spotted: celebrities galore in the maldives

January 27th, 2012

Newly engaged Chrissy Teigen and John Legend; Anantara Kihavah Villas. Photos courtesy of gatagat.com; Anantara Resorts & Spas.

Of course you know that John Legend proposed to Chrissy Teigen in the Maldives, but do you know at what resort?  It is no secret that the island nations of the Maldives, taking the #27 spot on The New York Times’ “45 Places to Go in 2012” list, is a hotbed for celebrities. But with over 80 different resorts throughout the necklace of islands, where are they all hiding?

Well, we’ve spotted supermodel Chrissy Teigen with R&B musician John Legend, soccer stud Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis champion Roger Federer, and British bombshell Jenny Frost all at the luxurious Anantara Kihavah Villas. Whether they spent their time relaxing on the white-sand beaches, picking up a few tips from a cooking class at Salt, sipping on some bubbly at the underwater restaurant, Sea, or popping the question à la John Legend, it is clear that this resort is hot on the celebrity circuit! Whether you are a star or starlet, or just like to pretend that you are, all guests of Anantara Kihavah Villas receive five-star treatment.

risqué business with crazy horse paris & le pavillon des lettres

January 25th, 2012

Crazy Horse Cabaret, the avant-garde icon of provocative Parisian nightlife, continues the celebration of its 60th anniversary with Le Pavillon des Lettres, extending an invitation to see the show and get a room. In a perfect marriage of the arts (literature and burlesque go hand in hand, non?), the literary hotel and the legendary theater are offering a package that includes amour-inducing accommodations, VIP tickets to Crazy Horse’s 60th anniversary celebration show, Désir, and some take-home memorabilia.

In order to get the most bang for your burlesque buck, we suggest some pre-Paris homework… In a documentary showing at the Film Forum in New York City now through Tuesday, February 7, and currently available anytime, anywhere on Netflix, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has captured the mystique of the most famous nude dance show in the world with “Crazy Horse: Désir.” Wiseman’s new film takes a behind-the-scenes look at the painstaking creation, grueling rehearsals, and ultimate unveiling of the 60th anniversary show.

Radiating the timeless elegance of Paris, Le Pavillon des Lettres features 26 intimate rooms, each dedicated to a letter of the alphabet that pays homage to corresponding French and international literary geniuses. A stay in a room named for, and decorated with the works of such writers of passion and romance as F for Flaubert (Madame Bovary), S for Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet), or T for Tolstoy (Anna Karenina) is sure to enhance the experience.

This offer includes :

- Deluxe Room accommodations

- Daily breakfast

- Two VIP tickets to Crazy Horse

- Crazy Horse photo book

- Rates start at 440 euros per night ($570 USD)

- Valid for travel now through December 31, 2012

- Minimum two-night stay; based on double occupancy

For additional information visit:

www.pavillondeslettres.com or call +33 (0)1 49 24 26 26

too coo for school

January 25th, 2012

Want to make sure you’re booking the right hotel? Coo Boutique’s vetted collection guarantees you will.

The Problem
TripAdvisor and countless online reviews and forums overpopulate the internet, making planning a trip completely overwhelming and nerve-racking. Larger travel sites such as Expedia have over 500 hotels in New York City alone. Between clicking through a hotel’s website for pictures, scanning opinion sites for reviews, and reading from publication websites for the best local sights and restaurants, it can be information overload.

The Cure
www.CooBoutique.com, the newest and most discerning online luxury travel site, was formed as an antidote to this overload. Instead of spending hours combing the web for the best information for a trip, it’s already in one place. Coo Boutique selects only the best hotels for its collection, accentuated by beautiful images, member reviews, and local city guides. The collection is carefully curated by an A-list roster of editors and advisors hailing from Travel + Leisure, Town & Country, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal and an advisory board of travel world veterans formerly with Abercrombie and Kent, American Express, and several hotel groups.

These experts have advised on a streamlined list of luxury hotels and the perfect, succinct city guides to go with them, full of insider information on the best places to eat, shop, and sight see (over 50 new guides coming this year). For instance, visitors to New York can avoid tourist traps by heading to the chicest restaurants and bars, just like a local.

Criteria
First and foremost, to even be considered as a Coo Boutique hotel, the property must have unparalleled service. Coo Boutique selects its properties by speaking to experts and fellow travelers and performing site inspections where they evaluate every aspect, from check-in to room service, dining to amenities. There is no fee for hotels to belong in the Coo collection, so no hotel can buy its way in. Booking through Coo Boutique assures a seamless travel experience and none of the let-down of arriving at a disappointing, internet-lauded hotel. Coo Boutique is constantly reviewing its hotels and looking for feedback. Hotels that don’t meet the standard are immediately removed. Coo Boutique offers a limited collection to bring you only the most fabulous hotels and resorts in the world.

