Eating Green in Venice

Nutrition & lifestyle expert Sophie Eustache says “we are what we eat”

Bistrot de Venise

Sergio Fragiacomo believes the history of Venetian cuisine reflects the history of the city. The Rialto market was once the world’s leading spice emporium, and exotic spices were a status symbol for the nobility. The Bistrot de Venise serves a contemporary menu using natural ingredients, as well as recreating ancient recipes, with an award-winning wine list.

luxxrs.com recommends: Vegetarian Fantasy with seasonal ingredients

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Ristorante Wildner

An oasis in the middle of the masses, the veranda of Restaurant Wildner has a sparkling view of the lagoon. The Fullin family is passionate about simple, traditional Venetian cuisine, accompanied by artisanal wines and handpicked olive oil. The matriarch, Donatella, is in charge of the Slow Food of Venice organisation and makes all the desserts.

luxxrs.com recommends: Vellutata with peas from Sant’ Erasmo

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Al Vecio Marangon

Amarone by the glass, perfectly decanted, sets the tone for this tiny, pretty eatery tucked into a courtyard where you can lunch until 3pm and dine at 6pm. Like a nurturing mother, Marina Bobbo serves comforting local food in a cosy ambiance highlighted by an old “marangon” or carpenter’s table. Seats 28 inside and 20 out. Reservations advised.

luxxrs.com recommends: Artichoke hearts with parsley and virgin olive oil

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Osteria Antica Adelaide

Alvise Ceccato takes green to the extreme. He puts his personal touch on every aspect of his pure Venetian food, delivering it from nature to your table. He knows his seafood, down to the zone, and where his gardens grow. He takes your order, cooks your food and serves it up with a little help from his friendly staff, jazz purring in the background.

luxxrs.com recommends: Mixed herbs and vegetables of the season

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3 Boutique Restaurants in Venice

Be charmed by some of the best boutique restaurants in Venice.

Chat qui Rit

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Giovanni Mozzato left the corporate world to create his dream, Chat qui Rit, right in the heart of San Marco. He handpicked each detail of the stylish interior, from the designer Danish and Italian chairs to the tiles on the floor. The select menu is a creative fusion of Venice and the East, starring delights like Shi Drum Fillet with Watercress Sauce and Wasabi, and rare cheeses like Pule, made from the milk of 100 donkeys living on the Zasavica Nature Reserve in Serbia. Great wine, too.

Vecio Fritolin

vecio fritolin

Together with owner Irina Freguia, female chef Najada Frasheri brings a touch of Mother Nature to every pretty plate. The beef is hand-chopped. The catch of the day is from the Rialto market, just minutes away. The time-honored Venetian ‘baccalà’ is served snuggled inside a cannolo, surrounded by colorful candied garden vegetables.

Ristorante La Caravella

la caravella

Once a magnet for intellectuals like Sartre and de Beauvoir, La Caravella is still in the hands of the fourth generation of the congenial Serandrei family. The cosy, wooden interior is modelled after an ancient ship; the bread homemade, the wine list extensive and the service attentive. The classic Venetian menu is innovative, fresh and beautiful; the ravioli stuffed with scampi is divine.

Four Seasons Hotel Megève launches Helicopter Ski Safaris to give guests the ultimate luxury skiing experience

Have you ever visited a ski resort and wished you could see some of the other nearby slopes while you’re there? After all, if you go to the trouble of packing your attire and assembling your gear, it only makes sense that you make the most of your mountaintop experience.

Until recently, this idealistic concept was simply a pipe dream. Now, France’s Four Seasons Hotel Megève is changing the game.

Starting December 15, 2018, guests can take part in luxurious Helicopter Ski Safaris that allow them access not only to the gorgeous slopes that frame the new resort, but also to nearby ones at the Chamonix, Courchevel and Val d’Isère resorts among others.

The result? An all-inclusive tour of the Alps from the vantage point of a soaring eagle high above the summits.

While this is an incredible package deal, it’s far from standardized. Rather, staff at the Megève’s Ski Concierge will tailor the trip every day according to the weather and snow conditions, so guests are always guaranteed a safe, exciting and rewarding skiing experience.

As you glide above Mont Blanc and its neighboring pikes, be sure to bring your camera along. The views are nothing short of breathtaking, even if you’re more comfortable on the bunny slope than a black diamond.

Rates for the Ski Safari begin at EUR 1,310 per night, which equates to around $1,500 USD, for two guests staying in a Megève Deluxe Room. If you book a weeklong trip, you’ll get the privilege of going on three helicopter excursions. Five nights gets you two trips, and three-night visitors are treated to one.

