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Raymond Seitz “There is a lakeside cottage deep in the forests of Finland where I go to write the Great American Novel. But it’s so serene that I have never put a single word on paper. And that’s the way it ought to be.” Raymond was the US Ambassador to Britain 1991-1994. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, he divides his time between New Hampshire and Helsinki.

Caroline Roux “Journeys that combine trains and water seem hard to beat – among them the Milan to Geneva express that skirts Lake Maggiore with its stunning sequence of views. I love to stop off at Arona for a delicious lunch at Il Grappolo.” Caroline lives in London and writes about art and design for the Financial Times and Vogue Italia. She is a contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar.

Ari Seth Cohen “I love traveling for work because that way I get to meet the most amazing characters. As a street-style photographer I focus on really cool older people.” Ari is the author of Advanced Style, a book chronicling elegant seniors. A freelance writer, blogger and photographer, his work appears in Vogue Japan, The New York Times, Elle, Glamour and Grazia. He lives in New York City.

Allegra Donn “I think my favorite journey is to arrive in Venice by train – it’s always uplifting to be surrounded by such beauty and to know that just beyond these islands is the open sea. The first thing I always do is have an espresso in San Polo. I love these small luxuries.” Turinborn Allegra lives in London and writes for Vogue Italia, the Financial Times and Harper’s Bazaar.

Alex Majoli “For me, a journey should be a cocktail of experiences. It’s never just a case of transporting oneself from one point to another. But I these days I travel so much that just standing still has become a pleasureable experience.” Alex grew up in Italy and is president of Magnum Photo Agency. He lives with his wife and son between New York and Sicily.

Harry Mount “When I worked in New York, my journey home from work should have been a five-minute bike ride from SoHo to Greenwich Village. But instead I cycled for half an hour all round the southern tip of Manhattan. Where else could your commute become your favourite journey?” An author and journalist in London, Harry specialises in architecture, language and history.

Beyond, The St. Regis Magazine, Issue 01: Spring - Summer 2013 Editor in chief: James Collard / Editor: Jane Wright / 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 ( in New York, Milan, Paris, São Paulo and Zurich, and in London by Thorley Media ( © 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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Cover: Thomas Giddings. Dana Point, California, home of St. Regis Monarch Beach

CONTENTS 15 The magnificent seven

45 Smart packing

— The World in Seven Objects —

— Accessories and Gadgets —

From Sir Paul McCartney’s first professional guitar to a wickedly sexy riding boot via a 350,000,000-year-old fossil, an extraordinary selection of objects each with a story to tell

Whether you’re doing business in Bangkok, hiking in Aspen, shmoozing in Bal Harbour or dressing down in Bora Bora, we’ve found you everything you need to look the part

30 The ascent of man

52 California dreaming

Passing through permafrost landscapes at altitudes of 13,000 feet, Raymond Seitz takes a trip on the highest railway line in the world. All aboard for the Beijing-Lhasa express

From a Pacific ocean breeze to a windless rocky desert, classic American simplicity is defined by a pared-down aesthetic of dazzling whites and barely there shades

41 Hidden treasures

62 King of neon

— The Journey —

— Fashion —

— A Little Place I Know —

— The Connoisseur —

Alain Ducasse on a classic American soda fountain; Iwona Blazwick on an astonishing optical illusion; Jason Wu on a 400-year-old herbalist; and Jancis Robinson on a famous old wine shop

Following in the footsteps of his father, London neon artist Chris Bracey describes his lifelong passion for collecting the retro signage of yesteryear, from carnivals to the city’s theaterland



72 . Tobias 2. The Art Monograph

Caroline Roux meets Romanian brothers Gert and Uwe Tobias – a big hit at Art Basel Miami Beach in December – whose twisted collaborative works draw on Transylvanian folklore. Above: Untitled 2012 by Gert and Uwe Tobias

64 The St. Regis Atlas

90 The Empire strikes back

Our international network of hotels and resorts, from Aspen to Abu Dhabi and London to Singapore, plus the Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis, to help you make the most of your stay

Rome is reclaiming its position as the beating heart of Italian couture, thanks to AltaRoma, the ambitious talent-scouting project spearheaded by Silvia Fendi

66 New Jazz Age

98 Wings of desire

As Jazz at Lincoln Center blazes a trail in the Middle East at St. Regis Doha, we salute the old hands and the young blood bringing jazz to a new generation

Once a traditional livelihood for Bedouin hunters, falconry endures in the UAE as both a sport and a passion for wealthy enthusiasts. We go behind the scenes of a national obsession

78 My New York: Iris Apfel

104 All in the detail

She may have decorated the White House for nine presidents, but at 91 this much-loved style icon is designing jewellery and inspiring makeup collections. Ari Seth Cohen meets Mrs. A

Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin: the foremost car designers in the world reveal the sophisticated engineering and design technology that goes into custom interiors for luxury cars

80 Playground of the Gilded Age

108 Harry Benson

— The Revival —

— The Directory —

— Sport —

— Music —

— Cars —

— Interview —

— Backstory —

— A Life in Seven Journeys —

From the grand upstate lodges of Lake St. Regis to the glamorous city playground of America’s early aristocracy, Harry Mount discovers the story behind St. Regis New York

Eyewitness to some of the defining moments in 20th-century history, the 83-year-old Scots photographer recounts seven significant journeys in an extraordinary life and career




THE WORLD IN SEVEN OBJECTS Photography by Louisa Parry



The World in Seven Objects


The upcycled gem Vintage jewelery may feature stones of the highest quality, but it can easily look dated. Eliane Fattal, daughter of legendary arts patron Jill Ritblat, has found a stylish way to offer a second life to antique jewels from the archive of Bond Street London stalwarts S.J. Phillips. A photographer and art historian, Fattal was a long-term client of the jewelers, best known for keeping American Vogue editor Anna Wintour in statement necklaces. Stumbling across a vintage flower brooch, she persuaded the company to transform it into a contemporary cocktail ring, laying the groundwork for her exquisite Metamorphosis collection. Inspired by the grand dames of glamour, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Peggy Guggenheim, Fattal created 20 unique pieces that had the international jewelery trade in raptures. While Jonathan Norton, one of the fourth-generation brothers who run S.J. Phillips today, oversaw the technical side (Fattal has no formal jewelery training), she found innovative ways to reinterpret old pieces to suit the demands of modern women’s lifestyles. Many can be unscrewed and worn in several ways, from a rose-cut diamond star brooch, pictured, which morphs into the head of a large cocktail ring, to a diamond and emerald-striped scarab pin reborn as a surreal hair ornament.


The World in Seven Objects


Luxury luggage In 1846, just as the double wedding of Isabella II of Spain and her sister was inspiring the fashion for custom-made leather luggage and accessories, German-born Enrique Loewe Roessberg found himself in the right place at the right time. With his love of Spanish culture, he quickly established a reputation for supplying the country’s aristocracy with everything from vanity cases to gun holders in super-soft pigskin and nappa leather. From there the company name became fixed in the national consciousness – Loewe is to Spain what Hermès is to France (and the brand’s turbulent history is recounted in the rather swish new Galería Loewe museum in Madrid). Like the newly resurgent Moynat, one of the original malletiers (trunkmakers), along with Louis Vuitton, Loewe’s forward-thinking creative director Stuart Vevers has cleverly repositioned the label to take advantage of a new golden age in luxury travel. Although the transatlantic steamliners have been replaced by the booming private-jet industry, the era’s accessories have proved much hardier: a robust set of vintage-look travel trunks, such as this multi-purpose set by Loewe in beige and brown contrast trim, remains the ultimate in fashionable, functional travel. And while Loewe remains wedded in the popular imagination to the iconic Amazona bag, the luxury lovers of today need something rather more capacious in which to store their many purchases made on global shopping trips by Lear jet.


The World in Seven Objects


The cocoa bean To the ancient civilisations of the Maya and the Aztecs, it was a highly prized currency; now the humble cocoa bean is once again revered – as a quality ingredient in the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants. From Jean-Paul Hévin, the French chef who successfully exported the chocolaterie concept to Japan, to The French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, creator of the molten chocolate tart, the world’s finest kitchens regard high-caliber chocolate with the same deference they would afford artisanal cheeses and fine wines. And adopting the vernacular of wine, when it comes to good chocolate these days the talk is of cru and terroir. And there is no one in the industry more dedicated to the nurturing of terroir right now than German conservationist Philipp Kauffmann, co-founder of the sustainable chocolate company Original Beans. The man with a passion for the world’s rainforests also has a hard head for business. Not only has he helped stimulate and support sustainable livelihoods from Peru to Africa, he has also created a premium organic product that has won the admiration of chefs. And for every bar of chocolate purchased, Original Beans plants a tree in the forest of its origin. The company also pays producers up to six times the Fair Trade rate, ensuring that the economic benefits are passed all the way back to source. The Original Beans Cru Virunga dark chocolate from the Congo, described as “zingy with ripe morello cherries steeped in cassis, smoky tobacco and forest-floor notes” is made from just three ingredients: organic cocoa beans, cocoa butter and organic cane sugar. What it becomes after that is up to the skill and imagination of the world’s finest chefs.


The World in Seven Objects


Musical memorabilia When an Antoria six-string acoustic guitar played by Sir Paul McCartney in his early band The Quarry Men made $70,000 at Bonhams recently, no one batted an eyelid. Because alongside Elvis and Michael Jackson, The Beatles are kings of the thriving musical and entertainment memorabilia market. This new era of collecting emerged when MGM Studios held a seminal auction in 1970 to clear their lots: a pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz fetched $15,000. By the 1980s, with the market spiraling, another pair of slippers from the film sold for $165,000. Financial woes usher many items to the auctioneer’s block: John Lennon donated his psychedelic Rolls Royce Phantom V to New York’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum to help settle an IRS dispute. It was auctioned at Sotheby’s after his death for $2.29 million. And death can be the ultimate fiscal stimulus: the late Elizabeth Taylor made history in 2011 when the Christie’s sale of her jewels fetched $116 million. Much of that went to her Aids Foundation, in keeping with the humanitarian drive of many auctions by fellow stars such as Barbra Streisand. Auctions of Michael Jackson’s stage outfits, meanwhile, continue to generate money for his debt-laden estate – Lady Gaga snapped up 55 such lots at the Hollywood auctioneers Julien’s recently. Gaga knows that celebrity today means having a slice of your idol now: the Fame Monster star recently autographed a urinal that sold for $460,000 on eBay.;


The World in Seven Objects


The riding boot Forget the Year of the Snake, in fashion terms, the horse continues to dictate the stakes in 2013. The paradigm of English country style, the equestrian look – jodhpurs, redingotes (riding coats) and knee-length leather boots – was originally tailormade for the needs of the hunting set, with sleek lines deployed for comfort and to avoid spooking the horse. Its adoption by the landed gentry was established in the early 1800s, and the look has rarely fallen out of favour since. These days, think style icon Kate Moss sporting practical Hunter Wellingtons or the US rapper André “3000” Benjamin lording it up in vintage riding boots and jodhpurs in what he terms his “rebel gentleman” look. Last year the aristocratic pursuit truly conquered the wider realm, with the global success of the stage and film versions of War Horse and the enthusiastic following of dressage at the London 2012 Olympics (Hermès designed a classic tricolore kit for the French team). Luxe label Gucci began life as a saddlery shop in Florence in 1906; from its trademark gold snaffle insignia to its red-and-green striped branding, its iconography is drawn from riding. Its creative director Frida Giannini is a keen horsewoman, and recently designed a glamorous showjumping ensemble for Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline. The brand may have sexed up in the 1990s, but in today’s more sober climate it has cannily returned to its roots. Step forward the Victoria riding boot, with adjustable bridle strap detail, a rather beautiful kind of reverse anthropomorphism. Although the Gucci vamp hasn’t been forgotten, it seems that she has turned to outdoor pursuits.


The World in Seven Objects


The fossil as art Natural masterpieces created by the patient hand of time, fossils are the world’s oldest antiques, with even the youngest claiming a 10,000-year pedigree. While fossil collecting, the precursor of modern paleontology, remains a popular scientific endeavor, the parallel trade in one-off statement pieces is gathering pace, as these exquisite natural objects catch the eye of fine-art collectors. Dale Rogers, the intrepid fortysomething behind Dale Rogers Ammonite, has spent his life hunting down rare specimens, such as the 195-million-year-old fossilized crocodile ($456,000) on his website. Such finds are becoming increasingly scarce: the closure of many mines and quarries in former hunting grounds, such as Chile, and a pronounced illegal trade make fossil-hunting a difficult quest. The “Indiana Jones” of the fossil world, Rogers regularly visits countries such as Morocco, Madagascar and the US and has braved everything from Afghan warlords to the frozen wastes of Siberia. The company offers a wide range of geological wonders, from the astonishing Atlas Medusa, a 1.75-ton amalgamation of 25 species of ammonite from the Cretaceous period, to pieces of 4,000-year-old meteorite from Argentina. It all began rather humbly with a London market stall, but 25 years of incisive deals and the odd collaboration with designers such as Candy & Candy have earned Rogers a reputation around the world that is bolstered by exhibitions in the U.S., U.K., Dubai and Japan. Pieces similar to this Madagascan ammonite come in at around $1,000 – not bad for a 180-million-year-old slice of history.


The World in Seven Objects


Bloody Mary courtesy of The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel

The St. Regis Bloody Mary Conventional wisdom has it that hard-won cocktail recipes must remain secret, each bar jealously guarding the process of alcoholic alchemy that turns base ingredients into liquid gold. But at The St. Regis New York, whose signature cocktail the Bloody Mary (named for a vengeful 16thcentury Catholic English queen or a Chicago waitress called Mary who worked at a bar called The Bucket of Blood – you decide), is not only one of the most famous cocktail recipes in the world, but also has other versions, one for each St. Regis hotel around the world, reflecting the distinct characteristics of each destination through local ingredients. The drink was created in 1934 by Frenchman Fernand Petiot, head bartender at The St. Regis New York’s famous King Cole Bar. A concoction of vodka, tomato juice, celery salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, it was an instant hit. Its original name was deemed a little too racy for some tastes and the cocktail was renamed the Red Snapper, a moniker that hasn’t withstood the test of time, although order a Bloody Mary at The St. Regis New York today and a classic Red Snapper is what will you will get. A Pepper Snapper is a combination of fruity gin, fresh lemon juice, Flor de Sal crystal sea salt and a garnish of pimientos padrón; in Osaka order a Shogun Mary and prepare your palate for a sharp kick of wasabi and soy sauce; on the island of Mauritius, La Belle Creole Mary comprises a racy little combo of plantation rum and aloe vera juice; and in Shenzhen, your Yan Mary comes with a side order of fresh oyster. With 31 different incarnations, The St. Regis Bloody Mary is a trip around the world without leaving the comfort of your bar stool.


