Home

Reviews

Events

Venues

Profiles

Pictures

Videos

Diary

Contact

International

0

The Rolls-Royce "Me"

Rolls-Royce Torpedo
Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

The malleability of automotive luxury has been unveiled on the shoreline of Lake Como in the form of the striking Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’ - short on background detail but long on presence.

The car represents the vision of a very wealthy Rolls-Royce customer who worked with the marque to commission his very own coachbuild. The cost of the car, like the name of the owner, is undisclosed but reportedly exceeds £10 million. And so it was, this weekend at Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este that the one-off Sweptail was presented at a press call by Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös. The name of the car emerges from the swept tail of vintage Rolls-Royces from the 1920s.

The most striking feature of the car is its panoramic glass roof which is unobstructed and one of the largest and most complex ever seen on a car before, with a smooth end-to-end curvature that floods the cabin with natural light.

 

 

The secretive customer approached Rolls-Royce in 2013 with a very specific request informed by his background as a connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private jets. The client collaborated closely with design director Giles Taylor who helped bring the vision to life: a coachbuilt two-seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof.

““Our job was to guide, edit and finely hone the lines that would ultimately give our client this most perfect of Rolls-Royces,” said Giles Taylor. “Sweptail is the automotive equivalent of Haute Couture. It is a Rolls-Royce designed and hand-tailored to fit a specific customer. This customer came to the House of Rolls-Royce with an idea, shared in the creative process where we advised him on his cloth, and then we tailored that cloth to him. You might say we cut the cloth for the suit of clothes that he will be judged by.”

 

The iconic Rolls-Royce Pantheon grille, the largest of any modern era Rolls-Royce, is milled from solid aluminium before being painstakingly polished by hand to a mirror finish. The size and scale of this regal-looking coupé is imposing; from the leading edge of the windscreen, the roofline accelerates as it fires backwards towards the rear of the motor car, overshooting the boot lid edge to emphasise its length.

The car comes with identifier and registration number, 08, two individual digits milled from ingots of aluminium and hand-polished.

 

The two-seat configuration simply adds to the image of a car that isn’t concerned with pragmatism, just bygone opulence for the hell of it or as Rolls-Royce puts it, it “exudes the romance of travel for its own sake.”

Inside, precedence goes to the exquisite materials with switchgear kept to a minimum lest it divert attention from the visual luxury of the cabin. It’s a haven of polished Macassar Ebony and open-pore Paldao, creating visual and tactile contrasts for the owner, both classical and contemporary. This contrasting dark/ light, Ebony and Paldao, is set off by light Moccasin and ‘Dark Spice’ leathers that cover the seats, armrests and dashboard top.

Even the customer’s laptop has been taken into account in the tailored design phase. Secreted in the outboard walls of the car, behind the opening of the coach doors, are two identical panniers. Each pannier deploys forward to present the owner’s bespoke made attaché case which has been carefully packaged to exactly house his personal laptop. The case has been hand-constructed and wrapped in the finest leather to match the car’s interior.

Another personalised ‘wow’ is that the entire centre console houses a one-off hand-built mechanism that, at the touch of a button, will deploy a bottle of the owner’s favourite vintage champagne – the year of his birth – and two crystal champagne flutes. As the lid of the chiller opens, the mechanical action positions the bottle to the perfect position for the owner to pick up. No spillages there, then.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said the car is “in the pantheon of the world’s great intercontinental tourers. We are listening carefully to our most special customers and assessing their interest in investing in similar, completely exclusive coachbuilt masterpieces. At the same time we are looking into the resources which will allow us to offer this unique service to these discerning patrons of luxury.”

Photos: James Lipman

0

Cannes Film Festival Closing Round-Up

And so another year of Cannes is in the can as the parties drew to a close and the winner of the all-important Palme d'Or was announced.

While The Meyerowitz Stories by director Noah Baumbach played out well, it was satirical comedy The Square that won the big prize, awarded by jury members including Jessica Chastain and Will Smith. It was directed by Swede Ruben Östlund and tells the story around an art installation in a gallery.

 

 

Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for You Were Never Really Here while Diane Kruger took Best Actress for In The Fade. The actress plays a wife who seeks revenge for her husband's death in a terrorist bombing.

Sofia Coppola become only the second woman to win the best director award at Cannes for The Beguiled. 

Elsewhere, Amfar threw the closing big party of the event sponsored by Moët & Chandon. Here are pictures from party...

 

Model Bella Hadid gamely pours the champagne on stage

 

 

Guests glam it up, just look at those shoes - hers, not his!

 

Valery Kaufman, Hailey Baldwin, Carine Roitfeld, Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk and Hana Jirickova

 

Shimmering at the gala

0

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer Party - Cannes

 

The film premieres and parties continue apace in sunny Cannes with the afterparty for The Killing of a Sacred Deer this week.

