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Cheetah Uncaged In New York

NEW YORK: One of the world’s rarest racing cars is set to be auctioned off in New York. Lucy Reid

Guernsey’s Auction House will be presenting the Cheetah at the auction block on May 10th. The General Motors racing car, of which only 23 were produced, will ensure that the winning bidder ends up owning the rarest of animals.   

And it’s not just a pretty face: the Cheetah set the record of 215 miles per hour at Daytona in 1964 and challenged the domain of Ferrari and Ford’s Cobra. Performance aside.

Guernsey’s Auction House will be selling the Cheetah at unreserved auction with the boast that the car has only had a single owner since 1965. That one careful owner is an undisclosed Ohio gentleman approaching his 80th birthday. Built in 1963 his car was one of the first Cheetahs ever made, its fuel-injected Chevrolet Corvette engine clocking that 215 mph record.

It’s all in a day’s work for Guernsey's Auction House whose 40-year span claims representation for the largest auction in history - the ocean liner S.S. United States. Associated names and events conducted include those of John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. 

On May 4-5 Guernsey’s prepares the Cheetah for display at Lime Rock, the renowned race course in Connecticut. It will be delivered to 93rd Street and Park Avenue in New York City for viewing May 10th from 10am until the 6pm auction. 

 

See more at: www.guernseys.com  

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Middle Housewarming, Shanghai

SHANGHAI: The House Collective opens the newest House in the group with an opening offer for guests.

The Middle House opens in April and brings Shanghai to its collection. Here's a visual invite of what to expect.

 

House lobby

 

The Middle House stands in the heart of Shanghai and offers 111 guest rooms and 102 serviced apartments known as The Middle House Residences.

 

Chinese cuisine at Sui Tang Shang

 

Architect Piero Lissoni brings an Italian flourish to the hotel and residences in a blend of intimate luxury and urban sophistication. 

 

Studio 70 bathroom

 

The Middle House is the sixth hotel in Asia from Swire Hotels and the fourth House under Swire Hotels’ award-winning The House Collective.

 

Opening offer

 Between 16 April and 30 June stay at the newest House in the group from RMB 2,500 opening offer which includes stay in a Studio 60 and complimentary breakfast at Cafe Gray Deluxe.

 

Full terms and conditions on the website:

 https://www.themiddlehousehotel.com/en/offers-and-gifts/opening-offer/

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MTV Presents Plymouth Headliners

 

Day Two headliners of MTV Presents: Ocean City Sounds have now been announced. Take a bow, Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra…

The Heritage Orchestra will be conducted by Jules Buckley to present a two-hour set that will see their ‘Ibiza Classics’ show entertain both dance and classics fans. The successful blend has sold out venues across the UK including the O2 Arena in London.  

Day Two of MTV Presents takes place on Friday 27 July and is the only South West performance of the year.

Pete Tong is well known to the MTV audience, a veteran BBC Radio 1 DJ for over 25 years and leading ambassador for electronic music. He started working with the 65-piece Heritage Orchestra and conductor Jules Buckley in 2015. They’ve since released two albums – ‘Classic House’ and ‘Ibiza Classics’ and taken the show on a global road. 

Fans can look forward to the 90s with Plymouth Hoe’s sea as backdrop to a full festival light show.  

Pete Tong said: “I’m looking forward to bringing the Ibiza Classics show to Plymouth with Jules Buckley and the Heritage Orchestra. It’s our only South West tour date and we’re going to make it a night to remember.”

The show will also feature guest vocalists, TBA. MTV Presents continues brand’s tradition of partnering with tourism and councils to promote host cities to music fans.  

Amanda Lee, marketing manager at Plymouth City Council, said: “This show is going to be truly spectacular and we’re thrilled to be able to give music fans in the South West the opportunity to see such a unique, world-class act. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like Plymouth Hoe, so the views combined with the music mean this is going to be an unmissable event!”

Day One of Ocean City Sounds on Thursday 26 July will see indie titans Bastille perform a full 90-minute set, supported by Ella Eyre, Professor Green and R3WIRE & VARSKI. Day One will be part of the ‘MTV Presents’ series – which will also include Gibraltar Calling and Varna Beach in Bulgaria. A highlights show ‘MTV Presents: Ocean City Sounds’ will be broadcast on MTV in August.

 

Tickets are on sale now for £25 per day and there is an event pass offering access to both days for just £45. VIP tickets are also available, offering an exclusive viewing area, food and drink and VIP toilets. All tickets are subject to a £2.50 booking fee.

