Wednesday, October 05 10:58 AM
It's no surprise to see paradigm-shifting architecture in a country that spawned design titans Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen. And we've come to expect Scandinavia to lead the way in green innovations. But we didn't see this coming. One of Copenhagen's newest hotels, the glittering Deconstructivist 812-room Bella Sky Comwell, also has the world's busiest guests: 600,000 honeybees.
The hotel has found the bees digs on an adjacent rooftop, from where they'll help pollinate flowers and trees in the city, making Copenhagen even greener. The honey they produce can be sampled at the hotel's breakfast buffet and in its signature cocktail Bella Be Sour (a sweet spin on a whisky sour). Now that's what we call buzz-worthy.
Photo: Courtesy of Bella Sky Comwell
Tuesday, October 04 11:32 AM
Good news for New Yorkers whose favorite annual celebration is Repeal Day (December 5, for those taking notes): There's a new gin joint in town. Subterranean cocktail spot the Tippler has opened in a cavernous 3,000-square-foot space hidden beneath Chelsea Market.
It might be infused with sepia-toned nostalgia--including vaulted ceilings, original 1880s brickwork, salvaged water-tower timber, and railway tracks reclaimed from the neighboring High Line--but this watering hole has none of the speakeasy snobbery of its similarly appointed compatriots. There's Bud in bottles and cocktail categories like Fast & Furious (shots!) and Lushies (spiked slushies). Let's toast underground without the attitude.
Photo: Courtesy of the Tippler
Monday, October 03 11:36 AM
It's amazing what a subtle face-lift can do for the self-esteem. Take the BodyHoliday, an all-inclusive wellness/fitness resort situated at the northwestern tip of lush St. Lucia. This fall, it's proudly showing off $20 million worth of, ahem, enhancements.
Social hub the Clubhouse now sports a grand piazza with a blue mosaic fountain, infinity pool, and boardwalk promenade, furthering the resort's Mediterranean-by-way-of-the-Alhambra vibe. High-rollers can opt to stay in the swanky new penthouse suite. The stellar roster of daily activities, on the other hand, barely needed any work. You can still salute the morning with yoga, tai chi, or Pilates; try your hand at archery or scuba diving (a PADI-certified beginner's course is one of many included offerings); and then slough off the rigors of the day with a procollagen quartz facial at the skin clinic. In other words, full-body rejuvenation, no nipping and tucking required.
Photo: Courtesy of the BodyHoliday
Friday, September 30 07:00 AM
Mall food is pretty much the last thing on our culinary wish list, at home or abroad. But what if that food was prepared by Thomas Keller? And what if that mall was the gilded glamour-dome of Harrods, in London? Gourmands of the world, prepare yourselves. Starting tomorrow, the French Laundry is taking a ten-day vacation to merry old England.
Through October 10, Keller and his team will be serving up a mix of iconic dishes such as sesame cones of salmon tartare and red onion crème fraîche alongside only-for-Harrods creations in nine-course lunch and dinner tasting menus. The setting will be an exact replica--from trellises to stone, cutlery to crystal--of the Napa Valley original. Take that, Panda Express.
Photo: Courtesy of Harrods
Thursday, September 29 10:21 AM
Those gentle tulip curves, those slender tapered legs. You've always had a thing for midcentury modern. But she's starting to look a little cheap these days, what with everyone from Urban Outfitters to Walmart knocking her off. What you need is to get back to the source, at the Hotel Lautner in Desert Hot Springs, California.
Interior designer Tracy Beckmann and furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge have completely restored this 1947 icon, which architect John Lautner originally created as a prototype for desert living. You'll find vintage furniture by a who's who of midcentury talents (the likes of Milo Baughman, Harry Bertoia, and Sigurd Russell) inside the concrete and redwood hotel. The four suites, lit by geometric shafts of sun filtered through skylights, are surrounded on three sides by gardens of succulents, and the new owners have added a pool. If that doesn't rekindle your midcentury love affair, perhaps the hexagonal fire pit will.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Lautner
Wednesday, September 28 10:31 AM
Every stylish piece of luggage we've ever owned has been roughed up, stained, and spit out by the brutal baggage-handling process. But over the years, we've made peace with the fact that only people who fly private own sexy suitcases. Until, that is, we discovered Tumi's new collection.
A partnership with motorcycle supremo Ducati has produced a new line of look-at-me, lipstick-red luggage (from $645) that's got more curves than a Diddy music video. The 360-degree wheels know how to take turns. And the polycarbonate ABS outer shell means that the bags are both thin and tough. Kind of like the biker chick we always wanted to be.
Photo: Courtesy of Tumi
Tuesday, September 27 07:00 AM
Australia, it seems, is a hotbed of street art. But if a trip down under is looking unlikely anytime soon, you can check out the U.S.A.'s biggest exhibit of Aussie urban art at San Francisco gallery 941 Geary. The Young & Free show brings together a diverse group of mixed media artists, wheat-pasters, and spray-painters.
Running through October 22, the exhibit includes mixed media pieces by Reka, haunting aerosol portraits by Ha-Ha, and gold-leaf skulls by Vexta. Those who wish to take one home, be forewarned: Taggers' work commands a high price these days--possibly as much as a plane ticket to Melbourne.
Photo: The Kelly Gang series, from left: Steve and Ned by Reka, courtesy of 941 Geary
Monday, September 26 10:37 AM
We love skiing, but wasting valuable slope time in lift lines? Not so much. Happily, there's a new shortcut: the eight-suite chalet Bighorn Revelstoke, in British Columbia, where you can go from bed to helipad to glacial bowls in a matter of minutes.
