From Cannes To Cape Town, Virtuoso® Names Nominees For The 2018 World’s Best Hotels Awards

Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® revealed the hotels and hoteliers nominated for its coveted Best of the Best awards this year. All nominees are part of the industry-defining Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts program, which boasts over 1,300 hand-selected properties worldwide and more five-star hotels than any other program. Guests who book their stay through a Virtuoso advisor enjoy exclusive benefits valued at more than $500 per stay at these properties, which span more than 100 countries. Travelers can now take advantage of booking their stay at more than 1,100 select properties online at www.Virtuoso.com and receive access to Virtuoso’s exclusive perks.Virtco_new_old

Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 17,500 elite travel advisors in more than 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.

This year’s contenders across nine categories were chosen by the network and the editors of Virtuoso Life magazine, and represent the height of achievement in their given category. The 10th category focuses on sustainable travel and recognizes the hotels that most embody the commitment to the three pillars of sustainable tourism: preserving the environment, supporting local economies and celebrating cultures.

Best Achievement in Design

  • Palácio Tangará, Oetker Collection, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
  • The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel, New York, New York, U.S.
  • The Fontenay Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • The Silo Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa

Best Dining Experience

  • Aman Tokyo – Arva, Tokyo, Japan
  • Capri Palace – Il Riccio, Capri, Italy
  • Hotel Belles Rives – La Passagere, Antibes, France
  • Meadowood Napa Valley – The Restaurant, St. Helena, California, U.S.
  • The London EDITION – Berners Tavern, London, U.K.

Best Bar

  • Brown’s Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel – The Donovan Bar, London, U.K.
  • Hotel Hassler – Hassler Bar, Rome, Italy
  • Mandarin Oriental, New York – The Office NYC, New York, New York, U.S.
  • Park Hyatt Vienna – The Bank Brassiere & Bar, Vienna, Austria
  • The Shelbourne – The Horseshoe Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Best Family Program

  • Hotel Barrière Le Majestic, Cannes, France
  • Kokomo Private Island Fiji, Yaukuve Levu Island, Fiji
  • Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Soneva Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives
  • The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

Best Wellness Program

  • Ananda in the Himalayas, Tehri-Garhwal, India
  • BodyHoliday Saint Lucia, Castries, St. Lucia
  • Chablè Resort & Spa, Chocholá, Mexico
  • The Ranch Malibu, Malibu, California, U.S.
  • Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence, Büergenstock, Switzerland

Sustainable Tourism Leadership

  • Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Wolgan Valley, Australia
  • Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Landaa Giraavaru, Maldives
  • Mashpi Lodge, Quito, Ecuador
  • Singita Grumeti – Sabora Tented Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania
  • Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal

Best Virtuoso Newcomer

  • Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, Vilamoura, Portugal
  • Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, Paris, France
  • Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Islands
  • The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
  • Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.

Best Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador

  • Andrea Filippi, Belmond
  • James Baker, The Set Hotels
  • JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers, Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates, L.L.C.
  • Laurence Tafanel, Esprit Saint Germain
  • Ling Riley, The Palms and The Shore Club Turks and Caicos

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RH Unveils 2017 Interiors Collection

Unprecedented Source Book Reveals Over 700 Pages of Inspired Design with Collections by the Industry’s Most Dynamic Designers

RH announced today the release of the 2017 RH Interiors Source Book. At 728 pages, this unprecedented design resource presents one of the most comprehensive collections of luxury home furnishings, lighting, and décor in the world. Contemporary and timeless, the new collections are the result of creative collaborations with some of the industry’s most celebrated designers, artisans, and manufacturers.

RH Interiors 2017 Source Book (Photo Business Wire)

RH Interiors 2017 Source Book (Photo: Business Wire)

We are proud to introduce our 2017 Interiors Source Book, as we believe each of these collections is a reflection of some of the most dynamic thinkers and inspiring designers in our industry today,” said RH Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman.