Flying not your thing? No problem.

You can convert the value of the helicopter journey into an equally invigorating adventure on the ground. From dog-sled rides to snowshoeing, you’ll have your pick from multiple exhilarating treks, all of which allow you to see the same terrain as your thrill-seeking buddies high above you. As a sweet trade-off, you’ll even get to enjoy a picnic lunch in a top-scale mountain refuge to refuel before you hit the slopes.

So what are you waiting for? Book your package today and set forth on one of the most luxurious skiing adventures in the world.

You can choose from the Mont Blanc Ski Safari, which centers on 15-minute rides to Chamonix, Flaine or Courmayeur resorts; or the slightly longer Alpine Ski Safari flight, which takes visitors on a 30-minute trip to Val d’Isère, Courchevel, Méribel or Val Thorens.

Available until April 15, 2019, there’s not much time left to pack in this trip of a lifetime. Make your reservation today and take your love of skiing to new heights!

Montblanc introduces three new watches in the Heritage Chronométrie Collection

Montblanc has added three new watches to the Heritage Chronométrie collection that introduces a fresher, more contemporary design code. The “Chronométrie” in the name of the collection is derived from the French word for “precision,” thus the new watches include solid horological credentials despite their affordable price tags. The latest additions to the collection includes two new interpretations of the patented ExoTourbillon Slim which was launched back in 2016. The first watch in this new collection is the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Perpetual Calendar Sapphire (ref. 118513), which features the same movement as the 2014 perpetual calendar. The 2018 edition comes with a new 40mm stainless steel case with slimmer lugs, a fully polished finishing and new dial design. The perpetual calendar indications are featured on transparent counters that are in a shade of dark-blue color. The watch is priced at EUR 12,700 (roughly $15,000).

Anantara Veli Maldives Resort – An Overwater Sanctuary brimming with Unparalelled Hospitality

As I gazed out the plane window, it took only but a moment to fathom we were in Maldivian airspace. Scattered like jade-green jewels across the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, were the bountiful atolls of the Maldives.

A smiling face welcomed us upon arrival and promptly guided us to Anantara’s private lounge; a swanky airconditioned space stocked with Nespresso machines and canned juices. After a quick check-in at the airport lounge itself, we departed for our weekend getaway on Anantara’s private speedboat. As we sped through the cyan waters Ihad to pinch myself to be convinced it was real.

Our lavish abode for the weekend – the deluxe overwater pool villa
The resort lends a set of snorkeling gear to all hotel guests on a complimentary basis

Ibrahim, our villa host, escorted us to our villa: Anantara Veli’s Deluxe Overwater Pool Villa. Be prepared to walk a fair bit, but if you revel in luxury, look no further. A luxuriously-dressed king-sized bed dominated the centre of the villa, subtly dictating the mood for the weekend. A tasteful study paired with delicately-carved wooden wardrobes formed a part of the background, while earthy and amber tones complemented the aesthetic surroundings. A selection of lavish resort-gear were tucked inside the cupboard; an Olympus camera (wow!), yoga mats and a fitness kit; while a large TV and an iPod docking station festooned the colossal wooden console in the room.

The perfect room view
When champagne and private-infinity pools become holiday essentials

I walked out to our private terrace with all the pool-villa dreams I could muster and I was certainly not disappointed. I looked around in absolute awe as our private, infinity plunge pool lazily gazed out into the immensity of the turquoise waters. The split-level deck was adorned with loungers, a charming table with chairs and most importantly, a ladder that led my eye to the heavenly waters underneath.

A free-standing bathtub standing against the immensity of the ocean beyond
What Anantara’s useful bathroom kit comprised of

My exploration yet incomplete, I walked into the bathroom and there, standing in elegance, was the bathtub against the azure waters of the Indian ocean. I firmly believe that the bathtub itself was enough to plan another trip to Anantara Veli. A set of dual basins atop the marble console completed the beautifully designed space.

Our possible agenda for the weekend

The pantry was another impressive element. In addition to a wine cellar loaded with high quality wines, it also contained a Nespresso machine, a fine box of Dilmah tea, an assortment of dry refreshments and a fully-stocked mini bar. It was indubitably one of the better pantries I had experienced in a hotel.

The room exploration was indeed tiresome which led me to spend the afternoon indoors. The inviting bed provoked my laziness, but thankfully, the routine here seemed pretty apparent- Eat, sleep, swim and repeat!
When evening strolls entailed swaying palm trees and sandy paths
One of the most Instagrammable spots on the island

Thankfully, the island offered a chilled-out take on tropicalisland luxury. A myriad of sandy roads and canopied palm trees dotted the lush-green island; while wooden planks over the mineral blue waters lead the way to the 62 over water villas.

