FALL/ WI NT ER 2 01 3 B E Y O N D - T H E S T. R E G I S M A G A Z I N E
La Rose DioR BagateLLe coLLection White gold, diamonds, fancy pink diamonds, sapphires, pink sapphires, purple sapphires, emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines and tsavorite garnets.
T H E S T. R E G I S M A G A Z I N E
Smart Packing Running Head
Donna Karan “I went a few summers ago to the Omo Delta. It’s one of the last great tribal areas of Ethiopia, where we met incredible people, known for their body adornment, who had amazing graphic body paint and enormous lip plates.” But it is the bedroom of her apartment overlooking New York’s Central Park that the fashion designer says is “the most fabulous place on earth”.
Brigitte Lacombe New-York-based photographer Lacombe now “feels like a traveler” when she returns to her native Paris. She roams the world for work, and for pleasure, she says, especially to cities: “Auckland, Cairo, Chicago… I just love to travel.” For this issue she photographed celebrated New York art collector Peter Brant. She has shot for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine.
Jeffrey Podolsky “For me, Venice is a perennial favorite,” says Podolsky, a New Yorker. “There’s nothing more romantic than happily (and hopelessly) getting lost at night with someone else on your arm. Come summer, I’m just like a fish. The Adriatic just rejuvenates me.” The next stop is Goa, says Jeffrey, who has written for T Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair.
Hiroji Kubota A veteran member of the celebrated Magnum photographic agency, Hiroji Kubota is renowned for his images of the Far East. In this issue he sets out from Osaka in the footsteps of Sadayakko, the geisha thought to be the real Madame Butterfly. His own favorite trip? To Nara, Japan’s ancient capital, which has “many shrines and temples, but not many visitors”.
Tina Gaudoin “I love flying into any Southeast Asian city at night – the moment when the aircraft doors open and that first waft of hot, humid air hits you,” says Tina Gaudoin, who in this issue identifies the new tribes of luxury travelers. Having launched WSJ Magazine in New York, where she also worked on Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, Gaudoin now lives in London and writes on style.
Lesley Downer “One of my most memorable trips was to Kagoshima in the deep south of Japan, where I soaked in a hot spring on a live volcano.” The author and presenter lived in Japan for five years and spent six months in the geisha community of Miyagawa-cho in Kyoto. She is the author of Madame Sadayakko: the Geisha Who Seduced the West. Her latest novel is the The Samurai’s Daughter.
Beyond, The St. Regis Magazine, Issue 02: Fall - Winter 2013 Editor in chief: James Collard / Editor: Lisa Grainger / Creative direction: Brave New World Publishing / Publisher: Crispin Jameson Design: Carolina Otero, Santiago Vargues / Fashion: Nadia Balame / Picture editor: Lyndsey Price Assistant picture editor: Emma Hammar / Sub-editor: Laura Ivill Published by Brave New World Publishing Ltd, 19 Beak Street, London W1F 9RP; T + 44 (0)20-7437 1384 Color reproduction by Wellcom London / Printed by Quad Graphics, Issn 2050-9081 Advertising: Represented by Cesana Media (cesanamedia.com) in New York, Milan, São Paulo and Zurich, in Paris by mybubblecom (firstname.lastname@example.org) and in London by Thorley Media (thorleymedia.com). © Copyright
2013 Brave New World Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission from the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors it may contain
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CONTENTS 12 The magnificent seven – The World in Seven Objects –
From the fashion for wooden skis to the perfume ingredient worth more than gold and the ultimate Chinese collectible, we focus on extraordinary objects with a story to tell
28 In search of Madame Butterfly – The Journey –
Leaving behind the bustling metropolis of Osaka for the idyllic hinterland of rural Japan, Lesley Downer goes in search of the geisha who inspired Puccini’s operatic heroine
39 Hidden treasures
50 A room with a view
Tastemakers of the world unite to share their travel secrets, from Donna Karan’s go-to store for ethnic cool and Olivier Krug’s Roman wine shop of choice to Singapore’s coolest speakeasy
Think hour-glass curves, old-school chic and an almost cinematic desire for drama – introducing the season’s bold new silhouettes, as seen from a balcony in Florence
42 My kind of town
62 Warhol wizard
Georgina Chapman, fashion designer and Mrs. Harvey Weinstein, on moving to New York, dressing the red carpet, and why she loves to walk the High Liney
Interview’s Peter Brant was just 19 when he bought his first Warhol: a soup-can drawing. The publishing and print magnate now owns hundreds. We meet a great American collector
46 Smart packing
60 The St. Regis Atlas
Whether you’re sunning yourself on the beach or zooming down the slopes, doing business in the city or scoping out art galleries, these are the products that will get you through your day
Our international network of hotels and resorts, from Llasa to Lijiang and 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 –
– Interview –
– The Connoisseur–
– Accessories and Gadgets –
— The Directory —
Above: Felt Hat, $440, Noel Stewart. Black dress, $1795, Ports 1961 Cover: Dress, black and white dress, $4978, Christian Dior. Photographed by Stefan Zschernitz
High Society – Aspen –
The Rocky Mountain town has long had natural riches – silver and snow. Now it’s a hub for wealthy sophisticates, who jet in for a year-long whirlwind of social events, cultural festivals and fine food. Linda Hayes reports
64 Having a ball
80 A prince among men
Luxury commentator Nicholas Foulkes explains the timeless glamor and growing global reach of polo, while the sport’s most famous face Nacho Figueras talks chukkas and royal chums
A wealthy aristocrat and a wanted man; the cavalry officer who became a commando; the would-be farmer turned great hotelier – we chart the many lives of Serge Obolensky
72 Not any old bodies
96 Kitchen confidential
One of the greatest living artists, Jasper Johns, is hard at work – in his eighties and printmaking. Art critic Richard Cork assesses the painter’s works at a major new show in Florida
Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to achieve a Michelin star, explains why his menus, laden with seafood and spice, couldn’t be more suited to his new restaurant in Mauritius
78 Now voyagers
108 Paul Theroux
– Sport –
– Backstory –
– Art –
– Food –
– Social Observation –
– A Life in Seven Journeys –
The Luxe Family Travelers, the Late-Late Gap Years, the Babymooners and the New Grand Tourists... Tina Gaudoin identifies today’s travel tribes. But which one are you?
The great American travel writer remembers his most memorable trips, from his first night camping as a Boy Scout to his latest train expedition from Cairo to the Cape
THE WORLD IN SEVEN OBJECTS Photography by Louisa Parry
Extraordinary, beautiful objects tell the stories of their age, from the TREASURES we COLLECT to the GEMS we COVET. here we curate a ‘magnificent seven’ from around the world. feast your senses
The World in Seven Objects
Wooden skis Ask John Fry, president of the International Skiing History Association, why he believes there’s been an upsurge in wooden skis on slopes around the world, and he scratches his head. “To be honest, I have no idea. Wood was abandoned in the 1950s, when the metal ski was invented. By the 1972 Japan Olympics, everyone was using fiberglass. “Wood is a natural material, so it’s really hard to make two skis exactly the same,” he explains. “The torsing of the ski can’t be varied – whereas with modern composites, it can be. And then there’s the upkeep…” While Fry is right about the improved technical make-up of modern skis, he does recognize that “wooden skis do look nice”. So nice, in fact, that two enthusiasts have set up a website, vintagewinter.com, in order that enthusiasts can buy old pairs to adorn their chalets, homes and hotels. “Vintage winter sports items will always be in style,” says co-founder Jeff Hume. “There is something appealing about an old pair of solid-wood skis.” Which is why Pete Wagner in Colorado has cleverly come up with the perfect combination: hi-tech, ultra-strong skis that are custom-made using the most advanced engineering and materials, but finished with the sorts of beautiful wooden veneers shown here. “What people want is an old-fashioned aesthetic, but with 21st-century technology,” he says. Visitors to his website can fill out a form, and the company will design and ship skis anywhere in the world. Or simply, perhaps, to The St. Regis Aspen Resort, where they will be ready and waiting for guests on arrival. With or without wooden veneers. wagnerskis.com
The World in Seven Objects
The silent logo Logos are an important way of signaling our wealth and our fashionability – key weapons in any status-conscious society. In previous ages, richly embroidered fabrics and tapestries delineated your class and engraved signet rings denoted your lineage; now logos have become the contemporary way of communicating our lifestyle, our aspirations and our means. Today, an H-shaped buckle is a useful way of pointing out that you can afford a belt by Hermès, and the twin Gs on a vintage clutch might signal that you are sophisticated enough to collect Tom Ford-era Gucci. However, in spite of the cachet that logos afford, there has been a noticeable rebellion against over-branding. Status that is shouted too loudly has become tacky (“new money” hiss the snobs or “too obvious” snort the fashionistas). Hence we have what industry analysts dub “the mature consumers of luxury”. They wear their logos discreetly, gravitate to less obvious products and seek out more understated limited-edition pieces from curated boutiques, such as Dover Street Market in London, or the lasting appeal of classic brands, like Moynat luggage. Coolest of all, some argue, are products that have no logo at all, relying, instead, on trademark design details or fabrics. Think the boxy, collarless jackets that have been signature Chanel since 1925, or Hermès scarves, with their unmistakable patterns. Or, for instance, this clutch by the Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta. It is entirely logo-less; yet that intrecciato weave is such a recognizable signature for those in the know, who needs a logo? bottegaveneta.com
The World in Seven Objects
The World in Seven Objects
The World in Seven Objects
Scottish cashmere Some of the finest cashmere, as lovers of the fabric will attest, is woven in Scotland. It is in the Scottish Borders region adjoining England, beside the clear streams, that a Scot, Joseph Dawson, invented a mechanical process to sort and clean the fibres in the 19th century, and it is here, ever since, that designers have had their clothing produced. Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Matthew Williamson have their knitwear made by Johnstons of Elgin, while Chanel has its luxury lines, from $600 scarves to $15,000 embroidered coats, knitted by the traditional Scottish firm, Barrie, which it bought last year. Although Made in Scotland has become the most coveted label inside a piece of cashmere, the hair itself comes from the Mongolian goat, which lives in sub-zero temperatures at high altitudes in the mountains of Mongolia, China, Tibet and the Himalayan region of Kashmir. To keep warm, the goats, beneath their thick-haired coats, produce a fine downy undercoat, which is between 6 and 25 microns thick (a human hair is about 75 microns), and it is these fibers that nomadic herdsmen comb out by hand to be washed and spun into thread. Although the hair is downy and fine, it is only, as James Sugden of Johnstons of Elgin explains, when the fiber is washed in Scottish spring water, hand-spun, then colored using the finest-quality non-harmful dyes, that the very finest cashmere becomes ultra-soft. “You can feel the difference between something that has been produced in Scotland and elsewhere,” he says. “Cashmere is ruined by corrosive dyes and chemicalized water. ‘Made in Scotland’ is reassurance that that fiber has been treated in the best way possible.” johnstonscashmere.com
The World in Seven Objects
The tourbillon watch Like car manufacturers or yacht engineers, high-end watchmakers thrive on achieving ever-more mind-boggling feats of engineering. Except that in watchmaking it is on a micro scale. The skill of these (mainly Swiss) technicians is their ability to keep mechanisms small and light while improving the watches’ functionality; this they do by creating “complications”, or additional mechanical layers. The most complex of all of these complications is the tourbillon, invented by an Englishman to counter the effects of gravity on timekeeping accuracy and developed and patented by the Swiss-born horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801. Although these days a cell phone or digital watch will keep the time perfectly well, the status of a mechanical watch, preferably Swiss-made, as a signifier of wealth and sophistication has never been so assured. And nothing is quite so desirable as a watch with a tourbillon. Why? Because the more complicated a watch, the harder it is to make and the fewer there are produced. The Breguet Messidor Tourbillon (right), costs $180,000. That, says a Breguet spokesman, is not just because it is platinum with sapphires. It is because it is handmade: “An array of meticulously finished parts lovingly polished, chamfered, chased and scored with parallel decorative strokes by the most versatile of all instruments, the human hand.” breguet.com
The World in Seven Objects
Oud resin Although it has been used for centuries in the Middle East, until about ten years ago oud was almost unknown as an ingredient in Western perfumery. In Arabia, the sweet, rich scent is an important part of the culture. The resin of the agar tree, produced as a response to attacks by the phialophora parasite, is instilled into precious perfumes, and the tiny chips of agar are burnt to create a sweet smoke to fragrance homes, clothing and mosques. Due to its rarity, and the difficulty of harvesting the resin, oud costs about one-and-a-half times the price of gold – about 150lb of wood yields just five teaspoons of essential oil – and a kilo of oud costs upwards of $70,000. That the world’s most expensive perfume ingredient entered the Western fragrance lexicon was thanks largely to Tom Ford. In 2002, as the new head of Yves Saint Laurent, the designer asked his perfumers to include something darker and muskier in its next fragrance. They added oud – and YSL M7 was born. More than a decade later, several perfume houses have followed: Christian Dior with La Collection Privée; Aramis with Calligraphy; Estée Lauder with Wood Mystique, and Tom Ford with his own Private Blend Oud Wood. Roja Dove – the British custom perfumer – loved the scent so much that he launched three oud perfumes under his name. Why? “Oud is the smell of Arabia in a bottle,” he explains. “It reminds me of the people I met there and of the emotions inspired by the beauty of the landscape. For me, it’s ancient, it’s natural and incredibly heady. What more could you want of a fragrance?” rojadove.com
The World in Seven Objects
Chinese stamps One impact of the rise of China is the rise of the Chinese collector and the seemingly inexorable rise in price of the Chinese collectible. For with wealth has come renewed confidence and a fascination with every aspect of China's extraordinary history, which makes everything from a Ming vase to a Shanghai movie poster from the 1930s something that is coveted by someone, somewhere (most likely China). Nowhere is this seen more than in the world of stamp collecting. Today, of the 60 million or so collectors around the world, about twothirds are Asian. Steve Matthews, Chinese specialist of the stamp-market company Stanley Gibbons, says that stamp collecting has become a national pastime, with about 20 million Chinese people collecting stamps, and increasing numbers of Hong Kong and and mainland Chinese millionaires seeking to own the rarest specimens and reclaim their history. As a result the value of Chinese stamps has rocketed. The most valuable, says Matthews, tend to be from the Imperial period (1878-1911). It is from this time that China’s most valuable single stamp comes: the 1897 “Red Revenue”, priced at $1.2 million. Unlike the buyers of other assets, stamp collectors love nothing more than things that have gone awry. The block of four Chinese stamps photographed here, for instance, is the only block of its type of the “1894 60th Birthday of the Dowager Empress” with an imperfection. Look closely, and you see that some perforations are missing horizontally, and completely missing vertically, which makes it worth about $132,000. Is it the moment, perhaps, to dust out those old albums? stanleygibbons.com
The World in Seven Objects
Yellow diamonds Look inside any high-end jeweler’s window today and one color will shine out: yellow. In the past few years, yellow diamonds have become the fashionable choice for women who want jewelery that is different from their mother’s. While white diamonds will never go out of fashion, “women now want a bit of color”, says Katharina Flohr, creative director for Fabergé. “They want something that is more fashion-conscious.” Since 2004, the price of diamonds has risen more than 30 per cent with the rarest colored stones achieving the highest prices. In 2011, a record for a yellow diamond was set when the Sun-Drop was sold at Sotheby’s in Geneva for about $12.4 million (and renamed the Lady Delal). While pale yellow stones are less valuable than white diamonds, stones that are a dark, vivid gold are incredibly rare – for every 10,000 white diamonds mined, only one will be a “fancy” or fiery vivid yellow. Some of the world’s most glamorous names have taken note, with Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez and Elton John all sporting multi-million-dollar golden stones. This Graff ring (pictured) is set with a single 52.73ct, fancy vividyellow, emerald-cut diamond, surrounded by 170 white diamonds. Pairing yellow with white diamonds, CEO Francois Graff says, “intensifies and electrifies the color of the stone to its highest degree". Not that this petrified sunbeam needs any help to shine. graffdiamonds.com
IN SEARCH OF
MADAME BUTTERFLY The inspiration for Puccini’s MadamE Butterfly was a 19th-century geisha named Sadayakko. from BUSTLING, NEONLIT Osaka to RURAL villages STILL STEEPED IN THE PAST, Lesley Downer, author of The Geisha Who Seduced the West, tracES the STORY OF THE japan’s first woman superstar
Sadayakko picture © Professor Pantzer
Words by Lesley Downer Photography by Hiroji Kubota
Ancient and modern Previous page: a souvenir postcard image of Sadayakko from around 1899; the historic village of Magome. Above: Osaka, the commercial heart of Japan, where Sadayakko and her husband Otojiro Kawakami built a new theater
exotic evening dress and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado had been a smash hit. But while society had heard about the mysterious geisha of Japan, no one had ever seen one. And now suddenly here was Sadayakko: “like a woodblock print come to life”, as one admirer said. My own journey through 21st-century Japan in search of Sadayakko’s history could not have started farther away from the gilded world in which the geisha lived. Stepping out of the spectacular high-tech steel and glass halls of Kansai International Airport, which floats on an artificial island off the coast, I take the train to Osaka, where (as I always do when I arrive in Japan) I feel as if I’ve been transported into the future. Once a seaport, Osaka has long been the commercial heart of the country, home to merchants famous for their business acumen. Nowadays it’s a city of futuristic skyscrapers crammed side-by-side with ancient temples, quiet parks and tiny tile-roofed shrines guarded by carved stone lions. Neon lights the sky, buildings tower into the clouds, shops gleam with fashionable gadgets. On Midosuji Dori, the so-called ChampsElysées of the Orient, home to The St. Regis Osaka and lined with sophisticated boutiques, there’s a rush of noise and bustle and crowds. A dozen lanes of traffic hurtle between the gingko trees that shade the
hat snowy evening in March 1900, it seemed as if all of New York high society had crowded into the Berkeley Lyceum Theater on West 44th Street. The auditorium, glittering with ladies in pearls and fashionable off-the-shoulder dresses, flourishing lorgnettes and escorted by evening-suited gentlemen, buzzed with excitement. Before them lay an extraordinarily exotic scene: a set painted with blossom-laden cherry trees, wooden and bamboo houses of the legendary Yoshiwara pleasure quarters of Tokyo, a cluster of Japanese actors dressed in outlandish costumes, and in the center, a single, tiny, dainty figure, her head tilted coquettishly. With her stiff brocade kimonos, foot-high wooden clogs and knotted hair studded with tortoiseshell hairpins as long as knitting needles, she was utterly exquisite. As an enigmatic smile flickered across her face, a hush descended on the auditorium. Then, with a flutter of her fan, she began to dance. Japan had been open to the West for less than 50 years after centuries of isolation, and almost immediately Westerners had gone mad about its wonderful arts. On both sides of the Atlantic, Japonisme was all the rage. Vases, swords, netsuke, woodblock prints and blue-and-white porcelain were treasured collectables, fashionable ladies wore kimonos as 30
In Search of Madame Butterfly
In holiday mood The Umeda district near Osaka railway terminal. This photograph was taken on “Coming of Age” day, which celebrates all those who have reached the age of 20 over the past year
sidewalks, hawkers sell roasted chestnuts and people in designer labels, business suits or the occasional kimono hurry to work or sip cappuccinos in the nearby Starbucks. Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Apple are here alongside shops selling gold, kimonos and silk-covered sandals. It’s hard to imagine that just over 100 years ago, in Sadayakko’s time, the city was a maze of tiny streets, the widest just broad enough for very early motor cars, the back alleys so narrow that not even a rickshaw could squeeze through. It was in 1899 that she had set off with her husband, Otojiro, and a small group of actors, to America: the first professional Japanese theater troupe ever to tour the West. And it was then that her own journey to superstardom had begun: her transformation from a geisha to the most famous Japanese woman of her time, the woman who inspired Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly. In her youth Sadayakko had been Japan’s most famous and desired geisha. From the age of four she was trained in dancing and singing, and she went on to become the mistress of the prime minister, Hirobumi Ito. Geisha were trendsetters and, as well as wearing multi-layered embroidered kimonos, Sadayakko experimented with western bustles, bonnets and high-heeled shoes, rode horses and played billiards.