Mr. Friedman continued, “These new collections represent our passion for curating the very best people, products, ideas and inspiration from around the world, and carefully integrating each into a composition that renders them more, rather than less, valuable, where the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

Gracing the cover of the Source Book is the Wyeth Split Bamboo Collection by designer John Birch, renowned collector and founder of the famed WYETH showroom in New York City and Southampton, which spans living, dining, and bedroom. Inspired by elements of African tribal design and crafted of carbonized bamboo, a richly nuanced material of extraordinary visual depth and strength, the collection is imbued with a sense of quiet, understated luxury – its streamlined silhouette juxtaposed with a softly contoured, organic surface.

This season brings several notable lighting collections, including the stunning Geode Quartz Crystal Chandelier and Pendant by Timothy Oulton (London), featuring glowing spheres and halos hand-fitted with individual rock crystals – the purest and rarest form of quartz; the Wright Collection, a spare and elegantly minimal line of hand-forged iron chandeliers, lamps and sconces designed by Ian K. Fowler (Chicago); and the modern Machinist Pendant by designer Jonathan Browning (San Francisco), a study in positive and negative space with a solid brass, geometric yoke that reveals its industrial inspiration.

The Brutalist Constructivist Table Lamp, distinguished by its bold geometry and artfully faceted face; and the Vittoria Chandelier, an abstract interpretation of 1970s Venetian lighting by Theo Eichholtz (Amsterdam), are also among the collection’s noteworthy introductions.

Statement seating includes Timothy Oulton’s Parisian Sofa Collection, where elegant lines, a low profile and sumptuous goose feather and down cushions create a relaxed European sensibility; Oulton’s Cloud Modular Leather Collection, offering the same epic comfort, unmatched quality and endless configurations of the original Cloud Sofa, but now available in 50 artisan-crafted kinds of leather, including the exclusive Cavalo Leather; and the handcrafted French Contemporary Dining Chair Collection – a transitional update on classic silhouettes in round and square back side chair, armchair, counter stool and barstool styles by the Van Thiels (The Netherlands).

The Source Book also presents singular designs such as Stacked, a bold, architectural collection by the Van Thiels recalling the 1970s Brutalist movement that spans living, dining and bedroom; as well as Thaddeus and Cannon – two collections featuring one-of-a-kind coffee, console and side tables from designer Julie Lawrence (Virginia). Inspired by famed sculptor Diego Giacometti, Thaddeus is defined by elegantly tapered legs and fluid lines while Cannon takes cues from the rugged doors of ancient Iberia. Both feature imperfect hand-hammered metal frames – complete with tool marks – juxtaposed with honed white Carrara marble tops.

Pure, geometric forms rendered in solid brass are the hallmarks of Jonathan Browning’s 14 new cabinet hardware collections – his first for RH. The architectural silhouettes reflect Browning’s unerring eye for perfect proportions and attention to detail. Meticulously finished by hand, the refined collections are modern and minimal, simple and sculptural.

Textile introductions reflect a distinct global influence with the Moroccan Cactus Silk Pillow Cover Collection, woven by villagers in their homes west of the Atlas Mountains in North Africa; Rusty Arena’s (Houston) Velvet Oushak Pillow Collection, an homage to the exquisitely-patterned carpets of 17th-century Turkey; and several heirloom-quality Italian Bedding collections created in the Florentine studio of master artisan Carlo Bertelli (Italy), including Ultra-Fine Lightweight Linen, Ultra-Soft Percale, and 1,000-Thread-Count Luxe Sateen.

Guided by a less-is-more philosophy, RH’s exclusive collaboration with renowned rug scion Ben Soleimani (Los Angeles and London) has yielded an array of exquisite, handcrafted collections that celebrate understated motifs, rich textures, and extraordinary depth – blending tradition and innovation with the perspective of a contemporary artist.

For more on RH Interiors, visit RH.com.

W Hotels Electrifies the Shanghai Skyline with the Debut of W Shanghai – The Bund

Flagship Hotel Marks the Brand’s First in Shanghai and Third in Mainland China

W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, today unveiled W Shanghai – The Bund, located in the heart of one of the world’s most energetic cities. With limitless views overlooking the Huangpu River, W Shanghai will set the scene on the North Bund. Owned by Sinar Mas Group, the hotel features a blend of bold design and decadent style which combines to create a captivating contrast of W-Logo LogoShanghai’s past and its avant-garde present.

