TRAVEL

  • MONCLER GRENOBLE MELBREAK JACKET

    MONCLER GRENOBLE MELBREAK JACKET

    Winter Wonder. 

    We’re not out of the woods yet this Winter which is why we can’t stop raving about this thin little beauty from the famed clothiers at Moncler.

    Their new Grenoble Melbreak women’s jacket is a proof that you can both summit K2 and look good while doing it thanks to its sleekly cut, stretch technical nylon. The wind proof gaiter at the bottom and subtle removable fur collar add even more warmth for those outdoor strolls off the slopes, say in the 7th Arrondissement.

    Stay warm. Stay thin. Stay gorgeous.
    Moncler Grenoble Melbreak Women's Outerwear; $1,395; store.moncler.com
  • PANASONIC LUMIX ZS40

    PANASONIC LUMIX ZS40

    Zoom, Zoom.

    Sometimes when you travel, your camera phone just isn’t up to snuff. Especially when you’re say, on an African safari and need to keep your distance from that friendly, 550 lb lion who’s casting hungry looks your way.

    Fortunately, the Panasonic Lumix ZS40 Travel Zoom Camera has you covered with a host of features any camera-lover would salivate over including an 18.1-megapixel sensor, GPS, Full-HD video recording, Wi-Fi, NFC, manual shooting modes, and a 3-inch screen into a travel-friendly design. But the best part is the 24-720mm equivalent, 30x optical zoom lens from Leica that has you covered in just about any scenario. 

    Bring this little beauty with you and we daresay your vacation photos may just never be the same.

    Panasonic Lumix ZS40, $449.95; shop.panasonic.com

  • HOTEL DE GLACE, QUEBEC

    HOTEL DE GLACE, QUEBEC

    Ice, Ice, Baby.

    If there’s one thing Canadians know, it’s how to beat the heat. Which is why we’re ready to book a trip to the first ice hotel in North America.

    Located 5 km north of Quebec City, the hotel is a dream of ice and snow—literally. It takes about a month and a half to build and is made out of 15,000 tons of snow and 500,000 tons of ice, with walls that are up to four feet thick.

    And while the design varies from season to season, typical amenities include a nightclub, movie theater, indoor heated washrooms and outdoor hot tubs. All the furniture is made of ice as well. And they even have a chapel for wedding ceremonies.

    But you’ll have to wait a bit. The hotel won’t re-open until January next year—and only for a few short months.

    Until then, stay cool, friends. Stay cool.

    Hotel De Glace, opens January 2014; http://www.hoteldeglace-canada.com/

  • THE LAST BOOKSTORE, LOS ANGELES

    THE LAST BOOKSTORE, LOS ANGELES

    Words. On Paper. Remember That?

    Blbliophiles of the world, rejoice. In a world of e-books and digital readers, there are still bastions where old-fashioned paper books are sold, featured and even—wait for it—celebrated.

    One such case is The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles which also happens to be the largest independent bookshop in California. Where, in a heart-warming thumbing of the nose to recent e-book trends, the store recently expanded its 10,000-square-foot space in downtown L.A.

    In additional to just about any popular book you’re looking for, they have a thriving business in rare and unusual books along with hosting regular events from author talks to kimono-themed fashion shows. 

    So the next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and give a little love to one of the coolest independent bookstore around.

    453 S. Sprint Street, Los Angeles, lastbookstorela.com

  • BRIGGS & RILEY TORQ SUITCASE

    BRIGGS & RILEY TORQ SUITCASE

    Global Traveler.

    Remember when travel used to be glamorous? Well, Briggs & Riley believes you don’t have to sacrifice stylishness for toughness with their new Torq line. Their first hard-sided collection is made from automotive-grade polycarbonate composite material with a middle layer that prevents cracking. As proof of their toughness, it even comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty.

    Available in three sizes, we like how the somewhat patriotic set of colors—red, blue and grey—should help stand out at the luggage carousel. The retractable handle is built into the outside of the case leaving you more room inside while the double spinner wheels make maneuvering a breeze.

    Briggs & Riley Torq Suitcase, available this spring, $479-$569; briggs-riley.com

  • ESCAPE HAVEN

    ESCAPE HAVEN

    Surf Your Cares Away.

    When her successful corporate career lost its allure, fashion marketer Janine Hall turned to her personal loves — surfing, yoga and travel — for inspiration. Escape Haven Bali was her resulting labor of love—a women’s-only surfing and wellness luxury retreat focused on health, mindfulness and yoga.

    Choose from a range of wellness and detox packages against the glorious backdrop of two of the world's top surf and yoga locations—Bali, Indonesia and Byron Bay, Australia.

