hand-painted silk wallpaper from the orient adorned the halls of mandarins AND THE MANSIONS OF TYCOONS. NOW THE centuries-old CRAFT IS ENJOYING a revival – as a symbol of ultimate luxury


eeking through a door into a large warehouse in the ancient city of Wuxi on the coast of central China, the scene within could be one from the 19th century. In a large, light-filled room, dozens of artists are bent over rows of long white tables, each slowly and methodically dipping long, slender brushes into small porcelain dishes of gouache paint and then carefully applying it on to a flat panel of silk. The workers – some of the most accomplished painters in China – are creating hand-made silk wallpaper. Theirs is a highly skilled and painstaking craft, and with their heads bent and brows furrowed in concentration, they will employ as many as 100 brush strokes to create one leaf and spend up to an hour delicately shading the wings of a bird. To create enough wallpaper to cover the walls of a single room will take them many hundreds of hours. But in a week they will have created something that is spectacular and utterly unique: a grand hand-painted mural, some 100ft wide, featuring the most dazzling backdrop of swooping birds, gnarled trees and vibrant flowers. In painting these eye-catching designs the artists are following an ancient tradition, for it is in Wuxi, and also the neighboring city of Suzhou, that the heart of China’s hand-painted silk industry has been based for the past 1,500 years. Once this artistry created scrolls and screens for China’s wealthy governing Mandarin class and its richer merchants, their designs symbolic displays of rank; a blazing dragon denoted power, a flowering peony wealth and beauty. But in the 18th century, these beautifully detailed designs of birds, flowers, trees and pastoral scenes were discovered by Western merchants, who ordered them to be painted on to silk to create wallpaper for export to Europe and America. In the midst of the craze in Europe for chinoiserie (from chinois, the French word for Chinese), the paper quickly became fashionable. It

was transported on the ships of the East India Company and formed a significant part of China’s export trade to the West. Today, visit any number of historic stately homes in Europe or North America, and it’s likely that you will come across at least one wall in each that’s embellished with this fine Chinese art. The Chinese company Griffin & Wong, established in 2007 as a collaboration with the descendants of the original Suzhou Silk-Workers Craftsman Guild, often refers back to homes of America’s Gilded Age for inspiration: mansions such as Marble House and Rough Point in Newport, Rhode Island, both owned by the Vanderbilts, Villa Vizcaya in Miami and the Winterthur Mansion in Delaware. “The chinoiserie in these buildings is an interesting reflection of the stylish decades that bookended the turn of the century,” says Douglas Bray, MD for Griffin & Wong in the Americas. “This was the Art Nouveau era when the wealthy lived in the grand hotels of New York and Florida for parts of the season, and then had the ambition and wealth to try to recreate the fantasy of a dramatic hotel lobby in their own homes. For the interior design world it was a golden time, and chinoiserie was a great part of the Gilded Age.” Although in the latter part of the 20th century China’s Communist revolution, combined with the rise of Minimalism in theWest, put a dampener on this exuberant form of decoration, it is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Chinoiserie is newly popular not only in fashionable circles, reflecting the trend for pattern and design, but in architectural practices, too, which appreciate the intrinsic value of historic artisanal craft and the bespoke element it contributes. “While hand-painted wallpaper used to be very much a limited, high-society product for the Manhattan and London crowds, it is more widespread now,” says Bray. “The oligarchs in Russia love it, as do the 82

Hand-painted Wallpaper

Floral fantasies From left: handsome pheasants inhabit an idyllic Chinese landscape on this hand-painted mural; porcelain cachepots and ginger jars embellish a classic chinoiserie garden (both by Paul Montgomery)




Hand-painted Wallpaper upper echelons in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Even in places like South and North Carolina it has become very popular.” Ironically, although produced in China for the West, it was almost unknown across wider China until about a decade ago. That, though, says Bray, is also changing fast. “The arc has been first for the hotels and high-end restaurants to commission and show the wallpapers, and then recently for the ultra-wealthy – a class that’s growing – to install it in their own villas and residences.” The corresponding increase in demand for the skills of hand-painting has revitalized a craft that had been in danger of dying in a rapidly industrialized China. “Studios are popping up all the time and this is making it harder to find good artists,” says Tim Butcher from Fromental, a wallpaper company which has a large atelier in Wuxi with about 50 artists working in it. “All Fromental staff are skilled before they begin, but they start as apprentices and work their way up.” It can take years to reach the top of their profession. Hand-painted wallpaper is still produced in much the same way as it has been for centuries. Unlike printed paper, which usually features one pattern that is repeated, chinoiserie typically consists of a single mural on a series of panels, presenting a panorama of Chinese flora and fauna. Each element is chosen for its symbolic meaning in the relationship between the concepts of Harmony and Nature. Manufacture is a time-consuming process. First, the silk is treated with a hardening glue before it is stretched on a frame, ready for the design to be sketched by hand with a fine pencil. Then the painting begins. “Four or five artists work on each set,” explains Butcher, whose clients include Chanel and the entrepreneur David Tang, and who for The St. Regis Jakarta, which opens in spring 2016, is creating chinoiserie panels for the bedrooms. “Within any team there is a lead artist and usually an apprentice. The junior artists will paint in the first flat layer of color. The more experienced ones will then start adding in more detail such as shading, the veins on leaves or the petals of a flower. Finally, the finer details of shading will be added on to the birds and the tips of the flowers.” The supreme expression of the craft is “unconscious painting”, a more spontaneous style of artistry in which a tree trunk is created with a single brush stroke. “It requires speed so that the end result looks natural,”

says Butcher. “It is a given that an artist can produce fine, controlled brushwork, but the ability to create balance and form with loose and free strokes of the brush is a skill that’s harder to achieve.” It is the painstaking building up, layer by layer, of pattern and color that gives painted silk wallpaper its exceptional depth and texture. On close inspection, the artist’s skill is revealed in the play of light and shade against the lustre of the silk, and the intricacies of the individual elements, from the folds of a dress to a bird’s multicolored tailfeathers. This precision and detail is reflected in the cost. According to Virginiabased Paul Montgomery, who has 35 artists in China creating finely painted backdrops for clients who range from Hollywood celebrities to Middle Eastern royals, hand-painted wallpaper starts at about $500 for a square yard. And yet considering the paper is unique, it can be thought of as an investment, he says, because it is also surprisingly practical. Not only does silk wallpaper make a room warmer and more personal, it also softens the acoustics. While painted panels are the most popular with clients, Fromental has recently pioneered the complex skill of embroidering on paper, to create a striking three-dimensional look. “If it takes 30 hours to paint one panel, to fully embroider the same panel takes 300 hours,” says Butcher. “It needs a remarkable level of skill because the tension has to be completely even.” This can be embellished further with the addition of gems, crystals and precious metals. Although technology has enabled murals to be as lavishly decorative as any client might want, a trend is emerging for hand-painted wallpaper whereby texture, rather than elaborate pattern, is the key attraction. “People still value the hand-painted and artisanal, but they want something that is simpler,” says Butcher. “So we created papers that are done with layered brush strokes for a gradation of pattern and deep color.” Often resembling an abstract painting, these hand-painted wallpapers are a superb fusion of old and new, and work even in the sharpest of contemporary interiors – gratifying evidence that there is still a place for time-honored craft in today’s design universe.;; Your address: The St. Regis Jakarta, opening spring 2016

Silk touch Left: Paul Montgomery’s Hemmerling design in porcelain blue on white pearlized silk works to stunning effect in this elegant foyer. Above: layer upon layer of pattern and color give this Fromental wallpaper exceptional depth and texture


the HOUSE that JACK BUILT Words by Richard Grant




The Back Story

Traveling man

John Jacob “Jack” Astor IV was the American equivalent of a crown prince. His blue-blooded mother, Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, shaped and ruled the New York social elite in the Gilded Age. From his father’s side, he inherited a legendary name and a vast fortune based on Manhattan real estate. No family has ever owned so much of an American city as the Astors owned of New York: thousands of buildings, miles of riverfront property. The family fortune – worth about $6 billion in today’s dollars – was split between Jack and his first cousin William Waldorf Astor, who spent it in suitably lavish style. The men lived in a world of dazzling marbled mansions, liveried servants, palatial country estates, summers at Newport, social intrigue, elaborate balls and yachts (Jack’s 230-footer could seat 60 in its dining saloon). Although the two cousins had grown up in neighboring mansions on Fifth Avenue, they did not like each other. William, 16 years older, believed in high moral seriousness and looked down on his younger cousin as a dilettante who frittered away his time on thoroughbreds, motor cars, parties and other idle amusements. When their fathers died in the early 1890s, and the two young men took over management of their fathers’ business empires, they immediately tried to outshine the other by building competing luxury hotels.

William landed the first blow with the Waldorf. After his mother’s death, he knocked down the family mansion and started building the grandest hotel the world had ever seen – right next door to the home occupied by his cousin Jack and his aunt Caroline. Caroline was a small, plump, regal woman who hosted the city’s most exclusive parties and cotillions in the mansion’s magnificent ballroom. Eighteen household servants, in blue uniforms modeled on royal livery, served ten-course French dinners on solid-gold plates. Caroline wore so many diamonds that one guest described her as “a human chandelier” and another as “a dozen Tiffany cases personified”. When William’s engineers and construction workers started to build the hotel, she was, naturally, furious, and moved out. The situation was little better when the hotel was completed in 1893. Not only did it dwarf her mansion and cast her garden into shade, but it gave her a view of a 13-story brick wall. Jack was enraged. He was devoted to his domineering mother, who had pampered him thoroughly, aided by her four daughters. He commissioned an architect to build her a four-story French Renaissance chateau with the largest ballroom in the city, 30 blocks uptown on Fifth Avenue, then announced plans to demolish her former mansion and build a row of stables there, so the Waldorf would have horse dung to contend with. 88

Mary Evans Picture Library, Getty Images, Corbis

Clockwise from left: Jack Astor walking his Airedale, Kitty, on Fifth Avenue; behind the wheel of one of his 60-strong collection of cars in 1903; the ill-fated RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton

The Man Who Built The St. Regis

The high life Previous page: a postcard of The St. Regis, then the tallest hotel in the world. Above: the opulent Louis XVI-style foyer in 1904, the year of The St. Regis’ opening

When his advisers cooled him down, Jack came up with a more ambitious scheme: to build a much bigger hotel next door. Teams of lawyers and accountants went back and forth, and eventually a truce was inked, allowing the two hotels to be connected by corridors. The doublehotel was named the Waldorf-Astoria, and a provision in the contract allowed corridors to be sealed off if the truce collapsed. With 1,000 rooms and a ballroom that could seat 1,500 people for a dinner dance, the Waldorf-Astoria was bigger than any royal palace in Europe. The central corridor was 300ft long, marbled and mirrored, and lined with glittering displays. It was known as Peacock Alley, and 25,000 people promenaded through it on a normal day. The novelist Henry James, who was not an easy man to impress, described the hotel as “a gorgeous golden blur… one of my few glimpses of perfect human felicity”. The inspiration to build luxury hotels wasn’t anything new for the Astors. The founder of the dynasty, John Jacob Astor I, had erected the family’s first in 1836 to commemorate his name and his extraordinary wealth, which he had created from absolutely nothing. The semi-literate butcher’s son from Germany had crossed the Atlantic in 1783, at the age of 20, and found a job cleaning rabbit and beaver pelts on the New York waterfront. By 1830 he had made so much money in the fur trade that he began to buy land on Manhattan Island,

and when New York boomed into a world capital, Astor became the richest man in America and the nation’s first multi-millionaire. Astutely, he never sold any of his land, but instead leased it to developers and collected rents from tenement buildings. The only thing he built with his own money was his grand luxury hotel, Astor House on Broadway. Hailed as “a marvel of the age”, it contained such wondrous innovations as indoor plumbing and running water, pumped around the building by a great steam engine in the basement. There was a French chef with 12 cooks and 60 waiters, and a new menu printed every day on an in-house printing press. When Astor died in 1848, his hotel was widely acknowledged as the best in the world (although at the close of the century it was on its last legs, and was demolished soon afterwards). Jack Astor was the founder’s great-grandson, and he called himself Colonel Astor after commanding his own artillery regiment in the Spanish-American War. Tall, thin and debonair, if slightly gangling and awkward, he married one of the great beauties of the American aristocracy, Ava Lowle Willing of Philadelphia. But it was an arranged marriage, and it turned out unhappily. Jack took refuge in his yacht, as his father had done before him, the many gentlemen’s clubs he belonged to, the corporate boards he sat on almost by birthright, his collection of 60 motor cars and, increasingly, his laboratory. 89