Shanghai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and its engaging nightlife, spirited fashion scene and passion for what’s new/next makes it an ideal destination for the W brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “Our hotels across the world are incredibly unique- each reinterpreting its destination through design that is both hyper-local and yet, clearly W. The electrifying design of W Shanghai – The Bund is no exception, solidifying its position as a global flagship for W that is sure to attract both guests and savvy locals alike.”

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Exterior shot of the W Shanghai – The Bund

Designed by the acclaimed G.A Design, the hotel showcases an exciting combination of historic and modern influences, such as Hai Pai – the art of combining the old and the new, East and West. This is evident in both the hotel’s location, perfectly positioned between the Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River, as well as the surrounding locale, where Art Deco buildings sit alongside opulent Chinese mansions. W Shanghai – The Bund draws upon colonial glamour and futuristic motifs, with nearly all guestrooms featuring views of the Huangpu River due to the uniquely curved frame of the building’s edifice.

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The W Shanghai – The Bund, overlooking the Huangpu River and featuring a blend of bold design and decadent style.

Over the past few years we have seen incredible growth worldwide across our brands, with the China market becoming increasingly important for Marriott International,” said Stephen Ho, Chief Executive Officer, Greater China, Marriott International. “The opening of the W Shanghai – The Bund underscores the ambitious expansion of Marriott International’s Luxury Brands in Greater China.”

Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by neon light installations throughout the hotel’s Living Room (the W brand’s take on the staid hotel lobby). For centuries, Shanghai-locals have honored the Lilong tradition, in which wet laundry is hung on lines to dry at varying heights down narrow laneways. This installation was designed as a modern reinterpretation of this classic scene. The Welcome Desk (reception area) features a kaleidoscopic fixture, mirroring the constant flow of guests through the area. The ‘Melting Qipao’ pattern, a representation of Shanghai as a melting pot of cultures, can be seen on the walls of the WC (restroom). Continue reading

22nd Newport Flower Show to Celebrate Fete Des Fleurs

The 2017 Newport Flower Show, themed Fête Des Fleurs: Paintings and Parterres, will celebrate its 22nd year with a variety of special events, expert guest speakers, beautiful floral designs, impressive horticulture exhibits, stunning garden displays, unique shopping opportunities, and more. Inspired by France, America’s premier summer flower show will transport guests’ imaginations to the place that has inspired generations of artists and gardeners. Attendees will travel on a French adventure, from grand gardens to Paris chic, at Rosecliff, one of Newport’s most beautiful historic mansions modeled after the Grand Trianon at Versailles. The Show opens on Friday, June 23 and runs through Sunday, June 25, 2017.psnc-logo

With Newport’s largest private ballroom, Rosecliff was constructed in 1902 as a party pavilion for one of the leading society hostesses of the Gilded Age. This snow-white terra-cotta mansion was created for Theresa Fair Oelrichs, heir to the Comstock silver lode in Nevada. It hosted many of the most fabulous entertainments of the period, including a fairy-tale dinner and a party, featuring magician Harry Houdini.

The magnificent three-day event welcomes back Bartlett Tree Experts as the Presenting Sponsor of the Newport Flower Show, which benefits The Preservation Society of Newport County. Additional sponsors include ALEX AND ANI, Atria Senior Living , Brooks Brothers, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southeastern New England, Swarovski, United, and The Newport Daily News.

Show Highlights:

The Show will feature celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham and noted scholar on French garden history Dr. Eric T. Haskell as special guest speakers, scheduled on Friday and Saturday. Guests will have the rare opportunity to learn from the uniquely talented Leatham, who works as the Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris in addition to designing events for celebrities and world leaders like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, and many more. Leatham is considered the most exciting floral designer in the world. Awarded the prestigious “Knighthood” (“Chevalier de L’Order des Arts et Letters”), the French Government’s highest honor for artists, Jeff designed the first major event to be held in the famed “Galerie des Glaces” (Hall of Mirrors) at Versailles since the time of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. His work is compared to contemporary art (and is featured at international cultural, business and entertainment events). His vase designs were so exquisite that the Dallas Museum purchased them for their permanent collection. His work.