Man with the Plan
Coo Boutique was born out of founder Tushar Roy’s own frustrations with finding the right hotel. An avid traveler though not in the business, Roy rounded up his travel contacts for the collective wisdom of experts in the industry and in media along with his own research to assemble the perfect list.

 

toes in the water, toes in the sand

January 20th, 2012

While there is something magical about that first snow of the season, let’s face it, the rest of winter is spent dreaming about sand between your toes and a warm sea breeze. And now, thanks to the National Geographic Top 10 Beaches, we’re dreaming in overdrive. While any beach sounds amazing, we’ve got a couple that we can’t stop thinking about. In fact, we’ve already dreamed up our spring, summer, and next winters’ vacations there.

First on our list, and number two on NatGeo’s list, is the Maldives. With over 1,102 islands, forming 26 atolls, there is plenty of beach to go around. We’re dreaming of a nice long stay in an over-water bungalow at Cocoa Island. Not only does the crystal clear water make for some of the world’s greatest scuba diving and snorkeling, there’s also surfing, fishing, and other incredible water sports to keep you busy. Then again, we’d be happy just to sunbathe on the pristine beach all day.

After spring break in the Maldives, we’re heading to number six, Nantucket, for our summer vacation. This magical little island 27 miles off the coast of Massachusetts is the ultimate place to visit, whether for a weekend or the entire summer. While the island itself is less than 50 square miles, there are over 80 miles of beaches, but our desired beach is located at our favorite inn by the sea, The Wauwinet. There are actually two beaches to choose from – one at the head of the Nantucket Harbor, for shallow water and no waves, and the other on the Atlantic Ocean, with deep, soft sand and gentle waves. Don’t forget to collect some shells, you’ll find some beautiful ones to take home with you.

Next December, we want our early Christmas present to ourselves to be a luxurious cruise aboard Crystal Symphony. The “South Pacific Sojourn” will stop at several incredible ports, but the one we’re most excited about is Bora Bora, number three on NatGeo’s list. Dubbed the “Romantic Island”, this lush little slip of land is protected by a lagoon and has 18 miles of white sandy shore. The beautiful lagoon provides a wide array of activities, from windsurfing to scuba diving, and the two towering peaks of sheer black rock make an impressive backdrop to the dazzling blue waters. While some consider it the most beautiful island in the world, we can’t wait to find out for ourselves!

style in the sand

January 20th, 2012

Donna Karan has the answer to beating the winter blues in the current Harper’s bazaar – a getaway to COMO’s Parrot Cay!

ocean racers drop anchor in abu dhabi

January 17th, 2012

Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race have had quite the adventurous couple of months. After departing from their starting port in Alicante, Spain in October, they braved the treacherous Atlantic to Cape Town, Africa, narrowly avoiding potential pirate attacks in the Straight of Hormuz. From Cape Town, they set sail to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where they arrived last Thursday to the welcoming music of Coldplay.

After several in-port races in Abu Dhabi, the boats embarked on the next leg of their journey to Sanya, China, where they can expect some surprises in the water. While sailing the Malacca Straights, the second busiest shipping channel in the world, they need to be on the lookout for logs and other debris in the water that have the potential to cause disaster.

After Sanya, they will set sail for Auckland, Australia; Itajai, Brazil; Miami, USA; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France, and finally, Galway, Ireland. After approximately nine months of racing and 39,270 nautical miles, there will only be one champion in Galway. We can’t wait to find out who!

For the most up-to-date information and updates on the race, visit www.volvooceanrace.com.

red carpet beauty

January 16th, 2012

Last night’s Golden Globes kicked off the 2012 Awards season, and Hollywood prep teams are hard at work ensuring our favorite starlets are putting the best foot, and face, forward on the Red Carpet.  On a smaller scale, we all have our own versions of a Red Carpet moment, and without a prep team, we need to rely on the products in our cabinets to help us achieve that picture-perfect look.  From anti-wrinkle creams to redness reducers, these products will leave your skin flawless, and of course, Red Carpet ready!

The problem: Red, blotchy skin
The cure: Guinot Crème Red Logic, 1.3oz $40 
Avoid caking on too much makeup to mask unwanted red spots; opt instead for one layer of this dream cream. Ingredients like arnica extracts and esculosides work instantly to reduce the appearance of redness and tone capillary veins, leaving your complexion refreshed and spot free.

The problem: Fine lines
The cure: Guinot Mini-Lift Éclat Beauté, .06oz $22
This day of skin saver relies on a complex of natural sugars and witch hazel to smooth away fine lines and even out the complexion.  Soy protein forms a protective barrier over the skin’s surface to shield the epidermis from external irritants and prolong makeup application, so your face is flawless throughout your big night.