Attendees included Colin Farrel, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic and writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos.

Nikki Beach, the linchpin pop-up venue of the Cannes Film Festival, hosted the event and here's what we saw...

 

Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan get joyous

 

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban 

 

 Sunny Suljic and Raffey Cassidy at the party 

 

Costumier Sandy Powell 

0

Island Yachting

You don’t have to travel to the other side of the globe for crystal clear waters and luxurious stays. Specialist tour operator, The Discerning Collection makes that clear with the addition of luxury yachts to its portfolio. Abigail Parkin

The privately owned company features exclusive, hand-picked hotels and villas across a number of Greek islands. Its yacht announcement this month only adds to the indulgence with two yachts and a catamaran ready to cast off for those island tours.

 

 

Based in Corfu, two yachts, Jeannous a 65’ super yacht (sleeps 6), Argentous, a stunning 57’ luxury yacht (sleeps 8) and a state-of-the-art catamaran, Aurous (sleeps 10) will all be available for sole charter from May – October 2017.

They come with skipper and private chef so you can try sailing alongside your skipper or group around the  BBQ, all, of course, while enjoying the lush scenery en route. Guests can dine on board throughout the day, but can later sample one of the charming tavernas on shore in a picturesque Greek village. Head north to the Faraway Islands or south via Paxos and Anti-Paxos down to Kefalonia or east towards the mainland.

 

 

Facilities include equipment such as wakeboards, water skis, paddleboards and inflatables – perfect for the youngsters.
 
The Discerning Collection offers seven nights aboard Argentous from £1,460pp (based on 8 sharing), Jeannous from £1,580pp (based on 6 sharing) and Aurous from £1,400pp (based on 10 sharing).

Prices include flights and transfers, breakfast and lunch daily as well as tea, coffee and all soft drinks.

See: www.discerningcollection.com)

0

The Weekend In Cannes

Seems like just yesterday that we flew to Cannes for the hot-ticket premiere of Arnold Schwarzenegger's then blockbuster, Terminator 3. This time around in Cannes he's an all-at-sea conservationist.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Michel Cousteau attended Nikki Beach for the Wonders of the Sea 3D press conference on Saturday. From Fiji to the Bahamas, Jean-Michel Cousteau, his team and his children Celine and Fabien embark on a voyage to discover the ocean as never seen before and learn more about the threats that put our ocean at risk.

 

Schwarzenegger selfie

Directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau and narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wonders of the Sea 3D is billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience and tribute to the ocean, expected to attract and unite the general public around the need to protect the ocean.

Elsewhere, Mary J. Blige was out for the premiere of The Meyerowitz Stories, the comedy starring Ben Stiller. Mary J. Blige wore a stunning Sautoir necklace and earrings from jeweller Avakian, with kite-shaped and pink diamonds matching her colour diamond cuff bracelet.

 

 

Avakian was also the choice of model Sara Sampaio (below) who wore a striking pair of earrings from the Gatsby Collection set with white enamel, pink tourmalines and diamond.

 

 

She matched it with a bangle from the Victory Collection set in white mother of pearl and diamonds for her arrival at the premiere of 120 Battements Par Minute.

Cannes blast from the past -Terminator 3 Party hosted by Pierre Cardin:

0

Wonderstruck Afterparty - Cannes Film Festival 2017

 

The 70th Cannes Film Festival is here and yesterday saw the cast of Wonderstruck attend the film’s afterparty at Nikki Beach, Cannes’ pop-up venue du jour.

It was a full house of talent yesterday with Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Todd Haynes, Millicent Simmonds, Jaden Michael and producer Christine Vachon all present at the party.

For Wonderstruck director Todd Haynes it looked like Cannes déjà vu after his lauded Carol competed for the prized Palme d’Or on the Croisette in 2015. The high anticipation around Wonderstruck, which premiered in competition yesterday, is due in no small part to the sterling screen debut of 14-year old deaf actress, Millicent Simmonds.

 

Julianne Moore and Millicent Simmonds brought close

Naturally it helps that the seasoned Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams led the film but as Todd Haynes told the press when he first saw Millicent Simmonds: “I just shivered.”

The film cleverly interweaves parallel narratives of a young deaf girl (Simmonds) and a boy called Ben (Jaden Michael) in 1920s Manhattan and 1970s rural Minnesota, originally sourced from novelist Brian Selznick. In doing so the film vacillates between colour and monochrome filming and audio and silence.

