Virtuoso® Unveils The Hottest Luxury Hotels Debuting Soon

Travelers in the know seeking the next great upscale hotel look no further. Luxury and experiential travel network Virtuoso, along with its more than 16,000 travel advisors worldwide, has revealed the hottest hotel openings around the globe for this fall and beyond.

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Virtuoso logo

Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 800 travel agency partners with more than 16,000 elite travel advisors in over 45 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $21.2 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry.

From relaxing resorts to iconic urban landmarks, these five properties are sure to make an indelible impression on guests when they open or reopen over the next several months:

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, China – Opening late 2017

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, China – Opening late 2017

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, China Opening late 2017
Situated in a tranquil riverside location in the heart of the city, Bulgari Hotel Shanghai will feature contemporary, spacious rooms and exceptional guest amenities including Maserati transportation. Offering stunning views of the city’s dramatic skyline, the hotel is located just minutes from attractions such as the iconic Bund and the museums of People’s Square. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade at arrival if available, breakfast for two daily offered 24 hours a day, hotel credit valued at $100 USD, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check in and late check-out if available.

Montage Los Cabos, Mexico – Opening spring of 2018

Montage Los Cabos, Mexico – Opening spring of 2018

Montage Los Cabos, Mexico Opening spring of 2018
Perched upon 39 acres of white-sand beachfront, Montage Los Cabos will feature 122 expansive rooms and suites when it opens. The resort will offer spectacular views and unique walk-in access to the finest swimming, diving and snorkeling in the region. Guests can take advantage of wellness programs and treatments at Spa Montage, and fitness offerings including two pools and tennis and recreational lawn facilities. Virtuoso guests will receive an upgrade when they arrive if available, daily breakfast for two, special amenity, complimentary Wi-Fi, and early check-in and late check-out subject to availability.

Raffles Europejski Warsaw, Poland Reopening spring of 2018
Originally opened in 1857, the legendary hotel in Warsaw’s historic district has recently undergone restoration to preserve its heritage and character. Raffles Europejski, Warsaw will offer 106 elegant guestrooms and suites, a restaurant with an outdoor terrace showcasing Poland’s cuisine, a bar and cigar lounge, a patisserie and a spa. Virtuoso guests will enjoy an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability; daily buffet breakfast for two; hotel credit worth $100 USD; complimentary roundtrip private airport transfers; complimentary Wi-Fi; and early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability.
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First US Solo Exhibition Devoted To The Work of Patricia Urquiola

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Patricia Urquiola: Between Craft and Industry, November 19, 2017 – March 4, 2018, in the Alter Gallery 176, the first solo exhibition devoted to the work of this internationally acclaimed designer. The exhibition will showcase her versatility in creating products, interiors, and architectural spaces. On November 18, Urquiola will be honored with the Design Excellence Award by Collab, the Museum’s affiliate group for modern and contemporary design.pma_title_horz

(Each year, Collab presents the Design Excellence Award to a design professional or manufacturer whose impact on the field is inspirational. Past recipients have included Rolf Fehlbaum, Marc Newson, Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Zaha Hadid, Alberto Alessi, Marcel Wanders, and Frank O. Gehry.)

Patricia Urquiola. Image by GAN, 2017.

Patricia Urquiola. Image by GAN, 2017.

Curious and energetic by nature, Urquiola moves with ease between product design, interior design, and architecture—whether designing handbags that convert into stools for Louis Vuitton, dinnerware for Rosenthal, or the recently opened Il Sereno Hotel on the shore of Lake Como in Italy.

Photograph of Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Designed in 2010. (2)

Photograph of Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Designed in 2010.

Photograph of Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Designed in 2010.

Photograph of Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Designed in 2010.