The Back Story



The Man Who Built The St. Regis He was fascinated by machines, electricity and the future, and he invented a new brake for bicycles, a marine turbine engine and a “pneumatic road-improver” that removed dirt from road surfaces and won first prize at the Chicago World’s Fair. He also wrote a science fiction novel called A Journey in Other Worlds, which predicted space travel, global warming, melting polar ice caps, television and genetic engineering. “He had imagination and a mystical side, but he was engineering-orientated really, and a damn good inventor,” says his 90-year-old grandson Ivan Obolensky, whose father, Serge Obolensky, a White Russian prince, married Ava Astor, Jack’s daughter, and was appointed to the board of The St. Regis New York. “He was the richest man on the Titanic, and if he’d have lived longer, he’d have died even richer. He was getting into torpedo designs and some really advanced stuff. The air conditioning system he designed for The St. Regis was a brilliant scheme.” Having built the Waldorf-Astoria, the cousins continued to expand their hotel empire by constructing dueling hotels on opposite sides of Times Square. William had started with the 17-story New Netherland. When Jack started designing the $6-million St. Regis, he decided it would be 18 stories high: the highest in the world. Named after a vacation resort in upstate New York popular with Manhattan’s power elite, The St. Regis was his masterpiece, reflecting both his love of splendor and his passion for innovation. The limestone exterior featured decorative wrought-iron balconies and elaborately carved garlands, in the fashionable Beaux Arts Parisian style. The interiors, of creamy Caen stone and Istrian marble, were designed in a style inspired by the palace of Versailles, with ornate woodcarvings, antique furniture and Flemish tapestries. But hidden inside the bowels of the building was a labyrinthine network of ducts, channels, tubes, wires and pipes that Astor designed himself. There were mail chutes on every floor, telephones in every room, and outlets for dust-sucking machines connected to a big central vacuum. Adjustable thermostats in every room accessed his novel heating, cooling and ventilation system that “purified” the air by forcing it into the rooms through cheesecloth filters, and cooled it with fans blowing over melting, evaporating ice. It combined American invention and European opulence, making it, as Astor had hoped, the finest hotel of its age. Like his first hotel, this one, on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, led Astor into big trouble with the neighbors. This was a very exclusive residential area known as Vanderbilt Row, and its tycoons and socialites did not want their mansions towered over by an 18-story skyscraper. Led by William Rockefeller, they blocked the hotel’s application for a bar licence, on the grounds that it lay within 200 feet of a church and so violated the state liquor law, and boycotted any events held there. The battle went on for two years, until an Astor-friendly senator changed the law to exempt large hotels. When Prince Sananaru Fashimi of Japan stayed at The St. Regis for two weeks, Vanderbilt Row was impressed and opposition started to fade. Soon after, Mr. and Mrs. William Vanderbilt announced that they would move into the hotel for the winter, and in the following years, Marlene Dietrich and Salvador Dalí would live at The St. Regis on a seasonal basis. Of all the hotel buildings commissioned by the Astors in New York, only The St. Regis still remains. Now modernized and

refurbished, but fully in keeping with its original style and splendor, it is Jack Astor’s greatest legacy and the cornerstone of the St. Regis group. Although Astor’s hotel empire was flourishing, his personal life was less successful. A year after his mother, Caroline, died in 1908, his wife, Ava, divorced him on grounds of adultery – to the horror of the high Episcopalian ministers in his family church. With his unhappy marriage finally behind him, though, Jack gained a new lease on life. He started to entertain lavishly, and accepted more invitations to society weddings and costume balls. In the summer of 1910, he met an attractive 17-year-old debutante called Madeleine Talmage Force, at Bar Harbor, Maine, and they fell madly in love. The entire nation was shocked when their marriage was announced. No Episcopalian clergyman would perform the service and, after a frantic search, Astor found a Congregationalist minister who was willing to do it for $1,000 cash. The couple exchanged vows at Beechwood, the Astors’ summer mansion in Newport, and many guests showed their disapproval by staying away. “I’m afraid Madeleine was the Scarlet Letter in our family,” says Obolensky. “She came right out of the blue.” The newlyweds spent the winter of 1911-12 in Europe and Egypt, but when Madeleine discovered she was pregnant, they decided to go home and do it in grand style. They booked a luxury suite for the maiden voyage of the biggest, most impressive ocean liner that had ever been built. With Jack’s valet, Madeleine’s lady maid and private nurse, and an Airedale terrier named Kitty, they boarded RMS Titanic at Cherbourg as the sun set on April 10, 1912. Four nights later, after feasting on caviar, lobster, Egyptian quail and plovers’ eggs, as the string orchestra played Puccini and Tchaikovsky, the gentlemen in first class escorted their ladies down the grand staircase to their suites. At 11.40pm, there was a sudden violent shaking that lasted no longer than a minute. As the iceberg floated away, the ship sailed smoothly again, but fatal damage had been done, and Captain Edward Smith ordered the lifeboats to be prepared and all passengers on deck. Jack Astor helped Madeleine into a cork lifejacket, showed her to a lifeboat, and inquired if he might join her since she was in “a delicate condition”. The lifeboats were for women and children only, he was told, and he accepted it gracefully. “The sea is calm,” he told her. “You’ll be alright. You’re in good hands. I’ll see you in the morning.” Madeleine survived and gave birth to a son, but Jack Astor died: probably killed by a falling smokestack as the Titanic went down nose-first with her stern in the air. His body, clad in a lifejacket and a blue serge suit, with $2,500 in cash and a gold watch in the pockets, was found floating a week later by a passing steamer. Thousands of people mourned the colonel as his coffin passed through the streets of New York, and songs were composed about him and legends multiplied. He sank down with the ship while waving farewell to his bride, people said. In the film Titanic, he drowns clutching on to his money like a miser, an inaccurate and unfair portrayal of a generous soul, says Ivan Obolensky, who was born three years after his grandfather’s death. “He was only 47 and really coming into himself. It was a terrible loss to our family, although we were too stoic to talk about it. He was a good, steady human being, benign and honorable, and disappeared in his prime.”

Beau of the ball Left: John Jacob Astor IV dressed as Henry IV of France for the lavish Bradley-Martin Ball, held on February 10, 1897 at the Waldorf Hotel, which had been built by his cousin William


Wearable Technology

Smarten up Words by Steven King Illustration by Jimmy Turrell

Technology that is embedded in your running gear, your shoes and your swimwear can now not only monitor your fitness – it can help to run your life


n 1571 Queen Elizabeth I of England was given the most advanced timepiece ever created. It was a small clock that could be worn on the wrist. In 2015 Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, presented what he referred to as “the most advanced timepiece ever created” to the world. It was a small clock that could be worn on the wrist. Both Elizabeth’s “arm watch” and Cook’s Apple Watch are marvels of miniaturization. And yet youngsters of the iPhone generation might take one look at the queen’s mechanical bauble and wonder what the fuss was about. It could not, they might point out, respond to voice commands, measure its wearer’s heart rate, function as a contactless credit card or alert the sovereign to incoming emails – all of which Apple’s state-of-the-art gizmo can do, and more. “Wearable technology” has come a long way. And the sector is set to go a great deal farther. How big might the boom be? According to Lisa Calhoun, founder of Write2Market, a technology PR firm, “Wearable tech is currently an $8 billion industry, projected to hit $50 billion in the next five years. With a change in image, the industry could accelerate and possibly even surpass that potential for growth.” The wearables market is dominated by smartwatches and health- and fitness-related devices. At least in the short term these will remain the two biggest categories. When wearable fitness-monitoring devices created by companies such as Nike, Fitbit, Intel and Jawbone emerged a few years ago – measuring steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, skin temperature and sleep quality – they seemed to represent a move towards what has been termed “the quantified self ”. In 2015 and beyond, expect to see further moves in the same direction, including motion-tracking socks and underwear, light-reactive jackets that glow in response to exertion, wireless devices for scanning bloodsugar levels, and shoes that can help runners manage their pace and navigate unfamiliar streets.

Meanwhile, other applications are being found for wearable technology. Car-makers are developing apps that will let people unlock and start their cars remotely using their smartwatches and phones. Airlines are investigating how wearable technology might help streamline the check-in process. Anxious parents can attach devices that use GPS technology to curious toddlers with a tendency to wander off. And sun-lovers can avail themselves of bracelets that monitor desired tan levels and swimwear that changes color to warn them when they are in danger of going from tanned to burnt. Indeed, the point at which technology and fashion intersect is one in particular to keep an eye on. “In five to ten years’ time, all the little gadgets we have to carry around – like mobile phones, cameras or bracelets – will disappear and everything will be integrated into a garment,” speculates Francesca Rosella, creative director of CuteCircuit, which is at the cutting edge of fashionable wearable technology. CuteCircuit made its name with a “hug shirt” that mimics the sensation of being embraced when someone with the corresponding app sends the shirt’s wearer a text message. The brand is also known for its miniskirts and dresses that glow and switch between patterns, which have been shown off to striking effect by celebrity fans such as Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger. But so far the highest-profile mainstream fashion label to express a keen interest in wearable technology is Ralph Lauren. Last year it launched the Polo Tech, a tightly fitted sports shirt that monitors heartbeat, breathing and stress levels. That data gets sent from the shirt to an app via a detachable Bluetooth-enabled box. (The shirt itself is fine in the washing machine; the box loaded with delicate biometric circuitry is not.) “The technology has evolved to a point where it can now be synthesized with clothing,” said David Lauren, Ralph’s son and the brand’s executive vice-president, on the occasion of the launch. “The goal now is to 93

merge it into all kinds of clothing. It will be mind-blowing five years from now.” Although the number of wearable devices is growing every day, the majority of consumers remain fitness fanatics. Yet studies also show that wearable fitness-trackers are apparently not as compelling as smartphones, with many users admitting to losing interest in and even abandoning their new toys after a short while. On a technical level, another factor limiting the attractiveness of many wearable devices is their typically short battery life and inability to function unless connected to a nearby smartphone. With so many electronic gadgets to juggle already, why should consumers want to buy more – especially when their phones can already do practically everything wearables can? Yet another obstacle to the progress of wearables is one of those eternal and, for the manufacturers of consumer goods, maddeningly unpredictable quirks of human nature: the perception of what is and is not cool. The rejection of Google Glass, smartglasses that overlay data and augmented imagery on what the wearer is looking at through their spectacle lenses, is a case in point. In principle, Google Glass is an exciting idea, and it seems likely that the technology will prove useful in industrial settings, making it easier, for example, for warehouse workers to locate and handle stock. But ordinary consumers were allergic to the product, perceiving it as not only creepy and intrusive but also, and most damningly, uncool. Wearable technology’s true believers predict a future in which electronic devices worn on the wrist or neck will become part of every area of our daily lives, serving as a form of ID, allowing us to shop, navigate and communicate, as well as to gather and interpret data on our personal activity and wellbeing; in short, to provide what technologists call a “persistent digital identity”. We are certainly well on the way. But we have not quite arrived there yet. Elizabeth I’s arm watch is not entirely obsolete, after all.


Kitchen confidential Interview by Charlotte Hogarth-Jones

as wolfgang puck brings his world-famous spago restaurant to the st. Regis istanbul, he talks about cooking for picasso, fabulous turkish FISH AND the importance of GOOD chocolate

tortilla soup served in a spoon as an amuse-bouche, a quail taco and ceviche… I don’t often get surprised, but this was a revelation to me.

Austrian-born chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck went to the US in 1973 and has since built an international culinary empire. The Michelinstarred chef, who caters for the Oscars and is the star of TV food shows, is also active in philanthropic endeavors through his charitable foundation.

How would you describe your new Spago restaurant in Istanbul? It’s in one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever been to. Every room has an amazing piece of art in it, and the restaurant itself is on the eighth floor with an incredible view. We have a big, beautiful terrace that takes up almost half the space. It’s not too formal, just cool and relaxed, and in the evenings it’s like one big party. We have a DJ at the bar and everyone goes from table to table. It’s great if you’ve just arrived in the city, because you can still sit by the bar and relax, soaking up the atmosphere.

How did your cookery career begin? My mother was a professional chef, so from the age of about 13, I used to go with her to work; it was either that or learn to be a bricklayer or a mason with my father, and I hated that! I loved the pastry section at the restaurant my mother worked in. They made incredible Baked Alaska, and it’s where I tasted canned fruit for the first time. I had some pineapple and thought it was just amazing.

Your first job was working for the legendary chef Raymond Thuilier at his restaurant L’Oustau de Baumanière. What was that like? Raymond was about 72, and he had this passion and love for ingredients that I’d never seen before. When I met Raymond I just thought, “Wow, I want to be like this guy. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Famous people were coming in all the time, even the Queen of England and Picasso. When Peter O’Toole was making a movie in the area, he always used to eat lamb, well-done, with a Cartagena Pinot Noir, and we’d stay up chatting late into the night. Then I’d take him back to his room on my little motorbike; he used to drink quite a lot of whisky after dinner.

Any ingredients that you’re particularly fussy about? I love proper chocolate, and I get that from Jean-Paul Hévin in Paris. I always have some in the freezer. I won’t touch cheap chocolate; it has to be 70 per cent cocoa and it has to have some flavor. And if I’m ever hungover, I have to have proper coffee. I’ve been into the kitchen of one of the fanciest hotels in Paris to show them how to make a cappuccino right. For $800 a room you deserve good coffee. Who would you love to cook for? Picasso, because I’d love to talk to him. Mozart, because maybe he could play the piano. And Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, because I love them. They’d have to enjoy food, though; there’s nothing more boring than cooking for somebody who doesn’t really enjoy great food and wine.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had cooked for you? One of the most interesting was recently at the Carolina restaurant at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico. The young local chef there, Jose Mesa Arroyave, cooked my wife and me the most amazing Mexican food ever. It was so beautifully presented and not what you’d expect: charred octopus on a crispy tortilla with a black bean purée, a deconstructed

Your address: The St. Regis Istanbul 94

Photography by Cem Talu

How have you gone about planning the menu? The very first thing I always do in a new place is to go to the farmers’ market and the fish market and see what ingredients are best in the area. I love to support the local suppliers and they have amazing fish in Istanbul – turbot, wild sea bass, shrimp – and the lamb is the best that you’ll find anywhere. We do an amazing Chinese-style dish with it where the lamb’s marinated in soy sauce, chilli flakes, mirin and spring onion, and then just grilled over a charcoal fire. Of course, if you still want our signature smoked salmon pizza, you’ll be able to order one here, too.