 

Selfie for Michelle Williams and Todd Haynes

The trick at any film premiere afterparty is to infuse the film into the event. Thus Danielle Pelland’s Brilliant Consulting Group and the production creatives behind the afterparty time-warped Nikki Beach into the 1920s. Cue: film reels lining the walls, antique bird cages and themed memorabilia party venue, with outsized floral fusion.

Not even the Nikki Beach staff were spared, with the girls in demure floral dresses and pearls-and-gloves for women and suspenders and hats for men. They dished out Nikki Beach canapés and a “Belle Époque” champagne cocktail from Perrier Jouët. Even the chandelier was a confection of champagne corks.

 

Child stars Millicent Simmonds and Jaden Michael

 

Julianne Moore arrived at the party in a white studded dress with a fringe-feathered neckline joined by navy-clad co-star Michelle Williams. Guests at Nikki Beach have Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Scarlett Johansson, so the week ahead at this iconic venue is looking pretty interesting.

 

0

Nikki Beach At Cannes Film Festival

image001

Nikki Beach will be boosting the celebrations at the 70th Cannes Film Festival this week when the luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand hits its 15th anniversary in Cannes.

The global brand has been in attendance consecutively since its 2003 debut pop-up venue at the Festival, adding its own hedonist mix of music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film and art to Cannes’ premium partying.

Nikki Beach Cannes promises 2017 “to be the most elegant and entertaining year yet, with the pop-up playing host to a mix of soirees, candlelit dinners, private events, charitable cocktail receptions, press junkets and more.”

“Our first pop-up at Cannes, in 2003, feels like it was yesterday,” says Jack Penrod, founder and owner, Nikki Beach Worldwide. “Every year, we set out to create a destination that gives everyone a beachside location to chill out from their hectic schedules during the Festival, and every year, we come away with unforgettable memories.”

This time, Nikki Beach Cannes will partner with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) to host an event to honour “a charitable partner.” The HFPA will also offer a dedicated space within Nikki Beach Cannes for press interviews and will host lunches every day.

Previous celeb guests have included Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Scarlett Johansson and Pharrell. Nikki Beach sponsors include Jacob & Co., Perrier Jouët, Elyx Vodka, Cointreau and Citroën Cars whose cars will be on display at the InterContinental Carlton at La Plage.

Click here to see trailer...

image001

Nikki Beach Cannes: 58 Blvd de la Croisette (at La Plage of the InterContinental Carlton Hotel) daily from May 17 - 28

0

BA Launches Oakland Route

Stephanie Pratt Made In Chelsea

Made in Chelsea’s Stephanie Pratt is the poster girl for British Airways’ new route to Oakland, San Francisco Bay.

 

The TV star, who went to college in San Francisco, posed in a shoot to mark the airline's first route from Gatwick to California. The route takes off from March 28 with flights launching from £210 each way based on a return fare. 

Stephanie Pratt blended a rose-gold dress from her own Godiva line with Christian Louboutin court shoes and a sequined dress from ASOS with navy sandals from Alexandre Birman. 

 “I absolutely loved studying in the Bay Area as Oakland and San Francisco are both such cool cities,” she said. “Oakland is super edgy, it’s like the Californian equivalent of Brooklyn as there are just so many quirky shops and cool bars and restaurants. It’s less than a 20-minute car ride from San Francisco and the perfect place to start a road trip to Napa Valley, Yosemite or Lake Tahoe.”

 

She numbers the NFL Oakland Raiders, Donut Savana and Lake Merritt among her must-visits.

British Airways Holidays has the following packages on offer:

Five nights at the 4* Hilton Parc 55 San Francisco from £699 per person, travelling November 1 to November 30. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation. Book by March 30. For reservations visit ba.com 

 

Seven days, from £479 per person, travelling November 1 to November 30. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick and an Economy car. Book by March 30. See ba.com/car

0

The Chainsmokers Lead Isle of MTV

The Chainsmokers are to headline this year’s Isle of MTV Malta music festival in June with Malta hosting the fun-in-the-sun for the 11th consecutive year. Sat Bal

 

MTV’s announcement sees The Chainsmokers follow global acts including Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas and Nelly Furtado to top the bill at the annual open-air music festival. The multi-platinum selling duo will perform the closing set at the event on Tuesday 27th June. 

Their debut single #Selfie shot The Chainsmokers into the global charts back in 2014 but their electro-dance compositions reached new heights with their 2016 single Closer which recently broke the record for number of weeks at #1 on the Billboard Dance/Mixshow chart, topping the chart 17 weeks running.

Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, the guys behind The Chainsmokers, left it to their fans to decide whether they were to release an album. Now by public demand, they will release their debut album this year via Columbia / Disruptor Records. Their latest single Paris is out now.