In spite of being famous in Japan as a geisha, she wasn’t an instant hit when she arrived in America. At first the troupe had planned to perform as they had in Japan, using only male actors. But they realised that to appeal to American audiences they needed a female star. As a geisha, Sadayakko could dance and sing and perform kabuki plays, and she was beautiful. No sooner had she landed in San Francisco than word quickly spread across the country, and a tour was arranged. In Boston she drew record audiences and rave reviews. In Washington, she was asked to dance before President William McKinley. By the time she reached New York, she was a superstar. It wasn’t just in America that the Japanese dancer’s reputation soared. In London she performed for Edward, Prince of Wales. In Paris, Picasso painted her four times. She went on to tour with the then-unknown dancer Isadora Duncan through Germany and Austria to Russia, where Tsar Nicholas II held a banquet in her honour. And finally she reached Italy, where Puccini was working on his Madame Butterfly, based on a short story by the American writer John Luther Long and the popular play by David Belasco. So spellbound was Puccini by her performances in Milan that he radically altered his new opera, modelling his Cho-Cho-San on her. She became not just the role model for Madame Butterfly, but an icon herself. 31
Days of tranquility
Everywhere she went, she was celebrated. When she eventually arrived back in Japan in 1902, at the port of Kobe, there were crowds waiting to see her as she came down the gangplank. Photographs show her wearing a huge white hat and fashionable flouncy Paris gown, riding in her carriage through streets lined with people. She was Japan’s first woman superstar. With the money they’d made traveling, she and Otojiro decided to make their base in Osaka where they built a brand new theater: the most advanced in Japan. In the West they had performed kabuki plays adjusted to Western taste. Here they would introduce Japanese audiences to Othello, Hamlet, Salome and La Dame aux Camélias. Pictures of the grand opening of the Imperial Theater in February 1910 show an Edwardian-style music hall embellished with Japanese flourishes, and a kabuki-style walkway running through the audience. The area is now crisscrossed with boulevards lined with office blocks, and although it has long since disappeared, I wanted at least to get a feeling of the world in which they worked: the entertainment district where people flock to see bunraku theatre, with its realistic puppets enacting heart-rending tragedies, and traditional kabuki theatre. The entertainment district today is nothing like the one in which
Sadayakko would have worked. The heart of it, Dotonbori Street, is a pedestrian mall jammed with restaurants and bars, with a giant mechanical crab waving its claws above the city’s most famous crab restaurant, and lights so bright they hurt the eyes. There are restaurants selling every manner of food you can imagine; noodle stalls with three-dimensional golden dragons on the billboards overhead; restaurants serving blowfish that can poison you if not properly prepared; bars and cafés open 24 hours a day. Dotonbori canal runs alongside and on the bridge above the canal is a building walled with giant rectangles of pure light. It’s brash, noisy and exciting. In Sadayakko’s day, things were simpler and quieter. Pleasure boats bobbed on the river, and low-rise buildings housed teahouses and restaurants hung with flags and lanterns, with people selling fireflies in cages outside. Just around the corner was the Shinmachi pleasure quarter and the geisha district, where Sadayakko would have felt completely at home. Although in Osaka she and Otojiro lived extremely happily, building up a reputation for their theater, and their own performances, it was short-lived. In 1911, Otojiro fell ill and died shortly afterwards right on the stage, leaving Sadayakko a widow at the age of just 40. But Sadayakko was nothing if not a survivor. When she was a young geisha, a young man 34
Archive picture © Tomiji Kawakami/Tom Wagner
Previous page: a timeless Japanese landscape south of Osaka. This page, clockwise from top left: koi carp pond, a common sight across Japan; Nagoya Castle; Sadayakko in Chingasaki, 1902, with Otojiro on her left; detail from Nagoya Castle
In Search of Madame Butterfly
Peace and progress Clockwise from left: stone buddha at Teisho-ji Temple, established by Sadayakko in 1933; Momosuke Bridge over the Kiso river in Nagiso; Sadayakko’s favorite silk pyjamas for winter, on display at the Futaba museum in Nagoya
called Momosuke Fukuzawa had been the love of her life, and they had never forgotten each other. When he resurfaced, by now a business mogul, they rekindled their affections, and, leaving his wife behind in Tokyo, he set about building a mansion for Sadayakko in Nagoya, central Japan. Thirsty for the next chapter in the actress’s life, I take the bullet train from Osaka, past the beautiful city of Kyoto, past paddy fields, plains and distant mountains. On arrival in the sprawling metropolis of Nagoya, bristling with buildings, I ask whether anyone knows of the house in which Sadayakko and her lover lived. The locals, I learn, called the house Futaba Palace, after the area in which it is situated, a suburb in the shadow of Nagoya Castle, with its impressive double keep and roof ends topped with giant bronze carp. I take the subway to Futaba, a quiet residential district, where the house has been reconstructed. I round a couple of corners and there it is, with its precipitous red roofs, bigger and more ornate than I had imagined: like a grand country manor, with wood-panelled walls and heavy velvet drapes tied back with cords, and Art-Deco stained-glass windows depicting flowers and landscapes and languid ladies. There’s a tea ceremony room with sliding paper screens and an alcove with
carefully arranged flowers. And there, in a case, are the courtesan’s embroidered kimonos and the 12-inch-high clogs which she wore when she thrilled the West with her dancing, as well as the gorgeous tea gowns, high-heeled shoes and feathered hats she brought back with her from Paris and New York. Beyond the great curved staircase down which Sada would sweep, in the couple’s private quarters, are photographs of Momosuke, handsome in his indigo kimono, with Sada in a simple checked kimono, her hair in an elegant chignon, kneeling at his feet. Although this was clearly a house in which they spent a great deal of time, it wasn’t their only home, or their most impressive one. Momosuke’s business at that time was constructing hydroelectric dams along the river Kiso, nearby, and not wanting to be away from her, he built them a country villa halfway down the river. As I discovered when I arrived in Japan 20 years ago, one of the great joys of traveling here is the train network: bullet trains supplemented by local services that go right into the heart of the countryside. The local train I take trundles off into the hills along the edge of the Kiso river, through spectacular mountain scenery. Forests plunge to the water’s edge, smoke-like clouds billow in the hollows and the mountain cherries are just coming into 35
Immersed in the past The village of Tsumago, near to Sadayakko’s country villa, is beautifully preserved. There is no street lighting, and no cars are allowed
bloom. I get off at a village called Magome, stopping for the night to complete the journey, as the actress would have done herself, on foot. Magome is little more than a stretch of inns and restaurants, a place where the present has yet to intrude, with no cars or electric cables visible. A huge waterwheel turns, creaking and splashing. I catch a whiff of wood smoke. The steep cobbled road is lined with wooden houses whose tiled roofs are weighted down with stones to keep them in place during the winter snows. There are balconies and sliding wooden doors, and strings of orange persimmons hanging out to dry. I look back from the top of the slope and see mountains looming blue in the distance. Here, I spend the night in an old inn with an earth-floored entrance and watch the sun go down over the mountains from a bench. Lanterns glow, and I hear shouts and laughter from the inns along the street. I dine on grilled river fish, rice and lotus root, then climb the steep stairs to my room where my bedding is laid out on tatami mats. Next morning, I set off early and walk to the top of the village from where the path plunges into thick bamboo glades and groves of cryptomeria trees. In Sadayakko’s time this was a major highway, known as the Inner Mountain Road, along which people used to walk or travel
by palanquin on the long journey between Kyoto and Tokyo. Now it’s a woodland track, but still neatly paved with stones along its length, and shaded by a thick canopy of trees. In places, like the path up the Magome Pass, it’s so steep that it has been cut into steps. At the top there’s a teahouse, a weather-beaten wooden building with slatted doors. I peer inside, but it seems this place hasn’t been used for years. Walking downhill to the Kiso Valley below, I glimpse a cluster of roofs. It is Tsumago, a working village that, like Magome, is determined to remain in the past. Even the postman wears 19th-century uniform. In the old days the larger villages along the road had an inn for VIP guests, and the one in Tsumago is particularly grand. In 1860 an imperial princess rested here on her way to marry the second-to-last shogun, and a few years later Emperor Meiji stopped to take refreshment. I tiptoe across the vast tatami-matted rooms and admire the decor. Inside, beautiful carved fretwork frames the paper doors and outside are two tiny gardens: one with a carp pond, the other planted with moss and decorated with two perfectly-placed stone lanterns. I check into a more modest inn. Sitting outside in the evening, it is pitch black: there’s no moon and no street lighting. It seems to 36
In Search of Madame Butterfly
The journey begins Atsuta shrine in Nagoya, where Sadayakko shared a palatial home with her first love, Momosuke Kukuzawa – dates back to 113 BC. The shrine is home to numerous chickens, which are believed to be sacred
accentuate the rushing sounds of the river, the rustling of wild animals and the smell of fresh country air. The next day I set out with a local historian called Takashi Toyama, who has lived here his whole life, in search of Sada’s country villa. The house which he takes me to couldn’t be prettier. Situated on a hill on the other side of the river, which we get to via a miniature Brooklyn Bridge, the threestorey 1919 house is handsomely constructed from rounded stones taken straight from the Kiso below. There is a balcony and a conservatory with tables and wicker chairs where the couple would sit and admire the river, a dining room for entertaining, and a lounge with chandeliers and huge windows that they would throw open. It’s a lovely, breezy country retreat. Toyama then takes me to see Momosuke’s dams. He built seven in all, beautiful stone constructions decorated with Art-Deco designs, which continue to supply Kyoto and Osaka with electricity to this day. It’s amazing to realize that some of that extraordinary neon back in the city is powered by rainfall in these beautiful mountains. En route, to my delight, I meet a beaming, wizened old man who remembers seeing Sada on her red motorbike, bumping along the rough country roads in Western clothes, back in the early 1920s, when he was a very small boy. She used 37
to smile at him and give him chocolate: a rare treat in this tiny out-of-theway village, where no one knew who she was or cared what she did. After the dams had been completed the couple spent most of their time in their palatial home in Nagoya, but they still found excuses to come back to their rural home here. It was a place to which Sada could return to the traditional old Japan of Madame Butterfly, with its whitefaced geisha and the plangent melancholy notes of the shamisen, its tea ceremonies and flowers arranged with Japanese precision. Strolling around the rooms, with their cabinets full of memories, Sadayakko’s fans and parasols and old photographs, I can almost see her here with her beloved Momosuke, dancing for him in her embroidered kimono, with her hair in a bouffant coil, or on her knees whisking up green tea in a priceless stoneware tea bowl. For a moment, if I close my eyes, I almost forget that I’m in a country whose landscape is traversed by bullet trains and whose skylines are dominated by soaring steel and glass buildings. In my quest for Madame Butterfly, I have discovered something equally beautiful: the real old Japan. Your address: The St. Regis Osaka
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A Little Place I Know ADdress-book secrets from luminaries of the worlds of fashion and food
A global market in Manhattan by Donna Karan 705 Greenwich Street, New York, urbanzen.com
It’s like a sophisticated global market, every piece selected according to who produces it. There is handmade furniture and pottery from Bali, handcut lace bedlinen from Vietnam, myriad artisanal jewelry made of bead and bone, papiermâché shopping bags, tobacco-leaf vases… I’m obsessed with preserving culture through artisanal crafts because they’ve been passed on from generation to generation. And with artisanal pieces you can feel the hand that created it – personal, one-of-a-kind, made just for you. Even when an artisan makes the same pieces, no two are ever identical, so you’re buying something special. To me, any time you have an artisan make something, you are supporting the artist, their family and, by association, their community. Some projects were set up for specific reasons; for instance, the Urban Zen Haiti Artisan Project was established in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative to help create business opportunities for Haitians after the earthquake of 2010. Another thing I enjoy is the pride with which everyone at Urban Zen works. They’re aware of being a part of something bigger than a typical retail store, that ten per cent of sales goes to support the Urban Zen Foundation – and that there’s a story behind what they’re selling. I fall in love with the place every time I go in there. It’s so evocative of other cultures, with comfortable furniture to sit on, tribal music playing and the scents of essential oils in the air. It feels like someone’s exotic home. I’m constantly discovering new things, and I have never walked out without a bag in my hand.
The craft shop in Bangkok by David Yeo
Illustrations: Jacobo Pérez-Enciso
35 Soi 40, Th Charoen Krung, Bangkok
Although most of the shops along this busy, narrow street cater to tourists, this unique store in a former monastery can be found among a cluster of interesting antique shops. Stepping inside Thai Home Industries is like being transported on to a dusty film set back in the days when Somerset Maugham stayed nearby. It’s family-owned – they’ve had it for four generations – and the staff, who all appear to be in their sixties, are laid-back and charming. I don’t think they even have an electronic till; all sales are handwritten on a simple ledger, and their only nod to modern times is a credit-card machine. One of the things I particularly love is that there seems to have been no thought as to how products are displayed. They are stuffed randomly into whatever space is available, which makes for a very interesting visit because you are never quite sure what is in the next display cabinet, except that it will be whimsical and a delight. In one there might be finely woven rattan fruit baskets and highly polished mother-of-pearl shells; in another, embroidered napkins and handbeaten wrought-iron platters. The bronze bowls – or khan long hin – are my favorite. Used to offer gifts in Thai Buddhist rituals, they come from the tiny bronzesmith village of Baan Phu in Thonburi province and are incredibly time-consuming to make. First, raw copper, tin, and a special type of particularly malleable gold are melted together in a charcoal-fired cauldron to create the unique blend of liquified bronze. Once that is set, each piece will be worked and polished by a master craftsman. They are unique not only in Bangkok but in the whole of the country, as are many of the objects at Thai Home Industries.
Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation is at urbanzen.org Your address: The St. Regis New York
In 2012 David Yeo was named Asia Pacific Restaurateur of the Year by the World Gourmet Series. His Aqua Shard restaurant has just opened on Floor 31 of the Shard in London Your address: The St. Regis Bangkok 39
A Little Place I Know
The wine shop in Rome by Olivier Krug Via dei Prefetti 15, 00186 Rome, enotecalparlamento.com
Oliver Krug is a sixth-generation champagne producer Your address: The St. Regis Rome
A cool hardware store in London by Bruce Pask 85 Redchurch Street, London, labourandwait.co.uk
Since I started exploring Shoreditch in East London a few years ago, it has undergone a transformation not unlike that of Williamsburg in New York, where an authentic, formerly “textured”, shall we say, neighborhood has become a bit of a scene. Labour and Wait is on the corner of a great street, which has changed almost out of recognition in recent years. The rounded facade is covered in beautiful green glazed tiles which make it look as though it’s been there for many years. The interior feels like a cross between an old hardware store and a design museum: full of utilitarian items and household gadgets carefully curated and beautifully presented. The staff wear these great work aprons, which lends it the mood of a dry-goods shop from yesteryear. They also maintain a hushed, respectful air, allowing customers to quietly ponder their purchases. I find it all quite relaxing and so contrary to the craziness one finds in most stores these days. When I walk in, time slows down. It inspires a pensiveness, a quiet reverence for beautifully functional, everyday objects that have stood the test of time by being well made and utterly useful. I often seek out hardware stores when I travel because each country has its own unique everyday objects. The products here are specifically English and although they may seem quite old-fashioned, they are very useful: handmade brushes, pendant lamps, enamel kitchenware and beautiful wooden toilet brushes paired with a slender galvanized bucket. They also carry the loveliest vintage Welsh blankets. I love walking up Brick Lane on a Sunday, popping into Labour and Wait, followed by another great clothing store, Hostem, followed by the Owl and Pussycat for the most delicious fireside Sunday roast. It’s my favorite way to spend a Sunday in London. I never leave the city without paying a visit. Bruce Pask is men’s fashion director of T: The New York Times Style Magazine Your address: The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel
Illustrations: Jacobo Pérez-Enciso
I discovered the Enoteca al Parlamento about nine years ago, walking with my son, whom I had taken to Rome on his own for his 10th birthday. Walking down a tiny street near the Palazzo Montecitorio, the Italian parliament, right in the heart of the city, we spotted three windows: not big, but filled with beautiful bottles. So we went in, and spent hours there. The owners, a charming man, Daniele Tagliaferri, and his wife, Cinzia Achilli, whose father Gianfranco founded the shop, have built it up to be the best wine shop in Rome. It has got more than 10,000 bottles from all over the world and all sorts of spirits, including cognacs and armagnacs from 1800, which they tell me they would never sell. What was wonderful was that, when we went in, they had dozens of empty bottles of Krug signed by my family, who unbeknownst to me had been there before us, as well as photographs on the wall of our old Krug Rolls-Royce delivery car. Now whenever I’m in Rome I go back. It’s a great combination of a little restaurant, a delicatessen and a traditional wine shop. One minute you’re walking in, and hours later you’re struggling out having bought almost everything. The food is incredible. I usually end up having four courses – mostly pasta – and then spend ages deciding what to take away: they have 80-year-old balsamic vinegars, pickled mushrooms, grilled onions, olive oils, honeys and jams. And incredible cheeses. I always leave with mozzarella and parmesan (although I’ve learnt that you can’t take mozzarella in your hand luggage, so now if I’m going to Rome I carry check-in luggage). Cinzia is also a chocolate specialist, and I usually leave licking my fingers, having been given one of her premier-cru chocolates as a treat. The family have become friends, and now often come to stay just before Christmas, bringing with them a little picnic of treats for us. When we walked into that shop the first time, we never dreamt that would happen.
A Little Place I Know
A pottery paradise in San Francisco by Michael S. Smith 2900 18th Street, San Francisco. heathceramics.com
Right in the heart of Industrial San Francisco, this shop is near the Mission District and Franklin Square, and is painted a soft concrete grey with dramatic red awnings outside. The original Heath Ceramics was started in Sausalito, California, by an artisan potter, Edith Heath, in 1948. It is now run by the creative couple Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic, who opened this San Francisco outpost in a converted laundry building a year or two ago. Whenever I take clients there, they love it because it has incredibly high ceilings and large windows, so it is airy and open, and has lots of space they can wander round for inspiration. Everywhere you look, there are not only amazing hand-fired rustic ceramic dishes and cookware, but gifts, vases, glasses, maple boards and place settings in beautiful linen. The walls of tiles are useful because you can see what they look like en masse, or in combinations. For me, the go-to products are the coffee mugs – they fit my hand really comfortably and coffee and tea just seem to taste better from them. Sometimes fine porcelain just won’t do in a casual setting, whereas these always feel comfortable and relaxed. I think their merchandising team has done wonders to highlight the soft yet brilliant colors they offer. And they always have seasonal highlights, so the products are never exactly the same – this summer they had pretty, soft greens and powder blues (although I would also recommend the Aqua and Redwood ranges). All the staff are extremely helpful and attentive. I’ve used them to help send gifts, and they take care of everything, from suggesting place settings and style options to wrapping and delivery. It helps that they send it in wonderful packaging, because it makes every piece feel even more special.
A speakeasy in Singapore by Wei Koh 583 Orchard Road, Singapore
Entering the Horse’s Mouth is like going into a speakeasy – you feel like you’ve discovered some kind of hidden gem. The entrance is actually inside a ramen restaurant, where you least expect to find it. What always amazes me, and what I especially love about this bar, is the fact that it is on Orchard Road, which is an absolutely teeming part of Singapore – a city reknowned for the density of its population – and yet for some reason not that many people seem to know about it. In reality it’s a cross between a classic cocktail bar and a Japanese izakaya – the kind of little place you find everywhere in Japan where they serve snacks as well as drink, and where people go after work. But at the Horse’s Mouth they serve seriously good food. In fact, everything they do, they do well, with care and an attention to detail and style – including really good cocktails. For me, the Horse’s Mouth makes the perfect transition from day to night, from business to pleasure, and from week to weekend. I always recommend it to anyone visiting Singapore, and I tell people to ask for the bartender, Louis, and his Bison Grass martini. You can’t go wrong with that.
Michael Smith has been decorator to the White House since 2009. His book, Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design, is published by Rizzoli Your address: The St. Regis San Francisco
Wei Koh is editorial director of The Rake and Revolutions Your address: The St. Regis Singapore
‘When you dress people for the red carpet, your heart is in your mouth’ Interview by Lydia Slater Portrait by M. Sharkey
M. Sharkey/Contour by Getty Images
Georgina Chapman Image By
marchesa’s Georgina Chapman on her london roots, new york fashion career and sharing first-night nerves with filmmaker husband harvey weinstein
She’s got the look Previous page: Georgina Chapman photographed at the Marchesa showroom in New York. Above: backstage at Christian Dior Resort show in New York in 2008
ell me a bit about your English childhood. I was brought up in Richmond, just outside London, and went to boarding school in Wiltshire. We had a country house we went to at weekends. I used to ride ponies and go to gymkhanas, though I was never very successful. Then I studied at the Wimbledon School of Art and we [she and co-designer Keren Craig] launched Marchesa there. I never imagined I’d end up in America.
indoor antiques emporium of old Louis Vuitton luggage and vintage clothing. I often go there and sift through everything for little treasures, looking for inspiration. What are the hotels you love in New York? I go to The St. Regis quite often for tea, and for fittings with very glamorous people who are staying there. The atmosphere is lovely because the service is fantastic yet it’s relaxed, which is a rare combination. I also love eating at the Waverly Inn, and if Harvey and I are going out, we like Per Se in the Time Warner building and the Monkey Bar uptown. But Harvey works so hard that if we do spend time together, it’s usually in Connecticut.
So how did it happen? It was a gradual move. Nieman Marcus became our biggest client, and we were selling really well to Americans so we decided to set up an office in New York. When we first arrived, we were lent some studio space in the garment district in Midtown, but we couldn’t start working until 7pm when everyone else had left, and we had to do all our dyeing in the men’s bathroom. It wasn’t the most glamorous start for an eveningwear company. Eventually we got our own offices in the Meatpacking District, but we didn’t go out much because we were working so hard. Meeting my husband [the film producer Harvey Weinstein] sealed the deal, of course. Now my family is here, and my daughter India is about to start school.