What sort of food did you eat as a family back home? I grew up on a farm, so when my mother made soup, or a salad, she’d just go into the garden and pick what she needed. As soon as the first tomatoes were ripe we used to make delicious sandwiches on dark rye bread with butter, parsley and a little onion. It sounds so simple but when the ingredients are straight from the ground, it’s an amazing thing.

The best of Puck Clockwise from top: Wolfgang Puck in the kitchen; the terrace at Spago at The St. Regis Istanbul, which serves Puck’s cutting-edge, farm-to-table cuisine; yuzu blueberry Baked Alaska


A Life in Seven Journeys

John Malkovich

the ACCLAIMED actor, producer and directOR of a postcard from istanbul for st. regis looks back on the journeys that have shaped his life and career

Schroon Lake, NY, 1970 The first journey you take without your parents is always an important one. When I was 17 I went on a road trip with two friends. We drove from our small town in Illinois to a Baptist Bible camp in Schroon Lake, New York. I’m not sure why my parents let me go – they were pretty much evangelical atheists – but it was decided that I would be a good influence on the other two kids. I don’t remember much about the journey except that I ended up driving for about 24 hours straight. We were such knuckleheads, we didn’t even have a map.

2 New York City, 1974 Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I never really bought the myth of New York being the center of the world. But I guess you have to see it for yourself, so when I was 21, I drove there with two friends. We stayed in a fleabag hotel near Times Square, walked around Greenwich Village, did all the usual things. But I was strangely unimpressed. That trip taught me the importance of traveling without expectation – with an open mind.

3 Chicago, 1976 In 1976 I quit college and moved to Chicago. I had met these kids [Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry and Gary Sinise] while studying drama at Illinois State University. They were starting up the

Steppenwolf Theatre Company and they invited me along. So one spring day I packed up my car and drove to Chicago. I knew they were a very talented group of people, but deep down I thought, “This will never work.” Yet somehow it did. I guess we kind of pulled each other along.

across half the city. It made a big impression on me. A few years later I read Nicholas Shakespeare’s book The Dancer Upstairs, which was inspired by Sendero Luminoso, and thought, “This would make a great movie.”


Croatia, 1991 My grandfather came from Croatia, but I’ve never felt an urge to trace his roots. I have visited Croatia several times, however, and I strongly recommend it, despite the fact that my first experience of the country was terrible. I’d been invited by a Croatian journalist to attend a film festival in Split, and while I was there, civil war broke out and we had to take off. The only way to get out of the country was to drive through the mountains to Zagreb. The whole experience was really creepy.

Thailand, 1983 One of the most influential journeys of my life was going to Thailand for four months to film The Killing Fields. It was so strange and interesting and exotic. I saw the effect it had on people, which was not always for the best. One of the actors was actually carted off in a helicopter wearing a straitjacket. During the shoot I became friends with one of the actors in the film [Julian Sands] and I ended up coming to England to visit him, and then subsequently filming and acting in plays in London. We’re still friends today – he’s in my short film, A Postcard from Istanbul.


Peru, 1986 The first movie I directed, The Dancer Upstairs, came about because of a trip I made to Peru with my producing partner Russ [Russell Smith]. Not long before we got there, Sendero Luminoso [“Shining Path”, Peru’s Maoist guerillas] had blown up part of the tourist train to Machu Picchu, so there were soldiers everywhere. Then, while we were in Lima, Sendero caused a blackout 96


7 Istanbul, 2000 The short film I made for St. Regis, A Postcard from Istanbul, is based on an idea I came up with during one of my trips to the city. The first time I went there was in 2000, for a film festival, and I immediately fell in love with it. I’d read a lot about Istanbul and its history fascinated me: that unique mix, or even clash, of cultures. But it’s also astonishing to look at. I always love a city that has a variety of architectural styles. And then there’s this incredible body of water cutting through the middle. At night, it’s like a dream.

Illustration: Tina Berning. Words: Damon Syson


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The St. Regis ATLAS The St. Regis story around the globe, from the first hotel opening in Manhattan in 1904 to the latest in Macao


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1. The St. Regis New York 2. The St. Regis Beijing 3. The St. Regis Rome 4. The St. Regis Houston 5. The St. Regis Washington, D.C. 6. The St. Regis Aspen Resort 7. The St. Regis Monarch Beach 8. The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort 9. The St. Regis San Francisco 10. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort 11. The St. Regis Singapore 12. The St. Regis Bali Resort 13. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort 14. The St. Regis Atlanta 15. The St. Regis Mexico City 16. The St. Regis Princeville Resort 17. The St. Regis Deer Valley

18. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico 19. The St. Regis Osaka 20. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort 21. The St. Regis Bangkok 22. The St. Regis Florence 23. The St. Regis Tianjin 24. The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort 25. The St. Regis Shenzhen 26. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi 27. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort 28. The St. Regis Doha 29. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort 30. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi 31. The St. Regis Chengdu 32. The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya 33. The St. Regis Istanbul 34. The St. Regis Mumbai

35. The St. Regis Dubai 36. The St. Regis Langkawi 37. The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central

COMING SOON 38. The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur December 2015 39. The St. Regis Changsha January 2016 40. The St. Regis Jakarta April 2016 41. The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort April 2016 42. The St. Regis Zhuhai June 2016 43. The St. Regis Cairo July 2016 44. The St. Regis Amman October 2016 45. The St. Regis Lijiang Resort December 2016 46. The St. Regis Astana September 2017

The Aficionado’s Guide

An introduction to St. Regis hotels and resorts around the world, in alphabetical order by region Page #


The St. Regis Abu Dhabi The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi The St. Regis Doha The St. Regis Dubai The St. Regis Mauritius Resort


The St. Regis Aspen Resort 8 The St. Regis Atlanta 9 The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico 10 The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort 11 The St. Regis Deer Valley 12 The St. Regis Houston 13 The St. Regis Mexico City 14 The St. Regis Monarch Beach 15 The St. Regis New York 16 The St. Regis Princeville Resort 17 The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort 18 The St. Regis San Francisco 19 The St. Regis Washington, D.C. 20


The St. Regis Bali Resort The St. Regis Bangkok The St. Regis Beijing The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort The St. Regis Chengdu The St. Regis Langkawi The St. Regis Lhasa Resort The St. Regis Macao The St. Regis Mumbai The St. Regis Osaka The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort The St. Regis Shenzhen The St. Regis Singapore The St. Regis Tianjin

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34


The St. Regis Florence The St. Regis Istanbul The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya The St. Regis Rome

35 36 37 38 39

3 4 5 6 7

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Africa & the Middle East

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Enduring Legacy, Arabian Sophistication

Ask us about Visit Al Ain. An oasis settlement for more than 4,000 years, the desert town of Al Ain is famous for its impressive forts and Emirati hospitality. A private boat tour. Abu Dhabi is made from islands. Try a private boat tour that gives you a feel for the city not possible by road. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. Falconry is an integral part of desert life and has been practiced in the UAE for centuries. The Falcon Hospital provides a deep insight into the life of this majestic bird.

The guest room of the Al Hosen Suite; the Nation Riviera Beach Club

It’s easy to understand the appeal of The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is fast developing a major arts and cultural scene, turning the city into an ever more sophisticated metropolis blessed with cutting-edge architecture and world-class sports. Part of the prestigious Nation Towers complex on the Corniche, a five-mile stretch adjacent to the Arabian Gulf where you’ll find walking and cycling paths and children’s play areas, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is the ideal homeaway-from-home. The Terrace on the Corniche is our signature day-tonight restaurant: savour the finest flavours from the region and experience a fresh perspective on international cuisine. Relax and soak up the sun with a refreshing cocktail on the private beachfront at the exclusive Nation Riviera Beach Club, home to Asia de Cuba, a lounge, restaurant and beach deck complete with outdoor bar, and Catch Restaurant and Lounge Abu Dhabi, where an open kitchen allows guests to interact with the chefs and watch as ingredients are transformed into delectable dishes.

The ornate Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which can house up to 41,000 worshippers, making it the eighth-largest mosque in the world. Arrive around 4:30pm (except Fridays) to catch the afternoon sunlight glinting on the mosque’s 82 domes of differing sizes. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Yas Waterworld on Yas Island, where funseekers pour in from far and wide looking for thrills all day long at this state-of-the-art theme park. It’s an adventure of a lifetime, with 43 rides, slides and attractions – the Bandit Bomber rollercoaster alone is an awesome 550m long.

World Spa & Wellness Award for Best Hotel Spa of the Year, Middle East, 2015 Best New Nightspot, Time Out Abu Dhabi, 2015

Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates u T. (971) (2) 694 4444 u 283 guest rooms and suites; 7 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; private beach; children’s club 3

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Africa & the Middle East

The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi Visionary Destination, Seductive Address

Ask us about Playing a round at the championship Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, just a few minutes away. The beachfront course was designed by Gary Player. Three saltwater lakes, dunes and the beach itself are challenges along the way of this par-72 course. Lessons can be arranged. A visit to Yas Mall. Our staff can can arrange transportation to this glittering new shopping destination, Abu Dhabi’s biggest mall, just 10 minutes from the hotel. The Private Abu Dhabi City Tour. The perfect way to discover this vibrant metropolis, with the option to customize your trip. You may wish to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, linger at the fascinating Central Market or spend more time on amazing Yas Island.

The exterior of the hotel at night; the Majestic Suite

Saadiyat is an island of only ten square miles, but it packs a lot into that space. Just 15 minutes’ drive from the center of Abu Dhabi, it has a white sand beach, a designer golf course and, very soon, offshoots of both the Louvre and Guggenheim museums. It’s a chic retreat from the bustle of the city. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort’s architecture and interior design are stunning, showcasing the bold design principles of the award-winning architecture firm Woods Bagot and Johannesburgbased Northpoint Architects. Each room has panoramic vistas of the Gulf or golf course and interiors that meld Spanish and Arabian elements with a contemporary edge. In addition to business facilities, the resort has an Iridium spa offering products from luxury skincare brand ESPA, four swimming pools, a dedicated children’s club and the state-ofthe-art St. Regis Athletic Club. Dolphins frolic in the blue waters, while nearby Saadiyat Beach is a nesting site for hawksbill turtles.

Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Ferrari Fun. Explore the world’s first and largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. It has more than 20 unique rides and attractions including the world’s fastest rollercoaster, dedicated entertainment, themed stores and restaurants. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 8pm. Learn more at familytraditions

55&5th, Best Steakhouse, time out abu dhabi awards, 2014 Abu Dhabi’s Leading Beach Resort, World Travel Awards, 2015

Saadiyat Island, P.O. Box 54345, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates u T. (971) (2) 4988888 u 377 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; beach; golf; children’s club 4

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Africa & the Middle East

The St. Regis Doha The Finest Address in Qatar

Ask us about Visit Shahaniya, less than an hour away, where you can experience the famous camel races and the stunning Islamic art of the Sheikh Faisal Museum. A traditional dhow cruise. Cruise on a traditional wooden dhow and stop off near the island of Saflia for watersports. Arabian BBQ lunch or dinner is served. Explore Dukhan and the west coast. Set off among the oil wells and visit the Zekreet peninsula, Umbrella Rock and the replica ancient Arabian village of Film City.

The hotel’s postmodern Arabian exterior is both bold and welcoming; enjoy the cool ambience of the Sarab Lounge Terrace

Doha has transformed itself in an incredibly short time. Now the media and arts capital of its region, a major player in the aviation stakes and the host of the 2022 World Cup, it’s an ultra-cosmopolitan capital. Victorian travellers needed to visit Florence, Paris and Vienna, but any 21st-century Grand Tour would definitely take in this city. The St. Regis Doha, with its postmodern Arabian architecture and panoramic views of the Persian Gulf from all rooms, is a fitting address for a stay. The new Rooftop lounge brings to Doha the urban chic of New York, Beirut and London. Guests ascend from the private entrance in the lower floor of the hotel and step out onto a breathtaking, stylish and spacious terrace. Five miles from the main diplomatic and financial districts and close to several of the big energy corporate headquarters, it makes business sense to base yourself at the St. Regis Doha.

Gondola rides at Katara Cultural Village. Explore the ocean from the relaxed comfort of a traditional, Venetian-style flat-bottomed boat, the only such attraction in the Middle East. A half-day shopping tour to the Souq Waqif for Middle Eastern spices and souvenirs, the City Center Mall and the Landmark Mall. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Desert safari. In the south of Qatar, this family trip is a thrilling ride into the dunes. Enjoy a picnic lunch, sand boarding, camel riding and desert quad biking. Learn more at

Best Luxury Hotel, World Luxury Hotel Awards, 2014 WINNER, QATAR’S LEADING RESORT, WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS, 2014

Doha West Bay, Doha 14435, Qatar u T. (974) 44460000 u 336 guest rooms and suites; 10 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis; private beach 5

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Africa & the Middle East

The St. Regis Dubai The New World Address

Ask us about Dubai Motor Festival. The city’s known love for speed and sport comes to life with the third edition of the Dubai Motor Festival in November. Featuring an array of motor-related activities and experiences from new and classic car exhibitions, to a car parade and races, it is sure to be every motor enthusiast’s dream come true. The Jumeirah Mosque is the city’s only Muslim house of worship open to the public. Tour its richly decorated interior and understand why it is the most photographed mosque in Dubai. The Dubai Mall. All the biggest names in high-end shopping have their place among the 1,200 units at the Dubai Mall. But it’s not all retail therapy: the mall also contains the famous aquarium and underwater zoo.