THE ASCENT OF MAN Words by Raymond Seitz Photography by Stefano De Luigi



The Journey

ou can’t mistake the Beijing West Railway Station. A massive, plain-face building broken in the center by a cavernous archway, it is one of the capital’s throbbing transportation hubs. Colorful little pagodas are perched on the roof, and the effect is a kind of hybrid of the Pentagon crossed with Disneyland. But the station handles a quarter-million passengers every day, and on Chinese holidays, when half the country seems to be on the move, it can manage twice that number. Even at nine o’clock on this weekday evening in spring, the place is teeming with travelers. Passengers for Urumqi are shunted into one

sake of privacy as well as space to store my gear for this three-day trip. Beneath the large window is a small, fixed table. An arrangement of dusty artificial flowers sits on top. There is a tiny reading light at the head-end of each bunk and a television screen set into the wall at the foot-end. The Chinese are putting a lot of effort into their long-haul passenger service and a pair of hotel slippers is tucked into each bed. I’m impressed, and I feel pretty well off. Spot on time, the engine pulling 18 cars glides out of the station. A forest of lighted apartment towers passes by on either side of the track and I see that some of the narrow alley markets are still doing business at this

The journey begins Above: Each day trains leave Beijing Western Railway Station for Lhasa, along the highest railway line in the world. Previous page: A magnificent panoramic view from the compartment window

huge waiting hall and passengers for Kunming into another. Those bound for Tibet jostle into Hall 5, standing room only. In the crowd, I’m reassured to spot two Buddhist monks in saffron robes, and I figure that they must know where they’re going, at least in a temporal sense. When the departure is announced, the gates open and the crowd cascades down a stairway to the platform below. There is the usual last-minute mayhem of passengers finding their places. Almost all the travelers are Han Chinese with a sprinkling of Tibetans and a half-dozen Westerners. Everyone carries suitcases, backpacks, plastic bags and roped-up bundles. I find my sleeper car and my compartment: two berths below and two above with a narrow passage between. Shrewd beyond my years, I have purchased all four places, an indulgence for the

late hour. But then, suddenly, as if a curtain were lowered on these urban scenes, we are in the countryside and the Chinese night closes in around us. The rhythmic click of the rails and the sway of the car become a lullaby. The Beijing government has invested vast sums of money in its national infrastructure and the rail network is a prime beneficiary. There are already more than 56,000 miles of track, but the plan is to lay half as much again by the year 2020 at a cost of some $675 billion, and highspeed trains (200 miles per hour) have been introduced on several sections. Even more ambitious, the Chinese have imagined a high-speed train eventually hurtling from Beijing all the way to London in four days. For the Chinese, the purpose of all this investment in rail is partly political: to strap together a far-flung and disparate country which has 30

The Ascent of Man always been susceptible to centrifugal forces. It’s also economic: the rich mineral and coal deposits of western China can be efficiently funneled eastward by rail to the industrialized regions of the of the coastal hinterland. And with passenger traffic generously subsidized, the entire network represents a colossal national expenditure. Developing the Chinese railroad system has been a daunting undertaking. When the Americans and Russians constructed their great rail systems, the respective landscapes only occasionally presented serious obstacles. But more than half of China’s surface is rugged and mountainous. In this twisted terrain, every mile of track is a challenge.

reach Baoji, however, the broad, well-ordered plain suddenly seems to collapse into a jumble of crumpled earth, and the valley narrows. On either side now stand bare sandstone mountains with sharp ridges, like a dinosaur’s backbone and flanks, gouged and jagged from eons of wind and rain. Here, rice is still grown, but cultivated in helter-skelter paddies, some carved into narrow terraces leaving others to cling to the steep hillsides. From the 21st century we seem to have slipped into the 18th. Villages are a collection of mud walls, small courtyards and tile roofs. The primary source of power is the ox. The train switches back and forth

Passing the hours Above: A Tibetan Buddhist monk bound for Lhasa reads his scriptures. Overleaf: Sheep and cattle struggle to find grazing as the landscape turns to snow and ice

We arrive in Xi’an with the dawn. Passengers disembark. Others board, and we’re on our way again. The track here swings north west to skirt the forbidding mountain ranges lying directly west. We follow the course of the Wei River, the broad, shallow, muddy stream that cuts through the dusty loess of the central highlands and eventually becomes the Yellow River. We are in the real heart of the nation, for it is from this region, Shaanxi Province, that the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, emerged and unified the country in 221 B.C., but who is best known for his extraordinary Terracotta Army of soldiers that escorted him into the next life. The lower course of the Wei is fertile on both alluvial banks. Green fields of rice and millet roll out to the distant foothills. By the time we

across the tumbling river, and in and out of innumerable tunnels. And we are climbing. In the outskirts of Lanzhou, the public address system in the compartment jumps to life. After a long announcement in Chinese, a recorded translation in English is played. Passengers are informed that Lanzhou is a thriving city and “a friendly stopping point connecting on the way to Africa.” But there aren’t too many travelers on the train who look as if they’re bound for Kampala or Bamako, and Lanzhou, through the window, seems like yet another of China’s nondescript, colorless, over-built cities. At the station, more passengers get off than get on, and I notice a telling attrition rate as the train heads for the remote, highplateau country and the gateway to Tibet. 31

The Journey I have brought along abundant supplies of nutrients: bags of dried fruit, bars of dark chocolate and a treasured jar of peanut butter. But on the second evening, I decide to see if I can get a place in the normally crowded dining car. To my surprise, I find the car empty and I don’t know whether that’s a good sign or a bad one. I order “eggs with edible fungus”. Inedible fungus is probably cheaper, but the fare is tasty, and the bill, including an excellent Chinese beer, comes to $4. Shortly after returning to the compartment, there is a knock at the door. The attendant hands me a long coil of plastic tubing, and with gestures he indicates it’s for the oxygen outlet above my berth. The

is slowly pulling up the incline from the southern edge of the great Qaidam Basin, and at full light we arrive at Golmud Station. The 700-mile stretch of track from Golmud to Lhasa is the engineering jewel in China’s iron crown of railroads. For years, a line across the Tibetan Plateau was deemed physically impossible and economically unjustifiable. Eighty per cent of this route is higher than 12,000 feet and the surface is mainly unstable permafrost. But, against the odds, the Chinese authorities launched the project in 2001, and after five years of toil, the highest railway line in the world opened for service at an estimated cost of $3 billion.

A colorful history Above: Two girls dressed in the rich hues of traditional Tibetan costume. Previous page: Pilgrims prostrate themselves in front of the Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

straight end of the tube plugs into the socket and the splayed end into your nostrils. But I have already decided to forego the convenience of the oxygen supply unless absolutely necessary. After all, the prospect of gazing at the wonders of Tibetan scenery with a long string of plastic sticking out of my nose might undermine the romance of the journey. Later, after settling in again, I peer through the window at the mountain shadows of the lengthening twilight. With the clickety-clack of the train, the effect is mesmerizing. On the third morning, I wake early. The compartment is cold. I peek through the curtains and see a gibbous moon illuminating the landscape. Clouds hang low over the dark, barren and deserted countryside of Qinghai Province, and a distant lake shimmers in the moonglow. The train

In addition to the delicate laying of track, the line crosses 675 bridges and runs through the world’s highest tunnel, the 12,000ft-long Fenghuoshan (“Wind Volcano”) Tunnel. Even then, the maintenance of heaving track and shifting pylons plagued the line’s first years, although the authorities now assert that the problems have been resolved and the route is perfectly safe. The train creeps out of Golmud and begins the gradual climb to the roof of the world. At the outset, we chug through a grey, gritty landscape that is almost lunar. Once on to the high, undulating plateau, however, a green hue of sparse grassland washes over the countryside, which contains small ponds and depressions streaked with white salt deposits. The peaks of the Tanggula Mountains to the east snag puffs of 36

The Ascent of Man Buddhist religious monuments – stupas – on the hillsides and the colorful prayer flags which festoon this intensely religious country. Every peak, point and promontory seems to possess a spiritual significance. The train crosses numerous streams and rivers; Tibet is the fountainhead of Asia and the source of the Brahmaputra, Yangtse, Indus, Ganges, Yellow, Mekong and Salween Rivers. In the villages of Lhasa’s hinterland the houses of brick or stone are unexpectedly substantial. Doors are decorated with strapwork and little ruffled aprons flutter above the windows. Each corner is surmounted by a castle-like turret with a prayer flag on top, and each flat roofline is

cotton clouds, and there is snow in the Bayan Har range to the west. The train passes several antelope, and near a bend in the track I spot my first shaggy yak standing insouciantly on the crest of a ridge. Hugging the shoulder of a hillside, we cross the Tanggula Pass at 16,640 feet and then start the long, gradual descent to Lhasa. There are many good reasons to take the train to Tibet, but three stand out. First, a train is still the best way to travel in a foreign land. On this trip, you pass through postcard after postcard of stunning scenery, which pile up in your memory. Second, and more practically, the slow ride up to the highlands of Tibet gives your body a chance to adjust by

All Photographs by Stefano De Luigi/ VII

Window on the world Above: Tibetan prayer flags snap in the wind on a hill above the Ganden Monastery, north east of Lhasa. A common sight in Tibet, they are used to bless the surrounding countryside

broken by a big, beehive-shaped incense burner. In the swept courtyards there are stacks of dried yak dung for winter fuel. With one final effort, our weary locomotive pulls the train across the Kyichu River and the track then swings into Lhasa. Rising above the city like a red-and-white mountain is the magnificent, monumental Potola Palace, the 1,000-room residence of the long-exiled Dalai Lama. The train stops. A Tibetan guide meets me outside the new station and drapes a white khada around my neck in greeting. I have been delivered to the top of the world.

degrees to the altitude. This is a serious consideration, for mountain sickness can quickly lay you low and ruin your adventure. And, third, this is Tibet, and traveling there by train allows you to fix the place in the map of your mind. The mystery and magic of this remote land on the roof of the world deserves a gradual approach, a long, anticipatory overture before the curtain rises. One doesn’t simply drop in on Shangri-La. We roll down the long incline toward Lhasa. The valley narrows as the train picks its way through the snowy Nyainqentanglha Mountains. Near Damxung we pass our first glacier, a field of white glass squeezed between two peaks. Below 14,000 feet, the scattered tents of nomadic shepherds sprout up like big flowers, and herds of domesticated yaks graze in the permafrost. And now we begin to see isolated

Raymond Seitz was the US ambassador to Great Britain, 1991-1994 Where to stay: The St. Regis Beijing; The St. Regis Lhasa Resort 37

A Little Place I Know


A Little Place I Know

Berry Bros. & Rudd, London Jancis Robinson Wine writer, London

I first discovered this lovely old wood-panelled wine shop in the 1970s, when I started to write about wine. Berry Bros. had been there for a very long time by then. It was founded as a coffee shop at the end of the 17th century, and they still have the scales that were used to weigh the coffee – and the clientele. Lord Byron, William Pitt and the Aga Khan were all weighed here, and regular customers can do the same to this day. The place is an extraordinary slice of history. It has uneven floorboards, high wooden desks (with PCs hidden within), a warren of rooms to the side and wine-filled cellars below. In the 1930s, Charles Walter Berry (the place is still owned and run by Berrys and Rudds) took what was then considered the extraordinarily adventurous step of touring the wine regions of France. Before that, English wine merchants stayed at home and required their vast imports of wine to come to them. These days, the chairman, Simon Berry, has cleverly retained the historic aura of Berry Bros. while pioneering all sorts of 21st-century initiatives, such as online retailing and a Hong Kong operation. The historic cellars are now hired out as event spaces and do duty as a wine school. They also hold a lot of tastings, so I’m there at least four times a year. I have many fond memories of meals eaten there, but probably my favourite is of a dinner held in aid of Wine Relief, at which one half of a couple bid £20,000 for a prize lot – without the agreement of the other half! If Berry Bros and Rudd were to close, I’d think that life as we know it had ceased.

Santa Maria Novella, Florence Jason Wu Fashion designer, New York

Florence is a great city for walking, which is how I came across the Officina Profuma-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (to give it its full Italian name). This exquisite old apothecary celebrated its 400th birthday last year, but has been in existence since 1221, when Dominican friars from the nearby church grew herbs for medicinal purposes. Whenever I walk into this cool, dignified building, I always feel as if I am stepping into a church, with its vaulted ceilings, arched entrances, tiled floors and tall, elegant proportions. It’s like going back in time, with all the bottles, glass-fronted cabinets and neatly attired staff. What I love most about it – aside from its palatial interiors – are the beautiful scented products. Everything is handmade, from soaps and creams to the famous colognes and fragrances. Lily of the valley, rose, violet, jasmine, honeysuckle and iris are just a few of the scents that fill the air. “The Water of the Queen” was created here for Catherine de’ Medici in the 1500s, a combination of citrus and bergamot, and is still Santa Maria Novella’s signature scent today. The apothecary is presided over by a very elegant Italian gentleman called Eugenio Alphandery, who keeps one foot in the past with his dedication to old-world traditions while keeping his eye on the future of the brand. But everything is organic and made by artisanal methods and I love it that many of the ingredients are grown locally in the hills around Florence. The packaging is really gorgeous, too. Santa Maria Novella is a feast for the senses, its old-fashioned ways a welcome respite from the craziness of the 21st-century world outside its doors.

Jancis Robinson’s latest book Wine Grapes is published by Allen Lane, £120. Where to stay: The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel

Jason Wu is a St. Regis Connoisseur. His Grand Tourista Bag, crafted for a new generation of global traveler, was inspired by the hotel brand’s perspective on today’s grand tour. Where to stay: The St. Regis Florence


A Little Place I Know

Palazzo Spada, Rome Iwona Blazwick Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, London

The combination of the greatest architectural monuments in the world – the Pantheon, the Colosseum, St. Peter’s – fantastic weather, close friends and a burgeoning contemporary art scene make Rome a perennial destination. But I also love its hidden quirks and secrets, and one of my favorite places is Palazzo Spada on Piazza Capo di Ferro. I love the fact that the arcade is both a serious architectural composition and an optical illusion – the Baroque artists were brilliant at playing with perspective. My parents were architects and I almost studied it, so this is a perfect combination of architecture and the art of trompe l’oeil. The artist Cesare Pietroiusti first revealed this marvel to me. It was a cardinal, a mathematician and a sculptor who joined forces in 1632 to create this astonishing optical illusion in the heart of the city. The 16th-century palazzo was bought by Cardinal Spada, who commissioned the starchitect of his day, Francesco Borromini, to add a Baroque flourish. Borromini built a 40-metre colonnade which looks down on to an elegant marble statue. If you look along this beautiful arcade, you will see the spectacle of live cougars leaping across its colonnaded perspective. The shocking truth is, however, that it is only meters long and the statue a miniature 60cm high. The mountain lions are just stray cats made to look hair-raisingly enormous by the false perspective plotted with the help of a mathematician. Add to this the Palazzo Spada Collection, which includes Andrea del Sarto, Brueghel, Caravaggio, Dürer, Rubens and Titian, plus Artemisia Gentileschi, the sole woman artist to gain recognition from the Baroque period – and you have a very special place indeed.

The Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, New York Alain Ducasse Three Michelin-star chef, New York

I just adore this place, which locals affectionately call “The Farm”. It was my co-author, Alex Vallis, who first introduced me to the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, and I was touched by the old-fashioned styling, which retains the original pharmaceutical cases and penny-tile floor. And it’s good to know that this delightful Brooklyn enterprise has helped revive interest in the great American soda fountains that existed in big cities and small towns from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Like those wonderful places, this modern-day version offers sweet, homemade soft drinks and the staple – chocolate egg cream. I’ll never forget the first time I tried this dangerously addictive dessert-drink made from chocolate syrup, soda water and cream. The cool, fizzy, chocolate concoction evokes dreams of a mythical golden age in New York. And, trust me, you will always find room for the egg cream. I truly believe that co-owners and siblings Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman, whose father was a shopkeeper in Greenwich Village for 30 years, have preserved a piece of culinary history. The Farmacy has become part of the fabric – some might say the heart – of this quaint Carroll Gardens neighborhood, and it wouldn’t be the same without it. The shop is lined with shelves of local artisanal foods, helping to sustain and promote the neighborhood – I like that. Every chance I get when I’m in New York, I come to recharge my batteries. It’s about simple pleasures, with a generous helping of nostalgia. Kids from one to 92 will find something in this place; that which is authentic never goes out of style.