The problem: Dull complexion
The cure: ESPA Skin Radiance Mask, 25ml $68
Revive skin’s natural radiance with this instantly illuminating face-saving mask. Mulberry, bearberry, and liquorice work together to help visibly brighten and even out skin tone, while pumpkin enzymes dissolve dull cells clean away, breathing instant luminous light into skin.

The problem: Shiny skin
The cure: Guinot Matizone Moisturizer, 1.7oz $60
Eliminate shine while you prime with this mattifying moisturizer. Matti-sponges act to trap and neutralize shine by absorbing the oil on your face, and, unlike makeup powders, water is left behind ensuring the skin is not dried out. Hydrocyte complex works to lock in moisture by forming a protective barrier over the upper layers of the epidermis, which also makes it an ideal primer.

The problem: Messy makeup
The cure: Guinot Youth Time Treatment Foundation, 30ml $55
Covering up the problem is only half the battle. Now you can win the war on aging with Guinot’s new foundation. While may feel light, this long-lasting cover-up definitely pulls its weight! The Youth Time Treatment does double duty by masking the signs of aging and also decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. Green tea extracts and vitamin E work together to protect and sooth the skin, while hyaluronic acid spherical fillers penetrate the epidermis to plump out wrinkles and smooth facial features.

The problem: Dry cracked lips, smudged lipstick, and fine lines
The cure: Guinot Longue Vie Lèvres, .51oz $34
Nourish and plump up lips with this cellular regenerating treatment. Guinot’s replenishing spheres, which contain 56 cellular active ingredients, provide an anti-wrinkle effect by filling out fine lines around the lips, and camomile extract and vitamin E work together to ward off free radicals and moisturize the lip surface.

The problem: Tired eyes, crow’s feet, and puffiness
The cure: ESPA Lift and Firm Eye Moisturizer, 15ml $79
You don’t need to go under the knife to reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eye area. This potent line smoother provides an instant lifting effect beta glucan and chitin boost elasticity, while tightening argania spinosa extract and firming algae help recontour the delicate eye area. Golden root brightens dark circles, while summer snowflakebulb actively smoothes lines for a more youthful appearance.

The problem: Puffy eyes and dark circles
The cure: Guinot Anti-fatigue Yeux, .5oz $42
Alleviate the appearance of tired eyes with this revitalizing gel that gives the one-two punch to dark circles and puffiness. Plant extracts, horse chestnut, and ivy decongest and strengthen the capillary walls, while allantoin softens the epidermis and encourages cellular regeneration. Keep this gel in the refrigerator for a cooling effect that soothes heavy eyelids. 

Find ESPA products at us.espaonline.com.
Find a store that carries Guinot at guinotusa.com.

happy chinese new year!

January 13th, 2012

Photo courtesy of thecrazypoint.com

In the Chinese calendar, January 23rd marks the end of the Year of the Rabbit, and the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. It’s the start of the 15 days of celebration for Southeast Asia’s most fêted holiday – the Chinese New Year. It’s a time to welcome longevity, wealth and prosperity and to eliminate any negative “chi” from the past year. It also predicts what the next year will have in store for us. For this year, the return of the Dragon characterizes 2012 to be a year of excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration, and intensity. It is said that people respond to the spirit of the Dragon with “energy, vitality, and unbridled enthusiasm, often throwing all caution to the wind,” according to Chinese legend, so this should be a very interesting year!

The New Year is traditionally rung in with a fabulous feast – and you can join in at several Anantara properties! Anantara Bangkok Riverside, Anantara Bangkok Sathorn, Anantara Phuket Villas, and Anantara Si Kao are all celebrating in their own distinctive way:

Anantara Bangkok Riverside – Welcome in the Chinese New Year of the Dragon with a vibrant cultural occasion overlooking the majestic River of Kings at the Riverside Terrace! Feast on an endless buffet of the finest cuisine from all over the world, enhanced by a thematic dim sum counter and other mouthwatering Chinese delicacies. Watch a calligraphy expert write beautiful Chinese greetings and enjoy an impressive lion dance show. Then open traditional Chinese red envelopes filled with indulgent Anantara surprises, such as a complimentary meal or discount vouchers to be used for amazing experiences.

Anantara Bangkok Sathorn – Invite friends and family to the stylish 100˚East restaurant to ring in the Chinese New  Year! Share a delicious Chinese and International buffet prepared by a team of highly trained chefs both from Thailand and abroad. Featuring items from the most delectable Asian fare to freshly stone-baked pizza, there is sure to be something for everyone on the menu.