An artist’s impression of the exterior; a Grand Deluxe Room

Dubai lures millions of visitors every year with its irresistible combination of luxury shopping, dazzling modern architecture and thrilling nightlife, and the new St. Regis Dubai is your address. Influenced by the beaux-arts style of the original St. Regis New York, the hotel’s interiors take you back to the Gilded Age, accentuated with bespoke elements such as a grand staircase and carefully selected artworks. Located on the arterial Sheikh Zayed Road, the hotel is part of Al Habtoor City, which includes a Las Vegas-style theatre that is slated to open in 2016 and is only a short drive away from the Dubai Mall, the Burj Khalifa and the city’s financial district. At the hotel, culinary destinations include J&G Steakhouse by Michelinstarred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Encouraging St. Regis guests to indulge in the finer things, the Iridium Spa, with its enthralling design, six treatment rooms, a Turkish bath area and thoughtful gestures promises a memorable and relaxing experience from the moment the guest walks in. To continue that relaxed mood, The Roof Gardens, the hotel’s rooftop poolside bar, is the perfect stop.

Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Take a safari, Dubai style. Head into the desert in a legendary Mercedes G-Wagon, the off-road vehicle of choice of royalty. See native flora and local wildlife in their natural surroundings. End the day with a private falconry demonstration and dinner under the stars. Learn more at

Al Habtoor City, P.O. Box 26666, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates u T. (971) 4421 4745 u 233 guest rooms and suites; 8 restaurants and bars; spa; rooftop pool, helipad 6

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Africa & the Middle East

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort Island Sanctuary

Ask us about The Champ de Mars Racecourse. Mauritian independence was proclaimed here in 1968 at the second-oldest racecourse in the world. The racing season lasts until early December, with the Duke of York Cup on 31 October sure to be a highlight. Maha Shivaratri Pilgrimage to Grand Bassin sacred lake. ‘The Great Night of Lord Shiva’ on 7 March is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Hindus in Mauritius. Barefoot pilgrims chant hymns to Lord Shiva and carry highly decorated bamboo structures on their shoulders to the sacred lake of Ganga Talao.

Aerial view of Le Morne peninsula; a St. Regis Grand Suite Bedroom, just steps away from the beach and lagoon

The Indian Ocean is famed for many things: blissful beaches, indigo seas, sublime diving and a vibrant culture that melds Asian and African traditions. Mauritius brings all these together, then adds a few more. Sheltered from the open sea by the world’s third largest coral reef, the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” also harbors, inland, some of the planet’s most beautiful mountain scenery: lofty waterfalls, lush forests and wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else, such as the Mauritian flying fox. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort has a beachfront setting at Le Morne, a seductive peninsula at the south-western tip of the island, and will indulge you with fine food and wine, spa experiences, world-class kite surfing, activities and excursions to excite the senses. An epicenter of culture and history, the peninsula has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008, and is less than 60 minutes’ drive from the capital and 20 minutes’ drive from the famed Black River Gorges National Park.

Catamaran cruise to Flat Island. This day cruise is a day of white sandy beaches, snorkeling in the lagoon, and enjoying delicious food and drink. Whales and dolphins can sometimes be seen during the trip. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Chinese New Year. Families love the New Year celebrations in Chinatown in Port Louis, featuring lion and dragon dances lit by a host of lanterns. The Year of the Monkey begins on 8 February 2016. Learn more at

Wine Spectator 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards

Le Morne Peninsula, Le Morne, Mauritius u T. (230) 403 9000 u 172 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; children’s club 7

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Aspen Resort Majestic Spirit of the Rockies

Ask us about The Summer Cowboy Academy. Start the day with a personal shopping experience at Western apparel company Kemo Sabe, take a backcountry horseback ride, then drive a turbo-charged Lexus NX up to the Snowmass Rodeo Grounds. The Cowboy Academy finishes the day at the Snowmass Rodeo, where real cowboys compete. Eat fresh. Enjoy a sumptuous farm-to-table dinner hosted by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies located at Rock Bottom Ranch.

The heated water of the hotel’s pool ensure it can be enjoyed year-round; the living room of the Presidential Suite

Aspen is a special place where people can lose themselves in nature, yet find great pleasure in the many sports available. Yoga, fly fishing, rock climbing, jeep tours, paragliding, ballooning, hiking… the menu of lifestyle options rivals the food and drink you’ll enjoy here. There is also the arts scene and of course great spa-based activities. The Rèmede Spa, recently renovated to feature warm, elegantly earthy tones, was voted Best Spa in the World, 2014 by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. One of our restaurants, Trecento Quindici Decano, has a vibrant blend of contemporary Italian and American cuisines for the whole family, including handmade pastas and pizzas. And there’s something about the raw, unspoilt setting that visitors find inspiring. Comprehensively redesigned by acclaimed architect Lauren Rottet and now including its own Van Cleef store, The St. Regis Aspen Resort is in downtown Aspen, within walking distance of Aspen’s shops, restaurants and entertainment, while the celebrated Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE adds America’s most innovative cuisine to your resort experience.

Blast & Cast with Aspen Outfitting Company. For any level of angler, experienced or novice, the resort’s private trout fly fishing lake and Gold Medal Water provides a sumptuous setting for a battle of wits with what lies beneath. Test your aim at the private clay target shooting range with certified professionals who can analyze technique and impart proper shooting etiquette. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Backcountry sunset Jeep dinner. Great food – spare ribs, salmon, s’mores – starlit mountain skies and live music make this four hour excursion to Burlingame Cabin on Snowmass Mountain one for the whole family to savor. Learn more at

Platinum Choice Award, Smart Meetings, 2014 Condé Nast Traveler gold list, 2014

315 East Dean Street, Aspen, Colorado 81611, United States u T. (970) 920 3300 u 179 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; golf; ski 8

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Atlanta Refining Southern Tradition

Ask us about Taste a rare cognac. Sample the highly coveted Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6, only the second distinctive barrel to be discovered in the venerable cognac’s l40-year history, at the St. Regis Atlanta Bar. Driving with Porsche. Let us whisk you away to a private helipad, from which you’ll fly to the Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham, Alabama for a day of professional driving instruction. Saks Fifth Avenue. Travel in style via a chauffeured Mercedes-Benz to Atlanta’s premier shopping destination, Saks Fifth Avenue. Then enjoy a style consultation with a Saks Personal Stylist, and refine the look that best suits your personality. The hotel entrance; the dining room of the Empire Suite

Atlanta is known for its breezy, Southern, uncomplicated approach to life, business, culture… and just about everything else. It’s a perfect city for getting things done and for enjoying some great boutique shopping, cuisine, art, jazz and sports: major league baseball, basketball and football teams are based here. The King Center, the CNN headquarters (which is open for tours), the Atlanta Ballet and Symphony Orchestra are all a short drive from The St. Regis Atlanta. New for 2015 is dinneronly restaurant Atlas, featuring a seasonally inspired American menu accented with European influences and decorated with masterpieces from the Lewis Collection by Picasso, Van Gogh and Chagall, among others. If the mood takes you, try the hotel’s first signature tequila, The St. Regis Atlanta Herradura Private Selection Tequila, hand-crafted in Mexico’s legendary Casa Herradura distillery, served in The St. Regis Bar & Wine Room.

Private Swan House Capitol Tours. The Swan House at the Atlanta History Center was used as a set for the movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This experience offers exclusive behind-the-scenes access, and the chance to discover more about Atlanta’s burgeoning film industry. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Whale encounters. At Georgia Aquarium try the new Beluga & Friends Interactive Program, which offers a two-hour wetsuit encounter with its extraordinary beluga whales. Learn more at

World’s Top 100 Hotels, robb report, 2015 Gold List, Condé Nast Traveler, 2014

Eighty-Eight West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305, United States u T. (404) 563 7900 u 151 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym 9

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico Caribbean Indulgence

Ask us about Cueva Ventana, a vast cave overlooking the lush valley of the Río Grande de Arecibo, is the most spectacular sight on the island. Staff can help you arrange transport. Tucking into the flavorful local cuisine, known as cocina criolla: try traditional dishes such as arepas (corn patties), arroz con habichuelas (rice and beans, the delicious local staple), empanadillas (small patties with various fillings) and the favorite, mofongo (stuffed plantain). Hiking in El Yunque National Forest. A sub-tropical rainforest on the east of the island that boasts plenty of well-marked trails for an experience which is sure to thrill the more adventurous traveler with extraordinary sights and sounds.

The Plantation House entrance; two miles of pristine beach

Puerto Rico is where American and Latin American cultures meld and clash and get up to dance. A key center of the salsa music revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, it is still the home of many star performers. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico the first St. Regis property in the Caribbean, opened in 2010 on a former coconut plantation and is the only Five-Diamond resort on the island. The expansive 483-acre property boasts views of El Yunque National Forest (with trails galore through the forest) and the Atlantic Ocean, and its low-rise plantationstyle buildings have been designed with the natural surroundings in mind. There’s a two-mile secluded beach, a bird sanctuary, a Remède spa and a golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The new Mall of San Juan, home to Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, is easily reached. Puerto Rico is a much-loved beach destination, but its tropical waters are also perfect for sea-kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing and fishing. The island is known for its distinctive cuisine, culture and Caribbean vibe.

A kayak tour to the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo or Vieques. A sub-tropical rainforest on the east of the island that boasts plenty of well-marked trails for an experience which is sure to thrill the more adventurous traveler with extraordinary sights and sounds. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Practice speaking Spanish and learn the art of salsa dancing at our family-friendly sessions. Learn more at

One of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Hotels, 2014 four consecutive years with a 5-Diamond award, AAA, 2015

State Road 187 kilometer 4.2, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 00745, United States u T. (787) 809 8000 u 139 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and 3 bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis; beach; children’s club 10

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort Miami Beach’s Most Exclusive Enclave

Ask us about Catch & Cook. Spend a half-day sea fishing with J&G Grill’s chef de cuisine, then return to the resort where your catch of the day will be prepared in signature J&G Grill style. Explore the street art of Wynwood. The renowned Wynwood Art District is one of the largest open-air art installations in the world, as well as being home to more than 70 museums, galleries and collections. Hiring a private guide to show you the coolest film locations. Miami has been a movie set for celluloid classics, such as Goldfinger, Scarface and There’s Something about Mary. It’s a hugely entertaining trip to discover the real places in front of Hollywood’s lens. The resort’s oceanside pool; the bedroom of the Imperial Suite

Miami is a city that never loses its buzz. Art Basel, South Beach’s effervescent social whirl, the global chic of sophisticated urbanites, the rediscovery of Art Deco: all these have kept the world’s attention on one of the cities that will define America’s future. Exclusive Bal Harbour, on Miami Beach, has a rich history as a hotspot attracting jazz musicians, including those Rat Pack legends. It’s now one of South Florida’s premier retail arenas, with more than 100 boutiques and dozens of superb bistros and cafés. With the Atlantic right on its doorstep, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort has become one of the key sites of Miami’s buzzing social scene. The hotel’s comprehensive Wellness Program offers more than 25 different fitness classes and optimally balanced menus. In addition, its poolside and beachfront dining venue, Fresco, offers enchanting dining experiences based on chef Scott Dolbee’s insistence on the freshest seasonal ingredients.

Old Miami: rent a vintage car (open-top, of course) and drive around the historic Art Deco district. Or make a day of it and, afterwards, head out to the Keys. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: On the Jungle Island VIP Safari Tour you come very close to some of the world’s most exotic animals: red ruffed lemur, a tame cassowary and red kangaroo from Australia. It’s a day to remember. Learn more at

AAA FIVE DIAMOND, 2015 Robb Report Top 100 hotels in the world, 2015

9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Florida 33154, United States u T. (305) 993 3300 u 227 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; gym; children’s club 11

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Deer Valley Slope-side Sophistication

Ask us about Ski Ambassador Program. Ski the Greatest Snow on Earth with some of the finest athletes in the sport. Our Ski Ambassadors are available to ski with individuals, families, business travelers and groups for exclusive half-day or full-day skiing excursions for the ski experience of a lifetime. High West Distillery. Enjoy a tour of the first legal distillery to open in Utah since the end of Prohibition. Go behind the scenes and learn about Rocky Mountain whiskies and other mountain-crafted spirits. World-class fly fishing. Deer Valley is blessed with many prized Blue Ribbon fly fishing rivers and streams, including the exclusive Thousand Peaks Ranch, only minutes from the hotel. Chefs at the J&G Grill will gladly prepare your catch for dinner.

The pool at The St. Regis Deer Valley; a guest bedroom with a spectacular view

Hit the slopes or relax in the spa, go on a backcountry excursion or explore Historic Main Street… The St. Regis Deer Valley is surrounded by the majestic Wasatch Mountains, an all-season playground for both the adventure and relaxation seeker. The two buildings of The St. Regis Deer Valley are connected by a funicular rail line, the only one of its kind in the US, which makes for easy, and unique, access from the base of the mountain to the resorts. Once settled in, try our Remede Spa where a reflecting pool flows from outside the resort in to the spa’s first-floor lobby and a grand spiral staircase leads to 11 peaceful treatment rooms in the 14,000-squarefoot spa. Or dine in our award-winning Jean-Georges restaurant J&G Grill featuring farm-to-table elegance. With all of St. Regis Deer Valley yearround family traditions and recreational activities, unique and memorable experiences are waiting at every turn.