    Guests, limited to eight per retreat, can learn to surf with internationally qualified instructors as well as focus on meditation and yoga. Then there’s Australian therapeutic chef Samantha Gowing’s amazing cuisine. And if the surfing and yoga wasn’t enough, there’s a variety of activities from cultural expeditions to Ubud; sunset rides through the rice fields; and of course, mani/pedis by the villas’ pools.

    Sorry, gents. It’s for women only. That said, Escape Haven is definitely the ticket to get your wellness on.

    Escape Haven, Package Pricing Varies; escape haven.com

  • TOMTOM SUITES - THE OLD FRANCISCAN HOUSE

    TOMTOM SUITES - THE OLD FRANCISCAN HOUSE

    Turkish Delight.

    At TheLUXURIAN, we’re fans of small boutique hotels. The more boutique, the better. We’re also in love with Istanbul, a city still straddling East and West—and with delightful results in their cuisine, culture and entertainment.

    For us, nothing captures the romance of Turkey better than this lovingly restored former convent, Tomtom Suites - The Old Franciscan House. It’s a chic boutique hotel with 20 spacious suites hidden away in the consulate district of Istanbul. The smart, contemporary interiors include original works of art, a rooftop terrace bar with views of the Bosphorus, a delightful bistro and a library, all within easy access of the Blue Mosque and Taksim Square.

    You can see Istanbul’s magnificent ancient churches, palaces, fortresses and mosques from this unique location. And bonus traveler tip, On returning to the hotel, be sure to visit the Terrace Bar to watch the sunset as the evening call to prayer reverberates across the city.

    It’s Old World meets New World. And it’s definitely worth a visit.

    Tomtom Suites - The Old Franciscan House
    Bogazkesen Caddesi Tomtom Kaptan Sokak NO:18
    Beyoglu
    Istanbul 34433. Turkey
  • TOUR ODEON MONACO

    TOUR ODEON MONACO

    A View to a Thrill.

    Sometimes it's nice to dream. With that in mind, say "bonjour" to your new home. Rising majestically above the azure waters of the Mediterranean and the captivating center of the Principality of Monaco, Tour Odeon takes luxurious living to dazzling new heights.

    Tour Odeon is the collective vision of developer Groupe Marzocco, architect Alexandre Giraldi and interior designer Alberto Pinto. With 49 stories and a double tower of 70 exceptionally appointed apartments, this is a new gold standard in residential living. While it's not due for completion until 2014, you can still get in on the ground floor of a little slice of heaven.

    We're not sure of the price, but nonetheless, we're sure this property will have you saying "c'est magnifique" out loud.

    So for the ultimate home in the ultimate setting where you'll finally have a proper baguette and write that screenplay in luxury—with a view—contact Fred.Schiff@knightfrank.com. (Tell him TheLUXURIAN sent you.)

    Tour Odeon; odeon.mc

  • MUSEO SOUMAYA, MEXICO CITY

    MUSEO SOUMAYA, MEXICO CITY

    Gorgeous Has a New Home.

    With cooler weather arriving, we at TheLUXURIAN highly recommend jaunts to warmer climes as much as possible. And if you can fit in a healthy dose of art and stunning architecture into your trip, so much the better.

    Case in point, the Museo Soumaya, designed by Fernando Romero. Home to over 66,000 pieces of art, the Museo Soumaya at once inspires with the art within its walls as well as what’s outside. It focuses on European art from the 15th to 20th century as well as Mexican art, religious relics and coins.

    As for the building itself, it opened in 2011 and resembles a shiny silver-cloud like structure that reminds us of a Rodin sculpture.

    Either way, add this to your list of must-see museums. You won’t be disappointed.

    Museo Soumaya, Mexico City. Free admission.

  • SO SPA SOFITEL LEGEND OLD CATARACT HOTEL, ASWAN, EGYPT

    SO SPA SOFITEL LEGEND OLD CATARACT HOTEL, ASWAN, EGYPT

    Indulge Your Inner Pharaoh

    Think of the So Spa in Aswan, Egypt as a cross between Cleopatra meets 2001: A Space Odyssey. At once futuristic yet oh-so luxuriously decadent, this spa caters to well-heeled French visitors, vacationing Turks and Americans wrapping up their Nile cruise.

    Go for the 60-minute Nubian massage with sandalwood oil and hibiscus and you’ll emerge feeling like pampered royalty.

    So Spa Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt, sofitel legend.com

  • FIG & OLIVE, L.A.

    FIG & OLIVE, L.A.