“The Chainsmokers absolutely dominated 2016 & we couldn’t be more excited to have them join us in Malta for Isle of MTV this year.  It’s going to be an amazing, must experience event!”  said Bruce Gillmer, EVP, Music, Talent Programming and Events, MTV.

MTV’s partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority was recently renewed for a further four years. Isle of MTV Malta will be filmed and edited into a 60-minute special that will broadcast across 20 MTV channels throughout Europe. The show will also be supported across all MTV social media platforms as well as via a bespoke website and this integrated marketing campaign aims to further cement and promote Malta’s position as a holiday destination for young people. MTV reports that the 10-year tenure of Isle of MTV in Malta has increased the number of under-24 age group of visitors to the island by  120% and now accounts for 20% of all tourists.

 

See our 2016 review IOM Malta here:

0

Namaste, Oberoi...

oberoi-india

With 30 luxury hotels to its name The Oberoi Group knows a thing or two about Indian hospitality. Oberoi is now honouring guests booked into its exclusive suites with regal style, from landing at the airport to arrival at their luxurious suites. Sat Bal  

A traditional Indian-style welcome greets guests at the Presidential and Kohinoor suites at The Oberoi, Mumbai; The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra; The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur.

Expect to be greeted at the airport and whisked away by your chauffeur for the placing of a sandalwood paste Tikka on your forehead, accompanied by a floral garland around your shoulders. At The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra; The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur guests will receive an extra special welcome of a rose petal shower.

So, where to go… 

 

The Presidential Suite at The Oberoi, Mumbai

oberoi-mumbai

Here the Presidential Suite offers  2,056 square feet of luxury. It includes a dining area, two lounge spaces, white marble bathroom and pantry and also features a personal fitness machine, brass telescope, five televisions, grand piano and separate butler’s entrance. It commands panoramic views of the ocean and the Queen’s Necklace – the golden crescent of lights that shine the shoreline.

Stylish in-suite dining with bespoke menus is available, along with private sundowners accompanied by a pianist, as well access to Capital O, an exclusive lounge and bar in the hotel.

Elsewhere, guests can explore Mumbai’s rich colonial history and architecture on a guided tour of the Jehangir Art Gallery, Rajaghai Tower and more. Mumbai’s art quarter can be experienced through the ‘Art Kaleidoscope’ tour will take guests to the Kala Ghoda art quarter.

The Presidential Suite starts from 900,000 INR (approximately £10,490) per night

 

The Kohinoor Suite at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

oberoi-amarvilas

When you’ve cast off the welcome arrival shower of rose petals enjoy instant views of the Taj Mahal from The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, located just 600 metres away from the iconic monument. Mirrored in elements of the Taj Mahal’s Mughal splendour is The Kohinoor Suite, made up of a living room, master bedroom, dining room and private terrace, which offers panoramic views of the Taj Mahal from dawn to dusk. The enchanting suite is adorned with white marble elephants which glow under the golden domed ceilings and mirrored walls, bringing the romance of the outside in.

The Kohinoor Suite start from 900,000 INR (approximately £10,490) per night

 

The Kohinoor Villa at The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

oberoi-rajvilas-jaipur

 

Explore the ‘Pink City’ and capital of Rajasthan in your very own hideaway at The Oberoi Rajvilas. The resort is set in an oasis of landscaped gardens filled with exotic birdlife and centred around an 18th century Shiva temple and Haveli (mansion). The hotel offers guests the opportunity to find peace and serenity through chanting with a Hindu priest, mediation and morning yoga. Those looking for ultimate indulgence can book the Kohinoor Villa, located in a discreet enclosure and made up of three buildings featuring a private garden, 20-metre pool and dining pavilion. The two en suite bedrooms feature sunken, white marble bathtubs overlooking the private gardens.

The Kohinoor Villa starts from 900,000 INR (approximately £10,490) per night

 

The Kohinoor Suite at The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

oberoi-udaivilas

The ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur, makes guests feel part of the history at The Oberoi Udaivilas, on the bank of Lake Pichola and sitting on the 200 year-old hunting grounds. As a guest of the Kohinoor Suite, arrive at the hotel jetty, board the hotel boat and sip Chai tea as you sail across the lake to your accommodation.

The Oberoi Udaivilas offers spectacular views across the greenery, sparkling lake and 20-acre wildlife sanctuary with deer and wild boar. The Kohinoor Suite is accessed through a sunlit courtyard and features two bedrooms, dining room, living room, powder room, private pool and dining terrace. Classical Indian décor adorns the suite including gold domed ceilings, elaborate mirror mosaics and hand carved privacy screens, giving guests a taste of traditional Indian home life. Enjoy sundowners by the pool and alfresco dinner accompanied by folk music on the pavilion.

The Kohinoor Suite starts from 950,000 INR (approximately £10,991) per night