Dog sledding. Ranging from a family adventure to a romantic excursion, a winter dog sledding adventure is sure to provide memories that will last forever. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: The Backcountry Experience. A day of private backcountry skiing with one of our Ski Ambassadors for the ultimate adrenaline rush and spectacular views in Utah’s vast and famous backcountry. Learn more at familytraditions

gold list 2014, Condé Nast Traveler best ski resorts and ski hotels in the us 2014, condé nast traveler

2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, Utah 84060, United States u T. (435) 940 5700 u 181 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; ski 12

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Houston Explore Houston’s Best Address

Ask us about An authentic Western shopping experience at Pinto Ranch. Join master craftsman Julio Peña inside the saddle-shop, then, take part in a bespoke fitting by a boot expert and choose from the largest selection of handmade cowboy boots in the US. To complete the look, be fitted for a cowboy hat that can be steamed and shaped for a custom fit. A tour of Bayou Bend, the Museum of Fine Arts’ house museum of decorative arts and paintings. Set amid 14 acres of gardens, the former home of philanthropist Ima Hogg showcases superb American furnishings, silverware and ceramics.

The destination swimming pool; the master bedroom of the Presidential Suite

Energy and power, Texan pride and individuality, open space and outer space, Houston is the big-muscled business capital of the Lone Star State. If the city has a reputation for getting things done and no messing around, The St. Regis Houston, in the tranquil, residential neighborhood of Post Oak Park and River Oaks, is the perfect complement. It is gracious, opulent and discreet. It’s also conveniently located only half a mile from the Galleria retail area and six miles from Houston’s central business district. Celebrated design firm ForrestPerkins have created a warm and welcoming Tea Lounge with a library so guests can punctuate their outings with morning coffee, afternoon tea or pre-dinner cocktails. The spectacular outdoor pool and sundeck, located on the mezzanine level and adjacent to the spa and fitness room, draw guests back time after time. It is open from 5am until 11pm daily, for guests who love to work hard and play hard as well.

Houston Culinary Tours are led by the city’s top chefs, keen to introduce guests to Houston’s neighborhood restaurants. Including tastings, complimentary drinks and gift bags, they’re a great way of seeing the city. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: George Ranch Historical Park is the essence of Texas, a living-history museum tracing the Texas story, with exhibits including a prairie home, a mansion and a ranch complex with cattle demonstrations. Learn more at

Awarded AAA Five Diamond, 2013 Gold Medal winner voted by Global Business Travel Association, 2013

1919 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston, Texas 77027-3408, United States u T. (713) 840 7600 u 232 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; exercise room 13

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Mexico City Grace and Distinction Uncompromised

Ask us about Formula 1. The first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992 will be held on 1 November at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, easily reached from the hotel. Our Cultural Curator Service. A private curated shopping experience with fashion stylist Marco Corral at vintage stores and new and emerging Mexican designer boutiques. Ballooning to ancient Teotihuacan. This complex of temples and pyramids, built between the first and seventh centuries, lies 30 miles north of Mexico City and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A particularly magical way to view this extraordinary site is by a guided hot-air balloon adventure from Mexico City. The sleek hotel dominates the Mexico City skyline; one of the suites’ living rooms

The St. Regis Mexico City is the main resident of the Torre Libertad, an architectural masterpiece built by César Pelli. It sits on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma, a grand thoroughfare modeled on the Old World’s iconic boulevards, and a bridge between the city center and the Imperial Palace in the Chapultepec Forest. In the heart of the metropolis, you can, from the helipad, take in views of the most mind-boggling urban sprawl. Down on la Reforma, you’re a taxi ride away from Polanco and Condesa, the smart, leafy ’burbs, and from the Aztec temples, art galleries and cool bars and clubs of the resurgent downtown. The hotel now boasts Le Table Krug, the only place in Mexico where Champange Krug can be savored. Le Table seats only 12 guests and has no menu, but is guided by the creativity of chef Sylvain Desbois, who creates a seven-course menu from the freshest produce in the market.

Ballet in the park. Every year in March and April the national ballet academy present Swan Lake in Chapultepec Park, a unique experience not to be missed. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: The El Papalote Museum is a children’s museum with exhibitions of science, technology and art. Young visitors will enjoy the 228 interactive exhibits, while grown-ups will love the Mayan-themed garden next door. Learn more at

No. 1 hotel in Mexico City, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards 2015 Best Hotels in Mexico, US Business News 2015

Paseo de la Reforma 439, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, Federal District 06500, Mexico u T. (52)(55) 5228 1818 u 189 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis; children’s club 14

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Monarch Beach A Spectacular Setting

Ask us about Sport fishing adventure. On a private charter, we’ll sail out of Dana Point Harbor in search of albacore tuna, yellow fin, white sea bass, halibut, barracuda, bonito and yellowtail. Your fresh catch will be the highlight of a four-course dinner prepared by our chef. Personal shopping. We can arrange for a personal stylist to rendezvous with guests at South Coast Plaza, the crown jewel of West Coast shopping. Complimentary transportation is provided. Disneyland trip. Our concierge can arrange a visit to Disneyland in Anaheim with the services of a private driver. The main pool at dusk; a signature pool view guestroom

With its high bluffs, sheltered coves and long, inviting beaches, Monarch Beach at Dana Point, only a short drive from Los Angeles and San Diego, is one of the romantic addresses on the California coastline. A legendary surf spot, it is also recognized as one of the lifestyle hubs of southern California. Monarch Beach gets its name from a bay backing on to hills clad in sagebrush and manzanita, where the Monarch butterfly was found. The St. Regis Monarch Beach at Dana Point is a 172-acre estate with 400 recently restyled guestrooms as well as an award-winning spa. The 18-hole championship-caliber oceanfront golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., while the hotel’s private beach has memorable views. With everything from vintage car gatherings to whale watching and even a tallships festival in September, this is so much more than the ultimate Californian beach destination.

The Mission at San Capistrano. Visit this lovingly restored Alta California mission, founded by Spanish Franciscan monks in the 1770s. There are picturesque ruins of the Great Stone Church, which was destroyed in the 1812 earthquake, as well as a fascinating little museum. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Beach exploration. Families can explore the tide pools down at our private beach with a map provided by the concierge. Learn more at

FORBES travel guide five-star award, 2015 AAA Five Diamond, 2015

One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, California 92629, United States u T. (949) 234 3200 u 400 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; tennis; golf; children’s club 15

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis New York The Address Is The Experience

Ask us about The One World Observatory. The observation deck at the ‘Freedom Tower’ is now open, for stunning views from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The Whitney Museum of American Art, home to masterpieces by Andy Warhol and Edward Hopper among others, is open at its new building in the Meatpacking District, designed by Renzo Piano. New York Fashion Week runs from 10-17 September, lighting up the Big Apple and attracting the biggest names in couture to one of the ‘Big Four’ events on the fashion calendar. VIP tours of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Visit an artisanal pie shop, an ultra-hip coffee house, eclectic boutiques and historic sites along the way.

The hotel’s lobby; the living room of the Royal Suite

New York City is a collection of exceptional experiences, from the natural beauty of Central Park to the bustle of Broadway, from contemporary art at MoMA to the cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking District. In the heart of it all is The St. Regis New York, the ultimate Manhattan hotel, which completed a stunning renovation in September 2013 – and which more recently has seen the opening of The St. Regis Athletic Club on the 19th floor, plus newly redesigned meeting spaces on the second floor and lower lobby – infusing contemporary style with great heritage. Since opening its doors in 1904, the hotel founded by John Jacob Astor IV has been synonymous with bespoke service, innovation and luxury. The St. Regis New York celebrates a rich history that includes famous residents (Salvador Dalí, Marlene Dietrich) and the invention of the “Red Snapper” – more commonly known as the Bloody Mary – by legendary barman Fernand Petiot in 1934. The classic cocktail can still be enjoyed today in front of the same Maxfield Parrish mural at the hotel’s King Cole Bar.

Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Central Park Escape. Discover the largest park in Manhattan with our family fun expert guides. They will show you the best of the park’s culture, public art and gardens before you relax and enjoy a picnic lunch prepared by the hotel’s chef. Learn more at familytraditions

Best City Hotel U.S. & Canada, TRAVVY AWARDS, 2015 Best Hotels in the U.S., U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, 2015

2 East 55th Street at Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10022, United States u T. (212) 753 4500 u 238 guest rooms and suites; 1 restaurant and bar; gym 16

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Princeville Resort The Address for Life’s Celebrations

Ask us about Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Explore this botanical garden and nature preserve on the north shore of the island, a lush environment full of plants found nowhere else in the world. A romantic interlude on the Hanalei Bay. Explore tropical refinement in a five-night romantic experience as our cherished guest. Retire to a beautifully appointed St. Regis Ocean View Suite and revel in residential comforts with exquisite views over the Hanalei Bay each evening. A relaxing treatment at Halele’a Spa will assist you in winding down after each activity-filled day.

The stylish dining area of the Royal Suite; the view over the magical Hanalei Bay

The first thing you’ll notice on arrival on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is the remarkable collage of natural beauty wherever you look. Lush tropical foliage is set against a deep blue ocean with a backdrop of majestic mountain peaks. The St. Regis Princeville Resort, which was given a multi-million-dollar renovation by the hotel design firm WATG and local Hawaiian architecture firm Group 70 and reopened in 2009, pays homage to this beautiful setting. The clean, modern exterior is unfussy yet sophisticated, and the lobby is dominated by a cascading chandelier of more than 4,000 pieces of Murano glass, representing the waterfall on Na Molokama mountain. Among the many relaxing treatments on offer at the Halele’a Spa, which utilizes the healing properties of indigenous plants, why not try a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage to nurture the body and experience perfect relaxation? Four restaurants serve locally farmed and produced ingredients, and the hotel’s infinity pool overlooks the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

A round on the 18-hole championship Makai golf course, designed by the renowned Robert Trent Jones Jr. in 1971, who returned some 30 years after its construction to make revisions, adding length to some holes and reshaping bunkers. Just try not to be distracted by the mountain and ocean views! Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Hanalei stargazing. The ancient Polynesians used the stars to navigate across the Pacific to discover Hawaii. Discover the links between traditional culture and astronomy in the company of a local guide. Learn more at

Featured in Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold list, 2014 One of Travel + Leisure’s 500 Best Hotels in the world, 2015

5520 Ka Haku Road, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii 96722, United States u T. (808) 826 9644 u 251 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; tennis; golf; children’s club 17

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort Paradise Revealed

Ask us about Explore the stunning coastline with Punta Mita Expeditions in its luxurious new catamaran. Private tours can be arranged for up to 20 people. A lesson with a pro at one of the hotel’s two breathtakingly beautiful, 18-hole, par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, Pacifico and Bahia, a challenge to golfers of every level. Rest and relaxation the Remède way: the 10,000 sq ft Remède Spa features views of the landscapes of Punta Mita from every angle, making it the perfect setting for pampering both body and spirit.

The living room of the Presidential Suite; beach life with a touch of luxury

On the same latitude as Hawaii, and blessed with year-round balmy sun and ocean breezes, Punta Mita on Mexico’s Pacific Coast is where Mexico City’s high society comes for its beach-side retreats. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is in the Riviera Nayarit, and boasts 120 luxurious guest rooms and suites, looking out on to a flawless white sand beach and surrounded by luxuriant tropical flora. Carolina, the resort’s AAA Five-Diamond restaurant, welcomed new chef José Meza in 2015. His unique philosophy fuses contemporary techniques and traditional methods to push the boundaries of modern Mexican cuisine. The resort also boasts two Jack Nicklaus golf courses, five full-service restaurants, villa residences, a Beach Club and the luxe Remède Spa on site, but this is no gated island experience: nearby seaside villages are kept vibrant by fishing and agriculture and by the indigenous Huichol, who maintain their artisanal traditions.

Sayulita. Explore this bohemian enclave just 20 minutes from the resort, filled with art galleries and restaurants, and perhaps take a surfing lesson or go horseback riding. Spearfishing. Learn the techniques to hunt successfully the tastiest fish in the area under the guidance of a professional spear fisherman. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Surf ’s Up surfing lessons are available for all ages and abilities. Alternatively, why not try stand-up paddle boarding. Learn more at

Best Hotels in the World, Business Insider, 2014 Best Hotels in Mexico, US News & world report, 2015

Lote H-4, Carretera Federal 200, KM 19.5, Punta Mita, Nayarit 63734, Mexico u T. (52)(329) 291 5800 u 120 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; 3 pools; beach; spa; golf; diving; tennis; gym; children’s club 18

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis San Francisco An Icon of Elegance and Artistry

Ask us about Oscar de la Renta exhibit. The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco celebrates the life and career of one of fashion’s most influential designers with more than 100 ensembles produced over five decades. From 27 February to 30 May. AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Dating back to the 1930s, this is now the world’s premier PGA TOUR pro-am competition, with top professionals competing from 8-14 February. Please ask the concierge if you wish to purchase tickets. San Francisco Fall Antiques Show. The oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast includes 60 distinguished antiques dealers from America and Europe. At the Fort Mason Center from 22-25 October.

The magnificent mural in the lobby lounge; a view across the city from the Astor Suite

The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, cable cars, beaches, beautiful city vistas, the Beat Generation, the breezes… it’s little wonder San Francisco tops many people’s lists of must-see cities. The St. Regis San Francisco is on the corner of Third and Mission, a short walk from the financial district, but when you have downtime, the city is a great playground for cultural days and nights on the town. On your doorstep you’ll find the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (re-opening in June 2016), the Museum of the African Diaspora, world-class shopping in Union Square, and the Yerba Buena Gardens. Take a trip out of town to enjoy Napa Valley, the coastal towns of Carmel and Monterey, or the redwood trees in Muir Woods. Relax in the Remède Spa, with its recently updated menu of treatments, or simply unwind and enjoy our extraordinary property, starting with the stunning city views from the infinity pool.

Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Dandelion Chocolate Small Batch Chocolate Tasting. Guests will have the opportunity to make their own batch of chocolate in a private session and bring home their finished treats. Learn more at

Five-Star Award, Forbes Travel Guide #2 Best San Francisco Hotel, U.S. News and World Report

125 3rd Street, San Francisco, California 94103, United States u T. (415) 284 4000 u 260 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym 19

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: The Americas

The St. Regis Washington, D.C. Where Glamour Meets Tradition

Ask us about Wine tour in the Virginia countryside. Our St. Regis driver will take you to what Travel and Leisure magazine calls one of five up-andcoming wine regions. Spend the day visiting wineries as well as making a stop in the picturesque town of Middleburg for lunch. A private tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Learn about the Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style of the largest Roman Catholic church in the US, view the art collection and visit the crypt. Pope Francis will be visiting the church on 23 September.

The hotel exterior at night on K Street; one of the elegant suites

In the city of powerful addresses, the grand, gracious St. Regis Washington, D.C., two blocks north of the White House, remains the powerbrokers’ hotel of choice. It was opened by President Coolidge in 1926; Ronald Reagan used to drop in to see his barber, Milton Pitts; and Jacqueline Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were loyal guests. Over the years, redesigns by Henry Wardman and Sills Huniford have enhanced the legendary status of this, one of America’s most iconic hotels. Business and politics are right on the doorstep, but the hotel is also close to the cultural heart of D.C., a short stroll from the splendors of the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center. Eat at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Decanter, which serves the freshest seasonal ingredients by executive chef Sebastien Rondier, influenced by the cuisines of France, Spain, Turkey and Italy, and served in a landmark restaurant designed by architect David Rockwell.

Monuments by moonlight. Explore the city’s major monuments when they are gloriously illuminated at night. Historic sites to visit include the memorials of World War II, the Vietnam War, Abraham Lincoln, the Korean War, FDR and Martin Luther King Jr. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: The National Air & Space Museum. A two-hour private tour of the world’s largest collection of aircraft and space vehicles, including Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Apollo ll Command Module and much more. Learn more at

One of Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels, 2013 best hotels in washington, d.c. in Condé Nast Traveler readers’ awards, 2014

923 16th and K Streets, N.W., Washington, District of Columbia, 20006 United States u T (202) 638 2626 00193 u 182 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; gym 20

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Bali Resort Beachfront Elegance

Ask us about A rare experience with John Hardy jewelry. Explore exclusive design workshops at the private compound of John Hardy jewelry near Ubud where remarkable artisans create the exquisite pieces. Special discounts will be extended to St. Regis guests. Mount Batur volcano sunrise trekking. Experience sunrise at 1,717 meters on Mount Batur, one of the tallest mountains in Bali, with a two-hour guided hike. ‘Bali Agung’ at Bali Theater. This spectacular show tells the story of the marriage between a Balinese king and a Chinese princess, performed by 180 of Bali’s most talented dancers and performers and dozens of live animals in a 1,200-capacity modern theater located within the Bali Safari & Marine Park.

The private sandy beach at the southernmost tip of Bali; the exterior of Strand Villa

Bali is the best known of several thousand Indonesian islands and has been inhabited since 2000 BC. Its natural wonders are the main draw: beautiful beaches, colorful coral reefs, a central mountain range and dense tropical rainforest harboring many species of flora and fauna, including orchids, butterflies, ferns, birds and monkeys. The St. Regis Bali Resort is in Nusa Dua, on the southernmost tip of the island overlooking the Indian Ocean, with a private sandy beach, a saltwater swimmable lagoon and the sublime Remède Spa with its hydrotherapy pool. It’s the perfect base for a Bali break. In its own tropical park, the Children’s Learning Center has intelligent, fun-filled activities for the youngest connoisseurs. From your journey around the island, take back souvenirs of local crafts, such as woodcarving, weaving, and colorful batik textiles, which make wonderful gifts. In the evening, dine in style at Kayuputi or enjoy the traditional live gamelan music along with Indonesian specialities at Dulang.

Jatiluwih rice terraces. More than 2,000 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mount Batukaru lie the spectacular Jatiluwih terraces of rice paddies. On an island renowned for its surfing and beaches, Jatiluwih is a beautiful contrast with its soothing mountains, stretching in endless contours over hills and valleys, green as far as the eye can see.

gold list 2014, condé nast traveler Best Hotel (Indonesia), Best Resort Hotel (Indonesia), International Hotel Awards

Kawasan Pariwisata, Lot S6, PO Box 44, Nusa Dua, Bali 80363, Indonesia u T. (62) (361) 8478 111 u 123 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; children’s club 21

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Bangkok Vibrant Location, Discreet Hospitality

Ask us about A bespoke experience with up-andcoming fashion talent Kevin Seah, reviewing his latest collection at his pop-up bespoke atelier and enjoying the unique experience of having him design a handmade shirt for you. A day at the races. The exclusive Committee’s Box at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club is yours to enjoy. Spend your afternoon in the box’s coveted window seats and take in the view as you savor a set lunch complete with unlimited beer, house wine, house spirits and soft drinks as well as an afternoon tea. Learning Thai massage. Wat Po is an important center of Thai arts, where in-depth massage courses are offered to a professional standard. The St. Regis Bangkok overlooks the Royal Bangkok Sports Club; the living room in the John Jacob Astor Suite

Tuk-tuks, trucks, riverboats, bicycles, boats and buses... the Thai capital is a whirling mass of energy that will surprise returning visitors as much as first-timers. But Bangkok is a warm and friendly place, thanks to its people, and you can always follow up that sweltering morning’s outing, business meeting or hike around the spectacular 18th-century Grand Palace with a slow meal of the most fragrant cuisine on earth. We have also recently welcomed to Jojo, our signature Italian restaurant, Chef de Cusine Stefano Merlo. The soothing décor of The St. Regis Bangkok immerses guests in luxury from the moment they arrive. It might be in the fast-beating heart of central Bangkok, but it is also just moments from the peaceful Lumpini Park, with its lawns, trees and boating lake. What could be better than starting your evening with cocktails in the Sky Lounge, watching the sun set on another eventful day?

Guided tours of Ratchaprasong. Discover the many hidden shrines tucked away in the heart of Bangkok’s most colorful shopping district. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Caring for elephants is an inspiring experience at Elephant World, a rehabilitation facility in the Kanchanaburi province, 110 miles from Bangkok. During your visit, learn how to feed and bathe elephants. Learn more at

Named second Hotel in Thailand in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, 2014 One of Smart Travel Asia’s Top 25 Business Hotels in Asia, 2014

159 Rajadamri Road Bangkok, 10330 Thailand u T. (66) (2) 207 7777 u 227 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym 22

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Beijing Beijing’s Most Prestigious Address

Ask us about The Butler Night is a gourmet dining experience organized by Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, at which guests will enjoy a themed menu served by butlers. A Fine Balance is a new three-day wellbeing package for Ayurveda fans, including tailored holistic treatments and a diet plan for restoring a balanced metabolism. A morning on the lawns of the Temple of Heaven among today’s tai chi students, opera singers and musicians. They gather here at the base of a cluster of 15th-century buildings to practice their arts in the open air. An ancient pine forest still surrounds this architectural masterpiece. The porte-cochère at night, just a short walk from the Silk Market; a Diplomat Deluxe Room

Beijing is the capital of a great power once more, and The St. Regis Beijing is ideally positioned close to the diplomatic quarter, business district and the Forbidden City, as well as being surrounded by some of the city’s finest restaurants and bars. The signature St. Regis Butler Service, private-dining suites and mansion ambience reflect the values of old China, preparing you for your next foray into local business or culture and the dizzying experience of Chinese cuisine, including the highly-esteemed Celestial Court restaurant, serving authentic southern Chinese cuisine in a traditional setting. Or try the new Salami Room in Dianeli’s restaurant, and enjoy Beijing’s largest selection of Italian wine. Afterwards, take time to unwind in the hotel’s Iridium Spa, one of Beijing’s most luxurious, and one that has its own natural hot spring water for soaking in. On the spa menu you will find as many as 40 Western and Chinese therapies, a comprehensive list that is sure to soothe the spirits and rejuvenate the senses.

Entertainment at Laoshe Tea House. Enjoy a diverse performance of everything from acrobatics to puppetry, kung fu, hand imagery and even a little opera. A great way to experience the lighter side of Beijing’s cultural heritage. Family Traditions at St. Regis progam: Try the great new food and beverage turndown amenities for children up to the age of 17. Four different menus have been created, for four different age groups. Learn more at

gold list 2015, condé nast traveler The Best Hotel Diplomats’ Choice, Global Times

21 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Beijing 100020, China u T. (86) (10) 6460 6688 u 258 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym 23

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort Paradise Perfected

Ask us about A private art studio visit. Renowned French artist Alain Despert has made Bora Bora his home and his inspiration. Guests of The St. Regis Bora Bora can attend a specially curated exhibition of Alain’s personal favourite canvases. Each couple will receive a complimentary small painting with Alain’s compliments. Snorkeling in the hotel’s private lagoon. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Bora Bora are home to beautiful coral, manta rays, white-tip reef sharks, turtles and dolphins.

One of the over water villas facing Mt Otemanu; a Master Bedroom overlooking the ocean

Bora Bora, discovered by Captain Cook in 1769, is a 16-square-mile tropical island surrounded by coral reef and lagoons. This muchmythologized South Pacific island is some 5,000 miles west of Lima and almost 4,000 miles northeast of Sydney, its remoteness matched by its year-round warm climate and outstanding beauty. A step away from the picture-perfect beaches are rugged volcanic mountains covered with lush tropical vegetation. At the secluded 44-acre St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, all rooms have private dining areas, daybeds and state-of-the-art entertainment systems, and are elegantly decorated with Polynesian arts and crafts. Rooms either have direct access to the beach or are thatched villas built over water; views are of the extinct volcanoes, the lagoon or the reef. For the utmost privacy, the three-bedroom Royal Estate has four bathrooms, its own beach, a pool and a spa with sauna and hamam. If you are in search of perfect pampering, go to the resort’s Miri Miri Spa by Clarins, a place of deep relaxation on its own private island.

Discover the secrets of Tahitian cultured pearls. This is an unmissable chance to gain a fascinating insight into the world of pearl cultivation and to try pearl diving for yourself in one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. If you are lucky enough to find one of these fabulous creations, it is yours to keep. Skimming across the waves out to a private island retreat for a picnic. Your motorboat skipper will whisk you away to a deserted motu, a coral-and-sand speck in the ocean. Here you experience a true Robinson Crusoe hideaway, but one where you never have to forgo fine food and wine.

best hotel spa and fourth resort in the South Pacific, Travel + Leisure, 2013 winner, Top 25 hotels in the South Pacific, TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice, 2013

MotOme’e BP 506, Bora Bora 98730, French Polynesia u T. (689) 607898 u 100 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; tennis; children’s club 24

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Chengdu A Modern Legacy of Storied Luxury

Ask us about Shu fabric weaving at the Chengdu Shu Brocade Museum. Explore the history and art of fabric weaving at the Chengdu Shu Brocade and Embroidery Museum and take a private lesson from a master. The Shui Jing Fang distillery. A private tour can be arranged in which guests meet the master distillers and unlock the secrets of Chinese spirit Baijiu. Visit the Leshan Buddha. The world’s largest Buddha sculpture calmly overlooks the Min River opposite Leshan town, about two hours by road south of Chengdu. It’s a humbling experience standing next to this 233-foot colossus, carved into red sandstone cliffs during the ninth century.

The Grand Staircase and Drawing Room; a Grand Deluxe Room

The capital city of Sichuan province is flourishing as a business hub, in part because of the excellent links to the rest of the province. But this is nothing new for Chengdu. It was one of the first places in the world to issue paper currency and the starting point for part of the Southern Silk Route, from where merchants would take the region’s renowned wares to the wider world. Yet for all its importance, this ancient metropolis, founded in 316 BC, retains a remarkably relaxed atmosphere. You’ll find delicious Sichuan food being served at the hotel’s signature restaurant Yan Ting, numerous tea houses and, for downtime, parks and temples to explore. Thanks to its location, The St. Regis Chengdu, the newest St. Regis hotel, is perfectly placed for business meetings, yet within easy reach of prestige boutiques and cultural highlights, including temples, museums and parks. Later, enjoy our signature Chuan Mary cocktail at the Vantage XXVII outdoor sky bar on the 27th floor, open from April to October, with in-house DJ, skyline views and a statement bronze bar.

Learn Sichuan mahjong, a southern Chinese variant that strips the rules down to a minimum and is therefore an excellent introduction. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: The Chengdu Panda Base, six miles north of Chengdu, is a spacious park with lakes, lawns and bamboo forest that’s home to 120 giant pandas and other endangered animals. Learn more at

Best New Arrival Luxury Hotel in Chengdu, Hurun Best of the Best Awards, 2015 Best Luxury Hotel Spa, World Luxury Spa Awards, 2015

88 Taisheng Road South, Qingyang District, Chengdu 610017, Sichuan, China u T. (86) (266) 287 6666 u 279 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; athletic club; indoor & outdoor pools 25

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Langkawi A Refined Archipelago Escape

Ask us about Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. Spend half a day discovering this site full of amazing flora and fauna as well as stunning geological wonders like fossils, mammoth limestone caves, lagoons, beaches and seascapes. A round of golf. Set among 300 acres of former rubber plantation land, the nearby Gunung Raya Golf Resort boasts beautiful rolling greens, panoramic tees, and impeccable fairways, magnificently contoured with sand traps and water hazards. Take a sunset cruise. Board a catamaran and watch as the tropical sun dips below the western horizon of the Andaman Sea and splashes the sky with magnificent deep oranges and reds. The living room and bedroom of the Presidential Suite

The St. Regis Langkawi is nestled on the southern tip of Langkawi, the first UNESCO Global Geopark in Southeast Asia. Situated on an exclusive cove, our discreet address overlooks a sparkling white-sand beach, swaying palm trees, and the glistening turquoise Andaman Sea. Our intimate resort offers the ideal departure point for exploring the Jewel of Kedah. On the archipelago’s largest island, picturesque villages, paddy fields, majestic mountain peaks, and lush tropical jungles filled with remarkable caves and waterfalls contribute to Langkawi’s dramatic natural beauty. The translucent waters also invite guests to enjoy endless ocean activities including fishing, snorkeling, diving, sunset cruises, and more. Settle into the sophisticated comforts and flawless services afforded to each of our 85 suites and three over-water villas: as the only resort nearby offering over-water villas, each highlights signature design elements that bring the traditions of the brand to life.

Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Langkawi Wildlife Park and Bird Paradise. Barely two miles from The St. Regis Langkawi, these two family destinations are home to thousands of exotic birds and animals. Watch the crocodiles being fed, or feed the flamingoes yourself. Learn more at

Jalan Pantai Beringin, Pulau Langkawi, 07000 Malaysia u 88 suites and villas; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool 26

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Lhasa Resort Pinnacle Address

Ask us about The Potala Palace. One of the most famous architectural works in the world and a symbol of the Tibetan people, just 15 minutes from the resort. See it after hours, in an atmosphere of peace and sanctity. Tibetan painting. Wall painting originated in Tibet in ancient times, and many of the glorious examples found in Lhasa’s temples are hundreds of years old. Depicting weddings and religious and sporting events, they offer a precious insight into Tibet’s history. Visiting the celestial lake on the Tibetan Plateau. There are hundreds of high-altitude lakes; among the most popular with visitors is Yandro Yumtso Lake, 80 miles from Lhasa. The magnificent Potala Palace overlooking Lhasa; the Khailash Suite’s living room

Set 12,000 ft above sea level, Lhasa is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, with air as clean as you’ll find anywhere in the world. This extreme location will most likely take your breath away in more ways than one – you may need time to adjust to the altitude. For centuries, Lhasa has been the spiritual and political home of Buddhism, and the city is booming as tourists and pilgrims alike search for enlightenment and peace in the Place of the Gods, the name given to the city by the ancients. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort is a luxury five-star property in the city’s bustling old quarter where the Jokhang Temple, frequented by Buddhist pilgrims, is found. The resort’s spectacular Iridium spa offers specialist Tibetan treatments, or you might find healthy inspiration at the hotel’s cooking school. A must for lovers of good food, the Si Zi Kang Restaurant is one of the first gastronomic Tibetan restaurants in the world and through cooking and décor, will bring you closer to this fascinating culture.

Touring the Jokhang Temple (Balang North Street, Chengguan). This seventh-century temple is Tibet’s holiest site. Go in the morning when Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims arrive, and stay until the afternoon, when the interior is opened to non-Buddhists. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Seeing Namtso Lake, the largest in Tibet and one of the highest-altitude saltwater lakes in the world. Yaks and horseback riding are available for families in this threehour excursion. Learn more at familytraditions


No. 22, Jiangsu Road, Lhasa, Tibet (Xizang) 850000 China u T. (86) (891) 680 8888 u 162 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; yoga; pilates; cookery school 27

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central Ask us about Visit the giant pandas. Celebrated Coloane resident Kai Kai and Xin Xin the pandas receive visitors at their custom-built enclosure in leafy Seac Pai Van Park, crisscrossed with gentle hiking trails. Macau Grand Prix & Grand Prix Museum. Catch an exhilarating weekend of racing at the Grand Prix in mid-November, or use the museum’s simulators to perfect your racing line. A-Ma Temple. Macau’s oldest temple is dedicated to China’s patron goddess of seafarers, who indirectly gave the city its name. Light a coil of incense here, near the spot where the Portuguese first landed. The Suite Bedroom; The Manor xxxx xxxxxxxxx

Macau is a city of historic ruins, spiritual temples, and imposing fortresses, which illustrate the evolution of Western and Chinese civilizations over more than four centuries. And The St. Regis Macao is the most elegant, sophisticated address from which to explore the very best the city affords, perfectly situated within a prime center of dining, shopping and entertainment. Guests enjoy the finest restaurants and amenities, typified by the incomparable St. Regis Butler Service. To further enhance your stay, our hotel offers convenient access to more than 600 designer boutiques and several premier shopping centers. Refined comforts and elegantly appointed furnishings await in each of The St. Regis Macao’s 400 guest rooms and suites, where state-of-the-art amenities combine with traditional Chinese architectural elements and spectacular views of the Cotai Strip.

Take a walking tour. Wander cobbled backstreets and discover Macau’s unique architectural heritage with a walking tour of the city’s UNESCO-listed historic center. Macau Tower. This elegant construction offers magnificent panoramic views over Macau and much of the Pearl River Delta from its observation deck and revolving restaurant, 223 meters up. The Taipa Houses Museum comprises five houses with typical green Macanese architecture, and is one of the key cultural heritage sites in the city.

Estrada do Istmo. S/N, Cotai, Macau u T. (853) 2882 8898 u 400 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; outdoor pool 28

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Mumbai Ask us about The Elephanta Caves. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, this ancient shrine hewn from solid basalt on an island in Mumbai harbor is easily accessible by boat tour from the iconic Gate of India. The sculptures of Hindu gods date back to at least the eighth century and still bear traces of their original decorative paintwork. Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Only 90 minutes from bustling Mumbai lie 40 square miles of protected tropical forest, home to everything from spotted deer to mynah birds, not to mention 150 different species of butterfly. You might even glimpse a wild leopard amid the dense foliage. The luxurious poolside cabanas overlooking the city; the stunning interior of a Deluxe Room

India’s largest city, Mumbai is a spectacular metropolis full of architectural treasures that bear witness to its periods under Portuguese and British rule. The St. Regis Mumbai is a luxury oasis in the heart of the city, the striking interiors of the grand lobby warmly welcoming guests with their old-world charm accentuated by Rajasthani Tikri artwork. As the tallest luxury hotel in India, it would be close to impossible to find more panoramic vistas elsewhere. The city’s highest nightclub and lounge are also housed on the penthouse floors of the hotel to ensure an unforgettable experience. The hotel is ideally located for leisure and business travelers owing to its prox­imity to the city’s entertainment districts and commercial properties. After a long day of meetings, head to the dedicated Wellness Floor for a massage at The Spa, known for its award-winning therapists and signature treatments, or relax in the infinity pool overlooking the city.

Shopping at the World Trade Centre. Avoid the crowded street markets with a trip to the Trade Centre’s arcade, just 30 minutes away, full of government-approved stores selling exquisite carpets, jewelry and tea. Several of India’s states have set up their emporia here to showcase local handicrafts. Watch a game of cricket. Indians are passionate about cricket, and every street in Mumbai can become a makeshift pitch. This triangular sports ground near the gigantic Gothic central rail terminus is a great place to watch the city at play.

462 Senapti Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013, India u T. (91) (22) 6162 8000 u 324 guest rooms and suites; 12 restaurants and bars; spa; excercise room; pool 29

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Osaka Cosmopolitan Distinction

Ask us about A bonsai masterclass. Allow the hotel to transport you to and from the Fujikawa International School of Bonsai, where you will take part in a one- to four-day masterclass under the direction of the renowned Keiichi Fujikawa. Kishiwada Danjiri festival. On 19-20 September, teams of locals will race highly decorated floats through the streets in a combination of religious festival and street party. Celebrated all over Japan, Osaka’s is the best-known danjiri, held since 1703. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Only 30 minutes from the hotel. See models of local landmarks rendered in LEGO, learn how the bricks are manufactured and take part in classes taught by model builders.

The St. Regis Osaka Zen Garden; the master bedroom of the Royal Suite

For many travelers, Osaka has all the urban energy and lively vibe of Tokyo with the heritage and historical riches of Kyoto. On Midosuji Avenue, where The St. Regis Osaka is located, you will find examples of the city’s long history, in the form of architectural masterpieces dating from the Taisho Era (1912-1926) and the following Showa period. The avenue has been dubbed the Champs Elysées of the Orient. The St. Regis Osaka, celebrating its fifth anniversary in October 2015, is within a 27-story building, the tallest in the urban renewal zone. It provides striking views over the city and is perfectly positioned for you to explore Osaka’s multi-Michelin-starred restaurant scene, cultural life and Buddhist shrines. The hotel’s garden terrace is lush with plants and has a stone garden around which to take a stroll, or you can sit and take time out from the streetscape below.

Yamamoto Noh Theater. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the home of Japanese musical drama, with its impressive collection of masks and costumes, and experience what it feels like to take the stage. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: My Cup Noodle Factory makes for a fascinating excursion. Learn about ramen noodles, create a custom noodle soup, design your own cup and explore the museum. Learn more at

TripAdvisor Travel Choice award, 2015 Gold Circle Award, 2014

3-6-12 Hommachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0053, Japan u T. (81) (6) 6258 3333 u 160 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; excercise room 30

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort China’s Most Coveted Beachfront Address

Ask us about The pursuit of wellness. Enjoy a truly refreshing and revitalizing sanctuary experience at the Iridium Spa, including aromatherapy, chromatherapy and a session in the mineral salt chamber. A private styling session and fashion shoot with the exquisite St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay and its natural setting as your backdrop. Our team will take a series of photographs and transform them into a bespoke printed magazine as a memento of your experience. Visiting Nanshan Temple. The sprawling Buddhist temple at the foot of Nanshan mountain, 25 miles from Sanya, was completed only in 1998 (2,000 years after the arrival of Buddhism in China), and comprises replica Tang Dynasty architecture.

A luxurious villa; the hotel’s marina

The tropical island of Hainan, China’s smallest province, has clean air, tropical vegetation, pristine beaches and offers the perfect escape from the bustle of the mainland cities. Located in the exclusive Yalong Bay on the south coast of Hainan Island in South China, The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort opened in November 2011 and is the perfect choice for guests looking for a deluxe, relaxing vacation. It has access to more than half a mile of coastline on Yalong Bay (also called Asian Dragon Bay), where guests can stroll, swim or enjoy a seafood barbecue at the new beachfront bar. The bay has the island’s only sail-in, sail-out access for yachts, through an exclusive partnership with the Sanya Yalong Bay Yacht Club (and the only golf driving range on the coveted beach side of Yalong Bay), and guests can charter a fully staffed Yacht Club vessel for a sunset cruise. Our team can arrange a sailing trip to the hidden treasures of Baifu Bay, a stunning cove that offers a soft sand beach, clear turquoise waters and a secluded coral reef.

Sanya Kayaking Fun Program, a 90-minute guided tour of the Mangrove Ecology Pocket. This ecosystem is rich with wildlife, and the St. Regis Butler service provides drinks halfway through the trip. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: A family cooking class at sea. Enjoy two exhilarating hours sport fishing out on the open waters followed by a cooking class featuring your catch of the day. Learn more at

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, 2015 Best Luxury Hotel in Hainan, Hurun Report, march 2015

Yalong Bay National Resort District, Sanya Yalong Bay, Hainan 572016, China u T. (86) (898) 8855 5555 u 401 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; private beach; water sports; tennis; children’s club 31

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Shenzhen Towering Sophistication

Ask us about A bespoke fashion experience with Burberry. The skillful tailoring team from Burberry will join you in the comfort of your Caroline Astor Suite where they will fit you for a tailormade suit, which will be delivered to you on the fourth day of your stay. A romantic sailing trip. Enjoy a peaceful private yacht getaway on calming waters just 40 minutes away by Bentley limousine followed by a candlelight dinner at Elba, an authentic Italian restaurant on the 99th floor of The St. Regis Shenzhen.

Malt, serving single malt whiskies and cigars on the 100th floor; the Iridium spa pool

Shenzhen, a commercial hub in southern China just to the north of Hong Kong, is one of the country’s most dynamic supercities. The hotel, which opened in 2011, was designed by the renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell, and occupies the top 28 floors of the landmark glass-and-steel 100-story Kingkey 100 tower in the heart of the Luohu financial district. Take advantage of the height at The Drawing Room on the 96th floor, which serves a delicious afternoon tea and has stunning panoramic views of Shenzhen city. Business travelers like to unwind with a treatment in The St. Regis Shenzhen’s Iridium Spa, or meet colleagues in Decanter wine bar or in Malt, the whisky bar. Shoppers are spoilt for choice and make straight for the upmarket KK Mall. Otherwise, head off to explore the city’s local theme parks, gardens and historical attractions.