The James Bond-worthy amenities don't stop there (and they don't come cheap, either--prices start at $64,976 for seven days' exclusive use for up to 16 guests). After dismissing your heli-pilot, you can survey tomorrow's terrain from your outdoor hot tub, have the chef sizzle up the teppanyaki grill, get a massage in your private spa, or play pool by the light of a roaring fire. But our favorite way to relax after powering through powder all day? Settle in for a movie night (The Spy Who Loved Me, natch) at the chalet's private cinema.
Photo: Courtesy of Bighorn Revelstoke
Friday, September 23 07:00 AM
Oenophile gridlock. Dot-com blowhards pontificating on tannins. We hate to be whiny winos, but if there's one thing California wine country needs, it's a shot of tequila. Thankfully, chef Mateo Granados has answered our plea with a new Yucatán-inspired restaurant in the tony hamlet of Healdsburg.
Granados shored up his Sonoma cred with roving restaurant Tendejon de la Calle but is now ready to put down roots in a rustic-modern space heavy on salvaged materials, along with a communal dining garden. You can watch him work his magic in the open kitchen, adding French flare to Yucatán Peninsula favorites like achiote marinades, homemade habañero salsas, and pit-roasted pork. And, of course, there's the fully stocked tequila bar--just the thing to wash away grape fatigue.
Photo: Courtesy of Mateo's Cocina Latina
Wednesday, September 21 11:20 AM
We've always loved the idea of camping. But visions of cozy campfires and getting back to nature tend to dissolve into sore backs and expletives whenever we attempt to put up a tent. Now, thanks to the genius German engineering behind the new Cave tent (from $670), you can pop up an overnight abode in less time than it takes to toast a marshmallow.
Heimplanet's futuristic, igloolike structure inflates from a teeny 20- by 12-inch package to a 54-square-foot shelter in less than 60 seconds. The chic geometric frame was inspired by the molecular structure of gemstones. Gives new meaning to the term diamond in the rough, eh?
Photo: Courtesy of Heimplanet
Tuesday, September 20 12:02 PM
Americans don't always have the best reputation in Europe (who among us hasn't considered renouncing our citizenship when queried about exports like Snooki?). But there's one place that's unabashedly rolling out the red, white, and blue welcome mat with style: Stockholm's newly expanded Hotel J.
Set on the water's edge at Nacka Strand, Sweden's answer to Newport, Rhode Island, the hotel has 158 guest rooms--113 of them a Nordic homage to nautical New England, with stars-and-stripes bedding, blond wood furniture, and whitewashed moldings. The sweeping views of the Royal Djurgården, the leafy island of Lidingö, and the boats on Saltsjön bay are pure Sweden. But the friendly service extends to those of us as American as apple pie (which is served à la mode in the hotel restaurant).
Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels
Tuesday, September 20 11:34 AM
Sure, Portland has one of the country's most innovative food scenes. But keeping up with all those craft-brew-by-way-of-locavore openings can be anything but a vacation. So for your next trip out there, we'd like to direct you to the new Salt & Straw ice cream shop, which dishes out the cold, hard (delicious) facts on Portland's food scene.
Salt & Straw's Brown Ale Bacon ice cream combines local ingredients from craft brewers Laurelwood, artisanal butcher Olympic Provisions, and the dairy Lochmead Farms. A frosty scoop of Pear and Blue Cheese mixes the bounty of Salem orchards with the bite of Rogue Creamery. It's all served up on cones made on a vintage waffle iron in an old-fashioned storefront with benches made from recycled bleachers and tables made from reclaimed barn wood. Sweet licks in cool digs--this is what Portland's made of.
Photo: Courtesy of Dina Avila
Monday, September 19 01:03 PM
We're pushovers for a provocateur, and few designers deserve that label more than Jean Paul Gaultier. Over the past four decades, he's evolved from enfant terrible to fashion's elder statesman without seeming to have aged a day (perhaps it has something to do with his boyish white-blonde 'do). And now, thanks to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts' exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, you don't have to be a boldface name to get up close and personal with the designer.
The retrospective includes 140 of Gaultier's showstopping pieces, along with sketches, costumes, movie excerpts, and videos. And, of course, the Madonna cone bra. That's a lot of blond ambition for one room.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, tickets $15, through October 3 in Montréal. Subsequent tour stops include Dallas, San Francisco, Madrid, and Rotterdam.
Photo: Courtesy of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Friday, September 16 10:39 AM
It's no secret that New Yorkers can be a little crazy sometimes. Thankfully, at the new Romera restaurant, the doctor is in as of today.
Neurologist turned star chef Miguel Sánchez Romera gets inside your brain at his eponymous restaurant in the Dream Downtown hotel with what he calls neurogastronomy. But fear not, his 12-course, $245 tasting menu isn't just foams and mirrors. Romera thinks about how diners experience food and is known for creating multisensory experiences. Here, you'll see that approach in everything from waters infused with greenmarket bounty to a fragrant herb garden that climbs a wall of the dining room. And all that indulgence? Low-cal! Just what the doctor ordered.
Photo: Courtesy of Romera
Thursday, September 15 07:00 AM
Here's a cure for the energy crisis: Figure out what fuels Ian Schrager. As if redefining the entire hotel industry weren't enough, now the man responsible for the rise of the boutique is aiming to shift the paradigm yet again.
Schrager's new Public Chicago, a renovation of the 285-room Gold Coast institution the Ambassador East, is a thumb to the nose of the trend he unleashed. The color palette is notable for its lack thereof, the design is clean and minimal, there are no gimmicks. Instead, Schrager puts the focus on essentials, such as sincere service. Jean-Georges in the kitchen of the Pump Room and what's sure to be a rocking lobby library (coffee shop/group work space by day, cocktail lounge by night) are the only nods to excess. Think of it as a Master Cleanse to self-conscious hipness.
Photo: Courtesy of Ian Schrager