Patricia Urquiola is one of the most influential designers in the world today. Born in Oviedo, Spain, and trained as an architect in Madrid, Urquiola graduated from the Politecnico di Milano, where she studied with Achille Castiglioni, one of the foremost lighting designers of the second half of the twentieth century. She opened a studio in Milan in 2001 and since that time has collaborated with dozens of manufacturers throughout the world, including Alessi, B&B Italia, Flos, Kartell, Moroso, and most recently the American firm of Haworth. In September 2015, Urquiola was appointed Art Director of the iconic Italian company Cassina. She has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards including the Order of Isabella the Catholic, presented by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Platter from the Landscape Tea Service. Designed by Patricia Urquiola in 2008. Made by Rosenthal AG, Selb, Germany. Porcelain. Gift of Rosenthal AG, 2008

Platter from the Landscape Tea Service. Designed by Patricia Urquiola in 2008. Made by Rosenthal AG, Selb, Germany. Porcelain. Gift of Rosenthal AG, 2008

Urquiola’s work often fuses traditional modes of production with modern design. Her “Fjord” armchair is a rethinking of a mid-twentieth-century Nordic chair, just as the “Landscape” tea set manufactured by Rosenthal is a new spin on a traditional object. Her colorful rugs that she designed in Spain are woven in workshops in India. She brings the handmade aspect of the classic rattan chair of the Philippines to her “Crinoline” chair design.

Urquiola is part of a new generation of designers who take a humanistic approach to their work,” said Donna Corbin, The Louis C. Madeira IV Associate Curator of European Decorative Art. “She is known for exploring the possibilities of the artisanal through new technologies, to achieve something that feels familiar and evokes a sense of comfort.

Among her most recent work on view is “Openest,” an innovative office system that is emblematic of her interest in prioritizing comfort. It was designed for Haworth offices in Michigan and was named “Best of” in the NeoCon Competition in 2014. Also featured in the form of photographs will be a number of Urquiola’s architectural commissions, including the award-winning 2005 Ideal House project, shown at the IMM Cologne international furnishings show in Germany, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona, Spain.

'Serena' Table Lamp. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Made by Flos S.p.A., Brescia, Italy. Designed in 2015. Aluminum, polycarbonate. Flos USA

“Serena” Table Lamp. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. Made by Flos S.p.A., Brescia, Italy. Designed in 2015. Aluminum, polycarbonate. Flos USA

Collab is a group of design professionals and enthusiasts who support modern and contemporary design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Its members experience design year-round through exhibition previews, design-inspired field trips, special access to the Museum’s world-class design collection, lectures, and opportunities to meet and learn from design curators and visionaries.

In conjunction with the exhibition, this year’s Collab Student Design Competition will challenge students at colleges and universities to create an object inspired by Urquiola’s exhibition. The goal is to design a piece of storage furniture or another functional object that can be the focal point of a room. On Monday, November 13, a panel of judges drawn from the region’s professional design community will gather at the Museum to identify the most innovative entries. The designs will be placed on display at the Museum through November 15, and visitors can cast their votes for the People’s Choice Award. Winners will be presented at the Collab Design Excellence Award lecture on Saturday, November 18.

This exhibition is made possible by Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer, Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust, and Haworth. Additional support is provided by Collab and other generous sponsors. The Student Design Competition is generously sponsored by Publicis Health Media.

Johnnie Walker Releases Whisky Of The Future, Inspired By Blade Runner 2049

Limited Edition Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut Celebrates Spirit of Progress and Brand’s Legacy in The Film

Johnnie Walker is excited to announce the official release of Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut – a limited-edition whisky developed in collaboration with visionary Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve and Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge. The new blend comes thirty-five years after Johnnie Walker Black Label appeared in the original Blade Runner film as an iconic whisky of the future.

Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut is a new, experimental Scotch Whisky created by Beveridge in collaboration with Villeneuve, housed in a unique and futuristic bottle.

Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director_s Cut

Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut

Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut is a dark, rich, smooth blend, with sweet fruity vanilla flavors and clouds of smokiness. It is bottled at 49% ABV as a nod to the futuristic period in which Blade Runner 2049 is set.