The Window of the World, a theme park with models of sights from around the world, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Angkor Wat of Cambodia. Continue your visit in the world’s largest fossil forest, Fairy Lake Botanical Garden and Shenzhen Palaeontological Museum. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Happy Valley. Shenzhen’s most famous theme park, with almost 100 exciting rides and attractions in nine themed areas, including Cartoon City, Mount Adventure, Shangri-la Woods and Sunshine Beach. Learn more at

Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, 2015 The Best Luxury Hotel in Shenzhen, TTG China Travel Awards, 2015

No. 5016 Shennan Road East, LuohDistrict Shenzhen, Guangdong 518001 China u T. (86)(755) 8308 8888 u 290 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym 32

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Singapore Timeless Elegance

Ask us about The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. The Republic’s only museum dedicated to showcasing Southeast Asian biodiversity is home to more than 2,000 specimens of plants and animals. Enjoy the adrenaline rush at The Karting Arena at Bukit Timah, Singapore’s first-ever permanent electric karting track, 545 meters long and 8 meters wide. Fun and safe for children and adults alike. Orchard Road is transformed into a sparkling fairyland from midNovember to early January, with millions of glittering lights dripping from decorated trees and majestic arches all along the stretch from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura. A Penthouse Room on the 20th floor; the pool with its sculpture Floating to Sukhavati, by the Taiwanese artist Li Chen

Singapore is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2015 and the city will be abuzz with activity over the course of the year. Close to The St. Regis Singapore, in the embassy district, the Singapore Botanic Gardens offer a respite from the city’s bustle. Stroll around its themed gardens, and enjoy lakes, sculptures and displays of exotic flora: orchids, mature kapok and rain trees. The hotel is also close to the financial district, the famous shopping on Orchard Road, and Dempsey Hill, a revitalized colonial neighborhood with restaurants, clubs, bars, boutiques, antiques stores and art galleries. And if you want more of the latter, The St. Regis Singapore is home to one of the finest private art collections in Asia, with works by Miró, Chagall and Fernando Botero. Our partner restaurant, Shinji by Kanesaka, has recently been renovated and expanded, with additional seats and a private room for VIPs.

Explore the Market of Artists and Designers, a monthly event at the Red Dot Design Museum, selling original, creative, and often handmade works by talented painters, jewellery makers and product designers. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: The Singapore Botanic Gardens offers an exciting array of attractions. Children will be delighted by the Tree House and Waterplay Area. This experience includes round-trip transportation, a two-hour tour, and a picnic lunch. Learn more at


29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911 u T. (65) 6506 6888 u 299 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis 33

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Asia Pacific

The St. Regis Tianjin Tianjin’s Premier Address

Ask us about Tianjin’s Food Street is the biggest food emporium in China, where you can savor dishes with the flavors of eight Chinese cuisines. The Tianjin Eye is a spectacular observation wheel dramatically situated on the Yongle Bridge. Enjoy views of the city from a height of up to 394 feet. XiangSheng translates as ‘crosstalk’ and is a dialogue between two comedians. It is one of China’s most popular performing arts, typically spoken in the Tianjin dialect. A booking service is available through your butler.

The hotel’s spectacular exterior – part of the city’s march skywards; the Presidential Suite bedroom

China’s fourth-largest city, the coastal metropolis of Tianjin has a fascinating history as the entry point for foreigners visiting and trading with Beijing and the rest of northern China. The European-style houses of the French and German concessions add a dash of grandeur to the metropolis, and original turn-of-the-century architecture can still be seen in the Wudadao district. The hotel is opposite the glittering Riverside 66 shopping mall, home to 400 renowned international brands. All rooms have city views, but if it’s a special trip, book the Presidential Suite, which has Chinese antiques, its own dining room and whirlpool bath. Also try the Xi He Ya Yuan Peking Duck restaurant on the second floor of The St. Regis Tianjin, which continues to build upon our unique Modern Chinese culinary concept, while introducing more Chinese creations, such as our classical interpretation of Peking Duck.

The Astor Museum. The hotel’s very own museum is a testament to the building’s heritage. From illustrious guest portraits to priceless documents, the museum provides an overview of Tianjin’s colonial past. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Suite exclusives, specially tailored for younger guests and their families, include late check-out to 4pm and RMB 480 daily credit towards family experiences and other hotel services including the spa and room service. Learn more at

China Travel Top 100 Hotels, 2014 Best Business Hotel In Tianjin, Business Traveler Awards China, 2014

158 Zhangzizhong Road, Heping District Tianjin, Tianjin 300041, China u T. (86) (22) 5830 9999 u 274 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; cookery school 34

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: europe

The St. Regis Florence Premiere Location, Renaissance Grandeur

Ask us about The Ferrari Museum. Our concierge can arrange a day tour to Maranello which includes a visit to the Ferrari Musuem and the chance to test drive a Ferrari. The Vasari Corridor. A half-mile long passageway that connects the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace, lined with works from the 16th and 17th centuries as well as a unique collection of artists’ self-portraits, including works from Andrea del Sarto to Chagall. Old Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella. Said to be the oldest extant pharmacy in the world. Established in 1221 by the Dominicans, who produced herbal medicines, it is still dispensing prescriptions today. The Duomo and the rooftops of Florence; the Presidential Suite

A palazzo designed in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi, the architect of the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, The St. Regis Florence was converted into a hotel in the mid-1800s. When Queen Victoria took a Grand Tour, she stayed here. Now there’s a designer suite by Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta, and the hotel spa is collaborating with luxury cosmetics brand Clarins. The Michelin-starred Winter Garden by Caino restaurant has a 19th-century illuminated colored-glass ceiling; and in keeping with the Tuscan capital’s Renaissance heritage, there are classic frescoes and antiques throughout the building. Florence is a compact and, in the right season, relaxing city. After you’ve seen the world-class Uffizi Gallery and Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia, make the most of the hotel’s location on the Piazza Ognissanti in the city’s historical heart: order an aperitivo, and sit back and watch as dusk falls over the city’s churches, hills and belltowers.

The Palazzo Strozzi. The gallery is hosting the exhibition Divine beauty from Van Gogh to Fontana from 26 September to 24 January, exploring modern sacred art between the 1880s and 1958. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Renaissance Discovery. Unearth history with an interactive, immersive tour of the Palazzo Vecchio. Allow us to transport you there by horse-drawn carriage, just as the Medicis did so many years ago. Learn more at

TripAdvisor 2015 Travelers’ Choice: Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Italy, ranked 5th TripAdvisor 2015 Travelers’ Choice: Top 25 Hotels in Italy, ranked 10th

Piazza Ognissanti 1, Florence 50123, Italy u T. 0039 055 27161 u 100 guest rooms and suites; 1 restaurant and bar; spa; gym 35

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: europe

The St. Regis Istanbul Istanbul’s Modern Masterpiece

Ask us about A Postcard From Istanbul. Take a private tour and follow in the footsteps of actor and director John Malkovich, who recently made a short film in the city (see A Life in Seven Journeys, page 96). Contemporary Istanbul. The biggest international art fair in Turkey brings both local and international focus to the dynamic art scene in the vibrant metropolis from 12-15 November.

Two views of the luxurious Cosmopolitan Suite

Istanbul has long been the place where Europe and Asia met and exchanged goods, philosophies, cultures and credos. In the past decade, it has become a confident, modern city and has witnessed booms in the art scene, in the quality and range of its nightlife, and in business. Ancient meets modern with confidence in this metropolis, and at The St. Regis Istanbul. Once you’ve ticked off traditional landmarks including Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, explore modern must-sees such as contemporary art at Istanbul Modern and Galerie Nev, hip fashion boutiques in Cihangir or nightlife in Ortakoy or Beyoglu. The St. Regis Istanbul’s neighbourhood of Sisli is a quiet one adjoining bustling Beyoglu, so you get the best of both worlds. For the highest luxury, our custom one-bedroom Bentley Suite surrounds you with walls of curved veneer and sumptuous leather fittings, inspired by the seductive interior of the Bentley Continental.

Turkish coffee and baklava. Coffee shops across Turkey are rarely quiet. In the mornings you’ll often see businessmen conducting meetings while at night the chairs are filled with a younger crowd intent on socializing. Whatever time of day, the balance of strong bitter coffee with super-sweet sticky baklava delivers a perfect caffeine and sugar combo. Bathing. Few things revive a jetlagged body more efficiently than a vigorous scrub and massage in a steamy Turkish hamam. A private cruise. Sightsee the Istanbul skyline Sultan-style from the Bosphorus aboard a chartered yacht.

Mim Kemal Oke Cad. N° 35, Nisantasi, Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey u T. (90)(212) 368 0000 u 118 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; gym 36

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Europe

The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort Mediterranean Sanctuary, Privileged Address

Ask us about The Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation museum in Alcudia, a collection of child portraits from the 16th to 19th centuries and a library of more than 6,000 volumes of art history. A private balloon ride. Staff can organize a hot air balloon ride with tapas and champagne. Taking off in Cala Millor, the four-hour morning or afternoon experience showcases aerial views over the white-sand beaches and pine-fringed shores of the island. Explore Sóller. Visit the Saturday market in the nearby town of Sóller, a mix of market stalls, cafés and bars in a sunny plaza dominated by the Baroque church of Sant Bartomeu. The resort’s swimming pool; Mediterranean vegetation enhances the traditional-style Spanish architecture

All the pleasures and treasures of the Western Mediterranean are found in Mallorca, the main island of the Balearics. The beaches get a lot of attention and some are pretty stunning, but inland are olive groves and vineyards, mountains and rural mansions, cozy old restaurants and tourist-free towns and villages. In the southwestern corner of the island on the Costa d’en Blanes, there are turquoise waters and a sense of being apart from the hubbub. This is also where you’ll find The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, whose guest rooms were designed by Claudio Carbone. It is a lovely hideaway and a perfect base for exploring the best of the island. The main restaurant Aqua has been totally renovated throughout and The Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine has been extended; the spa’s product lines now include NIANCE and Maria Galland. Continue your relaxing stay with a session on the wooden yoga platform, which has a tranquil sea view.

A day out in Deià. Long associated with intellectuals, writers and artists, this tumbling, terraced village, now home to celebrities, makes an idyllic setting for a spot of lunch. Family Traditions at St. Regis progam: The Tramuntana Mountains, close to the hotel, are one of Mallorca’s greatest natural assets and UNESCOlisted as a World Heritage Site. Walks and treks to suit all take place in this exquisite landscape. Learn more at

RestaurAnt Es Fum awarded one Michelin Star, 2011

Carretera Palma – Andratx 19, Costa d’en Blanes, Mallorca 07181, Spain u T. (34)(971) 629629 u 128 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; private jetty; children’s club 37

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Europe

The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya Contemporary Heritage in the Heart of Moscow

Ask us about Central Children’s Store. Take a private tour of this newly reopened mall of childhood, which includes a toy museum and the world’s biggest branch of Hamleys. Polo lessons. The hotel can organize a lesson at the top Russian polo club with a private instructor, including all necessary equipment. An intimate tour of Moscow’s modern art. Anastasia Mityushina will take you and your family along the art route that runs from the State Tretyakov Gallery to Krasny Oktyabr, and then to the famous modern art centre Garage, in the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure.

The Orlov Lobby Lounge; the Rooftop bar and terrace

One of the world’s greatest cities, Moscow is a powerhouse of business, culture and tourism. Situated in the historic center of the Russian capital, within easy walking distance of the celebrated Bolshoi Theater and the Kremlin, you’ll find The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya. A stone’s throw also from major business centers and the Duma – Russia’s parliament – the hotel’s well-equipped business center provides outstanding conference facilities and responsive service for business travelers. For leisure travelers, the hotel promises a heady mix of high culture and world-class retail in the boutiques of Nikolskaya Plaza, the city’s new luxury shopping destination. When it comes to dining, guests can choose between the Orlov Lobby Bar and Lounge and Osteria A Tavola, a delightful contemporary Italian restaurant.

Porsche experience. Experience an individual test drive around the Kremlin in any Porsche car, with a transfer to the Porsche dealer center, a personal assistant, a special offer for car purchase and service and a branded souvenir. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Nikulin Circus Backstage Tour. See acrobats practicing before the show, clowns putting on makeup, and animals being fed and trained. The experience provides roundtrip transportation, the backstage tour and best-category seats for the show. Learn more at

#1 Business hotel, Condé Nast Traveler Hot List, 2015

Nikolskaya Street 12, Moscow, 109012, Russian Federation u T. (7)(495) 967 7776 u 210 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; pool; spa; fitness center 38

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Europe

The St. Regis Rome Patrimony of Art & Legacy of Service

Ask us about A private driver. Our bespoke Bentley Continental limousine service and our gracious chauffeurs will ensure that you arrive at every destination in the utmost comfort. Make authentic gelato. Enjoy a workshop with Maria Agnese Spagnuolo of Gelateria Fatamorgana, who will share her secret recipes and tricks for creating the softest, most enticing gelato in the city. La Grande Bellezza. Paolo Sorrentino’s glorious homage to the Eternal City, translated as The Great Beauty, won last year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Why not take a tour of the timeless landmarks photographed in the movie? The hotel’s façade, next to the historic Fountain of Moses; the living room of the Couture Suite

For history, beauty, style, culture and romance, Rome has few rivals as the world’s most compelling metropolis. Here ancient palaces, temples, churches and monuments sit alongside all the contemporary attractions of a modern European capital. Such a city deserves a hotel of classical proportions, and The St. Regis Rome, built right beside the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian, more than lives up to those expectations. Rome’s first grand hotel, this palazzo was opened by celebrated hotelier César Ritz in 1894, and it retains its majesty and prominence in the life of this great city to this day. The hotel, with its luxurious interiors, beautiful ballroom, chandeliers and hand-painted frescos, makes for a majestic base from which to explore the Eternal City.

Jazz & Wine. In exclusive partnership with Alexanderplatz Jazzclub, the St. Regis Rome is pleased to present Jazz & Wine, a festival inspired by jazz and signature wines at our Le Grand Bar from 7pm on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Family Traditions at St. Regis program: Rome’s Hidden Treasures. This unique itinerary will take younger guests through Rome’s most secret piazzas and hidden cloisters in search of the enchanting animals that decorate fountains and palaces throughout the city. Learn more at

world’s best business hotel, travel + Leisure, 2014 condé nast traveler readers’ choice award, 2014

Via Vittorio E. Orlando 3, Rome 00185, Italy u T. (39)(06) 47091 u 161 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; spa 39

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Dénoué Saphir necklace in white and yellow gold, diamonds, sapphire and emeralds.