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Celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham

Haskell, Professor of French Studies & Humanities and Director of the Clark Humanities Museum at Scripps College in California, will share his knowledge on French gardens, their history, and more with guests. Dr. Haskell will share his vast knowledge on French gardens during his lecture “Lasting Landscapes: The French Formal Garden.” He received his Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of California, Irvine, and also studied Art History and Architecture in the graduate program at UCI and at the École du Louvre in Paris. He has delivered over 550 public lectures and scholarly papers in 28 states and 11 foreign countries. In 2013 Haskell received two of France’s highest honors: Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académics (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms) and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters).

Other free lectures and demonstrations by noted plant experts, flower designers and gardeners will

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Dr. Eric T. Haskell

also be presented throughout the weekend.

Fashion icon and interior designer Iris Apfel will also join the Newport Flower Show’s Afternoon Tea reception on Friday, June 23 for a conversation on her fabulous life, fashion, and style. The Afternoon Tea reception will be held on the front lawn of Rosecliff at 3:00 p.m. where guests will be treated to a sampling of savory and sweet delicacies as well as flavored versions of iced or hot teas.

The Opening Night Party, the unofficial “kickoff to summer in Newport,” will take place on Friday, June 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a cocktail buffet, live music and dancing, a seaside supper, and other entertaining surprises. The show will continue through the weekend with unforgettable garden exhibits, horticultural entries, floral designs, and children’s programs, all staged

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Iris Apfel

throughout the elegant reception rooms of Rosecliff, its oceanfront terrace and lawn.

New this year, the Newport Flower Show will offer a Fête de la Lune (Feast by Moonlight) at Rosecliff on Saturday, June 24 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Guests can spend an evening strolling through the display gardens, shopping with Flower Show vendors on the front lawn, and viewing the floral designs inside Rosecliff before the sun sets, then can enjoy a summer picnic basket supper on the grounds while viewing the display gardens. Attendees can also opt to stay after supper for a viewing of the 2015 hit movie “A Little Chaos” starring Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Stanley Tucci; film tickets are sold separately. Continue reading

The Viceroy Hotel Group Creates A Sensation With Grand Unveiling Of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Global Modern Luxury Hospitality Group Makes History With Stunning New Beachfront Resort

This past weekend, the Viceroy Hotel Group (VHG) raised the curtains to unveil Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai, a stunning beachfront resort at the center of Dubai’s thriving hospitality landscape. Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai is home to 477 rooms and suites, including 352 guestrooms, 85 suites and 40 hotel apartments located across 16 floors. Designed by Yabu Pushelberg and NAO Taniyama and Associates, this Icon Collection masterpiece showcases sweeping, unobstructed views of the surrounding city, from the Dubai Marina to the Burj Khalifa. The arrival of the Viceroy Hotel Group in Dubai marks the modern luxury hospitality group’s second foray into the UAE, bringing a fusion of California cool with Dubai sensation.1 (1)

Preparation for the opening of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai has been an unforgettable journey,” comments Bill Walshe, CEO of Viceroy Hotel Group. “I remember my very first meeting with Kabir Mulchandani of SKAI Holdings, the developer, owner and visionary behind the entire development, and now, four years later, we have opened an incredible new experience for Viceroy guests, one where Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai has redefined modern luxury hospitality in this vibrant destination. I am extremely proud of General Manager Mikael Svensson, and the entire Viceroy team for how they have launched this incredible hotel.”

The opening of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai marks the next step of VHG’s aggressive and expansive growth strategy over the next few years, with forthcoming properties slated for Argentina, Chicago, Colombia, Panama, Portugal, and Turkey.

MODERN MARVEL: PIONEERING ARCHITECTURE & OUTSTANDING INTERIOR DESIGN

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai‘s glass cube structure creates a sense of anticipation. At center, a first-of-its-kind glass cube towers at 15 meters by 15 meters, an engineering feat. The cube seemingly floats in front of the hotel, allowing natural light to flood in and provides a direct view through to the resort’s runway like 60-meter pool, the ocean and beyond.