So how do you spend your weekends? Our home in Westport is where I can really relax. When I was looking for somewhere for us to get married, I looked everywhere and eventually I said, “Why don’t we just do it here?” That’s not to say it all went smoothly. I made my own dress and the embroidered panels I’d ordered from India arrived stained brown, which was a bit of a heartattack moment. And then I got the flu, so I was lying in bed pinning the dress together. But it all got done in the end. On a normal weekend, because we’re both so busy, we like to eat in and watch movies in our screening room. There is a restaurant in Westport that we love, the Dressing Room. It was started by Paul Newman, and it serves home-grown, organic food. Everything there is so fresh and delicious.
Where are your favorite New York hangouts? I’ve always lived in the West Village, which reminds me a bit of London. Having children has given me a new perspective on the city: we’ve got a playground right on our street, which is very lucky. I like to walk to my offices in Chelsea along the High Line, a former elevated railway that’s been turned into a park. It has amazing views of the city and is beautifully planted, with cafés all along it. Both India and Dash [her second child with Weinstein, Dashiell] come into work with me a lot. My favourite shop in New York is Bergdorf ’s; it’s beautiful, and I love the layout. And I love Showplace Antique + Design Center (nyshowplace.com), which is an
What other parts of the States are special to you? I had my bachelorette party at Price Canyon Ranch, a really small place in Tucson, Arizona. I took my girlfriends, and we all shared rooms and went out day and night on horseback wearing pink cowboy hats and, I seem to remember, pink leotards. It was really fun and definitely anti-style. And I sometimes go with Harvey to Sundance. It’s a serious film festival, but because it’s in a ski 44
Red-carpet nights Above: Chapman at Cannes in 2009 with her husband, the American film producer and co-founder of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein
resort lots of people bring their kids, and there’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere. So I go skiing during the day while Harvey works, and in the evening we all meet up.
cocktail dresses. Wearing an evening dress is fun; you feel gorgeous, and it’s romantic. There’s nothing more magical than walking into a room where everyone looks incredible.
What do you love about LA? My favourite thing is the change of climate when you arrive. I’m always so happy to escape from New York in the winter. I head for The Way We Wore, which sells beautiful vintage clothes. I found a pair of matador trousers in there which inspired my last collection. I like to eat out at Cecconi’s and Soho House, which has fabulous views, but my favourite restaurant of all is Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica. I always have the sweetcorn ravioli with truffles. It’s making me feel hungry just talking about it.
Where do you get your inspiration for Marchesa? From movies, from museums, at night on the internet looking at artists… sometimes I’m zoning out on the treadmill when I have an idea. Our new contemporary line, Marchesa Voyage, came about when Keren and I were on vacation, and we realised it would be great to design some clothes we could take with us that had the Marchesa attitude and the prints, but not the corsets and heavy beading. I’m really excited by it. Do you design differently for American and British women? I don’t like to generalize. I’m not designing for a particular British or American woman. You might find you have more success with hotter colour palettes in warmer parts of the world, but the same would apply in the States. My own look hasn’t really changed since moving here. It’s hard to be groomed if you’re working with your hands, and I’ve never been a weekly mani/pedi girl at all. I just can’t sit still for an hour. That’s why I love the new stick-on nail art we’ve brought out with Revlon. The nails are designed to match our embroidery, and they take about two seconds to put on.
Camera Press, Getty Images
What’s it like dressing people for the red carpet? Really nerve-racking. You feel an incredible responsibility. They’re walking out in front of the cameras and about to be critiqued by the world, so you want them to feel their best. Your heart’s in your mouth, thinking – don’t let anything happen to the dress! Harvey and I are often at the same event, both feeling nervous. Still, we’re very lucky that our industries overlap so much that we need to be in the same place. How do your worlds converge professionally in other ways? Harvey is incredibly supportive of what I do, and I love what he does. In fact, I’ve just directed a short film for Canon’s Project Imaginat10n film festival, and I’ve been using every bit of help from him that I can get. I’ve told him if he ever feels like designing a dress, I’ll be there for him.
What would you miss if you had to leave the States? The service and the can-do attitude. New York is a 24-hour city, and I do find it frustrating when I leave it. What do you mean I can’t get what I want at 2am?
Has the rise of red-carpet dressing influenced the way ordinary women dress? I think so. When we first started Marchesa, people told us nobody did evening dress any more. These days, people don’t reject it as old-fashioned. It would be very boring if there wasn’t a spectrum of things to wear, and we only had
What advice would you have for visitors to America? Explore as much of it as possible, because it’s such a diverse place. Beaches, skiing, beautiful landscapes and city life. It’s all here. marchesa.com 45
BEACH BoY relaxing by the pool, strolling along the boardwalkâ€Ś this guyâ€™s got the goods
Clockwise from top left: blue headphones, $259, Bowers & Wilkins, bowers-wilkins.co.uk; straw hat, $220, Rag & Bone, rag-bone.com; tortoiseshell wayfarer sunglasses, $182, Ray-Ban, ray-ban.com; red, yellow and blue tote bag, $350, Jerome Dreyfuss, jerome-dreyfuss.com; blue coolbox, $251, Icey-tek at coolboxesuk.com; navy-blue espadrilles, $132, Castaner, castaner.com; red patterned shorts, $220, Frescobol, frescobolcarioca.com; white and blue striped T-shirt, $130, A.P.C., apc.fr; blue woven anchor bracelet, $84, Miansai at mrporter.com
Snow Angel sleek, chic and streamlined, this is the outfit to cause a stir on the slopes
Clockwise from top left: pink ski trousers, $259, Salomon at ellis-brigham.com; white ski helmet, $198, Giro, giro.com; snowboard, $634, Jones, snowboard-asylum.com; black shearling boots, $670, Isabel Marant at net-a-porter.com; ski goggles, $252, POC Sports, pocsports.com; face cream, $90, SheerinOâ€™kho, sheerinokho.com; white ski gloves, $213, Canada Goose, canada-goose.com; white ski jacket, $426, Salomon at ellis-brigham.com
MODERNISTA sass, edge and style: a contemporary guide to dressing to impress
Clockwise from top left: red triangle earrings, $305, Marni, marni.com; Calatrava 18ct rose-gold watch, poa, Patek Phillipe patek.com; black bag, $2,392, Dolce & Gabbana, dolcegabbana.com; green iPhone case, $267, Stella McCartney, stellamccartney.com; gold and green block heel sandals, $850, Prada, prada.com; green and blue patterned dress, $3,092, Proenza Schouler at net-a-porter.com; Love perfume, $88, ChloĂŠ chloe.com
the business breakfast meetings, evening dealsâ€Ś the smart man knows how to travel in style
Clockwise from top left: black briefcase, $1,210, Mulberry, mulberry.com; teal suit jacket, Paul Smith, paulsmith.co.uk; leather luggage tag, $91, Smythson, smythson.com; eau de cologne, $213, Tom Ford, tomford.com; knitted tie, $114, Richard James at mrporter.com; classic watch, poa, Ulysse Nardin, ulysse-nardin.ch; umbrella, $380, Burberry, burberry.com; brown loafer, $594, Churchâ€™s, church-footwear.com
VIEW a room with a
Photography by Stefan Zschernitz Styling by Michelle Dunguid
The seasonâ€™s bold new silhouettes combine hour-glass curves and statement shoulders with all the drama of cinched waists and fuller skirts. AND THEY ARE best seen from the balcony of The St. Regis Florence, your own palazzo for a night
Right: dress, POA, Lanvin; leather gloves, $1321, Christian Dior
A Room with a View
Above: white leather dress, $9204, Valentino; Negroni by The St. Regis Florence bar Left: trousers,$1012, top $1480, and shoes, $1082, all Roland Mouret
Above: Black coat, POA, Lanvin Right: mohair jumper, $1535, pencil skirt, $1326 and bow shoes, $1380, all Louis Vuitton; clutch, $2443, Lanvin Overleaf: coat with bow, POA, Blumarine; hat, $560, Noel Stewart
A Room with a View
Above: tweed coat, $2295, Ports 1961; shoes, $1205, Jimmy Choo Left: coat, $4098, Gucci; top and trousers, stylist own
Creative producer: Alyn Horton at Alyn UK. Hair: Armando Cherillo at Atomo Management. Make-up: Giorgia Pambianchi at Atomo Management Models: Luisa Bianchin at Viva London. Many thanks to Judith Otto and the team at The St. Regis Florence
The Connoisseur: Peter Brant
WIZARD Words by Oliver Bennett Photographed by Brigitte Lacombe
“Picasso was the greatest artist in the first half of the 20th century, Andy Warhol in the second.” That’s the typically blunt opinion of Peter Brant, billionaire industrialist, entrepreneur and art collector, and his money has followed his mouth. Brant, 66, won’t specify how many Warhols he owns, but it’s in the hundreds, and he has thousands of other contemporary American artworks, by Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Prince… In a land of art collectors, he’s one of the best connected and grandest. Brant, whose fortune derives from newsprint, lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his second wife, the former supermodel Stephanie Seymour. In 2009 he started The Brant Foundation to share his inventory, and this year he showed 130 Warhols – the result of a collecting career that began in 1967. “I was about 19 when I first bought a Warhol Soup Can drawing,” he says impassively, pointing out that he was following in parental footsteps. “My father [Murray Brant] collected classical paintings and Old Masters.” Another life-changing moment came on the slopes of St. Moritz. “As a teenager I met the art dealer Bruno Bischofberger while skiing,” Brant says. “He introduced me to [Warhol’s dealer] Leo Castelli.” Hooked, Brant then met Warhol in 1968, “just after he’d been shot”, and became a friend of the artist. “Although Andy was avant-garde, he was never interested in drugs or the self-destructive. He was a voyeur, interested in people.” Brant even produced a couple of Warhol films in the Seventies, L’Amour and Bad, and was surprised to find out how famous the artist was in Europe. So he kept buying Warhols, with the odd hiatus when he attended to horseracing and polo, and has remained true to his friend. While some reckon that his celebrity paintings squandered talent, Brant refutes this. “I like all Andy’s work, particularly his pictures from the early Sixties,” he says. He’s proud of Licorice Marilyn (1962) and Shot Blue Marilyn (1964), both on show at the Foundation. Brant, who now owns Interview, the magazine Warhol founded, also learnt the art of acquisition from Warhol. “Andy was the quintessential collector,” he says. “We shared a taste in antique furniture and went on buying trips to Paris.” Warhol snapped up everything, from Art-Deco chairs to cookie jars. Contemporary art has enjoyed a bull market recently. Is it over? “On the contrary, I think it’s a better time than ever,” Brant says. “People say ‘You were lucky to live through those times.’ But art has never been more appreciated than now.” So look around, he exhorts. Find the new Andy. The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, 941 North Street, Greenwich, Connecticut; brantfoundation.org. By appointment 62
lords of the turf Words by Nicholas Foulkes Photography by Dominic James
With its combination of sport and style, polo has long had global appeal. The Persians invented it, the British exported it from India to Argentina, then the Americans made it their own... next stop? China. We chart the inexorable rise of a game as tough as it is luxurious
tell you what I like about polo: it attracts an interesting bunch of people, and few more so than Porfirio Rubirosa. Rubi was the playboy’s playboy. With his magnificent physique, the five-times-married Rubi pulled off the unusual double of counting among his spouses two of the richest women in the world: Barbara Hutton and Doris Duke. But, as well as being a ladies’ man, Rubi was a man’s man, too. It is rather fitting that he died at the wheel of a Ferrari after a long night celebrating the victory of his Cibao La Rampa polo team over Baron Elie de Rothschild’s team at the Bagatelle polo club in Paris. It may sound rather ghoulish, but it is my favourite polo story because it sums up what the sport is about (or at least what I think it should be about): dashing Latin-American lotharios careering around on horses, partying until dawn, seducing women and driving sports cars. Polo just can’t help itself. Whether as racy fiction, as in Polo, by the British author Jilly Cooper (a classic, even among those who have not read it), or with the backing of a global apparel brand such as Ralph
Lauren, a distinctive jeweler such as Cartier, or an elegant hotel group such as St. Regis, polo sells. Or rather, the idea of polo sells: the quivering, sweat-flecked, athletic bodies; the thunderous drumming of the hooves; the crisp crack as the head of a stick connects with the ball. All are as irresistible today as they were in Rubi’s day. Or even before that, in the latter half of the 19th century, when the game made the seismic cultural shift from being the rough-and-tumble pastime of military and nobility from Persia to China since the 5th century BC to the preferred sport of the British Army in India. The game had made its way to England by the 1870s, where within a very few years it had caught on as another of the attainments upon which the Corinthian gentleman prided himself, combining courage, quick thinking, exigent hand-eye coordination, horsemanship and finances. By the early years of the 20th century, almost as a metaphor for the transfer of power from Old World to New, American society, and Harry Payne Whitney in particular, had taken command of the sport by 65
highlights of the polo year At the heart of polo since the 1900s, today St. Regis connects with key tournaments around the globe. For up-to-date information visit www.stregis.com/polo
The Hurlingham Open, Buenos Aires, Argentina ◆ The Super Nations Cup, Goldin Metropolitan, Tianjin, China ◆ The Shanghai Tang Women’s International Tournament, Singapore
Pink Polo fundraiser in Abu Dhabi The Argentine Open, Buenos Aires, Argentina
december ◆ ◆
USPA World Snow Championships, Aspen, USA The Pink Polo fundraiser in Bangkok
World Cup Polo on Ice, St. Moritz, Switzerland
february ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆
The Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup, Cowdray Park, UK
Dubai Polo World Cup Polo, Dubai , UAE FIP Snow Polo World Cup, Tianjin, China
USPA Piaget Gold Cup, Palm Beach, USA US Open, Palm Beach, USA
The 7th St. Regis International Cup, Cowdray Park, UK The Cartier Queen’s Cup, Guards Polo Club, UK
developing a fast game of long shots played using a specially bred type of pony. Today, it’s played at more than 250 American clubs, from International Polo Club Palm Beach, where the US Open is held, to Santa Barbara Polo Club, host of the Pacific Coast Open. Although the game’s origins are in the northern hemisphere, today its center of gravity has shifted to the southern, its calendar following the sun. Having opened the season in England in April, the players travel through Europe and America, arriving in Argentina in November for its Open Championship, before dispersing around the world to Florida or Australia or South Africa. The game also has a way of following the money. Just as it moved from England to America in the past century, so the game has shifted to a host of new destinations in the past couple of decades. Today, it is played in more than 77 countries (although professionally in only 16), including those in the Middle East, such as the U.A.E., Bahrain and Jordan, as well as East Asia, where there are clubs in countries ranging from Singapore and Thailand to China. The latter now has two clubs, founded in the past decade. These days, of course, it is all a rather more serious affair than it was in Rubi’s day – and slightly more expensive. Rubi was lucky; his wives kept showering him with presents, including strings of polo ponies. But today if you want to play polo and you aren’t Argentine and weren’t born in the saddle, forget it. That is, unless you happen to have a few million burning a hole in the back pocket of your riding breeches, in which case you can become a patron and surround yourself with people who really know what they are doing (professional players, who are ranked according to handicap, with ten-goal players being the best). There is a third way you can get involved with the sport: as a business. The demographic and the glamor of polo slots in perfectly to the marketing strategy of most of the companies offering the better things in life, and increasingly, top polo players are attracting sponsorship from luxury brands, particularly watch companies. For instance the ten-goal player and respected breeder Pablo Mac Donough, who was part of the Cartier Queen’s Cup winning side in Windsor, England, last year, is linked to the avant-garde watchmaker Richard Mille. Cartier is the king of polo sponsorship, linking the world of
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The Audi International Polo Series, Guards Polo Club, UK Land Rover International Polo, Sotogrande, Spain The Queens Sirikit St. Regis Pink Polo, Pataya, Thailand Piaget Hamptons Polo Cup, Bridgehampton, USA
Royal Salute Gold Cup, Beijing, China The Singapore Open, Singapore Polo Club
luxury goods with the sport of kings. And much of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s success has been built on the reputation of the Reverso: a watch that was developed during the Art Deco period to be flipped over on the wrist so as to protect the face from stray balls, hooves and sticks. Over the years, the latter watchmaker has become increasingly involved in the sport, sponsoring polo fans such as Clare Milford Haven, who has worked closely with St. Regis in the past. Her Great Trippetts Farm polo yard near Cowdray Park in West Sussex has become a home away from home for players and their ponies in England in the summer. Trippetts is an impressive operation. Such is the condition of the horses’ coats that they look as though they have been to the hairdressers. And Milford Haven’s candlelit suppers in the middle of the stable yard, the soft light reflected in silver trophies the length of the table, are enough to convert even the most equine-phobic guests into polo addicts. Lady Milford Haven, the former social editor of Tatler, exemplifies how completely polo can take over your life. “I never actually thought I could play polo,” she confides over dinner. “I thought it was very much a man’s sport, and that it was going to be way beyond my capabilities. But I just fell in love with it and the challenge of it. I love the people involved. I thought they were going to be very superficial, but in fact they’re very down-to-earth, fun, like-minded people.” Having talked to other polo-playing friends and their spouses (including Clare’s husband, the Marquess of Milford Haven, who was once a twogoal player), I have come to the conclusion that there are two separate games of polo that exist in parallel. On one side there is the athletic, demanding, engrossing business of playing the game. And then there is the glamorous side that you see when you go to a big game at Greenwich Polo Club, Connecticut, where last summer some of the greatest players in the world, such as Nacho Figueras (see our interview overleaf ), played against British royalty in the name of Prince Harry’s charity, Sentebale. Games such as this, says Milford Haven, are “the culmination of weeks of playing very hard, competitive games. But in the end, the match is all about people dressing up and having a day out. It is all just about having fun, which is great.” For my part I am all for the hard work, training, practice matches and injuries, just as long as someone else is doing it. I really don’t need to know one end of the horse from another. It is more than enough for me to know that both ends are dangerous. And, what’s more, I have it on good authority that the middle is far from comfortable.
Polo has a way of following the money. Just as it moved from England to America in the past century, so the game has shifted to a host of new destinations, including the Middle East and China
Lords of the turf
Previous page: Shilai Liu at the Royal Salute China Polo Open, Beijing, 2012. Clockwise from top left: Nacho Figueras; Lucchese boots; HRH Prince Henry of Wales with Nacho Figueras at the Sentebale polo match, Brazil, 2012; polo tackle
Lords of the turf
Nacho Figueras A life in the saddle
The Argentinian star and St. Regis Connoisseur on polo, ponies and playing chukkas with Prince harry of wales
How do you feel about the social side to polo? You do socialise a lot at the polo, as you do at every other sport. In the States, I have been to many of those VIP boxes where people are talking all the time, working and making contacts, and that is fine. At the end of the day, there will always be some games that keep you on the edge of your seat and some that don’t.
gnacio “Nacho” Figueras, 36, is widely recognized as the international face of polo. Currently captain of the Black Watch team, he started playing at the age of 9 on his family’s farm in Argentina, and now plays all over the world.
What do you love most about polo? The horses. I’ve always loved the sport, but as the years go by it is the horses that I’m getting more passionate about. Nine years ago I started learning about bloodlines, nutrition and training. I’ve found that it makes the relationship you have with a horse much more rewarding. When I was 14, I’d just pick a horse and say, “Let’s go.” Now when I get on a chestnut mare I know her mother, her father; I saw her being trained, and I saw her being broken. It makes a big difference.
This summer you played with Prince Henry of Wales for his charity, Sentebale. Is he a good player? Yes, he’s very competitive and he’s been riding all his life, his grandfather played, his father played… Polo isn’t what he does for a living, but he’s a great rider, he’s fun to play with and he uses the game as a platform for charity, which I think is great. It’s a real honor for me to be by his side. How did your relationship with St. Regis come about? The original founders of the first St. Regis hotel in New York, Mr. and Mrs. Astor, were very into their polo. They would go to matches and host polo players at their hotel. Since then the brand has continued to support polo around the world, which I’m very passionate about. For me it’s been a very organic relationship. I don’t feel as though they’re pushing me to support something that I’m not associated with, and of course, it’s good to have so many places to stay in around the world.
How often do you train? Knowing exactly how a horse is going to feel gives you a real advantage, so I try to ride as much as I can. In between practice I’ll take a couple of horses out for two or three hours, and if I’m not on a horse then I’m still in the stables or I’m thinking about them. What do you think about when you are on the field? When you first go out to play you don’t think much about the horse, you feel so in sync with them that horse and player are one. Team-wise, too, you will have discussed with your team-mates how you’re going to play, and you know them well enough that you don’t worry about that. When there’s chemistry within a team it’s really great, and it shows. The main thing is keeping concentration. It is easy to lose focus and start looking at the ball, the crowd and other things that you’re not supposed to be looking at. I’ve even seen people score in the wrong goal. Hopefully you know enough about the team that you’re playing, and you have a strategy so it’s just about staying focused and remembering what the plan was. It should be working and, if it’s not, it is time to go back to the tent and change tactics.