Illustrations: Jacobo Pérez-Enciso

Where to stay: The St. Regis Rome

J’aime New York, by Alain Ducasse and Alex Vallis, is published by Alain Ducasse Editions, $100. Where to stay: The St. Regis New York 40

Smart Packing


Clockwise from top left: fish swimsuit, $362, We Are Handsome,; straw hat, $260, Eugenia Kim,; gold and blue cocktail ring, $325, Monica Vinader,; clear-frame cat-eye sunglasses, $445, The Row,; bird tote, $350, Marni,; beach bat set, $210, Frescobol,; oversize shirt, $422, Acne,; red and navy sandals, $530, ChloĂŠ at Saks Fifth Avenue,


Smart Packing


Clockwise from top left: wool backpack, $1,300, Marni,; Finepix x100, $1,199, Fuji,; leather flask-and-cup set, $106, Hunter London,; desert boots, $500, Acne,; socks, $28, Paul Smith,; flat cap, $200, Junya Wantabe at; shorts, $583, Alexander McQueen,; short-sleeve polo shirt, $350, Canali,


Smart Packing









Smart Packing


Clockwise from top left: black blazer with white piping, $1,842, Stella McCartney,; earrings, $450, Oscar de la Renta at; Black Orchid EDP 50ml, $110, Tom Ford,; metallic jeans, $427, J Brand,; suede belt, $256, Meredith Wendell,; cream and black sandal, $1,390,; clutch bag, $5,550, Bulgari,; tank with black, gold and pink piping, $180, Sass & Bide,


Smart Packing


Clockwise from top left: two-tone glasses, $470, Cutler & Gross,; grey silk tie, $165, Burberry London,; The New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada, $41, Taschen,; wool and felt trilby, $187, Lock & Co Hatters,; leather brogues, $765, Gucci,; leather card-wallet, $205, Paul Smith,; leather and cotton suit-bag, $1,995, Boglioli,; cotton double-cuff shirt, $395, Charvet at; watch, $4,068, Bell & Ross,


Smart Packing

BEYOND EXPECTATION You are notorious for overpacking, not unpacking.

A personal butler to do it for you, one of the many reasons why.

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CALIFORNIA DREAMING Photography by Thomas Giddings Styling by Tracey Nicholson


Right page: White crepe dress, $1,670, Dsquared2


American Classics




American Classics



Previous page: Halterneck dress, $5831, Donna Karan This page: Coat, $345, Topshop Unique; Check dress, $937,Daks Opposite page: One shoulder top, $63, Topshop Unique


American Classics




American Classics




California Dreaming

Previous page: One-piece swimsuit, $780, Herve Leger Opposite page: Jacket, $1198, Donna Karan; Top, $1103, Donna Karan; Flat front cotton trousers, $346, Nicole Farhi This page: Top, $1103, Donna Karan; Flat front cotton trousers, $346, Nicole Farhi

Creative Producer: Alyn Horton at Alyn UK Makeup: Sara Glick using Dior Beauty for The Magnet Agency. Hair: Jarrett Iovinella using Voce for The Magnet Agency. Casting: Piergiorgio Del Moro at Streeters. Model: Karo at Marilyn NY 59

The Connoisseur: Chris Bracey

KING OF NEON Words by Mark C. O’Flaherty Photography by Amelia Troubridge

“I’m known as the man who’ll buy any old letters.” Maximalist neon artist and collector Chris Bracey is a hoarder. His backyard in East London – christened “God’s Own Junk Yard” – is like Las Vegas’s Neon Boneyard in miniature: a four-decade jumble of industrial metal, discarded advertising signage, architectural salvage and, as he says, random letters that had been earmarked for recycling. His is a family trade – his father made neon signs, and Bracey has been beguiled by the art since he was a boy. The Londoner collects anything to do with old signs, and some of it he lovingly incorporates into new works of his own. “I might drag out an ‘L’ from a Planet Hollywood sign and an ‘O’ from the Trocadero and go on to spell out ‘LOVE’ on a backing board from an old First World War barracks,” he explains, describing the creative process. “I put it all together with old neon and bulbs, and then I fall in love with it. It’s carved from my heart.” Other pieces he collects for the pure love of this vintage craft, traveling the world to pick over old junkyards and secondhand shops. “I never throw anything away. I have loads of old signs my dad made for fairgrounds and circuses in the 1950s and 1960s, and then there are vintage American signs I found on road trips on Route 66,” he says. Discarded neon from circuses, carnivals, end-of-the-pier joints, London’s theaterland and Chinatown fill four warehouses across the city. Which has made Bracey the go-to guy as collector, artist and dealer when film companies want to recreate period sets for their productions. Batman’s Gotham City was propped with some of Bracey’s prized vintage signs, and Stanley Kubrick borrowed a few pieces and commissioned some new neon for Eyes Wide Shut. Vogue has shot fashion in his yard, and the artist Grayson Perry decorated a party with some neon that originally came from an old clip joint in London’s Soho. These days, his own neon and colored-bulb artworks are garnering him a reputation internationally, with high-profile collectors such as Lady Gaga, Elton John and Mark Zuckerberg buying his pieces. At an exhibition of his work last winter, he showed one piece made from a weathered old metal stepladder, its surface thick with paint and plaster marks. He’d attached the words “Stairway to Heaven” in cool white scripted neon on its steps. “I’ve had the ladder for years and years,” he says, “I knew it would be useful one day.” 62



JAZZ AGE Words by Matt Phillips


Breaking down barriers is what jazz is all about – music that lives and breathes collaboration and assimilation, both instrumentally and culturally. Aptly, the great melting-pot of New York City is jazz’s spiritual home – the center for swing in the 1920s, bebop in the 1940s, avant-garde in the 1960s and the loft scene of the 1970s that created world-famous venues such as The Cotton Club, Birdland and The Village Vanguard. Musical movements may come and go, but jazz continues to thrive in NYC as new generations discover, absorb and renew the genre. And central to this participation is Wynton Marsalis’s ground-breaking Jazz at Lincoln Center, part of the famous arts venue and a hub for jazz education and performance since 1987. In the spirit of the great jazz ambassadors of days gone by – Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and the recently departed Dave Brubeck – Jazz at the Lincoln Center has extended its reach to the Middle East and teamed up with The St. Regis Doha to open its first club outside New York – a partnership that flows naturally from The St. Regis New York’s longstanding connection with the genre, having hosted celebrated performances by the greats, including Count Basie, Buddy Rich and Tommy Dorsey, from the first Jazz Age up to the present day. Its spirit will be heard in upcoming performances from virtuoso trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who is the program’s director, and from pianist extraordinaire Ahmad Jamal, bass wunderkind Christian McBride, drummer Willie Jones III and new vocal talent Cécile McLorin Salvant. An astonishingly bright and nimble trumpet player, 51-year-old Marsalis has been thrilling jazz audiences since his appearances with legendary drummer Art Blakey at the age of just 19. A proud New Orleans native, Marsalis has been the jazz figurehead for his generation and the next. “Throughout its history, jazz has connected with different cultures, races, religions and generations,” he says. “This is an especially important time to communicate the sanctity of our collective human heritage. Jazz is a perfect tool to do this.” Marsalis, one of the key contributors to Ken Burns’s famous Jazz documentary series of 2001, is also a gifted and respected teacher, and in his role as artistic director of New York’s Lincoln Center he is passing on all he’s learned to the next generation of jazz greats. His recording career, now spanning 30 years, includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood on the Fields and his legendary eponymous 1982 debut album featuring Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams. The St. Regis Doha may not seem the obvious setting for a jazz club, but walk through the wooden doors on the fourth floor and you could be in The Village Vanguard or Blue Note. The sightlines and acoustics are perfect. Marsalis approves: “I grew up in clubs – I know what clubs should be like, and this is beautiful. Our goal is to uplift everyone who hears us.” Where to stay: The St. Regis Doha; The St. Regis New York 64


Artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, Wynton Marsalis brings his talent, influence and associates to the new jazz club at The St. Regis Doha



Cécile McLorin Salvant Hailed as one of the most gifted jazz vocalists to emerge on the scene in recent years, 23-year-old Cécile McLorin Salvant was born and raised in Miami, Florida, by her Haitian father and French mother. She regularly wows audiences with her huge range, incredible control, advanced melodic sense and intriguing repertoire that draws on everything from Erik Satie to John Lennon. Critics have been comparing McLorin Salvant to Sarah Vaughan, Abbey Lincoln and Carmen McRae. In 2010, she won jazz’s most presigious award, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, which recognizes the next generation of masters. She spent August 2012 recording her eponymous debut album for the thriving Mack Avenue label, and has been performing as Wynton Marsalis’s special guest with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Don’t miss one of jazz’s brightest young stars.


The New Jazz Age

Corbis. Max Reed (opposite)

Ahmad Jamal Jamal is a hugely innovative and influential pianist, one of the giants of post-war jazz. His sense of space and conception of rhythm was a significant influence on Miles Davis, and his trio is one of jazz’s most enduring small groups. You can hear the whole history of the piano in his masterful, effortless playing, from Earl Hines and Erroll Garner through Keith Jarrett, right up to Brad Mehldau. A child prodigy, he was tipped for greatness at the age of 14 by the legendary Art Tatum. Jamal has been at the forefront of jazz piano for five decades, and recently released his studio album Blue Moon. Now, at the age of 82, Ahmad Jamal continues to thrill jazz audiences worldwide with his Zen-like solos, and is rightly considered one of the all-time greats.



Christian McBride McBride’s vitality, virtuosity and pure love of jazz have given the acoustic bass a new lease of life, and in doing so he has also joined the pantheon of greats alongside the likes of Milt Hinton, Ron Carter and his idol Ray Brown. Musicians joke that there’s nothing Christian McBride can’t play – he’s equally at home cranking up the jazz/rock with Chick Corea, burning with Sonny Rollins at Carnegie Hall or arranging and composing music for his own big band. Still only 40 years old, McBride has released ten acclaimed albums, including the Grammy winner The Good Feeling and Conversations with Christian, a joyous collection of duets with the likes of Sting, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Hank Jones, Dr. Billy Taylor and George Duke. Don’t miss this chance to check out one of the young giants, and arguably the most important jazz bassist since Jaco Pastorius.


Ayano Hisa & Hanayo Takai. Anne Webber (opposite)

The New Jazz Age

Willie Jones III We’ve all heard the old saying: a band is only as good as its drummer. Taking his cue from past masters Philly Joe Jones, Billy Higgins and Art Blakey, Willie Jones III, born in LA in 1968, knows exactly how to drive a band with his inventive sense of swing, slick grooves, subtle dynamics and natural power. Utilizing a very small kit, Jones has always been in huge demand, performing with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver and Milt Jackson. He co-founded the innovative Black Note band in 1991, which regularly served as Wynton Marsalis’s opening act, and won the coveted John Coltrane Young Artist Competition in 1991. Initially inspired by his pianist father, and later studying under the legendary sticksman Albert “Tootie” Heath, Jones understands jazz music inside and out. Soloists adore his playing – he’s a drummer to silence drummer jokes forever.




Words by Caroline Roux



ert and Uwe Tobias are no ordinary artists. Identical twins born in Romania 40 years ago, they work together to create vivid, large-scale woodcuts that are as haunting as they are alluring. Twisted faces, dismembered pieces of furniture, hearts, flowers, lizards, human eyes and staring owl heads are intermingled with old-fashioned typewriter lettering to create imagery that, while drawing from European Romanticism, Transylvanian folklore and even the geometry of the Bauhaus, invents a world all of its own – dense, dreamlike and undeniably beautiful. These days the twins – tall, athletic and with the sort of looks that wouldn’t be out of place on a Milanese catwalk – are based in a studio complex in Cologne. There, in a suite of Rationalist buildings, they have their studio, their homes, their parent’s home and a gym – they work out for at least an hour a day. They started collaborating in 2001, after years of trying hard not to. “We wouldn’t work together if there wasn’t a point,” says Uwe, the elder by five minutes. “But the trust we have as brothers to give and take criticism really enables our work to progress.” Gert concurs: “Creativity requires

friction and antagonism, and we both have loud voices,” he laughs, “but the building is still standing.” In recent years, the international art world has been increasingly taken by their work – a dramatic large-scale collage had pride of place in the booth of their New York gallery, Team, at Art Basel Miami Beach last December – and collectors are queuing up to buy pieces, among them Hilary Weston, the wife of Canadian billionaire Galen. (The Westons own the upmarket department stores Holt Renfrew in Canada and Selfridges in London, among other assets.) Since last year, Mrs. Weston has been collaborating with the Whitechapel Gallery in London’s East End to stage an annual art exhibition at Windsor, the exclusive residential community in Florida established by the Westons in 1989. And, in 2012, in conjunction with the Whitechapel, she decided to present new work by the Tobiases. And now an expanded version of the show comes to London in April. Gert & Uwe Tobias at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, April 16-June 14; Art Basel Miami Beach December 5-8 Where to stay: The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel The St. Regis Bal Habour Resort 70

Opposite page: Corbis

Untitled 2012 “The starting point for this piece is chinoiserie, and the composition is like that of a tapestry,” says Gert, who with his brother was inspired by exquisite 18th-century chinoiserie prints they discovered in Dresden’s Kupferstich-Kabinett – a museum specializing in prints and drawings. But while the imagery of tapestry is traditionally that of hearts, flowers and delightful woodland animals, in the artists’ hands darker elements, such as skulls and strange creatures, appear in their place. “The colour invites you into the picture,” Gert says. “Then we try to unsettle the decorative appeal by introducing the spikes and thorns.”



ays Gert, “

Untitled 2012 The Tobiases say that it’s simply a lucky coincidence, allied with their immense curiosity, that led them to work with print and woodcuts. “We have redefined woodblocks,” Uwe says. “In a traditional German woodcut you can see the artist’s hand, how he has carved the piece, as well as the grain of the wood. We use a cut-out form that then takes the ink.” In their carefully calibrated collages, the twins don’t aim to tell a story but to present a range of images that, they say, “the imagination of the beholder can work into their own narrative.” Images, such as the spindle on the right (above) are reminiscent of fairytales. The owl – all seeing and all knowing – is a favoured creature in their world.



Untitled 2012 There is a dark humor in the artists’ dislocated collages. Heads are often shaved into cone-shaped forms; legless chairs float across the canvas. “Humor is a means of analysis, rather than a joke,” Gert says. “It moves the work away from its origins in folklore and Romanticism, and breaks with tradition.” The twins work on pieces individually, but begin each new project with drawings that form the basis for discussion. “All decisions are shared,” Uwe says. “And the exciting thing is that the sum of our working together is so much bigger than the two parts. We’re not a cliché of symbiotic twins, though in terms of taste and interest, we have a lot of common ground.”



Untitled 2012 You won’t find many primary colors in the Tobias brothers’ work. Their palette is one of cloudy pastels and worn-away blacks. These color choices, as well as their love of collage, connects them art-historically with the Surrealists, as do the strangely composed creatures, floating faces and dismembered pieces of furniture that dance across their canvases. “There should be a moment of familiarity on initial contact, in that first moment when you look at a piece of work,” they say. The next stage, of course, is when the beholder realises that all is not as it seems. Photography, for example, brings a sense of reality, that’s quickly cancelled out by a bewildering array of disparate details.


All artworks © Gert and Uwe Tobias


Untitled 2012 The pair use the dainty letters of the traditional mechanical typewriter, like so many tiny cross-stitches, to punctuate their canvases and create silhouettes of animals or skulls, for example. “The typewriter letters present a set of limitations, but they come with a very particular atmosphere of their own,” Uwe says. “They’re visually pretty,” Gert continues, “and they have a historic quality. We are aware of our historicity.” Embroidery and needlework are recurring themes in their work: for the twins, they are a symbol of historic tradition as well as an evocation of the humble, emotional human quality of handicraft, and a reminder of their old life in Transylvania.



‘I am a cover girl in my dotage’ Interview by Ari Seth Cohen


Iris Apfel: My New York


Iris, you were born and raised in New York, right? I was raised in Astoria, Queens, and lived there until I married. My grandparents were settlers, actually, and caught the boat here from Long Island.

When you’re in New York these days, where do you like to go? We love to eat at La Grenouille – it’s very old-world, very elegant. People come well dressed, the floral arrangements are spectacular and the food is divine… and yet it’s very natural. Some of these new restaurants that are so la-dida are very pretentious.