 Online now at: www.oceancitysounds.co.uk

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March 29, 2018 Posted by admin in Venues

Regal Viewing at The Albert Hall

VIP takes on a different light with the news that a twelve-seat Grand Tier Box is for sale at the Royal Albert Hall, London priced at over £3 million pounds. Lucy Reid

The Grand Tier Box is offered to the market by Harrods Estates with a key selling point that it’s an emerald’s throw from The Royal Box, and offers enviable views of the world’s most anticipated music concerts and events. Events have ranged from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s The Music Of Bond to the European premiere of Star Wars’ ’The Last Jedi’.

The future owner and their lucky invited guests will have the opportunity to see Cirque Du Soliel’s Ovo, Morrissey and Art Garfunkel, among others in 2018.

The Grand Tier shares the same level as the Queen’s Box and the Hall’s royal ancestry hails  back to its opening in 1871 by Queen Victoria. Upon the Hall’s opening, Queen Victoria acquired 20 boxes on this tier.                                         

The new owner will automatically receive a membership to the Corporation of the Halls of Arts and Science. The membership was granted to individuals who helped fund the building of the hall in the 1860s, and who then acquired seats in return for governing the Hall for the nation’s benefit.

The owner will also be responsible for such duties as electing the Council and the Hall’s President, approving the level of the annual contribution, and ensuring that the purposes and traditions of the Corporation are upheld.

Jake Irwin-Brown, sales negotiator, Harrods Estates commented: “Grand Tier Boxes at The Royal Albert Hall rarely come to market, this is only the second in nearly a decade that Harrods Estates has been instructed on and this particular Box is located only two boxes away from The Royal Box: perhaps Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be part of the audience at future events, post their wedding next month."

Aside from entertainment value, Harrods points out the expected monetary appreciation of the Grand Tier Box and its hereditary potential for successive generations, given that the £3 million asking price is for a lease of 848 years. 

                                                                                                                                            

Contact Jake Irwin-Brown on 020 3650 4600

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Hola, Cancun! Part 2: Secrets Maroma Beach

MEXICO: After a week of Hard Rock hotel hedonism the Secrets Maroma Beach resort offered a luxurious and private escape just 45 minutes away in Riviera Cancun. Sat Bal

 

Theme

Much more compact than the sprawling Hard Rock complex the award-winning Maroma Beach is an adults-only enclave of refinement. Its powdery beach is private and well-serviced by staff who cheerily ferry along trays of Mudslides and Mimosas along with food favourites. Just as well since the February sun nudged 30 degrees!

The beach provision falls under the all-inclusive service. Where things do cost, such as spa treatments, complimentary resort credits will offer discounts.

 

Rooms

Presidential suite balcony view  (Pic- Sat Bal) 

 

Rooms start from the Junior Suites (circa $230 pp, pn) and progress to the Preferred Club suites (circa $270 pp,pn) stepping up to the Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite (around $440 pp,pn). They variously feature ocean views or swim , on the ground-floor suites, which allow you to fling open the doors and step inside the cut-down pool adjoined to suite.

 

Presidential dining space (Pic- Sat Bal)

 

The Presidential Suite comes in at a spacious 1,873 sq ft cost around $1,100 pp,pn. For this you get a separate living area with a large sofa and TV and a dining area that accommodates eight. The spacious bedroom also includes a break-out lounge area and a king bed. The views are magnificent, offering a panoramic view of sand and sea.

All rooms are well-appointed with hydro spa tubs, a private balcony/terrace with hammocks and complimentary wi-fi throughout.

 

Out and About

As expected, water-bound activities abound: kayaks, sailing, scuba diving and plenty more. Golfers get complimentary greens fees at the Grand Coral Riviera Maya which skirts the Caribbean Sea. The 18-hole, 7,000-plus yards course was designed by PGA champion Nick Price.

Archery, dance lessons and an outdoor theatre featuring live shows gives a small idea of the big variety at Secrets.

 

Beaches & Pools

The private beach at Secrets is powdery and expansive at least in length (rather than width) at this time of year. Not that losing the sand to the tide led to loss of privacy; there was still plenty to go around. If the beach is your priority then we’d suggest spending more time at Secrets Maroma Beach than HRH.

 

Restaurants & Bars

 

An array of restaurants includes French dining at Bordeaux, Asian cuisine at Himitsu and Italian at Portofino. All are lavishly presented and exude their unique cultural themes in decor and dishes. Additional venues include sea food and munches at the 24-hour cafe. Informal grab-and-go food comes courtesy of the Barefoot Grill.

Bars are omnipresent with top-shelf, all-inclusive drinks. Try the plush lobby Rendezvous bar for a bubbly start to the day and swim up to Bar Manatees in the afternoon sun for cocktails and shorts.  Elsewhere, the on-site Desires music lounge club keeps up the tempo until 1am.

 

Cautionary note…

Secrets rather let down its image with a surge of salesmen intent on selling customers long-term, six-figure packages to the Secrets global network of destinations. We spoke to holidaymakers who were holed up with the high-pressure sales team for over three hours for meetings that were supposed to last an hour.

Although a ‘romantic meal on the beach’ for two was granted for those who stayed the course, such blatant and sustained money-grabbing is not something we’ve ever experienced in other luxury resorts.  Management: rein it in!

A blot on the otherwise flawless service and staff energy that made the place special.  

 

 Check out our review week at Hard Rock Hotel, Cancun:

 

 

 

 

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Hola, Cancun!

 

MEXICO: February-March means it’s time to escape the British freeze and cast out for warm climes. But where in the world would blend white-beach luxury in blue-sea tropical surrounds and syncopate hard play with a soft chill? Cancun met our party-relaxation brief with ease. Sat Bal

 

The Brief

Week one of our geographic was to be filled with solar-powered parties in a playful but luxury setting. The Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya answered the call like a natural, living up to its rock credentials.

Week two in Cancun required a change in tempo: privacy, peace and a reclaiming of the soul. Where better than the AAA Five Diamond awarded Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Cancun? A blissful recovery on a gold platter - around 45 minutes from the Hard Rock.

 

Hard Rock Hotel (HRH)

A 45-50 minute transfer from Cancun International airport, HRH played to our strengths with its ‘resort within a resort’ concept. The family-friendly Hacienda setting offered a hard-play edge of live music shows and beach frolics while the Heaven complex embraced a more refined adults-only isolation. Combined, the 1,264-room hotel feels vast as evidenced by the scurrying of transfer buggys across the lush palm-lined site.

Adult guests at either resort can wander across to use facilities at either Heaven or Hacienda. Stop press: HRH has announced that from the end of March 2018 Heaven will be managed as a family hotel so it’ll no longer be kids-free.

 

Themes

 

 

The HRH mantra is ‘undeniable excess at every turn’ and the pioneers of excess loom large here. Jimi Hendrix, Bowie, Prince and other legends added a supernatural tinge to the stay, looking down from huge monochrome portraits. Jim Morrison (above) held court in the Hacienda’s Sun Bar, his hair a montage of vinyl records. Elsewhere, Aerosmith’s drum kit and all manner of artist personal effects in display cabinets, persistent  reminders of why this place is called Hard Rock.

 

All-inclusive

It really is - even down to ordering room service. So enjoy the indulgence of ordering up tea and coffee first thing, despite having a perfectly good coffee machine in your suite. The array of restaurants form part of the package too. Neither will you need to pack your favourite duty-free tipple; all top shelf drinks are complimentary as is the mini bar. Where things do cost, such as spa treatments, your complimentary resort credits will offer discounts.

 

Rooms

 

The Bret Michael's Rock Star Suite

 

All rooms are well-appointed with hydro spa tubs, a private balcony/terrace with hammocks and complimentary wi-fi throughout. Views range from garden to the panorama of the Caribbean sea with first-quarter prices starting from circa $300 a night to $2,000 a night for the apex experience.

Upgrade to Rock Royalty status and the fun really starts with VIP pool area and your own personal assistant.

The two-bedroom Rock Star Suite (4991 sq ft) and the Rock Suite Platinum Rooftop Lounge (5,166 sq ft) raise the pinnacles of luxury to levels that bona fide A-listers would surely approve of.

Service is willing and warm, on a par with Asian service, across the board.

 

Beaches & Pools

HRH claims a private white sand beach and invites snorkel and kayak fans alike.

If the beach is your priority we’d suggest spending more time at Secrets Maroma Beach which was more expansive and less busy. At HRH we just missed the 'Spring Break' when hordes of N. Americans fly over to boost the fun.

For adults only, the Central Pool at Heaven is just the ticket for sun, lounge, or cool off with an abundance of cocktails. There’s also a semi Olympic pool, cross current rhythm pool - and, of course, the crystalline Caribbean!