    An Ode to Olive Oil (and Then Some)

    So many restaurants, so little time...but on your next visit to L.A., TheLUXURIAN insists you try Fig & Olive restaurant in West Hollywood. (There's also four locations in New York, so you're in luck if you're heading East.) Perfect for after work cocktails and apps at the gorgeous, approachable bar or an artful, savory dinner in their beautifully airy-yet-intimate space, either way you won't be disappointed.

    Fig & Olive is about passion for the best olive oils, flavors and cuisine from the Riviera & Coastal regions of the South of France, Italy and Spain. Executive chef, Pascal Lorange, began his training in France and features olive oil as a core ingredient throughout the menu, which he uses in lieu of butter.

    For dinner, signature dishes include seared sea scallop with truffle artichoke tapenade; grilled branzino glazed with a fig balsamic vinegar, served with figs and snow peas finished with a sweet picholine olive oil; porcini and gorgonzola jamon iberico ravioli with porcini olive oil; and grilled lamb chops smoked with a bouquet of herbs de provence and finished with rosemary-infused olive oil.
    In a word, yum.

    Fig & Olive
    8490 Melrose Place
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    310 360 9100
    fig and olive.com
  • THE ROCKHOUSE, NEGRIL JAMAICA

    THE ROCKHOUSE, NEGRIL JAMAICA

    The Great Escape.

    Fall is here but that doesn’t mean you can’t still escape your responsibilities for that perfect weekend getaway. And if you’re looking for, say a little bit of paradise where fishermen bring fresh fish right up to the restaurant, TheLUXURIAN may have just the place for you—The Rockhouse.

    Located on the cliffs, two and a half miles west of Negril on Negril's West End Road. The hotel is sited on the western most point of Jamaica – the best spot for sunsets. We’re fans of wandering amongst the eight acres of tropical lush gardens where you can see thatched roofed villas perched on the water's edge. Guests swim in the sixty foot horizon pool or take the stairs carved into the rock down to the cove for snorkeling on the reef.

    In a word, the Rockhouse may be just the little break you need. But don’t take our word for it. The World Travel Awards recognized the Rockhouse Hotel as "Caribbean’s Leading Boutique Hotel.”

    So pack your bags and summer on.

    The Rockhouse, Negril, Jamaica; rockhouse hotel.com

  • TEN LITTLE (LUXE) TRAVEL TIPS.

    TEN LITTLE (LUXE) TRAVEL TIPS.

    Let’s face it, you can’t always travel first class. But here’s some tips to add a little luxe to any leg of your trip:

    1. The American Express Platinum Card gets you exclusive airline club access for free so it’s worth the annual fee.

    2. Two mobile apps we really like for travel to help save you time (and money) are TripIt & Gound Link. TripIt organizes all in one place your flight, hotel and rental car confirmation emails into simple, mobile travel itineraries. Ground Link is a great app for global car service and airport pick-up. Their brand positioning is: “Guaranteed on time. Or your next ride is free.” What could be finer?

    3. The Public is a Chicago boutique hotel full of uh-mazing. (More on this in a separate entry!)

    4. When traveling, just say no to succumbing to purchasing insipid tabloid fodder to help pass the time in-flight. Instead, we love reading the Ombudsman column at Conde Nast traveler and Monocle.

    5. When checking in at your hotel, a little kindness goes a long  way--especially with desk clerks. p.s. Ask for a room away from both the ice machine and the elevator and your chances at an upgrade just got a whole lot better.

    6. Those noise canceling headphones? Yep, they work. They kill engine noise and are perfect for transatlantic flights. Our fave is still the Bose ones. 

    7. Your hotel maids are the ones doing all the heavy lifting. Take care. You should always tip your maid daily, and on average, a tip of $3-5 per night is recommended. (Only bills; no change, please) Be sure to mark your tip clearly, place in an envelope and leave your tip in an obvious place so there won’t be any confusion.

    8. You can’t always plan your next meal, especially when you’re on the go. And with airlines so stingy these days, it’s best to be prepared. Our favorite? Kind bars. They taste great, they come in a variety of flavors and they’re actually “trainer approved.”

    9. Remember to keep a great fitting / good-lookin’ pair of flip flops in your travel tote at all times. They’ll come in handy for the pool, and let’s face it, those hotel carpets can get a bit dicey at times. For men, we love these from Gucci with black leather and their signature red & green webbing. For women, believe it or not, we’re obsessed with the comfy-yet-glam pair from (wait for it), Payless.

    10.  A sexy hat and a great pair of shades conceals a multitude of sins. You can get away with murder (3 hours of sleep) with the right coverage and a jaunty attitude.

    LINKS

    american express platinum | tripit | ground link | public hotel conde nast traveler | monocle | bose | gucci | payless