How do you see polo expanding globally? There’s a lot of development of the sport in China, and there’s a big polo explosion in the UAE. I think it’s really picking up in many other places around the world, too. It’s getting more attention and more spectators, and it’s going back to the way it was in its heyday. Now is such an exciting time for polo. charlotte hogarth-jones In his role as St. Regis Connoisseur of Speed and Sport Nacho Figueras has worked with the brand to develop an exclusive polo website, featuring a global calendar of polo events, closely linked to the St. Regis Aficionado program designed to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences around the world
A LIFE IN PRINT Words by Richard Cork
He may be into his 9 th decade, but the subversive artist Jasper Johns is still experimenting with printmaking, and proving himself as inventive as ever
with ULAE. Its current leader, Bill Goldston, says, “Jasper is still very involved in doing prints. He loves the activity. A lot of people in art today don’t know how to make things. But prints offer Jasper the chance to become process-involved, and to develop a language from exploring his working method. He’s always experimenting, like a scientist in the lab. Printmaking is tailor-made for Jasper.” Now a special exhibition, at the Whitechapel Gallery in Windsor, Florida, explores the presence of the body in Johns’ prints. Whether ghostly or silhouetted, these ever-changing faces and figures play a fascinating variety of roles in his images. Johns is an artist perpetually committed to renewal. When I interviewed him some years ago, he told me that success had made him “more willing to take chances, to question the possibilities of my thought and what might or might not be considered interesting”. Looking back on his career, he said, “throws finished work into the past tense more quickly, and provides me with a trigger for the new”. That is why Johns’ overall achievement has been so remarkable, filled with surprises and perceptive delight. Jasper Johns: Works on Paper runs from December 8, 2013 to April 30, 2014 at the Whitechapel Gallery, Windsor, Florida; windsorflorida.com Your address: The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort 72
ow 83, Jasper Johns has long been ranked among the major, ground-breaking figures in American art. He was only 25 when his images of the Stars and Stripes broke free from the prevailing supremacy of Jackson Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists. In the mid-1950s Johns was hailed as a controversial young rebel, following the example of Duchamp rather than the American titans, Pollock and Rothko. After moving to New York from South Carolina in 1949, Johns felt ready to subvert the Abstract Expressionist approach. He anticipated the emergence of Pop Art in the 1960s, and his inventive outlook opened up all kinds of possibilities for art in the second half of the 20th century. Johns thrived on collaboration. Far from isolating himself as the lone genius in his studio, he worked with fellow artist Robert Rauschenberg, the experimental choreographer Merce Cunningham and the avant-garde composer John Cage. They became his friends, and Johns extended his creativity with these adventurous projects in dance and performance. Johns began making prints in 1960 after accepting an invitation from Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) to make radical works on paper. This innovative print studio, based in a cottage on Long Island, was founded by Russian émigré Tatyana Grosman and her husband Maurice. Johns relished working with them, and continues to experiment
Untitled, 2011 The recurring motif of the vase is prominent in this tall, richly colored print, in which Johns rejoices in the sensuous orchestration of red, yellow and blue. “There are two figures,” says Bill Goldston of Universal Limited Art Editions, “one young and one old.” The latter is half-hidden in shadows on the left. Johns is at his most elusive and dream-like here, inviting us to puzzle over the identity of the blue circular forms on the right. Mortality seems present, and we may wonder if the vase contains the ashes of someone recently deceased. Johns leaves everything open to interpretation – even the print’s title offers no clues. Along the base, he leaves a row of colored spots. “He did all the etching himself,” says Goldston. “A man who can do this kind of technical work is in a class by himself.”
Untitled, 2010 A red face appears in profile on the right of this seductive design, and its contour also defines the side of a pale vase. Johns allows yellow to sing out from the rectangle in the middle, and the entire image is among his most beguiling achievements as a printmaker. “This piece was done for the Museum of Modern Art, as a donation,” says Goldston. “They were able to sell the entire edition of 50 as a fundraiser.” Johns has benefited from the exceptionally rich collection at MoMA since he settled in New York aged 19. Now, in his late period as an artist, he still enjoys visiting and measuring himself against some of the finest masterpieces of modern art. But this print suggests that earlier civilizations also fire his imagination. The dark figure silhouetted on the left has the quality of an ancient statue.
A life in Print
Ventriloquist, 1986 Although this print was made 30 years after Johns first became obsessed by the American flag, the Stars and Stripes assert themselves in the middle of a wall. Goldston explains that “the room could be based on Jasper’s bathroom. He used to live in a rustic farmhouse in Stony Point, New York, and you can see his water-closet on the right.” Marcel Duchamp, one of Johns’ artist heroes, created a notorious masterpiece in 1917 by purchasing a ready-made urinal and turning it into an artwork called Fountain. But Goldston thinks Ventriloquist was also inspired by the view from Johns’ own bath. It is easy to imagine moisture from the hot water streaming down the wall and making the glass fuzzy. This atmosphere is vividly conveyed and adds to the aura of mystery.
Winter, 1986 The title of this etching seems straightforward enough, and shows how fascinated Johns became with the elemental theme of the four seasons. But the images in Winter emerge with slow, quiet subtlety from the prevailing darkness. On the right, we notice a ghostly snowman figure that appears to be spattered by snowflakes. “It looks a bit strange, and the snowman reminds me of Jasper himself,” says Goldston, who points out that the shadowy pots are by the early American potter, George E. Ohr, “and Jasper has a collection of Ohr’s work”. But there are also references to the suffering figures in the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald (c.1470-1528), whom Johns admires. This work, now in a museum in Alsace, has been an immense source of inspiration for Johns.
A life in print
All artworks ÂŠ Jasper Johns
Shrinky Dink 3, 2011 In this print the dark vessel occupying the center of the space seems to dominate everything around it. But then we begin to notice the other elements that Johns has introduced. On the left, a pale head in profile stares across at the other side of the image, and stars from the American flag dance over the face as if in jubilation. On the right, however, geometric forms float in space: a square, a circle and a triangle. The face seems to be contemplating these shapes, and Goldston remarks that its features â€œlook like Jasper himself in profileâ€?. But taken as a whole, this print is far more than a self-portrait. Across the top, a row of small figures introduces the suggestion of a crowd. Maybe they are an audience gazing, like us, at the tantalizing, dream-like strangeness of the world that Johns has conjured up.
NOW VOYAGERS Words by Tina Gaudoin Illustrations by Damien Florebert Cuypers
The late-late gap years Early sixtysomethings Cathy and Larry can tell you the names of almost any capital city airport in the world (“Yangon – that’s Mingaladon – right?”). If they haven’t landed there, they plan to, and if they don’t then it’s not worth seeing. Larry’s business IPO’d two years ago and they’ve been “on the road” ever since. But theirs is a travel schedule with a mission. Amid the five-star “breaks” in places as varied as Lhasa and Aspen, this couple want to “make a difference”. Their Mandarina Duck carryons (no luggage-checking ever) have seen the inside of start-ups in Armenia, orphanages in Haiti and temporary schools in Kenya. Every so often they’ll dive into something more indulgent, but not without “an experience” attached. They have hiked to Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan, taken the Trans-Siberian railway and journeyed on an icebreaker to the North Pole. Not that their expeditions are all geographic. In Pondicherry they spent two months visiting the Sri Aurobindo ashram. A silent retreat run by monks in Wales was a truly “spiritual awakening” for a couple with more air miles than Hillary Clinton. But do they miss anything on their lengthy trips overseas? “Not really,” says Cathy. “We have each other, Skype the children when we can, and take our own stash of Green & Black’s, graham crackers and Yogi Positive Energy tea wherever we go.”
The luxe family travelers
Your address: The St. Regis Lhasa Resort
Jacqui and Tod have a taste for the exotic. “We were born this way,” they shrug, remembering their own childhood vacations, student adventures and early married meanderings. Now the kids are that bit bigger and business is going well, they’re keen to indulge their wanderlust, little darlings in tow. It’s quality family time, after all. Their first trip is to the Galapagos Islands. So educational! Into the luggage goes the J. Crew khakis for Tod along with plenty of reading material for the children, although given the number of activities they have arranged for the juniors, time will have to be strictly scheduled. Jacqui and Tod are insistent on the children journaling every day and plan to selfpublish the results on their return. They are already wondering if any of their bookish offspring has “Darwinish” potential. If they are brutally honest, Jacqui and Tod are rather looking forward to the beach break in Puerto Rico that they have organized on the way back. The kids will learn to surf and go zip lining through the rainforest, and the adults will sip cocktails, content to have found the perfect formula for parenting in style. Over dinner they’ll start planning the next of many “family trips of a lifetime”. Your address: The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico With Family Traditions at St. Regis, each hotel and resort has hand-selected experiences that are custom-tailored to please each member of your family 78
THE FAMILY VACATIONERS WHO ONLY LIKE THE BEST, THE ART WORLD’S RESTLESS NOMADS, HAPPY COUPLES FOR WHOM LIFE’S A BEACH, OR THE RICH RETIREES QUESTING for ENLIGHTENMENT – WITH AN INFINITY POOL... MEET THE NEW LUXURY TRAVEL TRIBES: ON A LOUNGER NEAR YOU
The babymooners George and Bitsy (real name Elizabeth Victoria) are about to have their first child, Robert William James Arturo (aka Bobsy) in a few months. They need the break before the little one arrives – when Josh’s business will also be merging with that California tech company and Bitsy will be getting back into shape, while squeezing in a bit of interior design. They are going all-out: Bora Bora, no expense spared. The last time they did this was three months ago, on their “we’re pregnant” celebration in Mauritius. Bitsy packs her Melissa Odabash kaftan; George packs his tropical Vilebrequins because Bitsy thinks his bottom looks cute in those. They of course pack yoga kit for their private prenatal session, and lots of tropical evening wear. They don’t plan to leave the hotel, but love to change for dinner every night, because other than their regular Friday-night table at the Bedford Post Inn, they’ve hardly been out since Bitsy started her pregnancy diet. Bitsy has bought lots of “darling floaty things” from Net-A-Porter and George is relying on his “trop trousers” – linen cargo pants which he had made in every available shade of putty, last time he was in Bangalore. Of course they’ll miss putting the final touches to the nursery. But then again, catamaran sailing, diving, and salt scrub massages might just take their minds off those little details for a moment or two.
The new grand tourists
Your address: The St. Regis Mauritius Resort; The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
You see the black Tumi luggage of the New Grand Tourist before you see them. Mostly it’s loaded on to a baggage cart or stacked in a chic, discreet pile in a hotel lobby. Somewhere in the vicinity lurk Mark and Melanie, speaking quietly into their iPhones, sporting watches by Patek Phillipe and an impeccable selection of clothing by Martin Margiela, Commes des Garçons and Tom Ford. M&M go wherever the art is. Miami-Basel-VenicePAD-Masterpiece-The Armory and Frieze – their lives are a breathless loop of openings, auctions and gallery visits. They will slavishly trek to the East End of London, the nether lands of North Dakota or the sleaziest back street in Beijing in search of new “talent”. They spend prodigiously but judiciously, but are, nonetheless, on Christie’s and Sotheby’s pre-auction dinner lists, whereby potential buyers are treated to teensy culinary delights as they view the art and sip champagne. They are consumed by their creative mission, but it doesn’t stop them from expecting the very best in luxury accommodation. That said, an art collection in a hotel, as at The St. Regis Singapore, is a mixed blessing. M&M like it, but then again it’s not theirs... Still, as they sweep out towards their waiting car and driver, their thoughts are already focused on whether this studio visit will yield the next Damien Hirst, Sophie Calle or Jeff Koons. Your address: The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort; The St. Regis Beijing 79
prince in new york Words by James Collard
an aristocrat who became a hotel-keeper, and a russian cavalryman turned american commando, serge obolensky led a life of contrasts. we salute the dashing society legend who held court at the St. regis new york
erge Obolensky’s life reads like a work of fiction. There is a fairy-tale beginning: he was born a Russian prince and married a princess. There is adventure: for our prince was brave as well as handsome… a dashing young cavalry officer in the First World War, he escaped from the Bolsheviks with a price on his head, while in the Second World War he became an American commando who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe. There is Gatsby-era glamor: the second Princess Obolensky was a renowned American heiress. And a dash of cocktail lore: legend has it that he inspired the creation of the Bloody Mary in the King Cole Bar of The St. Regis New York. This heady concoction sounds too extraordinary to be true, but life can be stranger than fiction, as Obolensky well knew. Let us begin, though, at the beginning, in 1890, when Serge Obolensky was born, the heir to one of Russia’s grandest aristocratic families. Decades later, in his memoirs, he recalled the vanished country of his youth: the winter sleigh-rides to his grandmother’s palace in St. Petersburg, the summers spent on his parents’ vast estates, the fun of Countess Tolstoy’s costume ball. And there were trips abroad, for like 81
other wealthy Russians, the Obolenskys travelled widely – visiting Paris, or fashionable belle époque resorts such as San Sebastian and Biarritz. Obolensky’s education was rounded off at Oxford, England, where he played polo and joined the exclusive Bullingdon Club, while out of term he was a hit with London’s leading hostesses. Many of the friendships that Obolensky formed at this time would be important in his later life. But in both London and St. Petersburg, he was experiencing two great imperial capitals on the eve of enormous change. In London he recalled “an air of massive elegance and leisure all but inconceivable in any later period. I believe I saw the end of it… the mellow grandeur of the Edwardian age.” In Russia, revolution was about to bring the Obolenskys’ world crashing around them. Obolensky called his memoirs One Man in His Time, but what is remarkable is his knack of being in the right place, if not at the right time, then at a fascinating time. Even with the advent of war, when he joined the crack Chevalier Guards regiment, he enjoyed one final “cavalryman’s paradise”, as his regiment covered the Russian army’s slow retreat in “a form of warfare that will never come again”, as the age-old hegemony of mounted soldiery gave way to an era of trenches and tanks.
If Obolensky’s recollections make the war seem almost fun – more fun than the trenches, certainly – it is worth noting that he also won the St. Andrew’s Cross for valor three times. Meanwhile, like many of his class, he sensed the coming crisis as the vast Empire of all Russias began to fracture under the strain of war. In 1916 he married Princess Catherine Yurievskaya, the daughter of Tsar Alexander II and his aristocratic mistress (and later wife). Catherine had grown up in France and wasn’t close to the current Tsar, Nicholas II; nor was Serge. Yet their lives, like that of millions of Russians, would be turned upside down when Nicholas led the Romanov dynasty and the nation into the abyss. With the onset of the Revolution, the big cities were plunged into chaos, and Serge and Catherine joined an aristocratic exodus south to the Crimea, that Riviera-like coastline of palaces and villas he’d known well as a child. There he joined the “White” forces fighting the Bolshevik “Reds”, but as the horrors of civil war unfolded, even a battle-hardened Obolensky found the mix of horror and beauty “sickening... the total destruction of a childhood memory”. Around this time the society painter Savely Sorine drew a sketch of Obolensky, capturing something serious about the eyes as well as the 82
Courtesy of the estate of Ivan Obolensky, Superstock, © Illustrated London News Ltd, Mary Evans
The imperial years Previous page: Serge Obolensky at The St. Regis New York Roof Restaurant, photographed by society photographer Slim Aarons in 1964. Clockwise from top left: sketch of Obolensky by Savely Sorine, made around the time of the Russian Revolution; Obolensky’s first wife, Princess Catherine and her children, 1920; the Obolensky coat of arms
Playground of the Gilded Age
This American life
© Bettman/Corbis, © Condé Nast Archives, Corbis
Clockwise from left: Obolensky with his second wife, Alice Astor, 1932; signage for the Russian-themed nightclub Obolensky opened in The St. Regis New York; in uniform, with actress and singer Grace Moor, for a wartime dinner hosted by Elsa Maxwell in honor of a new Cole Porter show
elegance of the young officer. This portrait would eventually wind up in Obolensky’s apartment in Manhattan, where in 1970 he was photographed alongside it for a New York Times feature headlined: “Serge Obolensky: a Society Legend at 80”. All those years later, he is recognizably the same man. But just like its subject, the sketch had gone through some dramas along the way. It acquired a spray of bullet holes when the Reds shot up Catherine’s palace in Yalta. Then it was displayed with the inscription, “Serge Obolensky, Wanted, Dead or Alive”, until Sorine bribed a guard with three roubles to let him take down the sketch and then smuggled it out of Russia. More importantly, the artist also spirited Catherine out of her ransacked palace and into hiding. Husband and wife would be reunited in Moscow, both in disguise, having endured hardship and danger. They eventually escaped to London, via Vienna and then Bern, where Serge could access the $200,000 he had cunningly squirreled out of Russia into Swiss bank accounts. A tiny fraction of the Obolensky fortune, this was still considerably more than many exiles managed to escape with. During the 1920s former Russian debutantes worked as cabaret dancers in Shanghai, while one Romanov prince eked out a living as a Paris taxi driver. Many White
Russians never quite got their heads around these reversals of fortune, their grief at what had been left behind or the sorrow of exile. Presumably Serge Obolensky felt all of the above keenly. But just as impressive as his derring-do flight from Russia was his ability to shed any Russian mighthave-beens and get on with his life. “He never looked back,” his son Ivan Obolensky agrees. “He had a resilience, an ability to hang on to happy memories, but always to look forward.” Serge’s father had intended him to be a modern agriculturalist farming the vast family estates. Now the estates were gone. What remained, however, was Obolensky’s extraordinary charm, surely key to his remarkable ability to land on his feet. People liked Serge Obolensky. This had probably saved his life in Russia, where he had been aided by a former employee, an old shoemaker of his acquaintance, and a nurse he’d never met before, all at considerable risk to their own lives. This quality would serve him well throughout his life. “He had such ease,” his son recalls, while his secretary told the New York Times, “He could charm the birds from the trees.” And looking at the photographs of him whirling celebrated beauties around the dance-floor, it is clear that women adored Serge Obolensky. And he certainly married well – as princes in stories are meant to. 83
Back Story On escaping Russia, Serge and Catherine lived increasingly separate lives and then divorced, amicably. Serge moved into the flat of his cousin, Prince Felix Yusapov (famous as one of the men who murdered Rasputin) in London’s Knightsbridge, and then after an ill-starred trip selling farming equipment in Australia, settled down to the prosperous, bowler-hatted life of the London stockbroker. Then one night he went to a costume ball and danced with Alice Astor. He was dressed as a Cossack. She was wearing a Chinese dress and a necklace from the tomb of Tutankhamun. They promptly fell in love. Alice’s father, John Jacob Astor IV – one of the richest men in America – had built New York’s celebrated St. Regis Hotel. He went down with the Titanic, but Alice’s mother Ava, the formidable Lady Ribblesdale, was very much alive and strongly opposed to her daughter marrying “an impoverished Russian prince”. However, when Alice came of age, she got her way, and their marriage was the wedding of the London Season in 1924. Or rather weddings, for there were three: an Anglican one at the Savoy Chapel, a civil ceremony, and then an Orthodox one at the Russian Church. Alice’s British cousin, Viscount Astor, gave away the bride, while Serge’s old Oxford friend Prince Paul of Serbia was best man. They honeymooned in Deauville, France, and thus began their luxe, but peripatetic, married life spent on ocean liners and yachts, in grand hotels or at their spectacular homes in London and upstate New York. “Nothing world-shaking happened – which was pleasant for a change,” Obolensky quipped of this time. Looking back, their decade together was “a haze of golden memories... I enjoyed it enormously.” But one senses a quickening of the pulse when, after Alice filed for divorce in 1932, Obolensky started working in earnest for her brother, Vincent Astor, who tasked him with restoring the luster of The St. Regis New York, which had just returned to family ownership. “Vincent suggested that I look things over and make my suggestions,” he explained, “as I had lived much of my life in the best hotels of Europe. He made me a sort of general consultant, promotion man, and trouble-shooter… This is how I started in the hotel business. I found it captivating and a challenge.” Obolensky turned out to have a genius for hotel-keeping. When Obolensky took over The St. Regis, he says, “the old-fashioned lobbies were dark and uninviting. There were no wine cellars, and the food was conventional. Yet the building was an architectural masterpiece. When Colonel John Jacob Astor IV had built it, he’d wanted to make it the great luxury hotel of the New World.” Working with the decorator Anne “Nanny” Tiffany (and “various impoverished but brilliant Russians”, as Ivan Obolensky recalls) Serge and Vincent set about updating the public areas. The roof garden soon became a “Viennese fête champêtre”; a rink was installed for ice shows; and the hotel acquired a Russian-themed nightclub, the Maisonette Russe, complete with a gypsy orchestra and a chef who had cooked for the Tsar. (He was a friend of Vassily, the Obolensky family chef who’d escaped Russia with Serge.) Most notably, the Maxfield Parrish painting of Old King Cole (from another old Astor property, the Knickerbocker Hotel) became the centerpiece of the new bar. It was here, as legend has it, that Obolensky made his contribution to the creation of the Bloody Mary. The story goes that he asked barman Fernand Petiot to spice up his tomato and vodka cocktail – thus introducing the dash of Tabasco.