  

Restaurants & Bars

 

 

Hacienda offers seven restaurants including à la carte Asian dishes at Zen, Brazil’s best at Ipanema and hot Mexican at Frida. Caffeto is great for an early pastry breakfast or a late baguette grab. Over at Heaven head to Toro for a rich steak, Le Petit Cochon for French à la carte and Ciao for Italian among the five dining areas.   

For drinks, settle down at Heaven’s Martini Bar or the Sun Bar at Hacienda while Float bar invites the pool. At nightclub Club Heaven, live DJs starts the party around 11pm and take it into the early hours.   

 

Rock Spa

 

 

HRH boasts the largest spa in the Caribbean with 75 treatment rooms. On offer is everything from steam rooms to hydrotherapy current pools. The surroundings are among the most lavish we’ve seen and the view from the pools is inspirational. There’s even a yoga temple!

 

Weather

What's to say? The odd peppering of rainfall in the early hours but every day blazing with sun and skirting 30 degrees. Autumn tends to see the rain.

 

Out and about

Popular excursions range from the Mayan history site of Chichén Itzá to water park fun at Xcaret. Nightclubbers, make  your way to Coco Bongo though the in-house club at Heaven got full and fun too.  Amstar is the local excursion agency of choice but bookings can also be made via the hotel concierge. 

Flying out

UK operators British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook will get you out there in around 11 hours non-stop.

 

See our next week at Secrets Maroma Beach…

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Gray & Farrar Appoints New MD

 

Mayfair-based matchmaking consultancy Gray & Farrar has announced the appointment of Kalina Boyadjiew as its first managing director.

 

The consultancy leads with a policy of “No apps, algorithms or data matches” instead opting for a more personal bespoke service to its wealthy clients.

In a bid to boost global expansion of the family-owned British brand Kalina Boyadjiew brings a background of real estate and lifestyle industry experience to the role from luxury operators including the Four Seasons Hotel, Residences and Private Members Club and renowned developer Candy & Candy where she oversaw the sales programme and service delivery of One Hyde Park.

She also makes a debut as the first non-family member to join the business at managerial level from its discreet headquarters in a Mayfair townhouse in London.

Gray & Farrar was established by Virginia Sweetingham in 2005 and boasts over 40 years of collective expertise under the Sweetinghams.

Kalina Boyadjiew said: “Matchmaking is undergoing a seismic evolution as society falls out of love with the impersonal, random and casual nature of dating websites and apps, and further embraces the concierge culture which dictates that one must appoint an expert to ensure that every facet of life runs seamlessly. Gray & Farrar is leading that charge, combining a global outlook with bespoke client service, tailored to fulfil the needs and demands of the most discerning HNWIs.

“My experience in international luxury offers the ultimate background to guide Gray & Farrar through its next period of expansion, both domestically and across the globe, identifying strategically selected opportunities and partnerships along the way.”

Virginia Sweetingham added: “It is fantastic to have Kalina on board at Gray & Farrar. Her global experience is just what the business needs to build on its incredibly strong foundations, and to realise its global potential. We are looking forward to applying the knowledge and experience Kalina brings with her which, together with our unrivalled knowledge of matchmaking, will ensure that Gray & Farrar continues to offer the best possible service to its clients whilst becoming recognised as the world leader in its field.”

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Neptunus Production Win

Temporary structure supplier Neptunus has been named the UK’s Best Temporary Structure Supplier at the Event Production Awards 2018.

Neptunus scooped the award in one of the most fiercely contested categories for their role at live events including The National Eisteddfod of Wales and Belgium’s electronic music dance festival Tomorrowland.

Judges said: “This was an excellent presentation, well thought out and creative and showed such diversity in the work they undertake.”

Neptunus reached its 80th anniversary last year and marked the occasion by launching an innovative new structure, Salacia. The circular Salacia was designed especially for Tomorrowland after the festival’s organisers challenged Neptunus to come up with a new and dynamic creation for their event.

The innovastructure was a key element of Neptunus’ Event Production Award entry which saw the company beat off opposition from eight other industry rivals to take the prestigious title in London.

April Trasler, MD of Northamptonshire-based Neptunus received the award on behalf of the company and said afterwards: “We are really thrilled to be named Best Temporary Structure Supplier in recognition of our performance at live events last year at a time when we were celebrating our 80th anniversary.