Anantara Phuket Villas – Savour a grand BBQ buffet of Chinese, Thai, and international cuisine, as Chinese lanterns sway overhead in the soft sea breeze on the Beach Lawn. Open traditional red envelopes to find wonderful gifts of discovery. Watch a colorful lion dance performance, a spectacular fire show, and auspicious Chinese crackers welcome in the Year of the Dragon.

Anantara Si Kao – Ring in the Chinese New Year at Leelawadee, Anantara Si Kao’s signature outdoor restaurant. Experience laid back Andaman luxury and Anantara Si Kao’s international buffet on the terrace, decorated with fantasy lighting and red envolopes hanging from mandarin trees. Then retire to your room or suite to find a mandarin orange and red envelope containing an indulgent surprise.

park hyatt ningbo resort and spa now open for business

January 11th, 2012

Located in the eastern province of Zhejiang, Park Hyatt Ningbo Resort and Spa is a relaxing retreat set on the banks of Dong Qian Lake. Just two and a half hours from Shanghai, the culturally rich and scenic region is dotted with tea plantations, ancient Buddhist temples, caves, stone carvings, and working fishing villages.

The lakeside resort features 236 guestrooms, including 17 suites and 10 freestanding villas. All guestrooms have a double daybed next to a large picture window, ideal for relaxing with a view. Each oversized bathroom has a bathtub, vanity area, rain shower, and dressing room.  Designed in the style of a traditional Chinese water village, the low-level, standalone villas have simple plastered exteriors and tiled, gabled roofs. Open courtyards, sky wells, and ponds are scattered throughout the property, echoing Chinese architectural principles.

At Seafood House, the resort’s signature restaurant, enjoy fresh seafood in a fun yet elegant setting. Choose to dine in the main dining room, al fresco, or in one of the ten private pavilions. Most of the pavilions offer a private entrance, lounge, and dedicated butler. For some richer fare, visit the Dining Room, a residential-style restaurant serving Western and Chinese comfort food all day.

Tea House, located in a former ancestral family mansion, is the perfect spot for an authentic Chinese tea experience. In the afternoon, sip on the house’s collection of Chinese and Western tea while nibbling on authentic desserts, cakes, and Chinese savouries. In the evening, visit the Tea House for a stronger blend – signature cocktails, wine, and champagne.

With a heated indoor pool, fully equipped gym, reflexology facilities, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpool baths, and an 85-foot outdoor infinity pool with panoramic lake views, the resort’s Fitness Pavilion is perfect for total body health.

If the serene lakefront setting isn’t relaxing enough, unwind at the Yue Hu Spa which is dedicated to holistic wellness. Treatments incorporate the principles of an ancient Chinese wellness philosophy centered upon the meridian system and on balancing qi (vital energy).

Park Hyatt Ningbo Resort and Spa offers a total of 14,122 square feet of sophisticated event venues, including The Ballroom, a pillar-less event space able to accommodate up to 400 people. For a more intimate gathering, The Salon and The Pavilion are perfect for any exclusive event. www.ningbo.park.hyatt.com

 

fore! first international pga tour academy at one&only palmilla

January 10th, 2012

One&Only Palmilla is teeing off the New Year with the launch of the first International PGA TOUR Academy at its Jack Nicklaus Signature course. Starting in January 2012, novice and veteran golfers can stay, play and perfect their game with personalized instruction from the nation’s most prestigious source of programs.

Modeled after the flagship facility, the new PGA TOUR Academy at One&Only Palmilla features an unprecedented combination of technologies to help trainers focus on the four cornerstones of improvement; full swing and short game, club-fitting, fitness, and mental conditioning. The academy also uses the latest golf technology, V1 video analysis, to evaluate and diagnose swing errors and to create an individually tailored plan for each player. In addition, the new TOUR features a customized Golf for Life curriculum – a lifestyle program incorporating fitness, nutrition, and course management inspired by the location including spa treatments and tequila tastings.

Guests can select from the following menu of services: Two-, three- or five-day Golf schools and clinics for all levels of player, private, group, or family lessons with our world-class PGA and LPGA professionals, player development programs, including the World Golf Foundation’s new Get Golf Ready program, and short-game clinics guaranteed to reduce player scores.

Guests of One&Only Palmilla including Juniors 5-17 enjoy a 25% discount on PGA TOUR services. One&Only Palmilla’s TOUR Academy two-day Golf School starts at $495/per golfer.

The award-winning Palmilla Golf Club is divided into three challenging sections – the Arroyo Nine, the Mountain Nine, and the Ocean Nine – and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Sea of Cortez. In addition to the 27 holes, the course features a practice area, a putting and chipping green, and practice bunkers, creating the perfect environment for game improvement.

For more information or reservations, please visit www.oneandonlyresorts.com.

 

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