Top hats and morning dress Prince and Princess Obolensky, aka Alice Astor, attend the society wedding of the heiress Miss Marcella Duggan and Mr E. Rice at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, London, in May 1927. Obolensky’s friend Lord Minto stands to their right
A prince in New York
Some enchanted evenings
Yorker magazine once ran a piece, a classic of its kind, interviewing a woman called Clara Bell Walsh who’d occupied the same hotel suite for 43 years. “They don’t have this sort of thing today,” she’d told the reporter, pointing to the original furnishings she’d retained in her room. “The Russians have kind of colored this place up too much to suit me,” she complained. “What, the Communists?” the bemused journalist asked her. “Serge Obolensky!” came her furious reply. Only war seems to have got in the way of Obolensky’s extraordinary career as a hotelier – and even then, The St. Regis Hotel helped shape this, our hero’s next great adventure. Obolensky, who’d taken American citizenship (and dropped the use of his title) in 1931, was keen to fight for his adopted country. Too old to enlist in the regular army, he joined the State Guard. But the Guard seemed unlikely to see action in Europe, so he asked a friend in the military how he could transfer to the commandos. “That’s easy,” came the reply. “Why don’t you talk to Bill Donovan? He’s staying in your hotel.” Obolensky spoke to “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services, who promptly took him on. And so after commando training which he said “nearly killed” him, Obolensky, by now 53, parachuted into occupied Europe, twice. In
But Obolensky’s strategy went way beyond hotting up the cocktails and refreshing the décor. A great metropolitan hotel is part of the swim and flow of a city. Serge knew this instinctively, and he knew how to deliver it – by inviting his fancy friends around. Time and again the society pages of the era contain an item headlined “Prince Obolensky hosts” – usually describing a dinner for a Vanderbilt, a Whitney or visiting European royalty. Obolensky was clearly very social, but these meticulously placed stories also show a hotel man hard at work promoting his hotel. And if all this was a formula, then it was one that worked well for Obolensky, keeping our hero gainfully employed for decades. “Serge Obolensky abhors a vacuum,” teased one nightclub reviewer in 1959, as he’d transformed a hotel basement into “another of his imperial fashion bazaars. Colonel Obolensky has an eye for grandeur, réclame, décor and White Russian nights of gala. So he can be forgiven for not having an ear for dance music.” Harsh, perhaps, as Obolensky loved to dance, although maybe a man introduced to nightlife in pre-Revolutionary St. Petersburg might struggle slightly with the advent of rock’n’roll. In other ways, however, he was a modernizer, and as such the recipient of criticism from the kind of hotel guest who never likes change. The New 86
© Bettmann/Corbis, Wire Image
Clockwise from left: the Duchess of Windsor dances with Serge Obolensky at the Windsor Ball in 1953; Obolensky with actress Phyllis Kirk at El Morocco nightclub in the 1950s; dancing with Jackie Onassis in 1975
Playground of the Gilded Age
All the luminaries of the day
© Bert Morgan Archive/Alamy, Popperfoto/Getty Images,
Clockwise from above: Obolensky arriving at the Southampton Beach Club with actress Joan Fontaine in 1950; with the Begum Aga Khan in 1960; with Alice Astor on their wedding day in London in 1924
both cases, his mix of charm and courage won the day. In the first drop, he landed in Sardinia with just three other men and a letter from General Eisenhower to negotiate the surrender of the Italian forces on the island. Next, he jumped into France to prevent the retreating Germans from blowing up the power station serving Paris. He won over both the Resistance and the commander of the Vichy French. Then the main column of Germans finally surrendered to one Colonel Grell, “our plans officer, who had been my assistant manager at The St. Regis”. In the 1960s Obolensky returned to the hotel where his career had begun, and in his memoirs discerned common ground between hotel-keeping and soldiering. “Hotels are a human enterprise,” he wrote. “You have to be known and liked by its rank and file, the waiters, the captains, the clerks, the manager – it all adds up to esprit de corps. Despite a good building and a good location, everything depends upon people – on goodwill, good service, and, in a sense, on personal friendships.” In a sense, human relationships lay at the root of the life Obolensky forged for himself in America. As that New York Times profile put it, “though cynics might attribute his success to the drawing power of his title, that would be to underestimate the magnetism of his personality
and talent for friendship.” So did he ever feel slightly weary of another night of gala, of “Prince Serge Obolensky hosts”, of singing for his supper? If he did, he never showed it. “I just think that it would be the greatest mistake for an old bastard like me to quit,” he quipped when asked about retirement. At 80 he still did yoga every morning and went out most evenings, “leaving at midnight, without fail”, Ivan Obolensky recalls. “That was his rule.” Around this time, though, he gave up performing the celebrated Russian Dagger Dance. A highlight of New Year’s Eve balls for decades (with proceeds going to the victims of Communism), this involved Obolensky balancing on a rickety table while hurling flaming daggers at targets with a remarkable degree of accuracy. He also abandoned his bachelor existence to marry for the third and final time to a woman four decades his junior, Marilyn Fraser Wall, from the wealthy suburb of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. And so it was there in 1978 that, some 88 years after it had begun at an Obolensky villa beside the Summer Palace of the Romanovs, this remarkable life drew to a close. Princely proof that life can be stranger than fiction. Your address: The St. Regis New York 87
Words by Jeffrey Podolsky
behind closed doors, designers are interacting with wealthy clients via exclusive events, invitation-only trunk shows and private shopping salons
Maciek Kobielski/Art Partner.
fashionâ€™s new address
Fashion’s New Address
he cavernous TriBeCa headquarters of the online fashion retailer Moda Operandi has all the urgency and buzz of an old-fashioned newsroom. Except that most newsrooms (or internet fashion companies for that matter) are not decorated by the society interior designer Daniel Romualdez, complete with a vintage bronze coffee table, floral upholstered Louis XVI-style chairs, and oversized custom linen lampshades hanging throughout the industrial space, which is painted in its very own hue, Moda Pink. Its founder, Lauren Santo Domingo, has the unruffled presence and gait of a swan. The blonde, lissom Santo Domingo, one of Vogue’s most photographed belles, is dressed in a Stella Jean printed cotton party dress, with fitted bodice and a full skirt, topped by an ecru Carven cropped sweater (worn backwards to perfect effect) and Lucite heels by Nicholas Kirkwood.
This effortless mix personifies Moda Operandi’s savvy intent: to service its fashion-obsessed global clientele with outfits and combinations that they can’t find elsewhere and allow them to purchase them with a click. The site itself is based on the idea of the traditional trunk show in which designers, such as James Galanos, Bill Blass and Carolina Herrera, would make personal appearances and cater to special clients, but in a modern high-tech way. “I once thought the trunk show was about to go the way of the fax machine,” says Santo Domingo. “But based on the success of our business, I’d say it’s back. In a big way.” Fashion designers, such as Bibhu Mohapatra (who has dressed Michelle Obama) and Barbara Tfank (Diablo Cody and Rita Ora are fans), and noted jewelers including Jade Jagger and Kara Ross, have all expanded the old-fashioned trunk show to cater to clients who want not 89
Clockwise from main image: Indre Rockefeller attends a fitting at Salon Moda, the showroom recently opened by Moda Operandi, for the dress she wore to the Met Gala; the Zuhair Murad show; Indre Rockefeller; the Katie Ermilio show Previous page: from left, Taylor Tomasi Hill, Hayley Bloomingdale, Indre Rockefeller and Lauren Santo Domingo at the Cristian Dior suite of The St. Regis New York
Xavi Men贸s, Getty
Fashion’s New Address just a more personal approach with the clothes, but with the designer. And the designers are not complaining. “It’s the backbone of my business,” says Cornelia Guest, whose crueltyfree line of handbags has found a thriving niche, thanks to private lunches in such cities as Houston and San Francisco hosted by the international society doyennes Lynn Wyatt and Denise Hale (friends of Cornelia’s late mother, the incomparable C. Z. Guest). “There’s no better entrée,” she says. “And, trust me: these women love to shop.” In the 1980s, women would flock to catch a glimpse of an Oscar de la Renta or Geoffrey Beene. Robert Burke, former senior vice-president of fashion at Bergdorf Goodman and now CEO of the consulting firm Robert Burke Associates, recalls how VIP clients would plunk down en masse an easy million dollars at a Chanel trunk show. “They were a serious part of the business,” he notes. This isn’t just about sales, though. Designers really enjoy this kind of interaction with their customers and getting personal feedback. Michael Kors can’t resist working three or four dressing rooms at once; Donna Karan, who built her business on intimately knowing her clients and their body shapes, famously loved to jump inside and undress herself alongside the customer; and Dennis Basso took the term “trunk show” back to its roots, stocking the trunk of his car with his priceless furs and going from door-to-door in the New York suburbs. Both Zac Posen and Jason Wang credit more than a modicum of their success to knowing the needs of the women themselves. “It’s important,” says Wang. “I need to know what my clients are like; it puts my work into perspective. It’s really thrilling… The clients are really into the clothes. Last time I went to Nordstrom to do a trunk show, one woman bought 41 pieces.” Nor have designers lost sight of the importance of wooing deeppocketed customers in the sky-rocketing markets of Asia and the Middle East with private events and behind-the-scenes tours that offer a more personal service than stores normally offer, including meeting designers themselves. Naeem Khan, Reem Acra, and Monique Lhuillier all court the Middle-Eastern customer. “They all want to get customer loyalty, especially in places like Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Russia,” says Burke. Matches, the London-based string of upscale boutiques, frequently hosts trunk shows and parties in an elegant townhouse set aside for entertaining and private shopping and also takes young British designers on road shows to the Middle East. “The trunk show or personal appearance has evolved since it began,” adds Roopal Patel, a former fashion director of Neiman Marcus who now heads her own consulting firm. Why do they want them? “Customers are looking for special, exclusive products that they can’t find anywhere else and designs they can’t find just anywhere.” And no designer is taking them for granted. Take Mary Katrantzou, arguably one of today’s hottest designers, who has been out to Brazil and the US and is headed to Dubai and Singapore this autumn. “We didn’t really understand the power of the trunk show at first,” she says. “It is really important to build these relations with loyal customers and court them. And we were amazed at how much you can sell.” After Karolina Kurkova had dropped into a trunk show at the East Village jewelry showroom, Bijules, she knew where to go for something edgy for this year’s annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Ball,
which had a punk theme. She left with the perfect cocktail ring, a 14ct gold handlet and a two-piece knuckle-ring set. “No saleswoman can sell a piece of my jewelry like I can,” says the boutique’s owner Jules, whose clients include Rihanna, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys, and who recently traveled to Dallas for a personal trunk show. “These women don’t want to go into stores and be treated anonymously. They came in and dropped a ton of money.” When Anne Hearst recently hosted a gathering for Jade Jagger in her Manhattan penthouse for girlfriends including Laurie Durning, the wife of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and her niece Gillian Hearst, the famed interior designer Milly de Cabrol recalls: “I only went because it was by invitation only, given by my friend and with Jade Jagger. That was what made it special.” After casually glancing at Jagger’s jewelry spread out on a coffee table, de Cabrol found herself departing with a rubyheart gold ring. “Jade was absolutely charming and very down-to-earth. It does make you want to buy.” Jagger, who’s held trunk shows in Hong Kong, Bombay and New York, says: “The ladies tend to get more excited. They tend to go for the higher-end pieces, and it’s good to cut out the middle man. It just creates a great buzz.” After jeweler Lynn Ban’s friend, the Singapore fashionista Cindy Chua-Tay, tossed a trunk show there on her behalf, Ban, who’s already appeared at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, says: “Now I’m in [the chic Singapore boutique] Club 21”, where she recently sold a $20,000 black diamond gash cuff. “Word of mouth is very effective,” says Jane Pendry of Dovima Paris (“the Tory Burch of Europe”) whose trunk shows in Paris and around the US are by appointment, and where she personally tailors individual ensembles. “You get influencers in fashion from all over the world,” says the New York-based Jennifer Creel, whose eco-friendly sunglasses have been relished at homey trunk shows in London, and who now finds her across-the-pond girlfriends Pia Getty and Marie-Chantal of Greece, among others, spreading the gospel from St. Barths to the Cote d’Azur. The New York jeweler and handbag designer Kara Ross has found herself hosting trunk shows in Jeddah and Al Khabar in Saudi Arabia for a bevy of princesses who might be swathed in an abaya, but nevertheless cherish her diamond ostrich Electra bag. While Sally Perrin of Perrin Paris 1893 hosts Qataris and Saudis who pass through Paris in her Left Bank apartment. “Have trunk show, will travel, is our motto,” she says triumphantly. According to the Vanity Fair fashion expert and special correspondent Amy Fine Collins, the trunk show of today is “a sensory, migratory experience”. Moda Operandi’s VIP clients are now traveling to TriBeCa to its Salon Moda, with its fabric-painted trompe l’oeil, striped silk drapes, and divine clothing, including a Wes Gordon ink petit swan print sable and lace inset dress and a Nina Ricci long fringe and lace dress in rose crystal. All at the ready for the client who, as Santo Domingo points out, “can have anything in the world her heart desires, but, ironically, could never get her hands on the dresses and looks she wanted”. Stylists who’ve traveled to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain to deliver Marquesa and Giles gowns for a fashion emergency, are at the ready. “You feel like you’re getting something nobody else is,” says Brittany Weeden, who ended up spending $8,000 on her most recent visit. “It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to have that.’ And once I found out that the salon is a replica of Lauren Santo Domingo’s closet, well, I felt very special.”
It’s not just about sales. Designers really enjoy this kind of interaction with their clients. Michael Kors can’t resist working three or four dressing rooms at once; Donna Karan would famously undress alongside her clients
MOUNTAIN PLAYGROUND Words by Linda Hayes
round Aspen, the term “heavy metal” is not bandied about lightly. Here, it does not mean that Judas Priest is in town for a set, although of course this little town in the Rockies attracts more than its fair share of big music acts, both to perform and to enjoy some downtime. Nor is it a reference to high-carat bling at the Golden Bough jewelry store, though Aspen is one of the wealthiest spots on the planet. Or to the 2,350lb silver nugget pulled from the Smuggler Mine in 1894, during the town’s early prospecting days, when Aspen was a place where people came to find their fortune in the newly-discovered silver lodes, rather than to enjoy it. No, around Aspen, “heavy metal” chatter means that the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is gearing up for a steady stream of A-listers jetting into town. Known locally as Sardy Field, the airport is one of the busiest small airports in the country. Fleets of GulfStreams, Challengers and Citations can fly in on any given day, especially for the Fourth of July or New Year’s Day. At the same time $20 million trophy homes in the elite Red Mountain neighborhood are
being primped and polished, likewise those lovingly restored “painted lady” Victorians in the historic West End. And across town, chefs, personal assistants and private shoppers are put on high alert. Invitations go out from Aspen’s high-society hostesses (Ivanka Trump, Glenda Greenwald, Soledad Hurst, Paula Crown) for everything from big charity bashes to “cosy” suppers feting a visiting artist or media mogul. What is it about this luxe little town in the Colorado Rockies that inspires such an influx? “Aspen is like no other place,” says local real estate broker Joshua Saslove of Joshua & Co., part of Christie’s Great Estates international network, who has been accommodating the whims of a moneyed and powerful clientele for more than 20 years. “The wealth of the world is drawn here not only for its natural resources, but for the character of the town, its passion for intellectual activity and its cultural amenities.” Proximity to all of the above doesn’t come cheap. Indeed Aspen is one of the most expensive real-estate markets in the USA, with people paying “a lot of money for city penthouses with views. Up here at this altitude, we have a 7,000ft advantage.” 92
Denver Post via Getty Images, 4 Corners
Glittering wealth has always been at the heart of Aspen, from its early days as a silver-mining town to its latest incarnation as a mecca for the finer things in life. yet it’s a town where even billionaires sport cowboy boots
Après-ski A veritable who’s who of famous faces (Kevin Costner, Goldie Hawn), tech wizards (Amazon’s Jeff Bezos), media moguls (Michael Eisner) and corporate billionaires (Charles Koch, Roman Abramovich, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, Sam Wyly) have added big-ticket properties to their portfolio of homes. Aspen got its first real taste of wealth in 1879, when silver prospectors flocked here to the summer hunting grounds of the local Ute Indians to mine the recently discovered silver lodes. During this boom time, the area’s mines produced nearly $100 million worth of silver ore. Aspen’s next boom was the result of another valuable product of Mother Nature: snow. In 1947, the Aspen Skiing Corporation cranked up the mountain’s first chair lifts and, three years later, the FIS World Skiing Championships packed the town with celebrities and Olympic skiers. Aspenites and visitors alike rejoiced by riding horses into bars and Aspen
a series of talks and forums attracting global opinion formers such as the Clintons, media entrepreneur Arianna Huffington and author Thomas L. Friedman. All of which means that, like Davos in Switzerland, today Aspen can claim to be as much about cultural or “thought leadership” as it is about great runs. What’s more, given all of that cultural ambition, the wealth, and the fact that some of the world’s leading collectors have homes in Aspen, it should come as no surprise to hear that there is also a concentration of high-end galleries here. If Calders and Lichtensteins are to your taste, they can easily be found at Casterline Goodman Gallery. If you’re after a Ross Bleckner painting or a Bruce Weber limited-edition print, then perhaps you should head over to the Baldwin Gallery. Or for the kind of fine art collectible that can be shipped home effortlessly, Pismo Fine Art Glass will have a Chihuly or two. Meanwhile, the ultra-
To ski or après-ski, that is the question Clockwise from left: the flow of private jets into Aspen makes its small airport one of the busiest in the United States; opening at the 212 Gallery in January 2013; brave art and exhilarating sports meet on the slopes
Crud (a milkshake laced with bourbon) flowed like water. The town’s reputation as a world-class ski – and party – town was set. Right from those early days however, intellectual ambition was a key part of the Aspen mix. In 1945, the Chicago businessman Walter Paepcke visited the Bauhaus architect Herbert Bayer in his minimalist home outside town. Together they discussed how to make the resort somewhere artists and thinkers could gather to exchange ideas. Paepcke proved adept at attracting both generous sponsors and cultural heavyweights to his endeavors, and he quickly launched the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Center for Physics and the Aspen Music Festival. The Festival continues to attract major performers and music fans every summer, and while the Institute’s HQ is now in Washington DC, in 2005 it spawned the Aspen Ideas Festival, helmed by Walter Isaacson, which aims to stimulate debate with
contemporary, 30,000 sq ft Aspen Art Museum, designed by Shigeru Ban and under construction in the heart of downtown, has benefitted from some starry fundraising events (most of its $65 million cost has been privately funded). Culture aside, the extraordinary setting of Aspen remains core to its appeal. In summer, a seemingly endless chain of back-country trails beckon for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding, and there are trout-filled waters, where rafters and kayakers can also get their kicks. In winter, naturally, you can enjoy some of the best skiing in the world – on four distinct mountains – plus of course that après ski: the private mountaintop parties up at the cosy Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro on Aspen Highlands or the champagne bar of the private Caribou Club. Less exclusive, but sometimes even more fun, there is a buzzing live music scene at venues like the famous 94
Mountain Playground Belly Up, or Music on the Mountain concerts on Aspen mountain. Then there’s the food. If Cloud Nine’s appeal is homey Alpine cooking, elsewhere, Aspen also has one of the most competitive restaurant scenes in the United States – from the freshly sourced sushi Robert De Niro enjoys at Matsushisa to the ever-changing menu of the Chefs Club at The St. Regis Aspen Resort. There, innovative dishes by up-and-comers from Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs program are whipped up by executive chef Didier Elena, who has spent the past 20 years working alongside the world-renowned Alain Ducasse. For Didier, the opportunity to come to Aspen was too much to pass up. “Aspen is unique,” he says. “People from all over the world come here to live, to enjoy this place – and to eat.” Naturally Aspen’s year-round enthusiasm for all things foodie is reflected in yet another major festival, the popular Food & Wine Aspen Classic every June.