What memories do you have of coming to the city as a child? Well, the city was the mecca. You would go there for shopping, or an event such as the Easter Parade – everybody in their spring finery, looking swell. In those days you wouldn’t see a person walking on Fifth Avenue without a hat and gloves. Today you’re lucky if they have shoes.

Where do you like to shop today in the city? I don’t shop very much. I don’t need to shop, I’ve got so much. But New York does have great discount stores, like Loehmann’s, and great sample sales.

I remember a story you told me about your first experience shopping alone in the city… Yes, I was 11 years old. It was Easter time and I needed a new outfit and bonnet, but my mother had no time to go shopping with me. So she gave me $25 to go into the city by myself. I went to S. Klein and found a dress that I just flipped over. All silk, poet sleeves, with a tie front, for only $12.95. I gave thanks to God and $12.95 to the cashier, and then went to A.S. Beck and got a smashing pair of shoes for $3.98. I had enough left for a nice little lunch and the bus home. My mother approved of my sense of style and my dad approved of my economical choices. My grandfather, who was a master tailor, was the only one who was not impressed.

What’s a highlight of your career? We did major work at the White House, through more than nine administrations. We did many historic restorations: the Renwick Gallery, Blair House, the Senate, the State Department, Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace and the Decatur House, among others.

Where were the memorable places that you lived in New York? After I got married I moved into the city. I haven’t moved around that much, but before living here, we had a great townhouse on 79th Street. What we had in charm we lacked in plumbing. Nothing worked, but it was fabulous.

What projects are you working on? I’ve done a line of sunglasses and readers for Eyebobs. I have a collection of purses called Extinctions, and a new line of shoes for HSN. I did a collection with MAC cosmetics and I’ve also been working on a perfume. I teach visiting students as a professor for the University of Texas, which keeps me very busy.

At 91, you have a whole new career as a spokeswoman, model, teacher and fashion icon… Oh, it’s hysterical – the other night I did a personal appearance at Bloomingdale’s for my new handbag collection, and people were lining up. I’m the same as I ever was but all of a sudden I’m cool. It’s almost embarrassing. My husband and I think it’s very funny, but I also think it’s very sweet. I’m touched that at this stage of my life I’m having so much fun.

In what decade or era would you say New York was at its most elegant? The late 1940s or 1950s, before the youth revolution. It was glamour; glamour doesn’t exist any more. People like glamour – especially men. I think men are more romantic than women, anyway.

How did you feel when MAC approached you? I thought it would be fun. When I do these things I really put work into it, choosing the colors and textures. I don’t just put my name on it. And a bonus is that I’ve met some very nice people from it.

Did you have any favorite spots in the city during that era? Oh, there was fabulous nightlife, glamorous clubs like the Copacabana – where, if you were lucky, you could sit ringside and touch Frank Sinatra. Great jazz clubs, restaurants… Henri Soulé ran an extraordinary French restaurant called Le Pavillon. They all had dress codes – you couldn’t go in looking like a slob. It was nice to have people looking elegant. They always had a coat and tie rack for men who came in without them, and nothing would fit, so they’d sit there looking like the village idiot or a grade-school dunce. There was also Ben Marden’s Riviera in New Jersey. Everyone used to go. Lucille Ball was in the chorus. People also entertained at their homes beautifully. Guests came dressed to the nines. There was an article of clothing called the “hostess gown,” which you don’t see any more.

Do you feel that you have helped in some way to alter the perception of ageing in popular culture? I hope so; I think so. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’ve become so popular, because I’m so old. I’m a cover girl in my dotage, a geriatric starlet. The world’s oldest living teenager. What do you love about being in New York? There’s no place in the world like New York. If you can’t find it in New York, it doesn’t exist. It’s the heartbeat of the world. What advice do you have for someone visiting New York? You have to be like a sponge and soak it all up. It’s a walking city with some of the best museums and shops, with everything you might want to buy, whether you need it or not. Every kind of food you might want to taste is here. And it all exists in all price ranges. What’s the Sinatra song… if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.

Trunk Archive

Did you frequent any of New York’s great jazz clubs? El Morocco and the Stork Club. Fifty-Second Street was very important in the 1940s – the whole street, with one place next to another. I had a boyfriend who was mad for Billie Holiday so we used to go there all the time.

So, where do you want to retire? I don’t want to retire ever. I think retirement is a fate worse than death.

Do you have any fond memories of The St. Regis New York? It was always a very beautiful hotel, and we used to go to the King Cole Bar there. It was a place for people to meet. 77

The great outdoors Above: A birch-bark canoe on Upper Ausable Lake, c. 1885. Right: At Devil’s Oven, Ausable Charm, recreational bicyclists – one of whom (bottom left) is costumed as a frog – pose for a photograph, c. 1888


George W. Baldwin



Playground of the Gilded Age

Back Story



Playground of the Gilded Age

queezed between Vermont and Canada in the north-easternmost corner of Upper New York State lie the wild, remote Adirondack Mountains. At first sight it is an uninhabited wilderness; on closer inspection you will find, nestling by myriad lakes and folded into the hills, some of the most spectacular vacation homes ever seen in North America. These are the so-called “camps” and “lodges” built by the steel, oil and fur tycoons of the late 19th and early 20th century, among them the names of the great families who formed America’s first aristocracy. Except they were hardly “camps” in the true sense of the word, but rather luxurious feats of rustic architecture, which have been documented in Gladys Montgomery’s book An Elegant Wilderness, a fascinating history in sepia that celebrates an extraordinary period in American life when moneyed New York sought to reconnect with nature. Bluff Point, for example, on Raquette Lake, was home to Sara Stewart Van Alen, a descendant of the mighty Astor family. Although built in rural-backwoods style, within these vast log cabins there existed the height of urban luxury. Bluff Point had its own bowling alley, boat launch, clubhouse, a separate dining tent of gaily striped canvas and a network of covered walkways and bridges leading to an island gazebo. Playing at “country” by no means meant roughing it. Few of these gilded pleasure houses are still in private hands, but those days of high luxury with an Astor connection live on in the St. Regis Hotel on Fifth Avenue, a few blocks from Central Park – the city’s own patch of wilderness. A splendid Beaux-Arts hotel built by John Jacob Astor IV in 1904, its name was borrowed, at his niece’s suggestion, from Upper St. Regis Lake – an idyllic spot popular among the vacationing Astors and their wealthy circle. By the turn of the 20th century, the Adirondacks had become a playground for America’s aristocrats of the eastern seaboard. Easily accessible from the fleshpots of New York for a weekend round trip, this wilderness was where the Gatsbys of the Gilded Age acted out the plutocrat’s version of the simple life. With their luxury timber cabins and secluded lakeside villas, they fished, sailed, walked, shot deer, painted, played tennis and golf and acted in amateur dramatics. It all made for a country-club set in genuine wild country. And what a vast country club it was. The Adirondack Park, where most of the camps and lodges were to be found, is around six million acres – bigger than Yosemite, Glacier, Everglades and Yellowstone national parks combined, claiming more than a hundred peaks. Among the members of this wilderness club were the leading families of the day: the Roosevelts, Vanderbilts, Cabots, Guggenheims, Astors and others. The Astors were the most famous of all. Descendants of 18th-century German immigrants, they made their vast fortune out of fur trading. In a strange accident of fortune, many of the beavers that had died in the name of the Astor millions were, in fact, caught in the

Adirondacks. The Astors then turned to property speculation, earning the moniker “the landlords of New York”, lending their name to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and the neighborhood of Astoria in Queens. (When John Jacob Astor IV went down with the RMS Titanic in 1912, he was the richest man aboard.) As the Astors and the other elite dynasties took up residence in their Adirondacks homes, they opted for a more rural-looking chic. The log cabins they slept in had a fine pedigree. Eight presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, had been born in log cabins, albeit more rugged ones than the superluxe Adirondacks versions that later came into vogue. At the 1876 Centennial Exposition of Arts and Manufacture in Philadelphia, the Swiss chalet had been a big hit. Soon afterwards, the Swiss chalet and log cabin became fashionable styles for homes in resorts, from the national parks of the west to the Adirondacks in the east. Architectural elements that had originally been purely pragmatic – porches, screens, natural materials, gables and bays – became musthaves for the new millionaires. Particularly fancy owners, such as the Connecticut governor Phineas C. Lounsbury at his Echo Point Villa on Raquette Lake, had the names of their villas picked out in twig work on their front porches. Distinguished architects, such as Andrew Jackson Downing and Alexander Jackson Davis, published sought-after designs for weekend retreats, from cozy cottages to rustic British country houses. Ultra-luxe campsites were built, too, imitating the layout of Civil War military camps, but without the tough lifestyle. The push towards the New York country weekend had been sparked by the 1869 publication of Adventures in the Adirondacks, by the Reverend William Henry Harrison Murray. Reverend Murray sang the praises of the free and open wilds to a new generation of tourists with enough time and money on their hands to explore the countryside on their doorstep. Already the Hudson River School of artists had enshrined the beauty of the land lying north of New York City, a few days’ journey up the Hudson River. In 1837, the founder of the school, Thomas Cole, visited Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. In the same year, the painter Charles C. Ingham accompanied the geologist Ebenezer Emmons on New York State’s first-ever natural-history survey, when he came up with the name Adirondack, taken from the Iroquois word for the Algonquin Indians. The Adirondacks became the hot destination for aspiring wilderness artists – among them the ladies of the Horicon Sketching Club, a group of well-heeled Manhattan women who canoed across the lakes to find the most picturesque vistas. They painted in broad bonnets and immaculate white cotton dresses, their packed lunches carried in wicker “Adirondack baskets” by robust guides. Then, in 1871, Dr. Thomas C. Durant of the Union Pacific Railroad completed the line to the Adirondacks – or “a Central Park for the world”, as the New York Times called it, now that it was so easily reachable

Overleaf: Lehman

“Just as industrialization was roaring across the nation, ripping open the landscape for mining and despoiling it with mills and factories, Americans woke up to the romance of their disappearing countryside”

Grand holiday homes in the rustic style Left: Bull Point’s living room contained a huge fireplace, bohemian furnishings and lots of windows for light. Overleaf: Designed by Saranac Lake architect William L. Coulter in 1899, the Knollwood Club’s boathouse was one of the most beautiful in the Adirondacks, with log-fenced walkways connecting to a dock and a gazebo on the lake


Back Story


Playground of the Gilded Age


Back Story

Camp theatrics

from Manhattan. America’s first accessible wilderness was open for business – with perfect timing. Just as industrialization was roaring across the nation, ripping open the landscape for mining, despoiling it with mills, chimneys and factories, so Americans woke up to the romance of their disappearing countryside. The Adirondacks were under particular threat as they were progressively stripped for their timber. However, in 1894, the park was granted state constitutional protection, ensuring that the territory would be “forever wild”. The lodge and camp owners were determined to preserve their holiday retreats, setting up the Association for the Preservation of the Adirondacks in 1901. This new class of tycoons certainly had money to burn. In 1892, the New York Tribune published a list of 4,047 American millionaires, a large chunk of them in New York, their fortunes founded in steel, railways, oil and textiles. The story of these princes of the American Renaissance are the subject of a new NBC series, The Gilded Age, written by the creator of the British period drama Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes. The Gilded Age refers to the title of an 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, who both vacationed in the Adirondacks. They, in turn, borrowed the expression from Shakespeare’s King John: “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily... Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”

The gazillionaires may have played up to the simple life, but their behavior was dictated by codes as strict as those that ruled their weekdays in the city. In her 1923 book on etiquette, Emily Post wrote a chapter on the Adirondacks house party: “Let no one think that this is a ‘simple’ (by that meaning either easy or inexpensive) form of entertainment. ‘Roughing it’ in the fashionable world (on the Atlantic coast) is rather suggestive of the dairymaid playing of Marie Antoinette; the ‘rough’ part being mostly ‘picturesque effect’ with little taste for actual discomfort.” For these brief spells in the country, the new rich pretended to defer to a new order where country skills outranked wealth and position. The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson lampooned the idea: “Look to yourselves, you polished gentlemen! No city airs or arts pass current here Your rank is all reversed; let men of cloth Bow to the stalwart churls in overalls; They are the doctors of the wilderness, And we the low-prized laymen.” Of course, this was all an illusion. The kings of Wall Street guarded their country retreats as jealously as they did their Fifth Avenue palazzi. At the entrance to Camp Uncas there was a forbidding sign saying: “Private Park. All trespassing hereon is hereby forbidden under penalty 84

George Cabot

At Putnam Camp, visitors strike a pose. Music and theatricals were a big part of camp life during the Gilded Age

Playground of the Gilded Age

Messing about in boats

T.E. Marr

Vanderbilt Webb and James Watson Webb out for a row on Lake Lila with dogs Ivy, Tuck and Coolio in 1902

of the law. J. Pierpoint Morgan. Owner.” Morgan was the banker and art collector behind J.P. Morgan bank and the Morgan Library in New York. But it wasn’t all log cabins for the deep-pocketed. Some wanted to live like their European counterparts in vast, stately homes. Grander cabins were fitted with stained-glass windows, antler chandeliers, Moroccan wall hangings, Gothic Revival roofs and Mock Tudor paneling. The Wild Air cabin on Upper St. Regis Lake, built in 1882 for Ella Spencer Reid, the niece of the publisher of the New York Tribune, had its own billiards room. At Bull Point Lodge on Upper Saranac Lake, the banker Otto Kahn had two billiard tables. At Litchfield Park, Edwin Litchfield built up one of the best-stocked hunting estates in America, wrapped around a château in the French regal style found at Fontainebleau and Chambord. Often, however, the urban incomers weren’t much good at the country sports they idolized. Between 1898 and 1900, three guides were shot dead by clueless weekenders who’d mistaken them for deer and bears. At Sagamore, the Vanderbilts holidayed in a “Swiss chalet” the size of a schloss, with its own separate, free-standing dining hall. They got there from New York in a private Pullman car, the Wayfarer, finishing the journey in carriages drawn by four horses. In the evening, the dinner menu was printed in badly written French. But they were hardly slumming it

with “huitres on the half shell, consommé Paelermo, Truite du Lac grillé m’d’hotel, Quartier de Venaison St. Hubert, and Poulets rotis, Salades Grape Fruit, Plum-Pudding and Patisserie.” They ate off silver and drank from glasses etched with the spruce logo of Sagamore. The lodges had to be vast, given the number of guests that these wealthy families often invited to stay. In the mid-1930s, the Garvans of Kamp Kill Kare invited the Yale and Harvard baseball teams for the weekend so that they could slug it out on the Garvans’ private diamond. They also had to accommodate an enormous staff. In 1903, at Knollwood on Lower Saranac Lake, the lawyer Louis Marshall employed 24 maids, chefs, grooms and butlers to maintain his simple “country cottage” lifestyle. At Camp Inman, the boathouse was outfitted with its own casino, while on Upper St. Regis Lake, the Vanderbilts commissioned a huge, floating teahouse, a Japanese pagoda with swooping roofs supported by ornate, painted pillars. Inside, even modest cabins were decorated with Eastern touches – Japanese fans and parasols and Cantonese china were popular. Some weekenders took to wearing Chinese peasant hats as they paddled Indian canoes across Raquette Lake. Taxidermy, too, was fashionable – stuffed water buffaloes, tigers, zebras, bears and bison populated the drawing rooms of the grander cabins. 85

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Playground of the Gilded Age

Outdoor pursuits

T.E. Marr

Above: The Boathouse at Birch Landing, Stokes Camp, Upper St. Regis Lake, c. 1890. Left: Dr. Edward L. Trudeau Jr., Wenomah Wetmore, William Seward Webb Jr. and Frederica Vanderbilt Webb with a young stag, 1902

In the summer of 1926, President Calvin Coolidge stayed at White Pine on Osgood Pond, built in 1913 for half a million dollars for Archibald White, the president of Ohio’s Columbia Gas & Electric Company. Time magazine reported how the President awoke to the sight of a portrait of the Emperor Napoleon, and heard “the soft voice of luxury speaking through French tapestries, Oriental rugs, Italian paintings, a Japanese pagoda, an alpine rock garden, a billiard cabin, a bowling alley, a grand piano, a personal telephone exchange and private house-movies.” It was these levels of luxury, comfort and modern conveniences that John Jacob Astor IV determined to bring back to Manhattan for his new hotel. As the 20th century progressed, Astor’s fellow Adirondacks holidaymakers also headed back to the city, for good. For many, it was no longer practical to pour money into maintaining these beautiful but sprawling country piles. As the dynastic heirs repaired to their Park Avenue palazzi, their old holiday homes were neglected. The state’s constitutional pledge to keep the Adirondacks “forever wild” seemed at odds with the preservation of these grand weekend cottages. Nehasane, the elaborate camp of Lila Vanderbilt Webb and William Seward, was even destroyed by the state in keeping with the wilderness sentiment.