To celebrate the promotional collaboration surrounding the film, Johnnie Walker has released four digital vignettes featuring Villeneuve, who discusses the project. “Like many fans, I remember the Johnnie Walker bottle from the first film, so it was a unique privilege to collaborate with Johnnie Walker on designing a totally original, custom bottle for the new movie,” he says. “It was also a once-in-a-lifetime experience to help create the limited-edition Director’s Cut blend, which perfectly captures the complex and mysterious world of Blade Runner 2049.

Beveridge noted, “What we have created in Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut is something really special that fans will be able to relate to and whisky drinkers will love. I was truly inspired by Villeneuve’s artistic vision for Blade Runner 2049 and how it could come to life in this new blend. I learned that filmmaking is much like blending–you have to constantly be committed to creating the best possible outcome. Johnnie Walker blending tradition dates back to 1820 and I’m honored to carry on the legacy and collective memory of our other past blenders to ensure that the same whisky enjoyed today can be enjoyed responsibly in 2049.”

Johnnie Walker has also created a series of cocktail videos featuring five innovative Blade Runner 2049-inspired cocktails: The Deckard; Ode to Dreams; Penicillin 2049; Quest; and Ahara. These custom cocktails are prepared by some of the country’s leading bartenders, including Ezra Star and Tenzin Samdo of Boston and Sam Anderson of New York City, giving fans a taste of the upcoming film.

Only 39,000 bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut have been produced and will be available in select countries around the world while supplies last. The rich, smooth blend has aromatic and vanilla flavors, with clouds of smokiness and will be bottled at 49% ABV – a nod to the futuristic period in which Blade Runner 2049 is set.

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Debuts Evocative #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched an unprecedented new destination brand initiative to serve as a warm welcome and visitor invitation to the international travel community. The campaign, which includes a new brand video and comprehensive digital marketing strategy, launches on United Nation’s World Tourism Day, a day that celebrates the importance of tourism and its cultural, political and economic values.

New GFL Logo

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau logo

From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale, located in Broward County, boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a vibrant cosmopolitan vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

In Broward County, we are making sure that we let the traveling public understand that we are a welcoming destination to all people across the world regardless of the color of their skin, whom they choose to love or what religion they believe in. We want to make sure that our message gets through despite the negative clutter they see on their nightly news, every day,” said Stacy Ritter, President/CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The #greatertogether video is an expression of Greater Fort Lauderdale‘s open-door/open heart philosophy for visitors in times of travel bans and safety concerns. Central to the initiative is a 1:45 minute video that draws the viewer’s attention to a story that plays out in a sunrise-to-sunset destination experience with people of different ethnic backgrounds. It opens with an iconic visual of yoga on the beach and continues with a portrayal of diverse activities and visitors, including two Muslim women wearing hijabs enjoying a cup of coffee together with a non-Muslim friend, millennials of mixed nationalities at play, LGBTQI couples and friends in warm embraces, members of the indigenous Seminole tribe, a not-so-mythical mermaid, local African-American street art and ending with a reveal of a human thumbprint and a welcome message in multiple languages. The video will serve to foster resident’s continued pride in the community and let the world know that in Greater Fort Lauderdale, everyone is welcome…every day.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

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Image from the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau #greatertogether Welcome Initiative as a Warm Embrace to Global Travelers.

An international marketing campaign will launch the #greatertogether video to consumers and international tour operators. The video will be featured on the CVB’s website (www.sunny.org/greatertogether) including the stories of diverse residents and visitors describing why they enjoy living in Greater Fort Lauderdale and how they welcome visitors to the community. The “Faces” social media component of the program will include key local residents that were featured in the video and communicate the diversity of the destination and how proud they are of the community that they live in. Continue reading

Godiva Reimagines Contemporary Take On The Brand’s Iconic Gold Collection

GODIVA Chocolatier announced the launch of its new Gold Discovery Collection – a modern take on the brand’s signature gold box for experience-seeking chocolate lovers.Lady_Godiva_Belgium_1926_gold Logo

The Gold Discovery Collection is a fusion of history and innovation featuring new flavors, colors, shapes and textures that effortlessly come together for modern flavor pairings. GODIVA chefs created six new bold flavor combinations including White Chocolate Ganache and Coffee, Strawberry and Lychee as well as caramel mousse, creating a journey of wonderful discoveries for the adventurous foodie.