Resort, and eventually purchasing it and the acreage around it, he initiated the concept of a top-notch ski resort operated like a 5-star hotel. Deer Valley Resort is all that and more. Like Aspen, it’s on the radar of the country’s upper crust, who fly in to rub shoulders with an international collection of likeminded revelers in luxe hillside homes. Also like Aspen, it’s a delightful summer destination, especially for those with a proclivity for outdoor adventure, gallery-hopping, or performances at an outdoor amphitheater during the Deer Valley Music Festival, which is the summer home of the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera. For, just as in Aspen, high culture is also a key component of Deer Valley’s appeal – for many visitors, as important as the mountains. Each January, the streets are studded with Hollywood’s finest, up for the annual Sundance Film Festival, a launching pad for
Fun on and off-piste
Getty Images, Rex Features
From left: skiing on Aspen’s perfectly prepared slopes; Ben Harper performing at the 22nd annual jazz festival in June 2013; LeAnn Rimes cruises into town; Jamie CraneMauzy in competition at the 2013 X-Games
It is worth noting, though, that despite its fancy restaurants and lively social scene, Aspen isn’t a town for Manolos. Heels do not mix well with cobblestones, and though furs are worn year-round, the billionaires who own those modernist penthouses and exquisite 19th-century houses are often to be seen wearing cowboy boots. Curiously, one man who spotted Aspen’s potential early on also played a major role in the making of Utah’s Deer Valley Resort, another globally-recognized ski destination. The New Orleans real-estate entrepreneur Edgar Stern developed Aspen’s first gated enclave, the 1,000-acre Starwood. Over the years, Starwood has been home to many famous residents, perhaps the most celebrated of all being Country music legend John Denver, who referenced his idyllic 7-acre property in many of his songs. Stern then followed his instincts to Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. After scouting around the rough-and-tumble Park City Ski
independent films. Between screenings, stars gather at Robert Redford’s Zoom for chef Ernesto Rocha’s wood-fired artichokes and steak frîtes, or at Bill White’s Grappa for lobster ravioli and osso bucco. March brings a week-long fête called Red, White & Snow, with ski-in wine-tasting events on the slopeside Astor Terrace at The St. Regis Deer Valley. Of course Aspen and Deer Valley have their partisans. But as tempting as it may be to join in the bacchanalia of high season in the high country, local knowledge in both destinations has it that it is the days after the lifts close, or when the golden aspen leaves have fallen, that can be the most rewarding. Perhaps the most special time to capture the essence of America’s mountain playgrounds, then, is when you can have it all to yourself. Your address: The St. Regis Aspen Resort; The St. Regis Deer Valley 95
Kitchen confidential Interview by Charlotte Hogarth-Jones
Whether cooking in Mauritius or LONDON, Atul Kochharâ€™s skill at marrying great local ingredients with the flavors of India is what makes him unique. Here he praises spices, Madagascan lobster and his motherâ€™s rogan josh
Atul Kochhar: The spice of life
Local ingredients, Indian spices From left: soft-shell crab with corn and apple salad; rose and raspberry-scented Calcutta-style cheesecake; yellow dahl, pan-fried potatoes with mustard seeds and black dahl
What’s your favorite late-night snack? I hate to say it, but just simple cheese on toast. After a full day of tasting, I like to give my palate a break.
The first Indian chef ever to receive a Michelin star, in 2001, Atul Kochhar is famed for bringing his country’s cuisine to the forefront of fine dining. His simple, elegant take on traditional dishes has made Benares, his original restaurant in London’s Mayfair, known across the world, and he’s had a series of equally successful ventures since. Growing up in Jamshedpur in East India, all of Kochhar’s menus focus on fresh, local ingredients, of the kind that his father used to take him to source when he was younger. His new restaurant, Simply India, at The St. Regis Mauritius Resort, serves tandoori specialities and Goan delicacies in a colonial-inspired setting.
Why do you think Indian food is so popular worldwide? It’s a very diverse cuisine, and I think the complexity of the ingredients and the fresh spices make it really well liked. Indian food has gained an incredible amount of popularity in the past ten years. When I first arrived in London in 1994, things were very different. What do you think are the global trends in restaurant cuisine? I believe Korean food will become very popular this year because it is bursting with bold flavors, and is pretty nutritious to boot. As always though, locality and seasonality needs to remain constant over trends, which change so quickly.
What’s your earliest food memory? Going to the local market with my father in India. He was a caterer, and sourcing fresh local produce was important to him. The colors and smells were so vibrant and exciting. I would always look forward to our trips together.
How does the food at your new Simply India restaurant at The St. Regis Mauritius Resort differ from what you serve at Benares in London? There’s more seafood on the menu because I try to source everything locally. We do a delicious starter of lasooni scallops, with garlic, cauliflower purée and piccalilli. And there’s a wonderful main course of samundri do pyaaza – squid, scallops, prawns and fish, all cooked with tangy onions.
What is the dish your mother used to make that you still love? Rogan josh. It’s a dish I’ve had on my menus many times, although my mother makes it best. It’s a classic Indian dish with lamb and lots of spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, plus ginger, tomato paste, crushed almonds and yoghurt. It’s something my whole family used to enjoy together around the dinner table, so it has a sense of nostalgia for me as well.
What’s your signature dish at Simply India? Konju moille. It’s a beautiful dish made with Madagascan lobster, cooked with coconut and curry leaf. It’s very succulent.
Do you have a trademark dish? I have a couple. But one of my favorites is my chicken tikka pie with wild berry chutney. It’s made with a great light pastry shell and filled with chicken tikka. We then use seasonal wild berries to make a sweet and savory compôte.
What local ingredients do you use at Simply India? The Madagascan lobster is great, and we use a lot of local coconut oil and coconut milk. The variety of seafood on offer in Mauritius is incredible.
How would you describe your cooking? Modern Indian. It’s a combination of the recipes and cooking techniques from my upbringing, with twists I’ve picked up along the way. I also adapt traditional Indian recipes to incorporate seasonal ingredients of other countries.
Where is your favorite restaurant in the world? D.O.M. in São Paolo, Brazil. It serves up all manner of exciting ingredients from the Amazon rainforest, such as cambuca fruit, manioc root and tucupi juice, which are so exotic. But I love the markets in Jamshedpur in India where I grew up, because that’s where my culinary journey first started.
Who taught you to cook? Both my parents. I have so many memories of my mother in the kitchen, cooking and showing me how to prepare dishes. However, my father taught me everything I know about the quality of fresh local ingredients.
Do you ever dream about cooking? Yes, I think it would be hard not to when it’s on your mind all the time.
Which chef has had the most influence on you? Albert Roux [the French-born co-founder of London restaurant Le Gavroche, whose first job was as cook for Nancy Astor]. His passion and skill is so admirable, and he has been a mentor to me over the years.
What would you have for your last supper? A simple vegetarian curry with fresh naan, eaten with all of my family. Which person, living or dead, would you love to cook for? My father.
What are the most important three ingredients to have in your store cupboard? Spices! My favorites are coriander, cinnamon and cloves.
Your address: The St. Regis Mauritius Resort 97
The New Age of Sail
age of sail Words by Miriam Cain
the latest generation of super-yachts, utilizing cutting-edge technologies pioneered in racing and aviation, are bringing wind power back into fashion
Sailing The New Age of Sail
achts have come a long way since the days when even the grandest was still made of wood, with sails of cumbersome cloth, each requiring a dozen sailors to manhandle. As the competitors crossed the finishing line of the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay this summer, their racing yachts looked more like vessels from the space program than descendants of the traditional sailing yacht. Take, for example, the Cup’s defender, BMW Oracle Racing and its boat USA 17. Following years of research and millions of dollars of investment, this 113ft trimaran is powered by a 225ft wingsail, the largest wing ever built for a vessel on sea and as big as that of a Boeing 747. Effectively an airplane on the water, it is so fast that a customized “chase boat” with quadruple
high-performance engines had to be built just to enable the support team to keep up with her. But then the America’s Cup is not only the world’s oldest trophy in international sport – it dates back to 1851 – but it is also one of the hardest to win. At this year’s competition, during which St. Regis was the official hotels and resorts partner of the America’s Cup, thousands flocked to witness the head-to-head racing of yachts that boast the finest sail technology, engineering and design ever seen. The influence of the America’s Cup on the world of sailing cannot be underestimated. While historically owners of sailing yachts were primarily those who prized the sport and romance of sailing and would compromise on comfort, speed and value, in recent years many 102
owners with little or no sailing experience have joined the ranks of windpowered, as opposed to fossil-fuel-powered boats. Today, if you conducted a survey of all the superyachts on the sea, you would find that more than 20 per cent have sails that can power their hulls as fast as any motorized counterpart, and they are using technology previously only available for professional sailing yachts to do it. According to Simon Goldsworthy, yacht broker at Camper & Nicholsons, developments in technology and yacht design have removed many of the previous disadvantages of sail over motor. “Far from being slow and unwieldy, the sailing yachts of today are fast and can use even light winds to make decent speed,” he says. “And because now you will pay about the same
© ACEA/Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Cover: the 184ft Panthalassa, built by Perini Navi. Above: BMW Oracle Racing’s USA 17, winner of the 2010 America’s Cup
The New Age of Sail
Cutting edge Oracle Team USA training in the fog of San Francisco Bay in February
for a 150ft sailing yacht as you will for a 150ft motor yacht, the choice is really just a question of preference.” Indeed, far from being a rustic or low-tech alternative to their motorized counterparts, sailing vessels have had to become even more advanced in engineering and technology terms to power them by wind alone. It was the invention in the 1990s of the captive hydraulic winch by Fabio Perini of Perini Navi that really changed the landscape for luxury sailing yachts. By creating large winches that could be operated by the mere push of a button, Perini enabled these large sailing yachts to be run by a similar number of crew as a motor yacht of equivalent length. Today, even the largest of these super sailing yachts can be handled effectively by one
person from the helm, with crew to help with any technical hitches, and, of course, to cater to the whim of every guest on board. The technical advances of these sailing yachts have been just as noticeable inside as out. With an increasingly youthful ownership, have come interiors more in line with boutique hotels and contemporary apartments than the gentlemen’s-club interiors of the past, lined in cherry wood and mahogany. Take the 184ft Panthalassa, for instance, with its innovative palewood interior by Foster + Partners, or the 289ft Maltese Falcon, which is more space-age than clipper-era. In yachts such as these, says Peder Eidsgaard, creative director at yacht design company Eidsgaard Design, it is now not unusual to have a flybridge, which doubles 103
the amount of space for outdoor entertaining, as well as a “beach club”, Jacuzzi and swimming pool with contra-flow technology to allow guests to have a proper swim on board. Accommodation, too, has evolved. “Thanks to advances in naval architecture,” says Justin Redman, partner of yacht designers Redman Whiteley Dixon, “yachts can be designed to have much larger volumes within the hull without impairing sailing performance. This means substantially increased comfort, as well as sophisticated amenities, from hi-tech audiovisual systems to cinemas, gyms and spas.” The Maltese Falcon, for example, has an outdoor movie theater; and many of the 184ft Perinis, including the recently refurbished Parsifal IV, have gyms in their beach club areas.
The New Age of Sail
Technological advances have been matched by developments in design aesthetic, as seen here on Panthalassa, with interiors by renowned architects Foster + Partners
Unsurprisingly, pioneers of interior yacht design – Jon Bannenberg, Alberto Pinto and John Munford, and more recently Redman Whiteley Dixon, Andrew Winch, Remi Tessier, Bannenberg & Rowell and Eidsgaard Design – are also the people to whom private-jet companies turn for their interiors. Not only do the same techniques and principles apply, but also the same materials, which must be both lightweight and incredibly strong. The hulls of the most hi-tech racing yachts, for instance, will be built from composite materials, such as a carbon-and-Kevlar-sandwich, and the sails from composite materials such as 3DL. This means that, even if the owners aren’t professional racers, their vessels have a chance of winning one of the big super-yacht regattas such as the St. Barths
Bucket, held in the Caribbean, and the Loro Piana superyacht regatta off Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda. Interestingly, many of the largest and most advanced sailing yachts have been built by technology entrepreneurs, a lot of whom are from the San Francisco area and Silicon Valley. Jim Clark (the founder of Netscape) first started the trend with his yacht, the 156ft Hyperion, built at the Royal Huisman shipyard in Holland. Designed to be so automated that he could sail her from his desk in Silicon Valley, at her launch in 1998 Hyperion was not just the most advanced sailing yacht in the world, but the most advanced yacht, period. He then followed up with the 295ft three-masted schooner, Athena, which at the time of her launch in 2004 was the largest private sailing yacht ever built. 106
Another tech star who wanted to build something that broke the boundaries was Bill Joy, owner of the 190ft Ethereal. Joy was the founder of Sun Microsystems, and he is often referred to as “the Edison of the internet” for the role he played in its development. Joy again chose to build his yacht at the shipyard that many regard as the pinnacle in quality and engineering terms, Royal Huisman. Although not the largest yacht yet built, Joy’s use of cutting-edge technologies made Ethereal a first when she was launched in 2009. Her design and build were so groundbreaking that new technologies and research in bio-engineering were required. Her hybrid electromechanical propulsion system allows her to charge batteries instead of using generators under sail. Her lighting (largely dimmable LED)
The New Age of Sail
Futuristic styling on deck
This “wave” on the deck of the 131ft Angel’s Share was styled by Amanda Levete Architects, with interiors by Eidsgaard Design
not only uses less energy than standard systems but produces less heat, which lightens the load on air-conditioning units. Her water system recycles energy… the list of innovations to make this yacht as green as possible goes on. Tom Perkins is best known as the founder of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which backed eBay. Another business visionary, he chose to breathe life into a design that had been sitting on the drawing board of Gerard Dijkstra since the 1960s, when technology was not advanced enough for it to be made. Dijkstra’s DynaRig concept chose to stand conventional rigging theory on its head by removing the necessity for having rigging at all, with each mast able to spill wind from its sails by rotating using hydraulics. Perkins chose Perini Navi to build
this rule-breaker for him at their new shipyard in Turkey, and the result was the 289ft Maltese Falcon, which, at her launch in 2006, quite simply blew the yachting community away with her space-age looks and blistering performance. With every year comes another yacht that is bigger and better than the last. Currently the 247ft Mirabella V is the largest sloop (singlemasted sailing yacht) afloat, with some of the most hi-tech gadgetry invented to operate the rigging in her towering 290ft mast. Although the 305ft EOS is the world’s largest sailing yacht, she won’t remain so for long. A sailing yacht of more than 328ft is being built by Oceano, and a sloop of 331ft is being constructed by Dubois. But none will be as large as the 462ft Dream Symphony, due for launch in 2014. As is typical in 107
the superyacht world, very little is known about her, other than that her Russian owner also owns the yard in Turkey where she is being built. Although Dream Symphony will be the world’s biggest sailing yacht within a year, chances are she won’t have that crown for long. Given the technical advances made on both America’s Cup yachts and their superyacht relations, and the increasing appreciation of the engineering required to maneuver a vessel of this size by wind alone, sailing yachts are becoming an increasingly viable choice for the owners of super-yachts. As oil prices increase, and a younger and more eco-conscious ownership group emerges, this trend can only continue. Your address: The St. Regis San Francisco
A Life in Seven Journeys
the Author of such classic works as The Great Railway Bazaar and The Mosquito Coast, Paul Theroux is arguably the world’s greatest living travel writer. Here he describes the seven most momentous expeditions of a lifetime defined by journeys
Camping in the woods, 1952 My very first adventure was as a Boy Scout, when I was about 11. You had to be able to cook on a fire, shoot a gun and camp. I grew up in a suburb just outside Boston, so my father drove us to the woods and dropped us off at the campsite, where we set up our three little one-man tents and spent a couple of days. This was the first time I’d been away without an adult. With my own tent. My own sleeping bag. Cooking my own food. It was fun, but the best thing was being self-sufficient.
2 Skiing in New Hampshire, 1957 I grew up in New England, where winters were very snowy, but it was only when I was about 16 or 17 that I learnt to ski. This school trip made a profound impression because it was the first time I’d ever needed specific equipment – jacket, gloves, boots – and I learnt a new skill away from home. It informed the way I travel.
3 Discovering Italy, 1963 Straight after university, a friend and I hitchhiked from Rome across Italy, living like vagabonds. It was my first experience of life outside America, and it smelt different and it looked different. Italy then was very sober –
the men wore brown suits and hats, and the women black dresses. I didn’t know what I was looking for; I was open. I thought, “Maybe I’ll fall in love.” I didn’t, but I did find a vocation: to teach.
4 The Peace Corps, 1963 This trip, to Nyasaland, which became Malawi, was the one that changed my life. I taught there for two years and then four in Uganda, and I was very happy. I lived in huts, among African people, in the way they lived. I had a connection and made real friends. Because it was a great time of social change, I learnt a lot about Africa, which is what keeps me going back.
5 Exploring the East, 1968 This wasn’t a trip in the ordinary sense; it wasn’t a journey there and back. I got a job for three years as a lecturer in Singapore. Because it was hot, stifling and noisy, I wanted to leave. So I did – a lot. I would take a train to Bangkok. A ship to Borneo. I went to Burma, to Thailand, to Indonesia and walked the old streets, and ate at the old markets that Joseph Conrad wrote about. By then I had written novels, but never a travel book. Once I’d traveled, though, I had material. I had stories to tell. So 108
Singapore, in a sense, prepared me for a life as a travel writer.
6 Taking the train from London to Tokyo, 1973 I knew I wanted to write a travel book. I realized I could go from London to Paris, then Istanbul, and then through Turkey overland to Afghanistan and hook up with trains to India and the East. In parts it was dangerous. In Vietnam there was still fighting, and trains were being blown up. But I felt that if I was going to be a travel writer, it was these sorts of experiences I should be writing about. I was young – 31 or 32. I probably wouldn’t do that now.
7 From Cairo to the Cape, 2001 This was the longest overland trip I have ever undertaken. It was testing and very dangerous, but I produced one of my favorite books. I went to places I had never been – the pyramids in Sudan and the wild lands between Ethiopia and Nairobi. We camped when we got stuck and had to sleep under a lorry. Actually, I haven’t rough-camped much since my first trip as a child. Paul Theroux’s book, The Last Train to Zona Verde, is published by Hamish Hamilton
Illustration: Jacobo Pérez-Enciso
06 15 04 28 14
The St. Regis ATLAS The St. Regis story around the globe, from the first hotel opening in Manhattan in 1904 to the most recent in Abu Dhabi in 2013
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 Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel 10. The St. Regis San Francisco 11. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort 12. The St. Regis Singapore 13. The St. Regis Bali Resort
14. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort 15. The St. Regis Atlanta 16. The St. Regis Mexico City 17. The St. Regis Princeville Resort 18. The St. Regis Deer Valley 19. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico 20. The St. Regis Osaka 21. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort 22. The St. Regis Bangkok 23. The St. Regis Florence 24. The St. Regis Tianjin 25. The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort 26. The St. Regis Shenzhen
27. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi 28. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort 29. The St. Regis Doha 30. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort 31. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi
COMING SOON IN 2014 32. The St. Regis Chengdu 33. The St. Regis Lijiang Resort 34. The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur
The Aficionadoâ€™s Guide An introduction to St. Regis Hotels and Resorts around the world, in alphabetical order by region
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi The St. Regis Doha 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 Lhasa Resort 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
The St. Regis Florence The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort The St. Regis Rome
31 32 33 34
4 5 6 7
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Enduring Legacy, Sophisticated Luxury
ASK US ABOUT 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. Shopping at the plush Marina Mall, which also has an ice skating rink, a movie theater and a bowling ally. Traditional crafts are also available here. Putting your pedal to the metal at the home of F1, the Yas Marina Circuit, which offers driver-experience days. Adrenaline junkies will also love hitting the dunes in Liwa. The guestroom of the Al Hosen Suite; afternoon tea in the Crystal Lounge
In 2013 The St. Regis Abu Dhabi opened in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which is fast developing a major arts and cultural scene, turning the city into an ever more sophisticated metropolis. Add cuttingedge architecture and world-class sports, and it’s easy to understand Abu Dhabi’s appeal. 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 home-away-from-home. The hotel is near several major corporate headquarters and embassies and is convenient for shopping malls. Relax after a day exploring with dinner in the hotel’s destination restaurant, Rhodes 44, overseen by Michelin-starred British chef Gary Rhodes. This acclaimed new restaurant offers guests contemporary cuisine with Arab influences and is Rhodes’ first venture in Abu Dhabi.
Pink Polo. Pink Polo. Held at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club on November 8, 2013. This wonderful spectator event, with free entrance, is held in support of breast cancer. The concierge are happy to organize transportation for you. Learn more at stregis.com/polo Family Traditions at St. Regis: The sand-dune and camel-farm visit: take a trip out to the Al Khatim desert for a thrilling ride, then on to a camel farm to meet the ‘ships of the desert’. Learn more at stregis.com/ familytraditions
Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates u T. (971) (2) 694 4444 u email@example.com 283 guest rooms and suites; 8 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; private beach; children’s club stregis.com/abudhabi 4
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 salt-water lakes, dunes and the beach itself are challenges along the way of this par 72 course. Lessons can be arranged. The World Falcon Tour shows how falcons are cared for, bred and released via the Sheikh Zayed Falcon Release Program. Families can meet the experts who will tell the stories of these fascinating birds. Kayaking among the mangrove forests with a guide. Abu Dhabi has swaths of mangrove covering more than 30 square miles of coastline. You need no previous experience to hop in a kayak. Life doesn’t get more peaceful.
The exterior of the hotel at night; relax on Saadiyat Beach, moments from the hotel
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, and The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (which opened in late 2011) has been welcomed here by regulars and new visitors alike. The architecture and interior design are stunning, showcasing the bold design principles of the award-winning architecture firm Woods-Bagot and Johannesburg-based 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, four swimming pools, a dedicated children’s club and the state-of-the-art St. Regis Athletic Club. Watch the dolphins in the blue waters, while nearby Saadiyat Beach is a nesting site for Hawksbill turtles.
Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 largest rollercoaster, dedicated entertainment, themed stores and restaurants. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 8pm. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
Saadiyat Island, P.O. Box 54345, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates u T. (971) (2) 4988888 u firstname.lastname@example.org 377 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; beach; golf; children’s club stregis.com/saadiyatisland 5
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
The St. Regis Doha The Finest Address in Qatar
ASK US ABOUT A private guided shopping trip to the Souq Waqif for some MiddleEastern spices and souvenirs. This is the premier souq in the city for locals as well as tourists and is within walking distance of the Corniche, Doha’s waterfront promenade. Small cafés and restaurants, many with shisha, will give you a break from haggling, and they make entertaining stopping-off points en route. Oryx Farm: these elegant longhorned animals are the symbol of Qatar, and at the Oryx Farm and Equestrian Club, 10 miles from Doha, visitors can see large herds of the protected species, part of a conservation program.
The hotel’s postmodern Arabian exterior is both bold and welcoming; enjoy a light snack on 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 Qatar World Cup, it’s an ultra-cosmopolitan capital. If Victorian travellers needed to visit Florence, Paris and Vienna, 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. Five miles from the main diplomatic and financial districts and close to several of the big energy corporate headquarters, it makes business sense to make your base here. The hotel’s new Hakkasan Doha restaurant opened in January 2013 and its modern Cantonese fine-dining restaurant has already received two awards. Thanks to the hotel’s Jazz at Lincoln Center venue, which has made Doha the jazz hub of the Middle East, you are in the right place for the best evening’s entertainment, too.
Private dhow cruising: along the Corniche you will find traditional fishing boats that offer guests dinner and music aboard. It’s a delightful way to see the sweep of the bay from the land, and the sea breezes as the sun goes down are especially refreshing after the heat of the day. Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 stregis.com/ familytraditions
Doha West Bay, Doha 14435, Qatar u T. (974) 44460000 u email@example.com 336 guest rooms and suites; 10 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis; private beach stregis.com/doha 6
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
The St. Regis Mauritius Resort Island Sanctuary
ASK US ABOUT Horse racing: founded in 1812, the Champs de Mars is one of the oldest racetracks in the world, and every Saturday it throngs with race-goers. Blue Marlin fishing from the legendary Le Morne Angler’s Club in Black River. Some of the world’s best game fishing lies within a few miles of Mauritius’s coral barrier reef. Watch out for black marlin, mako sharks, tiger sharks, yellow-fin tuna, dogtooth tuna and others. Exploring the Vortex: this fascinating spot in the village of Riambel is thought by some to be a natural center of the Earth’s energy: one of 14 such places in the world. A grail for the spiritually minded, it is a place of great serenity. A Guest Room exterior set in the hotel’s lush gardens; Surfing and kite surfing are popular activities
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 Brabant, a seductive peninsula at the southwestern 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 30 minutes’ drive from the capital and from the famed Black River Gorges National Park.
Kite surfing: the Le Morne Peninsula has a vast, turquoise lagoon and is windy almost all year round, while the Resort’s Club Mistral Prestige Kite Surf Center offers a seamless transition from guest room to surf spots, private lessons or just great local advice. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Casela Nature & Leisure Park: the park’s 11 hectares are home to lions, monkeys, giant tortoises and zebra. For the energetic, there are also quad bikes, Segways and zip lines. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
Le Morne Peninsula, Le Morne, Mauritius u T. (230) 403 9000 u firstname.lastname@example.org 172 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; children’s club stregis.com/mauritius 7
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Aspen Resort Majestic Spirit of the Rockies
ASK US ABOUT Catching a classical concert or a cool jazz session. Just about everyone knows there’s much more to Aspen than winter sports. But maybe not so many visitors are aware that the city in the Rockies has one of America’s best live music scenes. Just a stroll from your hotel, Belly Up Aspen (450 South Galena Street) hosts more than 300 live concerts during the year. White-water rafting. Enjoy the thrill, from gentle float trips for beginners to Class V rapids for the more ambitious. Throughout the summer months, a variety of excursions are offered on the beautiful waters of the Colorado, Roaring Fork and Arkansas rivers.
The hotel surrounded by woodland, as seen from the base of Aspen Mountain; a Deluxe King Guest Room
Aspen is a special place where people can lose themselves in nature, as views of the Rockies are rarely more than a turn of the head away, yet find great pleasure in the many sports on offer. Beyond skiing, there is the arts scene and of course great spa-based activities. Yoga, fly-fishing, rock climbing, jeep tours, paragliding, ballooning, winter skiing, summer hiking… the menu of lifestyle options rivals the food and drink you’ll enjoy here. The resort’s newest restaurant, 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 in 2012 by acclaimed architect Lauren Rottet, The St. Regis Aspen Resort is in downtown Aspen, between the mountain’s two primary base ski lifts and within walking distance of Aspen’s shops, restaurants and entertainment, while the celebrated Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE brings America’s most innovative cuisine to your resort experience.
Horseback riding. Saddle up for a ride through what’s surely some of the world’s most spectacular and unique mountain scenery in the Maroon Bells and Hunter Frying Pan Wilderness Area. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Dog sled tour. This guided tour through the Snowmass and Aspen wilderness is an exhilarating ride, where each sled is pulled by ten huskies and experienced ‘mushers’ for up to two hours. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
315 East Dean Street, Aspen, Colorado 81611, United States u T. (970) 920-3300 u email@example.com 179 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; golf; ski stregis.com/aspen 8
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Atlanta Refining Southern Tradition
ASK US ABOUT A helicopter flight to see the bas-relief at Stone Mountain. The largest carving in the world, sculpted into the face of this massive natural quartz dome, is magnificent. Stone Mountain is surrounded by a park with scenic trails and plenty of attractions for families. Hire a private guide to show you around the Antebellum Plantation, a collection of 18th- and 19th-century dwellings that bring history to life. Prohibition (56 East Andrews Drive). Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the 1920s at this speakeasy-style bar with an outstanding cocktail program. Access is gained by a secret phone number. Just ask your concierge, and he will provide it for you. The hotel at dusk, in the enclave of Buckhead; the dining room in the Empire Suite
Atlanta is known for its breezy, Southern, uncomplicated approach to life, business, culture… and just about everything. 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. When you need to wind down or catch up with friends or business colleagues, then the perfect spot is this grand, home-from-home hotel in the center of Buckhead, a neighborhood just a few miles from downtown. The neighboring streets, lined with oak trees and Georgian, Tudor, Italianate and Greek Revival mansions, are pedestrian-friendly. The King Center, the CNN headquarters (which is open for tours), the Atlanta Ballet and Symphony Orchestra are all a short drive away. Inside the hotel, you’ll find an “in-town resort”: including the 40,000 sq ft Pool Piazza. And 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.
King + Duke (3060 Peachtree Road Northwest): taking its name from two characters in Huckleberry Finn, our new neighbor in Buckhead Plaza comes from Atlanta chef Ford Fry. Its centerpiece is a 24ft open hearth, reflecting executive chef Joe Schafer’s passion for cooking over fire. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Whale encounters: at Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St NW) try the new Beluga & Friends Interactive Program, which offers a two-hour wetsuit encounter with its extraordinary beluga whales. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
Eighty-Eight West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305, United States u T. (404) 563-7900 u firstname.lastname@example.org 151 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym stregis.com/atlanta 9
AN AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS HOTELS & RESORTS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico Caribbean Indulgence
ASK US ABOUT 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. 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).
The lounge at the Plantation House; the magnificent two miles of pristine Bahia 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 ’60s and ’70s, 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 plantation-style 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. Puerto Rico is a muchloved beach destination, but its tropical waters are also perfect for seakayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing and fishing. The island is known for its distinctive cuisine, culture and Caribbean vibe.
San Sebastián Festival: the highlight of the season; a vast street party with dancing, drinking, fun and souvenirs to buy. A seasonal tradition since 1954 in Old San Juan, the festival is usually held in early January – ask the concierge for details. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Organizing a kayak tour to the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay in Vieques; the water contains billions of single-celled organisms called bioluminescent dinoflagellates that emit light at night. Best viewed on an evening without any moonlight. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
State Road 187 kilometer 4.2, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 00745, United States u T. (787) 809-8000 u email@example.com 139 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis; beach; children’s club stregis.com/bahiabeach 10
AN AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS HOTELS & RESORTS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort Miami Beach’s Most Exclusive Enclave
ASK US ABOUT 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. 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 luxurious Tranquility Pool; the bedroom of the Imperial Suite
Suddenly and superlatively, Miami is very exciting again. Art Basel, South Beach’s effervescent social whirl, the global chic of sophisticated urbanites, the rediscovery of Art Deco, the 500th anniversary of Florida. All these have focused 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 and expansive beach front access, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort was one of the hottest hotel openings in the US of 2012, and has immediately become one of the key sites of Miami’s buzzing social scene. In May, the hotel launched a comprehensive Wellness Program, combining fitness, spa and cuisine. Weekly nutrition talks are led by a wellness expert. There are over 25 different fitness classes, and optimally balanced menus, including the option for a wellness minibar in your room.
Art, art and more art. There’s not only the renowned Art Basel Miami Beach fair every December, but it runs in parallel with the NADA fair (which features more “underground” work), plus Pulse and Design Miami. You should find shows, private views and art parties taking place all over the city at any time of year. Don’t forget your credit card. The unique Neiman Marcus Closet service. Tell the personal shopping team about your style preferences, and they will stock your hotel closet for you. Genius. Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 stregis.com/ familytraditions
9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Florida 33154, United States u T. (305) 993-3300 u firstname.lastname@example.org 227 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; gym; children’s club stregis.com/balharbour 11
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Deer Valley Slope-side Sophistication
ASK US ABOUT Vodka and whisky tasting at the saloon of the award-winning High West Distillery on Park City’s Main Street, a historic, landmark thoroughfare lined with cool boutiques, galleries, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. Meeting Shannon Bahrke. The much-loved two-time Olympic medalist is the resort’s Ski Ambassador. She is available to ski with groups and families for a full or half day, giving pointers on all aspects of the sport.
One of the Guest Rooms, with stunning views; enjoy après ski on the Mountain Terrace with its Garden of Fire
Ski the champagne-powdered Deer Hollow run or sip champagne while you watch everyone else rushing about. Catch a cool arthouse movie or a largemouth bass, relax with a hot-air balloon flight over the peaks or feel the exhilaration of a high-alpine trek… The St. Regis Deer Valley is surrounded by the majestic Wasatch Mountains, a hop away from three world-famous areas for downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice-skating, snowshoeing, tubing and horse-drawn sleigh rides. When the snow melts, it reveals an all-season playground: walking and mountain-biking trails, golf courses, art galleries, shops and restaurants. Situated slope-side, the two buildings of The St. Regis Deer Valley are connected by a funicular rail line, the only one of its kind in the USA, which makes for easy access from the base of the mountain to the resort.
Utah Olympic Park. Test your mettle on the luge rides on the Olympic track. Then why not wind down with visits to the fascinating Alf Engen Ski Museum and the 2002 Eccles Olympic Winter Games Museum. Saddling up for a horseback ride into the Rockies to take in some of America’s most ruggedly beautiful scenery, including memorable views of Hunter Creek and the Continental Divide. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Bobsledding at Utah Olympic Park: Reach speeds of up to 70mph with professional bobsled pilots who take three passengers along the route. So all you have to do is enjoy the ride, or shut your eyes. Learn more at stregis.com/ familytraditions
2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, Utah 84060, United States u T. (435) 940-5700 u email@example.com 181 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; ski stregis.com/deervalley 12
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Houston Explore Houston’s Best Address
ASK US ABOUT Saddling up and playing a chukka or two at Houston Polo Club (8552 Memorial Drive) after a private lesson. If that’s too energetic, Sundays are when the pros play, and you can sit on the sidelines sipping bubbly and admire how fit and fast the polo ponies are. A guided tour of the Rothko Chapel. Discover the story of this meditative space inspired by the canvases of the Russian-born American painter Mark Rothko. Playing the role of oil baron at the Oil Ranch (23501 Macedonia Road, Hockley), a 50-acre theme park just outside the city, where there is paintball, pony rides, miniature golf, fishing and even gemstone mining. Real fires and soft furnishings in the tea lounge offer the epitome of comfort; the destination swimming pool
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 and six miles from Houston’s central business district. In July 2012, the celebrated design firm ForrestPerkins created a warm and welcoming Tea Lounge with a library so that guests could 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, draws 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: George Ranch Historical Park (10215 FM 762 Rd, Richmond): the essence of Texas, a living-history museum tracing the Texas story, with exhibits including a stock farm, a prairie home, a mansion and a ranch complex with cattle demonstrations and a working blacksmith. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
1919 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston, Texas 77027-3408, United States u T. (713) 840-7600 u firstname.lastname@example.org 232 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym stregis.com/houston 13
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Mexico City Grace and Distinction Uncompromised
ASK US ABOUT A taste of literature. Meet Mónica Lavín, one of Hispanic America’s most fêted novelists, and enjoy a specially prepared menu accompanied by excerpts from Lavín’s work, a sublime marriage of literary passion with gastronomic excellence. Ballooning to ancient Teotihuacan. This complex of temples and pyramids lies 30 miles north of Mexico City and is a UNESCOlisted wonder of the world. Built between the first and seventh centuries, it was first excavated in the 19th century. 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 skyline; the Remède Spa infinity pool on the 15th floor is a serene spot
The St. Regis Mexico City is the main resident of the Torre Libertad, an architectural masterpiece built by César Pelli in 2009. 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, between the ancient and the thrustingly modern, between business and pleasure. In the heart of the world’s biggest city, you can, from the helipad, take in the most mindboggling urban sprawl and, on a clear day, the majesty of Popocatépetl volcano. 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. Guy Santoro at Restaurant Diana and Maycoll Calderón at the J&G Grill, two signature restaurants within the hotel, are among the very best chefs at work in this city with a celebrated food scene.
Valle de Bravo. This beautiful lakeside town, less than a couple of hours away by car, is a haven of tranquility much favored by the capital’s elite. Enjoy a boat ride, go paragliding in the surrounding mountains, or simply take in the elegant architecture on a gentle stroll. Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 stregis.com/familytraditions
Paseo de la Reforma 439, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, Federal District 06500, Mexico u T. (52)(55) 5228 1818 u email@example.com 189 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis; children’s club stregis.com/mexicocity 14
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Monarch Beach A Spectacular Setting
ASK US ABOUT Your surf expert. The hotel employs a wave expert, someone who can teach you everything from the bare basics of surfing to where to find the hairiest breaks, depending on your ability. The Mission at San Capistrano (26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan 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.
The hotel exterior; an Ocean View Executive Suite
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 elegant signature rooms and suites as well as the multiple award-winning Spa Gaucin. Its innovative spa menu includes the latest from Intraceuticals™ and The St. Regis Monarch Beach’s own Signature Mediterranean Spa Scent, created by Darcie DeBartelo, the spa director. The acclaimed 18hole golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., while the hotel’s private beach has memorable views. But with everything from vintage car gatherings to whale watching and even a tall-ships festival in September, this is so much more than the ultimate Californian beach destination.
Laguna Beach’s Art Walk, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month. Local galleries open their doors to the public as guests and locals enjoy light bites, wine tasting and acclaimed local artists. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Dana Point Harbor cruise. Take in the extraordinary sight of migrating dolphins and whales in herds up to 5,000 strong, in a boat with a glass viewing pod, allowing you and your family to see this, one of nature’s great sights, up close, personal and in comfort. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, California 92629, United States u T. (949) 234-3200 u firstname.lastname@example.org 400 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; tennis; golf; beach; children’s club stregis.com/monarchbeach 15
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis New York The Address Is the Experience
ASK US ABOUT Private art tours. Explore New York’s finest galleries – MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art – and discover the history of some of the world’s greatest and most highly prized treasures. VIP shopping at Dior and Tiffany & Co. The Parisian fashion house of Dior has been a favorite with well-heeled New Yorkers ever since the New Look, while Tiffany & Co’s iconic status in the city was confirmed by the store’s starring role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Both brands are justly renowned for their personal service. The Concierge can arrange for you to enjoy the VIP experience at these two luxury emporia. The hotel’s custom-built 2013 Bentley Mulsanne courtesy car; one of the newly renovated guest rooms
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 this great city is The St. Regis New York, the ultimate Manhattan hotel, which completed a stunning renovation in September 2013, infusing contemporary style with great heritage. Since opening its doors in 1904, cementing Fifth Avenue’s status as the ultimate address, 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 Dali, 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.
The Fischbach Food Tour is a way to discover New York City’s great food culture. With five different itineraries to choose from, you will try bagels, cheesecake and pizza from renowned restaurants and delis across NY’s five boroughs. Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 stregis.com/familytraditions
2 East 55th Street at Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10022, United States u T. (212) 753-4500 u email@example.com 229 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; spa; gym stregis.com/newyork 16
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Princeville Resort The Address for Life’s Celebrations
ASK US ABOUT 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. Try not to be distracted by the mountain and ocean views; just enjoy every moment. Stand-up paddle boarding. If you’ve not tried this yet, then Hawaii has to be one of the best locations to take a lesson in the watersport that’s sweeping the world. It’s not hard to get your balance, but speed you have to work at. Great for all-around coordination and body tone.
The stylish dining area of the Royal Suite looks out over the magical Hawaiin scenery; and outdoors, the Makai golf course in perched on the very edge of the ocean
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 reopened in October 2009 following a multi-million dollar renovation by the hotel design firm WATG and local Hawaiian architecture firm Group 70, 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. Four restaurants serve locally farmed and produced ingredients, and the hotel’s infinity pool overlooks the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
The Farmers Market at Hanalei a must-see experience, with a wide variety of organic produce, tropical flowers and island craft amid a colorful atmosphere. The Waimea Town Celebration (15-22 February) is a classic Hawaiian style festival on Kauai, with a rodeo, canoe races and a fun run. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Jungle Valley Adventure. From the spectacular Uluhe Fern Ridge, ride our two magnificent, 400ft-plus zip lines and connecting bridge over a pristine waterfall and swimming hole. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
5520 Ka HakRoad, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii 96722, United States u T. (808) 826-9644 u firstname.lastname@example.org 251 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; tennis; golf; children’s club stregis.com/princeville 17
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort Paradise Revealed
ASK US ABOUT 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 untouched landscapes of Punta Mita from every angle, making it the perfect setting for pampering both body and spirit. A salud to tequila. Tequila is not just for margaritas. Expand your knowledge of fine tequila and food pairings under the guidance of our chief sommelier.
The rustic yet elegant interior of a Deluxe Guest Room; one of the hotel’s pools, giving a magnificent view of the bay
At 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 high society comes for its beach-side retreats. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is in the Riviera Nayarit, a 1,500-acre resort and residential community, looking out on to a flawless white-sand beach and surrounded by luxuriant tropical flora. There are three infinity pools on the beachfront, and the Pool Butlers can arrange snorkeling tours as well as excursions in the region, while La Tortuga Children’s Club provides an exciting schedule of creative and energetic activities for children between 5-12 years. There are two Jack Nicklaus golf courses, two 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.
Diving in the waters off the Marietas Islands. The complex ecosystem of this sanctuary for marine and bird life offers a good chance of seeing manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, humpback whales and beautiful reef fish, while above the surface you can see extraordinary birds such as the blue-footed booby. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Surf ’s Up surfing lessons are available for all ages and abilities, one of several year-round, warm-water beachside activities. Also try the stand-up paddle boarding. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
Lote H-4, Carretera Federal 200, km 19.5, Punta de Mita, Nayarit 63734, Mexico u T. (52)(329) 291 5800 u email@example.com 118 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; pool; beach; spa; golf; diving; tennis; gym; children’s club stregis.com/puntamita 18
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis San Francisco An Icon of Elegance and Artistry
ASK US ABOUT The San Francisco Giants Package is a treat for baseball fans with accommodation in a Metropolitan Suite, two St. Regis baseball hats, a St. Regis stadium blanket and two premium tickets to a game. State Bird Provisions: San Francisco is one of the world’s great culinary destinations. The latest hot address for foodies? Look no further than State Bird Provisions, San Francisco’s most chic new dining spot, and what the authoritative Bon Appetit magazine called America’s Best New Restaurant of 2012.
One of the world’s greatest landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge; a view across the city from the Astor Suite
The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, cable cars, beaches, beautiful city vistas, the Beats, the breezes… it’s little wonder San Francisco tops the list of many people’s 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 nights on the town and cultural days. On your doorstep you’ll find the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the African Diaspora, worldclass shopping in Union Square, and the Yerba Buena Gardens. Take a trip out of town to enjoy Napa Valley, the coastal town of Carmel and Monterey, or the redwood trees in Muir Woods. Relax in the Remède Spa, where the innovative Beauté de Terroir treatment is now on offer, a partnership with Matanzas Creek winery, pairing a body scrub and massage with a three-course wine-and-cheese menu. Or simply relax and enjoy this extraordinary property, with its spa, infinity pool and Michelinstarred Ame restaurant.