In recent years, that attitude has changed, and the camps and lodges are increasingly seen as an integral part of the Adirondacks landscape. Today, a tiny number of survivors remain as family retreats, the way they were intended to be. Others have become university teaching facilities, homeowner associations, non-profit educational institutions, destination lodgings and country clubs. The camps and lodges of the Adirondacks may have only had a brief flowering period of 80-odd years, but they left a continuing, living legacy in the form of The St. Regis Hotel in New York. The grand hotel was the last word in turn-of-the-century glamour, and rapidly became the drawing room of choice for the emerging tycoon dynasties of Manhattan, before the horrors of the First World War, the Great Crash of 1929 and the Depression which followed it brought this golden age to an end. But to this day it is that legacy of life as lived by a new American aristocracy – of the Astors and Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Carnegies – that gives The St. Regis New York the air of the most luxurious of private homes. An  Elegant Wilderness: Great Camps  and Grand Lodges of the Adirondacks 18551935 by Gladys Montgomery is published by Acanthus Press, $75. All photographs courtesy of the Adirondacks Museum 87

The Revival


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Words by Allegra Donn Photography by Alex Majoli



rtisans have always been the heart and soul of Italy. Although “haute couture” began in Paris in the early part of the 20th century, the great Italian ateliers emerged on the international stage in the 1950s thanks to the fashion pioneer Giovanni Battista Giorgoni. The entrepreneur cleverly persuaded US buyers to stop in Florence the day after the Paris collections, before flying back to America. Both buyers and press returned home inspired by what they saw, and Italian “alta moda” (or couture) was born. Three talented sisters, the celebrated Sorelle Fontana, led the way, the glamour of cinema immortalizing their designs in the public imagination when they unforgettably dressed Ava Gardner in The Barefoot Contessa and Anita Eckberg in La Dolce Vita. Giorgini cemented Italy’s fashion reputation internationally, and when he stopped hosting shows in Florence, Rome gradually took over. Galitzine, Lancetti, Fausto Sarli, Renato Balestra and Raffaella Curiel were among the many prestigious houses – the greatest though, were Valentino Garavani and Roberto Capucci. Both equal in genius in the pursuit of beauty, Valentino was more commercial and international, while Capucci, who never ventured into prêt-à-porter, was more known at home than abroad, memorably dressing Italian socialites in fantastical sculptural creations. With the rise of Italian prêt-à-porter, led by designers such as Walter Albini and Giorgio Armani in the 1970s and 1980s, Milan gradually eroded Rome’s position and turned the spotlight on itself. But today, there is a renewed focus

on AltaRoma, as the assembly of Italian couture houses is known, showing twice a year in January and July, immediately after the haute couture shows in Paris. Currently under the stewardship of Silvia Fendi, the doyenne of celebrated Fendi accessories such as the Baguette bag, and granddaughter of the legendary house’s founders, its aim is to promote and sustain the extraordinary wealth of Italian artisanship passed down through the centuries. “AltaRoma has a specific vocation – that of treasurer of our artisanal heritage,” Fendi says, “as well as being a launch pad for innovative, creative people seeking to develop their international profile. Rome is now a scouting centre for global talent.” With the support of Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, the best young designers are being discovered through the competition Who’s Up Next? Today, former winner Sergio Gambon is the creative director of Galitzine, and is one such talent continuing the tradition of haute couture in Rome. Most of the “hands” – as the top-level seamstresses are known – learned the craft at their grandmothers’ knee, sewing dresses for their dolls. Witnessing these unsung artisans at work in ateliers across Rome is enlightening and humbling, like observing the weavers of 15th-century tapestries. The care, precision and expertise given to each stitch recalls a true artist at work, and to know that this craft is being kept alive in a world of accelerated change, is a vital connection to the past that safeguards the integrity of haute couture. Where to stay: The St. Regis Rome. A private visit to the Fendi atelier, design studio and boutique can be arranged for guests 89

The Revival

The master craftspeople Ever since his stellar clients Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn captured attention in his gowns, Valentino Garavani (right) and his atelier in Rome (above) have been at the forefront of haute couture. Previous page: A team of seamstresses embroidering a layer of tulle for a Valentino creation


In one small room, four focused young seamstresses and one young man, all with pin pouches attached to their chests, painstakingly embroider a landscape on a single black sheet of tulle. It’s utterly beautiful, reminiscent of an ancient Chinese pen-and-ink drawing. But this, I learn, will only be one of the four layers of the finished dress. In another larger room, several “hands” are constructing delicate flesh-coloured bustiers. It’s exhilarating to see exactly what’s behind each item of clothing: the geometry, the imagination, the skill, patience and dedication afforded to every single hand-sewn stitch. Some dresses are first made in paper, then in fabric. Each part of the craft is complex and demanding because they are unique pieces, but perhaps the hardest part is to achieve the perfect “drop” of the dress. At Valentino, different “hands” are needed to handle different fabrics, but the current creative directors of Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, are known to sometimes use a seamstress who, say, usually works with lace, to drape leather. The dresses produced here are one-off pieces and when Valentino has a “bestseller”, it means that just three editions of the same dress are made.

Since Valentino’s legendary 1968 White collection knocked the fashion world sideways, he has been at the epicentre of Italian couture. Jackie Kennedy gilded his reputation when she ordered a wardrobe of clothes for her official mourning period as JFK’s widow. Later, the picture of her white-lace mini-dress for her wedding to Aristotle Onassis in 1968 became an iconic image. Many of the house’s premier seamstresses have been working there for decades, and some have memories of fitting Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. Neighbouring rooms with glass doors overlooking the Piazza di Spagna are furnished with large tables at which six or seven seamstresses work under the eagle eye of a premiere. Photographs of some of the world’s most famous women, wearing dresses made within these very rooms, occasionally interrupt the whitewashed walls. Powerful neon ceiling lamps illuminate the workshop, and metal irons of different weights are neatly stacked on shelves. The ladies at the table are currently working on the top-secret haute couture collection to be presented in Paris in July. 90

The Empire Strikes Back


The Revival


The Empire Strikes Back

Tommy e Giulio Caraceni

paper and spread onto a three-meter counter where the fabric is cut to size. “The only thing done by sewing machine are the hips, the back stitch, and the exterior of the sleeves – the rest is sewn by hand.” “Sadly, new ‘hands’ are few and far between in this craft,” explains Guido Finigalia, who manages the business. Tonini, the slim 75-year-old master tailor, impeccable in his Caraceni suit, is more pensive: “When Italy loses its artisanship, it will lose its history.”

This celebrated sartoria, founded in Rome by Domenico Caraceni (1880-1939), has dressed Italy’s most dashing men for generations. The legendary Fiat boss, Gianni Agnelli, was a regular customer. “I was taken on full time to make his suits,” explains master-cutter Giancarlo Tonini, who has worked at the same table for 53 years. “He would bypass the fitting room, head straight to where the tailors were at work, sit on the edge of a counter and talk football with them.” When Gary Cooper had a breakdown in 1931, he left Hollywood for a year of travelling in Europe and big-game hunting in Africa. He stopped at Caraceni to get suited up, marking the beginning of his reputation as Hollywood’s best-dressed man. Tonini points out the particular trait that makes a Caraceni suit instantly recognisable: the top buttonhole remains unused and exposed on the lapel of the jacket. “There are those who always want the same fabric,” continues Tonini, “like the incredibly smart Count Cini, and those like Agnelli, who tried everything. Agnelli had his own style. Still, today, customers arrive with photographs of him, asking me to make them the same suit.” Tonini is currently making a blue pin-striped suit, which will take him a minimum of three weeks to complete. The customer’s measurements are drawn out on brown packing

Antica Cappelleria In 1935 the Cirri brothers from Florence opened the Antica Cappelleria in the heart of Rome, in the days when society demanded diligence in gentlemen’s and ladies’ clothing. The Cirris worked and slept on the premises. “Hats are an incredible form of communication as well as objects of seduction,” says the current owner Patrizia Fabri. “Just look at what a crown symbolizes.” Fabri bought her first hat at this very shop when she was 18 in the early 1980s. “I bought a straw hat, decorated it myself and sold it on immediately. I went back the next day and ordered 25 more, took them around to fashion stores and got more orders.” Born from this enterprising spirit, Fabri had her career cut out for her. So when the Antica

Made-to-measure Left: Master-cutter Giancarlo Tonini has been at the tailor Tommy e Giulio Caraceni for more than half a century. Above: a wooden hat mold at the Italian hatter Antica Cappelleria


The Revival


Magnum Photos

The Empire Strikes Back

their head before close of business. Fabri slips on a 1920s cloche, looking as though she were born in it. “A person has a good relationship with a hat when they feel as though they’re not even wearing one!” she laughs.

Cappelleria was about to go out of business in 2003, she took over and saved the day. The atelier reverberates with her enthusiasm for the craft. “The first bashing the hat got was in the 1920s with the advent of the motorcar,” explains Fabri, “and then later and more severely in the 1970s due to feminism.” The premises are stacked with elegant hats in all shapes colours and sizes. They are custom-made in the back room by master hatter Sandro Bellucci. “I started by chance at 14 and never looked back,” he says, while steaming a hat made from rabbit hair in a dome-shaped, cast-iron oven. “The raw material as a rule for all hats is rabbit fur because it’s water repellent. It’s then treated so it can be dyed and shaped.” Above us on surrounding shelves is an infinity of wooden hat molds from different eras that Fabri travels the world to collect for her archive. “We’re determined to maintain traditions unaltered through time,” she says passionately. “There is only one producer of raw materials for hat-making left in Portugal, otherwise one must order now from China.” Fabri has made hats for many designers, including the great Roberto Cappucci for an exhibition currently being shown in Beijing. Handmade top hats and panamas are suspended above our heads. Here a customer can come in, be measured up, choose a hat for day or evening and have it on

Renato Balestra A former engineering student and pianist, Renato Balestra is especially known for his fabrics, hand-embroidered in his basement atelier, and for Blu Balestra, a particular tone of peacock blue that he has always been passionate about and uses in each of his collections. Famous clients include Farah Diba of Iran and the Queen of Thailand. Angela, the premiere, has been working for him for 20 years. She learned the craft from the age of six at home. “It’s difficult to find new ‘hands’,” she says. “I think one can only do this job out of passion.” At the next table, Chiara is doing embroidery. Being a new “hand”, she studied at the academia in Rome. Once a dress has been decided it takes around 20 days to complete. Balestra, now 88, is still closely involved with every aspect of his collection. “Haute couture is a whole culture, an art,” he says.

Italian couture Left: Antica Cappelleria was saved from closure in 2003 by Patrizia Fabri, who bought her first hat there in the early 1980s. Above: At Renata Balestra, once a dress has been decided upon, it take around 20 days to make


The Revival

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WINGS OF DESIRE Words by David Pratt

Man and bird

Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

A working intimacy develops between a falconer and his charge, so that the creature soon recognises and responds only to his master’s voice. Arab falconers swear by their birds’ intelligence



An ancient tradition preserved


t takes place in those empty lands that have fascinated men for millennia, a seemingly soundless world of sand and solitude. Sighting its prey with eyes round as dark marbles, the bird reels and swoops, diving at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour before rising again into the azure sky that canopies the desert. So it has been throughout centuries for the longwinged and shortwinged in this world of lures, snares, jesses, hoods and blocks. The language of the Arabian falconer, like that of his counterparts across the globe, is as time-worn and universal as the sport of hawking itself. Most of us, to borrow a line from Hamlet, wouldn’t know “a hawk from a handsaw”. That, however, has not prevented a perennial fascination with what has been called the real sport of kings, no matter how much a pauper or commoner we might be. Who hasn’t caught site of a hawk or falcon soaring on currents above the countryside and not been struck by its imposing appearance and mastery of flight? As a journalist who has spent much time in Afghanistan, a country with a long and fine tradition of falconry, I have often watched birds of prey in the mountains and deserts of that beautiful but troubled land. In his majestic book, Falconry in the Land of the Sun: The Memoirs of an Afghan Falconer, the legendary Sirdar Mohamed Osman, grandson of the King of

Afghanistan, recalls his adventures across India, Pakistan and Central Asia in pursuit of his passion. But it is perhaps in the Arab world where this sport is most deeply and fervently pursued, binding man and raptor in an intimate dance of life and death. In visits over the years to places as diverse as Iraq, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE, the sight of a falconer whirling a feathered, baited lure has become familiar as he teaches his bird to strike again and again at its quarry before swooping down to land on his gauntleted arm. And nowhere has this sight been so indelibly etched on my memory than in the reddishorange desert dunes of the Rub al Khali, the Empty Quarter, which sits little more than and hour and a half ’s drive south of Abu Dhabi. It was here in the late 1940s and early 1950s that the great British Arabist, Wilfred Thesiger, accompanied Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi for months on camel back, sleeping in the open, feeding on hares and bustards that were the quarry of their falcons. “It was very still with the silence which we have driven from our world,” wrote Thesiger in what was to become his classic book, Arabian Sands. The visitor to Arabia is often told that the desert life is over, and to a great extent it is true. But the silence that Thesiger speaks of can still be found, as can the Arab falconer. In these high-tech internet-dominated 100

This page and opposite: Isabella Rozendaal

Originally falcons were used to hunt desert hare and bustard to supplement the mainly vegetarian diet of the nomadic Bedouin tribesmen

The Wings of Desire

A prized hunter The finest falcons can command sums ranging from $20,000 to $250,0000, prompting many owners to implant microchip tracking devices should they go missing

times, in this part of the world there remains a self-conscious defence against the tide of modernity. A region flush with petro-dollars and opulent lifestyles still has a burning need, it seems, to preserve a tradition that provides an ageless communion with nature. In this, the Arab love of falconry continues to play a vital role. Indeed in many Arab lands, the falcon has become part of contemporary iconography, its sharp-beaked, taloned image appearing on everything from company logos and cap badges to dirham banknotes. As another British Arabist and former MI6 spy master, Sir Mark Allen, points out: “With the camel, the Arab horse, the black hair tent and the Saluki [Persian greyhound], the hawk is a symbol of the desert Arab’s way of life... which he has cherished through all the traumatic changes of the last few generations.” Since he was 14 years old, hawking has played an enormous part in Allen’s life, allowing him as a Westerner to become accepted and to live and hunt with the Bedouin nomadic tribesmen of the Arabian desert. For the Bedouin, raptors were originally used for hunting to supplement their diet of milk, bread, dates and rice with meat from hares or houbara, a large bird of the bustard family. These hunting expeditions were also a useful means by which tribal sheikhs could “tour” their territory and

keep up with events. In cities such as Baghdad and Damascus, falconry used to have a rather grand following. Much of that has now gone, lost, as Allen says, “with a vanished world of pomegranates and sherbet”. For the layman, the world of the falconer is a mysterious one. To all but those with some knowledge of birds there is often confusion about the differences between a hawk and a falcon. Put simply, the birds used in falconry fall into two types: the falconidae, or longwings, comprise the dark-eyed hooked-beaked falcons that power dive on their prey from above; then there are the accipitridae, shortwing yellow-eyed true hawks, such as the sparrowhawk, which run down their quarry by “binding to” or grabbing them after a hectic chase. These days in the UAE the two main species of falcons to be found in the dunes of the Empty Quarter are the saker and the peregrine. Historically, the Bedouin believe that the saker has more powerful eyesight than the peregrine. Sharing the cunning temperament of a cat, Arabian falconers swear by the saker’s intelligence and tell of how it will often lie down between driver and passenger for better balance on the front seat of a 4x4 bumping over the dunes. Such stories say much about the working intimacy that develops between falconer and bird. Buying the finest birds can command vast sums 101