The staff at the resort were the benchmark for hospitality. I was invariably greeted at each corner with a “good morning”, while all meals would begin with small talk with a staff member or a weather update from Imtiaz, the resort manager.

One of the better breakfasts we’ve experienced

Breakfast at 73 Degrees was a constellation of open kitchens – crepes, pancakes, omelettes, hot continental delicacies, fresh fruit, and cheeses – bordered with a wide selection of baked goods brimming with an assortment of fresh juices and honey.

Teppanyaki stations and colourful tones graced Origami, the resort’s Japanese diner

Meals were consistently inspiring with the plethora of multi-cuisine dining options between Veli and Dhigu. While we mainly restricted ourselves to Anantara Veli – an adult only resort – Dhigu had its share of Italian restaurants which easily catered to our Vegetarian preferences. Being a Thai-food enthusiast, the authentic Thai delicacies and over-water ambience at Veli’s signature Thai restaurant Baan Huraa made for a lovely first-day dinner. Although vegetarian options at the pool-side Dhoni Bar and Japanese diner Origami were limited; the chefs were eager to curate a dish off-the-menu – a gesture much appreciated.

A glimpse of Anantara’s award-winning spa
When nights are spent watching movies under the stars

Honestly, there’s never a dull moment in and around the island with snorkelling, tennis lessons, Spice Spoons cooking classes, an under-the-stars theatre and indulgent treatments from scrubs to Ayurvedic massages at the Balance Wellness by Anantara.

Of all the luxurious hideaways in the turquoise-fringed, white sanded islands of the Maldives, I believe Anantara Veli is value for money. The palatial facilities, heavenly food and awe-inspiring natural beauty fulfilled every criteria we were seeking for our weekend gateway. The island’s gracious hosts and outstanding hospitality are reasons enough to visit Anantara Veli yet again.

Where: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort
Veligandu, South Male Atoll 20109, Maldives
Phone: +960 664-4100

Review: Diana Herrick

Adidas has created an exclusive velvet football worth $15,600 for the world cup

Fifa World Cup mania is here and Adidas is celebrating with the launch of a commemorative ball that’s covered with stunning Swarovski crystals. This ball is definitely not meant to be tossed about on a muddy field, instead it incorporates traditional Russian embroidery in a creative new way that begs to be displayed.

Made from black velvet, this piece of merchandise is pretty different to the footballs you’re used to seeing. It’s gets an extra dose of opulence from the gold Russian embroidery that pays tribute to the host nation. The embroidery also incorporates sparking Swarovski crystals, just in case you didn’t think this football was lavish enough before.

Even though Adidas items are popular all over the globe, this ball is only available in Moscow, so determined collectors will have to make a trip to get their hands on it. That’s if the 99,000 ruble ($15,600) price hasn’t scared them off already!

Maserati Alfieri – the electric sports car that will take on the Tesla Roadster

Remember the super-sexy two-door Alfieri concept Maserati showcased back in 2014? Back then, the Italian automaker claimed that the production variant will be out by 2016. Constant delays almost threatened the project to be cancelled. However, Maserati boss Tim Kuniskis surprised everyone by announcing at FCA’s Capital Markets Day speech that the Alfieri is finally entering production. And guess what! It’ll be an all-electric sports car rivalling the upcoming Tesla Roadster. Maserati isn’t even hiding its ambition to directly lock horns with the American electric carmaker. “It may look like we are targeting Tesla: we are,” Maserati chief Tim Kuniskis said. “We are going to accomplish this by bringing to market something than no one in the industry can match.”

The Alfieri will available either as a coupe of convertible and will be built on a new lightweight aluminum space frame. The claimed top speed exceeds 186 miles per hour and an acceleration from zero to 62 mph in less than two seconds. The all-electric version will use a three-motor drivetrain with all-wheel drive system offering torque vectoring. It will feature 800V battery technology. There is no word on the pricing as of yet but electric Maserati sports car should enter production by 2020.

Suite of the Week: The tropical One-bedroom Hawaiian Oceanfront Suites at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

If the tropical island of Hawaii is on your bucket list this season, we highly recommend staying at the Fairmont Orchid. The 32-acre sprawling tropical resort is decorated with stunning white beaches, swaying palm trees and picturesque lagoons. Perched on one of Hawaii’s most populated and diverse island, the rooms at the property have the most beautiful views of the beach or the mountains.