Visiting movie locations. Hollywood itself might be some way south, but many classics were filmed in this iconic city: Hitchcock’s thriller Vertigo; Bogart’s film noir The Maltese Falcon, and more recent flicks, such as Mrs Doubtfire and The Pursuit of Happyness. The California Academy of Sciences. The world’s greenest museum is four destinations in one: an aquarium, planetarium, naturalhistory museum and giant rainforest. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Try grape-juice blending with the family at the hotel, and find out how to be a master blender. With ingredients and equipment supplied, adults and children can bottle their own personal blend to take away. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
125 3rd Street, San Francisco, California 94103, United States u T. (415) 284-4000 u firstname.lastname@example.org 260 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym stregis.com/sanfrancisco 19
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: THE AMERICAS
The St. Regis Washington, D.C. Where Glamour Meets Tradition
ASK US ABOUT Segway the Sites with Bike and Roll The tour includes an overview of the National Mall all the way from the Capitol to the National World War II Memorial, including the north side of the White House and a ride down Pennsylvania Avenue. The First President’s Home. Set out on a special private tour of Mount Vernon, home of President George Washington. Explore this magnificent estate along the Potomac River and experience a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Father of the Nation.
The hotel exterior at night on K Street; the splendid lobby
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 new signature restaurant, Decanter, which serves the freshest seasonal ingredients by executive chef Sebastian Rondier, influenced by the cuisines of France, Spain, Turkey and Italy, and served in a landmark restaurant designed by the architect David Rockwell.
Monuments and Memorials: Hop in a cab in front of the hotel and make a beeline to the Old Lockkeeper’s House on Constitution Avenue at 17th, to start a tour of the National Mall. See the World War II, Vietnam War, Lincoln, Korean War, FDR and the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorials in all their grandeur. Family Traditions at St. Regis: A DC Scavenger Hunt with 11 mind-bending riddles and a special bonus challenge, this scavenger hunt will surely test the skills of intrepid young guests. The Concierge team has prepared an official St. Regis scroll, replete with rhymes, clues and riddles. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
923 16th and K Streets, N.W., Washington, District of Columbia, 20006 United States u T (202) 638-2626 00193 u Reservations@stregis.com. 182 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; gym stregis.com/washingtondc 20
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Bali Resort Beachfront Elegance
ASK US ABOUT Seeing one of the island’s beautiful temples: the 17th-century HinduBuddhist Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple (Candikuning) has a stunning lakeside location in the highlands and is best visited in the early morning when the air is cool and the manicured gardens are empty of visitors. Around the southwestern coast, seven sea temples form a chain within sight of each other. Scuba diving: experienced divers can explore wrecks such as the USS Liberty at Tulamben, to the northeast of the island, while novices can enjoy learning in warm tropical waters that are home to manta rays and small reef sharks.
The guest room of a lagoon villa; the resort encloses a swimming lagoon
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, monkeys and miniature deer. 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 it’s 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 gamelan live music along with Indonesian specialities at Dulang.
Lunching on seafood at Jimbaran Beach Restaurant. The freshest lobster, locally caught fish, jumbo prawns and succulent crab headline the menu of this popular dining spot. Family Traditions at St. Regis: The Eco Learning Park, close to the resort in Sawangan Village, Nusa Dua, is an attraction supported by the Role (River, Ocean, Land, Ecology) Foundation. Guests will discover a campus that integrates plant ecology with resources such as Women’s Skills Education and a café. Try the Jamu, an organic Javanese health drink. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
Kawasan Pariwisata, Lot S6, PO Box 44, Nusa Dua, Bali 80363, Indonesia u T. (62) (361) 8478 111 u email@example.com 123 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; children’s club stregis.com/bali 21
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Bangkok Vibrant Location, Discreet Hospitality
ASK US ABOUT The hotel’s Blue Elephant private cookery classes, which can be tailored to any skill level, from kitchen virgins to professional chefs. They take place in an atmosphere of warm encouragement to inspire you to get creative in your own kitchen. Learning Thai massage: Wat Po is an important center of Thai arts, where in-depth massage courses are offered to a professional standard. Watching a dance or theater performance at the Patravadi Theatre, which is run by the acclaimed actress, director and producer Patravadi Mejudhon. It’s a center for young actors, and showcases international productions. Bangkok city view with the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in the foreground; a Grand Deluxe Guest room
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. The soothing décor of The St. Regis Bangkok, which opened in 2011, 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?
Hiring a guide for a visit to Bangkok’s markets, especially the flower market and the Asiatique night bazaar on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. The sprawling Chatuchak weekend market has everything, from ancient books to herbal remedies. Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 stregis.com/familytraditions
159 Rajadamri Road Bangkok, 10330 Thailand u T. (66) (2) 207 7777 u firstname.lastname@example.org 227 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym stregis.com/bangkok 22
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Beijing Beijing’s Most Prestigious Address
ASK US ABOUT The art districts: The neighborhoods of 798/Dashanzi and Caochangdi, both in the Chaoyang area of the city, are not only fascinating for their contemporary art shows, but also have a laid-back village feel, with lots of coffee shops and cozy bars. Tickets to the Peking Opera: stylized and enigmatic, traditional Chinese theater combines music, extraordinary vocal performances, mime, dance and even acrobatics. The costumes and make-up are theatrical wonders, and both contemporary venues and those dating from the 17th century onwards are popular.
One of the elegant bedrooms; the porte-cochère at night, a short walk from the Silk Market
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. Afterwards, take time to unwind in the hotel’s Iridium Spa, one of Beijing’s most luxurious, and one that has its own 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.
Park life: spend 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 practise their arts in the open air. An ancient pine forest still surrounds around this cultural masterpiece. Family Traditions at St. Regis: One night in Beijing is a special six-hour family experience. Ride a traditional Chinese rickshaw to historic Houhai Lake, climb the ancient Drum Tower, join a local family to make dumplings and then watch a Houhai Kung-fu Spectacle. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
21 Jianguomenwai Dajie Beijing, Beijing 100020, China u T. (86) (10) 6460 6688 u email@example.com 258 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym stregis.com/beijing 23
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort Paradise Perfected
ASK US ABOUT Snorkeling in the hotel’s private lagoon: the crystal-clear waters surrounding Bora Bora are home to a rich variety of marine life including beautiful coral, manta rays, white-tip reef sharks, turtles and dolphins. Taking a day trip to the main island. This is an unmissable chance to be immersed in the local culture of Vaitape, Bora Bora’s largest town. You will receive a warm welcome while you browse for souvenirs, such as pearl jewelry, artworks and sculptures. Afterwards, enjoy panoramic views of Bora Bora on a guided hiking tour.
The dreamy Over Water Villas face Bora Bora’s Mt Otemanu; inside the Royal Estate villa
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 hammam. 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.
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-andsand speck in the ocean. Here you experience a true Robinson Crusoe hideaway, but one where you never have to forgo fine food and wine. Taking a history-themed 4x4 safari of the island. During the Second World War, Bora Bora was home to 7,000 US troops, who used the island as a supply base. The surviving cannons makes an eerie contrast to the tropical landscape.
MotOme’e BP 506, Bora Bora 98730, French Polynesia u T. (689) 607898 u firstname.lastname@example.org 100 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; tennis; children’s club stregis.com/borabora 24
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. A Fine Romance: enjoy an intimate evening beside the lake with champagne and an exquisite customised four course dinner created by the hotel’s Executive Chef. 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 hotel’s Golden Energy Pool
Set 12,000 ft above sea level, Lhasa is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, with air as clean as you’re likely to 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 the only 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 7th-century temple is Tibet’s holiest site. It has been expanded over the centuries, yet many original features remain. 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: Seeing Namtso Lake, the largest in Tibet and the highest-altitude saltwater lake in the world. Yaks and horse-back riding are available for families in this three-hour excursion. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
No. 22, JiangsRoad, Lhasa, Tibet (Xizang) 850000 China u T. (86) (891) 680 8888 u email@example.com 162 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; yoga; pilates; cookery school stregis.com/lhasa 25
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Osaka Cosmopolitan Distinction
ASK US ABOUT Kuidaore: the food-lovers’ pastime. Osaka is the foodie capital of Japan, and you should spend an evening exploring neon-lit Dotonbori trying delicacies such as takoyaki octopus balls and puffer fish sashimi. The Midosuji festival takes place in summer next to the hotel and is packed with gourmands from different corners of the world. Walking the seven slopes of Tennoji, and visiting a handful of the 200 temples and shrines on the south side of Osaka Castle. The route, along Kamimachi-suji street, is lined with ancient cherry trees laden with blossom in spring and filled with the fragrance of incense.
The Guest Room of the Royal Suite; the elegant façade of The St. Regis Osaka
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 is within a 27-storey 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 central lake around which to take a stroll, or you can sit and take time out from the streetscape below.
The Midosuji Illumination is the longest such display in Japan: a lighting festival held on the gingko trees along Osaka’s main street, Midosuji Boulevard. The winter lightshow, held in December through January, stretches for more than a mile, with many small installations within the glittering road of light. Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 stregis.com/familytraditions
3-6-12 Hommachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0053, Japan u T. (81) (6) 6258 3333 u firstname.lastname@example.org 160 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; gym stregis.com/osaka 26
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 Mingling with the locals at a food market. Chun Yuan and Di Yi Shi, known locally as Number 1 market, are famous for their fresh seafood. Take your pick from tempting stalls and then hand it over to one of the many open restaurants, where they will cook it to your liking. 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.
Relax by the heated pool and enjoy views of the tropical gardens; beachside bliss at the two-bedroom Royal Villa
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’s contemporary architecture was inspired by the concept of two intertwined dragons. The hotel 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 or swim. 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.
Diving or snorkeling: you can see coral reefs and colorful tropical fish in the calm waters surrounding the small island of Wuzhizhou, which lies in Haitang Bay, just northeast of Sanya. On the island itself, up to 2,700 individual plant species exist. Trekking Hainan’s highest peak: Wuzhi Mountain in the island’s central highlands is a distinctive landmark and a scenic hike, but steep. Family Traditions at St. Regis: The Mangrove Forest Kayak Tour: a guided trip taking families to the nearby mangrove forest by kayak, a ride that lasts for up to three hours, where you can see egrets, cormorants and pink flamingos. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
Yalong Bay National Resort District, Sanya Yalong Bay, Hainan 572016, China u T. (86) (898) 8855 5555 u email@example.com 401 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; private beach; water sports; tennis; children’s club stregis.com/sanyayalong 27
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Shenzhen Towering Sophistication
ASK US ABOUT Shenzhen’s art scene: visit the galleries in Dafen Oil Painting Village (Dafen Village, Buji, Longgang District) and buy something that will last. This place trades literally millions of artworks a year. Or see the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal in the He Xiangning Art Museum (Enping Road, Overseas Chinese Town, Nanshan District). 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.
The Elba Restaurant; the sky lobby, with expansive views over the city
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-storey Kingkey 100 tower in the heart of the Luoh financial district. Take advantage of the height at the St. Regis Bar on the 96th floor, which serves sushi and sashimi, has live jazz and 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.
Discovering more about local landmarks: the Hong Fa Temple (160 XianhRoad, Liantang, LuohDistrict), located in the XianhBotanical Garden, is a Buddhist temple built in 1985; whereas the China Folk Culture Village celebrates Chinese traditions and cultures. Family Traditions at St. Regis: 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 stregis.com/familytraditions
No. 5016 Shennan Road East, LuohDistrict Shenzhen, Guangdong 518001 China u T. (86)(755) 8308 8888 u firstname.lastname@example.org 290 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym stregis.com/shenzhen 28
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Singapore Timeless Elegance
ASK US ABOUT The Universal Studio Adventure, at Universal Studios Singapore™ is a cutting-edge attraction with rides based around Transformers, Battlestar Galactica, Jurassic Park and Madagascar. An unforgettable experience. The Singapore Botanic Gardens has a focus on fun and nature, with an exciting array of attractions including a Tree House, Waterplay Area and a Children’s Garden. Taking the cable car to Sentosa Island, where you will find sheltered beaches, old forts and family attractions, such as a butterfly park and Universal Studios. It’s a popular draw for visitors.
The lounge of the Astoria Suite on the 20th floor; the hotel pool with its sculpture Floating to Sukhavati, by the Taiwanese artist Li Chen
Singapore isn’t all skyscrapers: close to The St. Regis Singapore, in the embassy district, the Singapore Botanic Gardens offer a respite from the city’s angular modern architecture. 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. For dining, the hotel’s Cantonese restaurant, Yan Ting, has new interpretations of classic dishes, or experience contemporary French cuisine at Brasserie Les Saveurs or Italian at LaBrezza.
Hopping aboard a yacht for a private tour of the Southern Islands. For your trip over to this peaceful weekend getaway, a bulging picnic basket is packed for you and the crew will gladly serve you cold drinks throughout the cruise, a delightful way to escape the bustle of the city. Family Traditions at St. Regis: River Safari: Asia’s only river-themed safari park and the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Enjoy a natural adventure inspired by eight of the world’s greatest rivers, which also has two resident giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911 u T. (65) 6506 6888 u email@example.com 299 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis stregis.com/singapore 29
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: ASIA PACIFIC
The St. Regis Tianjin Tianjin’s Premier Address
ASK US ABOUT A private guided tour around Tianjin’s Shenyang Road antiques market: it’s one of the most significant collectors’ markets in the whole of China, with more than 300 stalls. The region is known for its carpets and clay figurines, but it’s fun just to browse. Look out for pottery and Chairman Mao memorabilia. A chauffeur-driven car to the Huangya Pass, a famous section of the Great Wall of China, 78 miles to the north of Tianjin. Built more than 1,400 years ago, this stretch of preserved wall snakes its way for 26 miles across a steep, dramatic mountain ridge. Early morning offers the perfect light for photographing its distinctive yellow-brown rocks. The hotel’s spectacular exterior – part of the city’s march skywards; The St. Regis Suite Guest Room has panoramic views over the Hai River right outside
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 city’s history is well explained at the Tianjin Museum. 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 on the bank of the scenic Hai River (cruises can be arranged), near the craft shops along Ancient Culture Street; the Jinwan Plaza and ferris wheel are also nearby. 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. And try the St. Regis River Lounge, the only chic riverside lounge bar in the city, where there is a monthly gathering for cocktails and Italian antipasti, with great food to accompany the breeze from the river.
Goubuli: a famous Tianjin brand of steamed buns filled with pork and spices. Every kind of food, from the cheap and cheerful to fine specialities served in superb restaurants can be enjoyed on the “food street” of Shi Pin Jie. Family Traditions at St. Regis: Ancient Chinese Family Mansion Tour. This ancient single family home, called the Shi Family Courtyard, dates from the late Qing Dynasty and is a great place to find out about the history and traditions of Northern China. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
158 Zhangzizhong Road, Heping District Tianjin, Tianjin 300041, China u T. (86) (22) 5830 9999 u firstname.lastname@example.org 274 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; cookery school stregis.com/tianjin 30
AN AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS HOTELS & RESORTS: EUROPE
The St. Regis Florence Premiere Location, Renaissance Grandeur
ASK US ABOUT A chauffeur-driven Bentley to take you up into the Florentine hills: combine sightseeing and mountain air with lunch at Ristorante Omero (Via Pian dei Giullari 47, Località Arcetri), which specializes in traditional Tuscan cuisine. Farther afield you can visit the deservedly popular ancient walled city of Siena, or Pisa – both are just an hour’s drive from the city. The Medici villas tour takes guests to the famous Renaissance family’s villas. So absorbing are these guided tours that guests usually only have time for two or three, although there are five villas in total you can enjoy.
The Duomo and the rooftops of Florence; a Deluxe Guest Room in the Medici style
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 indulged in a Grand Tour, she stayed here. Extensive restoration in 2011 included the addition of a designer suite by Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta, and the public areas are just as dramatic. The fine-dining 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 Michaelangelo’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.
Dressing to impress. Florence is a compact city, best navigated on foot and that definitely applies to exploring its impressive array of shops. Browse upmarket designer boutiques such as Gucci and Prada on Via Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna Nuova in the Santa Maria Novella area. For arty wares try the artisan quarter, Oltrarno, to the south of the Arno, home to artists’ studios, vintage stores and bijoux bars. Family Traditions at St. Regis: The Secret Florence Treasure Hunt: a three-hour discovery of the hidden gems via a privately guided treasure hunt, both magical and revealing. Learn more at stregis.com/familytraditions
Piazza Ognissanti 1, Florence 50123, Italy u T. 0039 055 27161 u email@example.com 100 guest rooms and suites; 1 restaurant and bar; spa; gym stregis.com/florence 31
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: EUROPE
The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel A Regal Address
ASK US ABOUT Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough. Enjoy this centuries-old, much-loved English tradition, done in great style, overseen by the UK’s first Tea Sommelier. Arranging a personal shopping experience at the nearby department stores, Harrods or Harvey Nichols. Highly-skilled personal shoppers will help you select purchases, which will then be delivered to your room by your personal Butler. Booking a private guide to take you to see the Old Masters in the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, home to some of the world’s most celebrated paintings, including works by Titian, Vermeer and Monet. The hotel exterior with The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery passing by; one of The Lanesborough’s Suite Guest Rooms
Overlooking London’s Hyde Park, The Lanesborough is perfectly positioned in the heart of London, just minutes from the luxury boutiques of Sloane Street and Knightsbridge. Also nearby is Mayfair, with its art galleries, fine-dining restaurants and celebrated addresses such as Savile Row, home of London’s celebrated custom tailoring tradition, Jermyn Street and Piccadilly. A handsome Regency building built in 1829, that combines modern facilities with the ambience of a 19th century aristocratic townhouse, The Lanesborough is a short stroll from the grandeur of The Mall and Buckingham Palace and the leafy urban retreat that is St. James’s Park. But for all the attractions of this exciting city with its world-class theater and art scenes, sometimes it is tempting to remain within the luxurious confines of the hotel – to dine at the Michelin-starred Apsleys restaurant perhaps, or simply to enjoy the world-renowned service and attention to detail.
The Body Blitz at Grace Belgravia. Grace Spa’s team of experts will give you an overall health and fitness check to optimise your levels of wellbeing. Grace Belgravia, directed by Dr Tim Evans, Apothecary to HM the Queen, takes a 360-degree approach to wellness, with a mantra of inside-out beauty. The Body Blitz includes nutritional and fitness assessment, personal training, skin assessment, full body scrub and access to all of Grace Belgravia’s facilities and services.
Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA, England u T. (44) (20) 7259 5599 u firstname.lastname@example.org 93 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; gym stregis.com/london 32
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: EUROPE
The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort A Mediterranean Masterpiece
ASK US ABOUT Wine-tasting: Binissalem is a much-admired wine DOC (official wine-growing region), long appreciated in Spain, but with a growing reputation among wine fans from farther afield. There are 13 important wineries in the area: combine cellar visits with lunch in lovely, unspoiled towns such as Alaró and Santa Maria del Camí. The Jazz Voyeur Festival was started in 2004 and has become one of the island’s great annual events. Taking place in November in the capital Palma, the festival includes walks and talks as well as concerts. The Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation. Take an after-hours tour of this great and much-loved artist’s studio, where he worked from the 1950s until his death in 1983.
The resort is both a tranquil hideaway and the perfect base for exploring this rural island; the hotel’s traditional-looking 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. Long before the mad rush for the sand and the sea, the wealthier and wiser islanders preferred to build their estates high up and away from the coast to avoid pirates – follow their lead to get a real insider’s view of the place. 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. Continue your relaxing stay with a session on the new wooden yoga platform, which has a tranquil sea view.
A day out in Deià: 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: 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 stregis.com/familytraditions
Passeig Calvià s/n, Costa d’en Blanes, Mallorca 07181, Spain u T. (34)(971) 629629 u email@example.com 130 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; private jetty; children’s club stregis.com/mallorca 33
THE AFICIONADO’S GUIDE TO ST. REGIS: EUROPE
The St. Regis Rome Iconic Elegance
ASK US ABOUT Viewing the spectacular sculptures and paintings inside the Borghese Gallery (Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5). Afterwards, why not rent a bike to explore the celebrated gardens, one of the glories of the Eternal City. Rome’s best gelato at Il Gelato di San Crispino (Via della Panetteria 42). Sometimes the most luxurious thing is a simple pleasure, enjoyed after a day spent sightseeing. A private after-hours tour of the Vatican. Avoid the entrance lines and explore the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s extraordinary art, away from the milling crowds who throng the Vatican during the day. The hotel’s facade, next to the historic Fountain of Moses; one of the hotel’s stylish bedrooms
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 building was lavishly restored in 2000, and the luxurious interiors, complete with a beautiful ballroom, chandeliers and hand-painted frescos, make for a majestic base from which to explore the Eternal City.
Rome by Vespa. Did you ever dream of your own Roman Holiday and being Audrey Hepburn or Gregory Peck just for one day? Movie memories aside, a Vespa is also a highly practical way to get around this city and explore the narrow streets of its oldest quarters, without getting stuck in traffic. Elizabeth Minchilli’s Insider Food Tour is an expert’s guide to gastronomic Rome. The author takes you on a day-long culinary walk through Rome’s neighborhoods, eating and drinking en route.
Via Vittorio E. Orlando 3, Rome 00185, Italy u T. (39)(06) 47091 u firstname.lastname@example.org 161 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; spa stregis.com/rome 34
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AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
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Beyond, The St. Regis Magazine, is a twice-yearly publication for guests staying at St. Regis Hotels and Resorts – of which there are now mo...