Godiva Gold Discoveryn Collection

Godiva Gold Discovery Collection

The collection includes classic GODIVA flavors, such as the Dark Lion of Belgium and Milk Praline Heart, with a modern, sophisticated twist in addition to the introduction of six new pieces:

  • Strawberry Lychee Eclipse‘: a fusion of dreamy white chocolate mousse laced with strawberry and lychee, in a crispy, creamy milk chocolate shell
  • Intense Coffee Feather‘: luxurious white chocolate ganache gets a hit of bold coffee and a coat of milk chocolate
  • Caramel Mousse Artisan‘: white chocolate mousse meets caramel for a taste of crème brûlée, before it’s wrapped in milk chocolate
  • Pecan Praline Allure‘: exquisite pecan and chocolate praline surrounded by milk chocolate
  • Double Dark Chocolate Swirl‘: rich extra dark chocolate ganache surrounded by a dark chocolate shell
  • Almond Marquise‘: whole roasted almond with almond praline in a milk chocolate shell

The combination of innovative, elevated flavors and the intricate artistry of new shapes, has resulted in a collection of chocolate pieces that stimulate the senses during an unforgettable tasting experience.

As one of GODIVA’s Chefs and Chocolatiers, we collectively find passion in continuing the vision of our founders, while bringing fresh, artistic viewpoints to all of our collections. This reimagined Gold Discovery collection combines our iconic history in premium chocolate with contemporary, edible artistry that allows new fans to discover gold for themselves,” explains Chef Jean Apostolou.

The Gold Discovery Collection is now available in U.S. stores and GODIVA.com in boxes of 6 ($14) and 12 pieces ($25). The packaging pays homage to the classic gold box, embossed with the signature “G” and Lady GODIVA emblem symbolic of the chocolatier’s heritage and finished with a gold satin ribbon that parallels the beauty and luxury that is synonymous with the GODIVA name.

The Dalmore To Release 40 Year Old Whisky In 2017

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is set to add to its repertoire of exceptionally rare and aged whiskies with The Dalmore 40 Year Old. Just 750 bottles of The Dalmore 40 will be released this year around the world through selected whisky specialist retailers, luxury bars and restaurants.

The Dalmore Logo

(PRNewsfoto/The Dalmore)

Building on The Dalmore‘s pioneering heritage in the art of maturation, The Dalmore 40 has been carefully nurtured and crafted by renowned Master Distiller Richard Paterson. This latest expression further underlines the distillery’s reputation for maturing its whiskies for longer and in a greater variety of casks than many other whiskies, which is only possible due to the depth and complexity of its new make spirit. The liquid has been maturated in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, before being transferred into 30 year old Gonzalez Byass Matsualem oloroso sherry butts and finally finished in first fill bourbon barrels.

The result is a liquid featuring flashes of amber and fire gold, offering a multitude of aromas including Colombian coffee and marmalade. On the palate, gingerbread and honey are followed by a generous aftertaste of Sanguinello blood oranges over ripe Bramley apples and liquorice sticks.

The Dalmore 40 Year Old

The Dalmore To Release 40 Year Old Whisky In 2017

The release of The Dalmore 40 comes right after the 2017 release of The Dalmore 35. This release is born of a distinct cask, following the same maturation journey as the initial release of The 35 last year. Unique versus its 2016 predecessor, the 2017 release shows notes of marmalade, ground cinnamon, chocolate cake, roasted chestnuts and raisins. There are 150 bottles of the The Dalmore 35 2017 release available nationwide. More information and details are available upon request.