Lobby

If you are in the mood to splurge, the One-bedroom Hawaiian Oceanfront Suites are simply stunning! The immensity of the Pacific Ocean can be admired from the bedroom, living room and both private lanais (a local adorable version of a balcony). A set of opulent French doors separate the parlor from the grand bedroom.

Hale Kai Restaurant

A sectional sleeper adorns the room while coffee tables further accentuate the aesthetic surroundings. The well-planned layout of the suite entails a half bathroom off the living room, as well as a second private furnished lanai and a separate powder room. Of course, the master bedroom includes a spacious marble-clad bathroom with dual vanities and a tub/shower.

State of the art facilities dress up the room; and that means WiFi access, a 42” LCD HD Flat Screen television with built in media hub and iPod adapter, Bose stereo, refrigerator and Keurig coffee maker.

If you are travelling in a larger room, opt for the Big Island Oceanfront Suites that can connect to a spacious luxurious guest room to become a Two-Bedroom Suite.

Area: 1,477 sq m
Occupancy: 2 adults and 2 children
Rate: $1,749.00 per night + tax and Resort Charge

Where: The Fairmont Orchid
1 N Kaniku Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
Phone: +1 808-885-2000

Review: Tina Adams

 

Experience an extraordinary glamping night with The Gwen in Chicago

If Chicago’s on your travel route this summer, here’s a bucket list experience curated for you by The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel. The hotel’s experience is particularly for those seeking an urban camping adventure amongst the city’s hustle and bustle. Adorably titled the Glamping Experience, here’s what the $5,500 per night experience entails.

Walk inside the Lux Suite on the 16th floor of the beautiful McGraw-Hill building, and you will find a boho-chic tent dressing one of the most spacious private outdoor terraces with a space spanning an impressive 1,000 sq ft.

Of course given Gwen’s lavish and grandiose style, the 16-feet tent is dotted with drum-side tables, hand-knotted macramé seat cushions and a handcrafted Indian rug. The queen-sized Black Pearl bed, a signature element of Luxury Collection hotels occupies a prominent position in the tent. Dressed with Frette linens and earthenware lamps, the entire atmosphere is inspired by the aesthetic of camping.

In addition to the tent, guests have access to the two-bedroom suite which can accommodate up to six guests. Visualise a dining room, a living room with wet bar and two and half baths.

If that’s not enough for you, the hotel has thrown in an awe-inspiring meal cooked by The Gwen’s Executive Chef Matt Jergens, round-trip airport transportation and very appropriately, in blend with the theme – s’mores turndown amenity.

Cherish being part of the hotel’s Elite Ambassador Service where the Elite Ambassadors will be accessible round-the-clock to cater to every need, including a Spa at Nordstrom ($120 per person) or a glamping tasting menu from Chef Jergens (priced from $125 per person).

From May 28 to September 28, 2018, The Gwen is offering this experience to adventurous guests.

Review: Diana Herrick

Ferrari has built a 488 GTB-based one-off and it looks absolutely stunning

At this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este that concluded last weekend, Ferrari unveiled their latest bespoke creation to the public and it’s eye-poppingly gorgeous! Called the SP38 Deborah, the stunner is a part of the Italian carmaker’s One-Off customer program. Each bespoke car built under this program takes about 18 months to create. Ferrari says, the customer – “one of Ferrari’s most dedicated customers” who has a “deep passion for racing” – worked with the Maranello based marque on the car from the outset, collaborating on its design and each individual needs. The SP38 uses the chassis and running-gear from a 488 GTB and the styling is influenced by two of Ferrari iconic models from the past.

The completely new bodywork looks very little like the 488 GTB, the car it’s based on. The front’s styling is inspired by the 308 GTB and is fitted with much narrower headlights. The rear, however, is a nod to one of the greatest Ferraris of all time – the legendary F40 – whose influence Ferrari says can be seen in the rear wing and engine cover. In addition to that, the SP38’s three-layer metallic red paint is also inspired by the Ferrari Halo car from the 1980s. Under the redesigned bodywork, the mechanics are the same as the 488 GTB, with the same twin-turbo 3.9-liter V8. There’s no word on the performance figures of the car, but we expect it to be similar to the standard 488 GTB that does zero to 60mph in 3 seconds and has a top speed of 205mph. And, not-so-surprisingly, Ferrari didn’t comment on the pricing either. Even the owner of the SP38 has wished to remain anonymous and Ferrari would not disclose whether it was the customer’s first one-off.

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