Image of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Viceroy Hotel Group's stunning new beachfront resort at the center of Dubai's thriving hospitality landscape

Image of Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Viceroy Hotel Group’s stunning new beachfront resort at the center of Dubai’s thriving hospitality landscape

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai‘s interiors feature clean lines, natural materials, and a standout design. Glamorous interiors feature a calming palette of neutral colors alongside Viceroy’s signature teal, with brushed bronze finishes adding a warm glow. Light and dark wood contrasts with layers of marble, creating balance and refinement, while a recurring honeycomb hexagonal pattern runs throughout. Contemporary furniture and rich fabrics similarly contrast with Greek and Italian-marbled bathrooms that feature hand cut mosaic tiling and bronze sculptured standalone bathtubs. Continue reading

JW Marriott Debuts Stunning Beach Resort on Marco Island

Global Luxury Brand Opens South Florida Beachfront Hotel On The Shores Of The Gulf Of Mexico

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, the global luxury brand that is part of Marriott International’s luxury brands portfolio, has debuted JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. Located 20 minutes south of Naples and just a 50-minute drive from Southwest Florida International Airport, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is the ultimate sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation.

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JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort

Following an extensive $320 million renovation facilitated by ownership group Mass Mutual, the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa has converted to a JW Marriott luxury property, ushering in a new era for the illustrious resort. The 726-room JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort offers engaging and enriching on-property experiences that can be artfully tailored to each guest.

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JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort lobby

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JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort

In 2015, the resort began phase one of a three-phase makeover and brand conversion project, including expanded pool decks, a refurbished lobby, a new porte-cochere and grand front entrance. The second phase, which concluded on Dec. 31, 2016, welcomed a complete transformation of guest rooms and resort culinary offerings, including the addition of two new signature restaurants, Ario and Maia, as well as an all-new beachfront tiki bar, Kane.

This brand conversion brings to fruition years of planning, dedication and hard work, and I could not be more pleased,” said Rick Medwedeff, General Manager of JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. “As we move forward into the next chapter of our resort’s story, we are embracing our celebrated past and welcoming a new level of luxury by joining JW Marriott’s global portfolio of exceptional properties.”

The luxury Marco Island resort near Naples, Florida is poised to become one of the region’s most coveted culinary destinations, led by Executive Chef Eric Vasta, who most recently held the post at the celebrated five-star JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. Culinary programming will include private sommelier-led wine tastings and Chef’s Table experiences at signature restaurant Ario, helmed by Chef de Cuisine Gerald Sombright. The culinary offerings extend beachside with fish-grilling classes, rum tastings and private dinners along the shoreline.

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JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort – Ario Seating

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JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort – Kane Tiki Bar & Grill

Continue reading

Pottery Barn Announces Product Assortment Expansion For Spring 2017

Spring 2017 Will Introduce Thoughtful Solutions for Every Home at a Great Value

Pottery Barn, a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands, has announced the expansion of its product assortment launching for Spring/Summer 2017. The collection will debut new styles that are designed and engineered to be size-conscious and multi-functional, offering solutions for smaller living spaces. Each piece is constructed with the same high-quality artisanal design Pottery Barn is known for to appeal to a range of lifestyles at an accessible price.pblogo

We recognize the opportunity to diversify our products and reflect the different ways people live today,” said Marta Benson, EVP, General Merchandise Manager, Pottery Barn. “Our spring collection offers new furniture and décor that embody Pottery Barn’s comfortable, relaxed style and are designed with an eye toward functionality, value and smaller scale. It’s exciting to expand our assortment and bring customers more choice when it comes to furnishing their home, big or small.”

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Bellevue upholstered sofa with storage by Pottery Barn (Photo: Business Wire)

Adding soul and warmth to the home, the new pieces celebrate classic handmade craftsmanship, reflecting the brand’s heritage and touching on global and historic references. Many of the items, including select furniture pieces, are available to ship directly via UPS adding a level of ease, speed and convenience for customers. Continue reading