The release marks the culmination of a year of celebrations to celebrate Paterson’s 50th year in the whisky industry. Paterson commented, “In the year that I reflect on my time in the whisky industry, and indeed at The Dalmore, it has been a great privilege to release two of our greatest ever aged expressions – first, the champagne finished 50 years old and now this exceptional 40.”

Tasting Notes:

  • Color: Flashes of amber and fire gold with dazzling rays of gleaming copper pot stills
  • Aroma: Rich Colombian coffee, sweet sultanas, fresh dates and Old English marmalade
  • Palate: Gingerbread, molasses, maple syrup and brioche dipped in Manuka honey
  • Finish: Sanguinello blood oranges, over ripe Bramley apples, liquorice stick and desiccated coconut
  • ABV: 42%

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Martha Stewart to Debut Fashion, Skin Care, Garden and Gourmet Food Collections on QVC.com

Live Beautifully With QVC and Martha Stewart

Make your world a more beautiful place this fall with the help of QVC and Martha Stewart. The Emmy® Award-winning television show host, entrepreneur and best-selling author have long dedicated her career to teaching and inspiring people to live more beautiful, more functional and more meaningful lives. And now she is bringing that devotion to her signature QVC collection, spanning multiple categories including fashion, skin care, garden and food, all inspired by her impeccable taste and incomparable passion. Stewart made her QVC debut on August 13 with “Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker” cookbook.

Martha Stewart

Live a more beautiful, functional and meaningful life with a new QVC collection from America’s most trusted lifestyle expert

We were blown away by the tremendous response to Martha’s cookbook, which sold out in its first airing,” said Doug Howe, Executive Vice President of Merchandising for QVC. “Our customers welcomed Martha back with open arms, and we can’t wait to impress them with Martha’s full product assortment. At QVC, we are constantly striving to bring our customers not only the newest and most innovative items but products that are designed to solve everyday problems and make life easier. Martha shares this philosophy and has worked with us to develop a collection that will truly inspire people to live more beautifully, in all aspects of their lives.”

QVC viewers and Martha Stewart fans can tune in to QVC® on September 7 during “Inspired Style® – Live from New York City” at 10 PM (ET) for a first look at select items from Stewart’s fashion collection, and check back on September 25 for the premiere of “Martha Stewart – Fashion” at 6 PM (ET), featuring items ranging from knit and woven tops to denim essentials, designed for easy, everyday living. On September 19 at 10 AM (ET), Stewart will unveil all the tools and tips needed to beautify any backyard or outdoor space in the first “Martha Stewart – Garden” show.

To assist with holiday meal planning and preparation, She will return to QVC on October 18 with the Today’s Special Value®, scheduled to debut at midnight (ET). Each day, QVC picks one special item it believes shoppers will love and offers it at an exceptionally low price from midnight (ET) until 11:59 PM (PT) that day. Tune in at midnight (ET) and 7 PM (ET) on October 18 for “Martha Stewart – Gourmet Food“, featuring an assortment of gourmet foods and decadent confections. “Mario Badescu Skin Care with Martha Stewart“, a collaboration with Mario Badescu, is scheduled to launch on November 10 at 9 PM (ET) and 10 PM (ET) on Beauty iQ.

Working in new product categories and with QVC—a multi-platform, multi-network shopping experience—has been very exciting,” said Stewart. “I have developed signature collections that reflect my passion for beautiful living and I look forward to expanding our product offerings.

Martha Stewart is the author of 89 books, and America’s most trusted lifestyle expert and teacher. Millions of people rely on Martha Stewart as a source of useful “how-to” information for all aspects of everyday living—cooking, entertaining, gardening, home renovating, collecting, organizing, crafting, holidays, healthy living and pets. Currently, the Martha Stewart brand reaches approximately 100 million consumers across all media and merchandising platforms each month.