“Awards such as this recognise the efforts of everyone at Neptunus while our new Salacia structure also demonstrates just how creative our design team are. They are constantly coming up with really innovative bespoke solutions for our customers, pushing the boundaries to ensure that our customers’ visions can be turned into reality – and this is so important to enable us to keep ahead in such a competitive industry.”

 

April Trasler (pictured 3rd right) accepts the award on behalf of Neptunus with project manager Richard Treml (2nd right) and project director Ben Keast (far left).

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Classic Ibiza At Ragley Hall Set To Sell Out

Organisers of the Classic Ibiza musical picnic at Ragley Hall claim that overwhelming demand for tickets signals a sell-out ahead of the event’s 7th July date. Lucy Reid

Ragley Hall (see link below) is the home of the Marquess of Hertford and has been the Hertford ancestral home for over 300 years. The estate is set in thousands of acres in the lush grounds of Warwickshire where Ragley makes its debut this summer as host venue to Classic Ibiza.

The Urban Soul Orchestra, DJ Goldierocks and a host of live vocalists will perform some of the biggest dance tracks from the last 20 years at Ragley Hall. Its sprawling grounds are to start a sun-down set encouraging revellers to picnic or dance, before DJ Goldierocks warms up the crowd ready for the USO and vocalists.

Classic dance tracks, huge screens and lasers will enhance the magic and visitors will be able to suggest their favourite dance anthems in advance, to be included in the programme on social media.

The emphasis at Classic Ibiza is on its billing as a concert for all the family. Visitors can bring their own food and drink, or take advantage of numerous stalls selling high-quality street-food and refreshments. Car and coach parking is free. 

Lisa Ward of Revival Productions said: “We’ve worked with the fantastic Urban Soul Orchestra for a number of years and can guarantee that they will put on an amazing show. My team’s job is to enhance people’s experience so that they want to come back for more. This includes selecting a beautiful venue that has the best transport links, ensuring that people can get on and off the site easily, all the way through to making sure that everyone enjoys themselves in a safe environment and doesn’t have to queue for ages to use the toilet! We’ve been overwhelmed by ticket sales at Ragley and I am confident that the concert will sell out long in advance.”

Classic Ibiza is also performing at five other venues this summer: Capesthorne Hall (30 June), Harewood House, Yorkshire (28 July), Bowood House, Wiltshire (4 August) and Blickling Estate, Norfolk (10 August), Hatfield House, Hertfordshire (1 September).

 

Tickets: Adults: £39.50. Children: (aged 5 –16) £17.50. Under 5's free.

Programme: 6 pm: car parks and gates open. 8 pm: chill-out set. 9 pm: interval with live DJ. 9:30 pm: dance set and laser light show. 10:45 pm: concert finishes.

See: www.classicibiza.co.uk 

 

Ragley Hall, click...

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Dmg Events SA Acquisitions

 

S.AFRICA: Dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa has announced the acquisition of five exhibitions and an associated publication, focused on the construction and transport infrastructure sectors from South African media company, Hypenica. Chris Page

The leading international events company and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust already has activity on the continent including Big 5 branded construction events in Kenya, Morocco and Egypt and SAITEX, AB7 and Coatings for Africa held in Johannesburg.

 “We know Africa is a key geography for the future growth of our business, as well as those of our exhibitors and visitors,” said Matt Denton, president – dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa. “Adding these five events and the accompanying respected trade media to our portfolio is an excellent way to expand our regional reach, enabling us to leverage our sector expertise in new markets.”

The acquisition of African Construction Expo, Cape Construction Expo and KZN Construction Expo form a natural progression within dmg events’ existing construction portfolio. African Ports Evolution Forum and African Ports Evolution Forum – West Africa add a complementary transport element to the company’s existing customer base across industries such as construction, mining, power and logistics. 

The event support is augmented by Concrete Trends and its digital platform www.concrete.tv.

“Africa is a hugely important market to us so it’s only natural that we will continue to look for ways to invest across the continent, either by geo-adapting existing brands, or making astute acquisitions from capable, successful businesses just like Hypenica,” said Denton.

“It is great that we have the opportunity to see the brands we’ve worked so hard to create get taken to the next level by a great operator like dmg events,” said Devi Paulsen-Abbott, CEO of Hypenica. “The company’s approach to doing business suits our own company culture and the obvious synergy between our events will have a huge impact on the benefits the events offer to exhibitors and visitors alike.”

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