Friday, March 18 06:40 PM
In a destination as beautiful as Bali, it's little wonder that traditional architecture blurs the lines between indoors and out. The W Retreat & Spa, opened earlier this month in Seminyak, finds inspiration in that tradition. Sea breezes whistle through the open-air lobby; in the 237 guest rooms, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, please-touch green stingray headboards, and mother-of-pearl panels allow for constant reminders of the surrounding beach and jungle.
The hotel's scene-y collection of restaurants and bars includes the three-story beachfront WooBar, which is open to the elements, while Fire puts the focus on an open kitchen. But don't worry--the resort has been careful to add plenty of lush coves and hidden corners, because some things shouldn't be on show for all to see.
Photo: Courtesy of W Hotels Worldwide
Thursday, March 17 06:35 PM
Today, your average American is gearing up to throw back a green beer (or four) in honor of St. Patrick's Day. But when it comes to drinking, you've always been above average. So we suggest that you celebrate like the real Irish do, with serious alcohol and people who know how to drink it.
Sure, the new Wood & Vine in Hollywood isn't an Irish bar, but that's exactly its selling point on this most green of days. Instead of elbowing through the amateur masses, you can sip one of the bar's small-batch whiskeys from the comfort of a buttery leather armchair. And you can't help but find the craic among the pretty people who flock here for truffled duck-fat fries. Good food, good friends, good drink. Just as St. Patty would have wanted it.
Photo: Courtesy of Wood & Vine
Wednesday, March 16 06:31 PM
Sure, your digital can shoot 100 photographs in a minute, zoom the length of a football field, and store weeks of vacation shots. But does it have style? Our new favorite camera does.
The Fujifilm FinePix X100 has a body James Bond would be proud of, all pebbly leatherlike finishes and retro '50s dials. But it's much more than a pretty face. The X100 has the same size sensor as your average digital SLR, a high-tech optical viewfinder (so you can shoot using the digital display or peer through the old-school range finder), and the ability to film some quality video. That's our kind of straight shooter.
Fujifilm FinePix X100, $1,199.95
Photo: Courtesy of Fujifilm
Tuesday, March 15 06:26 PM
Location, location, location. Any restaurateur knows that's the key to success. And no one knows it better than the folks behind The Cube, a futuristic new pop-up restaurant. The 1,500-square-foot structure will be attached to the rooftops of some of Europe's landmark buildings for three-month stints this year. First stop? Belgium, where it will sit 100 feet up atop the Arcades du Cinquantenaire in Brussels' Cinquantenaire park from late March through early July.
The glass restaurant (complete with terrace) was designed by Milan-based architects Park Associati and is covered in a laser-cut aluminum "skin" that adds a sci-fi touch. It seats 18 diners at one long table and has an open kitchen, where Michelin-starred Belgian chefs Sang Hoon Degeimbre and Bart de Pooter will alternate days behind the stove. Next stop, Moscow? Stockholm? Zurich? Only The Cube knows.
Photo: Courtesy of Park Associati
Monday, March 14 06:24 PM
An entrance flanked by outsize topiary, and 270 guest rooms in periwinkle and midnight blue lit by furry lamps. Inspired by Jean Cocteau's 1940s French fantasy flick, La belle et la bęte, the new Mondrian Soho is every bit the cinematic dream world that designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz intended.
The fantasy continues in the hotel restaurant, Imperial No. Nine, a soaring space with mirrored tables reflecting chandeliers dripping with crystals. Here, chef Sam Talbot creates shareable plates of sustainable seafood dishes. After dinner, guests can disappear into Mr. H, a scarlet-hued speakeasy already awash in pretty young starlets. Now if that's not a dream stay, we don't know what is.
Photo: Courtesy of Morgans Hotel Group