The Wings of Desire with prices of $20,000 not uncommon, and some fetching as much as $250,000. It’s hardly surprising then, that traditional as many aspects of Arabian falconry continue to be, birds often have GPS transmitters attached to their tail feathers to track them should they go missing. But first, the falconer must acquire his bird, and historically, the methods and ruses used by Arab trappers have been varied and ingenious. These range from pigeons used as bait with slip nooses on a light frame attached to their backs, to deploying smaller decoy hawks also with nooses attached. This makes them appear as if they are carrying a kill, which then becomes a target for larger birds, which inevitably become entangled in the noose themselves. Hides and nets, too, have been used to capture these elusive creatures. In countries such as the UAE today, however, there are strict controls on trapping falcons as well as their use in hunting the king prey of houbara. Indeed many falconers have now become committed conservationists. The Falcon Passport, a scheme started in 2002 in Abu Dhabi, prevents the illegal trading of falcons, with the bird’s country of origin, permit number and date of last export or import forming key data in the document. But the same rules do not always apply in other parts of the world, especially when it comes to hunting with falcons. As a result, many Arab falconers now travel overseas, purchasing permits to hunt in places such as Pakistan. The legal supply of raptors from many of these countries remains a substantial business. Some years ago while working in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province along the border with Afghanistan, I met a Pathan trapper in the city of Peshawar, who regularly acquired birds for Middle-Eastern clients. A keen falconer himself, he and his friends would frequently gather for meals at the hotel he owned. With them they brought falcons and hawks, which they habitually leashed to the nearest furniture in the absence of a proper “block” or wakr. I became fascinated with the elaborate paraphernalia of the falconers’ trade. The jesses or short thongs that attach to the birds legs; the leash that, in turn, runs from the jesses to the block where the hawk spends most of its time when not in flight; and, of course, the hood, or burka in Arabic. Kept in pitch darkness, the bird will sit motionless with no thought to fly for fear of breaking feathers. The hood keeps the bird calm, avoiding any stress. Where Japanese falconers once believed that hawks were afraid of the human voice, Arabs have traditionally taught their hawks to know their names, which are short and easy to call, such as Dhib, (wolf ) or Sabah (morning). At a time when Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar and the UAE are experiencing a dislocation from the past due to accelerated economic change, falconry remains a tangible link to another way of life. But it would be wrong to over-romanticize this passion. While in the West hawking is regarded as a sport, in the Arabic language there are no equivalent words for that notion. Of course it has words that mean pastime or exercise, but in the case of falconry its roots and the words used to describe it will always be associated with hunting.

Given today’s hunting restrictions, however, hawking has taken on a new significance ever since the first International Falconry Conference (IFC) was inaugurated by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi in 1976. Since then, falconry has played an increasingly significant role in the much wider heritage, culture and identity of the UAE. It is a measure of how seriously the Arabs of the Emirates take their falcons that the country has created a world-renowned veterinary clinic, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (ADFH), which opened in 1999. In its first 12 years more than 50,000 “patients” have passed through its doors. Whether it’s disease, diet or broken wing feathers, falconers go to great lengths to maintain the health of their birds. Today in Abu Dhabi men dressed in what were once clothes of the desert but are now national dress can be seen queueing with their birds on temporary blocks at the city’s famous falcon hospital. “The bird is part of my life, my identity, and for that reason it deserves whatever loyalty I can offer it, when it is in need,” is how one Emirates falconer described his decision to visit ADFH. Every year the UAE further highlights its commitment to the hawking tradition when it holds the Abu Dhabi Falconry Competition and Festival as part of its national day celebrations. Some 600 falconers and more than 1,100 birds participated in the contest towards the end of last year, split into three disciplines. With up to a million dirhams ($275,000) on offer in prize money, the biggest pot goes to the owner of the falcon covering 400 yards in the fastest time. In another event, birds follow a model plane with a “bait tail” trailing behind it, the winner being the falcon that flies the longest distance and time. “It’s a new technique,” explains Mohammed Al Mahmood, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. “It’s the first time it has been done in a competition.” In the final event the birds are timed from the ground to a balloon more than 600 feet in the air. Speaking at the finale of the competition, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that he hoped that the event would promote genuine heritage from which “valuable lessons” might be learned by youngsters, especially in “patience, courage, generosity, heroism, challenge, endurance and other noble principles”. It was Sir Mark Allen who, on one occasion having difficulty with a restless peregrine, was given the advice of a Bedouin falconer: “Take off his hood, let him watch the Arabs and be content.” In the past, a generation of Gulf Arabs was content with the fact that the noble art of falconry provided a means of feeding their families, but clearly they believed that hawking meant more that just that. Today, as Allen has observed, the Arabs may no longer fly their birds with “the careless ferocity and zest of the past”, but few would deny that there still remains something utterly majestic in this magical aerobatic display of grandeur and tenacity.

Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

“There remains a self-conscious defence against the tide of modernity. A region flush with petro-dollars and opulent lifestyles still has a burning need to preserve a tradition that provides an ageless communion with nature”

Where to stay: The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi; The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. A tour of the falcon hospital can be arranged for guests

Connecting to the past In a period of accelerated change, falconry has an increasingly signficant role in the wider heritage, culture and identity of the Emirates


ALL IN THE DETAIL Words by Jason Barlow



or a privileged few car lovers, highend custom-design is making their fantasies a reality. The luxury brands are taking what used to be known as the “options list” in car design and offering exhaustive “personalization”. We’re talking here about ways of customizing your new motor to make it utterly unique, and the likes of Bentley, BMW , Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Porsche and Rolls-Royce are only too happy to oblige. A comparison with the famed tailors of London’s Savile Row is apt, not least when it comes to Ferrari’s interpretation – it has named its custom-design plan “Tailor-Made”. It’s the vision of Lapo Elkann, the charming high-flying grandson of Fiat kingpin and style icon Gianni Agnelli. Elkann calls himself a “freestyle entrepreneur”,

and it’s his idiosyncratic approach to life that runs through Ferrari’s Tailor-Made concept. In dedicated ateliers annexed to the main Ferrari showrooms around the world, clients can choose between “Classica” (retro styling from the 1950s and 1960s) and “Scuderia” (racing design), or let their imaginations run riot with “Inedita”. Pinstriped seats, cashmere roof lining, or carbon fiber and titanium trim – it’s all possible. “Today, luxury has to be open to new materials and new elements,” Elkann says. “If you’re spending that sort of money, you want the freedom to make the product look the way you want it to look rather than the way the company does.” While Elkann is something of an iconoclast and revels in the possibilities of high-tech new 104

materials, tradition still plays a role. Ferrari suppliers include the celebrated furniture designer and materials experts Poltrona Frau, whose mantra intelligenza delle mani (clever handcrafting) informs the distinctive interiors of today’s Ferraris, and is crucial in Tailor-Made. “There is an almost infinite number of colors for our leather,” the company chairman Franco Moschini says. “There are now more than 90 colors compared to the five or six in the past. The skins are analyzed individually, because each animal is different and has lived a different life.” Another Tailor-Made supplier is the Piedmontese fabric-maker Vitale Barberis Canonico, whose work with the company is more akin to that of a tailor than an industrial partner. And in a nod to Ferrari’s early days in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when handcrafted bodywork



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Previous page: Bentley Arnage 2007. 1. Rolls Royce Bespoke Ghost 2005. 2. Bentley Continental GT. 3. Ferrari 430 Scuderia. 4. Bentley EXP 9F Concept. 5. Rolls Royce Phanton Bespoke

was made in ultra-low volumes for the aristocracy, films stars and industrialists, the company’s Special Projects division will design an entire car to your personal specifications. Eric Clapton is one of the Ferrari clients to explore this avenue with his SP12 EC. Was overseeing the design an enjoyable process? “Oh, unbelievable,” he says. “One of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. There will never be anything like this again. This is me aged seven listening to [F1 drivers] Fangio and Ascari.” Victoria Beckham is another big name to turn if not designer exactly, then specifier. Her 2011 limited edition of the Range Rover Evoque comprised only 200 units worldwide, yet despite costing around $128,500, it was an instant sell-out. A hot brand, superstar name and custom design all aligned with a genuinely

desirable product, underpinning the marketing voodoo. In matte grey, with rose gold accents inspired by the men’s gold Rolex that her husband David had given her, and with a cabin trimmed in highly desirable buttery aniline leather, the VB Evoque is a notably tasteful example of limited-edition design. “I like to think outside the box,” Mrs. Beckham told me at the car’s launch in Beijing. “Why shouldn’t I design a car? When Gerry [McGovern, Land Rover’s design director] approached me to do this, it was certainly a challenge. I’d never designed a car before, so I think I brought a naivety to the project, though I’ve enjoyed customizing the cars David and I have bought over the years. I didn’t want a car that was particularly feminine, I wanted something that David also wanted to drive.” 106

Custom car design is a global trend, but individual countries’ traits can appeal across borders. A yearning for authenticity is one of the things that most commends say, Bentley to the booming Chinese market. British luxury automakers have a rich history in wood, leather and marquetry, and as the brand’s chief interior designer, Robin Page, puts it: “By the time you work out all the options [of materials] and all the combinations, there are millions of scenarios.” In fact, Bentley has arguably the richest history in custom design. Its Mulliner division offers “specialist personal commissioning,” a promise that is backed by a relationship that goes back almost a hundred years. The division is named after H.J. Mulliner & Co, the coachbuilder that the company founder W.O. Bentley asked to create the bodywork for

All in the Detail



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6. Ferrari 430 Scuderia. 7. Range Rover Evoque. 8. Bentley Series 51 Continental. 9. Aston Martin Vanquish

his 1919 EXP1 prototype. Mulliner originally built Royal Mail carriages in the 18th century, and handcrafted saddles before that. This sort of backstory plays well in emerging markets. “Craftsmanship and attention to detail is what defines British design,” Aston Martin’s chief designer Miles Nurnberger says. “We’re extremely creative, but we mix that with a pragmatism. German design is very pragmatic and very exacting, but can lack creativity. French design is creative, but might lack refinement or execution. British design strikes a good balance. We like modern architecture, but we also like quite homely things and comfort. There’s purity to British design, and it has honesty. Others might use something that looks like metal, but we actually use metal.” Gavin Hartley is head of custom design at Rolls-Royce, a company that has been working

in the field for decades. “Whether it’s a house or a yacht, our customers don’t generally choose from lists,” Hartley says. “They’re beyond conforming to what other people might think. It’s an opportunity for dialogue with individuals, to allow them to pursue their own ideas. We’re harking back to the early days of motoring, to the coach-building era, when there was less standardization and more choice. “Different rules definitely apply, and it often makes you question what good taste actually is,” Hartley continues. “You might think you are always right and everyone else is wrong, but in this business you are constantly challenging the arrogance of that assumption. But the people who come to us want a Rolls-Royce sort of solution, so it tends to be consistent with what we want to do – which is excellent, beautiful engineering.” 107

Fortunately, as with other areas of automotive design, there is a notable trickle-down effect: the runaway success of the latest Mini, Citroën DS3 and Fiat 500 has democratized custom car design. Mass-produced they may be, but none is identical. Sustainability is also important: recently, the Peugeot Onyx concept car showcased an interior trimmed in felt and recycled newspaper so thoroughly compressed that it felt like wood. And even if the exterior matches a thousand other models, the endless possibilities for creating something unique on the inside provides a particular satisfaction, the feeling of knowing that no one else possesses anything like it. Where to stay: The Bentley Suite, The St. Regis New York, a collaboration bringing The St. Regis and Bentley partnership to life

A Life in Seven Journeys

Harry Benson


Driving down to Troon, Scotland, 1956 I left the RAF when I was 19, but I couldn’t afford a car until I was 26. It was a Fiat 600, and my very first journey was from Glasgow down the west coast of Scotland to a seaside town called Troon. I’ll never forget the feeling, just me in my new car on a sunny day. Because it was Italian, it was a bit sexier than a British car – a chance to get the prettiest girls. Happiness.

2 The Berlin Wall goes up, 1961 I was sent to Berlin for the London Daily Express, and we knew something was going on as the city was being systematically closed off. The wall went up quickly, the barbed wire and the barricades encircling the city. I went back in 1989 for Life – I never thought I’d see the Berlin Wall come down in my lifetime. I’m glad I was there to see it.

3 Following the Beatles to Paris and America, 1964 One night in January 1964 I got a call from The Express picture desk to go to Paris to photograph the Beatles. I was a bit annoyed because I had no interest in photographing pop stars. But as I walked into the hall they started to play All My Loving, and it was electric. I knew I was on the right story. My

favorite picture of the Beatles having a pillow fight was taken in Paris. Within two weeks I was on a plane to America with them for The Ed Sullivan Show. The Beatles changed my life because America was a fascinating place to be in the 1960s; after that, I never came back.

4 The Meredith march, Mississippi, 1966 The Civil Rights Movement was at its height when I drove to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, HQ of the Klu Klux Klan. I knew this was going to be dangerous, but it was my job. I met the grand wizard, Bobby Shelton, and attended Klan meetings with him. I followed the whole march; I went to rallies, I was teargassed, saw beatings, hid film in my socks. When I met Martin Luther King, I said to him, “This is just awful.” And he said, “It is awful being a black man in this country.” Jobs like these were journeys into the heart of America.

5 The assassination of Robert Kennedy, Los Angeles, 1968 I grew to like Bobby Kennedy immensely. He was fun to be with on the campaign, very easy to work with. When he was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in LA, I was 12 inches away from him. It was chaos and people were punching me in the 108

head and shouting, but I just kept moving, trying to get the shots. I photographed his wife Ethel screaming, and people said, how could you do that? He was someone I cared about. When something like this happens you know you are recording history. The picture of the straw boater is one of my most dramatic. This was Bobby’s blood. This was the end of the road.

6 9/11, New York City, 2001 By the time I got down to the site, the second plane had hit. There was dust and debris everywhere and the police weren’t letting anybody through, so I took my pictures from the perimeters. Lots of photographers are suffering now from what they inhaled that day, so in a way it was a blessing for me, but I had to be there to see what happened.

7 Returning home to Glasgow, Scotland Glasgow is my home, I love to go back and smell it. It has a rough and tumble about it that is similar to New York. But no year is complete unless I go to Troon for a walk along the beach and have an ice cream or some fish and chips and look across to the Isle of Arran. That to me is Scotland. I get excited just getting on the plane.

Illustration: Jacobo Pérez-Enciso


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1. The St. Regis New York 2. The St. Regis Beijing 3. The St. Regis Rome 4. The St. Regis Houston 5. The St. Regis Washington, D.C. 6. The St. Regis Aspen Resort 7. The St. Regis Monarch Beach

8. The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort 9. The 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

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22. The St. Regis Bangkok 29. The St. Regis Doha 23. The St. Regis Florence 30. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort 24. The St. Regis Tianjin 31. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi 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


COMING SOON IN 2014 32. The St. Regis Chengdu 33. The St. Regis Lijiang Resort 34. The St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riveria Maya 35. The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur

The Aficionado’s Guide An introduction to St. Regis Hotels and Resorts around the world



The St. Regis Abu Dhabi The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi The St. Regis Doha The St. Regis Mautitius Resort

THE AMERICAS The St. Regis Aspen Resort The St. Regis Atlanta The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort The St. Regis Deer Valley The St. Regis Houston The St. Regis Mexico City The St. Regis Monarch Beach The St. Regis New York The St. Regis Princeville Resort The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort The St. Regis San Francisco The St. Regis Washington DC

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

E U RO P E The St. Regis Florence The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort The St. Regis Rome

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


The St. Regis Abu Dhabi ‘Iconic Luxury on the Renowned Corniche’

Abu Dhabi is now a world-class metropolis stretching along the Arabian Gulf; a Superior Guest Room

This year, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is opening 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 cutting-edge 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-awayfrom-home. The hotel is near several major corporate headquarters and embassies, and is handy for shopping malls and the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Relax after a day exploring with dinner in the hotel’s destination restaurant, Rhodes 44, overseen by Michelin-starred British chef Gary Rhodes.

Ask us about 1. Visiting the ornate Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the centre of the city. It is the size of five soccer fields, and can house up to 41,000 worshippers, making it the eighth largest mosque in the world. The ideal time to arrive is around 4.30pm (except Fridays), when you will catch the afternoon sunlight glinting on the mosque’s 82 domes of differing sizes. The main chandelier alone weighs an incredible 12 tonnes.

2. 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, a two-hour journey out of Abu Dhabi. Moreeb dune is 100 metres high and is used for 4x4 driving competitions.

4. Discovering Zayed Sport City (Airport Road): the venue hosts major international tennis matches, and soccer games featuring some leading British Premiership teams.

3. Shopping at the plush Marina Mall, which also has an ice rink, a cinema and a bowling alley. Traditional crafts are also made here.

Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates • T. (971) (2) 658 1288 • 283 guest rooms and suites; 8 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; private beach; children’s club

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


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

The exterior of the hotel at night; relax on Saadiyat Beach, moments from the hotel; Saadiyat Beach golf course

Saadiyat Island only covers ten square miles, but it packs a lot into that space. Just 15 minutes’ drive from the center of Abu Dhabi, it has white-sand beaches, 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 – which opened last year – has been welcomed here by regulars and new visitors alike. The building is a beauty, showcasing the dashing design principles of the award-winning architecture firm WoodsBagot and Johannesburg-based Northpoint Architects. Each room has panoramic vistas of the Gulf 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 a state-of-the-art athletics club. Watch the dolphins in the blue waters, while nearby Saadiyat Beach is a fascinating nesting site for Hawksbill turtles.

Ask us about 1. Playing a round at the championship Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, just a few minutes away. The beachfront course was designed by nine-times Major winner 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 to make the most of your visit. 2. Walking or cycling along The Corniche: feel part of the local

culture, swim in the warm seas under the watch of a lifeguard, then kick back at one of the stylish cafés or a beach-view restaurant. 4. Kayaking among the mangrove forests with a guide: not at all the arid desert destination that some people might expect, Abu Dhabi has swaths of mangrove covering more than 70sq km of coastline. You need no previous experience to hop in a kayak to paddle and drift through this

pristine ecosystem. Life doesn’t get more peaceful. 3. Visiting Yas Waterworld on Yas Island: visitors pour in from far and wide looking for thrills all day long at this state-of-the-art theme park. It’s an adventure of a lifetime that kids will remember for ever, with its 43 rides, slides and attractions – the Bandit Bomber rollercoaster alone is 550 metres long.

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

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


The St. Regis Doha ‘Unrivaled Location, Finest Address’

Enjoy a light snack on the Sarab Lounge Terrace; the hotel’s postmodern Arabian exterior has a magical aura at dusk; the modern Doha city line dwarfs a traditional dhow

Doha has come a long way 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 just needed to see 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. 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.

Ask us about 1. Seeing the purebred Arabian horses at the Al Shaqab Equestrian Center, which prides itself on showcasing riding skills and encouraging people to take up the sport. Built especially to welcome visitors, it has an education center and tours. It’s usually possible to organize riding lessons, too, for all ages. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. A morning at the Museum of Islamic Art (Doha Port), home to one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts, with a private guide.

Doha West Bay, Doha 14435, Qatar • T. (974) 44460000 •

336 guest rooms and suites; 10 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis; private beach

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


The St. Regis Mauritius Resort ‘Island Sanctuary’

Surfing and kite surfing are popular activities; a Guest Room exterior set in the hotel’s lush gardens

The Indian Ocean is famed for many things – paradisal beaches, indigo seas, sublime diving and a vibrant culture that melds Asian and African traditions – and 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.

Ask us about 1. A culinary cruise on board The St. Regis Mauritius Resort’s speedboat that will take you on a tour of the island’s fascinating ports to sample French-Mauritian, Southeast Asian and Indian cuisine. The latter fuses ingredients and techniques from Africa, Asia and Europe, combined with those of Mauritius itself. It is a unique experience that brings you closer to the island and its people.

2. Exploring the caves and overhangs on the steep slopes of the basaltic monolith of Le Morne Brabant. And for those who like to get the heart racing, climb the mountain and enjoy the views over the Indian Ocean. 3. Port-Louis: the historical capital offers an eclectic mix of architecture, from pagodas and temples to French Colonial monuments. The Blue Penny Museum, named after two of the world’s rarest stamps, issued by

Mauritius, makes for an engrossing visit. Then browse with a private guide through a bustling local market. 4. 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.

Le Morne Peninsula, Le Morne, Mauritius • T. (230) 403 9000 • 172 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; children’s club

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


The St. Regis Aspen Resort ‘Majestic Spirit of the Rockies’

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 – views of the Rockies are rarely more than a turn of the head away – yet find great pleasure in the many sports on offer, in the arts, and in spiritual and 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. And there’s something about the raw, unspoilt setting that visitors find inspiring. Comprehensively redesigned last year 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 hotel experience.

Ask us about 1. Catching a classical concert or a cool jazz session. Just about everyone knows now that 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. 2. 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 outings are offered on the beautiful waters of the Colorado, Roaring Fork and Arkansas rivers. 3. 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.

4. The famous Caribou Club. Guests of the hotel can enjoy access to this exclusive Aspen club – which is normally members only – celebrated for its old-school charm, great service and attention to detail. So join the in-crowd for dinner, drinks and dancing, all year round.

315 East Dean Street, Aspen, Colorado 81611, United States • T. (970) 920-3300 • 00244 179 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; golf; ski

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


The St. Regis Atlanta ‘Refining Southern Tradition’

The hotel at dusk, in the enclave of Buckhead; the dining room in the Empire Suite; the hotel’s architectural entrance

Atlanta is known for its breezy, Southern, no-nonsense approach to life, business, culture… and just about everything. It’s a great city for getting things done and for getting a fix of boutique shopping, cuisine, art, jazz and sport – the Atlanta Braves baseball team is 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 neigborhood just a few miles from downtown. The neighboring streets, lined with oak trees and Georgian, Tudor, Italianate and Greek Revival mansions, are pedestrian-friendly. Everything you might want to experience – 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 find an“in-town resort”: including the 40,000 sq ft Pool Piazza

Ask us about 1. A helicopter flight to see the bas-relief at Stone Mountain. The largest carvings in the world, sculpted into the face of this massive natural quartz dome, are 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.

2. Ordering a martini and listening to the latest cool, original jazz at Churchill Grounds (660 Peachtree Street Northeast). Located in Midtown, it’s an Atlanta institution. 3. South City Kitchen (1144 Crescent Ave): serving fresh and contemporary Southern cuisine with a sophisticated twist, the restaurant is celebrating 20 years as an Atlanta landmark. There’s a great buzz inside,

and outside the quieter patio is a perfect spot for people-watching. 4.The Atlanta History Center (130 West Paces Ferry Rd): visit this awardwinning museum charting the city’s history, including six gardens designed to reflect the way different Atlantans have connected with the land here, and the house of Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell.

Eighty-Eight West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305, United States • T. (404) 563-7900 • 151 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym

An Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis Hotels & Resorts: The Americas


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

The lounge of a Plantation House; the magnificent pool esplanade and its cabanas

Puerto Rico is where American and Latin American cultures meld and clash and get up to dance – famous as one of the key centers 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, 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 much-loved beach destination, but its tropical waters are also perfect for sea-kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing and fishing. The island is known for its distinctive cuisine, culture and Caribbean vibe.

Ask us about 1. 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. 2. 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 staple of the daily diet), empanadillas (small patties

with various fillings) and the favorite, mofongo (stuffed plantain). 3. Dancing the night away to reggae, calypso, bomba y plena (the island’s definitive folk rhythm), and, of course, steamy salsa, at one of San Juan’s hip nightspots – perhaps take a salsa lesson before heading out. The city is just a little over 30 minutes’ drive from the resort. So although you are beside one of the world’s most secluded beaches, you are within easy access of Puerto Rico’s exciting nightlife.

4. 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.

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

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


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

In the resort’s grounds, cozy up in an Oasis Cabana; the Grand Hall’s elaborate and sophisticated decor fits in perfectly with Miami’s arty vibe; the luxurious Tranquility Pool

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 major brand stores and dozens of superb bistros and cafés. With the Atlantic right on its doorstep and exclusive access to a private beach, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort was one of the hottest U.S. hotel openings of 2012, and has immediately become one of the key sites of Miami’s buzzing social scene.

Ask us about 1. Old Miami: hire a vintage car – open-top, of course – for a morning to drive around the historic Art Deco district. Or make a day of it and, afterwards, head out to the Keys. 2. Hiring a private guide to show you the coolest film locations. Miami has been a movie set on many memorable occasions for celluloid classics, such as Goldfinger, Scarface and There’s Something about Mary. It’s a hugely

entertaining trip to discover the real places that made it in front of Hollywood’s lens. 3. Art, art and more art. Miami has a global reputation for the quality of its exhibitions and shows that draw the world’s press and top-drawer collectors to the city. 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. Whatever time of year you arrive, you should find shows, private views and art parties taking place all over the city. Don’t forget your credit card. 4. 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.

9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Florida 33154, United States • T. (305) 993-3300 • 243 guest rooms and suites; 1 restaurant and bar; spa; gym; children’s club

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


The St. Regis Deer Valley ‘Paradise Perfected’

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 getting busy. 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 slopeside, 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.

Ask us about 1. Vodka and whiskey 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. 2. Meeting Shannon Bahrke. The much-loved two-time American 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. 3. Utah Olympic Park. Test your mettle on bobsled and luge rides on the Olympic track. Then why not wind down with visits to the fascinating Alf Engen Ski Museum and 2002 Eccles Olympic Winter Games Museum?

some of America’s most ruggedly beautiful scenery ­– including memorable views of Hunter Creek and the Continental Divide.

4. Saddling up for a horseback ride into the Rockies to take in

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

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


The St. Regis Houston ‘Explore Houston’s Best Address’

The hotel’s lobby leads in from the residential neighborhood of Post Oak Park; the Remington Restaurant; the destination swimming pool on the mezzanine level

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, but discreet to a fault. It’s also conveniently located only half a mile from the Galleria and six miles from Houston’s central business district. Last July, the celebrated design firm ForrestPerkins created a warm and welcoming Tea Lounge with a library so that guests can punctuate their outings with morning coffee, afternoon tea or pre-dinner cocktails. The spectacular outdoor pool and sundeck, located on the mezzanine level and adjacent to the spa and fitness room, draws guests back time after time. It is open from 5am until 11pm daily, because we know our guests love to work hard and play hard as well.

Ask us about 1. 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 and admire how fit and fast the polo ponies are. 2. The Houston Museum District. There are 19 flagship institutions here, ranging from the Museum of Fine

Arts to the Children’s Museum of Houston to the Museum of Natural Science. Beneath the city’s go-getting exterior, a spirit of culture and knowledge is clearly flourishing.

4. 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.

3. 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.

1919 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston, Texas 77027-3408, United States • T. (713) 840-7600 • 232 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym

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


The St. Regis Mexico City ‘Grace and Distinction Uncompromised’

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 mind-boggling 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. When it comes to fine cuisine, Guy Santoro at Restaurant Diana and Maycoll Calderón at the J&G Grill, signature restaurants within the hotel, are among the very best chefs at work in the city.

Ask us about 1. San Juan Market. Known as the chefs’ market, because of its fabulous range of meat, fish, cheese, fruits and vegetables, all of it of breathtaking quality. There is no better way to get a sense of the extraordinary breadth of Mexican cuisine. 2. A private mural tour – if you only see one mural, see the extraordinary 4,500 square foot revolutionary painting by David Alfaro Siquieros in the Chapultepec Castle, a stirring

testament to the astonishing power and resonance of Mexican political art back in its heyday. 3. A guided tour of the jaw-dropping Anthropology Museum, where many of the great masterpieces created by pre-Columbian Mexico’s Mayas, Olmecs and Aztecs are on display. The exhibits give a fascinating glimpse of the cultures which flourished in Latin America before the arrival of European colonizers.

4. A pre-dinner tequila or mescal tasting session. Head to one (or more) of the cool pre-clubbing bars of Condesa, to savor Mexico’s remarkable and powerful national drinks, and gain a sense of the city’s vibrant and exciting nightlife scene.

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

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


The St. Regis Monarch Beach ‘A Spectacular Setting’

The swimming pool; a Signature Guest Room; the 18-hole golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

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. The acclaimed 18-hole golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., while the hotel’s private beach access has memorable views. But with everything from vintage car gatherings to whale watching and even a tall ships festival, this is so much more than just the ultimate Californian beach destination.

Ask us about 1. 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. 2. Your surf expert. The hotel employs what’s now called a wave expert, aka someone who can teach you everything from the bare basics of

surfing to where to find the hairiest breaks, depending on your ability. 3. 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.

4. Festivals. There’s much more to Monarch Beach than the beach. Every June there is the vintage and classic car known as the Dana Point Concours d’Elegance, part of the Orange County Collector Car and Motorcycle Weekend, while September sees cannon battles at sea and more with the celebrated tall ships festival.

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

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


The St. Regis New York ‘The Address Is the Experience’

View over Central Park from the Dior Suite living room; the hotel’s custom-built 2013 Bentley Mulsanne courtesy car; the Tiffany Suite’s Guest Room

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. 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.

Ask us about 1. 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.

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. Your Concierge can arrange for you to enjoy the VIP experience at these two luxury emporia.

2. VIP shopping at Dior and Tiffany & Co. The Parisian fashion house of Dior has been a favorite with wellheeled New Yorkers ever since the New Look, while Tiffany & Co’s

3. Shakespeare in the Park: Enjoy New York City’s most beloved summer tradition: Shakespeare in the extraordinary setting of Central Park, performed by leading actors.

4. Architectural Tour: from 17th Century colonial to postmodernism, the streets of New York are filled with unique buildings that tell the story of the city’s history and growth. Our Concierge can design personalized tours to explore your favorite architectural styles.

2 East 55th Street at Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10022, United States • T. (212) 753-4500 •

229 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; spa; gym

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


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

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.

Ask us about 1. 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. 2. 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-round coordination and body tone. 3. Hiking trails. Take your pick from myriad routes that pass through forest reserves, canyons, waterfalls or the Napali coast. There’s something to suit all fitness levels and abilities, from an easy stroll to an energizing

day-long hike. Afterwards, charter a helicopter to see these natural wonders from above. Enchanting. 4. 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.

5520 Ka Haku Road, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii 96722, United States • T. (808) 826-9644 •

251 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; tennis; golf; children’s club

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


The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort ‘Paradise Revealed’

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 two 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.

Ask us about 1. 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. 2 Private food-themed tours of Puerto Vallarta, sampling ceviches and tortilla soup, chocolatey moles and tropical fruit, sublimely tasty guacamole, coconut-based tuba and delicious local tequilas.

3. Horseback riding at the picturesque Hacienda El Divisadero near El Tuito, south of Puerto Vallarta – and while you are there, make sure you see the raicita distillery and sample a glass of this local agavebased drink.

humpback whales and becautiful reef fish, while above the surface you can see extraordinary birds such as the blue-footed booby.

4. 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

Lote H-4, Carretera Federal 200, km 19.5, Punta de Mita, Nayarit 63734, Mexico • T. (52)(329) 291 5800 • 118 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; pool; beach; spa; golf; diving; tennis; gym; children’s club

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


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

On of the world’s greatest landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge; a view across the city from the Astor Suite

The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Grace Cathedral, 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, world-class shopping in Union Square, and the Yerba Buena Gardens. Take a trip out of town and enjoy Napa Valley, the coastal town of Carmel and Monterey, or the thousand-year-old redwood trees in Muir Woods. Or simply relax and enjoy this extraordinary property, with its Remède spa, infinity pool and Michelin-starred Ame restaurant.

Ask us about 1. Soaking up the iconic spectacle of San Francisco Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge. Why not book a personal tour with one of our expert local guides and walk or cycle across the 1.7-mile landmark? 2. 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 chicest new dining spot –

and what the authoritative Bon Appetit magazine called America’s Best New Restaurant of 2012. 3. Visiting movie locations. Hollywood itself might be some way south, but many Hollywood classics were filmed in this iconic city: Hitchcock’s 1958 thriller Vertigo; Bogart’s 1941 film noir The Maltese Falcon; and more recent flicks such as 1993’s Mrs Doubtfire and 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness.

4. The California Academy of Sciences. The world’s greenest museum is right here in San Francisco – and what’s even better is that it’s like four distinct destinations in one: an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a four-story giant rainforest, all beneath one roof.

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

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


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

The hotel exterior at night on K Street; the sitting room of the Presidential Suite; entrance to the Astor Terrace, the perfect location for a summer wedding

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 as the Carlton; 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 National Opera.

Ask us about 1. A power lunch of pasta and pizza at Café Milan (3251 Prospect Street NW), a celebrated Georgetown fixture and still arguably the city’s best people-spotting venue, for a glimpse of Washington D.C.’s major players in action. Or join the sophisticated crowd of young professionals who head there most evenings for a quick debrief and a gossip during the martini hour.

2. 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. 3. The First President’s Home. Set out on a special private tour on 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. 4. The Capitol Inside Tour: families are invited on an extraordinary journey to explore the historical legacy of the US Capitol. This tour, with a family guide, includes a visit to Statuary Hall, the Old Senate Chambers and the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

923 16th and K Streets, N.W., Washington, District of Columbia, 20006 United States • T (202) 638-2626 00193 • 186 guest rooms and suites; 2 restaurants and bars; gym

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


The St. Regis Bali Resort ‘Beachfront Elegance’

A Lagoon Villa; the private sandy beach at the southernmost tip of Bali is perfect for a morning or evening stroll

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, the sublime Remède Spa and a saltwater swimming lagoon and 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, and you can take back souvenirs of local crafts, such as woodcarving and weaving, and colorful batik textiles, which make wonderful gifts. In the evening, dine in style and enjoy the traditional gamelan music.

Ask us about 1. Seeing one of the island’s beautiful temples: the 17th-century Hindu-Buddhist 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. Tanah Lot temple sits offshore.

2. Playing an early round of golf at Bali National Golf Resort (Kawasan Wisata, Nusa Dua), currently under renovation but still very much the place for a round. The mornings are a cooler time of day for any activity. 3. 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. 4. 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.

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

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


The St. Regis Bangkok ‘Vibrant Location, Discreet Hospitality’

Bangkok city view with the Royal Bangkok Sport 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 round the spectacular 18th-century Grand Palace with a slow meal of the most fragrant cuisine on earth. The St. Regis Bangkok is just two years old, and its soothing decor 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?

Ask us about 1. 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 back home. 2. The traditional Thai house that once belonged to the American expat Jim Thompson. Thompson was a silk dealer who mysteriously disappeared

in 1967 on a trip to the Malay jungle. His house is a complex of several traditional Thai wooden buildings, set in lush tended gardens, and is now a fascinating museum. 3. Watching dance or theater performance at the Patravadi Theatre, which is run by the acclaimed actress, director and producer Patravadi Mejudhon. As well as serving as a center for young actors, it also showcases international productions.

4. 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 is where you can find anything and everything, from ancient books to herbal remedies.

159 Rajadamri Road Bangkok, 10330 Thailand • T. (66) (2) 207 7777 • 401 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; private beach; water sports; tennis

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


The St. Regis Beijing

‘Beijing’s Most Prestigious Address’

The elegant porte-cochère at night, a short walk from the Silk Market; the Guest Room of the magnificent China Suite; the Temple of Heaven is a must-see historic site

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. 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 spirts and rejuvenate the senses.

Ask us about 1. 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 European village feel, with lots of coffee shops and cozy bars. 2. A private shopper: the new Beijing is full of all the brands you’d find in Paris or Milan, but a local will show you around the fine art, the antiques,

the exquisite writing materials, the restored furniture, and a vast choice of gifts to take home. 3. Tickets to the Peking Opera: stylized and enigmatic, traditional Chinese theatre 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.

4. Park life: spend a morning on the lawns of the Temple of Heaven (originally for animal sacrifice) 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 exists around this cultural masterpiece.

21 Jianguomenwai Dajie Beijing, Beijing 100020, China • T. (86) (10) 6460 6688 • 258 guest rooms and suites; 9 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym

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


The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort ‘Paradise Perfected’

The dreamy Over Water Villas face Bora Bora’s Mt Otemanu; the sun sets on the Royal Over Water Villa Terrace; the Royal Over Water Villa has a glass floor over the ocean

Bora Bora, discovered by Captain Cook in 1769, is a 16-square-mile tropical island surrounded by coral reef and lagoons. This much-mythologized 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-ofthe-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.

Ask us about 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. Skimming across the waves out to a private island retreat for a picnic. Your motorboat skipper will whisk you away to a deserted motu – a coral-and-sand speck in the ocean. Here you experience a true Robinson Crusoe hideaway, but one where you never have to forgo fine food and wine.

4. 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.

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

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


The St. Regis Lhasa Resort ‘Pinnacle Address’

The hotel’s Golden Energy Pool; the magnificent Potala Palace overlooking Lhasa

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. Its spectacular Iridium spa offers specialist Tibetan treatments, or you might find healthy inspiration at the hotel’s cooking school.

Ask us about 1. Taking a chauffer-driven car to visit the magnificent Potala Palace (25 Beijing Middle Road, Chengguan). The grand building, where the Dalai Lamas used to spend the winter, dates from the 7th century and dominates central Lhasa. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 2. Touring the Jokhang Temple (Balang North Street, Chengguan): this 7th-century temple is only a mile away from the hotel and 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 temple’s interior is opened to non-Buddhists. 3. Visiting the celestial lakes 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.

4. Riding the small, stocky Tibetan horses into the highlands, or riding the rapids on a half-day white-water rafting or kayaking trip. Both options are offered by Wind Horse Tibet adventure travel company. 5. Taking tea with the locals: visit a tea house and see how the ritual is observed Tibetan-style.

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

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


The St. Regis Osaka ‘Cosmopolitan Distinction’

The hotel is in the top portion of the 27-storey building on tree-lined Midosuji Avenue; the Guest Room of the Royal Suite.; the tranquil hotel garden has a central lake

For many travelers, Osaka unites 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, when Hirohito was emperor. 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 gorgeous central lake around which to take a stroll, or you can sit and take time out from the streetscape below.

Ask us about 1. 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. 2. Walking the seven slopes of Tennoji, and visiting a handful of the

200 temples and shrines on the south side of the 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. 3. Booking a tour of the World Heritage site of Koyasan, on a mountain top at 1,000 metres above sea level. This magnificent religious site dates back more than 1,200 years, and is a busy attraction in summer,

when it is considerably cooler than the valley below. The fall is also a spectacular time to visit, when the trees turn a vibrant russet. 4. Catching a traditional Osaka puppet show. Called Bunraku, the art of Japanese puppetry was founded in Osaka in the 17th century. The costumes are lavish and the puppet masters appear on stage alongside their almost life-size figures.

3-6-12 Honmachi, Chuo-ku Osaka, Osaka 541-0053, Japan • T. (81) (6) 6258 3333 • 160 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; gym

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


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

One of the Ocean View King Guest rooms; relax on the hotel’s exquisite stretch of beach on Hainan Island

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 a savvy 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. Anyone else can charter a fully staffed Yacht Club vessel for a sunset cruise. Heaven.

Ask us about 1. 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 any of the tempting stalls and then hand it over to one of the many open restaurants, where they will cook it to your liking. 2. Visiting Nanshan Temple: this sprawling Buddhist temple at the foot of Nanshan mountain, 25 miles from

Sanya, was completed only in 1998 (2,000 years since the arrival of Buddhism in China), and comprises several examples of replica Tang Dynasty architecture.

4. Trekking Hainan’s highest peak: Wuzhi Mountain in the island’s central highlands is a distinctive landmark, also known as Five Finger Mountain. It is a scenic hike, but steep, so go prepared.

3. 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.

Yalong Bay National Resort District, Sanya Yalong Bay, Hainan 572016, China • T. (86) (898) 8855 5555 • 401 guest rooms and suites; 5 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; private beach; water sports; tennis; children’s club

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


The St. Regis Shenzhen ‘Towering Sophistication’

The city skyline behind the iconic hotel outline; a Deluxe City View Guest Room; the 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 last year, 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 Luohu financial district. One of China’s most dynamic cities, Shenzhen is popular with business travellers, who like to unwind with a treatment in The St. Regis Shenzhen’s Iridium Spa, or meet colleagues in the 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.

Ask us about 1. Discovering more about local landmarks: the Hong Fa Temple (160 Xianhu Road, Liantang, Luohu District), located in the Xianhu Botanical Garden, is a Buddhist temple built in 1985; whereas the China Folk Culture Village celebrates Chinese traditions and cultures. For children, and big kids, Window of the World is a theme park with model versions of global icons, such as Tower Bridge and the Eiffel Tower.

2. 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 shifts 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), which displays fascinating contemporary works by Chinese artists.

3. Enjoying China’s only urban nature reserve: cycle or walk through the Shenzhen Mangrove Nature Reserve, a stopoff point not only for visitors but for migrant birds. 4. Spending a day at the coast: the subtropical climate of the region means that in spring and summer both Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beaches are popular escapes from the city.

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

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


The St. Regis Singapore ‘Timeless Elegance’

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 Asian-inspired contemporary French cuisine at Brasserie Les Saveurs or Italian at LaBrezza.

Ask us about 1. 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. 2. 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 delightfl way to escape the bustle of the city.

3. Planning a visit to Singapore’s last kampong on Pulau Ubin, a small island that retains its rural character. Abandoned quarries have become re-inhabited by animals and birds, such as the hornbill.

is far from it. You will come across all different types of street food here in the heart of Chinatown, including the famous chicken rice dish. It’s a brightly lit and bustling enterprise with more than 100 stalls to choose from – a flavour of the old Singapore that has mostly disappeared under the weight of commerce. Ideal for families.

4. The Maxwell Food Center: it might sound like a supermarket, but

29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911 • T. (65) 6506 6888 • 299 guest rooms and suites; 6 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; gym; tennis

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


The St. Regis Tianjin ‘Tianjin’s Premier Address’

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 a metropolis that has been expanding skywards, and original turn-of-the-century architecture can still be seen in the Wudadao district. The hotel is situated on the bank of the scenic Hai River (cruises can be arranged), near the colorful shops along Ancient Culture Street selling arts and crafts. The attractions of Jinwan Plaza and the Tianjin ferris wheel are also nearby. All rooms have sweeping city views, but if it’s a special trip, book the Presidential Suite, which is furnished with Chinese antiques and has its own dining room and a whirlpool bath.

Ask us about 1. 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 Mao memorabilia. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. Customizing a walk around the city. Tianjin has a total of 19 bridges crossing the Hai River. The concierge will direct you along the riverbanks or perhaps over the water to experience local culture.

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

An Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis Hotels & Resorts: Europe


The St. Regis Florence ‘Premiere Location, Renaissance Grandeur’

The Duomo and the rooftops of Florence; a Deluxe Guest Room in Medici style; the exterior of the hotel on the bank of the River Arno

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 luxury Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta, and the public areas are just as dramatic. The fine-dining Etichetta 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 Uffizzi 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.

Ask us about 1. 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.

vineyard Castello Banfi, a modern estate with vineyards set in 7,100 acres some 130km from Florence.

2. A balloon tour over the Chianti region, with wine tasting at deluxe

4. Dressing to impress. Florence is a compact city, best navigated on

3. A private guided visit to the Vasari Corridor. Exclusive access to the extraordinary 16th-century passageway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti, via the Ponte Vecchio.

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 Vigna Nuova in the Santa Maria Novella area. For arty wares try the artesan quarter, Oltrarno, to the south of the Arno, home to artists’ studios, vintage stores and bijoux bars.

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

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Europe


The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel ‘A Regal Address’

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 bespoke 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.

Ask us about 1. Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough. Enjoy this centuriesold, much-loved English tradition, done in great style, overseen by the UK’s first Tea Sommelier. 2. Arranging a personal shopping experience at famed department stores Harrods or Harvey Nichols. Highlyskilled personal shoppers will help you select purchases, which will then be delivered to your room by your personal Butler.

3. 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.

at Glyndebourne in East Sussex. Otherwise, the Royal Opera House in nearby Covent Garden stages yearround performances as well as ballet.

4. The highlight of the English social calendar that is Glyndebourne. Get dressed up in black tie, order a picnic hamper and charter a helicopter to take you to this summer opera festival (May through August)

Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA, England • T. (44) (20) 7259 5599 • 93 guest rooms and suites; 3 restaurants and bars; spa; gym

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Europe


The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort ‘A Mediterranean Masterpiece’

The resort is both a tranquil hideaway and the perfect base for exploring this rural island; Ocean Two Suite’s Guest Room; 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 – a lovely hideaway and a perfect base for exploring the best of the island.

Ask us about 1. 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, unspoilt towns such as Alaró and Santa Maria del Camí. 2. A day out in Deià. Associated with intellectuals, writers and artists such as Robert Graves and Anaïs Nin, this

tumbling, terraced village, now home to many celebrities, makes an idyllic setting for a spot of lunch, perhaps with a glass of local wine.

4. 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.

3. Private yacht tours. Surely the best way to take in the island’s natural beauty – crystal clear waters and white-sand beaches – is from the wooden deck of a luxury sailing boat, with just the hum of the breeze through the rigging and the splash of the waves on the bow as your soundtrack for a perfect day.

Passeig Calvià s/n, Costa d’en Blanes, Mallorca 07181, Spain • T. (34)(971) 629629 • 130 guest rooms and suites; 4 restaurants and bars; spa; pool; beach; gym; private jetty; children’s club

The Aficionado’s Guide to St. Regis: Europe


The St. Regis Rome ‘Iconic Elegance’

The hotel’s facade, next to the historic Fountain of Moses; Rome at dusk, with St. Peter’s Basilica in the background; one of the exquisite Couture Guest Rooms

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.

Ask us about 1. Viewing the spectacular sculptures and paintings inside the Borghese Gallery (Piazalle Scipione wonderful Borghese 5). Afterwards, why not rent a bike to explore the celebrated gardens, one of the glories of the Eternal City?

3. 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,

2. 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.

4. 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.

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

Discover the Upcoming St. Regis Hotels & Resorts AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST Cairo Opening 2014 Amman Opening 2015 Dubai Opening 2017

THE AMERICAS Riviera Maya Opening 2014

A S I A PAC I F I C Chengdu Opening 2014 Lijiang Opening 2014 Kuala Lumpur Opening 2014 Changsha Opening 2015 Zhuhai Opening 2015 Jakarta Opening 2016 Nanjing Opening 2016 New Delhi Opening 2017

Beyond, The St. Regis Magazine: Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 2013  

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...

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