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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)

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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. Sat Bal

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 at Pierre Cardin's Bubble Palace villa.

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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.

 

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48 hours in…Sardinia

 

When Delphina Hotels & Resorts challenged us with its motto “5 stelle in libertà” (5-star in total freedom) it was time to pack the Birkenstocks and put Sardinian luxury to the test. From the glamour of Costa Smeralda to the history of Isola Rossa and Badesi, only a two-hour flight lay between London and “libertà” in the crystal waters and white beaches of northern Sardinia. Sat Bal  Read more

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Nikki Beach At Cannes Film Festival

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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...

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

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Mission Controlled - Mercedes F015

Driving Mercedes’ current S-Class is as good a glimpse as any into the automotive future. But the brand really wowed the crowds with the unveiling of its F015 concept car in Las Vegas, above. Sat Bal  Read more

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On board Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class

 

Philosopher Alain de Botton famously inhabited Heathrow as Writer-in-Residence for his book ‘A Week at the Airport’. But Writer-in-Transit Sat Bal was content with just a leisurely few hours at Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow Clubhouse

Read more

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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

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Namaste, Oberoi...

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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: